July saw the launch of ITU iLibrary (www.itu-ilibrary.org), the central research repository for the Union’s publications, enabling users to quickly search and find relevant content. The result of a partnership with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) based in Paris, it uses the proven iLibrary infrastructure that has been developed over the past 16 years.
The internet service is designed for institutional libraries, and is available now, on an annual subscription basis, using a freemium business model. This means that any ITU iLibrary visitor can take advantage of the basic search functionality, as well as freely consult the READ format of the content while connected, without any need to register.
However, for those users, for example, at a university or research centre, wishing greater involvement with the material – to download, copy and integrate it into their workflow – a subscription is necessary. The revenue-share arrangement resulting from the partnership will mean that ITU receives support for its publications programme, whilst OECD covers the associated integration and development costs.
Currently 400 book titles are available, most of the PDFs broken down into individual chapters. This renders the content more visible and therefore more likely to be discovered, even if full-text search is also offered by the site. Alongside the text are the statistics from the World Telecommunication ICT Database. Updated biannually, the figures are available in XLS and as a CSV archive. This means that no special installation is required and that they can be easily downloaded into the analytical software of choice.
Every item on ITU iLibrary has a permanent identifier enabling perpetual linking. When combined with the platform’s citation tool, this means any bibliographic reference made by an author to an ITU publication or database can be easily found by a reader at a later date.
As well as user-friendly features, there are tools available for those responsible for managing the resource on behalf of their patrons. MARC21 records, KBART1 (version 2 forthcoming) and COUNTER statistics, help librarians and information managers to catalogue the content in their own systems and then keep track of usage.
Having just gone live, the ITU iLibrary will be covered by the major discovery services – EBSCO EDS, Ex Libris Primo, ProQuest Summon and OCLC WDS.
An important part of the iLibrary philosophy is that all material officially published be made accessible via the platform, irrespective of content type. The ITU’s books and data are already available.
In a 2nd phase, during the course of 2018, it is planned that the current content will be joined by the Union’s Recommendations and Regulations. As well as the enhanced selection of ITU publications available to be discovered, relevant titles from other IGOs participating in the iLibrary partnership programme will also appear in the results when cross-platform search function is deployed. Currently this would cover publications from United Nations, the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Commonwealth Secretariat and, of course, from the OECD.