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Launched in the summer of 2020 in all 18 Quebec university libraries, the shared service platform (SSP)  is a major step forward for libraries and their users.

Based on emerging technologies and cloud-based, the SSP includes all the modules necessary for library workflows (acquisitions, collections management, licensing, etc.), and a discovery tool.

The integration of all the applications necessary to maintain and develop their services enables libraries to better meet the needs of the constantly evolving university community.

In addition, thanks to the Sofia Discovery tool, the university community benefits from streamlined access to their resources.

Explore the many advantages of the Sofia Discovery tool.

A Shared Platform

based on the use of emerging technologies
paving the way for creating a truly multilingual environment

One-stop shop

offering an enriched, user-friendly and efficient user experience

A collective infrastructure

integrating several peripheral systems
allowing a progressive pooling of certain processes and services

A simplified access

to the printed collections
the gradual constitution of a digital collection.

Project strategic orientations

  • Maintain a single record per cataloguing language.
  • Align document processing policies with practices that are recognized by collaborative programs, such as BIBCO (Bibliographic Record Cooperative program) and NACO (Name Authority Cooperative Program).

– Implement a shared research environment between partner libraries, while preserving local specificities.

Enable users to borrow materials from all partner institutions with their own library card.

Facilitate interlibrary loans in the partnership with more advantageous and aligned user policies:

  • User categories
  • Availability status and document transition
  • Document type
  • Lending policies and rules
  • Identification code for each institution
  • Fines

Centralize joint acquisition management (i.e.: access rights, licences, invoice payments, usage statistics, document management through the platform).

Preserve academic documentary heritage and optimize the use of space considering that each library’s commitment is proportional to its size.


Libraries manage their operations with an ILMS: acquisitions (purchase of new items), cataloguing (resource information: title, author and location in the library), circulation (loans), etc.

The shared service platform is implemented within the Quebec University Library Partnership to provide several benefits for member institutions:

  • Enhanced services for users
  • Continuum of services across Quebec university libraries
  • Broader access to collections for users with a shared discovery tool
  • Pooling of resources by sharing the same system and expertise
  • Reduced system operating cost

This strategic synergy will enable the development of new services and expertise, and thus improve support for teaching and research.

The Library Subcommittee of BCI (Bureau de coopération interuniversitaire) is leading this project.

Quebec university libraries chose the following cloud-based solution: OCLC WorldShare Management Services (WMS). OCLC is a global library cooperative that provides shared technology services. This platform includes all of the applications necessary for library management, licensing, acquisitions, circulation, metadata, and shared resources. It also includes a discovery interface, or “discovery tool”, for users via WorldCat Discovery. More than 600 libraries worldwide use WMS.

In English (Click on the”reading” button in the bottom left of the screen to start the presentation)

It is an interface to find resources (books, articles, etc.), or rather a search engine, which searches the catalogue of one or several libraries.

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