The RERO+ foundation is born

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It is now official: RERO’s identity is evolving to meet new needs in a new library environment. RERO becomes RERO+, a foundation of private law and public interest formally created on April 29, 2021. This event represents the beginning of a new adventure for the RERO+ team and its partners.

Background

Created in 1985, RERO’s objective was to manage the emerging IT resources of academic libraries in French-speaking Switzerland. Over the years, the network has grown to include more than 200 member libraries. In 2020, the scientific and academic libraries have joined the SLSP network, itself the result of a project initiated in 2015 by the Swiss institutions of higher education.

In view of these changes, and with the support of the cantonal authorities within the CIIP (Conférence intercantonale de l’instruction publique), RERO launched its own project in 2017 to become a competence and service center for libraries, focusing on the needs of public, heritage, school and special libraries. At the same time, the development projects for the RERO ILS (Integrated Library System) and SONAR (Swiss Open Access Repository) software became underway, building the basis for the main new services proposed by the foundation. Their deployment in 2021 completes the transformation of RERO.

What changes

  • The name: RERO was originally the acronym for Réseau Romand, which later became Réseau des bibliothèques de Suisse occidentale (Library Network of Western Switzerland). Today, although still predominantly French-speaking, the institution is no longer bound by territorial criteria. The name RERO+ signifies a broadening of its activities, its services and its geographical and linguistic coverage, while keeping its identity, which has been known for more than 30 years in the Swiss information science landscape.

  • The governance: RERO+ is now under the supervision of the Foundation Board, initially composed of four representatives of the founding members:

    • Damian Elsig, president (Canton of Valais)
    • Antoine Grandjean, vice-president (Canton of Neuchâtel)
    • Géraldine Rérat-Oeuvray (Canton of Jura)
    • Thierry Petoud (City of Martigny)

    Eventually, this Council will comprise between 7 and 9 members, covering several areas of expertise and representing other stakeholders, such as strategic partners. In addition, specific governance mechanisms for RERO ILS and SONAR will be put in place in order to give their customers an active role in the design of the products.

  • Funding: RERO+ is funded exclusively through the sale of its services.

  • Activities: As has been the case for about two years, RERO+ will focus on the continued development and maintenance of its core services: the next generation library system RERO ILS and digital content management with SONAR. These software and respective services will evolve with the needs of their customers, whose circle will expand across Switzerland.

  • Missions: Evolving with the activities, the missions also cover a wider scope. RERO+ aims to promote the dissemination of knowledge, in particular through libraries, without geographical limitations. Moreover, as a foundation, RERO+ does not pursue any profit-making goal.

What remains

  • The RERO+ team: It remains essentially the same, with its extensive experience and cohesion; it does not undergo major organizational changes.

  • The partners: The collaboration with continues and intensifies, with the 58 libraries using RERO ILS (go-live on July 12), the institutions using SONAR (production version available) as well as the team of the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium which maintains its involvement in the RERO ILS development project. Finally, RERO+ continues to cooperate with several actors of the library and information community in Switzerland and abroad, including SLSP, the Swiss National Library, ABES and the French National Library.


A word from Damian Elsig, President of the RERO+ Foundation Board

The transformation of RERO into RERO+ is a significant one. The new orientation is the result of a joint reflection, based on a market analysis and on the proven interest for customized and/or shared services of public, heritage, school and special libraries in Switzerland. RERO+ will focus its services on the needs of these types of libraries, either through the development of services or through the provision of comprehensive IT management.

The RERO+ team is based in Wallis and is composed of experts with a long experience in this field, with the customer at the center of their attention. The IT solutions are developed in open source and are based on the Invenio 3 software developed by CERN. All data is stored in Switzerland.

RERO+: a non-profit foundation labelled “Swiss-made”!


Contact person for RERO+: Miguel Moreira - direction@rero.ch