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Project vision

Since 2014, the libraries of Quebec’s 18 French, and English-speaking universities have been collaborating to implement a cloud-based shared service platform (SSP) to replace their respective Integrated Library Management Systems (ILMS).

The SSP includes all the modules necessary for library workflows (acquisitions, collections management, licensing, etc.), and a modern discovery tool. It is therefore a major step forward for libraries and their users.

The new platform, scheduled to go live this summer, will enable Quebec academic libraries to work jointly in order to provide simplified and intuitive access to their resources, therefore improving support for teaching and research. Through shared efforts, libraries aim to develop new services to better serve the evolving academic community.

A Shared Platform

based on the use of emerging technologies
paving the way for creating a truly multilingual environment

One-stop shop

offering an enriched, user-friendly and efficient user experience

A collective infrastructure

integrating several peripheral systems
allowing a progressive pooling of certain processes and services

A simplified access

to the printed collections
the gradual constitution of a digital collection.

Shared Discovery Tool

This new discovery interface allows users to initiate queries in their academic library’s collections. They can also extend the results to every Quebec university library, and see which items are available in each institution in real time.

The forthcoming discovery tool, whose name and logo will be announced in the coming months, has several valuable features for users:

  • Single access point to find resources (books, articles, specialized resources, DVDs, etc.)
  • User-friendly interface with enhanced discoverability for mobile devices
  • Intuitive discovery experience
  • English or French interface, as selected by the user
  • Simplified and broader access to the resources of Quebec’s 18 academic libraries through shared collections (over 20 million physical items*)
  • Search results clearly indicating availability in each of the libraries that hold the same resource

*The academic libraries of Quebec do not share electronic resources (databases, journal articles and books) due to the nature of their agreements with publishers and vendors.

Simplified and improved loans policies

Users will also benefit from simplified and improved loan policies across the network. The following general policies will be implemented for most users (students, faculty, staff, etc.). Certain collections will be subject to different policies with regard to loans.

  • Users may borrow up to 100 resources
  • 30-day loan period (for all resources with the same policies as monographs books)
  • Automatic renewal until the user’s record expires (if the item is not reserved or recalled, and if the user’s record is in good standing)

Facilitated network loans for Quebec Universities  

Users from the academic community will have a single record for borrowing in all of Quebec’s university libraries. With their institutional ID card, they can borrow items throughout the network. Their access card to other libraries (BCI) is only required to borrow documents from Canadian academic institutions outside Quebec and from the BAnQ (Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec).


Libraries manage their operations with an ILMS: acquisitions (purchase of new items), cataloguing (resource information: title, author and location in the library), circulation (loans), etc.

The shared service platform is implemented within the Quebec University Library Partnership to provide several benefits for member institutions:

  • Enhanced services for users
  • Continuum of services across Quebec university libraries
  • Broader access to collections for users with a shared discovery tool
  • Pooling of resources by sharing the same system and expertise
  • Reduced system operating cost

This strategic synergy will enable the development of new services and expertise, and thus improve support for teaching and research.

The Library Subcommittee of BCI (Bureau de coopération interuniversitaire) is leading this project.

Quebec university libraries chose the following cloud-based solution: OCLC WorldShare Management Services (WMS). OCLC is a global library cooperative that provides shared technology services. This platform includes all of the applications necessary for library management, licensing, acquisitions, circulation, metadata, and shared resources. It also includes a discovery interface, or “discovery tool”, for users via WorldCat Discovery. More than 600 libraries worldwide use WMS.

In English (Click on the”reading” button in the bottom left of the screen to start the presentation)

The shared service platform will not be implemented on the same date in all libraries. It will progressively go live throughout the summer and will be fully implemented by the fall of 2020.

It is an interface to find resources (books, articles, etc.), or rather a search engine, which searches the catalogue of one or several libraries.

Project strategic orientations

  • Maintain a single record per cataloguing language.
  • Align document processing policies with practices that are recognized by collaborative programs, such as BIBCO (Bibliographic Record Cooperative program) and NACO (Name Authority Cooperative Program).

– Implement a shared research environment between partner libraries, while preserving local specificities.

Enable users to borrow materials from all partner institutions with their own library card.

Facilitate interlibrary loans in the partnership with more advantageous and aligned user policies:

  • User categories
  • Availability status and document transition
  • Document type
  • Lending policies and rules
  • Identification code for each institution
  • Fines

Centralize joint acquisition management (i.e.: access rights, licences, invoice payments, usage statistics, document management through the platform).

Preserve academic documentary heritage and optimize the use of space considering that each library’s commitment is proportional to its size.

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