The Diversification of Access to Information: Inquiries and Studies Carried out in the Libraries of the Free University of Brusssels

New technology has set in progress a reorganization of the world of academic publishing and the distribution of its publications. The appearance of electronic periodicals on the Web, and the use of the Internet have driven the diversification of the abilities of participants in the world of university presses, and the multiplication of partnerships between the different distributors. Faced with this, the libraries want to guarantee the best balance between the needs of their users and the documentation tools offered. Several inquiries have been conducted within the university community, with the object of being better able to discern demand over questions of access to academic information, of electronic delivery of documents, the use of bibliographic research tools, or of access to electronic periodicals. A study of the resources offered by academic publishers and distributors has been carried out in parallel. The overall tendencies which have been drawn out show that users want a unique interface which masks for them the multiplicity and complexity of the services available. It is therefore essential for the libraries to redefine their role at the heart of the academic institution as a function of this new data in the world of information technology.