Knowledge in miles of shelves and megabytes
The university libraries in Berlin have been working together on software, services and smart solutions for handling academic media for nearly 20 years. Researchers, students, and other users benefit from this cooperation.
It started in 1998 while looking for a uniform library system together. Since then, the Berlin university libraries of Freie Universität, Humboldt-Universität, Technische Universität, and the Berlin University of the Arts as well as the libraries of Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin have been working together successfully. In the meantime, the university libraries are negotiating with publishing houses and software suppliers, advocating for openness of research data and digital resources in committees with one voice and cooperating in training and educating their employees.
The advantages of cooperating on various levels are numerous: Users quickly find their way around all institutions thanks to a uniform library management system and search portals.
Altogether there are about 13 million items of media on the shelves and servers of the four university libraries and that of Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.
The extensive media holdings are the result of a prudent and long-standing partnership: Due to the fact that the Berlin university libraries and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin negotiate contracts together, each institution can often profit from the licensed stock of the other institutions. The Berlin university libraries also chose uniform software for managing archives or the publication of research data and open access publications.
The librarians also communicate on basic strategic questions or plans for the libraries of the future: The university libraries do not only work together closely within the framework of the Regional Library Network (kooperativen Bibliotheksverbundes Berlin-Brandenburg (KOBV)), but also via the Friedrich-Althoff-Konsortium, a consortium of academic libraries in Berlin and Brandenburg, which provides its users with academic information from electronic publications. In addition, the university libraries are members of the “Open Access AG” of the Berlin Senate, which would like to make academic publications and research data openly accessible and usable to everyone