Text provided by William E. Moen, principal investigator, Z Texas Implementation Component for the Library of Texas Project
The Library of Texas is a project of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) and the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund Board (TIF). The LOT will bring the resources of Texas libraries to all Texans and usher in a new era of library services through the development and integration of new technologies. The LOT will build upon the existing network infrastructure of Texas libraries and will encompass a virtual catalog enabled through the use of the ANSI/NISO Z39.50 information retrieval protocol, an integrating search and retrieval interface to the LOT's multiple components, and a document delivery service based on interlibrary loan and other mechanisms.
Ultimately, the LOT may encompass more than 600 Texas public and academic libraries, their resources, and their patrons. Once in place, Texans will be able to connect to a common interface and search the catalogs and electronic databases contained in numerous libraries all across Texas, all in one session. Search criteria can be narrowed to the specific needs of the user. The LOT will be a virtual library extending the reach and range of Texans to the information they need.
The Texas Center for Digital Knowledge (TxCDK) at the University of North Texas is working on a project to support the planning and implementation of three LOT components:
Virtual Catalog: Texans will be able to search across multiple library catalogs from a single interface (thus creating the sense of a virtual catalog) to identify library resources without regard to geographical location of either the searcher or the resources.
Integrating search and retrieval interface: From a single interface, Texans will be able to search diverse resources easily, thus integrating access to library catalogs, the state licensed online databases, and other resources.
Document delivery service framework: Once Texans have discovered and identified library resources, the LOT will provide resource delivery services, e.g., interlibrary loan for materials or electronic access for digital resources.
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The first two components provide the basis of a standards-based LOT Resource Discovery Service. The Resource Discovery Service will utilize the ANSI/NISO Z39.50 information retrieval protocol and build upon the work of the Texas Z39.50 Implementor Group and its Z39.50 specifications. The third component will utilize existing and emerging standards for delivery of resources. TxCDK's general approach will be to build consensus on LOT's functional requirements, develop an overall architecture for LOT, formalize the requirements in detailed specifications, and demonstrate feasibility in proof of concept implementations. The outcomes of this project will provide information and experience to enable TSLAC decision makers to choose one or more evolutionary paths for LOT.
As with any leading edge effort, development paths must be chosen with available information while accommodating external factors that can lead to modification of assumptions, timelines, and technologies. TxCDK's work will lay a solid foundation, minimize risk, and propose implementation phases for LOT functionality. TxCDK's plan of action includes the following activities:
Planning and management the 10-month project
Conducting a technology inventory and assessment of libraries
Developing and building consensus on LOT requirements and specifications, including Identifying functional requirements for LOT
-Reviewing appropriate standards and technologies
-Designing an overall LOT architecture
-Documenting specifications for virtual catalog and integrating search and retrieval interface
Coordinating proof of concept implementations, including
-Developing the proof of concept approach
-Working with vendors and developers who will produce small scale viable demonstration of the resource discovery service and the integrating search and retrieval interface
Planning and conducting evaluation, including
-Developing an overall evaluation plan for assessing the effectiveness and utility of LOT
-Developing an evaluation plan for the proof of concept implementations
-Evaluating the proof of concept implementations.
As a result of the work, TXCDK will deliver the following:
An overall project plan that addresses both this one-year project and the three-year time period of TIF-funded LOT development. The plan will provide a phased-in approach for LOT functionality
A report summarizing the results of the technology inventory and readiness assessment
A report of the functional requirements for LOT (near-term and long-term)
A published architecture for LOT based on the functional requirements Documented public specifications for the virtual catalog and the integrating search and retrieval interface
A report of the document delivery service framework (implementation of which will be considered for year two of the LOT work)
An overall evaluation plan for LOT
A formative evaluation of the virtual catalog and the integrating search and retrieval interface components during the proof of concept implementations
A plan that will guide the proof of concept activities
For the proof of concept implementations, TXCDK will work with TSLAC to ensure a small-scale feasibility demonstration of the LOT Resource Discovery Service (i.e., the virtual catalog and the integrating search and retrieval interface components) by Fall, 2002. More specifically the demonstration will include:
A virtual catalog involving 20 to 30 online library catalogs interconnected via Z39.50
An integrating search and retrieval interface that provides single search capability across two or more online library catalogs and two or more TSLAC licensed online databases.
This proof of concept approach will enable TSLAC to choose a path for full-scale development of the LOT Resource Discovery Service. The proof of concept implementations will provide TSLAC, the TIF Board, the legislature, and the public a highly visible demonstration of the reality of LOT and its potential for the citizens of Texas.
TXCDK is working as a partner with TSLAC and has assumed overall responsibilities to plan and support the work associated with an implementation approach for the LOT Resource Discovery Service.
In addition, TXCDK has established an Advisory Group of more than 25 Texas librarians to assist the project staff in various aspects of designing and developing the LOT Resource Discovery Service. Contact any member of the Advisory Group to discuss this valuable project and what it means to you.
Project documents including a summaries of focus groups with librarians, the functional requirements for the resource discovery service, and other background documents on the project are available on the the website: http://www.unt.edu/zlot/index.htm
A power point file from William E. Moen, Texas Center for Digital Knowledge shown at the 2002 Texas Library Association is available. Go to the Publications & Presentations page of this web site for more links to power point presentations and HTML documents.
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Uplift Pilot Program for the Library of Texas search service
The Texas State Library and Archives Commission is pleased to announce an opportunity for public, academic, and other TexShare libraries to participate in the Uplift Pilot Program for the Library of Texas Resource Discovery Service. Uplift is defined as the process of enhancing a local library catalog so that it supports the standards and profiles required for the Resource Discovery Service. This pilot program will provide funding and technical support in order to upgrade and/or add Z39.50 server capability to local library catalogs. This will prepare the local catalogs for full participation in the Resource Discovery Service. Many Texas librarians have seen presentations about this project at TLA or at their regional library system meetings. This project has been developed with support from the Texas Center for Digital Knowledge at the University of North Texas and funded through a Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund grant.
Requirements for Participation: Libraries must have an Internet connection and use an automated library system. Libraries of all types, sizes, and regions will be included in this pilot program. Application date may be a factor in selecting libraries for participation so please apply as soon as possible. Applicants that are not selected for the Pilot Program may be invited to participate in future uplift efforts.
Application Process: Each library must apply on-line. You will be asked to provide some contact information and to identify the product and version number you use for your automated library system. If you are currently running a Z39.50 server we will need the address, port, and database name for it. (like star.tsl.texas.gov, port 2200, "unicorn")
The collected data will not be disclosed, made available to third parties, or otherwise used for a purpose other than this, except with the consent of the submitting library or as required by law or regulation. Kevin Marsh is the contact for any questions.
March 2004 - The Library of Texas is here! - UPDATED!
More about the Library of Texas: how it categorizes subjects, how to use it, how to add your library, and how it processes Inter-Library Loan requests. Contact Kevin Marsh, Developer of Networked Services, with questions or comments.
February 2004 - The Library of Texas is here!
The Library of Texas at LibraryofTexas.org allows users to easily discover and retrieve desired information from multiple library catalogs, databases, and other knowledge collections. Texans no longer need to use a separate interface for each individual library or database. At present, the Library of Texas searches through the catalogs of 63 public libraries, 26 academic libraries, and 40 TexShare commercial databases.
If your library Internet addresses are on file with the State Library you can immediately connect to this URL and begin searching. If not, you will need to log in with your TexShare login ID and password. If your computer accepts "cookies" it will remember your ID so that next time you visit you will not need to log in again. Your library users may also begin using this service from any Internet location, not just at the library. Users do not need an ID to search library catalogs, but will need to use your TexShare login ID and password to get access to TexShare databases.
Contact Kevin Marsh, Developer of Networked Services, with questions or comments, or if you want to know how the Library of Texas participating libraries were chosen, and how your library can be included.
July-August 2003 - Haven't signed up for the Resource Discovery Uplift Pilot Program yet? You still have an opportunity to participate!
A Call for Participation page with links to an Information and Guidelines FAQ is available now. Or click below for direct access to links:
Uplift Pilot Program FAQ Word format | PDF format
Z39.50 Server Implementation Issues and Recommendations
Word format | PDF format
Apply to participate now! Contact Kevin Marsh, Network Services Librarian at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission Library Resource Sharing Division with any questions you may have at:
ph# 512/463-5534 or
May 2003 - Want clarification on exactly how Public Libraries will benefit from the Resource Discovery Service? Then read "Library of Texas Resource Discovery Service: What's in it for Public Libraries?" Written by Kevin Marsh, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
May 2003 - Apply online to the Resource Discovery Service Uplift Pilot Program. The Texas State Library and Archives Commission is pleased to announce an opportunity for public, academic, and other TexShare libraries to participate in the Uplift Pilot Program for the Library of Texas Resource Discovery Service. Uplift is defined as the process of enhancing a local library catalog so that it supports the standards and profiles required for the Resource Discovery Service. Please go here for more information.
Oct. 2002 - Links to the Technology Inventory and Assessment Study conducted by Dr. William E. Moen, Dr. Kathleen R. Murray, and the Texas Center for Digital Knowledge, University of North Texas have been added. The study employed a 75-question survey instrument to measure the technology capabilities of academic and public libraries that are members of TexShare. Links to the Executive Summary: PDF format, MS Word format. Links to entire study: PDF format, MS Word format.
Oct. 2002 - Evaluation statements for an over all evaluation plan of the Library of Texas are now available at this site. Dr. Charles R. McClure of Information Management Consultant Services, Inc. is leading this effort via a sub-contract with the ZLOT Project, which is administered by Dr. William E. Moen and the Texas Center for Digital Knowledge, University of North Texas. More information about TCDK is available on the Resource Discovery Page.
LIBRARY INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ASSOCIATION (LITA)
August - October 2002: Three ILS (Integrated Library Systems) vendors are participating in the ZLOT Proof of Concept Virtual Catalog Application area. The vendors are each identifying two library catalogs which they will upgrade or enhance to address the ZLOT functional requirements. These catalogs are also to be included as targets in the Search and Retrieval Interface demonstration/prototypes.
The ILS vendors are:
Epixtech Innovative SIRSI.
The following libraries have been chosen to participate:
Dallas Community College University of North Texas St. Edwards University Abilene Library Consortium Irving Public Library Fort Stockton Public Library
August 2002: The number of companies/organizations signed up to participate in the L.O.T. Resource Discovery Service proof of concept effort conducted by Dr. Moen at U.N.T. increases to 11. These organizations have been given access to the existing catalogs of 17 libraries to demonstrate their Search and Retrieval Interface applications.
The companies participating are:
Auto-Graphics Blue Angel Technologies Epixtech Ex Libris Fretwell-Downing Index Data Innovative Muse Global OCLC Sea Change SIRSI
The libraries allowing these companies to search their catalogs include both public and academic, with a wide range of collection sizes and a variety of automated systems. They are:
Arlington Public Library Abell Library Center Austin College Baylor University Libraries Bedford Public Library Central Texas College Library Chambers County Library System Fort Stockton Public Library Hurst Public Library Joe A. Hall High School and Community Library North Richland Hills Public Library Roanoke Public Library Wildenthal Library Sul Ross State University Taylor Public Library Texas Christian University University of Texas at Austin General Libraries University of Texas at Austin � Law University of Texas at El Paso
This demonstrates a robust marketplace that exceeds our previous expectations. These vendors will demonstrate how their existing products can be customized to meet and exceed the specifications identified through focus groups and refined by the project's advisory board.
July - August 2002: Eight vendors sign up to participate in the proof of concept effort conducted by Dr. Moen at U.N.T. Vendors will demonstrate how their existing products can be customized to meet and exceed the specifications identified through focus groups and refined by the project's advisory board.
Feb. 2002 - The Texas State Library and Archives Commission has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Library of Texas Resource Discovery Service. Several vendors have indicated an intent to bid on this project.