Managing of e-Resources within the COSEC consortium

E-resourceselectronic information sourcesconsortia, licenses

As a member of the world’s largest international consortium called, Consortium of Slovenian Electronic Collections (COSEC) is the first library purchasing consortium in Slovenia which fosters co-operation with national library consortia worldwide. Thus, the members of COSEC can unite their purchasing power with other libraries around the world in order to provide their users with information sources of high quality and to achieve value for money.

It was built upon the vision of uniting the Slovenian libraries purchasing power with other libraries around the world in order to provide their users with information sources of high quality and to achieve value for money. Apart from the effort to unite the purchasing power, its core functions include Collections sharing, Electronic content licensing, Electronic content loading/presentation, end user training and promotion of the purchased content.

The cornerstone of the consortium was set in 1999 when the cooperation with eIFL Direct (Electronic Information for Libraries) started. This cooperation led to the foundation of Slovenian national consortium four years later, on 29th July 2003. Founded by the 6 following members – National

and University library, Slovenian universities, Central Technological Library, Jozef Stefan Institute, Association of Slovene Librarians, Association of Public Libraries, COSEC consortium kept growing numbers over the years to shape its current form. Nowadays, it serves more than 150 libraries including public, academic and special libraries as well as public and governmental research institutes.

Financing of such a purchasing body cannot rely purely on individual libraries. Even though over 60 percent of the budget comes from libraries, COSEC could not function without a support of a number of institutions such as Ministries of Education, Science, Culture and Sport and Slovenian Research Agency. All costs related to managing of the consortium are fully covered by the above mentioned Ministry and the National and University Library.

The work of the consortium has been received positively by the Slovenian research community. The usage of e-resources increases continually hand in hand with the increasing availability of the content. Consequently, prices per download lower and more and more Slovenian journals are included in international databases.

After almost ten years of COSEC’s activity, users gained access to a wide variety of resources including the following providers: American Anthropological Association, American Physical Society, Encyclopaedia Britannica, EBSCO Publishing, EMERALD, , GVIN, IUS-Software, Library Pressdisplay, Naxos Digital Services, Oxford University Press, SAGE and many more. The list of individual databases would probably take up more space than allowed for this article, therefore we name only e few: Academic Search Complete, Lista with Full Text, APS Journals, Business Source Premier, Communication& Mass Media Complete, Emerald Full text, RILM, KLG online, Naxos Music Library, Oxford Journals Online, PsycArticles, PsycINFO and over 110,000 EBSCO e-books and many others.

With such a rich selection of resources, new questions have come up and new challenges have been addressed. Which resource to use? Which platform? Where to look for the desired information? The end-users’ behaviour has changed dramatically over the past few year and libraries have been trying to find solutions to answer these needs. They have been looking for a Google-like solution, trying to avoid users‘difficulties in determining appropriate resource, to avoid confusion

due to excessive number of many resources and interfaces, to simplify searching process for user and librarian, to make all resources available at one starting point (catalogue, institution repository, databases etc.). Libraries have been trying to INTEGRATE their holdings and make it easily discoverable. And the answer? Discovery solution!

National and University Library, the initiator of the consortium, decided to implement EBSCO Discovery Service by EBSCO Publishing. The choice was made based on product advanced features, rich index that outclasses other products on the market, users’ familiarity with EBSCOhost platform and, importantly, the long term and successful cooperation with EBSCO, whose beginning dates back to 1999.

The huge number of resources and their easy discoverability brings and defines a new role of the library. According to OCLC report Perception of libraries published in 2010 75 percent Americans associate libraries with books. That is, however, not only the case in the United States of America. Over the years, the librarians have put a lot of effort to change this view. Users of National and University Library can benefit from diverse access options that allow them to download full text articles or e-books to laptops or other external devices such as e-readers, iPads etc. The library encourages users to take advantage of abundant selection of various resources by regular presentations focused on both the content and its discoverability. Printed matter such as leaflets, users guides, posters are distributed and product trainings are carried out on a regular basis.

Libraries united under the COSEC consortium have been out on their mission to keep up with the ever-changing user behaviour and to fulfil their vision to unite the purchasing power in the recently uncertain economic climate.

Works Cited

Perceptions of Libraries, 2010: Context and Community. Dublin,

Ohio USA: OCLC, 2010. 38 s. ISBN 1-55653-395-0.

Príspevok odznel na výročnej konferencii Brána k vedeckému poznaniu otvorená IV (Bratislava, CVTI SR 13. 11. 2012,

So súhlasom autora spracoval Tomáš Bačík.