1. Highlights of 2005
2. Main achievements of the European Commission Central Library in 2005
2.1. Library activities
2.2. Services to readers
2.3. Information technology
3. Projects for 2006
1. Mission statement of the Central Library in 2005
2. Managerial staff of the Central Library in 2005
3. Human resources, premises and collections of the Central Library
4. Central Library budget resources 1999-2006
5. Statistics on consultation of the ECLAS catalogue in 2005
The Central Library has had an eventful year and has successfully overcome a significant
challenge, namely migrating to a new integrated management system. This process
affected all of the Library’s areas of activity without exception.
This migration, which simultaneously affected the Central Library in Brussels (CLB) and
in Luxembourg (CLL), as well as all the Commission’s specialist libraries that are
members of RéseauBIB, aims to allow better use to be made of the paper collections and
the ever-increasing number of electronic resources, provide integrated financial
management and ensure that documents in the languages of the European Union’s new
Member States are dealt with more effectively.
A migration of this size normally takes around a year and a half, but the Central Library
team was able to complete this migration successfully within one year, thus minimising
the unavoidable inconvenience to readers and users. I can only pay tribute to the
commitment of all Library staff, which made it possible to tackle this enormous challenge
while also providing as close to normal service as possible.
I am sure that, following the migration, the Central Library will be improved and ready to
offer even better service to its many readers.
1. HIGHLIGHTS OF 2005
1.1. New integrated library management software
Following publication in December 2003 of an invitation to tender, 2004 was devoted to
choosing a new integrated library management software programme. After detailed
examination of the tenders, followed by demonstrations and tests of the various software
packages proposed, it was decided to use ALEPH 500, provided by the company
This new programme makes it possible to integrate into a single system all the activities
involved in managing the Library (acquisitions and orders, financial and budgetary
monitoring, cataloguing and indexation, loans and circulation, input to the online
catalogue, inter-library loans, binding, statistics, data import and export). Preparations for
the migration to this new software began at the start of the year and intensive work
continued throughout 2005, with the software due to actually come into operation at the
beginning of 2006.
All staff members at the Central Library, without exception, were involved in the
enormous task of correcting the existing data. While the majority of the data were already
in the suitable format, the data concerning subscriptions and the financial data were stored
in different formats in several systems or databases.
All staff were also required to participate in training. Only the initial training sessions
were given by the external contractor. Subsequently a team of internal trainers was
established to provide training to the staff of the Central Library and the other libraries in
the RéseauBIB network.
So as to free up staff to handle this extra work, the reading rooms had to be closed from
July to October and were open only on a half-time basis in November and December.
However, it is important to point out that all the other services continued to be provided in
the normal manner by telephone or e-mail. Duty rosters was organised every day. There
were no interruptions to the updating of the ECLAS catalogue, which is accessible to all
on the internet.
It should be noted that, despite the partial closure of the reading rooms, the statistics do
not show a significant fall for most services as compared to 2004.
In addition to the storerooms located on the main site, for many years the Library had an
offsite store of around 2 500m² in Rue Vandenbranden in the centre of Brussels, where
some 195 000 volumes were stored. In 2005, this store was moved out of Brussels to a
building in Kortenberg.
2. MAIN ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION CENTRAL LIBRARY IN 2005
2.1. Library activities
The budget allocated to the activities of the Library in 2005 did not increase as compared
to 2004. However, it should be pointed out that publishing costs, in general, are
increasing by 10% a year on average.
In 2005, the Central Library in Brussels made 4 011 orders, covering monographs and
subscriptions to yearbooks and series, for the Library itself and for the
Directorates-General and Cabinets. This reduction of around 25% on the 2004 figure was
due, on the one hand, to the fact that preparations for the migration to the new
management software meant that the acquisitions service had to suspend new orders for
the last few weeks of the year and, on the other hand, to the reduction in the acquisitions
budget (which had been increased on a one-off basis in 2004 so that the legislation of the
new Member States could be purchased).
The Library in Brussels also receives donations of publications, particularly from national
organisations, universities and institutes.
In 2005, the Central Library in Luxembourg made 512 acquisitions (monographs and
standing orders for yearbooks).
In 2005, the Central Library in Brussels had 1 245 subscriptions to 148 daily newspaper
titles (as compared to 1 234 subscriptions and 149 titles in 2004) and 2 449 subscriptions
to 1 773 specialist periodical titles (2 433 and 1 760 in 2004).
In 2005, more than 750 periodical titles were available online in full-text electronic
format to the European Commission’s staff in Brussels and Luxembourg (as compared to
600 titles in 2004). The number of articles downloaded increased spectacularly from
12 100 in 2004 to almost 50 000 in 2005.
In 2005, the Central Library in Luxembourg had 76 subscriptions to 37 daily newspaper
titles and 177 subscriptions to 176 specialised periodical titles.
The newspapers are for use by all the Commission departments.
With regard to the periodicals held in Luxembourg, the Library receives more than 2 000
titles free of charge, mostly obtained in exchange for Community publications.
Acquisitions 2005 Newspapers Periodicals
Brussels 4 011 1 245 subscriptions 2 449 subscriptions
148 titles 1 773 titles
Luxembourg 512 76 subscriptions 177 subscriptions
37 titles 176 titles
In 2005, 13 161 new notices were created using the MultiLIS library management system.
As at 31 December 2005, there were 376 544 notices in the system.
As at 31 December 2005, the system had 600 313 documents attached to the notices. This
figure does not include online resources.
In 2005, the Central Library and all the member libraries of the RéseauBIB network in the
Directorates-General made 14 108 loans and 5 303 loan renewals, while 14 453 borrowed
works were returned. The Central Library in Brussels (CLB) made 3 634 loans and 1 137
loan renewals, while 3 655 borrowed works were returned.
The Central Library in Luxembourg made 479 loans and 155 loan renewals, while 510
borrowed works were returned.
MultiLIS statistics as at 31 December 2005
Total number of notices 376 544
Total number of new notices 13 161
Total number of documents attached to notices 600 313
Total loans 14 108
CLB 3 634
Total number of loan renewals 5 303
CLB 1 137
Total number of loan returns 14 453
CLB 3 655
The General Assembly of the network of libraries of the Commission
Directorates-General and departments was held on 22 November 2005. After a review of
the activities of the various sectors of the Central Library, the Assembly was dedicated to
detailed information on the new library management software (data preparation and
correction, Web OPAC, user training, etc.).
In 2005, the Central Library organised a very important training campaign on use of the
ALEPH management software programme. 11 courses and workshops were held between
February and May, with a total of 87 participants. Their purpose was to introduce the
features of the new system to the managers of the various sectors. In July, 32 staff
members attended four training sessions organised for the internal trainers. Lastly,
between August and December, training courses were held for each module and were
attended by more than 300 people.
TITLE BXL LUX BXL LUX
Searching and how to use OPAC 11 2 101 10
Loans/transfers/circulation 5 2 44 14
Cataloguing 6 1 59 5
Inter-library loans 1 1 5 2
Periodicals 4 1 44 5
Acquisitions 5 -- 38 --
TOTAL 39 327
Furthermore, a presentation on the services offered by the Central Library was held for
the Cabinets’ document managers in February.
The institutional and associated member libraries of EUROLIB met twice in 2005. The
first meeting was held at the European University Institute in Florence on 28 and 29 April
2005. This meeting included presentations on the EU archives, the management of
electronic notices, Cadmus (the IUE’s repository of electronic documents) and the issue
of copyright and libraries. The second meeting was held at the NATO Defence College in
Rome on 17 and 18 November 2005 and examined issues of copyright in the context of
the exchange of documents within international organisations.
2.1.8. External relations
In 2005, the Central Library took part in the following international meetings:
• Presentation on “Information, Documentation and Communication in the EU”
(University of Salamanca, Department of Library Science and Documentation, 2
• Presentation on the IMPALA inter-library loan system (University of Antwerp, 2 June
• 16th International Consortium of Aleph Users (London: 12-14 September 2005).
2.2. Services to readers
The readership of the Central Library in Brussels and Luxembourg mainly comprises
members of staff of the European institutions and bodies, together with a specialised
public seeking information about the Community (students, teachers, lawyers,
consultants). The former are called “internal readers”, the latter “external readers”.
Internal readers can access the Library’s services either electronically (the catalogue and
requests for loans and photocopies are available online) or by physically visiting the
While external readers have electronic access to the catalogue, they cannot make requests
for loans or photocopies online. They can visit the Libraries in Brussels and Luxembourg
by appointment and consult their collections on the spot.
In addition to the normal closure for the month of August, the reading rooms had to be
closed in July, September and October due to work and training linked to the migration to
the new software. However, all the services to readers continued to be provided.
2.3. Services in the reading rooms of the Brussels Library
Reading rooms – 2005
Visitors received (internal and Around 4 800
external readers combined) *
Access authorisations granted to
external readers (1-day access + 2 086
access cards valid for up to one
Bibliographical information 6 148
Telephone enquiries 5 107
Fax enquiries 551
E-mail enquiries 11 035
Works taken out of storage 19 638
* The number of internal readers is steadily declining, as most of the Library’s services
(loans, photocopies, consultation of periodicals, etc.) are now available online, thus
eliminating the need to physically visit the Library. Internal readers from the
Commission’s various Directorates-General and departments can sign an optional
** This figure includes 482 readers who obtained a Library access card valid for up to one
year. These readers are therefore likely to visit the Library several times over the course
of the year.
It is estimated that the actual number of people visiting the Library each day is 30
(internal and external readers combined).
In total, 132 038 photocopies were made for the staff of the Institutions in 2005. The
decrease compared to 2004 (299 494) is partly explained by the fact that more and more
periodicals are available online, with the number of articles downloaded increasing from
12 100 in 2004 to 50 000 in 2005.
2.4. External readers
In 2005 the Central Library in Brussels issued 482 access cards valid for up to one year to
external readers. 319 of these went to students, including 178 postgraduates, from 70
universities and grandes écoles in the European Union or third countries, while the other
163 went to representatives of the liberal professions, teachers, national civil servants, etc.
The total number of access authorisations issued to external readers was 2 086 (i.e. the
482 cards valid for up to one year together with the one-day access requests).
Furthermore, 17 group visits took place in 2005, involving 20 people on average.
Breakdown of access cards (valid for up to one year) by category
of reader and group visits to the Brussels Central Library in 2005
Sundry professions 163
Total access cards 482
Group visits 17
2.5. Services in the reading rooms of the Luxembourg Library
The Central Library in Luxembourg received about 5 000 visitors to the reading room in
2005, with the largest concentration always during the lunchtime break.
The number of searches carried out in 2005 was around 3 600. 49 631 free photocopies
were made for readers.
Activities of the Central Library in Luxembourg in 2005
Readers 5 000
External readers 500
Group visits 1
Bibliographical searches 3 600
Free photocopies 49 631
2.6. Inter-library loans
The Central Library in Brussels made 642 loan requests to outside libraries (outgoing
ILLs) on behalf of the staff of the Commission Directorates-General and departments in
Brussels. This was an increase of almost 12% compared to 2004. 627 of these 642
requests could be met. The Legal Service, which has its own inter-library loan service,
made a total of 123 loan requests to outside libraries.
Outgoing inter-library loan requests made by the CLB in 2005
Outgoing inter-library loan requests made by the Legal Service in 2005
The Central Library in Brussels received 120 requests for loans from other libraries
(incoming ILLs) and was able to meet 89 of them. This figure was lower than in 2004
because of the temporary suspension of the service due to the change in software.
Incoming inter-library loan requests to the CLB in 2005
Number of incoming inter-library loan requests per country in 2005
Czech Republic 1
United Kingdom 1
United States 12
The figures for inter-library loans show that the service is in constant use, illustrating the
need for cooperation between libraries nationally and internationally.
The Central Library in Luxembourg uses the inter-library loan system itself very little, but
it does receive regular requests from other RéseauBIB member libraries.
Inter-library loans at the CLL in 2005
International inter-library loans 25
Loans to the RéseauBIB 350
The Central Library in Brussels publishes two series of quarterly bibliographies: the
EUR series (articles relating to the EU and its policies) and the INT series (articles on
international politics and economics affecting the EU). For each of these two series, four
editions were published in 2005. The EST series (articles concerning the candidate
countries) was published for the last time at the end of 2003.
Since 2002, the BIBLIO publications have been published exclusively in electronic form.
All the editions published since 1999 can be accessed from the Central Library’s internal
and external websites. The title of each article in the BIBLIO publications contains a link
to ECLAS, the Central Library’s online catalogue. More and more articles can now be
accessed online via the ECLAS catalogue. In these cases, the bibliographical notice
contains – for Commission staff only – a hyperlink to the full text of the article.
There is also the BIBLIO-Flash series, occasional bibliographies devoted to a “hot” topic.
An edition entitled “European Cultural Policies” was published in 2005.
2.8. Information technology
The main IT issue of 2005 was indisputably the change of library management software.
The Central Library was able to cooperate with the IT unit of DG EAC and with
DG DIGIT to successfully complete this very large project. The data correction exercise,
which had already been going on in 2003 and 2004, continued throughout 2005.
In 2005, the Library continued its policy of developing electronic access to periodicals,
with an increase in the number of titles available online from 600 in 2004 to around 750
3. PROJECTS FOR 2006
3.1. New integrated library management software programme
While the bulk of the work linked to the migration and to putting the new library
management software into operation was done in 2005, it is certain that 2006 will also be
devoted to fine-tuning the system and to improving the services offered to readers through
the online catalogue. The training programme begun in 2005 will continue in 2006, and
will be aimed mainly at staff of the libraries of the Commission Directorates-General and
3.2. Interinstitutional library
The plan to create an interinstitutional library has been under discussion for a number of
years. The Secretaries-General of the institutions were still considering this issue in 2005.
If the Presidents of the institutions give the green light to the project, the preparatory
work should begin in 2006, particularly as regards the creation, initially, of a “virtual”
library bringing together the online catalogues of the various institutions concerned.
3.3. Invitation to tender for the supply of periodicals
In spring 2006, the Central Library will launch an invitation to tender for the supply of
periodicals in all formats from the beginning of 2007.
1. MISSION STATEMENT OF THE CENTRAL LIBRARY IN 2005
Through the Commission Central Library and networking with other partner libraries, to
offer researchers quality library services based on extensive collections and electronic
management of those collections within its ECLAS catalogue:
- by making available to the Commission, its staff and others seeking information in the
field of Community integration any useful information published in either paper or
- by responding effectively to requests for documents and offering interactive electronic
library services allowing users to have access to information and/or to identify
information sources without having to call upon external assistance and without prior
- by developing cooperation and partnership between libraries both inside and outside the
Commission, and in particular with the libraries of the other institutions.
2. MANAGERIAL STAFF OF THE CENTRAL LIBRARY IN 2005
Roberta PERSICHELLI SCOLA Acting Head of Unit
Horst WOHLFEIL Librarian in charge, Luxembourg
3. HUMAN RESOURCES, PREMISES AND COLLECTIONS OF THE
Human resources of the Central Library (as at 31 December 2005)
A: 2 (+ 1 vacant); B: 15 (+ 1 contractual GF3); C: 24 (+ 1 AT2b); D: 4 (+ 4 contractual
B: 2; C: 7; D: 2
Premises/collections of the Central Library
– 1 reading room on two levels (63 places) displaying 14 000 reference works, 320
periodical titles, 47 newspaper titles, 517 CD-ROM titles. Databases can also be
– some 505 000 volumes, shared between 1 underground storage area (1 200 m² for
around 308 750 volumes) and an offsite store (Kortenberg: 970 m² for around 195 200
The offsite store contains works which users of the Library regularly ask to consult or
borrow (75 volumes per month on average).
– 1 reading room (28 places) containing 2 500 reference works;
– 1 catalogue room permitting consultation of databases;
– 4 storage areas (860 m²) containing some 96 000 volumes.
ECLAS : http://ec.europa.eu/eclas/
Central Library: http://ec.europa.eu/libraries/doc/index_en.htm
4. CENTRAL LIBRARY BUDGET RESOURCES 1999-2006 (‘000 EURO)
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 20041 2005 2006
A-2250 Purchase of books 560 7492 710 710 730
A-2254 Binding 140 -
A-2255 Subscriptions to and 3 300 1 540 1 410 1 410 1 450
purchases of data
15 01 60 01 Library stocks,
purchase and 2 400 2 400 2 650
From 2004, single heading 15 01 60 01: library stocks, subscriptions, purchases and preservation.
Heading A-2250 included binding from 2000 onwards (ex-A-2254: library stocks, purchases and preservation).
5. ECLAS – ONLINE CATALOGUE OF THE CENTRAL LIBRARY –
CONSULTATION STATISTICS 2005
Number of consultations per day
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec