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 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