Redefining the relationship between the Central Administration and university libraries

The loi relative aux libertés et responsabilités des universités (LRU, or law on rights and responsibilities of universities) passed on 10 August 2007 has led to a shift in the traditional relationship between the French state and institutions of higher education. In line with this major institutional development, the ministry of higher Education and Research was restructured in March 2009 to focus more closely on its strategic role. The process ratified changes in recent years which had seen closer collaboration between the division in charge of bibliothèques universitaires (BU, or university libraries) and services communs de la documentation (SCDs, or pooled information resources services). This was shown by the creation of MISTRD, (Mission de l’information scientifique et technique et du réseau documentaire, a body charged with managing scientific and technical information and the information resource network), to replace the division in question. While the information resources policy implemented by SCDs is now part of the common law governing universities, it remains the case that MISTRD retains a certain degree of influence over plans to create scientific and technical information resource structures in France.