I am delighted to take over the Chair of UKSG, but am very conscious of my predecessors – a good few luminaries! There has actually been quite a bit of churn this year. Not only has Tony Kidd stood down, we've said goodbye to Hazel Woodward and Richard Gedye, mainstays of the Committee over many years. I wish them all well. We are now a fair old size, with a large footprint in the industry and the main conference looms large throughout the year now, so we do need to ensure the group itself performs as effectively as possible. This year saw 20(!) people stand for election to the Committee and I am glad we've achieved a good balance of representation of the different UKSG ‘stakeholder’ groups/communities: six university libraries, four publishers, two subscription agents and six other intermediaries.
My thoughts going forward were captured in the following ‘manifesto’ I offered in support of my standing as Chair:
“The thing I enjoy most about UKSG is the feeling of belonging to a community, especially one based around something as worthwhile as information and knowledge. In the 12 years I have been on the Committee, the group has grown and evolved, but has managed to retain that community feel. This must persist and continue to be successfully marketed. I think our community's voice is pretty loud and will continue to be heard via our well-established communications channels, notably our publications, training events and conferences, all of which we should continue to adapt to best meet our community's needs.
I firmly believe in the need for collaboration and co-operation on industry-wide initiatives and UKSG plays a significant role in encouraging the adoption of relevant technologies, e.g. COUNTER. More recently, via the Research Subcommittee, UKSG has helped initiate such work, including KBART, Transfer and Journal Usage Factor. I strongly support this ‘seed-corn support’, most successful when done collaboratively from inception, and recognize the need to work with standards bodies soon thereafter.
My manifesto isn't one of radical change, but to ensure that we continue to reflect all sectors of our membership and that the group itself performs as effectively as possible. It must fully exploit the skills and goodwill of those serving on the committees, who are voluntarily providing their time for the benefit of the community.”
I look forward to working with colleagues, including our staff: Alison Whitehorn, Karen Sadler and Ally Souster – I know I will require their support too.