1. Introduction

The Portuguese Association of Librarians, Archivists and Documentation Professionals (BAD) was founded in 1973 and since then it has continued to engage in affirming the professionals of these fields through different strategies, such as promoting cohesion among members, providing training, spreading and sharing knowledge (in meetings, congresses, seminars and other events) and having an active social intervention in striving to put issues related to this profession and its scope of action on the political agenda. Professional issues involve the assertion of this career’s identity and protection of interests, as well as improving services, resources and access to information. BAD has asserted itself upon these lines of action, especially through its active Work Groups. The Higher Education Libraries Work Group (GT-BES) re-started its activities in October 2011. It is formed by librarians from several Higher Education public and private establishments and it aims to enhance forms of cooperation between professionals and libraries, generate the transfer of knowledge to deeper knowledge, promote technical development projects in the community, closely and carefully monitor the relevant projects in the field of science and education, improve the contribution of libraries and their social relevance, and seek new opportunities and innovative public intervention projects. These professionals have strived to meet the perspective stated on the official website of the BAD Sections, which refers that this group:

“Assumes itself as a collaborative action and reflection platform to support innovation, good practices and deepening of the new roles and skills of institutions and their professionals, [which] aims to reinforce the role of HEL [Higher Education Libraries] in teaching-learning processes, focusing on information literacy and emerging technologies, and to envision new forms for libraries to report on science and participate in the process of creating and disseminating scientific knowledge.”1

To accomplish these goals, while also seeking to correspond to the community’s expectations and pay attention to international guidelines for their field of action, the Work Group has carried out several activities. Currently the activities that stand out are the implementation of an exchange and mobility programme called “My library is your library;” the implementation of an online platform with the libraries’ identification data and contacts, the “Directory of Higher Education Libraries;” and, each triennium, a Higher Education Libraries Meeting. Finally, the Guidelines for Higher Education Libraries are discussed and written up, with a social and professional intervention action, which aims to place this topic on the political agenda. This is the motto for this study, whose purpose is to reflect upon the influence that pre-existing good practices in libraries may have had in projecting and writing up these guidelines.

2. Literature Review

The issues this group has raised, and which guide their actions, are not new. In 1980 some of them had already been discussed in the 1st Meetings of Academic Libraries. In 1984 and 1985, during the 3rd and 4th Meetings of Academic Libraries, held in Lisbon and Aveiro respectively, the main focus was the global assessment of these libraries, resulting from a survey prepared in 1983. In 1988, during the 6th Meetings of Academic Libraries, in Oporto, the process of computerising libraries was addressed. In 1992, in the 8th Meetings of Academic Libraries, held in Lisbon, participants discussed and approved the document Academic Libraries: foundations for a cooperative structure [Bibliotecas Universitárias: alicerces para uma estrutura de cooperação], produced by the University Library Work Group of the Portuguese Association of Librarians, Archivists and Documentation Professionals (BAD), (Lemos & Macedo, 2003, p. 2–3).

These issues are also debated elsewhere. International organisations such as Denmark’s Electronic Research Library (The LimeGuild, 2009), the Council on Library and Information Resources in the USA (CLIR, 2008), the Research Information Network and the Consortium of Research Libraries (RIN & CURL, 2007) in the United Kingdom and in Ireland (RLUK, 2014; RLUK & RIN, 2011), as well as several individual or collective researchers (Brown & Swan, 2007; Eden, 2015; Shorley & Jubb, 2013), have discussed the future of Higher Education Libraries, which comprise university and polytechnic libraries and research centre libraries. All these documents focus on the need to adapt these libraries to the changes emerging in higher education, in technology and in forms of communicating and sharing information. The impact of these changes will be particularly striking on the future skills of librarians, on the partnerships they will have to promote, on users’ different needs, on the management of information systems, on new forms of publication and on everything involving the management and dissemination of scientific and academic knowledge.

In Portugal, the Higher Education Libraries Work Group remains committed to continuing this debate, constantly renewed, based on the guidelines laid out at the beginning of 2012:

  1. political and institutional intervention;
  2. transfer of knowledge and the development of the professional community;
  3. innovative projects and the development of Higher Education Libraries.

This is why, despite the achievements attained and the projects under way, the following objectives continue to substantiate the group’s actions:

  • Strengthening forms of cooperation between Higher Education Library professionals and institutions;
  • Generating transfer of knowledge for further knowledge in the field of Higher Education Libraries;
  • Promoting technical development projects in the community;
  • Closely and carefully monitoring the relevant projects in the field of science and education, and seek new opportunities and innovative public intervention projects;
  • Improving the contribution of Higher Education Libraries and their social relevance;
  • Seeking new opportunities and innovative public intervention projects.

It was in this context that the 2nd Meeting of Higher Education Libraries was held, with the theme “Sharing, Creativity and Resourcefulness” (BAD, 2014a). This Meeting took place in Aveiro University on June 6 and 7, 2013. The Portuguese Association of Librarians, Archivists and Documentation Professionals, namely its work group “Higher Education Libraries,” supported by Aveiro University’s Library, Documentary Information and Museology Services, sought to encourage reflection and debate, emphasising trends in higher education and the challenges ahead for the respective libraries. Besides the conferences, short communications, pecha-kuchas and workshops, this meeting also included a space for debate and reflection, through work groups which brought together people with common interests. They allowed for a dynamic of active participation, encouraging the professionals who were present to take action. This meeting produced a number of conclusions and identified fields of intervention, concerning activities to strengthen cooperation between Higher Education Library professionals and to update their skills. Below are some of the areas which stood out in the document of conclusions as being particularly critical with regard to Higher Education Libraries in Portugal:

  1. The challenges related to technology namely mobile technology and the adjustment of contents and actions to Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs);
  2. The new intermediation roles, namely in publication support;
  3. The reliance on professionals’ skills and promotion;
  4. The need to create networks of professionals and establishments that strengthen sharing and rationalizing resources.

Based on this reflection on intervention lines and objectives, described in the report “Relatorio e conclusões”, written by GT-BES (BAD, 2014b), this Group went to work on materializing the Guidelines for Higher Education Libraries.

3. Guidelines for Higher Education Libraries

Given the above considerations, and with a view to professional cooperation and updating, the initiative collaborated to write the Guidelines for Higher Education Libraries, which are now presented. We felt it was necessary to give Higher Education Library professionals a boost so they would assume the paradigm change. Libraries and librarians must acknowledge their social functions and the role in the creation of a genuine Information Society.

Higher education libraries have a vital role in supporting teaching and research, but in recent years we have witnessed a great change in the relationships between users and libraries. Technological evolution and the availability of online information resources not only changed the way searches and access to information are done, but also how information is produced and made available. Context changes also allowed these institutions to start providing other services (training, repositories, editorial projects, software open source, among others).

In an initial stage, the Work Group began the discussion along three fundamental lines: the field of user training, particularly in information literacy; the field of digital content management, including scientific data and production; and the field of direct support to students, teachers and researchers, without neglecting the management of spaces and information resources as a whole. Based on these three lines, ideas were refined, considering the different beneficiaries of the final document (professionals, management bodies in higher education and the Ministry). With the contribution of all the participants, we reached a baseline text.

In a second phase, having stabilized the document we intended to submit to professional debate, the BAD GT-BES had the opportunity to submit the Guidelines to public discussion during the 12th BAD Congress, held in October 2015, in Évora University. The suggested amendments were integrated and the whole document was subject to a global review.

Thus, finally, the consolidation and presentation of the final version of these Guidelines stems from the integration of these contributions during the work session at the BAD Congress and from the work carried out during the year.

Summarily, the 10 Guidelines focus essentially on four components for libraries to act upon: supporting teaching and learning, namely promoting information literacy skills; supporting scientific research and publication activities; managing partners and cooperation projects between libraries; designing and delivering services, systems and spaces that facilitate and strengthen learning, discovering and managing information.

Each one of the 10 Guidelines is presented below:

  1. Reaffirming the importance of information literacy skills in the academic community.
  2. Developing library professionals’ skills to support teaching/learning activities.
  3. Supporting editorial projects concerning academic and scientific publication.
  4. Ensuring institutional repositories aligned with interoperability and preservation standards.
  5. Creating support services for scientific data management.
  6. Strengthening the role of the library in supporting research.
  7. Encouraging partnerships with structures that support the academic community.
  8. Promoting and facilitating access to information sources.
  9. Reinventing and enhancing library spaces.
  10. Deepening collaboration networks between professionals and institutions.

The final document is intended to inspire good practice. In a summarised but explicit manner, it presents the detailed contents of each Guideline, pointing out ways and tools for each scope of action (BAD, 2015):

Guidelines for Higher Education Libraries

  • Reaffirming the importance of information literacy skills in the academic community
     Affirming the need to develop Information Literacy in the academic community, highlighting with institutional partners the importance of accrediting information literacy skills, by including in course curricula initiatives that promote these skills and ensuring that the Library responds, prospectively and proactively, to teachers’ requests for support in teaching and research activities.
  • Developing library professionals’ skills to support teaching/learning activities
     Investing in the reinforcement and development of library professionals’ technical and pedagogical skills and in the creation of online content for training and knowledge transfer activities, by investing in the establishment of partnerships with teachers in designing and developing services to support teaching, implementing initiatives that promote content sharing.
  • Supporting editorial projects concerning academic and scientific publication
     Being available to take on new functions concerning the publication and edition of academic and scientific journals, books or other forms of sharing science, by supporting those responsible to define editorial policies and business models and in editorial coordination, by developing, maintaining and supporting information systems which lodge and disseminate these publications.
  • Ensuring institutional repositories aligned with interoperability and preservation standards
     Consolidating Institutional Repositories with the technical specifications that guarantee interoperability and digital preservation standards, by reinforcing the essential role of the repository in institutional and national ecosystems of academic and scientific information, namely in their integration with science management systems (CRIS) and in the application of Open Access policies.
  • Creating support services for scientific data management
     Designing support services for scientific data management, grounded in strategic intervention plans for institutional action which respond to the management needs of data generated by researchers and collected during the activity; understanding the important role of research and higher education in promoting an open data culture and in complying with data policies of funding bodies.
  • Encouraging the sharing, identification and citing of research data
     Delivering information and support to research units, researchers and the institution in general regarding the importance of opening and of sharing research data through repositories, exploring and informing about new scientific production publications and dissemination models, especially good practices of identifying sets of data associated with published articles and of data citation.
  • Strengthening the role of the library in supporting research
     Fostering a relationship of trust and partnership between the library and researchers, showing the information professionals’ skills in supporting research, publication and performance evaluation, providing researchers with the tools needed to increase the visibility of scientific work on an individual and institutional level, interpreting evaluation indicators and assessing the impact of scientific production.
  • Encouraging partnerships with structures that support the academic community
     Actively and effectively developing partnerships with the structures and services that support students, teachers and researchers, building common solutions, creating added value for the academic community, and enhancing innovation cross-cutting services.
  • Promoting and facilitating access to information sources
     Promoting and facilitating access to printed and digital information sources that are available in the institution and other resources for teaching and research, by effectively and regularly divulging them, providing integrated systems that allow efficient information discovery and the inclusion of bibliographic data of information systems managed by the library in external aggregating systems.
  • Reinventing and enhancing library spaces
     Reinventing library spaces through more flexible, open and dynamic designs, which promote greater accessibility and different working methods (collaborative and individual), so they are Socialization Spaces as well as Learning Laboratories.
  • Deepening collaboration networks between professionals and institutions
     Deepening collaboration networks between professionals and institutions that develop and actively promote initiatives to bring professionals closer, to create institutional partnerships and to value good practices, adding value on pre-existing networks and ensuring working conditions for new cooperation initiatives.

4. Methodology

This study discusses the relationship between existing good practices in higher education libraries in Portugal and the elaboration of a national guiding document. For this purpose, a questionnaire was sent by email to all the librarians that are part of BAD’s Higher Education Libraries Work Group, seeking to present a case study on the construction of these Recommendations.

Case studies allow us to analyse concrete contemporary situations and to take into account their contextual influences (Yin, 2003). Their main advantage is that they provide the analysis of a reality, allowing reflection and decision-making about future perspectives. This study observes Good Practices existing prior to the document (before December 2015), reported by respondents in those libraries.

These good practices were articulated with each of the recommendations, assuming that the former were the basis for the construction of the latter. Thus this takes into account contextual influences (Yin, 2003, p. 13). The advantage of carrying out a case study with privileged informants has to do with achieving an in-depth analysis. Choosing this method also assumes that this analysis may help, in a balanced way, to understand the vaster reality of the dynamics introduced in recent years, in the context of higher education libraries in Portugal.

In Portugal, 161 Higher Education Libraries were identified (public and private university education, public and private polytechnic education, and military and police education) in http://www.bad.pt/diretorio/. Of these, only 27 are represented in BAD’s Higher Education Libraries Work Group, through their heads or other librarians. Thus, the Group is currently composed of the following professionals: Pedro Príncipe (coordination), Alfredo Magalhães Ramalho, Alice Rodrigues, Ana Alves Pereira, Ana Gonçalves, Carlos Lopes, Diana Silva, Helena Saramago, Licínia Freire, Luiza Baptista, Madalena Carvalho, Maria Antónia Correia, Maria da Luz Antunes, Maria Eduarda Rodrigues, Elvira Costa, Iolanda Silva, Maria João Amante, Maria João Mocho, Margarida Carvalho, Teresa Costa, Nuno Martins, Paula Couto Saraiva, Paula Sousa Saraiva, Sónia Pais, Sónia Teixeira, Susana Lopes, and Tatiana Sanches. These are the same members who, at the time, were involved in writing the Recommendations presented here. Online contact via mailing list was established, requesting the participation of the librarians, who took part of their own free will, with informed consent and without pay.

Of the 27 members, we received replies from thirteen libraries. We used the answers to a single open question: Which good practices already existed in each library before 2015, that is, before the publication of the Recommendations? All ten recommendations were considered to ascertain the relationship established with the good practices reported.

As Eldredge (2004, p. 84) refers to, case studies describe and analyse experiences regarding a given context. Because this point of departure can be subjective, it must be balanced against objective data: “many criticisms of case studies have centred on the unbalanced reporting styles of authors who depict an experience in an overly negative or positive light. Even the most laudatory case studies should include negative outcomes as ‘lessons learned’ to lend greater balance to the reporting style.”

Other authors highlight the exploratory feature of this methodology: “the case study is often useful as an exploratory technique and can be used for investigating organizational structure and functions or organizational performance. In contrast to most survey research, case studies involve intensive analyses of a small number of subjects rather than gathering data from a large sample or population (…) the case study is well suited to collecting descriptive data” (Connaway & Powell, 2010, p. 80).

Therefore, and despite the small number of respondents, we consider that there was an adequate representation, because the content of the answers was substantially detailed. Interpretation of the results seeks to support its general meaning by making connections to other analysed sources, such as those gathered in the literature review, as recommended by Connaway and Powell (2010). This way, the chosen methodology adds reliability to the study, because it results from the interconnections made between multiple sources, which are set up against each other to interact, shedding light on the starting points.

5. Results

Data collection on existing good practices in libraries before 2015 took place in the first two weeks of September 2017. The libraries of the following institutions answered:

  • Faculdade de Psicologia e Instituto de Educação (Universidade de Lisboa)
  • Escola Superior de Tecnologia da Saúde de Lisboa (Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa)
  • Faculdade de Medicina Dentária (Universidade de Lisboa)
  • Biblioteca das Ciências da Saúde (Universidade de Coimbra)
  • Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro
  • Biblioteca da Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas (Universidade NOVA de Lisboa)
  • Universidade Aberta
  • Universidade do Algarve
  • Universidade da Madeira
  • Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia (Universidade NOVA de Lisboa)
  • Bibliotecas do Instituto Politécnico de Castelo Branco (IPCB)
  • ISPA, Instituto Universitário
  • BGI Católica Porto

Each of these libraries, which are scattered from the north to the south of Portugal, made a list of their institution’s good practices that already existed before the end of 2015.

The answers, analyzed and summarized, are presented in Table 1, together with the corresponding recommendation.

Table 1

Analysis of good practice vis-à-vis recommendations.

No. Recommendations Good practices N. Institutions
1 Reaffirming the importance of information literacy skills in the academic community Regular training in information literacy for students, teachers and researchers 13
2 Developing library professionals’ skills to support teaching/learning activities Librarians had training in pedagogical competences and other training activities to bring value to their users by increasing the professional’s competences and knowledge 10
3 Supporting editorial projects concerning academic and scientific publication Editorial coordination/support of scientific journals and monographs 7
4 Ensuring institutional repositories aligned with interoperability and preservation standards Management of the institutional repository in terms of content, validation and infra-structures 13
5 Creating support services for scientific data management New service, just starting 4
6 Strengthening the role of the library in supporting research Specific training was given to teachers and researchers regarding research, useful resources and tools in measuring scientific production and impact (authorship identification, bibliometric analysis, bibliographic reference management, tools for detecting plagiarism) and information about Scientific Data management, publication and dissemination of investigation 10
7 Encouraging partnerships with structures that support the academic community Collaboration with academic and computer services to improve services 8
8 Promoting and facilitating access to information sources Regular dissemination (web page, social networks, ...) and training in digital information sources available in the Library, to support teaching and research activities 12
9 Reinventing and enhancing library spaces Spaces are reinforced and reinvented in a dynamic, creative manner to meet the needs of the academic community, becoming laboratories for the acquisition of new competences, knowledge and satisfaction 9
10 Deepening collaboration networks between professionals and institutions Collaboration and partnership with other Portuguese libraries and from other countries. Active members of the Portuguese Association of Librarians, Archivists and Documentation Professionals 10

The results obtained show that librarians’ active participation is scarce. Nevertheless, those who did participate gave a detailed answer to the question raised. We can see the quantitative results of the answers in Figure 1, relating good practices reported to each one of the recommendations:

Fig. 1: 

Best practices on recommendations.

As we can see, there are interesting numbers of prevalence regarding the ten recommendations. The 1st recommendation, Reaffirming the importance of information literacy skills in the academic community, as well as the 4th, Ensuring institutional repositories aligned with interoperability and preservation standards, are those that stand out, because all the indicated libraries have good practices in these two fields of action (13 examples of good practices for each one of the topics). Following are recommendation 8—Promoting and facilitating access to information sources—with a reference to 12 examples of good practices and right next to this, recommendations 2, 6 and 10—Developing library professionals’ skills to support teaching/learning activities, Strengthening the role of the library in supporting research and Deepening collaboration networks between professionals and institutions—with 10 answers each. At the other end of the spectrum, we have recommendation number 5—Creating support services for scientific data management, with four references related to good practices. The remaining recommendations have average results: recommendations 3, 7 and 9, respectively Supporting editorial projects concerning academic and scientific publication, Encouraging partnerships with structures that support the academic community, and Reinventing and enhancing library spaces.

This analysis allows us to assume that the experiences reported in the fields of action with most significant results are those where Portuguese librarians feel more comfortable and confident, hence those with a greater number of references to good practices. In contrast, those recommendations that show fewer experiences indicate the need for greater investment and effort.

6. Discussion

The purpose of this study was to understand to what extent librarians were already empirically applying the recommendations that were prepared and published at the end of 2015. By collecting data concerning good practices, and associating each one of these with the recommendations, we were able to find some discrepancies in the importance of priority given to each of them. This is noticeable in the quantitative results, which show a greater commitment towards the most frequently mentioned good practices and less attention to those that do not happen or that happen only residually.

We may also infer that the Recommendations for Higher Education Libraries were partially based on pre-existing good practices, thus deducing that this document was inspired by the accumulated experiences of the different libraries involved, benefitting from the participants relating to it. In fact, results show that for most of the recommendations there were already practical examples in the field and therefore, the strategy of implying key actors may predict greater involvement and subsequent success in the adoption of the recommendations. On the other hand, the omission of certain practices shows that this document is also prospective, thus revealing its elasticity to accommodate emerging trends.

In response to the question of good practice (pre-existing recommendations), some libraries also mentioned new projects that have been put into practice since then. We can highlight the emergence of work partnerships and collaborative networks, as well as the creation of support services, aided or led by librarians, for editing and curating data. This means that this document has served as inspiration for the implementation of projects since its dissemination, and we can say that it is fulfilling its objective.

Following these results, we found that Portuguese librarians are aligned with international strategies, particularly in Europe (LIBER, 2017), and are also betting on the three strategic priority areas defined by the main organization of research libraries, the Association of European Research Libraries: Libraries as a platform for innovative scholarly communication; Libraries as a hub for digital skills and services; and libraries as partners in research infrastructure.

In all of these areas, we found points of contact with the goals proposed by the librarians who prepared these Recommendations for Portugal and who, in fact, have already started to follow them. There are changes in services, with a greater focus on open access, data management and research support. Also visible is the focus on the training of librarians in new areas of work and the diversification of their skills, seeking a greater scope of their skills and abilities. Finally, technical infrastructures ensure that collaborative networks and services can be effectively shared and developed on a collaborative basis.

The Guidelines for Higher Education Libraries that this group presented, through professional communication channels, are now at a stage of public disclosure. The document was shared with the BAD members and many Library and Higher Education professionals. The Guidelines were also sent to various higher education governance structures as well as to the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.

Meanwhile, in a joint disclosure commitment, several professionals have presented the Guidelines, both nationally and internationally, namely:

“Higher Education Libraries: new and healthy trends”/Carlos Alberto LopesXII APDIS Meetings, 20–22 April 2016, Coimbra University.

“Higher Education Libraries: transforming ideas into services”/Carlos Alberto Lopes, lecture at the Science Faculty of Lisbon University, 10 March 2016.

“Literacy and Citizenship in a Digital Time”/Carlos Alberto Lopes, communication at the II International Seminar FOLIO EDUCA: Education, Reading, Literature, held in Óbidos, 1 October 2016.

“Academic libraries as information management centres: new trends and development perspectives: the case of the IHMT”/Paula Saraiva, Anais do Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical. Available at:http://ihmtweb.ihmt.unl.pt/PublicacoesFB/Anais/Anais2016-suplemento2/index.html#

“Recommendations for higher education libraries in Portugal: a target achieved”/Tatiana Sanches/ECILEuropean Conference on Information Literacy, 10–13 October, 2016, Prague

“Nudging Higher Education Libraries: the Portuguese Recommendations”/Tatiana Sanches, Teresa Costa (2017). The 4th Annual International Conference on Library and Information Science. Greece.

7. Conclusions

The presentation of the Guidelines for Higher Education Libraries is a milestone resulting from the increasingly felt need to unleash and build public policies in the field of information, documentation and libraries in particular. Public policy designing intends to mobilise social intervention and public action involving all agents – librarians, teachers, researchers, students, politicians and other players in the fields of information, as stakeholders in the problematization and solution of these issues. Intervention on this level always implies negotiating interests, allowing the entry of emerging themes on the political agenda. This is only possible through research, publication, academic work, but also through practices in an associative context, as is the case of the work developed by the Higher Education Libraries Work Group.

This study intended to relate good practices and the preparation of guidelines for university libraries. We concluded that involving the key players in this process brought greater consistency and applicability to the Recommendations, thanks to their previous experience on the ground.

We feel we are at an initial and perhaps insufficient stage to fully promote and implement these guidelines on a national scale, because all the agents’ participation and engagement is also at an initial stage. Nevertheless, this is an important step towards joining forces on common objectives. International trends, together with social influences and other factors deriving from the integration of technology, of changes in higher education, of changes in the way science is investigated, produced and presented, are clearly catalysts of the implementation of these Guidelines on the ground. Social awareness is important, focused on the problematization of these issues, keeping in mind our prime audiences – students, teachers and researchers – within the public sphere, and with everyone’s engagement and commitment.

Besides this, and because of an incipient sustained theoretical corpus in Portugal, there is clearly the need to invest in studies on our practices, namely in the evaluation of projects and programmes that have already been implemented, in more systematic, transversal data collection, so as to anticipate our users’ need. Promoting studies, furthering, systematizing and presenting current knowledge about our field of action is an essential condition for a more consequent and substantiated intervention. Investing in skills and reinforcing partnerships between stakeholders on different levels is also indispensable. These Guidelines were imagined and materialized to be quite flexible and applicable to tangible and complementary domains.

In the future it will be necessary to define methodologies, diagnoses and lines of direction in order to implement policies concerning more specific skills for libraries, namely policies on their training. Believing that better skills also create economic growth, the purpose of these actions is to trigger the conditions for equity in lifelong training and education, competitiveness and job creation, also in the fields of information and documentation, thus building an active class of committed, empowered professionals.

Underlying these Guidelines is the premise that it is through the capacity to know and collaborate that we can evolve as a class. Hence the motto for the 3rd HEL Meeting, held in Oporto, in June 2016, “Knowing, Collaborating, Evolving.” This Meeting had a strong practical element of debate, in which the Guidelines had a fundamental role, helping the discussion on professional matters that are on the agenda. In the closing session, the audience was challenged to deepen the Guidelines for Higher Education Libraries of Portugal, stimulating discussion between professionals and with decision-makers, disseminating them to institutional officers and implementing them in each library. This will be our challenge.