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What is the Centralized Catalog of Charles University?

Centralized Catalog of Charles University is union catalog of libraries and others parts of Charles University. You can find here bibliographic records of various types of documents (books, jourmals, theses and other types of materials) that are situated in particular libraries of Charles University.

Centralized Catalog of Charles University serves to recent and potentional users. Registred users have the posibility to monitor their own reader account in each particular library, renew the borrowed books if possible, make a reservation for other books, charge situation etc. They can also use other special services of the library.

Centralized Catalog of Charles University is running in the library integrated system ExternĂ­ odkaz Aleph 500 by ExternĂ­ odkaz Exlibris.

Project in brief

The CKIS project was launched in mid-2004 by transition by the ExternĂ­ odkaz Library of Protestant Theological Faculty to the system ALEPH 500 version 14. The ExternĂ­ odkaz Libraries of Faculty of Science , ExternĂ­ odkaz Library of 2nd Faculty of Medicine a ExternĂ­ odkaz Library of Faculty of Pharmacy joined the project later that year. Individual library databases were being unified into a single centralized system, and unification of the users database and its harmonization with the ExternĂ­ odkaz LDAP system are currently under way. The transition of all faculty libraries and some other constituent parts of the University was completed in 2007.¨

Project background

The Charles University has no central library but each faculty operates its own independent library. Each library creates its own local catalogue.

In 1993 the ExternĂ­ odkaz Charles University Computer Centre commenced building of the Charles University Union Catalogue (CUUC). Some 780,000 records had been added to the Union Catalogue by 2004. However, there were inevitable shortcomings connected with the batch mode of developing the Union Catalogue: records were added with delays; information on the current loan status of items was unavailable (that was remedied by introducing the OpenURL technology); additional claims on staff and funds; multiple occurences of bibliographic records for same titles; and lack of uniformity of access indices, which made searching inconvenient to the user.

The year 2003 saw major changes in handling the Union Catalogue with two versions made available: the virtual version under the TinWeb system and the replicated version. This minimized the delay between the original creation of records in local catalogues and their appearance in the Union Catalogue. However, multiple occurences and lack of uniformity in indexing continued. Moreover, many users were unable to distinguish between local catalogues and the Union Catalogue, thus failing to utilize the benefits of the latter. The locally operated library systems were also unnecessarily labour and cost intensive. The heterogeneous environment within the Charles University libriaries (three distinct types of automated library systems) was complicating matters to some extent, too, despite adherence to library standards.

Under the long-term plan, we were considering introduction of the centralized model of library system which would not only function as a union catalogue but also support all the usual library processes. In 2003 one of the faculty libraries decided on upgrading their existing system to a 3rd generation system (Aleph 500). Then, in 2004, that installation was used as a core of the centralized university-wide library system. When Charles University decided on building its general information system, the project for the centralized library information system became its part.

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