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CatZSearch and CatZServers

Learn about CatZSearch and CatZServers in Amlib.

Set UP CatZServers

Z39.50 is an international information retrieval standard that enables communication between computer systems, including those that operate on different hardware and use different library software (e.g. Amlib, Spydus, Sirsi, etc.). Searching of other libraries and databases is performed simultaneously in a single search (parallel searching).

Amlib provides an integrated Z39.50 Client (also known as ZClient) within the Amlib Catalogue module for easily searching of other libraries and databases. The Amlib ZClient has an additional benefit of being able to select a range of records from a search result and immediately import into the Amlib Catalogue databases – an easy way for creating orders and importing marc records.

 Note: Use of the Bibliographic records via Z39.50 is subject to the terms and conditions of the Source Library.


  1. In Amlib go to Main > Catalogue > CatZSearch.
  2. Select Application > CatZOptions.
  3. The four options are detailed below- select as appropriate using the table as a guide.
  4. F3 Update:




    A server is not working if it does respond in XXX seconds

    Can be any amount of time you want to wait


    Alternate path to Z39.50 client

    Not currently used- leave blank


    Display all records as (US)Marc or (UK)Marc

    Display Marc records in US or UK version


    Tag(s) to use when Displaying a Title

    Can be as many Tags as you like


    Tag(s) to use when Displaying an Author

    Can be as many Tags as you like



Servers are the Libraries or databases you wish to search. A list of accessible Z39.50 target databases in Australia can be found at the following link from the National Library, About Z39.50, Databases available via the Z39.50 Gateway.

To enter a new server to Search:

  1. In Amlib go to Main > Catalogue > CatZSearch
  2. Select Application > CatZServers
  3. Select F1 New – the Server window will open on the General tab
  4. Enter details as below:
    • Description = the description you will see in Amlib of the Library or database
    • Display Seq = the order in which you wish the list to display eg 1, 2, 3 etc. The number here needs to be unique
    • Host = the Internet Address of the Library or database. If this is not correct, you cannot be connected to perform a search
    • Port = TCP/IP port *
    • Server Type is generally Other unless it is another Amlib site you wish to search
    • Database is the name of the database. This will also need to be supplied by the Library or database being searched.

* Note: The two most common ports for Z39.50 federated searching are 210 and 7090. These ports need an open path originating from the each client machine to each external server.


The Servers being searched can be grouped together so that parallel searches are performed across multiple databases.

  1. In Amlib go to Main > Catalogue > CatZSearch
  2. Select Application > CatZGroups
  3. Select F1 New
  4. Enter a description for the group and a Display sequence for the group to display in the list
  5. Leave Type as Bibliographic

  1. Click on the Servers tab
  2. Tick the servers you wish to include in this group
  3. Select OK

Z39.50 searching and importing

  1. In Amlib go to Main > Catalogue > CatZSearch- the Z39.50 Search window will open
  2. Select F5 Query

  1. Click on the down arrow and select the Server or Group you wish to search by highlighting it

  1. Type in the search term against the appropriate box- for example ISBN, Title, Author, Subject or combination of these.
  2. Click OK
  3. Once the search has executed, search results will display. These can be sorted by clicking on the column- for example clicking on the Author column will search the results by Author

  1. Double click on a record to see the full MARC record display

Importing the Records: Create Statistics

  1. Highlight the records you wish to import. You may highlight multiple records my holding down the CTRL key and clicking on other records
  2. Select F4 Import
  3. Choose Yes to the popup. The records will then be saved into a Marc file on your workstation. Choosing this option also creates statistics for the number of records imported (see Main > Supervisor > StatsParams - Codes 110,111,112).
  4. Select OK to the popup and the file will then be saved to be C:\Documents and Settings\your PC login username\. The File name will be Date – Time -RefNo- AmlibUsername –z39
  5. Select Open to continue to the Marc Import Screen
  6. Marc Take-up choices:
    1. You can choose to directly import the marc records without viewing by clicking the Open and Update box and then edit the catalogue records once they have been imported
    2. To view and edit the Marc records prior to importing into Amlib, leave the Open and Update Box unchecked.
  7. Create Stockitems for each new catalogue record by XReferencing from the Catalogue to Stockitem as create an item as usual

Importing the Records: No Statistics

  1. Highlight the records you wish to import. You may highlight multiple records my holding down the CTRL key and clicking on other records
  2. Select F4 Import
  3. Choose No to the popup. This does not create statistics for imported records or save to a separate Marc file.
  4. You will then see a direct import screen
  5. Enter details as appropriate using the table as a guide then select OK:

Total number of selections

Records selected (usually 1)

Number already imported

Successful imports in the current session

Number that cannot be imported

Sometimes an external ZServer may block Importing

Total number to be imported

Records that will be imported

Security Lvl New entries

50 is the default. This can be higher or lower depending on User logon access desired.

Refresh any affected items

This will overwrite existing matching catalogues

Enter a comma separated list of tag (in 3 digit format) that you never wish to import eg 008,631

Enter tags you do not wish to import

List of catalogues that should be retained in case of matching catalogue record

Enter tags you do not wish to be overwritten e.g. 099, 082

All the imported records can be placed into a Saved File. Use the Browse button to choose a Saved File

Enter a new name for a file or use Browse to create a file name or use an existing file


  1. A box will display the import progress
  2. Select OK to the popup and create your Stockitems as usual by XReferencing to Stockitem