20 Μαΐ 2017

The challenges and development of the University of Cyprus Library

The Challenges and development of the University of Cyprus Library” [presentation by Andreas K. Andreou]National and University Library In Zagreb (Croatia), 4th Jul. 2016.

Introduction

Hello everyone. First of all I would like to thank you for accepting my visit. I feel very lucky to be with you and I am looking forward for learning more about your Library.
Before presenting the Library of the University of Cyprus, I believe it’s important to introduce you to the island of Cyprus.
The  Republic of Cyprus is an independent country since 1960.  It is the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean Sea. Cyprus is located at the eastern end of the European Union. Its population is one million and one hundred fifty thousands (1.141.166). Eighty two per cent (82%) are Greeks and eighteen (18%) Turks.
After the Turkish troop invasion in 1974 the island had been violently divided in two parts: the Cyprus Republic which is the officially recognized state and the Turkish occupied area (A de facto state only recognized by Turkey).

Cyprus has a long history and rich cultural heritage. In the following video you can see Cyprus with a glance (it is only 8 minutes long):

Until the end of 80’s there were no universities at the island. The first university of the country, the University of Cyprus, was established in the capital of the island (Nicosia) in 1989. Today in Cyprus, there are operating 3 public and 5 private universities. Besides them, there is also a significant number of colleges.

The University of Cyprus Library, started its operation in 1992. Its mission is to serve the university community as well as external users such as academics and students from other universities and independent researchers. Today, it is the biggest library in the country.

The Library


The Library provides services to the university community as well as to external users.

Library Users

Organizational structure:

In the top of the hierarchy is the University Director who is responsible for all administrative departments of the institution. There is also a Library Committee which is consisted by a number of academics and the Library Director. The Committee deals with structural matters.
The Library is divided in three Sections: 1. The Collection Management, 2. System and Technology Information and 3. User Information Services.

Staff:

On the head of the Library is the director. Below him there are 48 employees. Most of them are librarians. However there are also some employees with different background such as computer science, book conservation, archaeology, Greek studies, Turkish studies, etc. 

Collection:

The Library collection includes more than a half million of printed and electronic books and other material such as journals, newspapers, maps, audiovisual material etc. About 48% of this material is in English, 25% in Greek, 10% in French, 7% in German, 4% in Turkish, 2% in Italian and other languages. Among them we  have 216 books in Serbo – Croatian (in Roman alphabet -scr).
Library also has 200 books in Serbo – Croatian (Cyrilic alphabet -scc).

 

Financial issues:

The Library funds comes from the annual budget of the University of Cyprus which derives from the annual government bugged and from donations.  The annual bugged of the Library is about 1,5 million euros. The library expenditures are new acquisitions, equipment, subscriptions in data bases, etc. Noted that the staff wages are covered by the general bugged of the University.
As far as the incomes of the Library are concerned, these are about 25 thousand euros per year. The incomes derive from external user subscriptions, library fees, photocopies and interlibrary loan.

Cooperation with other institutions:

The UCY Library is an active member of the IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) and the LIBER (Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche).

The University of Cyprus Library has developed cooperation with other libraries in Cyprus and abroad regarding interlibrary loan.

It is more closely cooperating with the other academic libraries of the island. The goal is to build up a bloc in order to negotiate better package prices for electronic resources (such as databases, electronic journals and ebooks).
It has to be noted that many institutions in Cyprus have requested the contribution of the UCY Library regarding the management of their libraries and their archives. Due to that the UCY Library has undertaken the digitization of several special collections and archives. Through that the library has contributed to the highlighting of the history and the civilization of  Cyprus. These collections are hosted at Library’s digital repository (Lekythos) http://lekythos.library.ucy.ac.cy/?locale-attribute=en



Library Systems and technology

The Library started its operation in the early nineties with the TinLib as integrated library system. In 1999 it has changed its ILS with the Geac ADVANCE and lately in 2016 with the Sierra.
The UCY Library, also uses a D-Space for its digital repository.
It is important to note that in the new Library building (for which we will speak in few minutes) a new technology of RFID (Radio-frequency identification) will be introduced[1].

Buildings:


The Main University Library is currently hosted at an old building which was built in the fifties and it was used as the former Paedacological Institution of Cyprus. As this is an old building, not constructed for this purpose, it causes several practical problems mainly due to the lack of space. Therefore the Library has been split in 6 different locations (departments or closed stacks) all over Nicosia.
It has been an undoubted and obvious need from day 1 that a new Library Building has been needed.


In 2017, a new modern building will be ready to host the Library and its departments. The Information Centre - Library 'Stelios Ioannou' (that is the new name) is the result of a special design, careful planning and a depth study of the University of Cyprus academic needs and physical environment.

This project is becoming possible due to a major donation of eight million euros (€ 8.000.000) from Mrs Elli St. Ioannou, in memory of her late husband Stelios Ioannou. Following the benefactor's request the design of the project was assigned to the renowned French architect Jean Nouvel. However, the whole project is expected to cost more than forty million (40.000.000) euros.

Due to its particular architectural character the project is expected to become a landmark which will transcend Cyprus boundaries and will place the country on the world map of architecture.
 
The building will house 1 million printed volumes, over 30,000 electronic journal titles and 200 databases. All information will be accessible throughout the scientific community of Cyprus. It will also provide approximately 900 study seats which will be equipped with modern technology.
 


Practically the Information Centre - Library 'Stelios Ioannou' will include:
1. Library and Information Services
2. Computer Services Centre
3. Language & Teaching Centre



The Information Centre - Library 'Stelios Ioannou' – will become the central core of knowledge - with advanced aesthetics at the heart of the campus. It will employ the latest technology in order to support and serve ten thousands 10.000 students, the entire research and academic community and the whole society of Cyprus in general.
The building is a very unique design inspired by the surrounding landscape: an artificial hill imitating an existing natural hill.

The new Library building will covers about seventeen and a half thousands square meters.

UCY Library’s role and challenges


According to the future University plans, in the next years the UCY Library will develop a Children Library. This is a real challenge for the Library as until now it serves only  adults. 
The UCY Library, as the biggest library of the country due to  its material and staff, it is unofficially acting as a coordinator between the other libraries in the country. Today the UCY Library is the de facto national research library.
On the other site, the Cyprus Library (which is under the Ministry of Education and Culture and has the role of the de jure national library of the country) has a lot of problems (it is understaffed, it has several financial problems, and it is not hosted in a proper building).
Under this frame and with the prospect of the transition to the new modern building, some thoughts have appeared suggesting the merge of two libraries in to a new one “University and National Library of Cyprus”, taking as example other countries, like Croatia, which follows this model.
This is one of the main reasons I am here today, in order to learn more about this library model and transfer your experience buck to Cyprus.
Thank you for your attention!

Andreas K. Andreou
(University of Cyprus)
(Erasmus+ Visitor to the University and National Library of Zagreb)




[1] RFID uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects.

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