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Unicode: a tool for system interoperability and human communication

VALA 2004 CONCURRENT SESSION 7: Software Issues
Wednesday 4 February 2004, 15:10 - 15:40

Cathie Jilovsky

Information Services Manager, CAVAL Collaborative Solutions

VALA Peer Reviewed Paper

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This paper describes the development of the Unicode standard, how it is being used by computer systems generally and by the library community in particular. The complexities of implementing a system which supports a multi-language environment are explored, using the implementation of the Ex Libris Aleph 500 library system at CAVAL Collaborative Solutions as a case study. CAVAL provides cataloguing services to customers in over fifty languages, so that the ability to handle Unicode was a key criterion in the selection of the system. Unicode is complex to implement but is becoming an essential component for library systems.

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