(Tartu University Library)
IN TARTU UNIVERSITY LIBRARY
Briefly about Tartu University
The Tartu University has 10 faculties with about 70 departments, institutes and clinics, a library of 3,500,000 volumes, several branch libraries and department libraries, a computer centre and botanical gardens. The University employs nearly 3,000 people, including 850 of academic staff. There are 8150 students, incl. 3 per cent international students. The university campus is located in different parts of the town, but all the departments are connected to Internet and the backbone of the university computer and communication network is a optical fibre net.
Electronic information services
in Tartu University Library
The history of electronic information service in TUL goes back to 1992. At present the Tartu University Library information department gives access to 100 computerised information databases (Current Contents, Medline, Proquest General Abstracts, Inspec, Chemical Abstracts etc.). It carries out information searches in fee-based online information sources (STN, USA-Stat, Lexis Nexis, EUROBASES, ECHO). The working area with 10 multimedia workstations and two PC 486 are available for the users 12 hours a day.Having the richest collection of scientific information resources in Estonia, the department has provided electronic reference service to many academic institutions and libraries all over Estonia.
The main task of the modern library is to give access to its resources to the largest number of people possible. This includes the availability of information to remote access. The only open access library catalogue in Estonia up till now is INGRID - Tartu University Library electronic catalogue which reflects the acquisitions since 1994. In September 1995 the Consortium of Estonian Libraries Network (ELNET Consortium) was formed. The aim of the organisation is to acquire a common integrated library system for all the member libraries (seven research libraries) and to make the bibliographic databases and union catalogue of Estonian libraries accessible via Internet. The group of experts choose INNOPAC. The work is in the stage of tests. The next step in improving the quality of information services in university level should be the networking of most heavily used CD-ROM and local databases. As the departments and institutes are all connected to university computer network and the access to various sources of information in electronic environment right from the scholars' workstations has become natural, the faculty and staff have continuously expressed their preference to use the scientific information databases at their workstations. The networking of CD-ROM would be very beneficial for the daily work of the library as well. The access to several bibliographic databases that are now available only on standalone workstations in the public area of the information department is in fact indispensable to the librarians working in the areas of acquisitions, bibliographic references, interlibrary loan or information retrieval.