Visited Libraries in a Flat World :) – Middle East Technical University Library

Hello from Ankara, Turkey. I’m writing this report on behalf of the Turkish Team.  After a discussion among the team members, we decided to visit one of most important academic libraries in Turkey. It provide many interesting and web 2.0 services for users in addtion to its mobile information services. Let me introduce them to you…

Background information about the Middle East Technical University (METU ) Library

METU Library was first housed in a small room in the General Directorate of Retirement Fund’s building in Milli Müdafaa Street in Bakanlıklar, and was started to serve with a small collection in Architecture which was gifted by United Nations, in October 1956. The Library’s collection started growing thanks to donations of books from the British and USA governments. The Library moved to the current campus on 15 September 1963, and served in the Architecture Faculty’s building until the main Library building was completed.


METU Library has one of the largest collections in Turkey with it’s 406.591 books, 76.630 e-books, 173.767 bound periodicals, 1.249 journal subscriptions, 56.158 e-journal subscriptions, and 16.222 dissertations according to the indicators in 2009.

The book collection is arranged according to the Library of Congress Classification System, in which subjects are arranged alphabetically.Collections are predominantly in English but also in Turkish. All printed materials are on open access in the reading halls except dissertations, TSE standards, bound periodicals belonging 1989 and before, and the stacks collection.

Audio Visiual Collections

The Library has 2 halls with audio-visual hardware. Solmaz İzdemir Hall has 90 users capacity. There are TV, video, Divx player, slide machine and overhead projector in this room. This hall may be reserved by academic staff for the educational activities and by the students for student teams activities.

Circulation Services

METU library offers two kind of circulation services. These are called Long Loan and Short Loan circulation services.

Long Loan: This service are offered for academicians, PhD and Master students and Becholar students. Within the scope of the long loan Academic staff and PhD students can borrow 25 books for 30 days; master’s students can borrow 20 books for 30 days; undergraduate students can borrow 15 books for 15 days; administrative staff can borrow 10 books for 30 days; retired staff can borrow 5 books for 30 days.

Short Loan: Academic/administrative staff and students of the Middle East Technical University may borrow materials from the Reserve Collection according to the type and the loan period of the source. Type “A” books are lent for 3 hours and overnight after 04:00 pm; type “C” books are lent for 3 days; type “D” books are lent for 7 days. PCMCA and USB Wi-Fi cards are only to be used in the Reserve Section for 3 hours. A maximum of 2 items are lent. Due dates are not renewed. Reserve items must be returned to the Reserve Desk.

Orientation & Instruction

Library tours are organized to introduce library services, rules, and facilities to the new students at the beginning of each academic year. Also, instruction programs are organized for the first year students to help them use the library resources effectively.

The purpose of these programs is to help users become proficient in library resources. With this aim, the Library carries out a program of instruction designed to introduce library collections, services and research strategies to students and faculty.

Mobile Services

METU Library provides mobile services for digital natives and digital immigrants who use their smart phones or their tablet PCs.  One of these services is mobile library web site of the Library. For this service, METU Library offers every services on this link:

As another mobile service, we can see QR Codes in METU Library OPAC. When we searched the OPAC, they can be seen almost every catalog records (figure 1)

QR Codes also generated for METU Library’s mobile web site, you can see them below as well (figure 2).

Web 2.0 Services

METU Library also uses Social Media environments for announcements and prmoting information services via blogs, Facebook and Twitter accounts. Her are the links:

Library blog:
FB account:

CNA (Call Number Application) Service

After QR Codes, another embeded service offered by METU Library is Call Number Application service. The aim of this service is to help users in terms of finding physical locations of available information resources in the collection. With this service users can see virtual shelf where needed information resource located before looking for the physical location of the resource (figure 3).


Computer Facilities

METU Library provides computer and internet facilities for users in addition to WiFi there are some computers for internet and OPAC use. Users can easily check which computer is available for them before coming to library by dint of the interactive Free PC application (figure 4)

Photos from the Library and its deparments will be uploaded soon.


About tolgacakmak

Tolga Çakmak is a research assistant and PhD student in the department of Information Management, Faculty of Letters, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey. He is also associate editor of Information World Journal that is one of the refreed Turkish Library and Information Science journals. He is also one of the boarding commitee members of University and Research Librarians Association in Turkey He is now a technical coordinator and researcher of Team Turkey of InterPARES 3 project. He is also a member and researcher of various national scienctific projects in Turkey. He graduated from Department of Information management in 2008 and he studied information technologies in Middle East Technical University. He previously worked as an assistant librarian in various technical and research libraries He received his Bachelor and Master Degrees from Hacettepe university department of information management. His main research interests are information technologies, information systems, mobile information technologies, human-computer interactions, web usability, web navigation systems, enterprise content management, records management and open access and open archives systems.
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3 Responses to Visited Libraries in a Flat World :) – Middle East Technical University Library

  1. Céline Brunet says:

    What a great Library! I’m really impressed by all the services and collections they have. This must be a really great place to work for your studies, I think.

    Actually, as a French student, I’m not used to go to the University library. The one of our IUT (University Institutes of Technology) is not very modern and a bit small. What’s more, we do not really have time to go there, because of our timetables. On the other hand, the University proposes many digital resources to the students (on-line trade journals, e-books, database…). However, we often forget all these possibilities and I think it’s a pity. Maybe if our University Library were as well attractive and welcoming as yours, we would visit it more.
    Fortunately, all University Libraries of France are not like that! But the METU Library really seems to be a sensational place.

    So, thank you for that report. I’m waiting to see the photos!

  2. Amélie says:

    wa! METU Library is realy impressive !
    It is a concentrate of technology. I’ve never seen it in any library (but I have not visited a lot).

    Anyway, there are many ideas to return. I think of the QR code and especially the NAC service. It’s very ingenious. Perhaps, in the end, books will have a QR code in place of bar codes, or simply (which would limit the costs ?) bar codes are readable by our smartphones.
    Another thing, the e-documents’s collcetion is enormous. The libraries that I know in France is just beginning to buy ! You are ahead !
    In addition, your opening hours are very broad. As in English. It’s really convenient, especially for students. The Metu library works she right? It has a lot of visits ?

    Thank you very much for this report was very interesting. And welcome to the Turkish group

    • tolgacakmak says:

      Hi Amélie,
      Thank you very much for your great comments,

      i strongly agree with your comments. It can be great that if they integrate QR’s to books as well and once i have seen QR codes on printed journal shelves in a different library. It is also useful. When i saw QR codes in METU Library. The idea came up to my mind that creating QR codes for CNA application in OPAC. This can be more useful for users to finding books in a library.

      Many university libraries in Turkey is open 24 hours. And METU Library’s working hours is also quite broad for study. It is also a rich library in terms of having electronic resources in Turkey.

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