The PRIDE project has launched a demonstrator of a directory system that is a model for an information infrastructure for the library community, and potentially the key to interoperability. The directory is a place to store descriptive information about organisations, services, people. It can store information such as addresses of libraries, descriptions of their print and electronic collections, contact details for the ILL librarian, details of Web services from libraries or publishers, technical details of services such as location of Z39.50 targets. Maintenance of a PRIDE directory is distributed, so that those with the most current information about details of a service maintain information about it. PRIDE has developed a number of agents and harvesters to maintain the directory largely automatically.
At the moment there is no one systematic source of information about libraries, library services and other services relevant to libraries such as Web based databases or electronic journals. This is a problem both for librarians and users. It makes knowing even where to begin an information search difficult. Finding details of a particular service is haphazard. For example, looking for the telephone number of an ILL department or the URL of an online database or technical details about a Z39.50 server. In other words, there is a lack of adequate information infrastructure. Interoperability is the key to creating networked information infrastructure and the PRIDE Project has addressed the various technical components required to sustain access management and interoperability in a global distributed information services environment.
You are invited to come and explore the site, and discover how a PRIDE directory could benefit your own service, and the library community in general.
Funded under FP4 of Telematics for libraries programme of the EC, the PRIDE web site gives more information about the ideas behind the project. PRIDE Website: www.viscount.org.uk/pride/
Based on standards
The core of the service is based on directory technology, using X.500 and LDAP; the whole system is based on open standards. Maintenance of the directory is distributed, so each entry is maintained by the relevant service provider or individual. Software Agents harvest Z39.50 and RDF records to populate and update the directory automatically. The web-based PRIDE Universal Client (PUC) is the main access route into the system, both for users and administrators. For a full account of the underlying technology please refer to the project Web site.
The Benefits of PRIDE
To illustrate the value of PRIDE some of the things you could do in a PRIDE directory include:
- Search for the address and opening hours of a library
- Search for the telephone number of the librarian responsible for ILL at another library · Browse online services
- Search for a library with a strong collection of books on ecclesiastical history - and connect to the online OPAC, if available
- Search for online databases that cover psychology - and check terms of access, and find the email of those who run the service
- Look at services that have been selected for me by the librarian
- Look at clumps of services that have been associated together by the librarian
- Log directly into a password protected site, without having to remember a password (using an 'Access Profile')
- Be alerted of new services or collections in my area of subject interest (using an 'SDI Profile').
- Find contacts with similar interests to me.
- Import metadata about users, organisations and other resources stored in RDF or XML into the directory (via the RDF Harvester)
- Collect information about service configurations (Z39.50 Explain Harvester)
- Search multiple databases, without having to manually configure suitable targets (Z39.50 Proxy)
The project was part funded for 26 months from 10th June 1998 by the European Commission under the Fourth Framework of the Telematics Applications Programme. The project manager is Andrew Colleran, of Quercus Information Ltd in the UK. The other partners include: London and South Eastern Library Region (LASER), who are project coordinators; Fretwell-Downing Informatics Ltd; UKOLN at University of Bath; University College Dublin; CERLIM at Manchester Metropolitan University; University of East Anglia; Macquarie University, Australia; Bibliothèque de l'Université René Descartes - Paris V; Otto-von-Guericke-Universität, Universitätsbibliothek, Magdeburg; IQSoft, Hungary; LITC at South Bank University, London. The British Library is a sponsoring partner, and other commercial sponsors are supporting the project.
Contact for PRIDE
Quercus Information Limited,
30 Holyoake Road,
Oxford OX3 8AE, UK
Tel: +44 1865 768902 ; fax:+44 1865 436670
Official European project synopsis:
PRIDE Website: http://www.viscount.org.uk/pride/
Notes for Editors
- LASER is the preferred name for London and South Eastern Library Region, the Development and Networking Agency. Building on a history of regional and inter-regional resource sharing activity since 1926, LASER is now developing new approaches to cultural services development and promoting access to learning resources, based on a wide range of partnerships.
- Further information about LASER may be obtained from:
Frances Hendrix, Director,
LASER, London & South Eastern Library Region
70 Wapping Lane
London E1W 2RS
Tel: +44 020 7702 2020
Fax: +44 020 7702 2019