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World Digital Libraries: An International Journal (WDL)
Vol.12(2)  December 2019
Print ISSN : 0974-567X

SpaceCat: Designing an Integrated Library System-Discovery Interface-based Virtual Union Catalogue for Indian Space Research Organization Libraries

M. N. Alam; Library and Information Service, Physical Research Laboratory,Unit of Department of Space, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad; (E): alam@prl.res.in

P. Mukhopadhyay; Professor and Head, Department of Library and Information Science, Kalyani University, Kalyani, West Bengal; (E): psmukhopadhyay@gmail.com 


This paper is an attempt to develop a prototype virtual union catalogue—SpaceCat—based on physical and virtual model that provides single-window real-time search system designed to display an up-to-date information of collections from the participating Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) libraries, geographically distributed in India. To understand the working of a union catalogue, the Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) functionalities it offers, a feasibility study of the already existing OPACs of union catalogues worldwide was undertaken. This study showed that only a few union catalogues have functions of real-time item-level status of availability; placing holds, single sign-on, personal reading history, late fee calculation, and so on. The global giants in the domain of union catalogue such as WorldCat, Consortium of Online Public Access Catalogues (COPAC) are not providing desired OPAC functionalities in the end-user interfaces. This paper aims to solve this issue by using Integrated Library System–Discovery Interface (ILS–DI) as a standard protocol to interlink front-end search interface that library users interact with, and is often referred to as the ‘Online Public Access Catalogue’ or OPAC of a union catalogue with back-end of the Koha Integrated Library System (ILS) that is specifically for staff use.

The prototype SpaceCat has been developed on the basis of Open Standards and Open Source (OSS) Software. The framework includes Koha ILS as data provider, Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) as data harvesting protocol, VuFind as discovery layer, and ILS–DI-based multi-backend driver for generating OPAC functionalities in end-user interface including single sign-on option.

The study suggests that the product can act as an information discovery and retrieval system to help end-users of entire ISRO community to quickly access the holdings’ information from different geographically distributed ISRO institutes in a pin-pointed, an exhaustive, and an expeditious manner.



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