From libraries to knowledge centres: transforming library services for the knowledge age
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Over the last couple of decades pressure has intensified on libraries to redesign their services to accommodate changes in resources and opportunities provided by technology. It has been necessary for libraries to accommodate the increasing amount of resources available in electronic format while continuing to simultaneously manage and maintain large print collections that are still heavily used. Acquisition of electronic resources has taken place in the context of limited budgets, increasing prices and falling exchange rates. The development of the knowledge economy is also affecting the way in which libraries deliver services due to the increasing utilisation of the internet, and the common perception that libraries are redundant as everything can be found on the web. Customers increasingly expect, and generally prefer, to access resources electronically whether from work or remotely from home and other sites. This paper outlines the response of the library services of the Department of Primary Industries (Victoria) to these pressures through a key knowledge management project, the Libraries Redevelopment Project, which has sought to reposition library services within the Department and provide a new model for the delivery of library services.