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Information about the NHS Knowledge and Library Hub for SWIMS Network libraries

The National Discovery Service is due to go live in Oct 2021 with a planned date of Fri 22nd Oct 2021 for a ‘soft’ launch.  It uses EBSCO’s Discovery Service product and is branded as the ‘NHS Knowledge and Library Hub’.


The experience of using the Knowledge and Library Hub will be slightly different for SWIMS Network libraries and their users from other regions from launch because of the inclusion of SWIMS catalogue records and the associated ability for end users to request SWIMS catalogue items.  In other parts of the country, regional catalogues will be included later.


Inclusion of SWIMS catalogue records

Title records for print and electronic books (other media types?) will be loaded from SWIMS.  There will be daily overnight updates? of new records, deleted records, and record changes.  So the data should be no more than one day behind SWIMS data. 

Against each title record will appear data about all copies at SWIMS libraries.  For copies at the home library service (which includes all locations in the same service), the following will appear: location, class number, status, and due date if on loan.  For copies at other services, this detailed data won’t appear.

Against all title records there will be a ‘request’ button – for more information about requesting please see below.

If you spot any problems, e.g. books not included which should be, please contact the SWIMS Core Team.


Records for print and electronic journals on SWIMS will not be loaded in the same way that books are.  Instead local administrators will need to ensure these are selected in EBSCO’s Holdings and Link Manager (HLM) to ensure they will be retrievable in the new Knowledge and Library Hub. 

However it is still necessary to maintain print and electronic journal holdings on SWIMS for the purposes of inter-library lending.  This is so that other libraries can discover which journals are held where by searching the SWIMS OPAC.

The future

In future it is hoped that library staff will no longer need to maintain print and electronic journal holdings on SWIMS (apart from in association with checking in print journal issues where that is done).  Work is ongoing to investigate options for creating a database of journal holdings for use by inter-library loan staff which no longer requires the use of SWIMS.


End-user requesting

End users will be able to search all types of resources and request items not immediately available to them by clicking a ‘request’ button.  If they click this button they will be asked to input their contact details into an online form and when they click ‘submit’ an email will be sent to the email address of their home library requesting the item.  The bibliographic details of the item are automatically included in the email.

End users at SWIMS Network libraries, including SWIMS Network affiliated members, will be able to retrieve records for print and electronic books from the SWIMS catalogue.  End users will see a request button against these, and will be able to click to request them as for other resources.  This will be new for them as they are currently not able to request on the SWIMS OPAC.  The request button will appear regardless of whether the book is located at their home location or only at others, on loan or not.

For existing users of EBSCO’s Discovery Service, this will be the same as currently.

This is good because it gives easier access for the end user to resources.  However the consequence may be that there is an increase in demand for inter-library loan requests.  Libraries which already have implemented discovery services locally have found this.


The request button will also appear against e-books.  This may need some local policy in terms of how to provision these requests – possibly via a print version of the book.

The future

In future it is hoped that there will be greater integration between the Knowledge and Library Hub and regional and local library and request management systems to streamline the experience for end users and KLS staff.  Work is ongoing to achieve this.