Friday, September 20, 2002

Information Organization for 'Blogs

Sounds interesting.
liveTopics is a tool that enhances the Radio Userland knowledge-logging application making it an ideal personal knowledge sharing platform. In it’s initial release liveTopics provides the ability to attach meta data or topics to each post to your weblog. These are used to generate a Table of Contents to make semantic browsing and cross-referencing possible. The next release will include functionality for sharing topic information across a number of weblogs using the XTM format. This will support the creation of corporate weblog directories. Future integration’s include providing topic information in outgoing RSS feeds to allow clever aggregation.
I'm not using Radio Userland for this 'blog so there is no way I can check it out. I hope they are using standards like Dublin Core and RSS 1.X. The choice of terms to describe something can also be important and hinder access. I use Texas, Tex. TX, n-us-tx, 4030, 77058-1113 at any time to describe about the same place. My choice depends on the setting and is not usable in other contexts. The folks at Blogchalking are finding out the problems in dealing with just U.S. states. Still this is the beginning of a system of access. Interesting.


The Electronic Library v. 20 no. 4 has an interesting paper on automation in indexing. "Obtaining feedback for indexing from highlighted text" by Miguel Villarroel; Pablo de la Fuente; Alberto Pedrero; Jesús Vegas; Joaquín Adiego.
This work presents a method for the adjustment of index weights by processing text that has been highlighted by users. Text in a document is highlighted using an application which provides annotation facilities in order to support active reading. Highlighted text is supposed to be of special relevance and the method tries to improve the index weights of terms located in these highlighted fragments.

Information Access

The paper "Blurring services and resources: Boston College's implementation of MetaLib and SFX" by Bob Gerrity, Theresa Lyman, and Ed Tallent appears in Reference Services Review v. 30 no. 3 (2002)
Over the past year, the Boston College libraries have been engaged in making available to our users two new resources, MetaLib and SFX. MetaLib is portal/gateway software that allows for simultaneous searching of several databases, as well as some options to customize the interface. SFX technology provides context-sensitive reference linking from citations to extended services. In this article we review the pedagogical, technical, and service reasons for making these resources available. We discuss how we believe these technologies respond to current student use of the library, and how we approached the installation process. We also review the challenges of the installation (both technical and service) and future possibilities.

Archival Description

The latest issue of OCLC Systems & Services v. 18 no. 3 (2002) has an introduction to archival description. "Archival description and finding aids" by Randall C Jimerson.

The issue also has articles on Dublin Core, CatExpress, scanning catalog cards, and cataloging and processing of three-dimensional artifacts.

Thursday, September 19, 2002

Controlled Vocabularies

Here is a rather unique listing of terms, the Vocabulary of Basic Terms for Cataloguing Costume by the ICOM International Committee for the Museums and Collections of Costume. It is also available in French and German. Must say I've never cataloged a costume.

Dewey Classification

There is a detailed review of WebDewey by Ian Fairclough in the latest issue of TechKNOW The issue also includes a bibliography on book repair and mention of Catalogablog (Thanks).

Lunar Maps

Nothing to do with cataloging, a project from where I work, the Lunar & Planetary Institute. There is now an update to the Digital Lunar Orbiter Photographic Atlas of the Moon. Annotations for each Atlas image have been added as well as some improved de-striped imagery. Comments and suggestions are welcomed.

LC Classification

Yesterday I made my first classification addition proposal to LC. The proposal process has not yet been automated like the subject proposals. It requires filling in a PDF form, printing it and then FAXing it to LC. A bit last century. I made a proposal for a new number to subdivide Asteroids by name. Comets can have their own class numbers, asteroids deserve the same treatment. Guidelines and the form are available online. Don't complain about LC classification, do something to make it better.

Preservation of Digital Holdings

LC has over eight terabytes of digital data in the American Memory Project. Keeping that useful with changing technology will be a challenge. Library of Congress, San Diego Supercomputer Center to Evaluate SDSC SRB Data Grid for Preservation of Digital Holdings
Today, powerful data grid technologies such as the Storage Resource Broker (SRB), developed at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) for scientific computing, are showing promise of being able to preserve these digital holdings. SDSC and Library of Congress are collaborating to evaluate the SRB data grid software for preservation and management of priceless national digital collections - part of the nation's heritage - for decades and centuries into the future.

Wednesday, September 18, 2002


I've posted this before, but I'll repost it from time to time to remind new subscribers. Those who have subscribed to receive items from this 'blog by e-mail should be aware:
Blog owners will be able to view the list of their subscribers. On the flip side, if subscribers want their email address hidden from view, they can set their account to "private" in their Profile section. In fact, this option is in place now, if you want to use it.
You can rest assured I'll not pass your addresses on to any third party or send you spam. I'm curious as to who is a subscriber, so I will take a look some time. This applies to any 'blog you have subscribed to using Bloglet.

Cites & Insights

The latest issue of Cites & Insights is now available. Walt Crawford's well writted opinions on e-books, COWLZ and technology. Always a good read.

OLAC Newsletter

The latest issue of the OLAC Newsletter is now available. Anyone attending the conference in a few days will want to check it out to see some of the issues to be discussed and decided.


Solid introduction to metadata Demystifying Metadata by Marty Lucas.
In the faddish dot-com world it's tempting to dismiss metadata as this nanosecond's buzzer button, but metadata is really an age-old answer to an age-old problem. The problem is, how to get the most out of a stored collection of information. Datastores are bigger than ever and so is the problem. A consensus is growing that metadata is the answer. Metadata is often described as "information about information" but I prefer to think of it as another layer of information - simplified, distilled, made orderly - created to help people use an information source.
Thanks to Matthew at Library Techlog for this item.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002


Metadata for Web logs is being discussed at the Weblog MetaData Initiative or WMDI.
The guiding principle behind the initiative is that by creating standards in the weblog metadata "problem space", we can enable greater collaboration and interaction between existing applications, as well as paving the way for future, currently unforeseen metadata applications by reducing or eliminating much of the redundant, "reinventing the wheel" work currently involved in creating a new weblog metadata application.

Instant Messaging

The problem with instant messaging has been that programs often do not speak to one another. An AIM user and ICQ user, for example, cannot connect. There are a few solutions. Trillion is able to connect to most, if not all other IM software. Now, however, business is beginning to use instant messaging and wants compatible systems. IM giants told to work it out.

I hope, with compatible systems may come standards, structure in XML and the ability to archive and search the archives of messages. Another benefit will be for libraries that are using IM for online reference.

Thanks to Jenny at the Shifted Librarian. Welcome back, I've missed your insights.

Monday, September 16, 2002


The latest issue of D-Lib Magazine has just been published. It inlcudes the paper Experiments with the IFLA Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) by Thomas B. Hickey, Edward T. O'Neill and Jenny Toves.
OCLC is investigating how best to implement IFLA's Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR). As part of that work, we have undertaken a series of experiments with algorithms to group existing bibliographic records into works and expressions. Working with both subsets of records and the whole WorldCat database, the algorithm we developed achieved reasonable success identifying all manifestations of a work.


Cascading Style Sheets are an important tool for improving the access to information on the Web. These separate content from style. Check to see if your CSS is properly encoded with CSSCheck.


There is lots of legislation being proposed to extend the interests of copyright holders. The right to shut down your computer and the ability to decide what electronic devices will be manufactured, for example. The Electronic Freedom Foundation makes it easy to let Congress hear another side. After registration, you can send e-mails or FAXes based on their letters to you congressperson. Simple, quick and important. Information policy is too important to be left in the hands of one segment of our society.

Dublin Core

The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative is pleased to announce the release of the DCMI Metadata Registry. This Registry provides a Web-based user interface that enables users to explore the Dublin Core vocabulary. It provides authoritative information regarding the DCMI vocabulary, and the relationship between terms in that vocabulary.

The Registry includes:

  • Full-text search support
  • The ability to navigate the DC vocabulary using a number of pre-defined queries.
  • Internationalization support that includes term and user interfacetranslations in 23 different languages (thanks to the efforts of over 40volunteers)
  • Two user interfaces, intended to support both metadata specialists and RDF experts

The Metadata Registry is the primary focus of the DCMI Registry Working Group. We encourage your feedback on this release and remind working group members that we will be discussing Phase 2 functional requirements at the DC2002 meeting in Florence in October. Prior to that meeting we will post agenda and discussion items on this list. Please direct your comments and suggestions to: mailto:DC-REGISTRY@JISCMAIL.AC.UK

The DCMI Registry
The DCMI Registry Working Group home page

Best Regards,
Harry Wagner
Dublin, OH 43017
(614) 761-5178