Saturday, February 21, 2004

Pasadena City College

Welcome to the students from Pasadena City College, Library 105 "Cataloging Procedures in an Online Environment." I notice from the syllabus you are required to read this 'blog. Hope it is not too tedious.

Now would be a good time to go into the aims of the 'blog. You will not learn to catalog here. That is only learned by doing, correcting, doing again. I try to pass along news to the cataloging community. News that is of interest to me. I have the only say as to what is posted or not. My interests go beyond MARC/AACR/ISBD. I feel we have a responsibility to our institutions to understand other metadata standards. We also have something to contribute to the development of those standards. Grace Agnew working with MPEG7 is a fine example to follow. That is outside the scope of your class, but not of your professional life.

If you have any comments to make, please leave them. If you hear of a topic that you think should be noted, pass it along. I welcome suggestions.

Another, even more important, resource for catalogers is the e-mail list AUTOCAT. The traffic is fairly heavy and the discussion can become very technical. If you are interested in cataloging you might try subscribing and seeing the interaction and concerns of the cataloging community.

Friday, February 20, 2004


The Expanding World of OAI by Roy Tennant appears in the latest Library Journal. He will be at the Texas Library Conference. Sorry I'll have to miss him and the conference this year.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Open Content Syndication

Steve Cohen (of Library Stuff fame) mentioned that Blogdigger was using OCS as well as OPML. Here is what I found out about Open Content Syndication:
The OCS Directory format is designed to enable channel listings to be constructed for use by portal sites, client-based headline software and other similar applications.
The OCS News page has not been updated since OCS draft 0.5 was announced 3 Sept. 2002. Is this being used anywhere else?

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Catalogablog RSS Feed

If anyone is pointing to please change to one of the links available on the site page. Voidstar has shut off their RSS service. I've not had that link posted for quite some time, but there may still be some users.

Catalog Searching

The SRW Maintenance Agency at the Library of Congress, in conjunction with the SRW Development Group, announces the release of version 1.1 of SRW, the Search/Retrieve Web Service; SRU, Search and Retrieve by URL; and CQL, the Common Query Language.

SRW is an XML-based protocol designed to be a low-barrier-to-entry solution for searching and other information retrieval operations across the internet. It uses existing, well tested, and easily available technologies, such as URI, XML, SOAP, HTTP, and XPath. The design reflects the many years of experience gained developing and using Z39.50; SRW is both robust and easy to understand while retaining many of the important aspects of Z39.50. Web technologies reduce the barriers to new information providers allowing them to make their resources available via a standard search and retrieve service. Building on Z39.50 semantics enables the creation of gateways to existing Z39.50 systems. The protocol may be carried via SOAP or as parameters in a URL. When carried via SOAP, it is referred to as SRW; via URL, as SRU.

CQL is a formal language for representing queries to information retrieval systems, including web indexes, bibliographic catalogues, and museum-collections information. Traditionally, query languages are either (on one hand) powerful and expressive but complex and unfriendly -- SQL, Xquery -- or (on the other hand) simple and intuitive but neither powerful nor expressive, for example, Google. CQL's goal is to combine the simplicity and friendliness of Google searching with the expressive power of Z39.50, supporting queries ranging from very simple to arbitrarily complex expressions.

Dublin Core

The DCMI Usage Board will hold its next meeting on Sunday and Monday, 14-15 March 2004 in Bath, UK.

The following proposals have been submitted for consideration at the UB meeting:

Public comment for these proposals is open until 13 March 2004. Comments should be sent to DC-General with a reference to the proposal in brackets:
  • Subject: [UB Proposal "Provenance"]
  • Subject: [UB Proposal "Is Available At"]
  • Subject: [UB Proposal "DC Rights-related Terms"]

Really Rudimentary Catalog

Really Rudimentary Catalog is a simple "card catalog" program. It consists of:
  • bin/ - a rather brain-dead acquisitions program that downloads MARC records from the Library of Congress
  • bin/ - another brain-dead program that converts one or more files of MARC records into enhanced HTML files as well as a browsable author index, title index, and subject index pages
  • bin/ - a Unix shell script that calls, swish-e (an indexer), and the next program,
  • bin/ - a cool hack inspired by Bill Mosely that reads a swish-e index and converts it into an ASPELL dictionary
  • lib/Alex/*.pm - two incompletely written Perl modules, the most important being allowing the search interface (index.cgi) to get, set, and display "cookie" data from a user's search session
  • ./search.cgi - a CGI script interfacing with the indexed data
  • marc/* - a set of sample MARC records
  • html/* - a set of HTML files converted from MARC records
  • etc/* - sample author, title, and subject indexes as well as the necessary configuration file for swish-e
The site also has an essay on library catalogs.

Thanks to Eric Lease Morgan, the force behind the MyLibrary portal software, for this new tool.

ResearchWorks Web Site

OCLC Research announces ResearchWorks Web site, featuring demos, prototypes, and other interactive items that showcase the current work of OCLC Researchers.

Visitors to OCLC ResearchWorks can explore the site, following their interest from one demo to another, and comment on and discuss them with others. The idea is to display some of what's on the minds - and the "workbenches" - of OCLC Researchers. The ideas may serve as examples librarians can develop or incorporate into their own systems.

ResearchWorks features works in progress rather than full services or even polished prototypes. There are links to background information, a discussion form, and a form to send a message directly to the researcher involved with each project. Some interesting work.