by Friedel Grant “A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library.”

– Shelby Foote


With this quotation, Dr. Professor Peter Strohschneider, Chairman of the German Council of Science and Humanities, began his keynote speech at LIBER’s 42nd annual conference in Munich, Germany.


“The library is a place in which learning and research happens, and in which knowledge orders are created,” continued Strohschneider. “As Foote suggests, the library lies at the very heart of the academic experience. A university without a library is more or less unthinkable. This being the case, Foote’s perspective raises some important questions when we consider the future of academic libraries.”


Strohschneider went on to explain how some of the most notable research discoveries can be attributed to serendipity. These accidental revelations can, however, be thwarted by the current enthusiasm for modern search engines which only lead researchers to targeted results.


From this opening talk, the future of libraries was repeatedly explored over the three days of the conference – particularly in relation to the vast quantities of data currently being created and the library’s role in helping researchers to manage and sift through that data.


With two new scholarly articles being published every minute, Dr. Jan Velterop asserted that structures such as nano-publications would become an essential tool for researchers to identify relevant material. This would, in turn, require libraries and publishers to adjust to a new world where the scientific journal was valued more as a source of raw material, in which researchers could look for knowledge patterns, than something to read.


4 Slideshares from the Conf:


The future of the science publishing ego-system


Roadmaps, Roles and Re-engineering: Developing Data Informatics Capability in Libraries



A Revolution in Open Science: Open Data and the Role of Libraries (Professor Geoffrey Boulton at LIBER 2013



Enabling Data-Intensive Science Through Data Infrastructures