LIBER (Association of European Research Libraries)
The Europeana Libraries project, funded by the European Commission, is working to make 5 million digital objects from 19 leading European research libraries freely accessible through Europeana by the end of 2012. This will be done by opening up the existing TEL aggregator of 49 national libraries to potentially 400+ research libraries.
Most materials in Europeana, the European Digital Library, are meant for the general public; content from research libraries is currently underrepresented. Europeana Libraries will radically change this by making valuable resources for scholars available, such as books (including those digitized by Google), special collections, audiovisual materials, more than 200,000 open access (OA) research theses, and more than 270,000 OA scholarly articles. Prestigious institutions such as the Bavarian State Library, the Hungarian Parliament Library, Trinity College Dublin, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, University College London, University of Ghent, University of Lund, University of Oxford, Zentralbibliothek Zurich, and many others, are providing their materials.
Europeana Libraries’ ambition to establish THE library aggregator for Europeana will require a new sustainable business model. The expansion from 49 to potentially 400+ libraries should reduce the average cost per partner (economies of scale), but it will also pose new challenges such as funding, governance and strategy. Another important task in the Europeana Libraries project is to investigate how additional services (economies of scope) such as innovative tools for researchers and digital preservation can complement the aggregating service.