University of Patras: Report to OECD on a mission to advise on the development of the University Library
Mackenzie, Graham A.
In the early part of 1971 I was appointed by OECD to advise the University of Patras; my brief was, "to advise the authorities of the University on the organisation of a Library to accommodate up to 400, 000 publications intended to meet the teaching requirements of all faculties, the research activities of the graduate school, and the University’s eventual collaboration with, and servicing of, industry". Accordingly I visited Greece for the periods 10th May - 19th June and 12th July - 10th August 1971; for most of this time I remained in Patras, but I also went briefly to Athens and Salonika to acquire background information from librarians and others in these cities, since certain essential facts could not be ascertained locally co r was given the greatest possible help by members of the University of Patras and by many others: in particular I must single out for special thanks Professor D. Theodoropoulos (President of the Administrative Committee of the University), Professor K. Christodoulou (Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences), Professor M. Pelekanos (Professor of Genetics and Curator of the Library), and Mrs. Aikaterine Paloumbi (at present the senior member of the Library staff) together with her colleagues; I also had fruitful discussions with the President of the Greek Library Association (Mr. G. Kakouris, of Athens College) and a number of his professional colleagues in Athens, and with officials of the Ministry of Education.
I interpreted my brief widely (as indeed the University authorities encouraged me to do) and my Report contains recommendations on nearly every aspect of the future development of the University of Patras Library (hereafter referred to as UPL). Since the University authorities had asked for advice from a British librarian I assumed that in general the British pattern of academic library services would meet their wishes; and my recommendations are therefore based on this pattern. However I have not hesitated to deviate from accepted British norms when this seemed desirable, either for intrinsic reasons or because it would not be practicable, in the different circumstances of a Greek university, to adhere blindly to the practices of another country. I initially defined in some detail a set of long term objectives for UPL and obtained approval for these from the University authorities (see Section 3); I then examined in turn the implications of each objective in terms of the types of service, buildings, staff, administrative structure and book collections which would be required to meet the objectives (Section 4); I prepared financial estimates for the implementation of my recommendations in the period 1972-77; and in conclusion I sketched some procedures which would, if implemented, enable UPL to carry out its routine tasks in a more economical way in the interim period before the appointment of an experienced professional Director of Library Services, who will be able to formulate and carry out his own ideas.