The metaphor of Metamorphosis as applied to the changing role of the modern research library is apt but leads to the question; will the end result be Butterfly or Moth? Assuming, for the sake of argument that ‘Moth’ is not a desirable result, how can we ensure that what emerges is ‘Butterfly’ and furthermore is a strong, resilient and sustainable Butterfly able to flourish in an increasingly competitive environment not entirely devoid of predators? This paper argues that the notion of brand, curiously, has a significant part to play in ensuring this transformation is successful.
The environment into which the modern research library is emerging is not entirely benign and its continued survival relies on more than its ability to deliver good services to happy users. This paper draws on the experience of a successful modern research library in terms of customer satisfaction to understand the essential nature of the problem that stems from diversification of services and then explores the lessons learned from the private sector around the notion of Brand Identity and how these might be applied in the academic context to protect the modern research library from internal budgetary pressure and external predation alike.