Egypt unveils e-library

Egypt has introduced a pilot scheme to automate its university libraries. Students are now able to complete a host of tasks online.

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By  Matthew Southwell Published  June 25, 2001

Egypt has introduced a pilot scheme to automate its university libraries. Students are now able to identify the category and classification of books available at faculty libraries, discover whether or not books are available for loan, check expiry dates and apply to borrow books at any of Egypt's twenty-eight universities online. The system will also be used to build a searchable electronic archive of reports, articles, periodicals and pictures.

The pilot scheme, which will run for four months, is being overseen by Instingo AG, which has collaborated with a number of other German companies, including Systema, Aceteck, and Lamon to create the online network. Technical supervision has been provided by United Company for Printing, Publishing and Distribution (UPPD).

UPPD explained that in addition to benefiting the students, the electronic library will enable librarians to analyse student behaviour, helping them discover which books are most popular and determining average loan periods. It is also hoped that the project will improve the exchange of information among students.

“We believe this will help the Egyptian university education regain its leadership position in the Arab region,” said a UPPD spokesperson.

“This is not merely a ready made solution to be applied to all libraries, rather a process of designing an information system for each library to facilitate the control of data and document management for the visitors to those libraries," explained Anas Chbib, CEO, Instingo AG.

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