Annual report 2009

The services


The Library System catalogue is managed by the software Aleph 500 and it's available in Internet at the address:
The catalogue includes all the material owned by Politecnico's libraries. Searches can be made both on the whole catalogue and for a single type of documents (monographs, serials, theses).

In 2009 the catalogue has been improved by the link between ISBN codes and Google Books service. With a click on the icon on record's left, you can see book's abstract and pages digitized by Google.

In 2009 the unique sessions of OPAC (Online Public Access Cataloge) accesses were 294.283, with a huge increase compared with 2008 (224.810 sessions). Without any doubt, catalogue improvements and access facilities through the new acquisitions' advertising box, introduced in 2008, encouraged its use.
The following chart shows the growing trend of sessions number since 2005:

Library System web site

The following list shows statistics about Library System's web site usage in 2008 and 2009.

Year Visits Unique visitors Accesses (without automatic accesses) Pages
2008 377.395 167.029 9.562.832 3.385.389
2009 351.499 167.029 14.999.043 6.337.867

We can see a huge increase of accesses, but a slight decrease of unique visitors' number.

Consultation in the central libraries reading rooms

The consultation service of both printed and electronic materials is available in Architecture and Engineering Central Libraries.

In Autumn 2008, after the restructuring works, the modern monographs collections, the last years of the current serials and of the degree theses of the Architecture Central Library have been moved in the new wing. Rare books and serials and degree theses (from 1 to 6391) can be consulted fixing an appointment. The remaining part of collections will be unavailable until building works end up.

Engineering Central Library replaced ancient books collection, that is again available in the suitable reading room. Early in 2010 Library System is going to organizing the opening ceremony.

In the online catalog it is possible to search the records related to the ancient books owned by Politecnico's Libraries (mainly Architecture Central Library, Engineering Central Library, Building engineering and territorial systems library and History and analysis of architecture and human settlements library).The ancient books online catalog is under revision.

Loan, interlibrary loan and document delivery

Engineering students, to prepare their exams, borrow the Engineering Central Library books. In this library, almost all the monographic material is loanable, except the serials, the ancient books and the general consultation works.

Architecture Central Library, with open access stacks, provides users access to all collections, except ancient and rare books, available on appointment. Only a limited section is available for the loan. Students who are writing a thesis and professors can take advantage of a wider loan service.

In 2009 60.910 loans, 22.726 renewals and 60.817 returns were made.

The transactions among the different libraries are split up like this:

AER (Aerospace engineering Library) 239 0 261
BCA (Architecture Central Library) 7.550 136 7.509
BCI (Engineering Central Library) 29.623 10.598 29.313
BCM (Mondovì campus Library) 2.483 545 2.489
BCV (Vercelli campus Library) 4.710 2.048 4.670
CCT (History and analysis of architecture Library) 1.421 138 1.450
CLAB (University Language Centre V. Boggio) 2.228 704 2.332
CLAD (University Language Centre C. Duca) 8.237 3.546 8.212
EDI (Building engineering Library) 78 7 85
ELN (Electronics and computer engineering Library) 783 634 812
ELT (Electrical engineering Library) 35 6 32
ENE (Energetics Library) 397 681 511
FIS (Physics Library) 177 4 226
GEO (Land, environment Library) 60 12 102
IDR - TRA (Hydraulics and transport Library) 124 25 88
MAT (Mathematics Library) 1.036 158 1.085
MEC (Mechanical engineering Library) 241 33 207
SPE (Production systems Library) 802 3.361 762
TER (Inter-university Territorial studies Library) 686 90 661
TOTAL 60.910 22.726 60.807

Compared with 2008, in 2009 the total number of loans was slightly decreased, but renewals increased (62.550 loans and 21.081 renewals in 2008, against 60.910l loans and 22.726 renewals in 2009), showing a stable situation.

For each library, the following chart compares the situation in 2008 and 2009, highlighting the variations observed:

LIBRARY 2008 loans, renewals and returns 2009 loans, renewals and returns Difference (in absolute value) Difference (in percentage)
AER (Aerospace Engineering Library) 465 500 35 +7%
BCA (Architecture Central Library) 15.757 15.195 -562 -3,57%
BCI (Engineering Central Library) 67.728 69.534 1.806 +2,6%
BCM (Mondovì campus Library) 6.760 5.517 -1.243 -18,4%
BCV (Vercelli campus Library) 10.155 11.428 1.273 +12,5%
CCT (History and analysis of architecture Library) 3.231 3.009 223 -6,9%
CLAB (University Language Centre V. Boggio) 8.031 5.264 -2.767 -34,5%
CLAD (University Language Centre C. Duca) 17.494 19.945 2.451 +14%
EDI (Building engineering Library) 366 170 -196 -53,6%
ELN (Electronics and computer engineering Library) 2.352 2.229 -123 -5,3%
ELT (Electrical engineering Library) 175 73 -102 -58,3%
ENE (Energetics Library) 1.583 1.589 6 +0,3%
FIS (Physics Library) 860 407 -453 -52,7%
GEO (Land, environment Library) 66 174 108 +163%
IDR (Hydraulics and transport Library) 191 237 46 +24%
MAT (Mathematics Library) 2.457 2.279 -178 -7,3%
MEC (Mechanical engineering Library) 452 481 29 +6,4%
SPE (Production systems Library) 4.627 4.925 298 +6,4%
TER (Inter-university Territorial studies Library) 1.627 1.437 190 -11,7%
TOTAL 144.377 144.453    

With regard to the different types of users, the loans are shared like this:

Users 2008 loans 2009 loans Difference (in absolute value) DDifference (in percentage)
students 49.843 51.043 1200 +2,4%
professors 5.297 3.694 -1.603 -30,3%
staff 1.862 2.309 447 +24%
Ph. D. students 3.620 3.279 -341 -9,4%
external reseachers 504 426 -78 -15,5%
interlibrary loans 160 159 -1 -0,6%

Analyzing data, we can see a loans increase for students (51.043 loans in 2009, against 49.843 in 2008), especially evident in libraries greatly used by students (BCI, CLA); in particular the huge acquisition of textbooks made by the Engineering Central Library in 2009 met users' approval.

Interlibrary loans shown in this chart were send between Politecnico's libraries.
As regards document delivery, 44 article requests were sent to the British Library and other suppliers and 11 requests were received.

Electronic resources consultation

During 2009, nearly all the sites providing statistics about e-resources conformed themselves to the standard COUNTER, so now data are really comparable, but sometimes are different from those included in 2008 annual report.


In 2009 e-journals consultation has greatly improved, because of both new subscriptions and increase of downloads from other packages. Science Direct, interdisciplinary e-journals package published by Elsevier, that offers 2.013 e-journals and is available on two sites, had the highest amount of downloads. The total number was 190.174 (59% of 2009 downloads). It is also noted a shift from CILEA's site to the more functional Elsevier's site.


Name 2008 Download 2009 Download Difference (in absolute value) Difference (in percentage)
ACM -- 4.084 -- --
APS 6.626 10.494 3.868 + 58,4 %
Emerald 939 2.328 1.389 +147,9%
IOP 5.624 6.903 1.279 +22,7%
IEL 87.546 78.970 -8.576 -9,8%
Nature -- 2.837 -- --
Science Direct (Cilea) 59.270 36.455 -22.815 -38,5%
Science Direct (Elsevier) 100.931 153.719 52.788 +52,3%
Springer 11.417 23.778 12.361 +108,2%
Wiley -- 5.449 -- --
TOTAL 267.293 325.017    



In 2009 also e-books consultation has greatly improved: the total amount of downloads was 89.624 (in 2008 was 59.544). The 70% of downloads was from Ebrary (collections Computers & IT and Engineering & Tecgnology), in which are many textbooks suggested by Politecnico's professors, but also other packages increased usage. The following list and chart point out the comparison with 2008 and 2009.

Name 2008 Download 2009 Download Difference (in absolute value) Difference (in percentage)
Ebrary 41.674 48.030 6.356 + 15,2 %
Knovel 1.936 4.074 2.138 + 110,4 %
Emerald 939 2.328 1.389 +147,9%
Lecture Notes e altri e-book Springer 8.637 11.158 2.521 +29,2%
IEL 87.546 78.970 -8.576 -9,8%
Encyclopedia Britannica 1.079 8.474 7.395 +685,3%
Oxford Reference Online 1.857 4.214 2.357 +126,9%
Referex 2.681 8.942 6.261 +233,5%
Grove Art 1.680 7.732 6.052 +360,2%
TOTAL 59.544 89.624    


Data about queries in bibliographic databases are shared like this:

Name 2008 Queries 2009 Queries Difference (in absolute value) Difference (in percentage)
Art Index e Art Index retrospective dati non paragonabili 4.724 -- --
Avery Index 28.058 25.195 -3.863 -13,3 %
Chem-Bank 1.530 486 -1.044 -68,3%
Lecture Notes e altri e-book Springer 8.637 11.158 2.521 +29,2%
Compendex 18.209 20.466 2.257 +12,4%
CSA Social Sciences databases 4.776 12.734 7.958 +166,6%
DAII 4.211 7.077 2.866 +68%
Environment Index 229 7.735 7.506 +3277,7%
Francis dati non paragonabili 3.387 -- --
ICONDA dati non paragonabili 3.199 -- --
INSPEC 17.813 3.098 -14.715 -82,6%
Journal Citation Reports 4.030 3.456 -574 -14,3%
MathSciNet 28.473 28.187 -286 -1%
Web of science 59.606 65.675 6.069 +10,2%
TOTAL 166.405 184.933    

The decrease of the number of queries in INSPEC, since 2009 on IET platform, while previously was available together with Compendex on EI Village, is significant; clearly researchers were used to consult together the two databases.
Now users consult less INSPEC, because part of the database is the index of IEL and is included in it; this situation reduce strongly the need to consult the integral version of the database.


Meta engine (Search Solver) and link resolver (Link Solver)

E-resources' usage has been improved by meta engine and links resolver.

Meta engine

It offers a unique interface to search subscribed e-resources and open resources free on the net. E-resources are arranged in conformity with materials typology and subject (there is also a subset for architecture); this organization helps users with the query; an easy access to full-text accelerates information retrieval.


Link resolver

For each record retrieved, this tool allows to identify access conditions to the document: the library holdings the printed document or the direct online access to full-text.


DigProxy service is offered to Politecnico professors, researchers and senior year students, by guarantee received from their supervisors, and allows access from home to subscribed electronic resources. The total number of sessions in 2009 was 12.155. This chart displays sessions trend during 2009 months:


The service's users are 878, split among the different categories, as the chart below shows:

Users Numbers
Professors and researchers 363
Staff 63
Students 148
Ph.D. students 196
Research assistants 3
External teachers 3

New services

  1. New acquisitions and other information displayed on monitors.
    In cooperation with CELM, since January 28th 2009 on monitors located in Politecnico's buildings, people can see a page about "News in the library", in which last 10 books catalogued by Architecture and Engineering Central Libraries (in total 20 books) are shown. Covers' images and concise bibliographical data (author, title, library) are presented in a cyclic way in groups of 5 books. Covers' images are digitized by a scanner and are sent to CELM, responsible for the program, with fixed specifications. Aim of the initiative is realizing a virtual showcase of acquisitions. In addition, people can also see information about culture and books world, for instance about the winners of Nobel prizes.
  2. Desiderata.
    To suggest additions to monographs' collections, a site was created (, available from the Library System's home page ("Suggest a book"). This service is still being tested. Registered users can suggest to buy books in Torino and Vercelli Central Libraries and are able to add comments in total openness. Proposers can find books' data in Google database or fill a form; all the proposals are transferred into a public blog, where users and libraries write comments. This initiative is very successful: more than 160 books were suggested in 2009, mostly to Engineering Central Library (120), followed by Architecture Central Library (51). Books suggested are very interesting and almost all of them have been purchased by the libraries. This is an useful and easy way for professors, researchers and students.
  3. Professors and researchers can reserve monographs and serials consultation in Engineering Central Library.
    Professors and researchers who are going to consult up to 10 volumes of monographs or serials can send an e-mail to the library ( ). Requests have to be sent by the previous day, so that library staff can find the books. Users will find them at loan desk and the material will be available during all the day.
  4. Increase of opening hours in Architecture Central Library.
    Since October 1st 2009, Architecture Central Library has increased opening hours on Friday; formerly the Library closed between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., now only loan service is closed.