Myself and our Systems Librarian and Digital Repository Manager at City University London Library were very pleased to welcome some colleagues from Kyoto University Library, Japan recently. We had some mini Danish pastries and orange juice to celebrate. Our colleagues were visiting the UK for a week and had been to University of Oxford, University of Warwick and and were going on to visit a University in Göttingen, Germany for a week too.
Our colleagues were mainly interested in InCites a research evaluation database tool, City Research Online (our repository) and green/ gold route open access, mobile technology and the Library Anywhere app. They had seen our website and our LibGuides, it is interesting to know that our guides are read internationally.
From our discussions, I understood that we do have communality and share issues with Libraries abroad. Kyoto University also has an institutional repository and seems to take a lead from issues around open access being discussed in the UK for example the Research Libraries UK open access policy and article processing charges (APCs). We discussed the problems of measuring the impact of Humanities research, often in the form of books or book chapters, this is the same in both countries. I thought maybe we would have different approaches as other countries don’t have the Research Excellence Framework but it all seemed very similar.
In terms of search discovery tools, Kyoto University don’t currently have a resource discovery tool such as Summon or Primo. Mobile technology is a very important area as many students use mobile devices. Kyoto University are looking at developing apps for their Library website/ catalogue whereas here we are looking more at a mobile responsive design of these website applications. The issue lies with making everything compatible with all the different devices: iPhone, Blackberry, android etc. I think this is a key challenge for all of us, especially with all the new ebook content etc.