GALILEO Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary

Georgia’s Virtual Library, GALILEO, will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Sept. 21, 2005. The University System launched GALILEO using special initiative funding from the governor and General Assembly of Georgia. Within 150 days of funding, GALILEO (which stands for GeorgiA LIbrary LEarning Online) was available at the University System‘s 34 colleges and universities, including Georgia State. Shortly thereafter, access was broadened to include private academic libraries, technical colleges, public libraries and public schools. GALILEO is currently available through 2,500 institutions.

Thanks to GALILEO, all Georgia citizens have universal access to a core level of materials and information resources, regardless of geographic location or local community funding, explained Merryll Penson, executive director, Library Services with the Office of Information and Instructional Technology for the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. GALILEO was the impetus for providing Internet connections to many libraries and media centers and for improving bandwidth for existing connections.

We’re very proud that GALILEO is no longer available just to libraries throughout the state but to citizens in their homes, Penson said, noting that a password, obtained from a public or school library, is required for secured access databases. Users now have access to more than 100 authoritative databases for study and lifelong learning.

One of GALILEO’s most important offerings, established in collaboration with the University of Georgia Libraries, is the Digital Library of Georgia (DLG), a gateway to far-reaching resources on the state‘s history and culture. With a single search through DLG, visitors can locate items from across 60 different digitized collections from GALILEO, more than 40 libraries, archives and museums and from 80 agencies of state government.

Use of GALILEO has climbed nearly tenfold in 10 years, Penson said, from approximately 5 million transactions (searches, full text articles displayed, etc.) in 1996 to almost 50 million in 2005. GALILEO’s collaborative approach is cost-effective and provides access at less cost than would be provided were libraries to purchase its resources individually, she said, noting that additional databases and features will continue to be added in the future.

More information can be found on the Announcements page in About GALILEO at

*Author ID: 167 Author name: Jake*

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