Waseda and Keio start sharing next-generation library system

On September 2, Waseda University and Keio University Media Center (Library) launched a new library system successfully. This is the first case among the academic libraries in Japan to share and operate the same library system.

The library services solutions Waseda and Keio have opted for were the Alma platform and the Primo VE search interface, both products from the Ex Libris Group.

Alma is a cloud-based library services platform which comprehensively manages electronic information regarding books as well as magazines and e-journals institutions are subscribed to. As of May 2019, it is used by over 1,600 institutions in 38 countries. Primo VE allows library users to easily access all resources, including books in collections, subscribed journals, and past theses.

Both Alma and Primo VE have been implemented at prestigious universities worldwide, such as University of Cambridge and Harvard University. Waseda and Keio will be the first in Japan.

The benefits of running this integrated library system include: enhanced services and better access to more resources; optimized system operation and reduction in its cost; standardization of cataloguing format and cost reduction; and promotion of knowledge and skills exchange between Waseda and Keio library staff.

Taking advantage of the joint operation, Waseda and Keio have newly established the “Keio-Waseda Cataloging Unit” by integrating both catalog departments. The unit is expected to promote the international contribution by making Japanese catalog records according to international standards. Now researchers and students can search 10.7 million catalogued items held in both libraries.

In April 1986, Waseda and Keio concluded an interlibrary loan agreement to allow students, faculty, and full-time staff mutual access to resources from the two universities. To expand on the framework of this agreement, the two universities signed a memorandum in May 2017 to select a library system that can be used jointly and store data from both institutions, realizing this integrated library system.

Waseda and Keio are going to hold a symposium on joint system operation on February 25, 2020, at Waseda University International Conference Hall.

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