PICA Libraries Test Z39.50 Interface to OCLC FirstSearch Databases

Article excerpt

End users in six libraries in the Netherlands have begun an evaluation of a Z39.50 interface link to OCLC's FirstSearch service. The Z39.50 interface has been adapted by PICA (Project for Integrated Catalogue Automation), the Dutch Centre for Library Automation, in association with OCLC.

The client software on the central PICA system will function as a gateway for PICA users' central and local systems to the OCLC Z39.50 server. End users will be able to search die FirstSearch databases using the online public access catalog interface they are accustomed to. Library staff will access FirstSearch at their cataloging workstations.

The six libraries participating in the evaluation are the University of Amsterdam; Brabant University, Tilburg; Twente University, Enschede; State University of Groningen; Erasmus University, Rotterdam; and State University Leiden.

"Through Internet, we now offer our users access to the richness of OCLC's FirstSearch service through the same PICA interface as the one used for our own databases; this is what I call real integration," said Look Costers, director of PICA. …