In response to the rapid development of information technology, the National Library of Korea has strived to offer digitization services to its users. The services are for providing a greater number of the library users with prompt and easy access to the library resources and information. As Korea’s premier repository of information, the Library has helped the public share digital information through the Internet, and developed a database of the nation’s library catalogs, and database (TOCs and full-texts) of articles, books and manuscripts.

Database Construction and Utilization

Full-text Database of Holding Materials

The Library provides digitization services for some of the materials held by the NLK, including old and rare documents such as valuable materials and single copies, and the materials for which five years have passed since the dates of their publication. Currently, about 629,000 books were digitized. The full-text database of the books is accessible through the Library’s website (www.nl.go.kr). and the National Digital Library

Table-Of-Contents Database

To provide readers with easier access to the materials held by the Library, the Library developed a database of Tables of Contents (TOCs) in 2000. The TOCs database was at first designed to index the entire collection of the Library; however, certain types of the publications such as full-length novels, dictionaries or directories were excluded from the database, as the TOCs of such publications do not provide a right indication of the contents in the materials. Currently, the database provides access to the TOCs of a total of 1.18 million volumes of publications and it is accessible through the Library’s website (www.nl.go.kr) or the National Digital Library (www.dlibrary.go.kr).

Index and Abstract Database

To facilitate the access to the scholarly resources, the Library has built a database of indexes and abstracts of a total of 930,000 scholarly articles held by the Library. The database is accessible through the Library’s website (www.nl.go.kr).

Database of Comprehensive Catalogs of National Materials

The Library has built an integrated database of catalogs of the materials held by other public libraries and government agencies across the nation, in order to help library users easily find materials they need. As of 2016, a total of 1,370 public libraries joined the project. The database of 8.6 million bibliographic records as well as of 43.37 million library material records combined is being offered online at the Library’s Korean Library Information System Network (KOLIS-Net, www.nl.go.kr/kolisnet).

Union Catalog and Full-text Database for the Visually Impaired

The National Library of Korea has built a database of about 330,000 catalog records and 76,000 full-texts materials held by 44 libraries or reading rooms for the visually impaired. The database is accessible through the National Library for the Disabled website (nlid.nl.go.kr) and the Library’s Direct Rapid Easy Accessible Material (DREAM) website (dream.nl.go.kr).

Library Information System

Korean Library Information System (KOLIS, KOLIS II)

The library has developed a Windows-based integrated information management system called the Korean Library Information System (KOLIS) in 1998 and started its operation since October 1, 1999. The Library has strived to operate the system in a constantly efficient and effective manner by adding specific functions for each unit of the Library to the system, which equips the Library to keep up with the ever changing library environment. Adopting the nation’s Informatization Strategic Plan (ISP) that came out in 2003, the National Library of Korea started taking a gradual step to shifting its internal system from KSC5601 to the Unicode since 2005. With the new Unicode system, it became possible to restore Chinese characters that were not fully represented in the old system, and to accurately represent the texts in multiple languages. Through such change, the National Library of Korea has been able to exchange and utilize the bibliographic information with foreign library institutions in an efficient manner. In 2015, the National Library of Korea started to prepare for upgrading its C/S-based material management system into a web-based integrated material management system. Subsequently, an online deposit function was added and online and offline user interfaces were integrated to the new system. The new system named as KOLIS II was launched on Oct. 11, 2016. Currently, the KOLIS II is the central system for managing metadata and full-texts of online and physical materials held by the National Library of Korea.

Bibliographic Information Distribution System (BIDS)

The Bibliographic Information Distribution System (seoji.nl.go.kr) started off as a Cataloging in Publication (CIP) program in 2002. The website was expanded and upgraded in 2005, and in 2006, along with the shift to the new Unicode system, a user friendly interface was implemented to the system. Since 2012, publishers can check the status of their deposits at the website, access the Library’s CIP service and ISBN and ISSN issuance service, and search other relevant information on the publications on the website, making it a one-stop place where users can use multiple bibliographic services. The BIDS is expected to benefit the publishing industry by providing standard catalogs and information on forthcoming books, as well as promoting new books and facilitating the sales. It is also expected to benefit the library community by enhancing efficiency in acquiring and organizing library materials.

Korean Library Information System Network (KOLIS-NET)

KOLIS-Net offers an online joint catalog of the library collections of the nation. The database of the joint catalog was built by the National Library of Korea in partnership with other libraries in Korea. The service has been offered since June, 2001 and is available through the website (www.nl.go.kr/kolisnet). An integrated system for library resource management and bibliographic records sharing, KOLIS-Net helps the library users conveniently search the all the library records in the nation, while helps the libraries upload or download the cataloging data in an efficient and effective manner. Beginning in November, 2005, the Library offered a notification service for newly arrived materials. For more accurate use statistics, the Library also introduced a mandatory login process for downloading TOCs and cataloging records of the library collection. In 2007, the Library developed a Unicode-based system to help facilitate information sharing with other institutions in and outside the country and to build a system with resources in various languages

Online Archiving & Searching Internet Sources (OASIS)

More and more intellectual creations are being produced in digital format and published on the Internet. Such digital resources are doomed to be short-lived. As the institution in charge of the collection and preservation of national intellectual resources for the use of the present and future generations, the National Library of Korea launched the OASIS (Online Archiving & Searching Internet Sources, www.oasis.go.kr) Project in January, 2004. The digital materials collected for the Project are mostly websites and web documents such as research reports, publications, policy materials and statistical reports that are accessible through major website. The National Library of Korea is also focusing on archiving web materials about national affairs such as elections and major sports events such as the 17th Asian Games held in Incheon, as well as the materials related to disasters.

Establishment of RFID-applied Management Information System

Taking part in the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s project for establishing digital resource centers at public libraries, the National Library of Korea established RFID (Radio Frequency Identification), a pilot system for the Library, in Dec. 2003.

Under the project, electronic chips that contain bibliographic information of the materials (such as library code, call number, accession number, etc.) were attached to 300,000 books from the open stacks in the 5 collection rooms including the Humanities Collection Room. In addition, self check out machines were introduced to the collection rooms. This enabled the library users to check in and out the library materials without an assistance from the library staff, and the library staff manage the collection using the automatic system. A chain of changes like these helped the librarians concentrate on developing their core competencies as information professionals.

In 2004 the Library launched a 3-year plan to build an RFID-applied Management Information System (MIS) for improving quality of the user service and enhancing efficiency of the resource management. In 2007 the Library launched a project for building an integrated library user card system, and a project for installing lockers to the Library to enhance convenience of the library users. Currently, the Library continue to improve the functions of the MIS.

National Digital Library (www.dlibrary.go.kr)

The 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 website for an image viewer service of academic materials opened, and in March 1996, databases of bibliographic catalogs and 200 academic materials were established and went into Internet service. Based on the experiences and technical know-hows 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 make the National Digital Library a more user-friendly system was launched. As a result, the Library was able to provide a more intuitive and easy to use interface for meta-search feature of the NDL, and to strengthen the protection of intellectual properties of the materials by applying an encryption/encoding to transmitting of the digitized texts.

In 2003 and 2004, in efforts to improve and expand the system, the automated functions of the National Digital Library were upgraded, and a system environment was optimized to meet the level of users.

Through the “National Digital Library Advancement Project” that began in 2005, the National Library of Korea developed a genre-based classification search system that adopts the Korean Decimal Classification (KDC) system. Also, the National Library of Korea, along with seven participating institutions, launched an integrated search system including metadata search on the National Digital Library website in January, 2006.

Korean Library Automation System for Public Libraries (KOLAS III)

The National Library of Korea developed an integrated MARC- and Unicode-based system in 2007 called the Korean Library Automation System III (KOLAS III) with the purpose of actively managing the national bibliography and supporting public libraries in Korea. Materials in public libraries are efficiently managed, and convenient information services are provided to the Korean people through the system.

Major functions of KOLAS III include: an integrated management and search system for monographs, serials and non-books; a database management system (DBMS); a search engine-based client/server system in a Windows environment; the adoption of a standard material management system; and interconnectivity with KOLIS-NET.

The National Library of Korea began to distribute KOLAS III in August, 2008 and is providing technical support through the KOLAS III website.

In 2012, a function for storing and managing personal information and login records was developed, and the new address system in Korea implemented for all Korean addresses was also adopted in the system. In 2013, various tools such as desktop readers for librarians were linked to the system, and an interlibrary loan function that is operable in regions participating in the Chaekeum Service (Library One Service, book.nl.go.kr) was added. In 2014, a service linking My Pin (a personal identification service used in Korea) to the system was developed, and in 2015, personal information editing/removing and storing functions were reinforced, and an encryption for mobile library passwords was developed.

Korean Library Automation System for Small Libraries (KOLASYS-NET II)

In order to support small-size libraries that do not have advanced resources for efficiently managing their materials, the National Library of Korea built a system called the Korean Library Automation System for Small Libraries (KOLASYS-NET I) in 2010. The purpose of KOLASYS-NET I was to provide an online system the small libraries could use for their day-to-day operations such as registering, lending and returning materials in their libraries.

KOLASYS-NET I was upgraded to KOLASYS-NET II in 2016. The new system features a function for entering information on library materials, and a reinforced function for protecting personal information.

Standardization of Knowledge Information Processing

Development of Standardization Tools for Knowledge Information Processing

Special tools for knowledge information processing have been developed to for standardization of bibliographical information, which promotes the common sharing and wider distribution of information. The 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 website (www.nl.go.kr/kormarc). Making use of these rules, the Library has developed, operated and distributed a program to electronically process various library functions including acquisition, cataloging, searching, collection management and bibliography publications.

Standardization Tools for Knowledge Information Processing Established as Korean Standards (KS)
  • Korean machine readable cataloging (KORMARC) format: Monographs (KS X 6006-2, 1994)
  • Korean machine readable cataloging (KORMARC) format: Serials (KS X 6006-1, 1993, 1999 revision)
  • Korean machine readable cataloging (KORMARC) format: Non-book materials (KS X 6006-3, 1996, 1999 revision)
  • Korean machine readable cataloging (KORMARC) format: Authority data (KS X 6006-4, 1999, 2016 revision)
  • Korean machine readable cataloging (KORMARC) format: Holding data (KS X 6006-5, 1999)
  • Korean machine readable cataloging (KORMARC) format: Rare Books (KS X 6006-6, 2000)
  • Korean machine readable cataloging (KORMARC) format: Integrated format for bibliographic data (KS X 6006-0, 2005, 2014 revision)