GLIFOS 7.0 is the seventh generation of our fully integrated, Internet/Intranet-based library software. In 1993 we developed the first version (InfoLib 1.0) using a client/server architecture with a windows-based user interface. By 1997 we released the second generation product (InfoLib 3.0), completely redesigned to take advantage of the features offered by an Internet architecture. Since 2005, we have been improving our system, and releasing versions 4.0, 5.0, and finally 6.0. Given the constant advancement of information technologies and the new challenges faced by libraries, we saw the need to develop a new software generation, which we have named: GLIFOS 7.0.



Today, libraries and documentation centers face technological challenges that include:

  • Managing digital contents (e.g., AdobeĀ® PDF documents, eBooks, streaming video, distance learning/training content, etc.) and integrating them with the physical materials (e.g., books, serials, maps, photographs collection, etc.).
  • Cataloging Internet resources, automating the exchange of bibliographic records in formats such as MARC21 and Dublin Core, and managing collective catalogs.
  • Taking advantage of Internet tools and technologies to better serve library users, e.g., offering remote access to catalog and digital content; managing reservations and waiting lists for physical materials; sending automatic email notifications; remote status checks; integration of multiple geographically separated libraries and the capacity to copy catalogue records from other library web-based systems, linking to online bookstores (e.g., Amazon), and copy/printing facilities.

GLIFOS integrates current standards (e.g., XML: eXtensible Markup Language, Dublin Core), allowing libraries to offer new and useful services to their community. For example, the use of XML simplifies the exchange of bibliographic records, the conversion of databases (e.g., any Winisis custom format, MARC records, custom library systems, etc.) and the implementation of collective catalogs. The combination of XML and XSLT provides a simple mechanism for customizing the system interface in terms of its appearance (skins) and supported languages (e.g., allowing searching in various languages: Spanish, English, German, etc) and allows the definition of specialized library reports, bulletins, and statistical summaries. In addition, Dublin Core is a widely used standard for resource discovery and access of digital contents. By adopting this standard, GLIFOS makes possible the automatic extraction of cataloging information for digital resources that conform to Dublin Core.

Every GLIFOS license includes software installation, documentation, training, and technical support. Usually, conversion of existing bibliographic databases is quoted separately, since we need to examine the current databases in order to estimate the time and effort that would be involved in the migration.

General Characteristics

Internet and Intranets

GLIFOS 7.0 is based on Intranet and Internet technologies, thus allowing system access from any computer (PC or Mac) connected to the network (via LAN, WAN, Internet, wireless) and running a browser (Microsoft Explorer or Netscape Navigator). If your institution already has a communications infrastructure, your users will be able to use the services provided by GLIFOS either from the library's local area network, from any other terminal within your institution's network, from their homes, or from any Internet enabled computer in the world. On the other hand, if your library is small or your institution has not yet created a communications infrastructure, GLIFOS allows you to grow at your own pace and according to your communications capabilities. GLIFOS performs well under any of the following (incremental) communications conditions:

  1. One standalone PC, no network. In this case the GLIFOS server and the client applications both reside on the same computer. This configuration is suitable for small documentation centers or libraries that are just starting a new collection. Full functionality is supported, including Searching and Cataloging and Inventory Control. Circulation may also run on the same workstation.
  2. Local network, two or more PCs. Even if the library does not have constant connectivity to the Internet, it is possible to use GLIFOS on a local area network. In this case, the server may also be used as a workstation, thus reducing initial equipment costs. In this environment it is possible to assign various functions to the workstations. For example, if the network consists of two PCs, one may be used for cataloging and searching, and the other one for searching and circulation purposes. If additional PCs are available, one may be assigned to each cataloger, one for circulation, and the rest as public access workstations for searching.
  3. Campus/Institution Area Network. If the communications infrastructure spans the institutional campus, then the library users will be able to use the advanced services that GLIFOS offers via any computer on the network. This configuration facilitates access to the catalog without having to be physically located in the library, and allows remote access for digital documents. Since it is possible to use GLIFOS from any campus PC, this could potentially mean a cost saving as less reference stations would be needed in the library.
  4. Permanent Internet connection. This allows users access to the system from their homes, offices, other affiliated organizations, or virtually any other computer with Internet access.

Low cost of ownership

Cost of ownership includes all expenses incurred in order to maintain the computer system in working order - that is, the cost of the product, licensing for tools and tool maintenance, hardware, personnel managing the system, and so on. Four factors were taken into consideration in order to reduce the cost of ownership of GLIFOS 7.0:

  • Windows NT or 2000 Server. The administration of GLIFOS (e.g., backups, upgrades, etc.) requires a basic set of technical skills, that non-technical staff with a working knowledge of Windows98 can easily learn. In fact, several organizations that use GLIFOS do not even have in-house IT staff. In addition, academic institutions and other non-profit organizations are usually eligible for substantial discounts in the purchase of Windows 2000, which includes the webserver (Internet Information Server) as well as other tools that GLIFOS uses.
  • Zero software cost for all workstations. GLIFOS only requires that the workstations have a browser (Netscape or Microsoft) installed. Both browsers are freely available. In addition, GLIFOS licensing is by server and library; therefore if the number of workstations grows, there are no additional costs per station to worry about.
  • Easy workstation administration. By using Intranet technology, there is no need to install any client software on any of your workstations. System upgrades do not require any changes to your client stations. The most recent version is automatically transferred from the server to your workstations.
  • One platform. Many library systems require various platforms for their implementation: character-based MS-DOS operating system, client/server architecture for Windows, plus Web and Intranet. This increases your cost of ownership, because, 1) it is not unusual that the same module must be acquired for the various platforms (e.g., the basic catalog access module, in Windows and for Web), and 2) your staff must spend more time training and maintaining redundant modules that have essentially the same functionality. GLIFOS implements each module once and always on one platform: Web and Internet.

Services at a distance

By basing its interface on the Web, GLIFOS benefits in several aspects ranging from system administration (please, see previous section) to functionality offered to its users. The latter includes:

  • Search and navigation of bibliographic information. Our Web interface allows for searching or querying the bibliographic database, and navigation through the search results.
  • Cataloging and access of digital documents. GLIFOS allows the cataloging of webpages, AdobeĀ® PDF documents, eBooks, streaming video, e-learning/etraining content, and other multimedia materials. Users can always navigate directly to the digital document that is referenced in the catalog. Examples of such documents include: MS-Word documents, collections of photographs, or websites of interest to the institution's community.
  • Checking availability and holding materials. Library users can verify locally or remotely if a given item is available. If so, they may place a hold on it to ensure that the item will be in the library when they get there. If the item they searched for is not available, GLIFOS allows them to immediately join a waiting list.
  • Library user status. Via a personal access code, users may verify their personal information, loan status, items on hold, and late fines owed. They may even cancel hold requests for materials they no longer need.
  • Email notification. Library users can be automatically notified via email when items they have are past due, when they owe fines, or when an item they wished to borrow has been returned and is waiting for them. These self-help services relieve library staff from related chores.
  • Use statistics. GLIFOS allow library users to check the use statistics of any document, without disclosing the identity of the users that previously accessed the documents. There are two ways to present this information:
    • When and how often has a particular title been on loan?
    • What are the other items most commonly borrowed by readers who have borrowed a particular document?
  • Online-shopping. If the policies of your institution allow it, and if you so desire, it is possible to include direct links from your bibliographic citations to one or several online book vendors (e.g.,,, the institution's bookstore or the printing-copy center. For online book vendors, depending on the terms established with the library, it is possible to receive up to 15% commission on sales, while your users will pay the same as if they entered the online bookstores directly.

Module: Searching

Library module searching.jpg

The search module gives access to the GLIFOS catalog via any computer (PC or Mac) with access to the system. For example, even users with low end PCs (486 processors, Windows 3.1) and Internet access are able to consult the catalog remotely. The search module is compatible with the main browsers available in the market today, and offers the following features:

  • HTML pages are generated on the fly from the XML database, thus, the user sees the search results in the form of web pages.
  • Each user may select the language they wish to use. GLIFOS can simultaneously serve users in several languages.
  • Users can navigate directly from the catalog to the digital content referenced in the catalog.
  • Full integration with the circulation module makes it possible to list the status of all materials (e.g., available, out on loan, on hold). If an item is being held for another borrower, the catalog shows the number of users in the waiting list.
  • Via the circulation module, authorized users (identified by a personal access code) may reserve and un-reserve materials.
  • GLIFOS allows library users to check the use statistics of any document, without disclosing the identity of the users that previously accessed the documents.
  • The system allows the display of images (thumbnails and full) for all items.
  • It is not necessary to install GLIFOS on the public access workstations. The most recent version is automatically transferred to the server.
  • Compatible with Netscape Navigator 2.0, 3.0, 4.x, 6.x, and Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0, 4.0, 5.x y 6.0. The client stations work with Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows NT, MacOS, Unix, and Linux.
  • Client stations may be connected via modem, LAN, WAN, or Internet.
  • If the library so decides, bibliographic citations can be linked directly to Internet book vendors and/or the institution's bookstore or the printing-copy center.

Module: Cataloging and Inventory control

Library module cataloging.jpg

The GLIFOS cataloging module was designed to improve the quality of existing records and to reduce the effort and time spent cataloging new documents. Functionality includes:

  • Cataloging control and materials inventory from one simple interface.
  • Cataloging format and bibliographic elements can be configured via XML and XSLT, thus, the system adapts to any record standard and to your library's specific information requirements.
  • The module works with CaptureX in order to acquire and automatically translate bibliographic records from other Web-based library catalogs.
  • Uses the search module to verify if an item has been previously cataloged, and prevent duplicate records.
  • Authority control for authors, geographic places, publishers, formats, languages, types of illustrations, subject headings, and location of materials. This improves consistency and ensures the quality of the cataloging information.
  • Data entry and validation works via pull-down menus, eliminating the need to use code lists.
  • Multiple data entry screens can be disorienting to the cataloger. The use of dynamic entry forms makes multiple data entry screens unnecessary.
  • New bibliographic records can be created using an existing record as a starting point. For example, to enter a second volume, the first volume can be used a starting point.
  • Internally, each reference accepts an unlimited number of authors, keywords, subject headings, and copies in inventory.
  • The system indexes new references automatically by identifying candidate keywords. It is not necessary to execute re-indexing processes regularly.
  • The system generates bibliographic records in HTML (via XML) to allow full searching and display via Web.

CaptureX: acquisition and automatic translation of bibliographic records via Web

Library module capturex.jpg

Capture, translate, and integrate records from other library websites and various formats, including: ISO2709, MARC 21, XML-MARC, Dublin Core, XML, and plain HTML.

  • This module automates significantly the tasks related with copy cataloging. For example:
  1. Before cataloging a new material, the cataloger may check the US Library of Congress website (
  2. When a corresponding record is located, the cataloger simply clicks the "Capture" button. CaptureX extracts and translates the MARC21 fields and automatically fills out a GLIFOS cataloging record.
  3. Before saving the new record, the cataloger may modify or enrich the record according to his criteria and the library's cataloging guidelines.
  • CaptureX allows for importing, without fees, records from over 400 libraries, including all libraries using GLIFOS. Therefore, you may select other specialized or affiliated library catalogs.
  • The translation feature simplifies the capture of records in English or other languages, and is also able to translate it to Spanish or other languages.
  • CaptureX automatically translates almost all controlled fields, such as materials, languages, place of publication, illustrations, author's role, etc. Since fields like authors, title, and publisher are not normally translated, most of the work is done automatically.
  • Libraries may configure the translation dictionaries according to their policies and cataloging guidelines.
  • If you wish to capture records from a library that is not predefined in our system, CaptureX allows adding the XSLT logic for capture, as well as any needed dictionaries.
  • GLIFOS offers a simple and automatic mechanism for sharing bibliographic records between libraries either at the same institution or library consortium, no matter what computer system the libraries use.

Module: Circulation

Library Module circulation.jpg

This module is fully integrated with modules: Searching, Cataloging and Inventory Control, Reports, Statistics and online queries. For example, if an item is on loan, the transaction is registered in the inventory control system, the loan is immediately reflected in the online catalog, and shows up in the online queries.

  • If the library so desires, barcodes can be used on library users IDs, as well as on all library materials to facilitate loan and return procedures.
  • On just one screen, the circulation assistant is able to 1) verify and update the patron's personal information (including an optional photograph) and check the patron's loan status (late items, reserves, fines); 2) circulate materials, process returns, renewals, fines, and un-reserve materials.
  • Control various types of users with different levels of loan privileges. For example, a user of type "staff" may be authorized to borrow a maximum of 5 documents, for up to 10 days, and have no more than 3 items on hold for at most 48 hours. While, a user type "director" could be authorized to borrow 10 items for up to 30 days, or any other limits the library policies define.
  • Control various types of circulation. For example, an item marked "normal circulation" can be borrowed by any type of users for up to 15 days, while a type "confidential" may only be borrowed by users of type "director" and only for a maximum of 5 days.
  • Users may verify at any time if an item is available, on loan, or on hold. If it is on hold, GLIFOS indicates the number of users in the waiting list.
  • Users may verify (via Web and by providing their access code) their personal information and their loan status. They may even cancel hold requests for materials they no longer need
  • Circulation assistants may add notes and memos referring to a user into the corresponding borrower's record.
  • Automatically notifies users via email when they have items past due and/or fines, as well as when a book they were waiting for becomes available.
  • Automatic calculation of late fees, based on a customizable calendar of working days and holidays, and detailed records of fines to pay.

Module: Reports, Statistics and Online Queries

Library module reports.jpg

This module generates reports and statistical figures in printed form or for display as webpages.

  • Offers a standard and open architecture (i.e., SQL, XML, and XSLT) that allows users to design and add new reports.
  • Reports may be printed on paper, generated on the fly, sent via email, or published on the library website to provide online information.
  • A report posted on the website may include links to other pages. For instance, the Most Requested Documents Stats allows navigating directly to the documents' full citations.
  • Ready reports include: New Acquisitions Bulletin, Monthly Cataloguing Statistics, Library Users with Pending Items, Most Requested Documents Stats, etc.
  • Ready online queries include: number of titles by type of material and language, number of items in the collection, loan history of an item, and fines control for accounting purposes.
  • In order to define new reports and statistics it is necessary to have knowledge of two common standards: SQL to extract the information from the database, and XSLT to define the output format.
  • The other modules (Circulation, Cataloging, Serials) all generate their statistics and reports via this module.

Module: Serials Control

This module controls periodical subscriptions:

  • Controls received items for each serial publication.
  • Controls subscriptions and providers.
  • Controls subscription expiration and renewal.
  • Allows selective cataloging of specific articles (analytic records) within a serial publication.
  • Queries to serial publications from the main search module.
  • List serial publications by title, provider and expiration date.