The Reform of the documentation system in the universities

The decree of the 4th July 1985 and its implementation texts have deeply modified the documentation system of the universities, which was inconsistent and ineffective. The reform is leading to a reunification by creating a common documentation service. This service is composed of university libraries, on one hand, and of laboratory, institutes, education and research units libraries, on the other hand. The university authorities can choose between two methods : direct integration, or association which induces cooperation between all the elements of the group. The university is now responsible for the management of the common documentation services (founding, financing and functioning). Those texts apply to country institutions only, and are still lacking in precision about the terms and conditions of the cooperation, and about the contents of the new common documentation services replacing the university libraries; this may restrain the implications of the reform. It remains anyway the first step toward a new logic of the documentation system : we are now moving from a situation of supply - relying on the collections held by the institutions - to a demand system relying above all on the expectations of the public and on the accessibility of information.