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The British Library Bringing knowledge to life: The British Library Annual Report and Accounts 2007/08

More stories about Shaping

We shape and facilitate public debate on issues ranging from intellectual property and copyright reform to the future of research in the UK. Our packed programme of public events offers opportunities to address some of the key challenges of our time.

The ‘Google Generation’ – myth or reality?

A ground-breaking study commissioned by the Library and JISC overturned widespread assumptions about the research habits of the so-called ‘Google Generation’.

Launched at St Pancras in January 2008, Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future found that although young people demonstrate ease and familiarity with computers, many rely too heavily on search engines and often lack the analytical skills to evaluate the information that they find.

The report was hailed as a ‘wake-up call’ for both the library sector and the Government, highlighting the need to respond urgently to the changing nature of research and adopt a ‘digital mindset’ to remain relevant to the researchers of the future.

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The Google Generation

Lead the debate on IP reform

We continue to lead the public debate on reforming intellectual property (IP) regulations for the digital age. Our series of breakfast events at St Pancras has brought together authors, legal experts and prominent figures from UK research and the publishing trade to debate this contentious issue.

The most recent debate, on authors and publishers in the digital age, featured emphatic contributions from novelist Tracy Chevalier, chair of the Society of Authors; Simon Juden, Chief Executive of the Publishers’ Association and Web 2.0 guru Charles Leadbeater. It was made available as a podcast and garnered widespread media coverage.

In March 2008 we sought our users’ views on IP and copyright reform through a wide-ranging online survey. The results were incorporated into the submission we made to the UK Intellectual Property Office’s digital exceptions consultation Taking Forward the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property.

Back to main story | More about the British Library and IP

Faith leaders in the spotlight

To mark the opening of Sacred: Discover what we share at the end of April 2007 we invited four major religious leaders to take part in a debate, chaired by Lord Melvyn Bragg, on what it means to live with faith in modern Britain.

The Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks; Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury; Moulana Mohammad Shahid Raza, Director of the Imams and Mosques Council UK and the Most Reverend Kevin McDonald, Catholic Archbishop of Southwark discussed what Judaism, Christianity and Islam have in common and stressed the need for interaction and understanding.

In front of a sell-out audience the Chief Rabbi deplored the way in which the ‘angriest voice’ often monopolises media coverage of religious issues – at the expense of the inter-faith dialogue promoted by this kind of event.

Back to main story | An audio recording of the faith leaders debate

Faith leaders

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