In times when the force majeure of the pandemic continues to halt communication in several domains, the need for digital data sharing became vital in providing an undisturbed experience notably in academia. In this framework, the University of Balamand Libraries, in partnership with 4 European institutions, have been granted an ERASMUS PLUS fund of 193,320 Euros for an 18 months project that will start in May 2021.
The project entitled “HERMES – Strengthening Digital Resource Sharing During COVID and beyond”, promotes cooperation and partnership among 5 organizations from Italy, Netherlands, Turkey, Lebanon, Spain, and the International Federation of Library Associations. HERMES aims to support and further develop the RSCVD initiative (https://rscvd.org/
) that was introduced in April 2020 in response to the COVID crisis. RSCVD is based on the voluntary contribution of a hundred librarians around the world, who harnessed tools available at that time to share documents of their libraries with the world academic community for an international well-rounded learning and research.
The University of Balamand Libraries, alongside their partners in HERMES, are projected to work on the following goals:
- - the formulation of a wide reflection about the meaning of Resource Sharing;
- - the optimization of the existing system and the production of an open-source management software that improves the available offer and optimizes workflows;
- - the strengthening of librarians’ skills in using the renewed service in order to provide users fast and free access to knowledge;
- - the conception of a set of distance-training initiatives addressed to the educational community aimed at strengthening competencies in searching and retrieving quality academic documents.
Within this partnership, the University of Balamand Libraries were granted 26,950 Euros of the budget and is to spend this sum on management and implementation, transnational meetings, intellectual outputs, and multiplier events, all for the service of learning.