Posts Tagged ‘local’

Taking the register

Posted on May 23rd, 2011 by Paul Stainthorp

In talking about authentication issues, the notion kept coming up that single, central, shared registries of information about libraries (e.g. the WorldCat Registry) could be valuable in helping publishers to make it easier for users to navigate to subscribed content via their own institution’s login option(s).

This spurred me to thinking: in what central/shared registries are our library details held, and what use can I [and our students/staff] make of this information?

This’ll be one of those blog posts that I’m still adding to in a year’s time, as I remember more stuff. I’ve(And a passing thought – wouldn’t it be cool if there was a single über-registry for libraries that brought all of these details together using a single API? Anyone?)

The University of Lincoln has library information registered with:

1. ISIL – International Standard Identifier for Libraries

An ISIL is like an ISBN or ISSN for an entire library: a way of uniquely and unambiguously identifying “an organization, or one of its subordinate units, throughout its life“. We have an ISIL for each of our five libraries, assigned to us a year ago by the British Library (the UK national agency for the ISIL). We use them for RFID stock control; to associate a copy of a book with its home library. The ISIL standard is ISO 15511:2009. Our five ISILs are:

GB-UkLiUGCW University of Lincoln: Great Central Warehouse University Library
GB-UkLiUTRR University of Lincoln: Theology Reading Room, Chad Varah House
GB-UkLiURPC University of Lincoln: Riseholme Park Campus Library
GB-UkSnHOC University of Lincoln: Holbeach Campus Library
GB-UkHlHUC University of Lincoln: Hull Campus Library

2. LibraryThing local

LibraryThing local (www.librarything.com/local) is a user-maintained directory and “gateway to thousands of local bookstores, libraries and book festivals“. LibraryThing users can create and edit entries for individual libraries, browse libraries by geographical area (including via a nice Google Maps display), add libraries to a list of favourites, and subscribe to RSS feeds of library events in their area (e.g.). We don’t really make use of these features – we don’t run a lot of ‘public’ events at the moment.

We’ve had directory entries since 2009 for four out of our five libraries, which I’ve “claimed” using my own LT account – writing this, I’ve noticed that the Theology Reading Room doesn’t have an entry.

  1. University of Lincoln – GCW University Library
  2. University of Lincoln – Theology Reading Room [no entry]
  3. University of Lincoln – Riseholme Park Campus Library
  4. University of Lincoln – Hull Campus Library
  5. University of Lincoln – Holbeach Campus Library

3. OpenURL registry

Our OpenURL link resolver (EBSCO LinkSource) is registered with the OpenURL Router service, maintained by EDINA for all UK HE and FE institutions. The registry holds details of our base URL for constructing links, our preferred link resolver button image Find it @ Lincoln, and our authentication details (UK Federation scope and IP ranges).

Registry entry at:

Service providers can construct OpenURLs for our users with the base URL: http://openurl.ac.uk/

4. Talis Silkworm Directory

We have (had?) entries in the Talis Silkworm Directory (directory.­talis.­com) for all five of our libraries. This is (was?) a community-driven open directory of information about libraries, that powers (powered?) mashups like Philip Adams’ SCONUL Access libraries maps on the De Montfort University library website.

As you can probably tell from my present/past tense confusion above, I don’t know if this directory is still operational. I’d heard it was defunct some time ago, and it now appears that the directory.talis.com subdomain has been switched off.

5. Social networking websites

The GCW University Library has a page on Foursquare, the “location-based mobile platform that makes cities easier to use and more interesting to explore”. An interesting one this – it’s not a library-focused service, and not one we ‘control’ (though the official @unilincoln Twitter account is listed as ‘staff’), but probably the site that most of our users will interact with.

We also have a Flickr profile: I used it to upload a set of (mainly) historical photos of the GCW building, back in October/November 2008. I haven’t used it since. We’ve never bothered with specific Library accounts on Twitter or Facebook*.

6. UK Access Management Federation

We’re a member of the UK Access Management Federation: this controls all sorts of authentication to third-party electronic resources and comes with its own set of jargon:

7. WorldCat Registry

This is the newest one on me: although I think I remember someone from OCLC (Mark Allcock?) talking about it at the first UK Mashed Library event in 2008; it was only a Twitter conversation last week that promopted me to look at it in earnest.

Again, four out of our five libraries already have profiles (which I’ve now “claimed”). I’m still exploring the site, and I haven’t yet updated/registered all of our details, so I’m not entirely sure what benefits we can get from it – I’d appreciate any advice from WorldCat Registry old hands. I don’t understand how the WorldCat Registry relates to the WorldCat Affiliate Tools—if at all—either.

  1. University of Lincoln, GCW University Library
  2. University of Lincoln, Theology Reading Room [no entry]
  3. University of Lincoln, Riseholme Park Campus Library
  4. University of Lincoln, Hull Campus Library
  5. University of Lincoln, Holbeach Campus Library

8. Document supply (added 23 May 2011)

Owen Stephens suggested this one. We’re listed in the British Library’s Directory of Library Codes for document supply, where we have our own identifier (it’s HL/C-3). I’m sure my colleagues in inter-library loans won’t hit me for not knowing that off the top of my head.