Information portals, Academic libraries, Web services, Design, Open systems, Algeria


Purpose - Today, with access to enormous quantities of information facilitated by the web, boundaries between remote and local source documents become invisible. This is of extreme interest for libraries in Algeria, whose local holdings are very limited. Taking for inspiration the idea that a networked environment can benefit less affluent nations, we present a conceptual model for the design of a scholarly web portal at the University of Tébessa, with which we hope to create scholarly work stations that combine local and remote holdings, tools and documents.

Design/methodology/approach - We present an outlined conceptual model of library portal architecture, with ontological classifications and relationships. The model comes from applying literature reviews to our own needs and specifications and leads to a detailed breakdown of the planning and implementation process.

Findings - Three findings in particular are worth noting. First, the contribution of web services to the seamless utility of a scholarly portal is indispensable: interoperable features, formats and protocols can be carefully customized. Second, the conceptual model assists not only in visualization but in actual practice through phases of the process from analyses of user needs and behaviors through interface creation and portal implementation. Third, a method for recycling (or “porting”) existing applications in constructing new library services is a key component.

Originality/value - Though this library portal was conceived for an Algerian library, which will ultimately benefit from inclusion in a nationwide network, Réseau régional inter bibliothèques universitaires (RIBU), the conceptual model may guide anyone interested in aggregating online information resources into a single, seamless terminal.

Original Publication Citation

Library Hi Tech 27 (3): 460-479

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Emerald Publishing




Harold B. Lee Library

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor