Anyone who has access to the Internet can carry out simultaneous searches in the catalogues of both the public and research libraries in Sweden. A service which went public in the autumn of 2001. is a co-ordinated project by The Royal Library (KB) / LIBRIS and Bibliotekstjänst AB (BTJ). The service is free and a web resource for simultaneous web searches in Swedish public, government funded libraries and their holdings of books, maps, records, printed music, videocassettes, cassette books, Braille, newspapers, magazines etc.

The aim of is to present a clear and intelligible outline of what Sweden’s libraries have at their disposal in the way of books and other media. There are two major databases in Sweden that register library holdings: LIBRIS caters mainly to the research libraries, while the public libraries on the whole catalogue their holdings in BURK,a database maintained by BTJ.

In the Swedish statutes of Acts, the State-owned, municipal and county council libraries are perceived as a uniform and integrated resource. Emphasis is placed on the importance for libraries to recommend their users and libraries in general the possibility of co-ordinated and user friendly searchmodes. The Royal Library and LIBRIS were bestowed by the Government in 1997 the task of achieving this. Following an intense period of development, where technical, financial, political and copyright aspects were exhaustively investigated, it was finally determined that the most efficient approach could only emanate from a collaborative endeavour consisting of KB/LIBRIS and BTJ/BURK.

Two databases – one interface
The contents of stem from two databases: LIBRIS contains more than four million titles, mainly from the collections of research and special libraries. BURK contains barely two million titles from the holdings of, to a large extent, the Swedish public libraries. Both databases accommodate Swedish and foreign material in more than 140 languages.

Searches are conducted through a joint interface. This entails searches in both databases with results presented in a joint hitlist. uses two search forms, quick search and advanced search. The hitlist can either be categorised alphabetically or in reverse chronology. It can also be limited to a region or a par ticular place.

Book loans does not have a reader’s service.A search will inform the user where in the country the book is located, but if the user wants to read the book they must contact their nearest library.

Cataloguing and classification LIBRIS and BURK catalogue according to the KRS (cataloguing rules for Swedish libraries, translated and adapted from the AACR) and classify in accordance with the SAB system (Swedish classification system). There are cataloguing libraries in LIBRIS who also use the Universal Decimal Classification and Dewey Decimal Classification.

The Royal Library (KB) is Sweden’s national library. Its objective is to collect, describe, preserve and provide for all printed matter published in Sweden and publications about Sweden published abroad. KB is an extensive humanistic research library with considerable collections in the fields of history, literary sciences and the arts. KB is also the library authority in charge of planning and developing Sweden’s research and special library organisation. It is also responsible for the national union catalogue, LIBRIS.

BTJ develops, refines and supplies information services and media products to libraries, booksellers, publishers, companies and institutions. BTJ’s mission is to actively contribute to a process of learning and reading in society, by way of helping the users to achieve experiences and knowledge, regardless of media or form and independent of time and place. BTJ’s owners are Svensk Biblioteksförening (The Swedish Library Association) and KF Media.

Translated by Jonathan Pearman

Systems librarian, LIBRIS.