The Ministry of Culture is pleased to announce the launch of a digitised catalogue system for the John Mackintosh Hall Library.
This new system consists of barcodes which are placed into every book in the library stock, which are then scanned upon loan to the member and upon return to the library.
Library members will now be able to view the library’s catalogue online, and reserve a book from their home. The library itself will also have a computer terminal dedicated to the online public access catalogue (OPAC), so members can easily search for a book.
Mandarin Library Automation Solutions were contacted approximately a year ago, as they had previously approached the Department of Education regarding the possible digitisation of school libraries. MLA Solutions, an American-based company, are responsible for hosting library catalogues online for thousands of libraries, both public and school, worldwide. They are rated as one of the highest-regarded library automation system providers internationally.
The project between MLA Solutions and the John Mackintosh Hall Library came into full effect around May 2015, where thousands of books were catalogued on spreadsheets by Gibraltar Cultural Services staff, to be able to send off to MLA for barcoding. Twenty university students were taken on through the Government of Gibraltar Summer Job programme, and the process of barcoding some 17,000 books began. The students were working at the library for a period of eight weeks.
The staff at Gibraltar Cultural Services, and in particular the library staff, have worked tirelessly to input as much data as possible into the new digitised system, and simultaneously attempting to cause as little disruption as possible to the general public.
The system is finally ready to be launched and will be live tomorrow, World Book Day. This ties in perfectly with WBD strategy; to make reading fun and accessible, and to encourage the general public, young and old, to come into the library and enjoy reading once again!
The Minister for Culture, The Hon Steven Linares, said: “The digitisation of the Library catalogue is in line with Government’s E-policy and I am certain it shall be of great convenience for library users.”
The CEO of Gibraltar Cultural Services, Yvette Zarb, said: “I would like to publicly thank the staff at the library who have been so enthusiastic and have worked so hard to make this a reality.”
The John Mackintosh Library digital catalogue can be accessed by copying and pasting gibraltar.mlasolutions.com/m5 into an internet browser.
Library opening hours are Monday-Friday, 09:30-19:30.