About the University Library
One University Library
Maastricht University does not have separate institute or faculty libraries: rather, it is home to a single library, housed in two locations, in the immediate vicinity of each faculty.
The library’s book and journal collections, in both electronic and hardcopy form, are built up in close consultation with faculty researchers and tutors. The electronic collection is easily accessible via the internet.
Although the university is still relatively young, it possesses a large collection of old books (265,000 volumes) known as the Jesuit collection. In 1973 the Dutch government purchased the libraries of the former Jesuit colleges and the Great Seminary to form the basic collection of the then Rijksuniversiteit Limburg. This laid the foundation for the modern Maastricht University Library. Today, the Inner City Library houses a special reading room for precious works.
Learning and resource centres, and EleUM
Important features of the library are its learning and resource centres. These are unique facilities that support the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) methodology used at Maastricht University. They are home to selected, not-for-loan reference books relevant to each degree programme, and an assortment of different study places (two-person places, group rooms, study cells and individual study places, both with and without computers and/or laptop outlets).
To facilitate education digitally, too, the library manages the university’s electronic learning environment, EleUM.
The digital library
The library is more than just a physical location. The counterpart to the physical library is the digital library, which is accessible from anywhere at any time. It offers digital collections, a virtual information desk ('Ask your librarian') and online courses in searching for and dealing with academic information.
The digital library also plays an important role in preserving the university’s academic output. National cooperation is involved in storing and making this output readily visible, and led to the development of the National Academic Research and Collaborations Information System (NARCIS). NARCIS contains full-text publications from all Dutch universities, research institutes, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), and integrates:
- the ‘Cream of Science’ (Keur der Wetenschap) showcase, which offers the complete works of around 200 leading Dutch academics in digital form
- the ‘Promise of Science’ site (Nationale Proefschriftensite), which contains approximately 20,000 PhD dissertations from Dutch universities.
Ongoing research is registered in a research information system called METIS.
Academic information training
The library is structurally involved in various faculty curricula to help students develop skills in searching for and processing academic information.
Communication with users
The library’s services are discussed in faculty library committees and in the Committee for Academic Information Provision, which consists of staff and students. Digital surveys are used to periodically measure staff and student satisfaction.