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Telematics for Libraries - Projects


Updated: 29 JUN 98

Project Number and Title
3038 - Advanced Tools for Accessing Library Catalogues
Programme/Action line Call Topic(s) Start End Project Duration
in Months
FP 3/ IV Theme 19 bis February 1995 April 1997 27
Multilingual tools; library catalogues

blue bullet Additional information is available from the TRANSLIB web site . (

Applications of tools and techniques to support multilingual access to library catalogues and documents (Theme 19 bis)
Project description
The objective was to facilitate multilingual (Greek/Spanish/English) access to library catalogues by the integration of appropriate new or existing tools. Solutions were evaluated in terms of appropriateness and cost-effectiveness. Special attention was be paid to library requirements.
The tools, including dictionaries, conversion tables and thesauri, have beeb developed and integrated into the user interface of existing medium-sized bibliographic databases (Greek and Spanish). A high degree of modularity and user-friendliness has been ensured in the interests of low-cost maintenance and upgrading.
The result was a software tool suitable for integration into the majority of existing library systems. It was directed to library authorities and bodies responsible for libraries. It was also applicable to library cooperatives, book-trade enterprises and library schools.
Technical approach
The project was organised into six workpackages, subdivided into tasks:
  • Technical background:
    • Evaluation of user needs;
    • Analysis of bibliographic corpora of the participating libraries;
    • Functional specification;
    • Appraisal of existing tools and other project results;
  • System design:
    • System architecture design;
    • Design of INMIRT (Integrated Multilingual Information Retrieval Tool):
    • Design of multilingual user interface;
  • System implementation
    • Multilingual interface;
    • INMIRT;
  • Integration and documentation:
    • Integration of modules;
    • Production of user guides;
  • Testing and evaluation:
    • Actual conditions testing;
    • Evaluation of efficiency, cost-effectiveness and user friendliness;
  • Dissemination and exploitation:
    • Dissemination activities;
    • Exploitation strategy.
Development has been based on an extensive study of the corpora of the collaborating libraries' bibliographic databases in order to extract the most widely used scientific terms. Determination of synonyms for the key topics of the databases and creation of a hierarchical classification for them combined with the incorporation of grammar formalisms further improved the information retrieval process.
While the ultimate intention was to support all European languages, it was considered that for the purpose of this project three languages were sufficient to demonstrate feasibility and pinpoint potential problems for full multilingual development.
Tests were carried out in the three libraries involved: two in Greece and one in Spain.
Key issues
  • extensive examination of user requirements;
  • development of dictionaries, thesauri and multilingual interfaces based on library catalogues as corpora;
  • interfacing the tools developed with existing library systems;
  • user reactions.
Impact and expected results
TRANSLIB has developed multilingual tools, applied to OPACs, to enable Greek and Spanish speaking users to access English language library materials - initially domain specific literature in academic libraries - in their own languages.
Tools based on the integration of the EUROVOC multilingual thesaurus, data from the Eurodicautom term bank and corpora of titles from the participating libraries have been integrated into a single system facilitating local and networked access, an early version of which has already been demonstrated.
The clear implication of proving the feasibility was that the approach could be applied to other languages for any theme in any library type.
Multilingual access to OPACs opens up knowledge sources to a much wider user public, and it also leads the way for projects to remove language barriers in other library operations.
The main deliverables, the software tools for bibliographic translation, are restricted/confidential classification. Reports in these categories include:
  • TRANSLIB Corpora;
  • System Architecture;
  • INMIRT Design;
  • Multilingual Interface Design;
  • Testing and Refining Report;
  • Full Tool Documentation;
  • Exploitation Plan.
Documentation available in the public domain will comprise:
  • User Analysis;
  • Functional Specification;
  • System Evaluation;
  • Dissemination Report.

Demonstrations of the TRANSLIB tool took place at public events.

Documentation is available from the contact below and from .


Name of Institution/Organisation Postal Code / City Country
Knowledge S.A. GR - 26441 PATRAS GR
Title, First Name, Name Stefanos MICHOS Address: N.E.O. Patron - Athinon 37
Tel: +30-61 452 820 Fax: +30-61 453 819
E-mail 1: E-mail 2

Other Partners

Name of Institution/Organisation Country Role
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid ES P
Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional - Biblioteca Hispánica ES P
University of Patras, Library GR P
Municipal Library of Patras GR P

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