The Consortium department of the National Library of Luxembourg is managing a number of digital libraries on behalf of consortial groupings as well as individual organisations, at varying service levels. Centralised expertise and shared tools are part of the National Library’s infrastructure missions to ensure cost-effective public service. IT hard- and software are managed by the National Library’s IT department in close cooperation with the Luxembourg State computing center (CTIE).
History, 2002 until today
It all started in 2002, when the National Library launched a self-developed digital library offer. Luckily, the archive.org service has a copy of the original as it appeared back then.
In 2005, the National Library launched a dedicated digital library portal at the address findit.lu, based on MetaLib by Exlibris (This first portal is kept up to date but is not under active development any longer). The main innovation in 2005 was that the licences all included remote public access by single-sign-on through the free National Library card. This initiative was warranted in 2006 when the newly established University of Luxembourg joined to use this portal for its users. Joint financing of licences allowed the offer to expand significantly. This fledgling consortial structure was formalised in 2009 as the “Consortium Luxembourg pour l’acquisition et la gestion de publications électroniques”, when the public research centers Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST, merger of CRP Henri Tudor and CRP Gabriel Lippmann) and Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH, formerly CRP Santé) joined.
Since 2014, the new delivery platform for all consortial content is at a-z.lu, the National Library’s search engine based on the ExLibris Primo discovery solution. Integrated services include a cloud-based index of several 100 million references, a fully responsive interface and the integration of more than 80 catalogues of the bibnet.lu library network.
This first, and still largest, consortial grouping of National Library, University of Luxembourg, LIST and LIH has a shared offer (October 2018) of 77.800 electronic journal titles, 720.000 eBooks and 390 specialised databases and reference platforms in English, French and German.
With a few exceptions, all content continues to be accessible, as in 2005, by members of the public with their National Library card. Interestingly, in terms of volume, usage by the public is comparable to usage by the University of Luxembourg. To us, this proves the reality of the knowledge society and necessity of a substantial digital library offer in a modern, lifelong learning society. Besides this public facet of the Consortium’s work, supporting the scientific and research community remains of course the core objective; since 2016, we also offer dedicated analytics and data mining interfaces for researchers and research managers.
In any Consortium, strength lies in numbers. In 2014, the Consortium members decided on a multi-annual project to reassess its infrastructure, diversify services and further improve statistics and tools to ensure that digital library services in Luxembourg remain cost-effective and future-proof. In 2016, a key milestone of the reorganisation was successfully completed as the entire backoffice was implemented in Consortiamanager.com. This cloud-based software handles the complete life cycle of subscriptions, combining licence management, negotiation support, ordering, statistics and invoicing. For optimal transparency, dashboards for library administrators in our member organisations are available. End-user services are also modular since 2016, as we added bespoke end-user interfaces and authentication APIs.
The new service model resulting from this reorganisation is successful, as a new member joined in 2017: the Max-Planck Institute Luxembourg. Furthermore a public library ebook consortium and the governmental law library bibgov.lu were launched (Please go to the Projects page for details).
Currently, two new potential members are in early stages of discussion.
The current team of the Consortium department: Juliane Schulze and Marie-Sophie Werz, administration and licensing; Teresa Fernandez, metadata and statistics; and Patrick Peiffer, head of consortium. Our offices are in the new national library in Kirchberg: 37D, avenue John F. Kennedy ; L-1855 Luxembourg.
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