"Information is a key resource of the 21st century" ¹
In recent years, the truth of this statement has become more and more apparent, with the ever-faster spread of digital media. It applies to all areas of society, but perhaps especially to academic research and teaching.
In view of the extent and growing complexity of the range of electronic information sources, the Swiss electronic library (e-lib.ch) is supporting the provision of information to users that is customised and needs-based.
Not only are efficient search functions being provided, but for the first time top quality material is being made accessible digitally in structured form, while the media skills of users ("information literacy") are also being strengthened.
For Switzerland, e-lib.ch will in future be the central portal, providing a single point of access for those who search for, or provide, academic information.
The establishment of e-lib.ch is therefore an important milestone in creating a knowledge-based society and linking Switzerland in to international developments.
Within e-lib.ch, sub-projects are being carried out by a great many partners, to guarantee easy and rapid access to information resources of all kinds.
The project management and project coordination for the whole e-lib.ch project is based at the library of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH-Bibliothek). The Conference of University Libraries in Switzerland (KUB/CBU) supports the project.
The innovation and cooperation project e-lib.ch is financed for the cantonal universities by the Swiss University Conference (SUK). The ETH Board enables the institutions in the ETH domain to participate. The Universities of Applied Sciences are enabled to participate with the support of the Federal Office for Professional Education and Technology (BBT).
¹[Empfehlungen zur digitalen Informationsversorgung durch Hochschulbibliotheken. – Greifswald: Wissenschaftsrat, 2001, pdf, German]