dLibra -- Integrated Framework for Libraries and Publishers

Cezary Mazurek, Maciej Stroiński and Andrzej Swędrzyński

dLibra is the integrated framework for publication management designed and developed in Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center. It enables users to handle digital publications with respect to their main characteristics, such as persistence, reliability and version control. On this common foundation additional features of dLibra addressing to the needs of publishers and librarians have been built.

The basic functionality includes content management, reader support and internationalisation.

Content management functions allow for:

A reader is supported by:

Internationalisation and localisation are provided on all possible levels: applications are available and data can be stored and read in different languages.

However, scientific publishers, university press or other specialized publishers needs additional functions like content categorisation in a tree-like fashion (categories can contain publications or other categories) and sophisticated version management. The new idea is to differentiate two levels of version management: publication level and component object level. It provides for both fine-grained versioning (only the actually changed object is stored in the system), and easy preparation of new editions.

In other applications like libraries, educational organizations or museums, where the content does not change so often, other factors play a more important role. These are: support for advanced metadata and high content availability, which allow for easy and fast finding of data which are relevant for the user.

Advanced metadata features of dLibra include:

Content availability is provided by two different features. The first one is the categorisation of content with collections and thematic exhibitions. Collections are standard categories which group several publications together. The novel concept of thematic exhibition groups several component objects from many publications. It can be used to clearly present the library content to non-specialists. For example, the editor can select some of the works dispersed in many publications in a library, add a clarifing commentary and present the chosen material as an exhibition about Impressionism.

The second feature which adds to content availability is the XML-based mechanism to exchange both the content and metadata between systems. The user can browse WWW pages of only one library and have access to the content of all libraries within the network.

All functions described above have already been implemented and dLibra delivers intuitive graphical user interface for all of them. Currently, they are practically used by the librarians and editors providing publications for the Digital Library of Wielkopolska.