Hoffman, Starr (Ed.). Dynamic research support for academic libraries. London: Facet Publishing, 2016. xxi, 154 p. ISBN: 978-1-78330-049-5 £49.95.

The back cover of this book bears the statement that it is 'an essential guide for librarians and information professionals involved in supporting research and scholarly communication…'. As someone working with library services aimed at researchers I was very interested in reading this book. However, it became clear in the beginning that research support included services and support offered to researchers, faculty, and students, thus not being exactly what I expected.

The book is divided into three parts: training and infrastructure; data services and data literacy; and research as conversation consisting of nine relevant case studies conducted at different institutions in Western Europe and North America. The common theme for each case study is that librarians and information professionals are interested in developing their skills in order to meet new research needs and becoming an integral partner in the research process for both students and researchers. It is argued in the introductory chapter that librarians and information professionals are interested in becoming an active partner within the parent institution meaning that their roles are evolving. The following chapters support this statement.

For years libraries have faced declining budgets due to cuts in higher education. and a big part of the library budget has gone into covering increasing database and journal subscription costs. Also, vacancies have not been filled so many libraries are facing shortage of staff. This leads me to the main idea of Starr Hoffman, which I like: do less, but deeper. In other words, libraries exist in their own context with specific situation and strength, collections, mission, parent organisation, user groups etc., and therefore libraries should focus their services. Services ought to be limited to what their institution needs the most and what libraries do best. They should not just copy what others are doing; instead they should consider the needs of the parent institution and their competencies and, thereafter, tailor services accordingly.

This book works as an inspirational book for information professionals about to undertake a development project. We can pick the cherries and then do as Hoffman suggests: adjust it to our own situation. I found the chapter on data management particularly interesting because it is an area my colleagues and I are going to start developing services for researchers in the near future. Hoffman writes that even higher education administrators are an audience for this book. I am not sure an administrator or someone in the management of a higher education institution would get the most out of this book, rather it encourages information professionals to include higher education administrators in the discussions on library research support and in this way introducing them to the idea of the library as an active partner in research. Furthermore the chapter on geographical information systems and unusual research needs could broaden their perception on what library research support can be.

The book is a traditional printed book, however the title Dynamic research support for academic libraries suggests that it could have been something else. Some of the Websites, which are part of the reported cases, e.g., grant proposals, edition descriptions, digital tools, source code, are listed at the end of each chapter but is it really suitable for a book on dynamic research support? The book has a short Youtube ( summary produced by Facet but I would have liked to get access to a Web site where the useful links, blogs, documents and other resources related to the chapters where easily accessible and readable.

Pieta Eklund
Research Support Librarian, University of Borås and PhD student, Swedish School of Library and Information Science, University of Borås
August 2016