South East colleges and universities share library resources to offer users more
University and research libraries in London and the South East are benefiting from Search25, an online catalogue of world-renowned institutions and specialist collections, thanks to funding by Jisc.
Search25 allows users to access the catalogues from within the M25 Consortium of Academic Libraries, giving their learners greater choice and access to materials. There are also cost and time benefits too as John Tuck, chair of M25 consortium of academic libraries and director of library services, Royal Holloway, University of London explains: “Search25 makes it easier to search, locate and obtain resources at any library in the group. This is the only service that allows students and researchers to benefit from and hop between a vast range of large academic institutions and rare specialist collections densely packed within South East England.”
Andy McGregor, Jisc programme manager says: “Recent work on resource discovery has highlighted the importance of open metadata and application programming interfaces, which allow computer systems to speak to each other. The M25 team have taken these principles and used them in their development of a useful new search service for their users. It is great to see the principles being tested in practice and I can’t wait to see where the team take the service next.”
Cathy Phillpotts, head of library resources and e-strategy development at London Metropolitan University adds: “First impression - wow! Well done to the M25 team. I think Search25 looks really good and works well and I really like the online video too which explains how to use it. I think it’s a good balance of form and function.”
Search25 allows users to locate specific items in an M25 library. Once researchers have found what they need, they can check whether they are eligible to access the library and material through the ‘user options’ section.
See how the group realised this project through their blog which relates lessons learnt and how they collaborated.