Book Industry Communication
Library Interoperability Standards
Library Data Communication Framework for Terminal Applications (LCF)
23 December 2019
The Library Communications Framework (LCF) is a set of library interoperability standards which defines a framework for the communication of data between self-service and other library terminal applications to and from library management systems.
This LCF standard is recommended by BIC as the best way to implement communications between systems within a library, for example between a Library Management System (LMS/ILS) and an RFID Self-Service Solution.
There are various communication standards in use in the market in the UK and elsewhere including versions of SIP (Standard Interface Protocol). LCF supports the functionality in these standards but is also a framework seeking to enable systems developers to use and develop a common set of principles, variables and values to enable other standards to be developed.
The flexibility of LCF allows providers to determine for themselves the means by which data is exchanged as it confines itself to identifying the functionality required to deliver a service, the elements that need to be exchanged to deliver it, and the values that these elements might contain. Whilst it anticipates that the preferred means of delivering the service would be via web services (and offers examples of how these may be created) the framework is by no means prescriptive.
LCF is intended to support a much needed rationalisation of the interoperation between disparate IT solutions. In a time of scarce resources libraries are actively seeking to improve both their existing solutions and to offer new services without the risk of buying into solutions that cannot be developed or transported to a new platform. LCF provides that possibility.
The LCF framework has been developed with the active participation of leading LMS and RFID developers. Several of these organisations will be implementing LCF in the very near future so this standard will have live implementations very soon.
Libraries should specify the use of the LCF framework in future tenders for LMS/RFID implementations to help protect them by ensuring that their implementation uses a standard which is up to date, comprehensive and widely approved.
LCF will enable commercial suppliers to develop new functionality to a commonly understood and recognised standard using the elements defined in the framework.
Suppliers will be urged to apply for certification that their products have been developed using the principles and values defined in LCF, and new functionality – not supported at the moment – will have to be submitted to BIC for inclusion in LCF. The framework – and additions – will be maintained by BIC on behalf of the industry
Status and future development of this standard
This standard is subject to revision from time to time. The latest stable release versions of this standard may be found at https://bic-org-uk.github.io/bic-lcf.
It is intended to maintain and develop further this standard. Future development will continue to be guided by the requirements of libraries and carried out in collaboration with device and system developers. Details of how to report errors, request changes and contribute to future developments of the standard are to be found at https://github.com/bic-org-uk/bic-lcf.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF USE FOR THE LIBRARY COMMUNICATIONS FRAMEWORK AND ASSOCIATED CODELISTS, WEB SERVICES AND OTHER DOCUMENTS WHICH TOGETHER MAKE UP THE LCF
All LCF standards and documentation – including this document – are copyright materials, made available free of charge for general use. A full licence agreement that governs their use is available from http://www.bic.org.uk/files/bicstandardslicence.pdf.
In particular, if you use any of the LCF documents you will be deemed to have accepted these terms and conditions:
You agree that you will not add to, delete from, amend, or copy for use outside of the framework, any part thereof except for strictly internal use in your own organisation;
You agree that if you wish to add to, amend, or make extracts of the framework for any purpose that is not strictly internal to your own organisation, you will in the first instance notify BIC and allow BIC to review and comment on your proposed use, in the interest of securing an orderly development of the framework for the benefit of other users.
If you do not accept these terms, you must not use the framework.