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IAU WG on Libraries: Report October 2005

In the era of Virtual Observatories, institutional repositories and open access to scholarly literature, astronomy libraries and librarians are facing severe paradigm shifts. The role of small, specialized libraries has to be redefined in this context. Our general mission is still the same, namely to fulfill the information needs of our users by selecting, collecting, preserving, and providing access to relevant resources. This mission, however, has to be interpreted in light of the changed settings.

In order to investigate the current situation of astronomy libraries and explore possible ways into the future, the 5th LISA (Libraries and Information Services in Astronomy) conference is being planned. It will take place in June 2006 in Cambridge, MA, USA, co-hosted by the John G. Wolbach Library & Information Resource Center at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the Libraries of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Shortly afterwards, in August 2006, the XXVIth IAU General Assembly will take place for which the WG on Libraries is currently planning a joint event with the WG on Publishing.

Two long-time and enthusiastic members of the Working Group retired during the current triennium. Marlene Cummins, from the University of Toronto Astronomy Library, took early retirement in 2004 and Brenda Corbin, librarian of the US Naval Observatory Library for 32 years and one of the 'founding mothers' of this Working Group and instrumental in shaping its work, retired at the end of September 2005. We thank them cordially for their numerous contributions and initiatives and look forward to Brenda's continued advice even after retirement. At the same time, we are happy to welcome two new members: Laurence Bobis, Observatoire de Paris, France, and Halima Naimova from Osservatorio Astronomico de Lisboa, Portugal.

Uta Grothkopf and Fionn Murtagh, WG Lib. chairs

October 2005

WG Libraries