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Telematics for Libraries - Projects


Updated: 22 NOV 99
Project Number and Title
5618 - Virtual library
Programme/Action line Call Topic(s) Start End Project Duration
in Months
FP 4/ C 8-9-10 bis January 1998

Keywords : information retrieval; multilingual searching; natural language processing

blue bullet Additional information is available from the VILIB Web site .

Action Line

Action line C: Library Services for Access to Networked Information Resources

Call Topic(s)

Call topic 8-9-10 bis: Adding value to networked information services delivered through libraries

Project description

VILIB is developing a system for natural language, multilingual searching of catalogue titles and full-text documents, including the following languages and language pairs: English, French, German and Spanish. Eng-lish, French and German can be combined for a multilingual search. Spanish-English and English-Spanish will be offered as pairs. VILIB is making extensive use of results obtained from project CANAL/LS under FP3 and of know-how gained under ESPRIT project EMIR.

Technical approach

VILIB is being developed in three phases:

Phase 1 - Analysis of requirements and preparation of the main specifications

Phase 2 - Detailed design, development and testing of main modules

Phase 3 - Demonstration, documentation and exploitation plans for the complete system.

The project is focused on the practical needs of two user groups:

  • Selected libraries of CEMS (Community of European Management Schools), representing mainly students' user needs.
  • Three information providers in the domain of water treatment and the environment, located in France, Germany and Spain, representing the needs of engineers and research staff.

The VILIB system integrates the following components:

  • A User Engine (user front-end and WWW interface).
  • The augmented CANAL system: Linguistic Server, Linguistic Analysis and Translation System (derived from the CANAL/LS system.
  • Z39.50-gateway: Transformation from Linguistic Server Requests to Z39.50 V3 protocol messages (in the case of catalogue titles) and Z39.50 V3-Search Engine.
  • Full text extraction: using the IT7 indexing system.

Key issues

Key issues faced by VILIB in adding value to networked information services delivered through libraries include the need to:

  • Provide facilities to improve the results of catalogue searches through linguistic processing of queries.
  • Support unified access to combined networked information and library-based resources by providing an interface to both catalogue and full-text data.
  • Contribute to the creation of lin-guistically enhanced tools for searching networked information repositories.


In general terms, VILIB will help library users to cope with Europe's linguistic diversity. The possibility of cross-lingual searches facilitates access to multilingual data and can thus open the market for "national language information" which need not necessarily be in English.
Commercial exploitation of VILIB will be enhanced by experiences from real users, who will benefit directly from availability of better search options.
Information providers will be able to enhance the attractiveness and utility of their services due to the simultaneous cross-lingual search capability offered in VILIB.


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

  • User needs report
  • VILIB architecture design document
  • VILIB user engine specification and software
  • Full text search engine design specification and software
  • Dictionaries in various languages
  • VILIB Z39.50 gateway design and software
  • VILIB prototype
  • Evaluation and exploitation plans
  • Annual and Final project reports.

Additional information is available from the contact below and from the project Web site:
VILIB Web site .


Name of Institution/Organisation Postal Code / City Country
CRIL INGENIERIE F-92360 / Meudon la Forêt FR
Title, First Name, Name Mr Pierre Celnik Address: 25-27 rue Jeanne Braconnier
E-mail 1: (email removed) E-mail 2:

Other Partners

Name of Institution/Organisation Country Role
Textec Software DE P
Futuretec DE P
International Office for Water FR P
Cedex DE P
Forschungszentrum Jülich DE P
Universität Köln DE P
liaison with other R&D; projects and dissemination of

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