In November 2005, the National Library implemented an upgrade to the NBD that includes Unicode support. This has brought many benefits to the Australian library community, including the opportunity to provide a wider coverage of non-Latin script cataloguing. Chinese, Japanese and Korean (CJK) script cataloguing has been available in the national database since 1995, and the support of Thai script represents the next phase in a staged implementation to support a wider range of community languages.
Australia is a multicultural society and many libraries reflect this diversity in their collections. In supporting these community language collections, a number of local library systems are already Unicode compliant and more are in the process of developing Unicode-based systems. Libraries Australia is taking advantage of Unicode implementation at the national and local levels and is committed to expanding bibliographic description and access to a more diverse range of languages.
Thai script was identified as the first target language because of the presence of a substantial number of bibliographic records in the national database and the existence of Thai collections in 18 local libraries. Testing of Thai script showed effective support of Thai script from data entry, searching and data exchange.
Libraries Australia will continue phasing in support of other non-Latin script catalogu