VTLS Incorporated

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Krisha Chachra
1701 Kraft Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24060 USA

June 14, 2002
For Immediate Release

VTLS Inc. Announces FRBR Implementation


Blacksburg, VA - Virtua ILS - Integrated Library Systems newest release is currently the only commercially available ILS system in the marketplace to support the IFLA Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR). The FRBR model is the latest development in cataloging practice. It is designed to serve as a conceptual framework for systems that share and use bibliographic data, nationally or internationally. The concept was developed by IFLA with participation from National Libraries like Library of Congress and the National Library of Canada.

Present cataloging practices do not support "linked hierarchic metadata records" making it difficult to catalog certain types of materials. The FRBR model is designed to address this difficulty. The basic FRBR record consists of three entities - work, expression and manifestation. In addition, item records (holding records) can be attached to the manifestation. For example, Beethoven's Fifth Symphony represents a work. It can be independently cataloged. The performance of the symphony by, say, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra represents an "expression" of the work. A CD by Columbia records containing the particular performance represents a "manifestation" of the work. Two copies of the CD in the library represent two "items" of this manifestation.

Using the FRBR model, librarians do not have to re-catalog the entire work again for different performances or for different manifestations of the same performance. Instead, FRBR allows the new performance to be cataloged separately and linked to a previously cataloged "work". This hierarchical parent child relationship in metadata records is the key feature of FRBR. The example above was from music; however the hierarchic relationship can exist in other material types like printed materials with different editions or language versions.

In implementing FRBR, VTLS has created an environment in which records in the FRBR model and records in the traditional cataloging model can co-exist in the same database. Such an implementation allows libraries to ease into the use of the FRBR model without requiring massive record conversions. It is clear that not every metadata record lends itself to FRBR. For example, many records do not have alternative expressions or manifestations. For this reason, Virtua ILS supports classic cataloging of metadata records along with FRBR records in the same database. The software is "FRBR aware" and automatically changes display formats depending on the type of record (FRBR or regular).

With a click of a button, the Virtua software converts a regular record to three records of the FRBR model and attaches all items to the manifestation record. This process can also be performed in a batch mode.

Refinements on the FRBR implementation continue as we receive valuable input from interested parties.

For more information on FRBR, please see IFLA's Final Report on FRBR
For examples of FRBR in Virtua, visit www.vtls.com.

In this example Virtua is searched (scan/browse) for author “Beethoven lud”. The right truncation is implied and the system is not case sensitive.

Figure 1: Initial Search Screen in Virtua Release 41.

Figure 2: The result of the previous search showing a browse list. The highlighted item is selected resulting in a list of the five titles for the author shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3: List of titles. The software allows sorting option of result sets.

When the 5th entry is selected (which is Title: Symphony, no. 6, op.68, F major. 1807) the system automatically senses that it is a FRBR record and displays is as shown below.

Figure 4: In FRBR displays the screen is split. The top part of the screen shows the FRBR tree structure and the lower part shows the record displayed here in Marc format. It can also be shown as OPAC “full” display by clicking on the tab at the top of the display.

One can expand the FRBR tree to display the next level - which is the “expression” level.

Figure 5: In this example there are many expressions for the single work. Highlighting any of the expressions in the upper half of the display shows the bib record associated with it.

There are a number of different FRBR Expressions.  Each Expression is a different performance.  Each Expression has one or more FRBR Manifestations as shown below.

Figure 6: The display shows the manifestation record of the highlighted item.

Using the scroll bar on the right to see the last Expression, you see the last Expression is “Notated music.”

Figure 7: The display shows a “full” view of the manifestation record for the notated music expression.

VTLS Virtua FRBR Implementation Features in Release 41.0

  1. General
      1.1. Separate records for FRBR entities of Work, Expression, and Manifestation.
      1.2. FRBR records can co-exist with non-FRBR records in the same database.
      1.3. Display of FRBR hierarchy of Work, Expression, and Manifestation is in an expandable tree structure.
      1.4. The "single line" tree display is configured according to format type (Music, sound record, language material, etc.)
      1.5. Support for viewing the FRBR hierarchy in reverse order from Manifestation to Expression to Work. (41.1 release)
      1.6. Web statistical and listing reports on Work, Expressions, and Manifestation. (41.1 release)
  2. Cataloging
      2.1. Conventional bibliographic records can be converted in FRBR in batch or individual.
        2.1.1. Conversion from regular to FRBR at record saving time.
        2.1.2. "One click" FRBRizing button. (41.1 release)
        2.1.3. Support for duplicate checking and merging of Work, Expression, and Manifestation records. (41.1 release)
      2.2. User defined workforms help to easily create FRBR records.
      2.3. Linkages are easily maintained between Work, Expression, and Manifestation records.
      2.4. Item and holding records are associated with Manifestation records
      2.5. Ability to collapse FRBR Work, Expression, and Manifestation record into a conventional MARC record (41.1 release)
  3. Circulation
      3.1. Ability to support all circulation functions on items attached to manifestation records in a mixed database.
      3.2. Ability to place (and satisfy) Requests on Work and Expression record levels. (41.1 release)

About VTLS Inc.
VTLS Inc. (www.vtls.com) is an ISO 9001 registered company. With over 25 years of experience creating smarter libraries, museums, archives and corporations, VTLS Inc. is an international leader in integrated library automation, digital imaging services and RFID technology. VTLS Inc. solutions include Virtua ILS - Integrated Library Systems, Visual MIS - Multimedia and Imaging Solutions and Vista CPS - Companion Product Suite. VTLS is a corporate member of the American Library Association, a voting member of NISO, and a charter member and sponsor of CNI. A diverse customer base of more than 900 libraries located in 32 countries gives VTLS a global perspective of the industry and compels the company to abide by strict international standards.