Meet Sofia, the Library Learning Commons’ new discovery tool

Meet Sofia, the Library Learning Commons’ new discovery tool

Bishop’s University Library has partnered with the Bureau de coopération interuniversitaire (BCI) and a coalition of the 17 other Quebec universities to implement a unified catalogue that rolled out earlier in July 2020. Learn more here. 

The catalogue uses a new search interface, or discovery tool, called SofiaSofia will permit to survey some 20 million documents, can be searched in English and in French, and will clearly identify availability in each of the libraries. Users will be able to see, in priority, the works available at Bishop’s, but also those of other universities. Further along the implementation, it will be easy to request items from other Quebec universities directly from the Sofia’s results page. A final benefit of the collaboration between the 18 university libraries in the province and the shared system is that users will have a single file, accessible in all libraries. You will be able to borrow books in another university in Quebec with your BU card. 

You will also be able to instigate a chat session with a Bishop’s librarian directly from Sofia. Although the Library Learning Commons has been closed due to the pandemic, the librarians have remained available for assist students and faculty in their research. As needed, a videoconference and screen sharing session can be started from the chat application for demonstrations and troubleshooting. 

The new catalogue features the newly-designed Sofia logo, which is what the discovery tool is called. The name was chosen by BCI’s Libraries Subcommittee because its Greek roots mean “wisdom” and “knowledge” which is particularly relevant for  academic libraries.Sofia is also easy to pronounce in English, French and several other languages, reflecting Quebec’s diversity.  

For more information on Sofia and resources available to the Bishop’s community, please contact the Library Learning Commons.