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CAIRNS goes public. Stephen Winch Scottish Library & Information Council CIGS: State of the union: union catalogues in the Scottish information environment. 6 May 2005. What is CAIRNS?. A service that allows users to search multiple catalogues simultaneously
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CAIRNS goes public Stephen Winch Scottish Library & Information Council CIGS: State of the union: union catalogues in the Scottish information environment. 6 May 2005
What is CAIRNS? • A service that allows users to search multiple catalogues simultaneously • Allows users to select groups of catalogues to search (miniclumps) • A service for researchers, librarians (ILL) and the public • http://cairns.lib.strath.ac.uk/
How does it work? • Z39.50 protocol • Sends a search term to an index • Sends back number of hits and marc records back (could be GRS-1, SUTRS, or XML) • Can also send item information
Background • Instigated by SCURL (the Scottish Confederation of University and Research Libraries) • Originally the Co-operative Academic Information Retrieval Network for Scotland
Original aim The aim is to set up a SCURL clump, also configurable as a number of more specialised sub-clumps, comprising servers at 16 Scottish sites (all 13 Universities ('ancient', 'modern' and 'new' all represented) plus the National Library of Scotland, Queen Margaret College, and East Dunbartonshire Public Libraries). The clump would comprise the 25 installed, or soon to be installed, Z39.50-compliant Scottish catalogues or information services based at the participating sites, but would be open to the inclusion and integration of other compliant Scottish catalogues and information services, and to similar catalogues and services elsewhere.
University of Glasgow Strathclyde University University of Aberdeen University of Abertay Dundee University of Dundee University of Edinburgh Glasgow Caledonian University University of Heriot-Watt Napier University University of Paisley Queen Margaret College The Robert Gordon University University of St. Andrews University of Stirling National Library of Scotland East Dunbartonshire Public Libraries Original CAIRNS members
Public Libraries • In 2004 public libraries were provided with grants to web enable their catalogues and become part of CAIRNS. The project was funded by the NOF and managed by SLIC. • A slow process!
Connecting public libraries • Z39.50 compliance • Very few libraries were compliant at the outset • Many authorities required upgrades • Cost varied widely depending on what vendor they used and what they had in place • Waiting time • Local authorities making decisions • Scheduling upgrades • IT department
Communication problems • Often misunderstandings between library and IT departments • Worse with external IT departments • Disagreements between IT departments and library suppliers • We are getting there!
Cataloguing • Little professional cataloguing • Local subject schemes (if any) • Non standard applications of MARC • UKMARC/MARC 21 mixes • Misapplication of fields • Not all indexes available • Often no ISBN index
Enhancements • Context sensitive searching • More stable service • Information about targets • More targets • Edinburgh Observatory • Edinburgh School of art • Increased item information • Improved management interface
The Future • More targets! • Non library • Non typical indexes • New services • ILL service • Improved interface • Miniclumps integration