The creation of BIMUS (Museum Libraries Network) has its origin in the State Museums Plan 2004-2008, from the Office for State-owned Museums of the Ministry of Culture. As part of the documentation program for the Colletions Area, the plan projected to computerize the collections of libraries belonging to the seventeen museums managed by the Ministry of Culture under the General Department of Fine Arts and Cultural Assets.
Among BIMUS objectives are the improvement and optimization of the human and material resources of libraries, starting from a common information management system. The target is to reach a change in work processes, fostering cooperation by the use of tools such as the union catalog, and developing common policies and services such as cooperative acquisition and interlibrary loan.
The introduction and implementation of BIMUS offers the possibility to search all the library catalogs through a single interface that facilitates the use and visibility of all collections. In addition, the Union Catalog is a starting point for the creation of working groups on specific topics, and for the test and application of their findings in the common environment.
Besides the catalog, BIMUS will feature a “digital library”, providing access to both digitized collections from various institutions, and electronic resources of common interest, such as databases -full text or abstracts- electronic journals, institutional repositories and other Internet resources.
At present BIMUS consists of eighteen centres: the library of the National Museum of Theatre, which is dependent on the National Institute of Scenic Arts and Music (INAEM); and the seventeen libraries of state museums, which management carries out directly the Ministry of Culture through the General Department of Fine Arts and Cultural Assets.