Web Magazine for Information Professionals

M25 Link

Jean Sykes discusses M25 Link, a virtual clump for London.

M25 LINK AIMS to establish a pilot virtual clump to provide single search access to the OPACs of a subset of six members of the M25 Consortium of Higher Education Libraries.

Using the Z39.50 protocol, the six OPACs, which between them cover the five most prominent library systems featured across the full 38-member Consortium, will be linked seamlessly together. Moreover, there will be a strong focus on serials holding information and an attempt to create virtual searching for serials across the pilot clump.

The partners are: LSE (lead site) for Unicorn, City University for Innopac, the University of Greenwich for Talis, Middlesex University for Horizon, Queen Mary and Westfield College for Serials, and the University of Westminster for Libertas.

At the end of the Project, for each of the five library systems we aim to have produced a blueprint which should allow the remaining M25 libraries to join the virtual clump.

Ultimately, therefore, it will be possible to search in one step the OPACs and serials holdings of a body of libraries which between them cover some 15 million books and 130,000 periodical titles, forming around 20% of the total HE library provision in the UK. This will be a major contribution to the national and international attempts to make resource discovery an easier task for users. Another step beyond that will be to combine M25 Link with other online information sources in the capital, including major public library collections, to offer seamless access to electronic resources including full-text sources and various electronic document delivery options.

See http://www.lse.ac.uk/blpes/m25/ for further information about M25 Link.

Author Details

Jean Sykes
Deputy Director
Information Resource Services
University of Westminster
115 New Cavendish Street
London W1M 8JS
tel: 0171 911 5095
fax: 0171 911 5093
email: j.m.sykes@westminster.ac.uk