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
In 2002, the National Library launched a self-developed digital library offer, which can still be found at the archive.org service, who luckily made 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. The main innovation in 2005 was that access was not limited anymore to the library building but availbale from anywhere with a 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. The MetaLib platform “findit.lu” was finally turned off in 2020.
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 (Mars 2020) of 77.800 electronic journal titles, 750.000 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 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 with teh migration to Consortiamanager.com. This cloud-based software handles the complete life cycle of subscriptions, including dashboards for library administrators in our partner organisations. Since 2016, our services are modular and split into licensing and access services.
The new service model resulting from this reorganisation is successful: the Max-Planck Institute Luxembourg (2017); the bibgov.lu Governmental library (2017) by the Ministère de la Fonction publique and the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research, LISER (2021) all started offering scholarly and research collections managed by Consortium Luxembourg.
The largest impact of the new model was in non-scholarly collections however, several new training and library collections were launched: ebooks.lu (2015), a new consortial group of 12 public libraries brought together by the Conseil supérieur des bibliothèques publiques; the IFEN e-library (2019) for the Institut de Formation de l’Education Nationale and read-y (2020) an ebook app for secondary education students for the SCRIPT service, both with the Ministère de l’Éducation nationale, de l’Enfance et de la Jeunesse.
Please check the Projects page for details.
As of late 2021, 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; Julie Verleyen, metadata external expert (remote) 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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