Sun Microsystems, The University of Alberta Libraries and The Alberta Library create Centre of Excellence for Libraries
Initiative will create province-wide digital library
SANTA CLARA, CA February 2008 Sun Microsystems of Canada Inc., the University of Alberta Libraries (UAL) and The Alberta Library (TAL) today announced the creation of a new Sun Centre of Excellence for Libraries (COE). The initiative will enhance and support respective organizational projects, as well as an extensive, province-wide, multi-faceted digital library. As part of the COE the participants intend to provide a seamless search and retrieval experience resulting in unprecedented access to information for students, faculty and the public, as well as creating an enduring preservation environment.
“This initiative will facilitate new levels of access to a tremendous amount of unique information that hasn’t been widely available,” said Ernie Ingles, Vice Provost and Chief Librarian, University of Alberta. “It will further our goal to act as a trusted regional repository for digital materials by facilitating approaches to the discovery, storage, and archival preservation of digital resources that will benefit all Canadians.” The University of Alberta Libraries, the second largest academic library system in Canada, has more than one million unique digitized pages of content in four major collections to contribute to the new digital library.
Using a range of Sun systems, software and thin client technologies, The Alberta Library (TAL) will integrate current digital collections and electronic information resources from the Lois Hole Campus Alberta Digital Library, an Alberta Government initiative that is providing post-secondary students, faculty and researchers in every corner of the province with access to vast holdings of digital resources. The digital library currently contains more than 4.5 million licensed items, including academic journals, encyclopedias, magazine and newspaper articles, literary criticisms and video clips from 35 post-secondary institutions. The COE will also help TAL improve province-wide access to library catalogues and secure information-sharing.
“Working with post-secondary institutions, as well as the public library community, we must develop new ways of providing access to material that can be searched quickly and easily, and we must find ways of archiving this material for future generations,” said Lucy Pana, Chief Executive Officer of The Alberta Library. “This Centre will provide us with the resources to begin to accomplish these goals.”
The COE will support distance learning and research within e-learning environments by providing access to digital collections preserved by Alberta university libraries, archives and museums. It will also yield solutions for long-term archiving of digital resources, and digital rights management. The support and technology provided by Sun will ensure the infrastructure can evolve to meet future needs and continue to support research, collaborative learning and general discovery.
“Sun has always recognized the importance of innovation in Canada’s academic centres and the value of the multi-faceted relationships between academic institutions and private sector companies,” said Lynne Zucker, Director of Education and Research Markets, Sun Microsystems of Canada Inc. “This Centre of Excellence will be a showcase for the University of Alberta Libraries, The Alberta Library, and Sun Microsystems, and will put these organizations in an elite group, not only in library circles, but also in the higher learning sector.”
The Centre of Excellence for Libraries is expected to be operational by summer 2008.
About the University of Alberta
The University of Alberta in Edmonton is one of the top 100 teaching and research universities in the world serving some 37,000 students with more than 11,000 faculty and staff. Founded a century ago, the university has an annual budget in excess of $1 billion and attracts more than $480 million in external research funding. It offers close to 400 undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in 18 faculties.
The University of Alberta Learning Services portfolio includes a wide range of academic and service units including the second largest academic library system in Canada with the largest holdings per student in Canada, as well as one of the largest university-held museum collections in Canada with more then 17 million objects in 35 discipline specific collections.
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