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Electronic Library of Ukraine
Access to the World’s Information for Ukraine’s Academic Libraries

Tetiana Yaroshenko, Vice-president of IT and Library Director of National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Executive Director of ELibUkr – Electronic Library of Ukraine,
Member of the Presidium of the Association of Ukrainian Libraries
Tetiana Yaroshenko, Vice-president of IT and Library Director of National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Executive Director of ELibUkr – Electronic Library of Ukraine, Member of the Presidium of the Association of Ukrainian Libraries

It is pleasure to share the accomplishments and report of the work performed on the nation-wide Electronic Library of Ukraine project.  In one year the ELibUkr project developed a strong, central infrastructure to create a nation-wide linked electronic network for academic libraries which provides Ukraine’s academic libraries with access to much of the world’s digital information. 

With funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), at the initiative of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and the Kyiv-Mohyla Foundation of America and with collaboration of consultants from Northwestern University and the Ukrainian organization Informatio-Consortium, the ELibUkr project was established in January 2009 to provide universities in Ukraine with access to the world’s digital academic and research information.

Creation of a Library Consortium

The ELibUkr University Consortium started with three member libraries and by April 2010 grew to seven libraries consisting of National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University, V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, Donetsk National Technical University, Lesia Ukrainka Volyn National University, National Ukrainian Academy of Banking in Sumy and Sumy National University of Agriculture.

While the work done in the first year exceeded expectations, there is much work left for years two and three in order to accomplish the original goal of providing access to global scholarly information to Ukraine’s principal universities.

Highlights of What We Accomplished and Delivered

  • A digital information delivery system through a central facility
  • A viable Library Consortium
  • A technical infrastructure including a powerful server and necessary hardware and software and an IT management team.
  • A central portal/webpage. http://www.elibukr.org/
  • An organizational and management infrastructure.
  • Successful negotiation with data base providers for discounted annual fees.  This is an advantage that individual libraries could not achieve on their own.
  • Access by 195,129 students and 9,028 faculty members to 22 paid and 49 open source data bases
  • A nation-wide training program of 280 seminars, conferences and round-tables for librarians and users. 
  • Institutional repository programs at most member libraries (the digitization of Ukraine’s own knowledge and information in archives and intellectual product).
  • Library knowledge centers in each participating university library.
  • Two prototype applied knowledge centers to encourage industry-business - university collaboration.
  • Major Paid Data Bases Accessible through ELibUkr:
    EBSCO (14 databases), Emerald Management Extra, Oxford Journals Collection, SpringerLink’s eJournal Collection, SpringerLink’s eBook Collection, Passport GMID, IOPscience Journals, NAUKA online (East-View), Oxford Reference Online - Premium Collection, Russian Dissertation, A-to-Z (Service), Rubrikon Universal Encyclopedia, OARE, Grebennikon, Hinari, Lexis-Nexis Academic, ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, Royal Society of Chemistry, Zentralblatt MATH - ZMATH Online Databas, Leonorm-Inform, Liga-Zakon, PolPred, RZh VINITI, Russia National Bibliography (EastView), CUL (Centr Uchbovoi Literatury), Archive “Westnik Europy”, ScienceDirect –available in open access on the abstract level only, the subscription was not accomplished because of high price increase. American Chemical Societysubstituted for Royal Society of Chemistry according to the test access results.
  • Free/Low Cost Data Bases through  ELibUkr – See webpage http://www.elibukr.org/
  • Ukrainian Universities That Established Institutional Repositories:
    Anthropos (Centre for the Humanities dspace)
    Center for the Humanities of Ivan Franko National University of L'viv
    Electronic Archive of Ternopil State Ivan Puluj Technical University (ELARTU)
    Electronic Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Institutional Repository (eKMAIR)
    Zhytomyr State University Library
    Kharkiv National Academy of Municipal Economy (KNAME Digital Repository)
    Electronic Archive V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University (eKhNUIR)
    Lugansk Regional Institute of Post Graduate Pedagogic Education

 

ELibUkr – Solution to Informational Isolation

electronic library projectOne year ago, while Ukraine’s university librarians, academics, students and researchers acknowledged the urgent national need to join the world’s digital access to information and to share Ukraine’s own knowledge and information with the world, it was not clear that their concern about Ukraine’s informational isolation was shared by the Ukrainian government.   Most libraries had and still have no access to the world’s data bases, and the library directors who have managed to find resources to pay for a few databases could only do so on a year-by-year basis. 

Lack of unbiased, scholarly global information can leave the population in an informational isolation and can contribute to an unstable political and economic environment, which can be a threat to democracy and basic freedoms.  The ELibUkr project offers the road for a national, collaborative program to bring Ukraine’s universities into the global academic and research informational network. 

Need to Mobilize Support for Education and Electronic Libraries

In his address to the nation in June 2010, President Yanukovych acknowledged that access to electronic libraries is one of the country’s priorities.  This public recognition is encouraging.  It is important for the government of Ukraine to allocate resources for access to the world’s digitized electronic information. 

As a signatory of the Bologna Declaration, Ukraine agreed to join efforts to reform higher education and to create standards and quality assurances that are compatible throughout Europe.  This Declaration recognizes that access to global information is one of the key tools for achieving quality education programs and enhancing those programs through inter-institutional co-operation.  The ELibUkr project is a major part of this integration process and Ukraine needs to accelerate its compliance with international standards.


Need for Funding and Support

It is the policy of ELibUkr management to engage partners and collaborators who can compliment and bring additional benefits to the overall project. Now that a strong basis has been established, the project needs funding for sustainability and expansion.  It is hoped that the government of Ukraine will come forth with funding for the nation’s university electronic library needs.  Support is sought from the government of the United States, European states, foundations, corporations and individuals.  Everyone stands to benefit. 

The ELibUkr project has put all the necessary components in place and much has been accomplished, but without further support the country will fall back into its traditional informational isolation again. 

Importance of Access to Information 

The importance of unbiased open information in the development and preservation of democracy, economic development and civil society cannot be underestimated. An investment into further expansion will result in a quantifiable return of major long-term benefits.   The accomplishments of the Project’s first year are quantifiable and serve as a strong basis for nation-wide expansion. It is not a political issue.  It is an issue of academic and economic competitiveness on a national level.  It is an issue of providing for an informed society and an informed government.  The long-term support of the Ukrainian government will play a key role in securing the country’s access to the world of digital information in the long term.  But support from international public and private sources will provide for the immediate needs. 

Marta Farion 
Chair
ELibUkr Board of Directors
Kyiv-Mohyla Foundation - President

Tetiana Yaroshenko
Executive Director
ELibUkr Board of Directors
Vice-President of IT – NaUKMA
Kyiv-Mohyla Library - Director

 

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Video Clip About Kyiv-Mohyla Library Work.

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PhD programs at NaUKMA
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Department for Foreign Cooperation
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ELibUkr Project
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