The objective of the project is to develop a multimedia library information system to give all categories of library users more effective access to information available in the local public library and in the local community.
The system will be based on the following:
integration of networked resources (e.g. collections of laws);
user training model linked to local catalogues;
introductory information adapted to various user types, including students, children of different ages and the elderly;
access from both inside and outside the library.
The main focus of the development will be to develop multimedia facilities in order that users of different types and with different requirements can enjoy integrated access to information, education and retrieval via a common interface. The system will be based on a set of modules which will be designed to accommodate different languages and cultural adaptations.
The demonstrator will be based on the following technical criteria:
a server gateway between HTTP and Z39.50 facilitating access using an HTML front-end client;
implementation of hypertext interfaces to facilitate browsing and querying of the library information resources;
extension to wide-area access (WAN) allowing several servers and local and remote clients (via Internet, modem or ISDN connections);
integration of multimedia elements (via hard-disk or CD-ROM) accessible to LAN clients and remote clients via ISDN.
Exploitation will be based on user feedback received from experience with the demonstrator and will seek to establish the public library as the foremost information centre in the community.
The main issues to be explored are:
integrated access to a variety of library and community information services;
ease of use based on graphical user interfaces;
need to safeguard the role of the public library in providing information to the local community;
a standardised approach which will be suitable for use with a variety of library systems.
Impact, users and expected results
The project will strive to make the best possible use of new developments in networking and interfacing in order that businesses, institutions and individuals can access information from the local library as well as from other sources in the local community. The probable impact will be to bring the citizen closer to the information resource with a resulting improvement in facilities for educational and leisure-oriented services.
Marketing prospects will include libraries in Denmark, the other Nordic countries, Portugal and the European Union at large. Well over a thousand libraries could benefit from the system to be developed.
The user analysis has been completed and most of the work on functional specifications has been carried out. Good progress has also been made on the design aspects (children's information, training on information retrieval and catalogue access and user interfaces) leading to a small prototype with the purpose of testing the user interfaces and search options on both librarian and library users. Progress on dissemination has been achieved through articles, presentations and workshops. An ILIERS information leaflet has been prepared and an ILIERS Website created.. The project was presented and demonstrated at the Telematics for Libraries stand at the IFLA Conference 1997 in Copenhagen (4 September 1997).