Library to expand online content

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By Sheila Nykwist

A national project aimed at increasing university library resources will last longer than planned after organizers decided to extend the initiative indefinitely.

The Canadian National Site Licensing Project committee — which represents university libraries, administrators, researchers and academic associations — discussed its goals of adding new universities to the group and expanding the range of content last Wednesday in Ottawa. Most of the current journals are scientific.

The 64 participating universities, which includes Ryerson, will begin acquiring social science and humanities journals, said Deb deBruijn, executive director of the CNSLP.

The CNSLP, now in its second year, aims to pool the resources of Canada’s universities to increase negotiating power with international publishers. The cost of the $50-million project is shared between the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the universities and independent agencies.

“We want it to be an enduring research infrastructure,” said deBruijn.

Cathy Matthews, Ryerson’s chief librarian, also hopes students will gain access to more full-text journals instead of reference databases, which currently make up most of Ryerson’s holdings.

Matthews says the CNSLP is helping increase the library’s holdings. She says the task of choosing where to spend the library budget will be harder once more journals are available through CNSLP.

“It’s a balancing act,” said Matthews, who has met some resistance from professors who still prefer paper journals to the electronic medium.

She plans to hold consultations with faculty to determine which areas of study need more library resources.

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