The project ‘Mapping and library services at UOC’ is the result of a study of options for co-operation between the Public Libraries of Catalonia and the Open University of Catalonia, and is a good example of the potential for co-operation between different public service oriented entities.
Below we will describe the territory in which the project is to be implemented, the main characteristics of the participating entities, the Public Libraries of Catalonia and the Open University of Catalonia, to then explain the role of mobile applications in the Open University of Catalonia and how their use enables new services to be conveyed, the fruit of the co-operation between two entities.
Catalonia is a country in the north-east of the Iberian Peninsula with a population of 7.5 million people: 1.7 million living in the capital, Barcelona, and over 4 million living in the Barcelona metropolitan area.
The public libraries of Catalonia (www.biblioteques.gencat.cat) (hereinafter BPC) form part of the library system in Catalonia. In 2012, the 370 member libraries received 25.2 million visits and made 16.3 million loans, while there are 3.3 million public library card holders. The libraries are places of cultural and social dynamism distributed throughout the territory that contribute to integration and facilitate access to content and resources of interest to citizens.
The Open University of Catalonia (www.uoc.edu) (hereinafter UOC) was founded in 1995 with the mission to provide people with lifelong learning and education opportunities. The aim is to help individuals meet their learning needs and provide them with full access to knowledge, above and beyond the usual scheduling and location constraints. The UOC has 60,096 students, with more than 40,000 graduates. The university offers undergraduate and master's degrees, postgraduate and specialist courses, PhDs, short open courses and incompany training, in different areas of knowledge ranging from arts and humanities, health sciences, information and communication sciences, law and political science, economics and business studies, IT, multimedia and telecommunications, psychology and education sciences, city management and urban planning, tourism, and information society, to food systems, culture and society.
The UOC Virtual Library (www.biblioteca.uoc.edu), hereinafter VL, is a virtual library in that it does not have a building accessible to the public; the website of the Library is the library itself. The Library can be accessed from inside the campus, and from the UOC portal.