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VuFind is an open source "library resource portal designed and developed for libraries by libraries".

For a list of Summon customers who use VuFind, see:

Vufind and Summon

Vufind will act as a front-end for various library systems for which it has interfaces. One of the available interfaces is to the Summon API. There are also drivers for the major proprietary and open-source Library Management Systems. Older versions of the LMS drivers can request availability information or lists of items checked out by a patron, while more recent drivers can also carry out operations such as placing holds on loans. A third category of drivers can integrate results from Link Resolvers such as SFX or 360 Link.

Vufind can also act as a free-standing discovery system with its own index based on Solr, the same indexing system used in Summon itself. The most common use of Vufind with Summon is to combine the Solr index for local catalogue material with the Summon interface for e-resources. One example of this is the Falvey Memorial Library at Villanova University. In this instance of Vufind, the local search results are referred to as Books and More, and the Summon-based search results as Articles and More; the two searches can be run in parallel. The LMS driver is used to allow placing of holds.

It is also possible to use Vufind with the Summon interface and no or minimal use of the local Solr index, on the assumption that local catalogue data has been uploaded to Summon. This is the approach followed by the library at Royal Holloway, University of London (currently in beta-testing). In this case the discovery aspect of Vufind is little more than a skin over the standard Summon output. The advantages to this approach are in having greater local control over the appearance of Summon, and in being able to integrate patron management and link resolver within a single application. Disadvantages include requiring local developer time (this is not currently an 'out of the box' use of Vufind), and dependence on the IDs returned through the Summon API, which Serials Solutions do not guarantee to be stable over time.

Vufind is in rapid development and the amount of developer involvement needed to set up a working system is decreasing with each release. The core of this note was written in June 2011; for more up-to-date information, please see the Vufind wiki.

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