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Telematics for Libraries - Projects


Updated: 03 JUN 1998

Project Number and Title
3020 - The provision of self-service facilities for library users
Programme/Action line Call Topic(s) Start End Project Duration
in Months
FP 3/ III Theme 99 February 1995 February 1996 12
self-service for users; issue-systems
Additional information can be obtained from the SELF web site (

(Theme 99)
Project description
The enormous pressure on libraries of all types, arising from a combination of heavy demand and limited resources, has meant that there is a great interest in a shift towards the concepts of self-service for users. At the same time, the development of client-server systems opens up the possibilities for much wider use of self-service facilities.
The objectives of the project were to examine user requirements for self service, assess their operational impact and explore the technical basis for developments in order to deliver a generalised functional specification for self-service systems in libraries.
Technical approach
The project was structured into four workpackages, with milestones set after Workpackage 1, Workpackage 3 and at project end.
  • Workpackage 1 assessed the requirements of both library staff and end-users in regard to self-service, using desk research, questionnaire and interviews.
  • Workpackage 2 investigated installed systems from the viewpoints of implementation, operation and management.
  • Workpackage 3 examined the design implications for self-service, with security aspects, of the open systems standard included.
  • Workpackage 4 created a functional specification for self-service systems development in libraries.
Information dissemination to a wide audience, culminating in a seminar at project end, was considered to be a key task.
Key issues
The main technical issues were:
  • Scope and requirements for self-service functions;
  • Technical platforms and architectures needed;
  • Interfaces with other technologies (eg security systems, chip-cards).
Impact and results
The study provided a clear basis for the introduction of self-service based technological solutions in libraries and stimulate the development of such systems.
The main results were:
  • reports on implementation and operational issues;
  • generalised specification for the further development of self-service systems;
  • recommendations on further work necessary.
All of the SELF partners were committed to the principle of self service and sought to exploit the outcome of the project.
Main deliverables are:
  • Operational analysis of self-service systems in libraries;
  • Generalised functional specification;
  • Final report comprising consolidated report on functional and technical requirementsfor self service in libraries.
Documentation is available from the contact below.


Name of Institution/Organisation Postal Code / City Country
University of Central Lancashire UK - PRESTON PR1 2HE UK
Title, First Name, Name Project SELF Address: The Library
E-mail 1:
E-mail 2:

Other Contact:

Name of Institution/Organisation Postal Code / City Country
Manchester Metropolitan University UK - MANCHESTER MI5 6LL UK UK
Title, First Name, Name Prof. Peter BROPHY Address: Department of Communication and Information
Tel: +44-161-247 6153 Fax: +44-161 247 6351
E-mail 1: E-mail 2:

Other Partners :

Name of Institution/Organisation Country Role
Dynix Library Systems (Ireland) Ltd IRL P
National Library for Psychology and Education SE P

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