How libraries work

    Until I was faced with developing software for libraries, I did not suspect how confusing this was.
    In order to keep the library in order and quickly find materials on the desired topic, it is necessary to catalog it. And here the interesting begins.
    There are millions of libraries in the world and they don’t have a centralized control center, whatever you want and put things in order in your library, this leads to very large delays in interlibrary interaction. And what kind of problems do authors of automation programs have when each library stores data in its own format, I think it’s not necessary to describe it. This is where MARC comes to the rescue.

    Attention! The purpose of this article is to show tools for the exchange of information between libraries and various organizations. Under the cutter is a brief technical information with hyperlinks, which can serve as a starting point for a more in-depth study of the material. There are no funny pictures and examples with sources here.

    MARC (Machine-Readable Cataloging) is a machine-readable cataloging. In order not to bore you with reading a long detailed article on the Wiki, I will briefly tell you the essence. MARC came up with the Library of Congress , after which the mass creation of national MARC formats began, each country wanted to create its own format with blackjack and whores. But fortunately, over the 40 years since its inception, everyone has calmed down and now there are 2 main branches of MARC records in the world - MARC21 , which is distributed mainly in English-speaking countries and UNIMARC , used mainly in Europe and Asia.

    The main point of MARC records is that each property of the object to be cataloged is assigned a certain key, which is called a tag. For example, when we see a MARC record and meet the tag “020” we know that its value is always ISBN . But unfortunately, some properties can be attributed to different tags, for example, the subject matter of a work can be assigned to several tags, and where it will be assigned depends on the particular librarian.
    In total there are 999 possible tags, herea list of their meanings .

    Large Universities have archives with MARC-ready data for many books, access to these archives is usually provided via the Z39.50 protocol , there is even a list of gateways, for example such .

    Mostly, the Z39.50 protocol is used to exchange information between libraries . Based on this protocol, the ZOOM API is written . And to use this API, you can use the YAZ toolkit , which is written for the most popular OS (windows, linux), the C source codes are also laid out and you can compile it yourself.

    In addition to tags, subtags and indicators are also used, but for a wide range of readers this is boring and unnecessary information.

    Gentlemen minus, I don’t see a point in writing a more detailed article, the subject is very rare, this article gives all the starting points for a start. What you are not comfortable with in this article, I don’t understand, republishing an article from Wiki is contrary to the Habr rules. I believe that by putting a minus you wanted to show that there is not enough information that you need. Apparently you are interested in some details, write in the comments, I will try to open the topic.

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