The Department of Culture, Media and Sport is proposing the transfer of the British Library's research arm to the Library and Information Commission.
The department says the move will enhance the role of the LIC, helping it to develop a size and status commensurate with its leadership and advisory roles across the whole of the library and information sector.
A spokesman for the British Library said of the proposal: "It seems a logical bringing together of functions." The library's research centre employs 12 research analysts. Funding for the centre this year totalled Pounds 1.6 million, although this will increase to Pounds 1.8 million next year. The centre's areas of research include digital libraries, information retrieval and information management.