Friday, February 07, 2003


CDS has made an alternative copy of its MARC Distribution Service test files in MARCXML using the MARC 21 XML schema. The schema is available from the Network Development and MARC Standards Office website.

The records are in Unicode, thus the display of non-Latin characters will depend on your browser and your individual PC settings. CDS is evaluating customer interest in MARCXML formatted files as a distribution option for the future and would be interested in feedback.

Thursday, February 06, 2003


I've just received the program for the Texas Library Association annual conference. Lots of good sessions. Some of the ones I'm sure to catch include:
  • Open-Source Software and Libraries a Good Fit? by Charles Bearden. Chuck was one of the early people working on so he has the background. Besides, he was in my class in library school.
  • Out of this World Collaborations. One of my co-workers here at the Lunar & Planetary Institute is a presenter. 'Nuff said.
  • Content Management Using PERL by George Eggleston. Aside from his qualifications, he used to play mandolin in my wife's contra dance band, Permanent Wave
There are some interesting cataloging sessions including a preconference workshop on changes in serials cataloging. The Texas Regional Group of Catalogers and Classifiers (TRGCC) will have a table and I'll be there as well. Stop by and say Hi.


"RSS News Blogging for Searchers" by David Mattison in the latest Searcher is a good introduction to the topic. He provides screen shots of various tools, a glossary and a list of the "Top 12 Blogs for Information Professionals". The only quibble I have with the article is Catalogablog did not make the top 12 list.


AdAware 6 has been released. It will
scan your memory, registry, hard, removable and optical drives for known datamining, aggressive advertising, and tracking components, Ad-aware will provide the user with the confidence to surf the Internet knowing that their privacy will remain intact. Let Ad-aware protect your privacy.
I use and prefer Spybot. However, I'll try the new version of AdAware. Just use one of these, or both, to keep machines clean. Both are free. Seen on the Shifted Librarian.

Access to Libraries

CLAUD - Librarians in Higher Education networking to improve library access for disabled users in the South and South-West of England - was formed in 1996 with the aims of:
  • disseminating information on disability;
  • establishing good practice.
The site has pointers to resources. I do wish their recommendations were available on-line.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003


ERIL (Electronic Resources in Libraries) now has a home page, it has functioned as a mail list for quite some time. It has links to resources and meetings.


The Koha 1.9.0 is born a few minutes ago. His parents, the Koha-team, are very proud of this almost-stable child. Please go to see the baby


Release notes

  • Dozens of bugfixes.
  • The MARC acquisition part is now completely stable, and used in production in France since December
  • Templating almost ended. Translations now available: French (almost finished), Chinese, Spanish, and Polish
  • Circulation now works
  • Non ISO-5589-1 support (for Chinese and Polish)
  • Improvements in MARC import in breeding farm
  • First draft of search in MARC-DB
  • Librarian interface demo available. Please note that by default this site should be in FRENCH. If you modify parameters, don't forget to put fr again in systemprefs!
This release is fairly stable, and the translation process is now on the road in French, Polish, Spanish and Chinese! The MARC management is really stable now, and the remaining bugs are located in circulation and members management.


Install it from scratch:

  • Upgrading from 1.3.3 is IMPOSSIBLE, due to DB diffs
  • Upgrading from 1.2.x is UNTESTED.


Next version

The next version should be called 1.9.1. It will be release at end of February, and will add:

  • Z39.50 in acquisition (cataloguing)
  • acquisition and cataloguing will be better separated, as discussed in Koha mailing lists. Cataloguing will be possible in MARC or non-MARC, while acquisition will be possible through bookseller or directly
  • Complete MARC search
  • Completed MARC export
After 1.9.1, we should go to 2.0RC1 a few days/weeks after!

Future releases

  • Z39.50 in search to reserve books from other libraries
  • Serials
  • Reports rewrite

Online Journals

OCLC Union List Guidelines For Electronic Serials provides some guidance and answers some questions about creating local data records for e-journals. I'm not sure I'm convinced, unless some way can be found to automate the process. A few, such as JSTOR, might be stable enough to justify the time involved, but Ebsco and other massive collections change far too much. Job security, I suppose.

Map Scales

On MAPS-L recently there was a question about map scales and the answers provided pointers to several useful tools.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003


In a few hours there will be a memorial service down the street for the Columbia astronauts.

Here, in the towns surrounding the Johnson Space Center, astronauts make their homes. It is not remarkable to know an astronaut. They are at church, the PTA, play Irish music at the local pub, sing in the community choir. They are our neighbors, acquaintances and friends.

Given this level of daily interaction, we forget they are also heroes, heroes in a mythic, Joseph Campbell sense. These men and women risk their lives to go into the void of space and bring back something to the rest of the community. They know the danger involved. There is the memorial at Cape Canaveral with the names of the 10 who have lost their lives. They know the Russians have lost cosmonauts. Yet knowing this danger they face still go there and back again for the good of the community.

They go about this without much fanfare. The news rarely makes more than a mention of a flight. Presidents, kings and generals have the headlines. Like Frodo and Sam on Mount Doom; the eyes of the world are elsewhere, and the real important event is quietly being done. The astronauts go about their quest to broaden our horizons and understanding.

Sometimes they do not return. Then we are all the poorer.

Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind
Therefor, Do Not Ask For Whom the Bell Tolls, It Tolls For Thee
This will be my only posting today, it is time for reflection.

Monday, February 03, 2003

Distance Learning Librarians

The application website for the 2003 Summer Workshop for Distance Learning Librarians has opened. It will be at The University Center (North of Houston, Tex.) from July 14-18, 2003. Here's the application.

For more information on the 2003 Workshop, see the overview page.

As we did last summer, we plan to focus again on the needs of academic librarians. However, based on input from the 2002 attendees, we've made a few changes. The format and content will be similar to last summer, with some revisions and a few new topics. Some of the speakers will be the same (Dr. Carol Simpson, for example) and some will be new.

We've also posted information on last summer's workshop on our site.

Home page.

Events page with a few Workshop pictures.

Overview of 2002 Workshop.

More 2002 Workshop pictures.

I was lucky enough to attend this last summer and I can only say it was an excellent workshop. The presentations were all above average, the setting and facilities excellent and the price can't be beat. Tuition and travel are paid by the grant, so it is almost free.

Dublin Core

To the Dublin Core Community

Great news: A step forward

I am pleased to report that "DIS 15836 The Dublin Core Metadata Element Set" has been approved by the member bodies of ISO TC46 SC4. The ballot result was:
18 P-members voted in favour of DIS 15836.
There were no negative votes.

The text now passed is the text of NISO standard Z39.85. We now look forward to the formal publication of the new ISO standard 15836 The Dublin Core Metadata Element Set.

Best regards

Leif Andresen
DCMI Standards Interest Group


The SPARC Institutional Repository Checklist and Resource Guide is available.
The new Guide provides an introduction to issues in particular institutional contexts and directs readers to resources that provide additional details. The Guide includes sections on the following: Securing Administration Support; Securing Faculty Participation; Addressing Faculty Objections; Impact of Discipline-specific Practices; Benefits and Challenges to Librarians; Repository Management and Policy Issues; Technical and System Issues; and other topics of interest. The Guide's audience includes librarians, faculty, administrators, information technology and support staff, and others interested in the practical implications of an institutional repository.


The first U.S. national Profile for Z39.50 is out for review and ballot from February 3-March 14. Z39.50 is the international standard that helps you retrieve information across lots of databases; this Profile will simplify and improve its implementation among all its U.S. users. Comments are invited.

100 Million Web Pages

Breaking Through the Invisible Web by Mark Ludwig in the current Library Journal describes a unique library Web Catalog. They have made each catalog record a Web page and then used tools to search and display the information. This has the advantage of making the records available to search engines. Very fascinating idea. This was the mind-blowing presentation at the ALCTS Forum in Houston in 2002.

Dynix Institute

It is good when a company gives back to the community and the Dynix Institute is just that. They have a series of Web broadcasts, a bi-weekly newsletter and an annual conference. The Web casts include:
  • Building Scalable Digital Libraries February 19, 2003
  • Building Library Development Foundations March 5, 2003
  • Library Standards: Why Use and Support Them? March 19, 2003