A Prototype of a virtual union catalogue for Kenya Library and Information Service Consortium (KLISC) member libraries.
Gichiri, Peter Mwangi
Marwanga (Dr.), Reuben
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Kenya lacks a national library union catalogue. As a result, researchers contend with overwhelming array of independent catalogues whenever they want to do inter-library research. Most libraries in Kenya are individually uploading their catalogues on the World Wide Web. Although this is a positive scenario, it does not address effectively role and nature of bibliographic information sharing. A fully functional national union remains the ultimate solution to inter-library research. This work involved gathering requirements, designing and developing a prototype for a Virtual Union Catalogue of Kenya Library and Information Services Consortium (KLISC) member libraries. We used online questionnaires generated using SurveyGizmo to gather data that informed the design of the virtual union catalogue gateway. The survey period covered 14th December 2010 at 7.00 am to 24th February 2011 at 12.00 pm. This work reveals the state and capacities of different KLISC member libraries to participate in the virtual union catalogue and suggestions on the design architecture of the virtual union catalogue. The Search/Retrieve via URL (SRU) query interface architecture was used to develop a functional virtual union catalogue prototype for KLISC member libraries. This data retrieval system model was adapted from Purdue University in Indiana United States of America. The prototype uses single query form to search individual libraries one at a time. Performing searches from a single portal provides a one-stop–shop for bibliographic data held by KLISC member libraries. This improves the records retrieval, enhances the inter-library loan services hence greatly reducing costs and effort incurred during inter-library loan operations. The achievement is notable in the realization of a union catalogue for the Kenya Library and Information services Consortium (KLISC).