BibliOpass – An Open Library Network in Switzerland

Alexis Rivier, Jean-Marc Rod


The idea underlying BibliOpass is very simple: extending borrowers' rights to all libraries participating in the network. As in other countries, users of Swiss libraries are more and more mobile, especially the categories of students, teachers or researchers. Universities and technology institute have become more specialized and less general, aiming to improve their reputation at an international level. Students often need to visit different universities during their studies. BibliOpass supports this trend regarding library use in relation to this new mobility. Strangely, similar projects in other countries are not so frequent: Sconul Research Extra in Great Britain which groups together more than 150 higher education institutions is the best example. Basically, BibliOpass makes it simpler for a borrower to use other libraries. More than 600 libraries throughout the country are at present involved in the BibliOpass network. A patron registered as a ‘normal user’ in his or her main library (called ‘Home library’) may borrow items in any other library (called ‘Guest library’) without needing to obtain a new user card or paying extra fees. The user must observe the rules of the guest library (for example number of items and duration of loan). Items must be returned to their originating library for management reasons. BibliOpass is a new, complementary service to Inter Library Loan (ILL), the traditional way to obtain books from other libraries.

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