My colleagues in e-Library Services at Lincoln have been spending the last few weeks updating our Library Management System (LMS) – SirsiDynix Horizon. This work included upgrading from v7.34 to v7.51b of the Horizon software itself (and from v3.08 to v3.21 of our library catalogue HiP) as well as moving Horizon off an internal Lincoln server to external SaaS, and re-connecting all the associated systems (access control; Keystone; the 2CQR Lucid self-service touchscreen software, etc.).
We’ve also changed our connection details for remote searching of our library catalogue via the Z39.50 protocol. Our new Z39.50 URL is z3950s://www.library.lincoln.ac.uk:210/lincoln (replacing the old z3950s://188.8.131.52:210/horizon).
A couple of people on Twitter asked why I was bothering. Z39.50 is a national and international (ISO 23950) standard defining a protocol for computer-to-computer information retrieval – and is pretty much the definition of dinosaur library tech:
@pstainthorp I can just picture all those “the library is bloody awful — it doesn’t have a Z39.50 server” NSS comments
— Dave Pattern (@daveyp) April 26, 2012
But secretly I ❤ Z39.50. Also, a few services listed below—most notably RefWorks—still make use of it. The full details of our new Z39.50 setup are:
- URL: z39.50s://www.library.lincoln.ac.uk:210/lincoln
- Name: University of Lincoln Library Catalogue
- Host name: www.library.lincoln.ac.uk
- Port: 210
- Database name: lincoln
- Record syntax: USMARC
- Element set: F
And here’s a very short list of registries and services that list and/or make use of our Z39.50 profile. I’ll add to this list if any more come to light.
- Copac, the UK union catalogue, uses Z39.50 in order to include results from Lincoln in Copac “@yourlibrary” searches.
- IESR, the MIMAS-run free and machine-readable catalogue of electronic resources.
- RefWorks’ “Search Online Catalog or Database” feature uses Z39.50 to import results from our catalogue. (We also list a small number of e-databases that can be searched via Z39.50 in RefWorks – I wonder if anyone uses these?)
- The Library of Congress‘s Z39.50 gateway list of library catalogues accessible via Z39.50.
- The Z39.50 Target Directory (IRSpy) —Edit: 24 May 2012
For testing Z39.50 in the past, I have used the free-to-download Mercury Z39.50 Client from Basedow Information Systems. Other client software is available.