Latvian National Digital Library

The Baltic states are small but they pack a punch when it comes to digitization and open access of scholarly materials. Latvia is no exception. The Latvian National Digital Library offers amazing access to full-text resources, including periodicals, books and maps. This digitization project was made possible in part by the European Regional Development Fund. The European Union created this fund to help even out the economic disparities between western European countries, who were already members of the EU and new member states, many of which were formerly part of the Soviet bloc of countries. You may be wondering, how does regional development coincide with digitization?


Exploring COBISS.net

Are you working on a research project that involves the Balkans?

Don't forget to take a look at COBISS.net, which provides access to the national and regional library catalogs from Slovenia, Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Bulgaria and Albania.

As you can see, there are hundreds of libraries that participate in this project for sharing information across the region. Croatia is currently not a part of the project, although organizers have offered an official invitation to participate. Libraries in Kosovo will be included eventually, as they are still preparing to join. The libraries that participate range from the National Libraries of each country, to University libraries to even small local libraries. Each union catalog offers an efficient way to search for materials to borrow, or just to verify bibliographic information.

Here is a list of goals the COBISS project has for its development:
  • To enhance the automation and inclusion of libraries of already participating countries in the national library information systems and in the COBISS.Net network.
  • To attract the interest of libraries in Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Kosovo to the opportunity to evolve more rapidly by becoming part of the COBISS.Net network.
  • To harmonise cataloguing rules with international recommendations and standards.
  • To set up compatible research information systems (SICRIS/E-CRIS) in the participating countries (databases on researchers, research organisations and research projects).
  • To encourage the competent ministries and universities of the participating countries to accept the concept of managing researchers' bibliographies within the national library systems and ensure the transparency of the research results.
  • To increase the use of research results for the purpose of stimulating innovation processes and economic and social development in the region. (Source)