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Collection multiplied

FAPESP's FAP-Books Program earmarks R$33.9 million to buy 165,000 titles

FAPESP has announced the results of the sixth tender for its FAP-Books (FAPESP-Livros) program that supports the purchase of books, e-books and publications in several different media and seeks to update the collection of the libraries in public and private universities and research institutions in the State of São Paulo. The total value of the recommended proposals was R$33,923,638. As this total was more than the R$25 million envisaged in the tender, the FAPESP’s Scientific Department recommended and its Technical and Administrative Board approved an additional R$8.9 million. “In this way it will be possible to strongly support all the 175 qualified proposals and make it feasible to acquire approximately 165,000 titles for the libraries of 175 research institutions in the State of São Paulo,”  Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz, scientific director of FAPESP pointed out. In the previous tender, held in 2006, some 130,000 titles were distributed.

The libraries of institutions that took part were those with researchers linked to requests of any nature supported by FAPESP in the 2003 to 2009 period. FAP-Books is part of the overall category “Support for Research Infrastructure” in the Foundation’s budget and its objective is to make it possible to purchase the books required for research projects by libraries with public access at institutions where researchers have lead FAPESP aid and grants over the last few years. The proposals were analyzed, considering benefits to the scientific and technological development in the state and the development of the capabilities of the proposing institutions.

034-035_FAP livros_170The University of São Paulo (USP) leads the list of entities with the biggest grants, with a recommended amount of R$11,008,064.00. Then comes the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), with R$9,245,884, and Paulista State University (UNESP), with R$3,883,893. The largest volume of requests and grants was for proposals in the areas of the humanities and social sciences, which received $17 million. The publications that are acquired will update the collections of the libraries of institutions of higher education and research. After the acquisition, the works must compulsorily form part of the collection of the institution’s library and be available for public access. According to Marta Valentine, coordinator of the Libraries’ General Coordination Department (CGB), which handles 32 Unesp libraries, the regularity of the tenders for the FAP-Books program means that researchers mobilize themselves to participate in them. “The community is preparing to indicate the necessary bibliographic material,” she says. “Universities have budgets to develop the collections of their libraries, but the amounts are small compared to foreign libraries, which is why FAP-books is important in order to fulfill a need not yet fully addressed,” she says.

According to Sandra Nitrini, director of the School of Philosophy, Literature and Humanities (FFLCH) at USP, FAPESP almost fully met the unit’s request with its FAP-Books program. Currently, the Florestan Fernandes Library of FFLCH has more than 860,000 items. With the recent tender for the FAP-books program, 29,382 items will be added. “The FAP-Book tender contributes to the steady process of adding to this collection, which ensures that its standards and quality are maintained and that an increasingly rich and updated collection is available, an indispensable factor in the advancement and production of knowledge in the humanities,” said Sandra. She stated that the collection created an excellent impression in the external assessment process the college went through. “The foreign professors, one from the University of Lisbon and the other from the Ecole Normale Superieure de Paris, were most impressed. The Brazilians, who already knew it, also expressed their recognition of the value of our collection, which also features rare books,” she said.

Nadia Farage, director of the Institute of Philosophy and Human Sciences (IFCH) at Unicamp, says that updating the library collection of the institution has an impact that extends beyond research and teaching in the university. “We’re a public library and researchers from around the country come to consult works from our collection,” she says. Indication of works for the program, says Nadia, meets the needs of nine post-graduate programs of the institute. “Thanks to FAP-Books, our collection is pretty up-to-date and offers recent launches in the international publishing market. It’s not a large library, because we want diversity, not volume,” she added. According to Michael Hall, coordinator of the library and a professor at IFCH, the recent public tender from FAP-Books will strengthen the Institute’s research in several areas, particularly art history and modern philosophy and issues related to Africa and Latin America. “The indication of works for the public tender is always a big event in our institute,” says Hall.