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Telematics for Libraries - Projects


Updated: 22 NOV 99
Project Number and Title
4047 - Total Library Management System
Programme/Action line Call Topic(s) Start End Project Duration
in Months
FP 4/ A 3 October 1996

Keywords : encryption; library management; networked resources - access; smart cards
Related projects : ELISE II; VILIB

blue bullet Additional information is available from the TOLIMAC Web site . (

Action Line

Action line A: Network-oriented internal library systems

Call Topic(s)

Call Topic 3: Development and testing of tools for the management and administration of library services in an electronic environment

Project description

TOLIMAC sought to manage access to, and use of, networked resources and services within an institutional or campus context. System functionality was based on microprocessor chipcard technology which enables library and information service users to gain access to a range of services using a single card and a single code, and to make payments. Security issues were addressed through digital encryption, authentication and digital signature techniques. Under TOLIMAC, library managers will have access to a single tool to assist in library management.

Technical approach

The project was developed technically in two main phases:

Phase 1 - Define the TOLIMAC service on the basis of library users' and data providers' requirements.

Phase 2 - Develop, implement and evaluate the TOLIMAC pilot system, including:

  • Development of electronic systems which allow access to internal and external library services.
  • Integration of office automation, telematic and information technology equipment into the system.
  • Customisation and development of chipcard solutions for material reservations, lending services, library management and charging.

Core technologies used included:

  • Digital encryption, authentication and signature techniques and associated standards (e.g. ISO9796; RIPE-MD; MD5; RSA etc.).
  • Networking technologies based on known or de facto standards (e.g. TCP/IP; HTTP-P; WWW protocols etc.).
  • Microprocessor chipcards used for authentication and for payment of information products (e.g. as an electronic purse).

Key issues

Main issues addressed in the project have been:

  • Access control in libraries.
  • Integrated management and control of information resources and their associated costs.
  • Use of more than one library, or access to multiple resources, from multiple locations.


The two major demonstration and test sites were situated at Université Libre de Bruxelles - Bibliothèques (BE) and University of Surrey (UK).

The TOLIMAC concept has provided an opportunity to control and manage access to information resources and provided a unique demonstration of a solution for commercial library resource transaction over electronic networks. Moreover the security aspects of the solution have been of importance in the field of electronic or digital libraries and their future potential exploitation of remote access through networks.
TOLIMAC effectively demonstrated the ability of libraries to fulfil their role as information intermediaries between providers and end-users, by facilitating user access to electronic services, distributed via the Internet and guaranteeing payment to providers.


The main deliverables of the project include the following, not all of which are for public release:

  • State-of-the-art review and report
  • Technical specification
  • Phase 1 Final report
  • Prototype specifications, software and analysis or prototype report
  • Evaluation methods report
  • Implementation report
  • Marketing plan
  • Annual and Final project reports.

Additional information is available from the contact below and from the Web at: TOLIMAC Web site .


Name of Institution/Organisation Postal Code / City Country
Université Libre de Bruxelles - Bibliothèques B - 1050 BRUXELLES BE
Title, First Name, Name M. Jean-Pierre DEVROEY Address: Avenue F. D. Roosevelt, 50 C.P. 180
Tel: + 32 2 650 23 68 Fax: + 32 2 650 41 86
E-mail 1:
E-mail 2:

Other Partners

Name of Institution/Organisation Country Role
Université Libre de Bruxelles - Cryptologie BE P
University of Surrey UK P

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