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OLS: MORE Technology

Technology

The Shared Catalog (Z39.50)

Usually when libraries create a shared catalog, they all have the same automated library system. For example, OhioLINK uses Innovative Interfaces, CLEVNET uses SirsiDynix Unicorn, and SEO uses SirsiDynix Horizon. In order to connect every library in the state (school, public, academic), software called VDX uses the Z39.50 standard, which provides a searching interface among disparate systems. By using Z39.50, users do not have to be familiar with searching commands for each system or the address for each catalog. By clicking the OLS: MORE button in their online catalog or the library's webpage, users can re-execute their search statewide, find the desired item, view holdings, and place a request. Z39.50 translates the search and sends it to the catalogs of all participating libraries. It retrieves bibliographic information for display to the patron, along with holdings. Many automated library system vendors have a Z39.50 interface for linking library catalogs. The Library of Congress has additional information about Z39.50. [top]

Patron Authentication (SIP)

Because remote searching of catalogs has become increasingly popular, more information from automated systems is needed to accommodate complex transactions, and SIP has evolved to accommodate these demands. There are two versions of SIP: SIP and SIP2. SIP can communicate basic transactions such as validating a patron and checking an item out and in; SIP2 prevents delinquent patrons from making requests and has a holds messaging feature that places holds for items directly into your local system. Documentation for SIP and SIP2 is available in from the 3M Website.

Not all implementations of SIP are the same.  Because SIP is only a protocol and not a standard, automation vendors interact with SIP in different ways, and probably have not put all of the SIP functions into their system. Talk to your automation vendor about their use of SIP and what messages they support.[top]

More Advanced Functions (SIP2)

Because remote searching of catalogs has become increasingly popular, more information from automated systems has been needed to accommodate complex transactions, and SIP has evolved to accommodate these demands. There are two versions of SIP: SIP and SIP2. SIP can communicate basic transactions such as validating a patron and checking an item out and in; SIP2 prevents delinquent patrons from making requests and has a holds messaging feature that places holds for items directly into your local system. Documentation for SIP and SIP2 is available in from the 3M Website.

Not all implementations of SIP are the same. Because SIP is only a protocol and not a standard,automation vendors interact with SIP in different ways, and probably have not put all of the SIP functions into their system. Talk to your automation vendor about their use of SIP and what messages they support. Here are some desired message functions:

  1. Patron authentication lets OLS: MORE check your database to see if the patron making a request is valid.  If your system has SIP2, then you can prevent your delinquent patrons from making requests.
     
  2. Checkout and Checkin lets OLS: MORE update the status of your materials when you send them to another library and when they come back to you. Items that you lend will be automatically checked out to OLS: MORE, so you won't have to process material in both OLS: MORE and your local system.
     
  3. Hold is a SIP2 function that will let OLS: MORE place holds for items directly into your local system. These requests will then appear in your regular hold report. Unfortunately, since there isn't a need for self-checkout stations to do this, few automation systems have developed this function, and you will find your incoming requests in the OLS: MORE system.
     
  4. CreateItem/DeleteItem are extensions to SIP that, like the hold messages, are not currently supported by many systems. If your system does support these, then OLS: MORE can create brief records in your catalog when you borrow items from other libraries. You will use these brief records to circulate borrowed items to your patrons.  [top]

Will this ever be truly standard?

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) approved the NCIP standard, Z39.83. NCIP (NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol) will allow you to do more of the resource sharing tasks in one system as opposed to duplicate tasks in both systems. So far, several Ohio libraries/consortia with SirsiDynix have successfully implemented NCIP to work with OCLC's VDX product. We are not aware of additional successful implementations involving other library vendors. Contact your library vendor to ask about the status of NCIP with OCLC's VDX product, or contact us at olsmore@library.ohio.gov. [top]