Friday, May 03, 2002

Genre and Form Headings

I've just finished reading the article "Genre and Form Lists for Moving image and Materials: A Comparison" by Martha M. Yee in The Audiovisual Cataloging Current. It is well worth a read and thoughtful consideration. The two lists compared are the Moving Image Genre-Form Guide and LCSH. It makes too many points, about the construction and uses of genre and form headings, to summarize. She ends by endorsing LCSH with reservations, and a list of recommendations for the improvement of LCSH.

If anyone understands Blogger and wants to give me some guidance with the technical side that would be nice. I cannot seem to get items to display in the places I want them. For instance, I'd like to see the extreme-dm icon at the bottom of the page and the subscription form higher. Even a pointer to a quick guide would be nice. I have paid the $12.00 so you should soon not be subjected to the ad at the top.


I mentioned how much I liked the idea of free download of the GSAFD MARC records. It turns out the Medical Subject Headings have been available for quite some time for free download. They are available in MARC, XML and ASCII. OCLC still does not provide access to the MESH authority records.

The staff of Ehrman Medical Library, NYU School of Medicine have developed a product m[n]m. This PERL program provides a way to update the locally needed records from the entire file provided from the download.

Thursday, May 02, 2002

Digital Libraries

The conference "NetLab and friends - Tribute and outlook after 10 years of digital library development" took place 10-12 April 2002 with 140 participants from 23 countries. The programme included 18 speakers and comprised of five sessions: Visions, future issues and current development, Interoperability and integration of heterogeneous sources, Semantic web and knowledge organisation, Nordic libraries and their digital library solutions and Tension between visions and reality.

The presentations from the conference are now available.

Some of the talks include:
Community, Consensus, and the Trajectory of Progress: Reflections on the Dublin Core experience and what it tells us about the future.
RDF Query by example.
LDAP based repositories for Metadata and Ontologies.
Semantic problems of thesaurus mapping.


The latest issue of Information Technology & Libraries has the article "MARC It Your Way:" by Anne Highsmith ... [et al.], abstract available. is an Open Source tool for tasks with MARC records. It is very adaptable, and the article gives some examples. Chuck Bearden, one of the developers, was one of my classmates in the MLS program at the University of North Texas.

Wednesday, May 01, 2002

Sandy Berman

The talk Sandy Berman gave to the students at the University of Washington is available as a QuickTime streaming video. Can't say anything about the content since my machine does not seem able to handle that format. It is in 3 parts, each about 30 min.

Authority Records

This from the latest LC Cataloging Newsline:

For some time now, LC's Cataloging Distribution Service (CDS) has been processing and distributing to subscribers, including the bibliographic utilities, name authority records derived from the National Library of Canada that contain 7XX fields. NACO members will soon begin seeing 7XX "linking references" in name authority records originating from other institutions. These linking references are AACR2 authoritative forms of name used in national bibliographies or for other special purposes by national libraries/bibliographic entities.

Interim instructions, pending the release of revised documentation, are available at the PCC Web site at URL [May 2002]

This is excellent news, one step closer to a patron friendly authority access system. Where each institution or even each user can select the form of names they desire to use. Currently only the Library of Canada has input. Soon the Library of South Africa will as well.

Tuesday, April 30, 2002


Still on the classification topic. There has been some discussion on a list of what classification schemes are used in Europe. As I remember Dewey and the Universial Decimal Classification (UDC) are the most common. The Bliss Classification is used in some UK libraries. Any others?

General Material Designations

I've just heard that there is discussion about eliminating the GMD. Here are some the specific questions being asked:

1. GMD helps patrons find, separate, collocate, and select records for print and non-print materials. Since non-print materials are often the minority in collections, is the GMD the best way to alert users of the catalog?
2. How are GMD's best applied when describing reproductions and multiple resources such as digital sound recording?
3. Professional report inconsistencies of how to use GMD particularly for non-print materials- so will rules oriented towards print materials help?
4. When should a GMD be in a record (e.g. even if there is no intrinsic relation to a transcribed title), how specific should it be?
5. Materials are described via the GMD, should they be relegated to subject classification?
6. Is SMD an alterative for GMD?
7. GMD is perceived as an example of broad issues in the rules. Thus, should GMD be addressed at all through cataloging rules?

If you have an opinion on this let the members of CC:DA know.

Monday, April 29, 2002

Serial Subscriptions

"Recently, NISO, the National Information Standards Organization and DLF, the Digital Library Federation announced the undertaking of a two month study to evaluate the current use and potential of standards to facilitate the exchange of serials subscription information for both print and electronic resources. NISO would like to know more about how libraries gather, use and share subscription information.

A questionnaire for libraries has been placed on the NISO web site. Because NISO supports the development of standards for the information community based on consensus among constitiuents, we are grateful for the interest of libraries who benefit so much from these standards.

Please take some time to visit the NISO web site and fill out the survey which can be found at: The survey will close on May 30. A final report on this study, including recommendations, will be on the NISO website in late June."--from an e-mail received 4/26/02

Electronic Resources

One of my pet peeves is how useless Area 3 (field 256 in MARC) is for computer files. Our AACR options are to use the terms: Electronic data or Electronic program(s) or a combination of the two. That does not give our users much information. They already know it is an electronic resource from the GMD. This only adds the fact it is a program or data. The list from ISBD(ER) is much more descriptive and informative. This list lets the user know if it is a map, journal, image, font, sound, CAD program or whatever. Something a user can understand and base a decision on. I'd be happy with either doing away with Area 3 or adopting the useful terms from IFLA.