The European Library Beyond Access


  • Jill Cousins


TEL, The European Library, is an EU project turned operational service. Its main aim is to access the collections and digitised items of the National Libraries of Europe and to make them searchable in one place. This aim is being achieved with 15 national libraries making their collections accessible as of the first quarter of 2006 and at least another 7 national libraries coming on stream during 2006.  It  is  expected  there  will  be  at  least  30  National  Libraries  contributing their collections by 2007.  So the vision of accessibility is achievable and in its execution issues of interoperability and standards are by practice enforced. However to be a truly useful resource  for  the  user  and  to  move  onto  become  the  European  Digital  Library some of the reasons why it has achieved access to so many collections, in a relatively short time, that would otherwise not be available, have to be reinvestigated. There are very low barriers to participation for the national libraries, but these impose restrictions on the usability of the site. This paper looks at what the libraries need to do now to meet user needs and what The European Library itself can do, using other technologies, to facilitate the next steps.


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Come citare

Cousins, J. (2006). The European Library Beyond Access. DigItalia, 1(1), 74–86. Recuperato da