How to deal with the digitization of university libraries

How to deal with the digitization of university libraries


Technological progress is something that has affected us in all aspects of life and this holds true when we talk about University Libraries. Therefore, today we will comment on their transformation in the digital era, from the traditional model of physical resources and defined spaces, to the current multi-format content platforms that we find in many institutions.

A Technological Leap: Transforming Libraries for the Academic Future

As we review the history of university libraries, the need to evolve in the digital age emerges. The former limitations imposed by paper content and manual searches have been transformed into unlimited opportunities through the integration of advanced technologies and new multi-format content.

Today, the digitization process goes beyond digital catalogs and databases. Imagine a university library that uses advanced management systems, virtual and augmented reality, as well as artificial intelligence to enhance the experience of its students. This is no longer a matter of imagination, as we already have examples of large university libraries successfully digitized, as is the case of the Complutense University of Madrid. In this institution, we worked together to digitize the university library and thus provide students with content from ODILO’s own catalog, unifying, in a single platform, all the information needed for the different areas of study and with outstanding results that we highlight in this success story.

New content and technologies in university libraries

The integration of cutting-edge technologies not only facilitates the search for information, but also stimulates collaboration and creativity among students and professors. Tools such as our intelligent profiling can personalize the search experience, adapting to the specific needs of the academic community and making it so that the content finds the student and not the other way around, as it has been until now.

In addition, artificial intelligence is also involved in this process, thanks to the consumption algorithms recorded by users, the platform will recommend related content to ensure the best possible user and learning experience.

Another important point to mention is that we live in the age of content. This means that university libraries, who were far from maintaining their academic offerings in traditional formats, are opening the door to new quality content in multiple formats.

Audiobooks, podcasts, courses, even movies, are nowadays key elements in the construction of educational catalogs of university libraries around the world. This same content means that the offer is not only focused on enriching the academic areas of the institutions, but also provides key teachings in language learning or personal development of students.

This may be a shortcoming for some institutions that do not have the databases or digitized content. For this type of problem, ODILO offers a unique solution through its distinctive multi-format catalog. This collection is updated on a monthly basis, and our team of experts is in charge of selecting the most suitable content for your platform, based on the consumption data.

In addition, we have unique suppliers in this catalog, including: Penguin Random House, Grupo Planeta, AWS Training, Disney… and more. More than 7,000 content providers are part of ODILO, so quality and variety are guaranteed in any digital library.

Facilities resulting from a successful digitization process

These digital libraries are advancing by leaps and bounds. In the first instance, universities corresponded to students with scientific metasearch engines that, despite their richness in content, the user experience left some loose ends to be tied up. Platforms such as ODILO provide solutions to this problem by unifying the content in one space with a unique style and design similar to popular streaming services. This allows the learner to enjoy a complete user experience.

In an increasingly globalized world, virtual libraries open up new possibilities. They enable remote access to academic resources, facilitating participation in distance learning programs and fostering online collaborative research. Thanks to this, universities can ensure that their students are the best version of themselves and have access to an unlimited, effortless learning platform.

Which brings us to one more benefit in this evolutionary process, accessibility. Technological functionalities are developed in order to improve access to content, and this group also includes people with learning difficulties. At ODILO, we are already working on this through our “Text-To-Speech” consumption features and “Open Dyslexic” support for people with dyslexia.

Therefore, we not only support remote learning with unlimited access, but also ensure that easy access and learning is available to all types of users and adapted to all their individual needs.

What to consider when digitizing your university library?

Despite the obvious benefits, we understand that the digital transition presents challenges. Managing large volumes of data, cybersecurity and staff training are all major considerations. Therefore, it is crucial that when contracting this digitization and Digital Library creation service, you take into account the aspects of security and quality certificates that support the company chosen for your project.

This further shows that the digitization of the university library is not only a necessity, but an opportunity for universities. The synergy between academic tradition and technological innovation can catapult institutions to new levels of excellence.