The electronic enquiry and referral service for European libraries is based on the ISO 9594/CCITT X.500 Directory standard. The concepts and feasibility of the service will be defined and evaluated during a pilot operation using business as a subject topic.
The project will develop a pilot enquiry and referral service between 3 library communities in Portugal, UK and Belgium. The services and architecture of LIRN will be studied and defined. Information regarding the subject of business will be held in a distributed data base in the X.500 format.
Impact and expected results:
Libraries and, increasingly, industry are looking for cost effective electronic information services. The pilot clearly demonstrated that a reliable, pan-European, international, multilingual business information service is a commercial proposition.
That LIRN would, for the first time, give pan-European access, rapidly and definitively, to business data is a very exciting development in the electronic information services market.
The pilot as a working system is now deliverable. Reports now available in the public domain are:
Directory and DUA specifications;
Services and architecture;
International language aspects;
Network connections report;
Object classes and attribute types in the X.500 DSAs.
Still to be delivered are:
Pilot system report;
Evaluation methodology report;
Training materials report;
User information guide.
There were three consecutive phases in the project: definition, implementation and evaluation. These were further sub-divided into workpackages covering:
Location of information sources in each of the three countries;
Identification of data capture and thesaurus techniques;
Identification of national business communities;
Definition of services and systems architecture;
Installation and test of directory systems in each country;
Directory database build;
Pilot and evaluation.
The main technical issues to be explored are:
- Experiment the use of X.500 directories for libraries;
- Validate the use of standards for international interconnection;
- Foster expertise in communication standards by putting together experts in telecommunications, libraries and business partners.
A catalogue of business information sources, a business thesaurus and the pilot evaluation report are restricted deliverables.
Public documentation is available from the contact below and from http://sun7.iihe.ac.be/index_uk.html and from http://lirn.viscount.org.uk/index_uk.html and also from http://diana.ci.ua.pt/index_uk.html.