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Parallel to the rapid development of information technology, National Library of Korea has accelerated digitalization services. Such an effort is primarily designed to provide greater number of library users with prompt and easy access to resources and information.
In order to better fulfill its mission as the premier repository of information in Korea, the library has also created databases of catalogues and tables of contents/articles of books and manuscripts in order to help the public share digital information through the Internet.
Database Construction and Utilization
Manuscript Database of Important Resources
The library has built a manuscript database of academically or practically valuable resources to enable users to search them promptly through the Internet. At present, about 400,000 books are stored in the manuscript database and they are available through the library’s homepages ( and National Digital Library (
Catalogue Database of National Resources
To provide readers with easier access to the materials in possession of the library, it started building a database of all tables of contents in 2000. In principle, the database of tables of contents was supposed to include the entire collection of the library; however, such publications as full-length novels, dictionaries and directories are not contained in the database because their tables do not provide any indication of the contents in the books. Up to now, the database provides the information for a total of 1.18 million copies of publications through the library’s homepages ( and National Digital Library ( Since March 2004, the database can be downloaded from all libraries through login process.
Database of Article Index and Abstract Information
To facilitate the use of academic information, the library has built a total of 930,000 article indexes and abstracts of academically valuable periodicals it has maintained, providing such database through the library’s homepage ( 
Database of Comprehensive Catalogues of National Materials
The library has constructed an integrated database of catalogues of materials held by other public libraries and administrative agencies across the nation, in order to help library users easily find materials they want. By the end of 2016, a total of 1,300 public libraries joined the project, and 8.6 million bibliographic databases and 43.30 million library collection databases are being offered online at
Integrated Catalogue and Manuscript Database for Visually Disabled
For the visually impaired, the library has constructed a database of about 120,000 catalogues of materials held by about 91 libraries for the visually impaired and public libraries as well as 4,306 university textbooks necessary for visually impaired university students, and bibliographic information of 1.66 million pages. The database is being offered online at the homepage for the visually impaired at National Digital Library at
Library Information System
Korean Library Information System (KOLIS)
The library has developed and operated a Windows-based integrated information management system called the Korean Library Information System (KOLIS) since October 1, 1999. The library has made various efforts to operate the system efficiently on a constant basis by upgrading detailed functions each office requires in order to keep up with the fast advancing library environment and changes in library business. In 2005, the intranet of the Library was shifted into a Unicode system from the existing KSC5601, making it possible to restore Chinese characters, and accurately represent texts in writing systems of multiple languages. It has provided a technical foundation to exchange and jointly utilize bibliographical information with other countries. The library converted its system and data to the Korean Machine Readable Cataloging (KORMARC) format for integrated bibliographies that is certified as Korean Standards (KS), in 2007 and started its service in 2008.
Korean Library Information System Network (KOLIS-NET)
The Korean Library Information System Network refers to a system operating an online catalogue database of national resources jointly built by National Library of Korea and others across the nation. It offers a Windows-based operating system, which provides an integrated resource management service. It enables both operators and visitors to operate and manage a huge volume of resources and provide services conveniently and precisely. This service began in June 2001 through the library’s homepage, At the site, visitors can search all the resources held by libraries nationwide. It also allows libraries to upload and download catalogue data, ensuring an efficient, integrated management of library resources. As a result, the information sharing system of catalogue data of national resources has taken root firmly. In order to collect more accurate statistical information, the library made it mandatory to execute login process prior to downloading catalogues/table of contents and new resources starting from Nov. 2005. In 2007, the library introduced a Unicode operating system to help facilitate information sharing with other institutions in and outside the country, accumulate more varied national resources and build up their service system.
Online Archiving & Searching Internet Sources (OASIS)
With the rapid development of information technology, a large amount of intellectual creations are produced in digital format and published on the Internet. Such digital resources are doomed to be short lived. As an institution in charge of the collection and preservation of national intellectual resources, National Library of Korea has proceeded with the OASIS (Online Archiving & Searching Internet Sources) Project since January 2004, in order to collect and preserve valuable Internet materials for the use of future generations.
Through the OASIS Project, the library aims to achieve an archive of 1 million digitized books and put legal and institutional devices in place for the efficient collection and preservation of the Web materials scattered in the vast digital territory by 2010. The library is also planning a variety of events to draw interest and response of copyright holding institutions and individuals on a continual basis on its OASIS homepage ( that went into service in Feb. 2006 and to go ahead with the standardization of Web materials preservation technologies through active exchanges with libraries both at home and abroad.
Establishment of RFID-applied Management Information System
As part of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s project to establish digital resource centers at public libraries, National Library of Korea established RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) system at the library on a pilot basis in Dec. 2003.

Under the project, electronic chips where information on library code, library symbol and the registered number are stored were attached to 300,000 books, placed in open stack sections of the five resource rooms in link with database of the Korean Library Information System (KOLIS), and then self-return machines were installed. That enables library users to handle book borrowing and returning by themselves and the inspection of stack collections are conducted automatically. These changes allowed librarians to concentrate on more specialized issues and improve their professional capabilities.

In 2004, the library embarked on a three-year project to build a RFID-applied management information system (MIS) on a full-fledged scale. In order to realize a full-scale RFID-applied MIS system, library user’s card was introduced through the realization of an efficient linking system with KOLIS. The establishment of the system is eventually aimed at upgrading user service and improving efficiently in managing its resource collections. As a result of implementing the second-phase work of the project between May and August in 2005, a full-scale introduction of the RFID-applied MIS was realized.

In the future, the library plans to attach RFID tags to a total of 5 million books by 2010 and strives to maximize the efficiency of MIS in its overall services including management of collections, book borrowing, returning and perusal, and management of library users.
National Digital Library (
National Digital Library Project was initiated to enable libraries across the nation to utilize the digital contents of collections created in coordinated work. The project is primarily geared towards boosting national information capabilities, while promoting balanced development of different regions and thereby enhancing national competitiveness in the 21st century knowledge-based information society. It also facilitates the online sharing of information materials by the general public. In 1995, a Web site for an image viewer service of academic materials opened, and in March 1996, databases of bibliographic catalogues and manuscript materials were established and went into Internet service.

Based on the experiences and technical know-how gained from these activities, a pilot system of National Digital Library was established involving the nation’s seven major libraries in 1998. In the same year, an electronic publishing system and a pilot system to manage copyrights were developed. In 2001, a project to transform National Digital Library into a lightweight version was implemented. As a result, the library was able to improve meta-search interface so as to provide a reader-oriented information service environment and develop a system featuring strengthened protection of original texts by making it mandatory to encode when transmitting original texts.

In 2002, the library launched a project to establish a digital library for the visually imparied who had been isolated from the benefits of the information revolution. After collecting opinions of the related organizations and from the visually impaired through several rounds of surveys, the library developed a system to help users compose displays of their own choice making use of a variety of functions, including shortcut keys for the visually impaired and for character expansion/reduction and color designation. Thus, the library has put top priority on allowing the visually impaired to conveniently use the system. In 2003 and 2004, in efforts to improve and expand the system, the automated functions of National Digital Library were upgraded, and a system environment was optimized to meet the level of users. The library has also provided services to transmit manuscript texts to the visually impaired since November 2004.

In 2005, as a result of the project to upgrade National Digital Library, a system to classify and search materials by genres based on the Korean Decimal Classification was developed. Digital Library has provided integrated meta-search service of the resources of the nation’s seven major libraries, including National Library of Korea, since January 2006.
Standard Information Resources Management System for Public Libraries (KOLAS II)
In 1999, the library has developed a new system to help public libraries manage information materials efficiently and better provide information services for the public, as an attempt to support public libraries. The system started to be distributed in 2000. 

In 2006, the library has developed and distributed the Korean library Automation System-Small (KOLASYS) for the purpose of the efficient management of materials and support for service systems in small libraries; in 2007, it has developed the Korean Library Automation System III (KOLAS III) applying Unicode and MARC for integrated bibliographies to the Korean Library Automation System II (KOLAS II). Main features are:
-To support Unicode and KORMARC for integrated bibliographies
-To be compatible with KOLAS II
-To provide a user-friendly system by applying cutting-edge web technology, and
-In case of malfunction of network/server, to function offline book-returning; in case of restoration, to reflect book-returning logs collectively

In 2008, the library designated a distributor in charge of the efficient distribution of the system, and the system started to be supplied to public libraries that want such establishment from August. The library upgrades the system by receiving requests for function complement through, which works as an exclusive community space between public librarians nationwide.
Standardization of Knowledge Information Processing
Development of Standardization Tools for Knowledge Information Processing
Standardization tools of knowledge information processing have been developed to achieve a standardization of bibliographical information for the common sharing and wider distribution of information. National Library of Korea has established the Korean Machine Readable Cataloging (KORMARC) and technical rules as Korean Standards (KS) item, and publicized and distributed them through its homepage ( Making use of these rules, the library has developed, operated and distributed a program to electronically process various library businesses including collecting, cataloging, searching, collection managing and bibliography publications.
Standardization Tools for Knowledge Information Processing Established as Korean Standards (KS)
Korean Machine Readable Cataloging for single volume books (KS X 6006-2, 1994)
Korean Machine Readable Cataloging for periodicals (KS X 6006-1, 1993)
Korean Machine Readable Cataloging for non-book resources (KS X 6006-3, 1996)
Korean Machine Readable Cataloging for authority control (KS X 6006-4, 1999, 2016 revision)
Korean Machine Readable Cataloging for library-owned collections (KS X 6006-5, 1999)
Korean Machine Readable Cataloging for the classics (KS X 6006-6, 2000)
Korean Machine Readable Cataloging for integrated bibliographies (KS X 6006-0, 2005, 2016 revision)