Digital Library Federation and 10 Vendors/Developers Reach Accord about ILS Basic Discovery Interfaces

Ten vendors and application developers have agreed to support standard ILS interfaces that will permit integration and interoperability with emerging discovery services. These interfaces will be developed by the Digital Library Federation's ILS-Discovery Interface Committee. The participants are AquaBrowser, BiblioCommons, California Digital Library, Ex Libris, LibLime, OCLC, Polaris Library Systems, SirsiDynix, Talis, and VTLS.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

On March 6, representatives of the Digital Library Federation (DLF), academic libraries, and major library application vendors met in Berkeley, California to discuss a draft recommendation from the DLF for standard interfaces for integrating the data and services of the Integrated Library System (ILS) with new applications supporting user discovery. Such standard interfaces will allow libraries to deploy new discovery services to meet ever-growing user expectations in the Web 2.0 era, take full advantage of advanced ILS data management and services, and encourage a strong, innovative community and marketplace in next-generation library management and discovery applications.

At the meeting, participants agreed to support a set of essential functions through open protocols and technologies by deploying specific recommended standards.

These functions are:

  1. Harvesting. Functions to harvest data records for library collections, both in full, and incrementally based on recent changes. Harvesting options could include either the core bibliographic records, or those records combined with supplementary information (such as holdings or summary circulation data). Both full and differential harvesting options are expected to be supported through an OAI-PMH interface.
  2. Availability. Real-time querying of the availability of a bibliographic (or circulating) item. This functionality will be implemented through a simple REST interface to be specified by the ILS-DI task group.
  3. Linking. Linking in a stable manner to any item in an OPAC in a way that allows services to be invoked on it; for example, by a stable link to a page displaying the item's catalog record and providing links for requests for that item. This functionality will be implemented through a URL template defined for the OPAC as specified by the ILS-DI task group.