Have librarians gone too far trying to shrug off their "Shhh!" image? As Kevin Sharpe acknowledges, the traditional library needed to change. Many readers now prefer to consult our resources online in their studies, labs and halls.
We know we can't please all our readers all the time, so librarians walking the "reader satisfaction" tightrope are keen on research into what people think of their library. For many years, a set of higher education libraries (including Sharpe's Queen Mary) has invested in a co-operative, transatlantic library quality study. The perfect library may still elude us, but the current results show that academic staff perceptions of library buildings are the highest ever.
Toby Bainton, Secretary, Society of College, National and University Libraries.