Thursday, 15 July 2010

Benefits - to us and the wider community

Benefits from the iFind Discover project

The iFind Discover project should deliver a shared discovery platform for resources held within the libraries of Swansea University, Swansea Metropolitan University and Trinity University College, along with integration with e-resource discovery using MetaLib. As well as integrating the three catalogues, the platform should be a significant improvement in design and functionality on those currently in use.

This is a sub-project within the wider Virtual Academic Library project under the SWWHEP umbrella, and aims to facilitate some of the other deliverables, in particular reciprical borrowing and document delivery between institutions. It will help open up a greater range of resources to students and staff of the three institutions in a more seamless and user-friendly way than has been available up to the present.

The universities will also benefit from the experience of implementing an open source project within the library, which is likely to be of value given the growing number of open source products coming onto the market, up to and including full library management systems.

Benefits to the wider academic community

Any institution which is considering implemention VuFind, or another open-source discovery platform, is likely to benefit from the experiences of the SWWHEP project. Additionally, in parts of the UK higher education sector, such as Wales, there is increasing pressure on HE institutions to collaborate in order to save costs while still delivering better service. The use of a modern, open-source, discovery platform which has been enhanced to integrate services from separate institutional systems may be very relevant to other collaborative projects driven by this agenda.

The case study will also cover the project’s potential contribution to the core VuFind product, thus making the multi-system functionality readily available to any collaborative resource discovery project which chooses this product.

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