Over the past several years, a number of wide-area information navigation and discovery tools have been introduced, including WAIS, Gopher, World-Wide Web, etc. In this paper, we describe a graphical query interface to remote bibliographic databases that can be found on the internet. A library query client, called LibSearch , has been designed and implemented using a set of APIs based on Z39.50 protocol standard. Z39.50 is an application-layer protocol within the OSI reference model designed to allow library users to remotely access the bibliographic records in the library systems. As increasing number of OPAC systems are being established as Z39.50 servers on the internet, Libsearch provides a user-friendly environment to specify search requests and retrieve bibliographic information from these servers. LibSearch supports: (1) the use of window icons to enable users to easily carry out their search activities, (2) remote accesses to diverse library catalogue systems through a simple and uniform interface, (3) the browsing of search results and storing them in files, and (4) simple user customization.
Author and article information
School of Applied Science, Nanyang Technological University
Information Technology Institute, National Computer Board