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On 7 December 2020, the research portal of Zentralbibliothek Zürich and the UZH Libraries will be replaced by the research platform swisscovery. The new portal, which is run by the Swiss Library Service Platform (SLSP), brings together more than 30 million books, series, journals and non-book items along with more than 3 billion electronic articles. 475 libraries across Switzerland are accessible via the system. “Bringing them all together was a major feat of university policymaking that was supported by swissuniversities,” says Wilfried Lochbühler, director of the Main Library of the University of Zurich.
Users will have to create new accounts in order to access swisscovery. Currently 12,000 users from UZH Libraries and Zentralbibliothek Zürich have already made the switch. This number is expected to exceed 50,000.
Standardization: Catalogue entries and borrowing conditions will be standardized as much as possible.
What does that mean for users?
Behind the scenes
Switching to the new system means big efforts on the part of librarians: While the impact on users is minimal, the library staff will need to get to grips with a completely new set of procedures.
“We’re hoping that the transition to the new system goes smoothly, but we’re counting on people to be understanding if there are a few hiccups in the beginning,” says Lochbühler. According to Christian Oesterheld, director of Zentralbibliothek Zürich, the introduction of swisscovery will serve to bring the Zentralbibliothek Zürich and the libraries at UZH closer together, a process already underway as part of the University Library Development project. He says that the shared system will allow for internal library processes to be optimized and that the two institutions can coordinate with each other in order to make acquisitions and collect user feedback.