Libraries break ground on Pan American online initiative

Libraries break ground on Pan American online initiative

By Anne Tschida, Special to Library News

Libraries break ground on Pan American online initiative

By Anne Tschida, Special to Library News
HUC Library Network launches website to highlight and promote research and technological collaboration, addressing key issues facing the globe.

The Hemispheric University Consortium (HUC) Library Network website is a new platform created to facilitate the coordination and exchange of digital tools and resources, and establish an online space for innovation and research among the HUC’s partnering institutions. Additionally, the website provides a virtual library that gives access to the electronic resources hosted in the institutional repositories, catalogs, and journal portals to increase the use of these resources and promote resource sharing, while also increasing the visibility of the scientific and intellectual production of the member institutions of the HUC.

The Library Network is one of the programs developed by the Consortium to provide support and enhance education, innovation, and the research activities of associated libraries as it aims to address the five key challenges identified by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030.

The HUC itself was formed in 2018, when presidents of 14 universities from across Latin America, the Caribbean, and from Canada and the U.S. first met to devise ways for these educational institutions to address significant challenges that confront not only our hemisphere, but also the globe. These leaders developed the concept of the Hemispheric University Consortium, whose aim is to foster collaboration among universities to help influence the quality and reach of their research in order to develop innovative and impactful solutions to critical issues in public health, climate change, entrepreneurship and inclusive innovation, crime and corruption, and technological innovation. The HUC also pinpointed specific collaborative initiatives of importance, including the COVID-19 Hemispheric Response, and the HUC Library Network.

The Library Network website “provides convenient access to the open research content and experts available at all HUC Library Network institutions,” explains Dean and University Librarian Charles Eckman from HUC member University of Miami. “Webinars on topics of interest to researchers across the Consortium that are developed by the Library Network will be promoted through the website’s news blog. And as the Library Network advances its initiatives in sharing expertise as well as learning and research resources, this shared library platform will be a critical resource to every HUC researcher for both identifying relevant resources and disseminating their research.”

The web platform will also have the added benefit of reaching a broader community, Eckman says. “The website promotes research content and learning opportunities that are freely available to all.”

The Library Network held its inaugural summit with 13 member library directors on Feb. 19, 2021, with the focus on exploring the possibilities of achieving greater impact through collaboration. The four initial Library Network projects under development are:

  • Website and Blog develops and maintains the Library Network website and facilitates communication via the Blog.
  • Librarian Talent Development and Education will train library staff on topics related to improving educational experiences with users, and proposes to create collaborative webinars on digital literacy skills training.
  • Sharing and Developing Expertise, or Co-creando, will implement internships in the HUC community, with the main objective to encourage collaborative work that strengthens knowledge and skills so that libraries become centers of innovative projects.
  • Archiving and Disseminating Research to promote existing scholarly communication services.

All the Library Network projects entail coordinators and volunteers from the various institutions. They require simultaneous translation services, which supports team meetings and the inclusion of all members, as well as technology and platform administrative resources to integrate its members’ repositories.

The new website is located at https://www.thehuc.org/libraries and is available in both English and Spanish langauges.

For a list of member universities and more information on HUC, please visit https://www.thehuc.org.