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The adoption of locally developed and commercial library portals in academic institutions is having a profound impact on the use of quality information sources, as well as on internal library workflows and efficiency. Library portals will be crucial to interoperation with national services and institutional portal and VLE developments. Building on previous studies and accounts, the LibPortal project will provide a comprehensive review of current practice and future prospects. A subsidiary Project will feature a case study of the introduction of Metalib at a specific institution. LibPortal defines a library portal as: a network service that brings together content from diverse resources, including the library catalogue, on-line subscription reference material, e-journals and learning and teaching material. A portal offers a gateway to a range of high quality sources, presented to the user through a single interface, for example the library web site or a commercially produced package. Click here for further explanation of portals. The primary aim of the Project is to gather information that enables the JISC community to understand the development, implementation and use of library portals by FE and HE institutions. To achieve this aim, the project will address the following objectives, to: Define the scope of portals and associated access tools; Determine the scale of development of in-house and purchased systems, and factors in choices such as whether to buy a system or develop one; Examine the relevant technologies, with particular reference to future integration and interoperability with the JISC Information Environment Explore other interoperability issues relating to interworking with VLEs, CMS, and the relationship between library and institutional portals; Gather views of stakeholders including developers, library staff, academics and students, and bring together existing evidence on the impact on information literacy and user behaviour; Explore cultural issues amongst users, the library profession and publishers, e.g. about cross searching and the impact on required skill sets for professionals; Look at how portal use has been effectively promoted; Explore legal and contractual issues; Arrive at a summative view of the costs and benefits of developing or implementing a portal; Explore relevant experience in other information sectors, such as national libraries, the NHS, the People's Network and commercial libraries and international experience; Inform the supplier community of UK FE and HE activity and needs. Project start date: 2003-08-11. Project end date: 2004-01-09. (Excerpt from <a href="http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/dis/lisu/pages/projects/libportals_pr... source</a>)

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