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Biruni : The online collective catalogue of academic libraries


Initiated by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the "Biruni" project aims to constitute a collective catalog containing the description of the whole academic documentary collections and to endow the academic libraries with necessary means and performant information system allowing an exhaustive and ergonomic access to documents.

Biruni main objectives

Constitute a collective catalog containing informations about all the documentary academic collections (Tunisian academic catalog);

Computerize the management of academic libraries

Unify work procedures and the documentary politic of the sector of higher education and scientific research according to international norms;

Promote the online consultation of documentary academic collections through the dedicated portal for academic teachers, students, researchers, librarians,…

Offer the possibility of online booking and making circulation procedures easier.

Academic Libraries Information System

Based on the integrated System of libraires' management, VIRTUA ;

Managing all the bibliotheconomic functions (acquisition, cataloging, circulation, public access to the catalog –OPAC-, report and statistics edition and serials management) ;

Hosted at the Khawarezmi Computing Center (CCK), Internet Services Provider of the Ministry, which insures the interconnection of all the actors through the National Network for Higher Education and Research (TUREN) ;

Materialized by the Academic Libraries portal, entirely developed at the Ministry which allows :

- The access to the « Catalogue Universitaire Tunisien »

- The inter-libraries collaborative work using the Libraries Intranet through exchange of good practices, reference documents, news, frequently asked questions FAQ or librarians forum.

Main achievements

Unification of work procedures: reference documents and procedures handbooks;

Standardization of cataloging procedures according to UNIMARC;

Installation of a pilot site (Common library to the Faculty of Law and Politic Sciences of Tunis and the Faculty of Economic Sciences and Management of Tunis);

Generalization of the use of the system in all the academic libraries;

Cataloging of more than 1.099.716 titles (the whole academic documentary fund);

Processing of more than 2.278.430 items until today (around 83% of the total number of items. Whole documentary collections processed for 90 libraries.

Continuous upgrade of local competences by organization of training courses about :

- « Unimarc and ISBD» for more than de 219 librarians

- « Cataloging with Virtua over consortium architecture»: training of 20 trainers from academic libraries and of more than 200 librarians.

Some key dates

2004 : Installation of needed infrastructure for Virtua system.

2005 : System setting up and initiation of the libraries to computerized systems.

2006 : Starting of academic catalog feeding.

2007 : Designation of the common library to the Faculty of Law and Politic Sciences of Tunis and the Faculty of Economic Sciences and Management of Tunis as pilot site.

March 2009 :Official inauguration of the pilot site.

January 2010 :Establishment of a consortium architecture and operation of new servers.

October 2010 : 24th Annual VTLS EMEA Users' Group Meeting , for the first time out of Europ, in Tunisia , under the patronage of His Excellency, the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

September 2012 : Beginning of the implementation of the circulation module at the Higher Institute of Documentation in Tunis as a pilot site.

Figures to remember

A collective catalog of more than 1.099.716 titles.

173 academic libraries members of Biruni project.

13 Universities , the General Direction of Higher Institutes of Technological Studies and the Virtual University active actors of the project .

357.472 students and 18.994 teachers: potential beneficiaries of BIRUNI services.

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Date of last update: 04/01/2013