How did the VDIC start?
The VDIC started when the Vesalius library moved to Eurostation 2, where there was not enough room to fully provide the services of a traditional library. A new and modern exploitation model was worked out, using the electronic network between the different services geographically spread in the Federal Public Service of Public Health, Food Chain Security and Environment.
Why was the VDIC started?
It is aimed at intensifying the use of library material by making it accessible via the website www.vesalius.be As a consequence, the whole of the library material can be:
- interactively searched through
- provided in e-format when available
- consulted seven days a week and 24 hours a day
How is the VDIC financed?
As before, the library material is financed by the different programme budgets of the partners.
What is the structure of the VDIC?
Who are the partners in the VDIC?
The VDIC is the coordinating structure, the virtual merging library that collects all the library material of the libraries and documentation centres within the FPS of Public Health, Food Chain Security and Environment. Thanks to the VDIC, all partners offer their library material through one single access point. From now on, we work with a front office and a back office.
What is the front office?
The front office is the Vesalius portal, the guide to all library material.
What is the back office?
The back office is made of the library employees of the different partners, who offer structured products from their different own libraries for the benefit of the front office; those employees also virtually provide the traditional services and they answer your questions.
What will happen with the traditional library inside our FPS?
The creation of the VDIC does not mean that the libraries and documentation centres disappear. They continue to manage the library material and to provide services in the usual conditions.
What is the current library structure?
The libraries in the different centres are organised as follows: central or local libraries and neighbourhood libraries.
The central and local libraries are accessible to inside users as well as external visitors. They provide all traditional library services, like: reserving a book, ordering an article,...
The neighbourhood libraries are in principle only accessible to the personnel for which that library was created
What will happen with the library personnel?
As before, the library personnel are at your service in the local library or documentation centre. They help you with your questions.
You have two possibilities:
- either you go to the central or local library,
- or you call on the services via the Vesalius portal.
How does the library offer its library material on the Vesalius portal?
The whole of the library material is divided in four main categories, for which tabs were created above on the welcome page.
Inside each category, there are links to "purchased information" as well as "free" titles, databases, books,. to be found on the internet.
Are there any technical requirements for my PC-environment?
Even if access to the databases from your computer goes through the VDIC proxy server - developed by the Scientific Institute of Public Health (SIPH) - there is no special requirement or configuration needed for your PC or your Internet browser. All common Internet browser types work. The portal site and the VDIC proxy server itself totally control the use of the VDIC proxy server. As a consequence, it is not advisable to create a shortcut in your favorites (bookmarks) leading to those databases that are not free. You should always access it via the VDIC portal site.
What does access via the VDIC imply?
The VDIC gives access to paying databases. Access is given through a unique IP address, using a proxy server for every access to those paying databases. As a result, all collaborators receive unlimited access to the whole content of the library from their work place. Users are automatically identified when they are present, physically or virtually (through a VPN connection), on one of the internal and secured networks of the VDIC partners, spread over different sites or, subsequently, via a login when those users are outside the networks.
Does it mean that we can also access the portal from home?
Indeed. Everybody has unlimited access, from everywhere, to the public part of the VDIC portal site and the freely accessible databases. Collaborators who have a VPN access at home to their organisation's network can also get complete access to the paying databases through that VPN connection. Every organisation determines and implements its own policy regarding VPN-access to its own network.
In a second phase (some weeks), we will consider giving the collaborators of the VDIC partners who are outside their network, full access to the whole content of the library, through authentication with a login, thus making a VPN connection unnecessary.
This is possible provided that the different organisations already have an existing authentication possibility, accessible through the Internet. No new password will be created.
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