Friday, August 30, 2002
This paper describes an implementation utilizing preliminary Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) guidelines for expressing Qualified Dublin Core (DCQ) metadata in RDF/XML. Primary source objects used in this research were online versions of articles published in more than 50 academic journals in physics and engineering. Articles were encoded in well-formed XML. While able to follow DCMI guidelines generally, it was necessary to augment DCQ semantics with local extensions in order to retain desired richness of semantics and structure. Also described is related work, including development of XML schema documents necessary to validate metadata and creation of a transforming XSL stylesheet to "dumb-down" metadata to simple Dublin Core. As a case study, this research illustrates issues encountered when expressing real-world DCQ metadata in RDF/XML. Significant initial investment of effort was required to develop RDF facilities and expertise. Pending more applications that exploit RDF, this investment may not be warranted in all domains.
The judicious application of XML and taxonomies can go a long way towards stemming the sprawl of unstructured digital content throughout an enterprise and leveraging its potential in the service of business goals.
Thursday, August 29, 2002
1. A Southerner has always been President of the United States.
2. Richard Burton, Ricky Nelson and Truman Capote have always been dead.
3. South Africa's official policy of apartheid has not existed during their lifetime.
4. Cars have always had eye-level rear stop lights, CD player, and air bags.
5. We have always been able to choose our long distance carriers.
6. Weather reports have always been available 24-hours a day on television.
7. The "evil empire" has moved from Moscow to a setting in some distant galaxy.
8. "Big Brother" is merely a television show.
9. Cyberspace has always existed.
10. Bruce Springsteen's new hit Born in the USA could have been played to celebrate their birth.
I know you have your own success stories, even if they're mostly anecdotes. You may also have conducted some follow-up surveys with the people who've attended your workshops. What we need to do, it seems to me, is start gathering these stories and systematically recording them. If we're not currently doing follow-up surveys of our workshop attendees, we should start doing so, at least occasionally. We can put the stories and the survey results in our annual reports, and publish them on our web pages. In fact, we could use our web pages to gather stories like this, by including an interactive page for users, called something like I LEARNED IT AT THE LIBRARY.
The next step would be to take these stories from libraries all over the country and consolidate the information so we can get a sense of the national economic impact of libraries. I can do that, with your help. I can create a page for library success stories on my web site.
The page doesn't exist yet, because I can't do it by myself. You need to supply me with the content for it. Send me your anecdotes, and the URLs for your posted survey results or press releases about them, to email@example.com (please use the subject line "library success story"), and I will include them on the page. I'll let you know when it's up and running. Let's jointly create documentation we can brandish in the faces of mayors and city council members and company financial officers, proving our worth in the dollars and cents terms they understand.
Ex Libris: an E-Zine for Librarians and Other Information Junkies.
Copyright, Marylaine Block, 1999-2002.
I'd encourage interested parties to read carefully through the RFP and to join the koha-devel mailing list. It may also be worthwhile to join the #koha channel at irc.katipo.co.nz to discuss the project in general or MARC support specifically. If you know anyone else that might be interested in responding to the RFP, please feel free to forward it as appropriate.
Further background on Nelsonville's announcement. For more information, please feel free to contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
the Koha project
Wednesday, August 28, 2002
Robust Hyperlinks and Robust Locations. URLs can be made robust so that if a web page moves to another location anywhere on the web, you can find it. Even if that page has been edited. (If the page has been deleted and no mirrors are available, you'll have to try something else, obviously.) Today's address-based URLs are augmented with a five or so word content-based lexical signature to make a Robust Hyperlink. When the URL's address-based portion breaks, the signature is fed into any web search engine to find the new site of the page. Using our free, Open Source software (including source code), you can rewrite your web pages and bookmarks files to make them robust, automatically. Although web browser support is desirable for complete convenience, Robust Hyperlinks work now, as drop-in replacements of URLs in today's HTML, web browsers, web servers and search engines.
Tuesday, August 27, 2002
This is the debut issue of Free Range Librarian, a monthly think piece from the Librarians' Index to the Internet. Each month we will feature one article or review on issues important to librarianship.The 1st issue is "The Gospel According To Marvin: A Review of A Festschrift in Honor of Marvin H. Scilken" by Karen G. Schneider. This is an extended review of the book Getting Libraries the Credit They Deserve: A Festschrift in Honor of Marvin H. Scilken, by Loriene Roy and Antony Cherian. However, it goes beyond reviewing to a recollection of the man.
We welcome submissions (500 to 1000 words) but regret we cannot offer payment for publication other than an lii.org mug or t-shirt and a copyright agreement that allows you to retain rights to your content.
Monday, August 26, 2002
Koha, being open source, provided the access that NPL required and the level of stability and functionality that they needed. NPL has committed to help support the development of Koha by funding some of the work on three specific projects. This support is seen as a wise investment, NPL expects to save as much money per year as they initially invest in Koha. More importantly, they will be able to offer what they consider to be "the best online services available anywhere in the world."
"NPL's involvement is a real validation of our model." says Pat Eyler, Kaitiaki (manager) of the Koha project. "We've got a solid base system. As people want to add onto it, they can make a small investment to fund the work (far less than they would for a comparable closed source solution) and everyone will benefit. I hope that we'll see other libraries pitching in too."
More information about Koha
NPL provides services to approximately 36,000 active borrowers through seven branches. Their collection includes over 250,000 items.
As some of you may be aware, a special task force recently studied the mission, management, programs, and operation of the National Agricultural Library in pursuit of its legislated mandate to serve as the chief agricultural information resource of the United States. The task force report and recommendations appear in the "Report on the National Agricultural Library 2001".
Please see the announcement of the release of the Report and invitation for public review and comment along with a link to the full report
We are announcing the availability of the Report and the period of public comment to a wide audience with the hope that we will get many comments from a variety of customers, stakeholders, and partners. We invite you to review and comment on the report recommendations.
Few people bother to look at the code underlying Web sites they visit, but it is often worth doing so - not just to see how good pages are put together, but to examine any metadata lurking there. For metadata - data about data - is becoming an increasingly important area of Web technology (the World Wide Web Consortium has some background on the subject).