Aarhus University Seal

Aarhus University is planning to transfer its library services to the new national library

Aarhus University will work to transfer its libraries to the Royal Library, a new national library. The transfer will improve library services to the benefit of the university.

The State and University Library is merging with the Royal Library on 1 January 2017. This creates new possibilities for Aarhus University’s library services.

Over the years, the  university and the State and University Library have developed a close partnership. Since 2012, the State and University Library and AU’s library staff have worked together to provide library services to researchers and students, a partnership known as AU Library. The university intends to strengthen this partnership when the State and University Library merges with the Royal Library to form a new national university library.

To further this end, the senior management team has decided to work towards the transfer of AU’s libraries to the Royal Library. The board approved this plan at the board meeting of 7 December 2016.

Aarhus University currently has a favourable arrangement with the State and University Library, under which both institutions make approximately equivalent financial contributions to library operations. After the merger, the university will be able to transfer this arrangement to a new agreement with the Royal Library, which will provide nation-wide university library services. The Royal Library’s functions will be redefined, with a greater emphasis on university libraries and a greater focus on digitisation.

The Royal Library already has a close partnership with the University of Copenhagen, and as a result of the merger with the State and University Library, it will become a national powerhouse for the development of the library of tomorrow. By entering into a partnership with the new Royal Library, Aarhus University will have an influence on the services which will be offered to researchers and students. The partnership with the new national library will also result in both professional and financial economies of scale which will benefit Aarhus University.

The board discussed the proposal regarding the transfer at the board meeting of 7 December and expects to approve the agreement when the details of the agreement have been finalised.  A wide range of academic and administrative employees as well as students will be involved in the drafting of the final agreement. A basic condition for the transfer is that the level of library service to AU’s students and researchers must not change, and that proximity to the departments, centres and schools must be maintained. At the same time, the university must have opportunities to adjust the level of service to meet its needs on a running basis, through systematic dialogue and financial incentives.

The transfer will not affect the cost reductions which have already been been adopted by Aarhus University for the library services in the period 2017-19, and the transfer of the university’s libraries to the Royal Library will be cost-neutral for the individual faculties.

The transfer will be mean that the formal place of employment of 85 permanent employees will be transferred from Aarhus University to the new national library. The employment and salary conditions of these employees will remain unchanged. This means that these employees will continue to work at the faculties, even though they will formally be affiliated with the Royal Library.