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Service description

Melinda is the national metadata repository and a service provided for libraries. Libraries describe their materials in the shared data repository, from which this information can be utilised.  Centralising the data saves work and costs in libraries while enabling better customer service.

Melinda links the participating libraries to the national metadata production environment. Library experts get access to tools with which to participate in the producing the data for the shared metadata repository and utilising the data in their own work environment.

Melinda’s operating model is independent of any systems. This means that the service has the same aims and tasks regardless of the system in which it works.  The development of technical platforms does not affect Melinda’s operating model.

Currently, the service and the union catalogue related to it are part of the Aleph library system. Library customers can search for information directly from Melinda.

The service will expand gradually

Melinda contains the Finnish national bibliography as well as reference data about the materials in university libraries, most shared libraries and polytechnic libraries under the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Library of Parliament, the National Repository Library and the Library of Statistics. Among public libraries, the Tampere City Library – Pirkanmaa Regional Library and the Kokkola City Library – Regional Library have joined the service as pilot libraries. These pilot schemes have created practices for public libraries to join Melinda. Melinda will gradually become the shared metadata repository for all Finnish libraries.

As a rule, Melinda contains all materials of the participating libraries. The libraries have catalogued final theses and electronic material packages in accordance with their own practices. At the beginning of 2015, the database contained approximately seven million records. The development and expansion of the service is performed as part of the National Metadata Repository project.

The service is based on the union catalogue

Melinda (and its predecessor, the union catalogue LINDA) is the oldest service offered by the National Library of Finland to the library network. It is based on the automation of cataloguing commenced in the 1970s by the IT unit of Research Libraries. The unit was a project of the Ministry of Education and Culture from the 1970s to early-1990s. The unit was transferred to the National Library, then Helsinki University Library, in 1993. LINDA was opened for online information retrieval in 1993–94.

Ever since its inception, the union catalogue has worked as a

  • source for record copy cataloguing
  • search catalogue for customers
  • location tool for remote services.
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