This paper aims to present an overview of the current library and information service in UK professional associations. Challenges in the sector are identified and some of the best information services are examined in order to construct useful models for best practice.
A mixed method approach is used: literature review, sources‐based research, content analysis of web sites, statistical analysis, and open‐ended interviews. A total of 50 web sites of professional associations were analysed and 13 association representatives were interviewed. Models of best practice in professional association library and information services are proposed.
The professional associations with the best web site information provision often have excellent in‐house libraries and a growth in membership between 1999 and 2007. Challenges include: attracting and retaining members through the information services, sufficient marketing and promotion of information services, generating or attracting enough funds, keeping information up‐to‐date, creating benchmarks and standards, and developing information policies and strategy.
The proposed models can be used by professional association library information services to improve their service delivery.
The study contributes to the under‐researched area of library and information services of UK professional associations. The paper outlines original models for building information strategy and best practice.
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