Main objectives of ALCU
The main objectives of ALCU are as follows:
- to promote, develop and support academic libraries in the Czech Republic;
- to represent academic libraries during negotiations about State Information Policy and the national library system;
- to advocate for university libraries and facilitate their negotiations with information providers in order to improve opportunities for cost-efficient purchase and licensing of electronic information resources;
- to provide a platform for collaboration and partnership in various areas of interests on both national and international levels.
An elected Executive Board at the head of ALCU prepares an annual activities plan, manages the association’s activities during the period of time between the annual conferences, generates a program for the Czech University Libraries Annual Meeting, and coordinates the activities of several working groups. The working groups are the actual platforms where the most of work takes place. At this writing, there are three working groups; each of them focuses its activities on one of the following issues:
- information education and information literacy,
- open acces as a change in scholarly communication,
- new trends and ways in librarianship.
During the years of its existence, ALCU has reached significant success, especially in the effort to establish consortia and coordinate subscriptions for electronic databases. Representatives of the Association have held memberships in expert committees that take part in reviewing grant proposals and applications. The Council of Universities invites ALCU representatives to its meetings, and so does the Central Library Commission, the advisory board of the Czech Ministry of Culture. Several projects were accomplished as part of Working Groups activities, e.g. an information literacy survey among university students and a database of electronic information resources available at Czech universities. ALCU has also been organizing or co-organizing numerous conferences and workshops, mostly focusing on the automation of processes and services in libraries, library architecture, accessibility of electronic resources, and issues related to digital libraries. The Association has contributed to increasing the level of Czech academic libraries. Many of them would now compare favorably with their counterparts in Western Europe or the U.S.A. in technologies used, collections available and services provided.
ALCU has become a key player not only in the area of Czech higher education, but in Czech librarianship in general. It is an important partner for producers and providers of information and communication technologies and information resources as well. In the future, the Association of Libraries of Czech Universities would like to broaden its activities and to find partners for cooperation in the international context.