Shared Library Services Platform (LSP)

McGill Library is partnering with BCI and coalition of 17 other Quebec universities to implement three digital platforms including a shared, bilingual discovery tool.


Project description

McGill Library is partnering with the Bureau de coopération interuniversitaire (BCI) and a coalition of 17 other Quebec universities to provide the Quebec scholarly community with access to three digital platforms:

  1. A unified, bilingual catalogue/discovery tool or Library Services Platform (LSP) - phased roll out summer 2020: A unified catalogue and discovery tool named Sofia provides access to more than 20 million documents across the 18 collections and supported by OCLC's WorldShare Management Services (WorldCat). The SSP will be a single portal for searching, accessing and requesting documents from Quebec universities.
  2. GéoIndex - now available (see info below)
  3. Dataverse - available summer 2020


Benefits of Sofia, the shared bilingual discovery tool for all academic libraries in Quebec

  • Unified catalogue of more than 20 million documents from 18 different institutions
  • Allow McGill users to borrow directly from other Quebec universities with your McGill ID card
  • Provide increased access to partner libraries’ collections in both French and English
  • Incorporate state-of-the-art technology and an ongoing developmental commitment for improved catalogue searching of the resources the Library provides
  • Redeploy resources liberated by more advanced technology to more efficiently use librarian and staff skill sets and introduce new Library service

Project status

  • In 2018-2019, McGill upgraded the existing WorldCat Local online catalogue and search tool to its successor WorldCat Discovery.
  • In 2019, BCI and a coalition of Québec universities launched GeoIndex and Dataverse and selected OCLC's WorldShare Management Services (WorldCat) as the preferred shared Library Services Platform (LSP). This is the same platform that McGill upgraded to in 2018-2019.
  • In summer 2020, the unified catalogue bringing together resources from all 18 institutions will be implemented in phases. As a result of the staggered rollout, certain McGill lending and circulation policies and procedures will change to reflect the new consortial agreement. 


Lending & circulation changes | Timeline, scope of work and impact on users (subject to change)

Implementation date New Policy/Procedure Current McGill policy/procedure Impact to users

January 29, 2020

New faculty and staff loans due September 15, 2020 (transitional policy until 30-day loan policy implementation).

Faculty and staff loans due May 15, 2020. Users will need to renew or return materials on or before September 15, 2020.
June 15-19, 2020 System updates   All patrons should avoid logging in to "My Account" from WorldCat Discovery. All items currently checked out are due September 15; no need to verify in your online account or renew any items.
June 19, 2020 Loan policy for McGill users for most items: Thirty day loan with unlimited automatic renewals unless an item has been requested by another patron. Various loan periods.

This will take effect for new loans and any renewals performed after June 19.

Users can keep library items longer, high-demand items are easier to place on hold, and policies are simpler and more straightforward.

July 8, 2020

See real-time availability of physical items from all BCI libraries in WorldCat Discovery.
Use your McGill ID to check out items in person at any BCI library.
See items checked out from all BCI institutions in My Account.

Visual rebranding of McGill's WorldCat Discovery catalogue (July 24, 2020).

Discovery only shows holdings for BCI libraries, not circulation status.
Create new card for users from BCI institutions.
Only see items checked out from home institution from the catalogue.
Easier in-person borrowing at other BCI institutions.
Review all checked out items in one place.
January 2021 Place hold and request delivery of circulating physical items from any BCI library in WorldCat Discovery. Must borrow from other BCI libraries in person. Easier access to physical materials across the province.

About GéoIndex

Géoindex is a shared platform used by Quebec universities to discover, disseminate and download geospatial data. The platform allows for keyword searching and users can use the interactive mapping feature to visualize and download datasets produced by the Quebec government (e.g. cadastral data, orthophotos, topographic data, etc.). Additionally, users can specify download output formats as well as projections. An extraction feature allows users to select a specific extraction zone (location) - the data will automatically download to the clipped area specified by the user.

New content is added daily to the platform, which eventually will contain all data available through the BCI-MERN (Ministère de l’Énergie et des Resources naturelles du Québec) agreement.

To login, current McGill students, faculty, researchers and staff can select McGill University as the organization and log in using their McGill username and password.

About Dataverse

Dataverse is repository software designed to share, explore, and preserve research data. Its implementation at McGill will provide our researchers with a trusted site to deposit research data in conformance with funder or publisher requirements, or in order to share it openly with other researchers. It facilitates making data available to others and allows you to replicate others' work more easily. Most appropriate for small and medium datasets, Dataverse provides unique Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) for data, and makes it easy to cite deposited data sets, giving academic credit to the researchers who create and share them.

Project partners

  • Bishop's University
  • Université Concordia
  • Université Laval
  • McGill University
  • Université de Montréal
  • HEC Montréal
  • Polytechnique Montréal
  • Université de Sherbrooke





  • Université du Québec (siège social):

- Université du Québec à Montréal

- Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières

- Université du Québec à Chicoutimi

- Université du Québec à Rimouski

- Université du Québec en Outaouais

- Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue

- Institut national de la recherche

- École nationale d'administration publique

- École de technologie supérieure



Contact info

If you have any questions or comments surrounding the proposed Quebec University Shared Services Platform, please contact us at sharedplatform.library [at]


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