Till today the everyday work of science libraries is still based upon the traditional roles of acquiring, licensing, preparing and presenting all kinds of information for the purpose to support the interests and activities of the university library’s main user groups: the scientists and the students. 

Since quite a few years this long-lasting relationship is changing and the reasons for this shifts are mainly induced by drastic changes in technology and the transformation of the science and learning environments. 

This situation means for a research library that all activities, all developments according to the service and product portfolio have to be refocused to the customers perspective, because their acceptance, their everyday use of the library services is the benchmark for the library’s success. 

The presentation gives a short overview about the vision and the realization of two new applications of ETH Libraries and Collections, which are designed on the basis of a broad and comprehensive portfolio of electronic library services. Within the framework of ETH’s Electronic Library a long-term preservation project (called “Digital Curation”) and a project named E-lending are initiated. 

The first project is about the necessary services for the safeguarding and long-term preservation of research data, administrative records and also library materials. Therefore this is an university-focused project.

The second project deals with the question, how the library can assure, that there is also a university-external access to purchased/licenced electronic books. For an academic library with a strong public user community, this is fundamental request. 

As already mentioned, these two activities are embedded in the digital library concept of ETH Zurich and are two important elements in integrating new user-relevant applications in the service portfolio of the library. 

To realize projects like this effectively and to generally establish a trustful co-operation between the (potential) customers on the one hand and the library otherwise are the mayor success factors within current and future library work.


Wolfram Neubauer
Wolfram Neubauer Swiss Federal Institue of Technology Zurich

Wolfram Neubauer studied mineralogy and chemistry at Munich University. In 1979 he earned a master’s degree in mineralogy, in 1982 a doctoral degree in sciences. After positions in the information field in the pharmaceutical industry and research labs, he is responsible for ETH Libraries and Collections of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich) since 1996..

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