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Telematics for Libraries - Projects


Updated 23 APR 97
Project Number and Title
1011 - Electronic Data Interchange for Libraries and Booksellers in Europe
Programme/Action line Call Topic(s) Start End Project Duration
in Months
FP 3/ II Theme 10 April 1993 December 1995 22
EDI/EDIFACT; library business messages; OSI; X.400; networking

blue bullet Additional information is available on the EDILIBE web site . (

Acquisition functions using EDlFACT (Theme: 10)
Project description
The objective of this project is the standardised electronic information exchange of business messages between libraries and booksellers in Europe.
EDILIBE I, a Libraries preparatory pilot project, examined the business messages BISAC, TRADACOMS, EDIFACT and ANSI X.12 and analysed X.400 communications facilities available in four countries. The consortium also produced an EDIFACT recommendation for four library oriented business message types, namely: quoting, ordering, order response and invoicing.
This follow-up phase of the project involved the implementation of OSI based EDIFACT and X.400 software in each of the participants systems, inter-operability testing and support of the standardisation process for the library related EDIFACT subsets.
Technical approach
The project was managed according to a General Design Plan, under which the project was structured into linked domains:
  • OSI-based hardware and software specifications, including modifications to existing systems;
  • Standardisation of messages in the order business cycle: quotes, orders, order acknowledgement and invoicing;
  • Standardisation of terms of business;
  • Networked communications via the 1988 X.400 standard;
  • EDIFACT standards and migration to EANCOM in cooperation with EDItEUR, the pan-European book sector EDI group;
  • Pilot project;
  • Information dissemination via articles for professional journals and presentations at conferences and similar events.
Key issues
Not only were the specifications of various standards to be accommodated and an internationally acceptable data exchange made operationally viable, but the resultant system had to improve work flow and have cost advantages.
The issues included:
  • Stringent application of international standards utilising the EDIFACT subsets of EAN for transferring commercial data, UNIMARC and similar formats and X.400 as the communication standard;
  • System solutions designed to be uncomplicated, so that users will have minimum involvement in the mechanics of the communication process;
  • Automated handling, multiple use and interconnection of data entered once only;
  • Inter-operability testing, involving a representative group of users, followed by dissemination of results.
Impact and results
Proven under actual trade conditions by organisations in the book sector, an EDI-based system for electronic communication of quotations, orders and invoices will considerably speed up order processing and cut costs for libraries and booksellers.
The commitment of EDILIBE II to simplicity of operation in respect to communications and to conformity with standards will accelerate work flow while ensuring consistent quality of transfer and data integrity.
The most important deliverable is the specification of hardware and software requirements for electronic communications for order processing between OSI-based systems in the book sector.
Some project aspects and associated documentation are classified as restricted, but in the public domain are:
  • An implementation guide;
  • Technical reports, covering X.400 status, EANCOM subsets, EDILIBE II code lists and message descriptions;
  • Implementation report;
  • Final report.
Documentation is available from the contact below and from EDILIBE web site in Spanish and Dutch.


Name of Institution/Organisation Postal Code / City Country
Frankfurter Stadt- und Universitätsbibliothek D - 60325 Frankfurt am Main DE
Title, First Name, Name Mr. Berndt Dugall,
Ltd. Bibliotheksdirektor
Address: Bockenheimer Landstr. 134-138
Tel: +49-69-21 239-230/231 Fax: +49-69-21 239-404
E-mail 1: (email removed) E-mail 2:

Other Partners

Name of Institution/Organisation Country Role
Otto Harrassowitz Buchhandlung und Antiquariat DE P
Casalini Libri IT P
Biblioteca Nazionale Roma, Firenze IT P
Blackwell Ltd. UK P
Biblioteca Nacional ES P
Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen DE P
John Rylands University Library UK A

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