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The Consortium of Library Networks

Since its foundation in the year 1983, the objectives of the Consortium of Library Networks have been to cooperate in the introduction and maintenance of innovative services as well as hardware and software concepts across the networks.

The Consortium of Library Networks pursues these objectives at different levels. As a rule, the members of the group hold meetings twice a year for an extensive exchange of views. They reach agreements on common standards for data communication, represent their interests in other bodies and institutions, and coordinate the uniform application of rules and standards for cooperative cataloguing, interlibrary loan and data exchange.

The Consortium of Library Networks appoints working groups to various areas of expertise, where representants discuss practical issues and prepare concerted positions on behalf of the consortium. Presently, two standing working groups are in operation. The objectives of the Interlibrary Loan Working Group are the development of a technically optimal realisation of user friendly, consistent and coordinated procedures relevant to legal contexts Germany wide. The concepts developed there are considered to be binding recommendations. The aims of the Kooperative Verbundanwendung, which grew out of the AG Kooperative Neukatalogisierung and the AG Kataloganreicherung, are the development and coordination of common and consistant rules. It is developing measures to enhance the data transfer in the area of descriptive and subject cataloguing between the networks. Its objective is a decrease in the rate and volume of in-house cataloguing through rationalisation and standardisation of the cataloguing code and format, while ensuring continuous quality standards. Aditionally, the group enriches catalogue data by supplementing it with such specifics as subject data, tables of contents, abstracts etc.

The members of the consortium include the operational centres of the various library networks in Germany, Austria and German-speaking Switzerland, the German National Library and the German Union Catalog of Serials. Aditionally, one representative from each of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), the Kultusministerkonferenz (Conference of Germany's Ministries of Culture) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Informationswissenschaft und Informationspraxis are standing guests.

At present Dr. Silke Schomburg of the Hochschulbibliothekszentrum des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, Köln, chairs the consortium. Her deputy is Wolfgang Hamedinger of the Österreichische Bibliothekenverbund und Service GmbH, Vienna. The Consortium of Library Networks has its administrative office at the German National Library.

The consortium reports on the meetings and their results in the monthly journal "Bibliotheksdienst" on a regular basis.

Last update: 12.11.2013

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