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Concordia and university libraries across Quebec to launch a unified search tool and catalogue

Beginning this summer, the Shared Services Platform will offer faculty and students new efficient and user-friendly features
May 4, 2020
By Leslie Goldstein

Accessing the research materials faculty and students need just got easier. Starting in late summer 2020, Concordia Library, in partnership with the Bureau de coopération interuniversitaire (BCI) and 17 other Quebec universities, will implement a Shared Services Platform (SSP).

This new search tool and unified catalogue will provide Concordia Library’s users with access to more than 20 million items from the 18 partner institutions and will replace its current catalogue, CLUES.

The SSP is an implementation of WorldShare Management Services, a cloud-based platform managed by the global library cooperative OCLC. It will serve as a single portal for searching, accessing and requesting material from the member universities.

The initiative was formally unveiled on October 11, 2019. Now the Partenariat des bibliothèques universitaires québécoises has created three new digital platforms that will allow faculty and students to access academic materials from across the province in both French and English.

All of the province’s universities are joining the new system, including the Montreal-based institutions often used by the Concordia community: McGill University, Université de Montréal and Université du Québec à Montréal. A complete list of the participating universities is available online.

The three different platforms will each serve a specific purpose.

The Géoindex platform is a collection of geospatial datasets, including topographical maps and aerial photos from both past and present.

There is the Dataverse, a free repository software for the dissemination and preservation of small- to medium-size datasets for all disciplines.

At the heart of the system is the SSP, a consolidated interface and database that will allow faculty and students to search all of the materials in the 18 collections more quickly, from wherever they are. The name of this new platform, as well as the exact launch date, will be announced in the coming months.

As Guylaine Beaudry, Concordia’s vice-provost of digital strategy and university librarian, explains, “Right now there are ways of finding the material you want, of course, but this system will make it much easier and save you a lot of time.”

The SSP provides the following new features that will benefit all Concordians and enrich their library user experience:

Simplified research

While the consolidated interface of the SSP is shared by the 18 institutions, the library users’ search results will indicate which of the universities have the same items in their collections and if they are available for loan. Users will immediately know what items are available at the Concordia Library and where else they can be found within the library consortium of the BCI partnership.

These search results also extend to other libraries in Quebec and Canada and internationally.

Bilingual platform

The consolidated interface of the SSP will be available in both French and English and library users will be able to conduct their search in either language. This will also provide users with increased access to partner libraries’ collections in both languages.

Amnesty of library fines

Since the closure of the Library on March 13, 2020, no new fines have been accrued on users’ accounts for borrowed items. The Library is also forgiving fines accrued before March 13.

With the migration to the new SSP this summer, any existing fines for items borrowed from the Concordia Library (with the exception of equipment) before March 13 will not be transferred to the new system. All library fines will be forgiven for this period.

Automatic renewal of loans

The process of renewing items on loan will be more streamlined with the SSP and will allow users to borrow a larger quantity of items. Library users will now be able to borrow up to 100 print items for a 30-day period. These will be renewed automatically by the system as long as they have not been reserved or recalled by another user and the account is in good standing.

For more news and information about the migration to the Shared Services Platform, visit the
Concordia Library’s web page about the Quebec University Libraries Partnership.



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