As 2009 draws to a close, we are taking a moment to look back, with amazement, at the extraordinary developments in the library discovery environment. It is less than a year ago that services such as Primo Central—offering scholars the wealth of global e-content integrated with local library collections—started to emerge. Of all the stakeholders that have embraced this new approach, it is the publishers who should be most applauded for their positive response to this way of enhancing the discoverability of their content. Last week we were pleased to announce the first Primo Central partner libraries. Here’s the list:
- Brigham Young University (United States)
- Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium)
- Cooperative Library Network Berlin-Brandenburg—KOBV Consortium institutions: Humboldt University, Free University of Berlin, Mannheim University, and the Technological University, Berlin (Germany)
- Michiana Academic Library Consortium institutions: University of Notre Dame, Saint Mary's College, Holy Cross College, and Bethel College (United States)
- Oxford University (United Kingdom)
- University of New South Wales (Australia)
- Vanderbilt University (United States)
- Yonsei University (South Korea)
This international group of library partners, representing scholarly excellence across the globe, will begin beta-testing Primo Central next month and check how this new service works with the institutional Primo system. A wonderful advantage of having such a heterogeneous group of partners is that they can help us learn how well we address language issues, regional content, a variety of organizational structures, and a range of disciplinary focuses. We’re looking forward to working with our partners and receiving their valuable feedback.
The Primo Central index continues to grow. More and more publishers are joining the many who already participate in the Primo Central Publisher program. Within just the last two weeks, we signed agreements to add scholarly content from Cambridge University Press, the University of Chicago Press, Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., JSTOR, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), RMIT Publishing, and the Royal Society of Chemistry. By the time Primo Central is released to the general public, we anticipate that this index will include approximately half a billion records.
We are pleased that so many distinguished publishers understand that Primo Central is another way for them to enhance the “findability” of their treasures without losing control of their intellectual rights and are thus working with us to get their data into Primo Central. Ex Libris, libraries, and information providers all share a common vision: bringing the world of knowledge to users. And the Primo Central service--an Ex Libris initiative that will benefit both libraries and information providers--fulfills this goal perfectly.