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University of Cyprus Library aiming high

WITH OVER quarter of a million books on its shelves and 12,000 new titles a year, the University of Cyprus (UCY) Library is setting its sights on beco...

ming a national research facility in collaboration with other local libraries, its Director has said.

In an interview with the Cyprus News Agency, the Director Filippos Tsimpoglou said other libraries around the island could be strengthened if a development plan was drawn up.

Tsimpoglou also talked about the plans for the new Library building, which are currently in the pipeline. He said the plans had already been approved by the Town Planning Department and the design was for a dome-shaped building. The new library will be completed in four years with state financing “and a very generous private donation”. “Cyprus will be proud of it,” he added.

Currently the library houses a whopping 267.289 books, and is adding thousands of new titles every year.

“The Library plays a role that has exceeded the limits of the University and can undertake the role of national research library in Cyprus, with the collaboration of other Cypriot libraries” Tsimpoglou said.

He said the University’s educational model was a combination of teaching and multiple bibliography, coupled with extended use of the library, something that called for a good and effective system.

“This is a necessity and not a luxury because nowadays a lot of material is being produced and new sections are created and therefore it is impossible for a library to assemble all knowledge on its own,” Tsimpoglou added

Tsimpoglou said the UCY Library was a member of the Hellenic Academic Libraries Union Catalogue (HALUC) and was working along the same guidelines, it had created in collaboration with the other two public University Libraries (Cyprus Technological University and Open University) the Cyprus Academic Libraries Union.

The Library is also a member of UNICA Network, in which the University of London (UCL), Brussels University, Helsinki and Amsterdam Universities together with the University of Cyprus are members of the scientific committee of the network. The UCY Library Director is a member of the scientific committee.

The Library is also a member of LIBER and the Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY) Consortium and it is trying to get involved in IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations) while at the same time it is in touch with EUROPEANA, the European Digital Library, to provide them with material.

“The Library is active firstly at the University of Cyprus, secondly in the research society here and thirdly on an
international level. In the first level, the Library's mission is to serve the educational needs of the academic community. The educational model at the University is a combination of teaching and multiple bibliography and extended use of the library, something that requires a strong and effective library,” said Tsimpoglou.

“In recent years the Library has become practically fully electronic and hybrid since its collections include printed, digital and audiovisual material,” he added.

Referring to research programmes, Tsimpoglou said the Library has started to get involved in projects which are financed from Europe and it has signed an agreement to digitalize the Spyros Kyprianou archives and the George Vasiliou archives. The Library has also started to digitalise the journals of the Greek and the Cypriot Union of Librarians as well as other documents in a bid to create a big digital database.

In the past 15 years the UCY Library has developed a worthy Turkish Studies Collection with important collections, to serve the needs of the Department of Turkish and Middle Eastern Studies. Other significant collections include the Cyprus Studies Collection, the Archaeological Collection and the Turkish Studies Collection.

UCY Library and reading rooms are also available to external users who are not members of the University of Cyprus. External users wishing to borrow books and other Library material must subscribe as members on an annual basis, their subscription pending the Director's approval.

Visitors to the Library may also use the materia butl only within the Library premises and after showing ID.