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History

1898

The Export Academy of the Austrian Imperial Trade Museum is founded and its library established.

1909/10

The Export Academy publishes a two-volume library catalog listing 5,000 books and 50 journals to which the library has active subscriptions.

1916

The Export Academy moves to a new building in the Viennese district of Döbling. As an interim solution (which would eventually be maintained until 1956), the library is set up in the basement.

1919

The Export Academy is transformed into the University of World Trade (Hochschule für Welthandel). The library becomes a university library.

1923

The holdings of the library of the Trade Museum are integrated into the University Library.

1930

The University of World Trade is granted the right to award doctoral degrees. The library starts collecting dissertations completed at the university.

1938

In March, Austria is annexed by Nazi Germany. The library is integrated into the German and international inter-library loan systems.

1947

The library begins compiling a catalog with a systematic classification of works according to subject matter, covering literature published from 1945 onwards.

1955

The Higher Education Organization Act (Hochschulorganisationsgesetz, HOG 1955) enters into force. Under the new legislation, the Library Director reports directly to the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education.
A central catalog is established that includes the holdings of all the individual Institutes.

1956

A new wing of the University for World Trade building is inaugurated. The library moves to the new wing where it gets a new main reading room, catalog and journal rooms, a circulation desk, a locker room for library users, and a two-level closed stacks section.

1966

The General University Studies Act (Allgemeines Hochschul-Studiengesetz, AHStG) makes it mandatory for diploma theses to be stored in the corresponding university libraries. The Act on University Studies in the Social and Economic Sciences (Bundesgesetz über sozial- und wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Studienrichtungen) brings about a new legal framework for degree programs in the social and economic sciences.

1974

Inauguration of the newly completed western wing of the university building on Gymnasiumstraße. The library gets an additional 412 m² of floor space in the new wing, including new storage facilities, a second reading room, a catalog room, etc.

1975

Government passes the University Organization Act (Universitäts-Organisationsgesetz, UOG 1975). According to this new legislation, all the books and information media that exist at a given university make up the university library holdings (UOG, § 84). Pursuant to the UOG 1975, the University for Global Trade is renamed Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien (Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration).
As a consequence, the library becomes the WU University Library.
The library introduces a new systematic catalog; the old 1945-1974 catalog is closed.

1982

Inauguration of the new WU building on Augasse 2-6 in Vienna's ninth district. At the new location, the WU University Library occupies a four-level library building with 7,188 m² of net floor space. 4,622 m² are dedicated for library users (open stacks and reading areas, textbook collection, catalog, and circulation areas) with 480 workplaces. The new library also has 1,789 m² of closed stacks and 768 m² of office space.

1984

WU establishes the Information Center for Social Sciences (Sozialwissenschaftliche Informationsstelle, SOWIS). The Information Center's tasks include research documentation, the documentation of gray literature, and the dissemination of information.
1986
The WU University Library offers new services:

     

  • Introduction of centralized cataloging

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  • Establishment of a centralized journal catalog at WU

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  • SOWIS starts going through relevant national and international databases

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  • Establishment of IDAS, a research database for social sciences, economics, and business studies

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  • A special information desk is established in the catalog area. Library information folders with instructions on how to use the library are issued.

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1987

Start of the WU 2000-Library Informations System project, which includes developing a strategy for the future development of library activities and library services at WU.
The library puts up a textbook collection in the open stacks area.

1988

A project plan for installing a library IT system that can be accessed by academic staff directly from their desks is developed.
The first edition of WU's main journal catalog becomes available.

1989

The WU University Library joins BIBOS, the computerized, integrated union catalog of Austria's academic libraries. The card catalogs are discontinued.

1991

Implementation of the WU 2000- Library Informations System project. The new system offers academic staff access to the online union catalog and the Austrian journal database directly from their desks at the individual Institutes.
WU-Net, WU's new local area network, goes online.
Completion of Hyperbib, a hyperCAD system for managing citations.

1992

A new book storage facility is completed in building UZA III
It has 600 m² of total floor space and can accommodate 170,000 books.
The WU University Library gets a new organizational structure, based on three main divisions:

     

  • Acquisitions and Holdings Management

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  • Library use and IT

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  • Decentralized operations

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1993

The Austrian Students' Union (ÖH) at WU raises ATS 1.3 million (approx € 95,000) with the "Bildung braucht Bücher" charity project. The WU University Library also receives a donation of ATS 600,000 (€ over 43,000) to fund textbook purchases.

1994

Implementation of the "CD-ROM im Netz" project, which makes databases stored on CD available online.
The library's holdings include 36 databases on CD.

1995

Implementation of a computerized loan system.
Acquisition of Business Periodicals Ondisc (BPO), a full text collection of over 500 English-language journals on 600 CDs.
The SOWIS Information Center gets a new room with 20 workplaces for CD-based literature searches.
The library hosts two book presentations.
The WU University Library has a stand at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

1996

The library launches a document delivery service.
A list of dissertations completed at WU becomes available online.
Start of an EU-funded Tempus Phare project involving the following partners:

     

  • WU University Library

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  • Varna University of Economics Library (Bulgaria)

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  • College of Europe, Bruges (Belgium)

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The goal of the project is to modernize the Varna University of Economics Library through the implementation of new technologies.
Pursuant to § 7 of the University Organization Act 1993 (UOG), the Austrian Ministry of Science and Research approves the WU By-Laws, including Annex 7, the Guidelines for the Use and Operations of the WU University Library.

1997

Completion of the EU-funded Tempus Phare project.
On June 25, WU fully adopts the University Organization Act 1993 (UOG). As a consequence, the library officially becomes an integral part of WU's organizational structure.
The library introduces web access to eJournals.
The contract for installing the new Aleph 500 library network system is awarded to the company Exlibris.

1998

The WU University Library hosts the Northern European Regional Group meeting of the European Business Schools Librarians' Group (EBSLG).
The new Aleph 500 library network system goes online at the end of the year.

2000/2001

The library is evaluated by Roswitha Poll and Klaus Ceynowa. They praise the excellent organization of the library's operations but also point out some structural deficits in connection with the two-tier library system.

2002

Restructuring of the library's three main divisions.
Restructuring of the InfoCenter.
ePubwu, WU's electronic institutional repository for dissertations and working papers, makes its debut.

2003

The library courses are redesigned.
Expanding the digital library resources becomes a strategic objective for the WU University Library.
Launch of the SFX link resolver.

2004

The WU University Library joins the BIX Library Index, a German benchmarking project aimed at academic libraries (reporting year 2003). Activities as part of this project continue on a regular basis.
New Library Regulations enter into force.
The library joins Nereus, a network of leading European economics information providers.

2005

The copier room is renovated, and construction work is done to provide adequate escape routes and emergency exits.
The decision is made to build a new WU campus.
In the night of December 13, an arsonist sets a fire in the basement of the WU building. Special cleaning procedures are required to remove soot and smoke damage from the entire open stacks holdings -approximately 40,000 volumes - and the public PC workstations. Some of the PCs and printers, a self-service checkout machine, the CD-ROM server, and the anti-theft system sustain significant damage.

2006

WU staff manage to reopen parts of the library on January 9. By January 23, all books are at the correct shelf locations again. However, work to repair the damage caused by the fire continues throughout the year 2006.
The circulation desk is redesigned to improve functionality and ergonomics.

2007

Calculations are conducted to determine the amount of space needed for the University Library on the planned new WU campus, and plans are drawn up for the functions to be performed by the new library.
The courses offered by library are complemented by the LOTSE online tutorial.
A retrospective conversion project is implemented, focusing on the Main Library's holdings from the period of 1931 to 1985.
The WU University Library organizes and hosts two international conferences as part of the Nereus and the EBSLG Northern Group networks.

2008

The studio Zaha Hadid Architects wins the architectural design competition for the Library & Learning Center (LC ). The LC will be at the heart of the new WU campus and is designed to become an architectural landmark.

2009

The LC is planned in close cooperation with the Hamburg office of Zaha Hadid Architects.
At the end of November, Bettina Schmeikal retires and Nikolaus Berger takes over as new Library Director.

2010

The library starts the year by adopting a new organizational structure, aimed to usher in a transition to a one-tier library system on the new campus. Several new organizational units are established: Collection Management, Media Management, Reader Service, Service Management, Old Inventory Management, and the staff unit Acquisitions, Finances, and Financial Control.
Plans for the new campus envisage a one-tier library system with four branch libraries.
The info service is restructured and a literature search service is established.
ePubWU, WU's institutional repository, receives a software overhaul, adding many new functions.
The Main Library offers 30 additional workplaces for its users.
A research project is launched to investigate the origins of works acquired under Nazi rule and the legality of these acquisitions.

2011

The reclassification of all open stacks holdings (approx. 32,000 items) according to the RVK classification system is completed. The first Institute libraries are closed and thousands of items from their collections are prepared to be assigned to one of the 4 branch libraries on the new campus.
The retrospective conversion of monographs from the time before 1930 is completed. All of WU's monographs are now included in the online catalog.
The primo search engine goes live for all library users.
Server hosting for the Aleph system, previously provided by WU's IT Services, is outsourced to OBVSG (Österreichische Bibliothekenverbund - und Servicegesellschaft).
In the open stacks area, students now have access to easy-to-use book scanners.

2012

In this year, the WU University Library focuses mainly on providing smooth day-to-day services for library users and preparing for the move to the new Library & Learning Center building that is under construction at the new Campus WU location. Planning work is underway to develop an RFID-based borrowing and library security system, and most of the Library’s print items are equipped with RFID tags. Detailed planning work is done to choose the furniture for the new library building, including all the shelves. Tenders are launched for the procurement of the furniture, contracts are awarded, and the Library team starts drafting relocation plans for the move from the old location to the new Campus WU. The Media and Serials Management divisions are taking over acquisitions processes from those Institute Libraries that have already been closed. Over the course of the year, the Library is preparing thousands of items for the new shelving layout at Campus WU.

The Library’s range of digital media is expanded, especially by adding new publishers to the online journals collection.

The year also marks the 10-year anniversary of ePubWU, WU’s open-access repository.

2013

At the beginning of the year, the Library implements a centralized acquisition procedure for all new media. WU’s departments are assigned ordering rights, which allow them to order literature and information media through the WU University Library. The ordered items are then shelved in one of WU’s branch libraries. Over the summer, the Library’s entire collection is moved to WU’s new campus in Vienna’s second district. The library facilities at WU’s old location are closed in mid-August. The Central Library in the new Library & Learning Center and the three new specialist libraries (law, social sciences, and business languages) open their doors on September 30. The Central Library offers 1,500 self-study workplaces for different needs and requirements (quiet areas, communicative areas, Newslounge, a café, and project rooms). A self-service checkout system is introduced for all library loans, including a self-service book return machine with an automated sorting system. The Central Library also features new payment machines where library users can make all their library-related payments. Large parts of the Library’s entire holdings are shelved according to the RVK classification system at the four new library locations. On November 7, over 300 librarians and library-affiliated guests from Austria and abroad attended the University Library’s Open Day event. The Serials Management division, the Library for Law, and the Library for Business Languages launch retrospective conversion projects for items not yet included in the catalogs and start reclassification projects to implement the RVK classification system.

2014

The Library inaugurates a new barrier-free room in the Central Library, featuring assistive technologies for the needs of people with visual impairments and wheelchair users.

The campus book delivery service that allows academic staff to order books directly from the Central Library becomes fully operational, and the Central Library and the Library for Social Sciences introduce extended opening hours.

On October 21, 2014, the 100th birthday of Kurt W. Rothschild, the WU University Library inaugurates the Steindl Rothschild Collection, a special collection including the libraries from the estates of economists Kurt W. Rothschild and Josef Steindl and items from their professional correspondence. The Library for Law is working on the consolidation of loose-leaf editions and collections of court decisions. In the course of a retrospective conversion project, the Library for Law also adds a large number of works to its catalog, classifying them according to the RVK system. The Library for Law also acquires a significant amount of basic legal literature to complement its collection. The retrospective conversion project for serials is completed, and WU’s entire serials collection becomes fully available in the WU online catalog. The WU University Library hosts meetings of the NEREUS network and the EBSLG Northern Group.