A digital future for the EUI Library

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Pep Torn001The EUI is delighted to welcome Pep Torn as new Director of the EUI Library. Torn has joined the EUI from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) in Barcelona where he was Library Director. A fiercely proud Catalan, the pan-European ethos of the EUI nonetheless captured Torn’s imagination – ”for my parents’ generation Europe was something to achieve, and for us it is something which has been there from the beginning’’, he tells EUI Life.

Keeping the library up to date with the latest digital innovations is at the forefront of Torn’s long-term vision for the library.  The priority is ‘’to foster the online services and the distance services for professors and researchers’’.

He believes his experience at UOC, a solely online, distance-learning university will help him navigate the challenges posed by the EUI’s disparate campus structure. With researchers and professors spread across several buildings, Torn is keen to secure a seamless, efficient and integrated library service between departments and buildings.

A passionate advocate of Open Access, the system of free, immediate and unrestricted access of original works of all types, Torn is keen to highlight the various events taking place at the EUI during the 8th International Open Access week (19-25 October), such as a roundtable discussion on ‘the Revolution in Publishing’ featuring an inter-disciplinary panel of speakers for example.

Torn argues that as it currently stands, the large sums of money libraries and research institutions must pay publishers to access published work is unfair given how much public funding originally facilitated the research. ”Institutions usually have to pay again to providers even though the research was supported and funded by the institution’’, he explains. However he doesn’t see Open Access as a battle between institutions on one hand, and publishers on the other, arguing ”It’s not a fight between universities and publishers; it’s a new way to promote collaboration between the two. The Library has to help our academics to position the research outcomes in the best journals, while assuring an Open Access preservation of these results to be reused by peers.”

By pushing forward with Open Access, Torn aims to expand access to published research and to democratise the intellectual landscape. These are values which go to the heart of the EUI Library’s longstanding objectives.