Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is a Government agency, whose task is to secure the conservation and enhancement of Scotland's natural heritage - the wildlife, habitats and landscapes. They also advise on policy and promote projects which aim to improve the natural heritage and support its sustainable use, now and for the future.
The library service at Scottish Natural Heritage implemented the OLIB7 library management solution in April 1999. It is now running live at the Head Office in Leith, Edinburgh, and there are plans to make it available to all 40 SNH offices, using OLIB7's WebView, across the intranet.
The remit of the library is varied. As you might expect, it has responsibility for the collection and dissemination of traditional information sources such as books, reports, journals, etc. The es. These fields too were designed into the catalogue record.
Another key feature of this initiative was to leave the material in its original place i.e. not to bring it together in a single location or as a single physical catalogue. In order to achieve this aim, locator details, such as custodian or owner of the material, were added to the catalogue record.
The Data catalogue project also required that users had the opportunity to search only Data Catalogue materials, or to simultaneously search Data Catalogue and the library. In order to achieve this degree of flexibility for the user, SNH implemented OLIB7's Z39.50 option, which enables multiple databases to be searched simultaneously. End-user search access will be provided across the organisation, and therefore across Scotland, using OLIB7's WebView interface.
With an initial project plan of six months, the cataloguing project has brought to light so much useful knowledge, that it has been agreed to extend the project until end of Feb 2001. The future also brings an extension to the Data Catalogue project to integrate useful knowledge and information held within Scotland's local authorities and other external partners.
Heather Shirra, Geographic Information Group Manager at SNH, describes the reasons behind this development, “By extending the data catalogue outside its own organisational boundary, SNH is using today's technology to create an outward looking knowledge strategy that will support the development of its work and that will encourage a learning environment across the organisation.