The North Rhine-Westphalian Library Service Centre (hbz - Hochschulbibliothekszentrum des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen) is a service and development agency for library and information systems. We are a federal state authority under the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Research of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). The hbz supports libraries with utilities such as the hbz union catalogue and a variety of related library services. Libraries can corporately catalogue and classify their holdings and make them available to end-users. Associated libraries benefit greatly from synergies derived from cooperative cataloguing and classification.
The hbz is engaged in the Linked Open Data (LOD) community and works in different projects on opening up catalog data and migrating library data to the Semantic Web. Beyond exchanging ideas regionally and within the hbz library network the hbz takes an active part in the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKFN). It is also engaged in working groups within the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). By hosting the annual conference Semantic Web in Libraries (SWIB) together with the German National Library of Economics (ZBW) the hbz is fostering and encouraging the professional commmunication about Linked Open Data concepts and projects in the library world.
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