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The project/system formerly known as “the digital repository” now has a name: Loyola eCommons.

(Say it loud and there’s music playing…)

This name speaks to the library’s desire to create a resource that will provide a common space for the dissemination and preservation of a wide variety of scholarship, pedagogy, historical material, and creative works. Indeed, it is our aspiration that this resource will serve as a collective showcase for the entire university community. It will also be a “commons” in a more traditional sense, acting as a kind of online academic public square for the unfettered exchange of information and knowledge.

The name is a deliberate nod to the hugely successful Klarchek Information Commons, which brings together technology, services, information resources, and people to facilitate a wide range of scholarly activities. And like the IC, we hope that Loyola eCommons can become a vital part of academic life on campus and the University Libraries’ efforts to promote “knowledge in the service of humanity.”

As part of the goals laid out in the LUC Libraries Strategic Plan, 2010-2013, the University Libraries will create a digital library of research materials to provide improved access to the products of scholarship and teaching created by members of the Loyola community.

The plan, which is available here, includes the creation of a digital repository as part of the overall goal of re-envisioning the library’s collections to meet the evolving needs of Loyola faculty, staff, and students.

From the plan:

As scholarly publishing evolves, delivery of content will increasingly be through new means and in new formats. . . . The strength, depth, and continued growth of the library’s collection remain core indicators of both the library’s quality and reputation and the University’s commitment to success. We will continue to build both print and digital collections through acquisitions and digitization of unique local collections.

The following actions are important to our success in implementing this strategy:

  • Build a digital repository to enable the best use of unique and original material by the university community. The digital repository will be used by the library to organize, preserve, and provide online access to documents and media originated at Loyola, with potential benefits of increasing use of this material and freeing space for other uses in the library facilities. This repository may include Loyola faculty and student works; governance, committee, and other university documents; theses and dissertations; and other pertinent resources.
    • Work with faculty and other campus constituencies to determine the emphases and content of the digital repository.
    • Expand current digital special collections by adding more content. Create new digital collections, including a digitized rare book collection. Develop skills in digital resource creation as we – the University, the library, and the faculty – begin to create our own resources and repositories.

This University Libraries look forward to collaborating with the university community on the development of this project.