Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Tech Services

The latest Library Juice has a detailed description of the process of acquisition and cataloging used at Harvard University in 1876.

Saturday, December 27, 2003


The following discussion paper is available for review by the MARC 21 community:
  • Discussion Paper 2004-DP03: Changing the Mapping for the Double-Wide Diacritics from MARC8 to Unicode/UCS from the Unicode/UCS Half Diacritic Characters to the Unicode/UCS Double-Wide Diacritic Characters
This paper will be discussed in a meeting of the MARC Advisory Committee on Saturday, January 10, 2004 in San Diego.

A draft agenda for the meeting is available.


Here is a site if you are trying to keep up with metadata schemas, SchemaWeb.
SchemaWeb is a repository for RDF schemas expressed in the RDFS, OWL and DAML+OIL schema languages. SchemaWeb is a place for developers and designers working with RDF. It provides a comprehensive directory of RDF schemas to be browsed and searched by human agents and also an extensive set of web services to be used by RDF agents and reasoning software applications that wish to obtain real-time schema information whilst processing RDF data. RDF Schemas are the critical layer of the Semantic Web. They provide the semantic linkage that 'intelligent' software needs to extract value giving information from the raw data defined by RDF triples.
They have a schema of the week, currently it is the Creative Commons.

Friday, December 26, 2003

LC Errors

A while back I mentioned that I had spotted a classification error on an LC bib record. I submitted that error for consideration on the Web form LC provides for that reason. On Dec. 18 I received this reply:
Your discrepancy report was referred to LC's Cataloging Policy and Support Office (CPSO). I have just reclassed LCCN 00012759 to QB521.5.T66 2001. Thanks very much for reporting this classification error.
Don't complain about any errors LC makes, drop them a line and get them fixed for the rest of us.

Tag of the Month

The Follett MARC Tag of the Month is a sample cartographic record for a map. I have some serious reservations about the record in the fields below 1XX. However, it does give some idea.


The Newsletter of the Classification and Indexing Section Division of Bibliographic Control of IFLA is now available.


Thanks for all the well wishes. I'm still in the hospital, maybe another week. I broke my pelvis in several places. The pain is more than I can imagine. Yesterday I got out of bed by myself for the 1st time. Took my 1st shower today. Recovery will be a long painful road.

I do have a laptop and dial-up connection here in bed, so I'll post a few items that come my way. Postings will be very erratic for the next week or two. I hope everybody enjoyed their holidays.

If anyone would want to be a co-host while I recover, just let me know. I'll give you the same access I have to contribute.

Monday, December 15, 2003

Automobile accident

This is Mary (Bigwood) Pina, David's sister. Dave was in a car accident on Saturday. He is in the hospital and will be having surgery on Tuesday. He will be fine and returning to the site sometime after Christmas.

Friday, December 12, 2003


The following documents are available for review by the MARC 21 community:These papers will be discussed in a meeting of the MARC Advisory Committee on Saturday, January 10, 2004 and Sunday, January 11, 2004 in San Diego.

A draft agenda for the meeting is available.

Electronic Resources

"Bibliographic description of electronic resources and user needs" by Maria Witt appears in Online Information Review (2003) v. 27, no. 6, pp. 383-395.
discusses various examples of selection, bibliographic description of electronic resources, and how the mediation provided by librarians can help users with their choices during searching. Users are confronted with more information than ever before, and their expectations are becoming increasingly diverse. This article presents several observations gathered from public libraries and considers the conditions of access and description to electronic resources in various French libraries. Finally added value in authority records is discussed, with particular reference to URLs.

Metadata Object Description Schema

The revised MODS schema version 3.0 is now available online. Mappings in both directions between MARCXML and MODS as well as the Outline of elements and attributes also reflect version 3.0.

Changes from the previous version (2.0) are documented.

The MARCXML to MODS stylesheet, guidelines, and examples will be revised to reflect the new schema shortly. A stylesheet to convert MODS records using the 2.0 schema to 3.0 will also be available shortly.

Dublin Core

DC 2004: International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications will be held October 11-24 in Shanghai (China).

Preliminary information about the conference is available on the DCMI website.


The Distributed Systems Technology Centre (DSTC) has released version 4 of their MetaSuite product family for managing Dublin Core and similar metadata. Products include:
  • HotMeta - a web-enabled metadata repository and query engine, and associated metadata indexing, harvesting and maintenance tools,
  • MetaEdit - a validating schema-based metadata editor for use with Hotmeta and stand-alone,
  • MetaSchema - a metadata schema compiler for creating custom metadata schemas, and
  • MetaSaurus - a tool for generating "browse tree" web pages from subject thesauri.
The major new feature is that it now supports OAI 2.0 metadata interchange. This is worth a look based on their past work.


A while back NISO found that a patent was held on part of the OpenURL standard under development. As a result of that they have released the white paper Patents and Open Standards by Priscilla Caplan.

This is not yet available as a link from their page NISO Standards White Papers. Also missing from that page is >The Exchange of Serials Subscription Information by Ed Jones

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Cross Training

The article The Renaissance Librarian: Catalogers Working in Public Services by Douglas King has been published at LISCareer.com He discusses the benefits of working the reference desk and issues to consider before taking the plunge.

I've always found working the ref desk to be good, for many of the reasons he mentions. Basically, I believe, that cataloging has a national or even international view. We are concerned with LC subject headings and rule interpretations, OCLC and RLG conventions, IFLA ISBD's and metadata standards from ISO. Reference is concerned with the concrete and local. This change in viewpoint helps to prevent tunnel vision. I've worked the ref desk in the past at a local public library. It's been a few years and I feel the need to go back and do so again. I've sent my resume off to a local public and hope to hear back from them soon.

I've avoided calling reference "public services" because as the old OCLC button says "Cataloging is a Public Service."

Wednesday, December 10, 2003


The following documents are available for review by the MARC 21 community:
  • Proposal No. 2004-01: Making Subfields $e, $f, and $g Repeatable in Field 260 of the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format.
  • Proposal No. 2004-02: Defining New Field Link Type Codes for Subfield $8 (Field link and sequence number) in the MARC 21 Bibliographic and Holdings Formats.
  • Proposal No. 2004-03: Designating the Privacy of Fields 541, 561 and 583 in the MARC 21 Bibliographic and Holdings Formats.
These papers will be discussed in a meeting of the MARC Advisory Committee on Saturday, January 10, 2004 and Sunday, January 11, 2004 in San Diego.

A draft agenda for the meeting is available.

Several other papers will be posted soon.

Dublin Core

This news from DCMI should make some folks happy. "The DCMI Usage Board is pleased to announce the to the addition of two new terms, "Moving Image" and "Still Image", to the DCMI Type Vocabulary. The new terms are documented on the Web page "DCMI Metadata Terms" and in an updated RDF schema."

Tuesday, December 09, 2003


The Beer Topic Map is a fun project.
This is a collaborative project to create a topic map about beer. The idea is to first create an ontology for describing beer, and then allow people to provide their own content using that ontology. The topic maps provided by different people can then be merged together to yield larger data sets.
Sometimes using an example from a subject a user knows is a good way to introduce new ideas. This should be a good introduction to topic maps for some of folks.

Error Reporting

The Library of Congress provides a form to report errors you may find in their cataloging. Do everybody a favor and use it. The sooner they correct the errors the fewer catalogs contain the error, or have to correct it. I just reported the wrong call number in the record for Sun / by Stephen M. Tomecek ; illustrated by Carla Golembe. They have QE something, a geology number. So don't just complain, report it and help all of us to have better catalogs.

Dublin Core

Boxes and Arrows has an extensive write-up of the recent Dublin Core Conference. 2003 Dublin Core Conference Summary by Madonnalisa Gonzales-Chan and Sarah Rice. In addition to the session descriptions it includes an introduction to DC and links to workshop notes and further resources. Well worth reading.

Monday, December 08, 2003

OS Library System

Emilda 1.0.0 is the first version to be released under the GNU General Public License and future development is also to be performed under the GNU GPL.

Some of the key features of Emilda are:

  • Full featured Web-OPAC, allowing comprehensive system management from virtually any computer with an Internet connection.
  • Template based layout allowing anyone to alter the visual appearance of Emilda.
  • XML based language for fast and easy portability to virtually any language.
  • 100% MARC compatibility using the Zebra Server from Indexdata as backend server.
  • Extensive configuration made easy with the Emilda Configurator, allowing full customization of the system.
Currently, Emilda is used at three schools in Espoo, Finland, but is to expand to cover all Swedish Speaking schools in Espoo (approx. 15)

Due to its young age, what Emilda needs at its current stage is testing, testing and of course testing, since the true soul of a program only enters the picture after it has been in hard treatment for a while. This is the reason why we would like You to try Emilda and then report anomalies or alternatively download the source code and make the changes You want to make - That's the beauty of open source!

Seen on oss4lib.


Stuart Weibel Interviews Tim Berners-Lee, July 29, 2003.
This interview with Tim Berners-Lee, Director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) was conducted by OCLC Researcher Stuart Weibel. Tim agreed to discuss his perspectives on major trends in the information landscape and their impact on use and access to public information. This interview was conducted in support of the OCLC environmental scan of the Library and Information communities, developed for strategic planning purposes for OCLC and its member libraries.
It is good to see the Web tech folks and library folk talking. There is much we can learn from each other.


This list of changes to AACR is courtesy of the British Library.
The British Library
CA&D Cataloguing

Summary of Changes in AACR 2003 Update

The 2003 Update to the 2002 AACR2 is now available and will be implemented in Cataloguing, CA&D, from 1st December 2003.

The 2003 changes are as follows:

  • 1.8E1: Binding information can now be added when there is only one ISBN.
  • 1.10C2b; 3.0A1; A.27A; Glossary: Cartographic materials; Globe; Map: The term "earth" will now be capitalized whenever it refers to the planet. Previously "earth" was capitalized only when the term appeared in conjunction with other planets.) Relevant examples and Glossary definitions have been amended.
  • 12.7B18: Two examples of "summary" notes for integrating resources have been added.
  • 21.2A2i: Category (i) for minor changes to a title proper now includes the rearrangement of existing words in the title.
  • 21.30J1; 25.2E1; 26.4B1, footnote 2: A title added entry is now made for all items entered under a name heading or entered under a uniform title heading.
  • 24.20C1; 24.20C2; 21.20C3: Headings for heads of governments and heads of international intergovernmental organizations can now contain the name of an incumbent and the incumbent’s dates, bringing these headings into accord with headings for heads of state and heads of religious organizations.
  • Appendix B.14A: (a) The abbreviation for "Newfoundland and Labrador" has been changed to "N.L."; (b) "Newfoundland" and its abbreviation "Nfld." have been added.
  • The index has been revised and updated.

Sally Strutt (with thanks to Bob Ewald, LC)
28 November 2003

Digital Libraries

Mathematical Knowledge is Mathematics' Treasure, NA-MKM 2004, the Second North American Workshop on Mathematical Knowledge Management will be held in Phoenix, Arizona, January 6, 2004.
Mathematical Knowledge Management (MKM) is an exciting new field in the intersection of mathematics and computer science. The need for good MKM is great: mathematical knowledge is mathematics' treasure; it is vital to engineering, science, and mathematics itself, and it is used by millions of people. The challenge of MKM is also great: mathematical knowledge is unsurpassed in its extent, richness, and interconnectedness. Current technology is not capable of fulfilling this need and meeting this challenge. New and more sophisticated theory and technology is required.
Some of the papers accepted include:
  • MKM and the NIST Digital Library of Mathematical Functions
  • Services of the Formal Digital Library and Proof Sharing
  • The Open Archives Initiative and Payment Models -- A Learned Society Publisher's Perspective
  • MoWGLI -- Mathematics in the Semantic Web

Friday, December 05, 2003

Uniform Titles

Draft 2 of a proposed revision to LCRI 25.5B on Uniform Titles for Motion Pictures, Television Programs, and Radio Programs is now available for review and comment on the CPSO Web site. Send comments by January 15, 2004.

Houston Area

On Jan. 6, 2004 a special cataloging class will be offered in Houston through the Department of Library Services

Class: Cataloging Spanish materials
Teacher: Joanna Fountain
Time: 9:00-4:00

Location: Department of Library Services, Houston ISD, 5216 Feagan, Houston, Texas 77007

Scope: Learn to recognize and locate good cataloging records for Spanish materials; learn what tools are useful as aids to cataloging and what standards to apply when evaluating commercial cataloging for Spanish materials.

The class is limited to 23 students sue to the size of the lab. Participants should be familiar with Marc Magician.
A box lunch will be provided.
Cost: $50 for materials and lunch

If you have questions contact Debbie Hall, Library Technology Supervisor,
To reserve a seat, call (713-861-1204) or email Yolanda Sauceda (ysauceda@houstonisd.org)

Posted with permission. A couple comments.... This should be an excellent workshop, Dr. Fountain knows both cataloging and Spanish very well. Also, what an excellent idea for a workshop. Giving the rest of us some tools and knowledge to better deal with Spanish language materials is a need in many parts of our country. I hope they have a full session and offer the workshop again and again.


While at the AOSA Conference I attended the session "Writing for the Orff Echo." They distributed the photo permission form that had to be used for any photographs accompanying articles. One statement caught my eye, it said the photograph of your child will never appear in the Internet. Never is a very long time. That means the full contents of the Orff Echo will never be available on-line. Never. Not a 5 year moving wall, like JSTOR. Never.

Just wondering, how many other publications have similar restrictions that will prevent them from ever being completely available on-line. Is this the rule in publications that might have pictures with children, or rather the exception.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Audio Standards

Memory institutions often have collections of non-commercial sound recordings. Oral history projects, meetings and presentations, and local music are some examples. Transferring these from tape to digital will provide better access, they may even be placed on the Web in digital format. However, MP3 and WMA are both proprietary lossey formats; some other codecs should be considered.

For lossless open-source compression FLAC should be considered.

FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec. Grossly oversimplified, FLAC is similar to MP3, but lossless, meaning that audio is compressed in FLAC without any loss in quality. This is similar to how Zip works, except with FLAC you will get much better compression because it is designed specifically for audio, and you can play back compressed FLAC files in your favorite player (or your car or home stereo, see links to the right for supported devices) just like you would an MP3 file.
A lossey open-source codec is Ogg Vorbis.
Ogg Vorbis is a new audio compression format. It is roughly comparable to other formats used to store and play digital music, such as MP3, VQF, AAC, and other digital audio formats. It is different from these other formats because it is completely free, open, and unpatented.

SANAD Support Technologies

This might belong more in Library Technology Guides, but since I got the scoop.... SANAD Support Technologies sold most of its contracts, but not the company name, to Library Associates.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003


The NASIG Newsletter is now available to all, previously access was restricted to members. The Dec. issue contains information on:
  • NASIG 18th Annual Conference (2003)
The North American Serials Interest Group is a bargain, only $25.00 for membership and only $5.00 for students. Read the newsletter to see what they are up to and then join.


The revised version of ISBD(G) is now ready for reviewing.
The General International Standard Bibliographic Description - referred to hereinafter as the ISBD(G) - lists all the elements that are required to describe and identify all types of material that are likely to appear in library collections, assigns an order to the elements of the description, and specifies a system of punctuation for the description.
This document often influences AACR, so it is fundamental to cataloging. Now is the time to make comments.

OPAC Access

Jenny, the Shifted Librarian, points to a IE Explorer add-on that allows searching library catalogs. The Searchy tool
"with this Search Addon you can upgrade your Internet Explorer to search quickly and directly over the address bar of your Browser in:
  • different Search-Engines
  • various Online Shops
  • and Encyclopedias etc.
However, it is not limited to a particular group of databases, it has a tool to add custom databases. Jenny created one for her local library catalog. You can create one for the users of your institution and make it available for download.

I've not compared this to LibraryLookup. Searchy is not limited to ISBN's it will search any keywords. Exciting news. Thanks for the pointer Jenny.


ccValidator is a parser/validator for Creative Commons Licence metadata in RDF.
This service parses Creative Commons licenses, validates the RDF and displays their contents in human readable form. It is useful for ensuring that your license accurately reflects the rights you wish to reserve (or not).

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

What's New at the Lunar and Planetary Institute Library

The What's New at the Lunar and Planetary Institute Library page has been on administrative leave for a while now. I'm glad to say it has returned and should be back on a weekly update schedule for the future.

Dublin Core

A new working group has been established by DCMI, the Working Group on
Preservation Metadata


The minutes of the Cataloging & Metadata Interest Group of the OCLC Members Council are available. Topics discussed include:
  • OCLC Cataloging Partners Program (CPP)
  • Batchloading
  • Z39.50 Update
  • Subscription Pricing

Librarian's Book Club

The Dec. selections for the Librarian's Book Club are, The Truth About Reference Librarians by Will Manley and Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason by Nancy Pearl.

The fiction selection is Souls in the Great Machine by Sean McMullen.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Digital Libraries

Dynix is hosting Digital Library Research and Development Within Libraries on Dec. 4, 2003, 8 AM to 9 AM Pacific.
Sayeed Choudhury of Johns Hopkins will discuss the rationale for conducting onsite digital library research and development within libraries, discussing the benefits for library users and for libraries themselves. He will discuss specific digital library projects at Johns Hopkins, including a robotic retrieval and scanning system and name disambiguation tools for automated metadata generation.
The have a form to suggest a speaker or topic, so if there is someone you would like to hear this is your opportunity.


Rachel Singer Gordon and Sarah Johnson of Lisjobs.com fame have begun to 'blog. The purpose of Beyond the Job is to:
post ideas and opportunities to help you develop your career as an information professional... things to take you beyond the job, in other words. While we won't be including specific job ads here (check either of our sites via the Links section for those), we will be posting information on other career development opportunities. These include calls for papers or presenters, tips on job-hunting and resume building, articles on librarianship as a profession, and anything else that happens to be relevant.
Thanks to both for this very useful resource, Lisjobs.com and the newsletter, Info Career Trends. Seen on Library Stuff.


The LEADERS Project has developed a toolkit that delivers transcripts and images of archive documents over the Internet together with appropriate contextual material. The toolkit is built on standard methods for encoding texts (TEI), digital images (NISO Mix), finding aids (EAD) and authority records (EAC). There is currently only a demonstrator application available.

Preservation Metadata

OCLC is conducting a survey of those using preservation metadata.
Preservation Metadata: Implementation Strategies (PREMIS), a working group sponsored by OCLC and RLG, seeks information about digital preservation repositories. The focus of PREMIS is on the practical aspects of implementing preservation metadata in digital preservation systems. The group is examining alternative strategies for implementing preservation metadata, and developing a core set of preservation metadata with wide applicability within the digital preservation community.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Scout Portal Toolkit

The Scout Portal Toolkit has a new version, 1.2.1.
The Scout Portal Toolkit (SPT) allows groups or organizations that have a collection of knowledge or resources they want to share via the World Wide Web to put that collection online without making a big investment in technical resources or expertise.
This is primarily a bug fix release, but it does include one major internal set of changes, that should increase performance. The result should be significantly decreased server loads when displaying the front page and for browsing, search, and recommender system results.


Here in the states Thursday is a holiday, Thanksgiving. After today, there may not be any posts until Monday.


The new issue of the Plain Text Gazette is now available. The articles are:
  • Editorial
  • why oh Why Oh why can't we get Capitalisation Right?
  • Words We Hate: the list that could just go on for ever
I find it helpful to be reminded of the basics of good writing, this newsletter does that. As catalogers, we have to write summaries and other notes in bib records. Writing well is a service to all catalog users.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003


The UK's Amazon has added records from the British Library to their catalog. Seems like Amazon appreciates the value of cataloging metadata.
The British Library has added details of over 2.55 million unique bibliographic records to the Amazon.co.uk books catalogue, with 1.7 million of these dated before the 1970 introduction of ISBN.


This looks interesting, but a bit far from Texas.
Revolution or Evolution? The impact of FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records).

Registrations are now open for the "Revolution or Evolution" seminar to be held from 1.00 to 5.00 pm on 2 February 2004 at the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre. This seminar is being organised by the Australian Committee on Cataloguing as a professional development event for Australian cataloguers, metadata creators and system developers.

This seminar will provide an introduction to FRBR concepts and a description of Australian FRBR implementation and research projects. It will feature a keynote address by Barbara Tillett, Chief, Cataloging Policy and Support Office, Library of Congress. Marie-Louise Ayres from the National Library of Australia will discuss the implementation of FRBR concepts in the Austlit service and other projects. Bemal Rajapatirana from Kinetica will describe the National Library of Australia's research into the application of FRBR concepts within the National Bibliographic Database.

MARC Tools

MARC::Record 1.33 is now out. The big news, besides the bug fixes, is that it now runs cleanly on Perls back to 5.00503.

Thanks to all involved in this work.

Monday, November 24, 2003


XML Matters: TEI -- the Text Encoding Initiative : An XML dialect for archival and complex documents by David Mertz.
Nowadays, XML is usually thought of as a markup technique utilized by programmers to encode computer-oriented data. Even DocBook and similar document-oriented DTDs focus on preparation of technical documentation. However, the real roots of XML are in the SGML community, which is largely composed of publishers, archivists, librarians, and scholars. In this installment, David looks at Text Encoding Initiative, an XML schema devoted to the markup of literary and linguistic texts. TEI allows useful abstractions of typographic features of source documents, but in a manner that enables effective searching, indexing, comparison, and print publication -- something not possible with publications archived as mere photographic images.


Version 3.0 of the Z Texas Profile is now available.


The papers from the 2nd International Workshop on Evaluation of Ontology-based Tools are now available. Papers include:
  • Towards a benchmark for Semantic Web reasoners - an analysis of the DAML ontology library by Christoph Tempich and Raphael Volz
  • Using XSLT for Interoperability: DOE and The Travelling Domain Experiment bby Raphael Troncy, Antoine Isaac, and Veronique Malaise
  • Case Study: Using Protege to Convert the Travel Ontology to UML and OWL by Holger Knublauch

Metadata Portal

The Wiki page MetadataTaxonomiesAndVocabularies is a good portal to the topic. Not much content but plenty of links. Since it is a Wiki, if you notice an article that should be there, just add it.

Friday, November 21, 2003

MARC Code List for Languages

This is a recent notice from LC:
The following codes have been approved for use in the international language code standard, ISO 639-2 (Codes for the Representation of Names of Languages--Part 2: alpha-3 code) and are likewise being added to the MARC Code List for Languages. They will be included in the next edition of the MARC Code List for Languages (date to be announced).
  • New code Language name Previously coded
  • byn Bilin cus (Cushitic (Other))
  • dsb Lower Sorbian wen (Sorbian languages)
  • hsb Upper Sorbian wen (Sorbian languages)
  • jbo Lojban (Artificial language) n/a
LC Implementation Plans
Subscribers can anticipate receiving MARC records reflecting these changes in all distribution services not earlier than January 21, 2004.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Subject Access

"Why LC Subject Headings Are More Important Than Ever" by Thomas Mann, American Libraries, Oct. 2003, v. 34, no. 9 discusses not the importance of LC subject headings, the title is a bit misleading, but the importance of the ability of users to browse the full precoordinated heading.
We need to get over the uncritical habit of regarding subject-heading strings--and the online public access catalog (OPAC) displays that bring them to our attention--as mere carryovers from the age of manual card catalogs. Instead, we need to consider them afresh in the light of their new and greatly increased power to aid researchers in the online age. By "strings" I am referring to the distinction between precoordinated, ordered phrases in Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) versus postcoordinated Boolean combinations of individual terms, elements, or facets.
Well written by a reference librarian and worth reading.

I often miss articles in American Libraries, I'm a member of SLA. This was brought to my attention by Walt Crawford in his latest Cites and Insights.

BF Top Site Award

Catalogablog has won the Bloggerforum Top Site Award twice. I think the Handheld Librarian has done the same. This shows librarians know how to present information in an accessible manner. We have beat sites like Wesley Clark, Howard Dean and Dave Barry, maybe they should include a librarian on their Web site development team.

To be fair, the search is pretty limited. It only includes sites using the Blogger software and hosted on Blog*Spot, as I understand their search. So the Shifted Librarian and Library Stuff are excluded. Still the sites we manage to top says something about the value of library science training.


The other night I went and bought the latest Beatle's CD. I started to wonder just how much longer a trip to the store to purchase a physical item containing recorded music will be something we do. I download individual songs now. It is only when I'm interested in the entire CD and the price is right (Let It Be.... Naked was 11.98) that I still purchase a CD. If the physical carrier goes away what are we left to catalog and how will we provide access?

I'm not a music cataloger, but I'd treat the CD as a work and include a 505 for each song. In the virtual world songs would become divorced from the work, they would become the work. Would musicians even release a group of songs or just release them as they finish each? There would be no need for them to group songs and they would have no control as to the order of presentation. An album like Pet Sounds or Dark Side of the Moon would not be possible. Cataloging these individual pieces would be about 12 time the amount of work. Will we even do it, or just pass off the access issues to iTunes and the like? I'll miss the liner notes and cover art, but those would be unnecessary in the world of on-line music.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Search/Retrieve Web Service

Ralph LeVan's SRW/SRU Open Source database interface is now available. It includes support for DSpace's Lucene implementation and OCLC's Pears and Newton databases. An open source product, it is released for download.

LC describes SRW/U as:

SRW is the "Search/Retrieve Web Service" protocol, which aims to integrate access to various networked resources, and to promote interoperability between distributed databases, by providing a common utilization framework. SRW is a web-service-based protocol whose underpinnings are formed by bringing together more than 20 years experience from the collective implementers of the Z39.50 Information Retrieval protocol with recent developments in the web technologies arena.
Looks like this is related to ZING, Z39.50 International, Next Generation.


The University of Minnesota Libraries has released, under the GPL, LibData.
LibData is a library oriented web based application which provides authoring environments for subject pathfinders (Research QuickStart), course related pages (CourseLib) and general purpose web pages (PageScribe). LibData encompasses all of these applications, but a typical installation need only take advantage of one or two of them -- great local variation and emphasis is possible.
Seen on oss4lib.


A new version of USRMARCON Plus is now available.
The software has now been further developed and adapted by ATP Library Systems Ltd, Finland to an API format. Following testing at Helsinki University and the British Library (v1.3), this latest version of USEMARCON (Version 1.4) makes USEMARCON more suitable for integration in other software, mainly fast on-the-fly conversions in Z39.50 clients and multi-threaded Z39.50 servers. The British Library and ATP Library Systems Ltd is making the new v1.4 software and related documentation available free of charge to users and application developers in order to promote usage of USEMARCON. Potential users are, however, asked to complete a freeware licence to cover the use of the software.


OASIS has released a position paper and is seeking comments. Search Service Interoperability edited by Eliot Christian.
Governments are recommended to enhance interoperability among their networked systems by adopting a common search service. The search service should be based on the ISO 23950 international standard that features a high degree of interoperability across many communities of practice and types of data and information holdings. Governments should implement the search service as a supplement to other search mechanisms, as these may be required for reasons other than broad scale interoperability.
Z39.50 is a fine standard, however, I think OAI-PMH should also be considered. It does get a mention on page 5.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Authority Information

The latest issue of D-Lib Magazine (Nov. 2003) v. 9, no. 11 has the article New Ways of Sharing and Using Authority Information The LEAF Project by Max Kaiser, Hans-Jorg Lieder, Kurt Majcen and Heribert Vallant.
This article presents an overview of the LEAF project (Linking and Exploring Authority Files)1, which has set out to provide a framework for international, collaborative work in the sector of authority data with respect to authority control.
Other articles include:
  • "Using MPEG-21 DIDL to Represent Complex Digital Objects in the Los Alamos National Laboratory Digital Library" by Jeroen Bekaert, Patrick Hochstenbach and Herbert Van de Sompel
  • "Public Opinion Polls and Digital Preservation: An Application of the Fedora Digital Object Repository System" by Ronald Jantz
  • "The DiVA Project - Development of an Electronic Publishing System" by Eva Muller, Uwe Klosa, Stefan Andersson, and Peter Hansson

XML Catalog

I've posted in the past about the XML catalog at the University of Buffalo. There is a posting at usr/lib/info about the catalog. Very interesting work, addressing some fundamental questions about the catalog on the Web.


The government of Canada is using RSS to deliver information. The have an intro page, links to readers and more info and provide links to government feeds.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Scout Portal Toolkit

The Scout Portal Toolkit version 1.2.0 is now available for download.

This release incorporates functionality from the Content Workflow Integration System (CWIS) software the Internet Scout Project is currently developing for the NSF's National Science Digital Library.

Some of the more significant changes and improvements in this release include:

  • Improved user account management
  • Documentation and script to assist in customizing or creating a new user interface
  • Ability to list, search through, and delete users
  • New permissions to control posting comments and posting to forums
  • Expanded OAI configuration interface
  • Support for specifying display and editing order of metadata fields
  • Revised and expanded help
  • Support for metadata qualifiers
  • RSS and OAI test links
  • Software registration option
  • Various minor bugs fixes


A working group of the IFLA Cataloguing Section has produced a draft report Guidance on the structure, Content, and Application of Metadata Records for Digital Resources and Collections. The report contains a suggested "core" set of the ten elements most commonly occurring in a range of metadata schemas that could be used by authors or publishers to enhance resource discovery.

IFLA has now put out an official call for a World-Wide Review of this report.

MARC Code Lists

Additions to the MARC Code Lists for Relators, Sources, Description Conventions have been announced. The Web page is missing the New tag, it is easy to overlook.

Information Seeking Behavior

Rory Litwin has an interesting article in the current Library Juice about what the "Amusing Search Questions" that led folks to his newsletter reveal. Well worth a read. Might make for a good discussion in LIS programs.
Each month in Library Juice I publish a list of a dozen or two searches that led to pages on libr.org in the previous month - amusing, or at least head-scratching, stuff. (They are compiled on the Library Juice website.) It has occurred to me that many of these searches are trying to tell us something about information seeking behavior, and that we can actually learn from them when we are done giggling. I've made a stab at a typology of the "amusing search," with lessons and questions arising from each.

XML Citation Data

Some folks are trying to improve the citation data in authoring programs. Anything that makes it easier for libraries gets my support. DocBook is the first program targeted. Read, make suggestions and comment.

Multi-ISBN LibraryLookup

Hickey and his associate Jeff Young put up a page to explore ways of using this one-to-many mapping in a LibraryLookup-like bookmarklet. It produces a bookmarklet that issues a query URL with multiple ISBNs.

Since my library's OPAC doesn't respond to multi-ISBN queries, though, I tried another approach: multiple individual queries. One way to handle these would be to have a server-based application parse the results and look for indications of success or failure. (Since the results are only Web pages, not well-formed XML responses, that would entail some crufty pattern recognition.) Another way, which I've implemented, is to open up a new window for each query. As an experiment, here's a version of the Build-Your-Own-Bookmarklet page that creates bookmarklets that use that method:

experimental LibraryBookmarklet builder for multi-ISBN lookup


Terry Reese has announced:
Well, its finished. After a year and half of work, I've completed probably my most ambitious upgrade since the program was first created. In general, there were three major development areas:
  1. Native Z39.50 client
  2. Creation of an XML API
  3. Unicode support within the MarcEditor and MarcEditor editing functions
I'm proud to say that I've been able to accomplish each of these goals, in addition to adding a handful of new functionality. For a more complete list of what's new, please see: What's New.
You will have to download the new version for his site, the update feature does not work for this major version change. Thank you Terry.

Friday, November 14, 2003


I'm here, in Louisville, supporting my wife as she presents at the AOSA National Conference. It is low-tech, could be in the 80's. No laptops, PDA, PowerPoint (thank you), or WiFi. This is a very different environment than at the library conference. These folks have no internet room for checking their e-mail and yet they survive, flourish even.

They take no notes, the sessions are participatory. Everybody up and dance, play instruments, sing, always doing something. We have to remember that there are folks out there who are not shifted and have no need to get that way. It is more important to a music program to have a student who can hold mallets and play a scale that to do a PowerPoint on Madonna. This is a remarkable group of people. Music teachers are just a good to be around as librarians. It has been a pleasure being here and sharing their conference.

I do think a bit of technology would be useful. Taping the sessions and then putting them on CDs as MP3s or in Ogg Vorvis format could be a benefit to those who could not attend. The participatory nature would be lost, but it would be something. Beyond that, this low-tech conference is working just fine.

Public Libraries

I'm typing this and reading some of my e-mail in the Louisville Public Library. Another example of a library as an important part of the community. It looks to have been built in the 60's or 70's. It has people, like me, on the public access computers. Another woman is doing genealogy. Seems one of her ancestors was a murderer. Other people are checking out books, reading magazines, looking for videos asking reference questions, asking for help with the copies. And the library is here for all of us. What a wonderful insitution.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Verify the Vote: Tell Congress to Fight for Secure Elections!

The 2004 presidential election might not be flawed like the last one was; it
might be even worse. Communities across America are purchasing electronic voting (e-voting) machines, but the technology has serious security problems that need to be addressed. Most of the machines use "black box" software that hasn't been publicly reviewed for security. Almost none provide voter-verifiable paper ballots to detect fraud. And despite the efforts of one voting technology company to silence its critics, the public has become increasingly aware of the problems with e-voting. The bill has momentum with 62 ponsors, but we need your help. Send your representative a letter suporting the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2003 (HR 2239), which would require openly reviewed software and voter-verifiable paper audit trail for all new e-voting machines.

Make your voice heard with the EFF Action Center

From EFFector Vol. 16, No. 31, November 10, 2003

Friday, November 07, 2003

Open Source

The latest issue of WebJunction focuses on OS. The articles include:
  • New Zealand Leads the Way: the Horowhenua Open Source Story by Rosalie Blake and Rachel Hamilton-Williams
  • Open Source Software in the Meadville Public Library by Cindy Murdock
  • Nelsonville Public Library: Questions and Answers About Open Source by Stephen Hedges
  • A Public/Academic Open Source Partnership: the Windsor Internet Booking System by Art Rhyno
  • What is Open Source Software? by Ed Sargent
  • Open Source Application Primer by Eric Lease Morgan
  • Open Source Library Systems: Getting Started by Dan Chudnov

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Next week

Next week I'll be supporting my wife at the AOSA Conference. She has 4 sessions to lead, recording another for publication, running for office, and introducing speakers. I'll be Mr. Cora Bigwood. Postings will be infrequent or non-existent for the week.

If someone would like to be a guest poster for the week just let me know. I'll set you up with the permissions.


Ontology Development 101: A Guide to Creating Your First Ontology by Natalya F. Noy and Deborah L. McGuinness.
In this guide, we have described an ontology-development methodology for declarative frame-based systems. We listed the steps in the ontology-development process and addressed the complex issues of defining class hierarchies and properties of classes and instances. However, after following all the rules and suggestions, one of the most important things to remember is the following: there is no single correct ontology for any domain. Ontology design is a creative process and no two ontologies designed by different people would be the same. The potential applications of the ontology and the designer’s understanding and view of the domain will undoubtedly affect ontology design choices. "The proof is in the pudding" --we can assess the quality of our ontology only by using it in applications for which we designed it.

MARC Tag of the Month

The MARC Tag of the Month for November is a MARC Record Sample -- Sound Recording (Cassette). Other sample MARC records include:
  • DVD
  • Electronic Resource CD-ROM
  • Video-Cassette
  • Sound Recording -- CD
  • Electronic Resource Web Site
  • Realia (AV Equipment)

Wednesday, November 05, 2003


The post on JSTOR is an experiment. I just wanted to see how the Blam! service works. Looks fine to me, let me know if you experience any problems.

Maybe this would be a good tie-in with the Librarians Book Club. Comments on the books could be made available to a larger audience that way.


Roger C. Schonfeld: JSTOR: A History

JSTOR: A HistoryDetailed history of this important non-profit on-line resource. It provides a fascinating look at the birth, growth and current stability of JSTOR.


The next issue of Blognews will feature library 'blogs. I sent that in as a suggestion and they went with it. I'll mention it again when it comes out.


Review (RVW) Module for RSS 2.0 provides a metadata structure for reviews (movie, restaurant, etc.) within 'blogs.
This specification defines the Review (RVW) Module for the RSS 2.0 syndication format. RVW is intended to allow machine-readable reviews to be integrated into an RSS feed, thus allowing reviews to be automatically compiled from distributed sources.
The interesting thing is it uses the RDF structure and Dublin Core for many of the fields. Looks very library like. The blogging tool Blogware provides native support for the standard. Movable Type has a plugin. Blam! is an on-line service built on the standard. Seems some folks see the value of cataloging, even if they call it something else.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Open Source ILS

As part of a report that I am developing on library automation systems, I am interested in knowing more about the current state of Koha and other Open Source projects. I need to document the number of libraries that use an Open Source ILS in their production environment. If you currently use an Open Source ILS or plan to do so in the near future in your library, please let me know. When I have made such inquires in the past I received very few responses. In order to make a realistic assessment of Open Source in this area, it is important that I hear from you.

Contact Marshall Breeding. Posted with permission.

Book Club

This month, November, the selection in the Librarian's Book Club is one for classifiers, Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences.


Can XML Drive Taxonomies and Categorization? by Bill Trippe.
Content management technology is almost de rigueur now in medium and large organizations, and along with it the problems of information overload. As a result, taxonomy development is now viewed as a core business issue. As practitioners like The Cadence Group's Baker explains, organizations are well aware of how much time is spent locating information. Making the process work better affects both the bottom and top line directly. To this end, taxonomy tools represent one area of software that continues to show significant growth. Nathaniel Palmer, vice president and chief analyst of Boston's Delphi Group, expects the market for taxonomy tools "to grow to $386M in 2004 from its current level of $270M for 2003 (and up from $228M in 2002)."
Seen at Column Two.

Metadata Trends

Developments in Cataloging and Metadata by Shirley Hyatt, an e-print version of an article forthcoming as a chapter in International Yearbook of Library and Information Management (Facet Publishing).
This chapter examines some of the transformations occurring in the metadata environment that are impacting libraries, collection managers, and online information providers. After a brief synopsis of some legacy issues, I discuss a few of the trends that are near-future givens. These include growth in the shared networked space and proliferation and movement of communities using that space; an emphasis on simplification; a renewed interest in and ability for collocation; and an increase in modularity and recombination of metadata. I close with a high level overview of research that OCLC is presently exploring related to these trends.

Monday, November 03, 2003


Denton, William. "Putting Facets on the Web: An Annotated Bibliography" Oct. 2003.
There are five sections: Recommended, Background, Not Relevant, Example Web Sites, and Mailing Lists. Background material is either introductory, advanced, or of peripheral interest, and can be read after the Recommended resources if the reader wants to know more. The Not Relevant category contains articles that may appear in bibliographies but are not relevant for my purposes.
William is in the habit of putting his papers on-line and I find many of them interesting. Once he graduates I hope he continues to publish.


Join Executive Director of the ACLU, Anthony D. Romero Tuesday, November 4th for a live online audio chat.

The chat will center on the two-year-old USA PATRIOT Act and the movement to fix that Act and other excesses of President Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Anthony will take questions about where we've come as a nation since passage of the PATRIOT Act in October of 2001 and what it will take to repeal the civil liberties violations of the Bush Administration in the name of 'war on terror.' We encourage questions about any aspect of the USA PATRIOT Act as well as other policies that have eroded our civil liberties.

The chat will take place this Tuesday, November 4th from 3:30 - 4:00 pm (ET)

Use this link to submit a question for possible inclusion among those that will be answered during the chat.

National Transportation Library

The National Transportation Library is in danger of not being funded. To help, use these resources.

OpenURL and Metasearch

The NISO workshops The Next Generation of Access: OpenURL and Metasearch have concluded and presentation materials are available. Just PowerPoint slides but they may be useful.

Conferences should be investigating alternatives to .ppt. The Texas library conference is available on CDs in MP3 format. OCLC and LC have made streaming video available for some recent presentations. Dynix has some good presentations on-line. The Maricopa Center for learning and instructions has slide/voice presentations available. I'd even be happy to see the text or handouts from the talk, slides just don't convey enough, IMHO.

Friday, October 31, 2003


Delivering OAI Records as RSS: An IMesh Toolkit module for facilitating resource sharing by Monica Duke provides an overview of a means of providing records in RSS through the use of an IMesh Toolkit module. Ariadne no. 37 (2003)


The Nov./Dec. issue of Searcher has an editorial about OCLC. It first complains about OCLC suing the NY hotel over using Dewey and says it should focus on important tasks. The example it gives is OCLC opening up the catalog to Google. That, the article says, is the type of thinking OCLC should be engaged in. The funny part is that between writing the article and it arriving here, OCLC has done exactly that. Strange.


The Nov. issue of Info Career Trends is now available. Articles include:
  • Career Q&A From the Library Career People
  • Management in the Middle: Life is Unfair
  • Managing Up At Your Library
  • From Management Class to Management
  • Managing a Library With Limited Resources
  • Developing Leadership Skills and Gaining Experience
  • What's Online? Recommended Resources
  • But I Want To Hold It In My Hand! Print Resources
Good news. It is now available via RSS.
I'm pleased to announce that Info Career Trends now has an RSS feed, courtesy of LISFeeds.com. (Thanks, Blake! Thanks, Steven!) If you would prefer to access ICT via your newsreader, just go to the current issue page at http://www.lisjobs.com/newsletter/current.htm and click on the handy XML button to retrieve the feed.

Digital Libraries

"Building digital libraries from simple building blocks" by Hussein Suleman; Edward A Fox; Rohit Kelapure; Aaron Krowne; Ming Luo in Online Information Review v. 27, no. 5, p. 301-310 (2003)
Metadata harvesting has been established by the Open Archives Initiative as a viable mechanism for connecting a provider of data to a purveyor of services. The Open Digital Library model is an emerging framework which attempts to break up the services into appropriate components based also on the basic philosophy of the OAI model. This framework has been applied to various projects and evaluated for its simplicity, extensibility and reusability to support the hypothesis that digital libraries should be built from simple Web service-like components instead of as monolithic software applications.
Includes links and descriptions to some of the software.


XML 1.0 Third Edition Is a Proposed Edited Recommendation 30 October 2003: The XML Core Working Group has published the Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.0 Third Edition as a Proposed Edited Recommendation. The third edition is not a new version of XML. It brings the XML 1.0 Recommendation up to date with second edition errata, and clarifies its use of RFC 2119 key words like must, should and may. Comments are welcome through 1 December. Visit the XML home page.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Controlled Vocabularies

Controlled Vocabularies: A Glosso-Thesaurus by Karl Fast, Fred Leise and Mike Steckel is available on Boxes and Arrows.
The glossary reflects our usage of terms in the articles of this series. But this glossary is more than just a list of terms. We wanted it to serve as an illustration of what a controlled vocabulary looks like (we are fond of killing multiple birds with multiple stones).

Accordingly, the glossary is itself a controlled vocabulary, more specifically a thesaurus. So you will find all of the standard features of any thesaurus: broader, narrower, and variant term indicators, as well as scope notes. In this case, however, the scope notes provide the definition of the particular glossary term being presented.

Seen on Column Two.


Interesting prestentation, Connecting Learning Objects with RSS, Trackback, and Weblogs. Slides and voice, have your speakers on to hear the 21 min. presentation. I keep wondering just how we are going to provide access to learning objects and e-classrooms.

Open Source

Lots of OS news at oss4lib this morning.
  • pyCatalog-1.0.1 is a Python, MySQL, wxPython, Reportlab application specifically usable in library and information centers. It simply produces book catalog and card catalog in pdf format rendered using reportlab. The program takes MARC file as its source data.
  • Library Acquisitions Database manages the ordering and receiving of items, such as books and video cassettes, for a library system, featuring individual-branch buying and budgeting. It is developed in Perl with a MySQL database backend by the TNRD Library System.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Project FLOW

Some interesting ideas about adding functions to the OPAC in Project FLOW.
Web-based library catalogues, or WebCats, have often seemed to be clunky in comparison to other bibliographic-centric systems like Amazon, although much of the underlying metadata-based activities and processes are more intensive in the library world. Most library systems have support for advanced constructs like authority control and classification, but are typically constrained in the amount of options they offer for customization and the creation of new functions. Fortunately, it is often possible to bypass the in-built mechanisms of the web display to augment the WebCat with a judicious amount of javascript if the web interface allows even a small amount of control in adding custom HTML.
Maps to the item selected, spelling corrections from Google, the Bookmarklet helper, RSS feeds and more are mentioned. Looking forward to the product release.


I've finally bought a PDA, the Palm m515. The price was just too good to pass up. I've been wanting to provide the What's New at the Lunar and Planetary Library updates in a form that could be synced to a PDA. Now I've got one to experiment on and get the files in the right format. Anything I should know or any cool software I would enjoy?

RSS Tool

Feedroll makes adding RSS feeds to your site as easy as cut and paste. Slick. I've added the feed from where I work.

Learning Object Metadata (LOM)

Some potentially useful tools from CanCore (Canadian Core Learning Object Metadata Application Profile).
CanCore, with the support of Athabasca University and the eduSource project, has developed three open-source software components for the access and manipulation of LOM/CanCore metadata. Released under the Free Software Foundation's LGPL License, these three components have the potential to greatly simplify the challenging task of developing learning object repositories --all without adding in any way to development costs.

These components take the form of interfaces, APIs (Application Program Interfaces), or schemas for working with LOM (Learning Object Metadata) or LOR (Learning Object Repository) data and functions:

  • A LOM Interface or API simplifying the manipulation and transmission of LOM data within and between software systems.
  • LOR Interface or API for communicating with a Learning Object and Metadata Repository.
  • A custom LDAP schema which allows LOM records to be stored and accessed via an LDAP server.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

LC Subject Headings

The latest issue of the Cataloging Service Bulletin has these major subject heading changes
  • Australian aborigines becomes Aboriginal Australians
  • The geographic qualifier Nfld. becomes N.L.
A change affecting many fewer records but most likely more libraries, is the change from Libraries and readers to Public services (Libraries) and from Library catalogs and readers to Library catalogs and users There is a change in meaning in these headings that I'm not sure I feel comfortable with. A reader is an active participant, a verb. A user has a bad undertone. Saying "She's just a user" isn't a compliment. This is a shift in meaning, not expression. Are we moving towards a business attitude rather than public service attitude? I hope not. The Public services (Libraries) heading seems not to have that attitude. Library catalogs and users, does.

New 'Blog

Library Cog, it's like, you know, library systems and stuff... looks interesting. I've put it on my reading list.


This has been reported already by Jenny on the Shifted Librarian, but now there is an official notice.
The Open WorldCat pilot is a year-long initiative that makes library resources available from nonlibrary Web sites. The pilot aims to test the effectiveness of Web search engines in guiding users to library-owned materials, making libraries more visible to Web users and more accessible from the Web sites many people turn to first.

The pilot marks the first time OCLC has made the unique resources of WorldCat records available outside the traditional library environment. A Web user who uses a search engine or other site to locate a particular item may be pointed to a library that owns the item based on records in WorldCat, the world's most comprehensive bibliographic database. See how easy the Open WorldCat pilot is to use.

Between this and RedLightGreen from RLG, library resources should become much more visible. If you are an OCLC member you can enhance your participation by making more information about your library available. There is a on-line form to fill in. It seems to be down at the moment, but check later and make sure your institution does its best to make this succeed.

Monday, October 27, 2003


Guidelines for the Application of the ISBDs to the Description of Component Parts - Reproduction with corrections has been posted to the IFLA site. The 1988 version, with corrections made in 2003.


Dr. Gloriana St. Clair, Dean, University Libraries, Carnegie Mellon University, visited OCLC Dublin (Ohio) recently to discuss the Million Book Digital Library Project. This international library project strives to create a free-to-read, searchable collection of one million books, available to everyone over the Internet. Dr. St. Clair's presentation focused on the development and growth of the project, and highlighted opportunities and challenges in collaboration, content, and sustainability.

A digital audio recording and presentation slides have recently been posted to the OCLC Research Web page.

Topic Maps: The Inventor's Perspective on Subject-based Access is now available at LC. This includes video as well as voice.

Dr. Newcomb will speak about the conceptual foundations of the Topic Maps paradigm. (He has drafted a statement of these foundations under the title, "The Topic Maps Reference Model".) These conceptual foundations are more abstract (less "ontologically committed"), than the Topic Maps standard. The conceptual foundations are concerned with facilitating the creation and maintenance of subject-based indexes that amalgamate other subject-based indexes. The amalgamated indexes may themselves be either collaboratively or independently created, maintained, and amalgamated, and they may be based on different ontologies and/or taxonomies. The development of an effective conceptual and methodological basis for the amalgamation of subject-based indexes speaks to several of the goals and issues of Library Science, including the "co-location" objective and the "co-referencing" problem. Perhaps the simplest way to communicate the goal of the Topic Maps Reference Model is to ask, "How can a single perspective be most easily provided for each subject, from which various independent assertions about the subject are directly available?" To put it even more briefly, "How can a master index be made from indexes that were never intended to be merged with others?"

Dr. Biezunski will speak about his vision on what the next step should be in applying the abstract foundation provided by the proposed Reference Model. He will assess, among other things, the possibility amalgamating knowledge resources (including finding tools) expressed in accordance with diverse interchange standards, by creating a new layer where semantic integration has a broader range of application. Dr. Biezunski will present his experiences in applying the Topic Maps paradigm, and their impacts on the ongoing development of his methodologies and software. He will report on the Internal Revenue Service application as a case study.

Making presentations available to a wider audience, than was present, is a wonderful use of technology. Thanks to OCLC, LC and the speakers for making these available 24/7.

Dublin Core

The proceedings of the 2003 DC Conference are available. This is grown to a major source of information, way too many papers to even begin to list.

RSS for Cataloging?

Pheed (photo feed) is using RSS to describe and distribute the descriptions of photographs.
Pheed.com is a database of information about photographs available on the web. We present the work of photographers who have made information about their images available as an RSS feed. RSS is a simple document format based on XML that is used to syndicate web-based content. A pheed is simply an rss feed that has been extended to include information about photographs; a photo feed.

Thursday, October 23, 2003


In the Spring 2003 issue of the Space Telescope Science Institute Newsletter (v. 20 no. 2), there is an interview with Sarah Stevens-Rayburn on p. 18-20. Sarah was the founder of the library at the STScI and has been there since. Warning for those with slower connections, it is a 24 p. PDF file.

Cataloging Collections

Hidden Collections, Scholarly Barriers: Creating Access to Unprocessed Special Collections Materials In North America's Research Libraries A White Paper for the Association of Research Libraries Task Force on Special Collections compiled by Barbara M. Jones is available. It has a June date, so this may be old news, but it is new to me.
While statistics show steady and dramatic growth in the use of special collections by diverse groups of users, the status of the backlogged “hidden collections” has not changed. Such hidden resources mean that scholarly projects may well be missing some crucial information that could affect research results and the very nature of the project.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

LC Proof Sets

A change in format and distribution for the LC Proof Set is due Jan. 1 2004.
This notice is to inform you that the Cataloging Distribution Service (CDS) plans to discontinue the distribution of Alert Service records in card format effective January 1, 2004. CDS's legacy card-production system is no longer sufficiently reliable for CDS to offer the card format after 2003.

CDS will continue the Alert Service for customers who wish to receive weekly Alert Service records in MARC 21 communications format. The weekly files of MARC 21 format records will be available via electronic FTP (File Transfer Protocol) on an annual subscription basis, with the pricing to be based on the estimated number of records distributed.


Additionally, CDS is exploring the feasibility of distributing the weekly Alert Service notices in other electronic formats. A survey will be mounted to gather customer feedback.

Web List

Late yesterday I had a new project dropped in my lap. What is wanted is a list of on-line books and texts for our Web site. I have about 1200 items with links in our catalog, but something less like a catalog is what is desired and only including on-line resources.

I'm thinking faceted classification might be the way to go. The user picks 1 of 12 to 15 topics and is presented with a list generated from a database. My records are in MARC, but could easily be converted to XML or DC with MarcEdit or some other tools.

Anyone know of any open-source solutions for this? Any other suggestions?

BNB name headings and their NACO equivalents

A project to support users of BNB records in managing the migration of their catalogues to MARC 21 providing:
Over 1300 frequent name headings occurring in the British National Bibliography (BNB) matched with headings established under the Name Authorities Co-operative (NACO) component of the Program for Co-operative Cataloguing (PCC) and intended for use in MARC 21 cataloguing.
The project is in four parts:
  • To the user, describing the selection method and presentation of headings
  • Alphabetical sequence of BNB and equivalent NACO headings showing if they are the same or different or if a NACO heading is not available
  • Frequency listing of headings according to how often they occur in BNB records
  • Statistical analysis of the matching of BNB and NACO headings
Thanks Ian for pointing this out to me.

DC & OpenURL

The OpenURL community has posted, for comments, the paper Dublin Core Community Profile (DCCP) for Simple Dublin Core in KEV Format.
This profile will allow the transport of metadata using the fifteen Dublin Core elements as key/value pairs on an OpenURL. It is intended to provide an OpenURL capability for users of Dublin Core metadata that is a simple transformation from the Dublin Core metadata.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003


OCLC began shipping the the 22nd edition of the Dewey Decimal Classification Monday, October 20.

Available for downloading are

  • The DDC 22 Introduction (37 pages, 258K), a full reprint from volume 1 of DDC 22, provides a detailed overview of the DDC, including basic terminology and an explanation of DDC structure, complete with many helpful examples. If you are new to classifying with Dewey, this introduction will help you get started quickly.
  • The Glossary (9 pages, 74K), also reprinted from volume 1 of DDC 22, provides helpful definitions of DDC terms and gives users a common language for implementing the DDC.
  • New Features (20 pages, 143K), another reprint from volume 1 of DDC 22, concisely describes what’s new in DDC 22, including changes implemented to enhance classifier productivity and a selected list of specific changes to DDC numbers. Look here if you want to quickly assess the changes from DDC 22 that you can apply to your collections.
Does not require any forms to be filled out.


I just received an ad e-mail from Elsevier about their Link Finder Plus. Along with this was a link to a white paper "OpenURL: a Tutorial". After filling in a form asking phone #, address, etc, the result was a paper about 1 1/4 pages long. Just not worth the effort. If it was available without jumping through hoops, that would be OK. As it is, just say no.

IMS Specifications

News from The IMS Global Learning Consortium. Now you can download the entire specification packages as an IMS content package. The specification package includes all specification documents as HTML and PDF, schemas/control documents, and examples.

By downloading the specification as IMS packaged content, you can see what a content package looks like and how it is organized. You can also import it as a learning resource into your Content Packaging enabled learning management system or repository.

These are the wilderness of cataloging. I've not heard of anyone developing guidelines for dealing with D-Space or similar e-learning spaces. They will represent a huge source of information and tools that will deserve description and access.


The Semblogging demonstrator is now out.
Here are some simple notes for looking at the HP Labs semantic blogging demonstrator The blog is intended to show the use of semantic web technologies augmenting the blogging paradigm, and applied to the domain of bibliography management. For further details about the requirements for this demonstrator, see the requirements specification. We believe that the use of semantic metadata can allow a blog to be used in new and powerful ways.

We have chosen bibliography management because it shows how we can use semantic web technologies to push blogging from a communal diary browsing experience to a rich information sharing activity

Specifically, we have divided the functionality into semantic view, semantic navigation and semantic query.

Monday, October 20, 2003


The idea of adding OAI-PMH to 'blogs has been floated on usr/lib/info. From the post and comment it seems a simple hack. The question then becomes, should it be done. OAI has been used, so far, to provide access to more substantial works. If all 'blogs suddenly had a OAI publish button as well as an RSS and e-mail publish buttons would it just muddy the information waters? Or would this be a use that could move OAI into another arena and gain wider acceptance?

Friday, October 17, 2003

Cites & Insights

Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large 3:13 (November 2003) is now available for downloading.

The 20-page issue (PDF) includes:

  • A scholarly access perspective: Getting That Article: Good News
  • Bibs & blather
  • Scholarly article access
  • Interesting & peculiar products
  • Feedback: Your insights
  • Trends & quick takes
  • Copyright currents.

    The opening article dealing with open access might be of interest to some catalogers. It deals with URL resolvers and OAI.

  • XML

    Introducing XOBIS to the FRBR Working Group by Dick R. Miller is now on-line.

    He has also written a book with Kevin Clarke, Putting XML to Work in the Library.

    Thursday, October 16, 2003


    It's coming to MARC. This is a gentle introduction. The Absolute Minimum Every Software Developer Absolutely, Positively Must Know About Unicode and Character Sets (No Excuses!) by Joel Spolsky.
    Before I get started, I should warn you that if you are one of those rare people who knows about internationalization, you are going to find my entire discussion a little bit oversimplified. I'm really just trying to set a minimum bar here so that everyone can understand what's going on and can write code that has a hope of working with text in any language other than the subset of English that doesn't include words with accents. And I should warn you that character handling is only a tiny portion of what it takes to create software that works internationally, but I can only write about one thing at a time so today it's character sets.


    Two Paths to Interoperable Metadata by Carol Jean Godby, Devon Smith, and Eric Childress, presented at the 2003 Dublin Core Conference in Seattle, Wash. is now available.
    This paper describes a prototype for a Web service that translates between pairs of metadata schemas. Despite a current trend toward encoding in XML and XSLT, we present arguments for a design that features a more distinct separation of syntax from semantics. The result is a system that auomates routine processes, has a well-defined place for human input, and achieves a clean separation of the document data model, the document translations, and the machinery of the application.

    Guide to US Map Resources - 3rd ed. Survey

    Fill out a survey and win one of 2 $100 gift certificates from a national map dealer!

    The Map and Geography Roundtable (MAGERT) of the American Library Association is pleased to announce the opening of the survey whose results will be used to create the 3rd Edition of the Guide to U.S. Map Resources. The first edition was published in 1986, and the second in 1990 (974 collections participated). In the last 13 years there have been significant changes in the map library community. The 3rd Edition is long overdue and your help is needed.

    All libraries in the United States and its territories with collections of over 1,000 maps, or with collections of significant research, or historic value are asked to participate. MAGERT's goal is to compile a comprehensive guide. This will be accomplished only with YOUR help. Libraries will need to complete the official survey. The official survey is exclusively available on the web.

    Completed paper copies of the survey will also be accepted via US mail or FAX by the editor (see contact information below). The Survey will take approximately 10 to 40 minutes to finish. It is acceptable to approximate figures or leave answers blank, particularly if the maps are dispersed throughout your institution. Please forward this message on to institutions you believe should be included in the Guide. The Survey itself will begin October 15, 2003 and close January 31, 2004.

    After the closing of the survey, two libraries completing the survey will be chosen at random and each awarded a gift certificate from a national map dealer in the amount of $100.

    Christopher J.J. Thiry, Map Librarian at The Colorado School of Mines, is the editor of this edition. Approximately 30 other people will act as regional editors.

    Once again, the survey can be found online.

    For more information or questions, please contact:
    Christopher J.J. Thiry, editor
    Map Librarian
    Colorado School of Mines

    Posted with permission.

    Wednesday, October 15, 2003

    Lunar and Planetary Institute

    I've updated the What's New pages at the LPI. Subscribe to the RSS feed to be alerted to changes.

    Tuesday, October 14, 2003

    Faceted Application of Subject Terminology

    The paper, FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology): A Simplified LCSH-based Vocabulary presented at the World Library and Information Congress, is available, in PDF, from the IFLA Web site. Originally written in English, it is also available in French, German, and Russian versions.
    Recent trends, driven to a large extent by the rapid growth of the Web, are forcing changes in bibliographic control systems to make them easier to use, understand, and apply, and subject headings are no exception. The purpose of adapting the LCSH in a faceted schema with a simplified syntax is to retain the very rich vocabulary of LCSH while making it easier to understand, control, apply, and use. The FAST schema maintains upward compatibility with LCSH, and any valid set of LC subject headings can be converted to FAST headings.

    FAST consists of eight distinct facets. Authority records have been created for all established headings except for the chronological facet. The initial version of the FAST authority file will contain approximately two million authority records.

    A very readable and complete introduction to FAST.

    Lorcan Dempsey of OCLC Research points those interested in further info, to the FAST project site.

    Monday, October 13, 2003

    Language of Records in OCLC

    This is great news for libraries that do not have English as their primary language.
    Previously, records for the same title, but cataloged in different languages, such as English, Spanish and French, were considered duplicate records.

    OCLC will no longer consider these records duplicates, but will consider them parallel records.


    Exciting news from the OAI. Now it is very easy to make a small number of records available to the OAI community.
    Beta Release of OAI Static Repository Specification

    Ithaca, NY & Los Alamos NM - The Open Archives Initiative announces the beta release of the Specification for an OAI Static Repository and an OAI Static Repository Gateway. These beta releases follow a period of alpha testing during which implementations were written to the specification and functional details addressed. Public comment is invited during this beta period. Comments should be addressed to the OAI-implementers list. We expect the beta period to last for approximately two months from this release.

    A Static Repository provides a simple approach for exposing relatively static and small collections of metadata records through the OAI-PMH. The Static Repository approach is targeted at organizations that:

    • Have metadata collections ranging in size between 1 and 5000 records;
    • Can make static content available through a network-accessible Web server;
    • Need a technically simpler implementation strategy compared to acting as an OAI-PMH Repository, which requires processing OAI-PMH requests;
    A Static Repository is an XML file that is made accessible at a persistent HTTP URL. The XML file contains metadata records and repository information.

    A Static Repository becomes accessible via OAI-PMH through the intermediation of one Static Repository Gateway. A Static Repository Gateway uses the metadata records and repository information, provided via XML in the Static Repository, to process the six OAI-PMH requests for access to that information. Because a Static Repository Gateway maps a unique Static Repository base URL to each such Static Repository, harvesters can access a Static Repository in exactly the same manner as they access any other OAI-PMH Repository.

    This release is accompanied by the beta release of an XML Schema for Gateway Descriptions, a container that may be used to describe OAI-PMH Gateways, and in particular Static Repository Gateways.

    Friday, October 10, 2003


    There is a revised version of the MODS schema available.

    You can see the changes that were made as a result of the most recent discussion of identifier vs. location and date accessed. The list of changes also was updated.

    High Energy Physics Libraries Webzine

    The new issue of High Energy Physics Libraries Webzine is now available. Articles include:
    • Developing a Grid-Based Search and Categorization Tool - Glenn Haya, Frank Scholze, Jens Vigen (HTML)
    • Experience in Computer-Assisted XML-Based Modelling in the Context of Libraries - Marko Niinimaki, Vesa Sivunen (HTML)
    • Documenta Mathematica: A Community-Driven Scientific Journal - Ulf Rehmann (HTML)
    The issue also includes an Editorial, News and Events, and New Links.

    Thursday, October 09, 2003


    In the Subject Cataloging Manual August 2003 update pages for H 1110 Free-Floating Subdivisions: Names of Persons is listed:

    Use for weblogs by or about the person.

    Subject Headings

    The List of Web resources for use in preparing SACO proposals has been updated. Not a bad site for reference use either.

    New Book

    A book by the Rogue Librarian, is soon to be available. Web Design on a Shoestring by Carrie Bickner.

    MARC Record Survey

    The British Library is conducting a MARC Records User Survey.
    We are carrying out a survey of British Library MARC records in order to gain a deeper understanding of how our catalogues and bibliographic records are used.

    If you are a professional user of any British Library MARC (machine-readable) records in public, academic, government or special libraries, we would be most appreciative if you could spare a few minutes completing this questionnaire.

    Wednesday, October 08, 2003

    Digital Archives for Science & Engineering Resources

    Advanced registration has just opened for the Summit on Digital Archives for Science & Engineering Resources (DASER). This Summit, sponsored by the American Society for Information Science & Technology (ASIST) New England Chapter (NEASIST) and the Scientific and Technical Information Systems Special Interest Group (SIG STI), in cooperation with the Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics Division of SLA, will take place Friday through Sunday, 21-23 November 2003, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

    Few would dispute the growing use and importance of digital resources in support of science and engineering research throughout the world. The need to provide stable, forward and backward access to these resources has long been a goal of the information, engineering and scientific communities. Recent developments such as the Open Archive Initiative (OAI) and the emergence of open source tools such as EPRINTS and Dspace have led to the creation of a number of scientific and engineering digital archives.

    This Summit will include panels and presentations from academia, non-profit organizations, the commercial sector and government initiatives, both in the United States and abroad, including:

    • DSpace (MIT)
    • BioMed Central
    • ADS (Astrophysical Data System)
    Our key-note speaker will be Clifford Lynch, Executive Director of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI).

    Early-bird registration will be $90 for ASIST and SLA-PAM members and $125 for non-members. Rates increase after the 24th of October. The registration fee includes a full, catered luncheon on Saturday. Registration is limited to 150 in order to retain the networking opportunities and other advantages of a small conference.

    Further information available.


    A new classification scheme for use on the Web has been developed by NetInsert.
    NetInsert employs a hierachical address system based on numbers separated by periods. The address specifies a subject category, a geographical region, and a language in the NetInsert taxonomy. The general form of an address is:


    For example, the category address: 554., has country = 554, region = 0, directory = 1, category = 2, subcategory = 3, and type = 1.

    IEEE TCDL Bulletin

    The 1st issue of the on-line journal IEEE TCDL Bulletin by the IEEE Technical Committee on Digital Libraries is now available. Articles include:
    • Usability of Digital Libraries: A Source of Creative Tensions with Technical Developments
      Ann Blandford and George Buchanan
    • Customizing Digital Library Interfaces with Greenstone
      Ian H. Witten
    • Mechanisms for Custom Interfaces
      Thomas A. Phelps and Robert Wilensky
    • Visual User Interfaces: Challenges and Opportunities
      Katy Borner and Chaomei Chen


    Another example of a company not knowing their own best interests.

    My wife is leading a sight-reading session at the AOSA National Conference. Music teachers come and play through the music she has selected. They get a feel for the difficulty and the sound. Then they can decide if they want to use it in their music programs. Since this is a national conference, those attending will often go back and share at local and regional meetings things that struck their fancy. This is great publicity for the music presented.

    She asked Schott Music for permission to use their materials, they replied OK but:

    • No more than 50 copies may be made.
    • Copies must be collected and shredded at the end of the session.
    • She must pay $50.00 for the right to present their materials.
    Are they insane? She is not being paid for presenting. Actually, we have quite a few out of pocket expenses for presenting. Moreover, they are getting better advertising then they could get by shelling out large sums of cash. My feeling is tell them their materials will not be used, those of other publishers will be substituted. Other publishers who can see their own interests. Maybe she should have asked the advertising dept. rather than the rights folks.

    Tuesday, October 07, 2003

    Public Library Geographic Database

    The Public Library Geographic Database (PLGDB) is a useful research tool. It could also be used by school libraries to find demographic data for their service regions.
    The database includes the locations of America’s 16,000 public libraries, population characteristics from the US Census that best describe people that use libraries, and library use statistics from the National Center for Educational Statistics. The goal of the database is to provide consolidated information on public libraries nationwide, easily accessible over the Internet.

    Valuable Resource - Gone

    "The Center for AeroSpace Information Technical Report Server (CASI TRS) was taken offline on September 22, 2003 and replaced by the NTRS: NASA Technical Reports Server."

    This was the notice I found this morning when I tried to access the NASA Recon Select database. It was one I used often, was important, and is now gone without a trace and with little or no warning. The NASA Technical report Server, while useful, is not a replacement. In the past I'd search both, because the coverage was different. Now many valuable records have disappeared from public access.

    MARC Tag of the Month

    This month, Follett's Tag of the Month is a sample record for Realia (AV Equipment). This is a question that comes from school librarians fairly often.

    Monday, October 06, 2003

    RFID in the Library

    San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) sent a letter on Wednesday to the San Francisco Public Library Commission (SFPLC) warning of privacy concerns in the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) tagging of library books.

    Government Docs

    We all know the value of government information and the many noteworthy titles published every year but many of our colleagues do not. You can help the GODORT Notable Document Panel in not only publicizing but also acknowledging outstanding government information through the annual article in Library Journal.

    Just take a few minutes between now and December 31, 2003 to nominate publications from any level of government -- state and local, federal, international, intergovernmental organization, foreign government or material published on behalf of a governmental agency by a commercial publisher -- for an award. Please only consider materials published in 2002 and 2003 but these can be in any format -- websites, CD-'s, books, maps, audio-visuals, or microfiche. Agencies and publishers are encouraged to nominate their best titles.

    The nomination form is available on-line.

    A short history of the program is available.

    Each year the panel selects 30 notable documents from the list of nominations. These are then featured in the May 15, 2003 issue of Library Journal. Our purpose is to publicize government documents to the broader library community, to honor the agencies and staff responsible for these wonderful documents, to create a selection tool available to all types of libraries, and to publicize the work of GODORT. The production and distribution of government information widely and in a timely manner remains of critical importance to us all. Please contact the Panel Chair, Linda Johnson, if you need additional information or have questions. Thank you in advance for your participation in this important program.

    Linda B. Johnson
    Head Government Documents Department
    Dimond Library
    18 Library Way
    University of New Hampshire
    Durham, New Hampshire 03824
    phone: 603-862-2453
    fax: 603-862-3403

    Posted with permission.