Bishop’s Library Learning Commons partners in resource-sharing project with universities across Quebec

Bishop’s Library Learning Commons partners in resource-sharing project with universities across Quebec

The Bureau de Coopération Interuniversitaire has announced the creation of a new resource-sharing partnership between Bishop’s and 17 other university libraries across Quebec to give users a wider access to academic resources.

Officially announced on October 11, 2019, the partnership provides access to a unified catalogue of more than 20 million documents for the university communities. The initiative was financed with 10.4 million dollars from the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur and presents a greater level of collaboration that will benefit all users of the Library Learning Commons.

“The idea for this new partnership for the network was born some five years ago. There are already shared resources, like electronic journals and databases, between the institutions but we are now working to achieve a higher level of collaboration for the benefit of all our users,” explains Catherine Lavallée-Welch, Bishop’s university librarian.

The partnership has put forth three novel platforms that will allow university libraries to share their vast resources, each platform holding a specific purpose. The Shared Services Platform (SSP), set to be released in June, is at the core of the project and presents a huge advancement for the libraries and their users. This interface and database will allow the university community to search through 18 collections of English and French documents more quickly and efficiently, from both on and off campus.

“While there are ways to search the material you need, the new system and new search interface will make it much easier and faster. It will also be easier to request items from other libraries in Quebec to be sent to you here at Bishop’s.”

The other two platforms, Géoindex and Dataverse, allow the collection of geospatial datasets and a free repository software for dissemination and preservation of small to medium-size data sets, respectively. More information on these platforms will be shared later this year.

“While we’ll have to adjust some of our workflows and policies, it will be really beneficial for Bishop’s and our users,” Lavallée-Welch notes. “We will have access to new resources and tools that we wouldn’t have been able to organize otherwise. We’ll be able to share our unique materials and content to a wider audience.”

Creating an invaluable knowledge hub for both students and the wider university community, the project only reinforces Bishop’s mission to support students in their pursuit for academic excellence. By collaborating and leveraging these cutting-edge platforms, Lavallée-Welch concludes that “we’re embracing digital culture and our academic library partners in the province.”