Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Happy New Year

Happy New Year.

Thanks Ian for being the host the past few days. I thought it was fun having someone else be the host. It brought a different personality to the 'blog, which I found refreshing.


The MARC XML DTD for Bibliographic/Holdings/Community Information Record and the MARC Authority/Classification Record has been updated with Update No. 3 to the MARC21 format.

Dublin Core

A revised XML Schema for DC has been published, superseding the 2002-03-12 version.

Controlled Vocabulary

What Is A Controlled Vocabulary? by Karl Fast, Fred Leise and Mike Steckel describes, for computer folks, what and why these are useful.
A controlled vocabulary is a way to insert an interpretive layer of semantics between the term entered by the user and the underlying database to better represent the original intention of the terms of the user.

Thursday, December 26, 2002

Greetings all!

It's December 26, the Second Day of Christmas, St. Stephen's Day in the Western church calendar, Boxing Day to Brits and their kin. No need to dream; here in Ohio Christmas is white this year, and no doubt David has plenty underfoot for his ski trip!

The January 2003 edition of Cites & Insights, by Walt Crawford, is now available at:
http://cites.boisestate.edu/civ3i1.pdf It has some interesting, if disturbing, news on copyright.

A tip: when reading a .pdf document, select Full Screen. (Pressing F11 may achieve this, otherwise use View-Full Screen from the drop-down menu). Then use your page-up page-down buttons to manipulate the column format.

Friday, December 20, 2002

Happy Holidays

Seasons Greetings to all. I'm off to the North country. I'm leaving you in the capable hands of Ian for the next week. See you l8er.
Dear Catalogabloggers,

Hello! This is your guest host, Ian Fairclough, greeting you. If you have anything to post, or wish to correspond with me, during David's absence, do write to me at ifairclough AT marion.lib.oh.us. Sincerely - Ian P.S. this is my first experience at actually writing the blog, so if anything is strange please bear with me!

Encoded Archival Description

A new version of the EAD DTD has been released.
It incorporates a small number of newly-defined elements, deprecates eight previously used elements, and modifies the structure (content model) for a few elements to allow the inclusion of other valid EAD elements at different levels within a finding aid. The changes and additions were suggested as a result of experience with the first (1998) production release of the test version of the EAD DTD. During the four years that Version 1.0 was in use, hundreds of archives experimented with use of the EAD DTD for a range of finding aid encoding projects. Their input was important for deciding upon which changes and additions were essencial in the 2002 release.

MARC and Metadata

Call for articles: Special issue of Library Hi Tech titled: MARC and Metadata: Future Developments and Relationships

This is a call for articles for a special issue of Library Hi Tech devoted to the topic of MARC and metadata standards/initiatives that are attempting to enhance, exploit, emulate, and/or replace the MARC standard. This special issue is especially interested in examining current developments with MODS, METS, XML MARC, and OAI in these areas, and the issue editor is looking for experts, developers, and users of these standards to write articles for the issue.

The deadline for receipt of final articles would be June 31, 2003, and the issue would probably be published in late 2003/early 2004. If you are interested in writing an article, please send a proposal with a title and short abstract of the content of the article, as well as some information regarding your expertise and experience with the standard(s) that you plan to discuss. Co-authored articles are also encouraged. If you have any questions, please contact the special issue editor at:

Brad Eden, Ph.D.
Head, Bibliographic and Metadata Services
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
beden at ccmail.nevada.edu

Deadline for receipt of proposals is January 31, 2003.

Posted with permission. The @ symbol in the e-mail address has been replaced with " at " to prevent spam.--D.B.

Thursday, December 19, 2002

Guest Host

Anyone willing to step in as guest host next week? I'll be visiting family in Mass. and x-country skiing in VT. I'm also going to visit the library/opera house that stradles the US/Canadian border. So no posts from me next week.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Professional Reading

"Metadata-based access to multimedia architectural and historical archive collections: a review" in Aslib Proceedings (2002) v. 54, no. 6, pp. 362-371.
Presents a brief overview of what is meant by a digital library and a digital archive, and how archival collections can be described. It expresses briefly the different approaches to collections and their descriptions and suggests that a consistent approach to descriptions at collection and item level is an important factor in initiatives which seek to provide integrated access to distributed resources, whether those resources are traditional or digital.

Digital Libraries

On behalf of the steering group mentioned below, I would like to make readers of this list aware of the good news that the Digital Library Federation (DLF) has established an Electronic Resource Management Initiative. (Some related upcoming discussion opportunities at ALA Midwinter are mentioned at the end of the summary.)

Tim Jewell
University of Washington
Steering Group Chair

DLF Electronic Resource Management Initiative

1. DLF Electronic Resource Management Initiative. The steering group that helped organize a May NISO/DLF Workshop on Standards for Electronic Resource Management has continued working via conference call since then. The group developed and submitted a successful proposal to the Digital Library Federation to create an Electronic Resource Management Initiative, which aims to:

  • Describe the architectures needed to manage large collections of licensed electronic resources
  • Establish lists of appropriate supporting data elements and common definitions
  • Write and publish XML Schemas/DTDs.
  • Identify and promote appropriate best practices and standards to support data interchange of licensing information

The initiative was recently announce in CLIR Issues (No. 30, November/December). A fuller description and list of deliverables" can be seen.

The members of the steering group are all excited to have this opportunity to extend and formalize the work done so far, and look forward to communicating actively with members of the library and vendor/publisher communities in the months ahead.

2. Meetings at the DLF Fall Forum. The initiative's steering group held a couple of working sessions at the DLF Fall Forum that resulted in important refinements to a shared understanding of the problems to be addressed and to the most useful approach to doing so, as well as a Birds of A Feather session during the conference. (A summary should be available soon on the DLF web site

3. Data Elements and Volunteers. At the open meeting on E-resource management held by the group at the American Library Association conference (ALA) last June, it was decided to enlist the help of volunteers to help review and refine the lists of data elements within the 3 areas of prime interest: Description, Licensing, and Access and Administration, and a number of people came forward to help with that work. Members of the steering group expect to be following up and contacting those volunteers again soon -- once the data element lists have undergone some more review.

4. Meeting/discussion opportunities. If you are interested in the initiative and plan to attend ALA midwinter, you will have two opportunities to hear more about it and the steering group's progress toward the initiative's goals:

  • ALCTS Symposium on Managing Electronic Resources. Tim Jewell (chair of the steering group) will be one of several speakers for the preconference planned for Friday, January 24th at ALA Midwinter. His presentation will focus on some of the best and most interesting features of the local systems described on the Web Hub, and provide an overview of the DLF initiative and the prospects for establishing relevant standards.
  • Open Discussion on E-resource management. The evening of the 24th (7:30-9:30 p.m. in the Wyndham Franklin Plaza, Philadelphia Ballroom) the steering group will also hold an open information sharing meeting for librarians, vendors and publishers interested in these developments. An agenda will be set closer to the conference, but we will probably begin with a status report on the initiative from members of the steering committee and provide time for discussion of it and local developments. (This meeting will once again be sponsored by the ALCTS Technical Services Directors of Large Research Libraries -- whose support is again gratefully acknowledged!)
Posted with premission.

Off Topic

Just noticed that the Jimi Hendrix tune "Little Wing" turns up in lots of my recordings. My favorite version would be the one with Clapton and Sheryl Crow. The strangest the one by the Corrs, it works but the tin whistle is a shocker.


ERIC has a paper, Format Proliferation in Public Libraries by Norm Parry. It does not discuss the problems concerned with cataloging all these new and emerging formats. We know that all too well. It does cover some of the problems this causes in budgeting.

Tuesday, December 17, 2002


The following documents are available for review by the MARC 21 commmunity:

These papers will be discussed in a meeting of the MARC Advisory Committee on Saturday, January 25, 2003 and Sunday, January 26, 2003 in Philadelphia.

A draft agenda for the meeting is available

Another proposal will be posted at a later date.

Disaster Relief

Dear everybody,

I am sending this plea on behalf of the children who attend Brazos Elementary School in Orchard, TX.

Sunday night a fire consumed the principal's office, six classrooms, a computer lab and the school's library. At this time, we don't know if it was arson or an electrical fire.

The building was constructed in 1940. What I'm requesting would be elementary level books in fairly good shape, supplies like pockets and books cards, date stamps, ink pads, anything useful for old-fashioned checking out. If some of you are automated and have any of these things lying around, it would be wonderful if you would share with us.

My name and address are:
Becky Knesek
Brazos High School
14413 Hwy 36
Wallis, TX 77485.

That address is for UPS. Our other address is:
Brazos High School
P.O. Box 458
Wallis, TX 77485.

If you are willing and able to help us, I thank you so much from all of us at Brazos I.S.D.

Becky Knesek, district librarian
bknesek at esc6.net

The @ symbol in the e-mail address is replaced by " at " to prevent spam.--D.B.

Dublin Core

The master's paper, A Quantitative Analysis of Dublin Core Metadata Element Set (DCMES) Usage in Data Providers Registered with the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) by Jewel Ward is available.
This research describes an empirical study of how the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set (DCMES) is used by 100 Data Providers (DPs) registered with the Open Archives Initiative (OAI). The research was conducted to determine whether or not the DCMES is used to its full capabilities.

Monday, December 16, 2002

IASA Cataloguing Rules

The IASA Cataloguing Rules are available on-line. The International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives has developed these rules to complement the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules 2nd edition and International Standard Bibliographic Description for Non-Print Materials (ISBD (NBM).


The RFP Writer's Guide to Standards for Library Systems will help library systems staff understand the standards that can be referenced in RFP's for integrated library systems.


Jon Udell has added other library systems to the LibraryLookup bookmarklet. Now users of the epixtech IPAC and Endeavor systems can offer this to their patrons. If your library uses one of these systems make this available on your Web page for your patrons to download. Thank you Jon for this nifty tool and thanks Jenny at the Shifted Librarian for bringing it to my attention.

Over at Library Planet it was reported it is working with Polaris systems.

Saturday, December 14, 2002

'Blog Metadata

There are several projects to add metadata to Web logs to provide better access to them. However, everybody seems to be working in isolation. I began by adding Dublin Core, A-Core and PICS. That was OK. DC and PICS were standards, and A-Core was based on DC.

Next came Blogchalk Simple and easy to apply. There was a tool to search 'blogs that had been chalked, but that seems to be no longer working.

This was followed by the Weblog MetaData Initiative (WMDI). This was standards based, an extension of Dublin Core. A tool to read and compile WMDI is available. It will read qualified DC, no need for the WMDI additions. Nice.

The latest is Janes' Blogosphere. It uses non-standard markup but has a suite of tools to create, read and interpret the metadata and 'blog entries.

All this work going in different directions. What is needed is a metadata standard for 'blogs, like WMDI that supports a suite of tools like Janes' to add the medadata to the template and interpret it. Talk to each other people and work together. A widely adopted standard metadata for Web logs could be used in RSS, OPML, OAI-MHP and other Web services. It could improve access in so many ways.

Worth Reading

Every 2 weeks Rory Litwin produces another issue of Library Juice. The focus is on intellectual freedom. Only rarely does it have anything to do with cataloging, sometimes Sandy Berman rates an article. If you support the Library Bill of Rights this fine publication will keep you in the loop. The latest issue has a link to Catalogablog. Thanks for the mention and such a fine publication Rory.

Friday, December 13, 2002


The Bibliography Section newsletter for December is now available


In October 2002, members of the core integration team for the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) program issued a report on progress being made in the continuing effort to improve metadata interoperability in harvesting digital library collections. NSDL's ultimate goal is to integrate the tens of thousands of collections, ranging from simple Web sites to large and sophisticated digital libraries, into a coherent whole that is structured to support education and facilitate incorporation of innovative, value-adding services. Because NSDL can only coax and cajole collections toward preferred standards, their harvesting architecture needs to accommodate a wide spectrum of interoperability, which makes use of widely varying protocols, formats and metadata standards. In designing the architecture, therefore, NSDL's Core Integration team explicitly recognized the necessity to accept whatever metadata the collections can provide, which in many cases is very basic, in any of several preferred metadata formats. The team creates the collection-level metadata, but not the item-level records. To provide a minimally uniform level of metadata for all known items, in addition to storing the native metadata (provided by the collections), a Dublin Core record is created for each item in a format called nsdldc. This format contains a number of Dublin Core elements, including some elements unique to the NSDL, but the actual record may be little more than a simple identifier. While the NSDL Core Team believes it would be too optimistic to hope that every collection will support its metadata harvesting program, the increasing positive responses from many important collections would seem to predict that the program will achieve the desired level of popularity. (Cornell University Oct 2002)

From ShelfLife, No. 84 (12 December 2002) ISSN 1538-4284


This has been reported elsewhere, but is too slick not to mention again. Users of Innovative systems can have a bookmarklet on their tool bar to search their local system. Have this available for your patrons.
Let's say you're on a book-related site (Amazon, BN, isbn.nu, All Consuming, possibly others), and a book's info page is your current page. (Specifically: its URL contains an ISBN.) You can click your bookmarklet to check if the book is available in your local library. The bookmarklet will invoke your library's instance of the Innovative service, feed it the ISBN, and pop up a new window with the result.
Thank you Jon Udell for a useful tool.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Digitizing Audio

A bibliography on digitizing analog audio resources. Haven't had time to read any of the references yet. The 1st one is supposed to be a good introduction.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Digital Library

The NSDL (National Science Digital Library) is looking for collections of materials in the broad science, technology, engineering, and mathematics area ( K through grey) that are willing to share metadata about their resources or content for search and discovery services. I am serving as Director of Collection Development of the NSDL. Please let me know if you have or know of any such collections. For more about the NSDL see below.

"The National Science Foundation (NSF), through its Division of Undergraduate Education, is funding the development of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) over the next 5 years. A limited public release of the NSDL was launched on December 3, 2002. NSF expects the NSDL to become, over-time, the world's largest digital library of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) information resources and services as well as an online network of learning environments and resources for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education at all levels.

Many of the resources that populate the NSDL collection will come from projects funded under the NSDL program and related NSF digital library initiatives. However, the goal is to include access to as many relevant STEM resources as possible, including both open access and proprietary materials.

The Core Integration (CI) team of the NSDL is distributed among a group of collaborating institutions (University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), Cornell University, Columbia University, the San Diego Supercomputer Center, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst) and is aimed at the development, deployment, and support of both the technical and organizational infrastructure of the NSDL. The Cornell team is lead by a group of computer scientists and librarians.

A core component of CI responsibility is the development and maintenance of a metadata repository comprised of collection and item level metadata which serves as the basis for search and discovery services. The metadata repository will be built using a combination of methods including metadata ingest by the Open Archives Metadata Harvesting Protocol OAI-MHP. The NSDL metadata repository is built on open source, open access principles and standards and thus will also be available for harvesting by other services. While the principle of open access and free search and discovery services is a fundamental principle of the NSDL, the NSDL is concurrently looking at integrating proprietary content into it's distributed collections. Authentication and authorization services are being developed to allow for user access to fee-based content once it has been discovered within the open (i.e.free) search/browse services built on the OAI compliant NSDL metadata repository.

To read more about the NSDL see:

  • Zia, Lee L., "Growing a National Learning Environments and Resources Network for Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology Education: Current Issues and Opportunities for the NSDL Program". D-Lib Magazine, 7 (3), March 2001.].
  • C. Lagoze, W. Arms, S. Gan, D. Hillmann, C. Ingram, D. Krafft, R. Marisa, J. Phipps, J. Saylor, C. Terrizzi, W. Hoehn, D. Millman, J. Allan, S. Guzman-Lara, and T. Kalt, "Core Services in the Architecture of the National Digital Library for Science Education (NSDL),", arXiv Report cs.DL/0201025, January 29 2002.

Other Library Architecture and Design Documents

John M. Saylor
Collection Development
National Science Digital Library
Director (on leave 10/02-9/04)
Engineering & Computer Science Library
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-220
email: JMS1 at cornell.edu
phone: 607-255-4134
fax: 607-255-0278

Posted with permission. The @ symbol in the e-mail address has been replaced by " at " to foil spammers.


Ten taxonomy myths at the Montague Institute provides a basic overview of the topic, from a business viewpoint.
Taxonomies have recently emerged from the quiet backwaters of biology, book indexing, and library science into the corporate limelight. They are supposed to be the silver bullets that will help users find the needle in the intranet haystack, reduce "friction" in electronic commerce, facilitate scientific research, and promote global collaboration. But before this can happen, practitioners need to dispel the myths and confusion, created in part by the multi-disciplinary nature of the task and the hype surrounding content management technologies.

Dublin Core

The Weblog MetaData Initiative (WMDI) had an experimental tool to read WMDI metadata. Since it is based on Dublin Core, it seems to handle that just fine. Catalogablog is marked up with qualified DC and it was read without any problems. If you have DC metadata add your 'blog to those being read. In addition, consider adding some WMDI metadata, it is on my to-do list.

This 'Blog

There may be few, if any, postings the rest of this week. Wednesday I'm attending a training session on digitizing audio, life is good. Thursday and Friday I'm hosting a meeting of the Cataloging Focus Group of the Texas Library Connection. I'm looking forward to getting together with colleagues from across the state, once again life is good. Both of these activities will take most of my time.

Would anyone want to be a guest host for Catalogablog? I'll be out of town over Christmas as well. It would be nice if someone else took over that week. Just let me know.


The latest issue of The Plain Text Gazette is now available.
"You've spent 2 years and GBP 2 million to create the ultimate content management system. Your staff have reached the nirvana of 'total relevance' where they have precisely the right amount of information they need. But because it's so boring and badly written, they don't read it. The board wants to see a return on their massive investment reflected in usage statistics. You have but a tiny bit of budget remaining. What should you spend it on?"
The answer is better writing and editing. I started this 'blog to practice writing clearly and concisely. This newsletter is a valuable for anyone wishing to communicate.

Monday, December 09, 2002


The Joint Steering Committee for Revision of Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules' Format Variation Working Group is seeking to establish liaisons with system vendors and utilities that are either engaged with or are considering incorporating the data model from the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) into the design of their products.

The Format Variation Working Group is now beginning to develop criteria for evaluating online systems that organize bibliographic data according to the FRBR model. We are especially interested in issues related to creating systems that users will find intelligible and easy to use, rather than simply implementing the FRBR theoretical model for the sake of doing so. We welcome the opportunity to discuss this issue with those who are in the process of developing these systems.

The JSC Format Variation Working Group was charged in 2001 with investigating the feasibility of incorporating the FRBR entity "expression" into AACR utilizing a proof of concept model. In June 2002 our discussion paper, "Dealing With FRBR Expressions in MARC 21" (MARBI DP-08) was discussed by MARBI at the ALA Annual Meeting. This paper, along with the other reports from the Group to date, are posted on the website of the Joint Steering Committee.

System vendors who would like to establish a formal liaison relationship with the JSC's Format Variation Working Group may contact the group's Chair, Jennifer Bowen, at jbowen at library.rochester.edu or (585) 274-1370.

Jennifer Bowen
Head of Cataloging, University of Rochester Libraries
Head of Technical Services, Sibley Music Library, Eastman School of Music
jbowen at library.rochester.edu
(585) 274-1370

Rush Rhees Library, Box 270055
University of Rochester,
Rochester, NY 14627-0055
Sibley Music Library, Eastman School of Music
27 Gibbs St., Rochester, NY 14604

Posted with premission. N.B. I have replaced the @ symbol in e-mail addresses with " at " to prevent harvesting of addresses for spam mailings. D.B.


Be nice to the environment and pick up some spare change for the library. This is not an endorsement, I've not used them, but the idea sounds worth checking out.
That is why AAA Environmental, Inc./EnviroSmart can design the Recycling Programs to be beneficial to you and the environment both today and well into the future. And our programs are - - FREE. We pay for the collection materials and shipping. Best of all, you are rewarded with CASH for each acceptable empty inkjet cartridge that we receive from your organization and we recycle at the same time. Although your contributions might seem minimal, please remember…Every Effort Counts!

This 'Blog

This week, as an experiment, I'm using w.bloggar to post to this 'blog. W.Blogger is PC based freeware that allows posting to Blogger.com. It adds some bells and whistles. So far, it seems to be working just fine. If anyone experiences any problems, please let me know. Thanks, David.

Dublin Core

Mapping between Dublin Core and JPX metadata by Greg Colyer, Kats Ishii, and Jane Hunter is now available.
This document proposes a mapping between
  • the Dublin Core Element Set, Version 1.1, and
  • the JPX file format extended metadata definition, in Annex N of JPEG 2000 Part 2 (ISO/IEC 15444-2:2002), which is itself based on the DIG35 Specification of the Digital Imaging Group.

New 'Blog

Library-Usability is a new Web log with the admirable mission to "help make libraries work better for everybody."
library-usability.org is dedicated to the idea that libraries are critical to our communities. But to help people meet their needs, libraries must be usable in every facet of their service. Usability is about more than just software. It's about helping people accomplish their goals, and library usability asks: what can we do to help people in the way we operate, in the way we publish, in the way we deliver service, and in the way we use technology?
Seen at several 'blogs.

Friday, December 06, 2002


The Institute of Museum and Library Services announces the 2003 competition for the National Award for Library Service, which honors outstanding American libraries that have made extraordinary contributions to their communities. The postmark deadline for receipt of all materials is February 15, 2003. Nominate your favorite local library.

Note Fields

Notes in Bibliographic Records: AACR2R Order and MARC Tags from the University of New Mexico General Library is worth a bookmark. It lists notes in AACR2 order and gives the MARC tag, AACR2 citation, the LCRI and a brief summary. The site has other resources worth a visit.

MARC Field 024

I just don't understand why field 024, Other Standard Identifier, is not used more widely. It takes no time to scan in the barcodes on the item. They are unique identifiers for the item and so can aid in retrieval. Yesterday I downloaded some very nicely done cataloging records for some USGS maps. A fine piece of cataloging. Yet they had not entered in the barcodes found right on the front of the item.

I have been adding this information to our records for several years now. I find it very useful. We often receive boxes of materials as donations. It is much faster to scan the UPC or EAN to see if the item is in our collection than do an author/title search.


Networked Reference Services Committee Releases Question/Answer Transaction Protocol (QATP) - National Information Standards Organization (NISO) Comments are due before Jan. 8, 2003.
The Protocol Subcommittee of NISO Standards Committee AZ on Networked Reference Services is developing a Question/Answer Transaction Protocol (QATP) to support exchange between digital reference systems collaborating in the processing of a question. A preliminary step in the development of a protocol is to describe use cases (also known informally as "functional scenarios") that the protocol is required to support. Use cases help develop protocol requirements.

Thursday, December 05, 2002


MARC::Charset is a package that allows you to easily convert between the MARC-8 character encodings and Unicode (UTF-8). The Library of Congress maintains some essential mapping tables and information about the MARC-8 and Unicode environments. MARC::Charset is essentially a Perl implementation of the specifications found at LC, and supports the following character sets:
  • Latin (Basic/Extended + Greek Symbols, Subscripts and Superscripts)
  • Hebrew
  • Cyrillic (Basic + Extended)
  • Arabic (Basic + Extended)
  • Greek
  • East Asian Characters Includes 13,478 'han' characters, Japanese Hiragana and Katakana (172 characters), Korean Hangul (2,028 characters), East Asian Punctuation Marks (25 characters), 'Component Input Method' Characters (35 characters)


The latest issue, Nov. 2002, of the Newsletter of the Section on Classification and Indexing is now available.

Metadata Crosswalks

Mapping between metadata formats by Michael Day is an extensive listing of maps from one metadata scheme to another. Seen on the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Day Off

Wed. I'm driving to Austin for a day trip. Most likely there will be no postings for the day. See you Thurs.

Spanish Cataloging Portal

The Biblioteca Argentina de Bibliotecología is a Spanish language portal for library sites. The cataloging links are under "Procesos técnicos".


OCLC-MARC Format Update 2002, Technical Bulletin 247 describes how and when OCLC is implementing the recent changes to MARC21.


The National Library of Medicine has openings for catalogers.

Z39.50/ISN Robot

ZI-Bot Populates Global Server with ISBN Data.
ZI-Bot (Z39.50/ISN Robot) is our project (initiated May 2001) to populate our prototype global server with ISBN and ISSN data from public Z39.50 servers around the world. Whenever a bibp/ISBN link is created and tested, ZI-Bot initiates a parallel query of approximately 75 Z39.50 servers to generate the first response. Over time, ZI-Bot will enrich the database using known item ISN queries on all Z39.50 servers.
An interesting side effect is the Merged MARC data allows field by field comparison of the cataloging of the same item by different institutions. Could be useful in teaching cataloging or cataloging research. Thanks to Matthew Eberle at Library Techlog for pointing this out.

Professional Reading

The latest issue of Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship has some interesting articles.
  • "Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe As A Cooperative Archiving Solution for E-Journals" by Victoria A. Reich.
    The LOCKSS model, based on analysis of the history of cultural continuity epitomized by "Lots of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe," creates low-cost, persistent digital "caches" of e-journal content housed locally at institutions that have authorized access to that content and actively choose to preserve it.
  • "Building Digital Archives for Scientific Information" by Leah Solla
    PRISM is a four-year project funded by Phase 2 of the Digital Libraries Initiative from the National Science Foundation to develop risk assessment strategies for web resources. It is a collaborative project between the Cornell Computer Science Department, the Human-Computer Interaction Group of the Cornell Communication Department, and Cornell University Library. Specific focus areas of the project include: digital object architecture, digital preservation, human-centered research, interoperability, policy enforcement, and web preservation.


A variation of FOAF is being used to link 'blogs, Blog RDF. Dave Bryson has created a tool to generate an RDF file to include in the head of a Web log showing other sites of a similar nature. Blog RDF does not have the drawback of FOAF, spam, since it only includes Web sites not e-mail. I've not yet created a file for Catalogablog. No word on anyone reading the RDF file to create a map of the Web log universe. Just an interesting idea at this point.

Monday, December 02, 2002


Information Outlook, vol. 6, no. 12, Dec. 2002 has the article "Using RSS: An Explanation and Guide" by Steven M. Cohen. Steven can be found every day at Library Stuff. The same issue also has "XML Under the Hood" by Davida Scharf.


"Transcribing and encoding spoken data" by Marco Cencini in OCLC Systems & Services vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 205-211 (2002) presents some basic features for encoding spoken texts with the TEI (Text Encoding Initiative).


The two main standards for archival description Rules for Archival Description (RAD) and Archives, Personal Papers, and Manuscripts (APPM) are being brought into alignment. "Saving room for CUSTARD" by Randall C Jimerson in OCLC Systems & Services vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 173-177 (2002) describes the effort. CUSTARD is the Canadian-US Task Force on Archival Description, BTW.

Professionsal Reading

Online Information Review vol. 26, no. 5 (2002) has the articles
  • "The design of metadata for the Digital Museum Initiative in Taiwan" by Chao-chen Chen; Hsueh-hua Chen; Kuang-hua Chen; Jieh Hsiang.
    This paper discusses issues related to the development of metadata in Taiwan. It describes the development process of a Chinese metadata system, Metadata Interchange for Chinese Information (MICI), and an XML/metadata management system, Metalogy. Both were developed under the Digital Museum Initiative sponsored by the National Science Council of Taiwan.
  • "Aiming at quality and coverage combined: blending physical and virtual union catalogues" by Janifer Gatenby
    This article discusses the deficiencies of search engines and the importance of metadata before examining three models of metadata retrieval: distributed; distributed data with a centralised index; and centralised union catalogue. In listing the advantages and disadvantages of the distributed model, the Z39.50 protocol is used as an example. The OAI harvest protocol is the example of the second model. Virtual union catalogues are compared with a real one. A pan-European model is discussed as a way to combine the best of all three models, with EUCAT as its base.


Genre can be an important point of access for materials. Here are a couple of links to sites for children's literature.


The UKMARC Manual is now available full-text on-line. Thanks to Library news Daily for pointing this out

Markup Languages

STMML. A markup language for scientific, technical and medical publishing in Data Science Journal, Volume 1, Issue 2, August 30, 2002, pp. 1-65
STMML is an XML-based markup language covering many generic aspects of scientific information. It has been developed as a re-usable core for more specific markup languages. It supports data structures, data types, metadata, scientific units and some basic components of scientific narrative. The central means of adding semantic information is through dictionaries. The specification is through an XML Schema which can be used to validate STMML documents or fragments. Many examples of the language are given.
From FOS News

Friday, November 29, 2002

This 'Blog

I've increased, slightly, the space between lines. I think it makes the postings a bit easier on the eyes. If this causes anyone problems, please let me know.

Wednesday, November 27, 2002


A new application of RDF is to link people together, know as Friend-of-a-Friend (FOAF). An introduction is Finding friends with XML and RDF
Explores an XML and RDF application known as Friend-of-a-Friend (FOAF). FOAF allows the expression of personal information and relationships, and is a useful building block for creating information systems that support online communities. Code samples demonstrate the basics.
A tool for creating a FOAF file is the FOAF-a-matic
The FOAF-a-matic is being provided as a quick and easy way for you to create your own FOAF description. Simply work through the forms on this page and complete whichever entries you'd like to add to your description. At a minimum you'll need to supply your name and email address, and similarly for any friends you might add.
A technical description is FOAF: the 'friend of a friend' vocabulary
This is the FOAF namespace document. It describes the FOAF vocabulary, and the terms (RDF classes and properties) that constitute it. As such, it is a Semantic Web vocabulary or 'ontology'.

Interesting. Anyone using it?


Thursday is a holiday here in the U.S., Thanksgiving. So there will be no posts after today until Monday.


If you are a member of ALA consider voting for Jessamyn West of Librarian.net Based on her 'blog, she would get my vote, if I was a member (I'm in SLA).

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

21st Century Librarian Award

For the third year, the students of Syracuse University School of Information Studies are pleased to announce the 21st Century Librarian Award. This year, a second award, the 21st Century New Librarian Award will recognize a librarian in his/her first three years post-MLS.


I've discontinued the "Is MARC Dead?" poll. The voting tool was generating pop-up and pop-under ads. I could live with an ad on the result page, but that was too much. In case anyone is interested, there were 17 votes. One thought MARC was dead, 16 did not.

If you know of a decent voting/polling application please let me know.


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

Personal Names

Folks doing NACO work might find interesting the article "Spanish personal name variations in national and international biomedical databases: implications for information retrieval and bibliometric studies" by R. Ruiz-Pérez, E. Delgado López-Cózar, and E. Jiménez-Contreras in the latest issue of the Journal of the Medical Library Association.
The study sought to investigate how Spanish names are handled by national and international databases and to identify mistakes that can undermine the usefulness of these databases for locating and retrieving works by Spanish authors.

Open Archives Initative

Arc is the first federated search service based on the OAI-PMH protocol. It includes a harvester which can harvests OAI-PMH 1.x and OAI-PMH 2.0 compliant repositories, a basic search engine which is based on database and an OAI-PMH. Now available for download.


The ZING Initiative (Z39.50 International Next Generation), under the auspices of the Z39.50 Maintenance Agency at the Library of Congress, is pleased to announce Version 1.0 of SRW and CQL.

SRW ("Search/Retrieve for the Web") is a web-service-based protocol which aims to integrate access across networked resources, and to promote interoperability between distributed databases by providing a common platform. The underpinnings of the protocol are formed by bringing together more than 20 years experience from the collective implementers of the Z39.50 protocol with recent developments in the web-technologies arena. SRW features both SOAP and URL-based access mechanisms (SRW and SRU respectively) to provide for a wide range of possible clients. It uses CQL, the Common Query Language, which provides a powerful yet intuitive means of formulating searches. The protocol mandates the use of open and industry-supported standards XML and XML Schema, and where appropriate, Xpath and SOAP.

The SRW Initiative recognizes the importance of Z39.50 (as currently defined and deployed) for business communication, and focuses on getting information to the user. SRW provides semantics for searching databases containing metadata and objects, both text and non-text. Building on Z39.50 semantics enables the creation of gateways to existing Z39.50 systems while reducing the barriers to new information providers, allowing them to make their resources available via a standard search and retrieve service.

SRW, SRU, and CQL have been developed by an international team, minimizing cross-language pitfalls and other potential internationalization problems. Participants include:

Theo van Veen, Koninlijke Bibliotheek
Mike Taylor, independent consultant
Pat Stevens, OCLC
Rob Sanderson, Liverpool University
Ralph LeVan, OCLC
Allan Kent, RMIT University
Ian Ibbotson, Knowledge Integration
Poul Henrik Jorgensen, Portia
Sebastian Hammer, IndexData
Janifer Gatenby, PICA
Matthew J. Dovey, Oxford University
Larry Dixson, Library of Congress
Adam Dickmeiss, Index Data
Ray Denenberg, Library of Congress

The ZING, SRW, and CQL home pages
The Z39.50 Maintenance Agency home page.

The SRW and CQL version 1.0 specifications will remain stable for a six- to nine-month implementation-experience period. During this period developers are encouraged to implement the specification (see the implementors page), join the list of implementors, participate in interoperability testing, and help develop the next version, 1.1. Please direct questions, comments, and suggestions to z3950@loc.gov. Please feel free to forward this announcement to other lists as appropriate.

Lawyers for Libraries

Lawyers for Libraries, an ongoing project of the American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom, is designed to create a network of attorneys around the country involved in, or committed to becoming involved in, the defense of the First Amendment freedom to read and the application of constitutional law to library policies, principles, and problems.

The first two training institutes were held in 1997 and 1998 and proved very successful. Beginning in 2003, we will be sponsoring regional training institutes to ensure that libraries throughout the United States will have access to effective representation when dealing with First Amendment issues.

Pass this on to the attorney in your life.

EFF Pioneer Awards

The Twelfth Annual International EFF Pioneer Awards - Call for Nominations
In every field of human endeavor, there are those dedicated to expanding knowledge, freedom, efficiency, and utility. Many of today's brightest innovators are working along the electronic frontier. To recognize these leaders, the Electronic Frontier Foundation established the Pioneer Awards for deserving individuals and organizations. The Pioneer Awards are international and nominations are open to all. The deadline for nominations this year is Feb. 1, 2003 (see nomination criteria and instructions below).

How to Nominate Someone
You may send as many nominations as you wish, but please use one e-mail per nomination. You may submit your entries to us via e-mail to: "pioneer at eff.org" Just tell us:

  1. The name of the nominee
  2. The phone number or e-mail address at which the nominee can be reached; and, most importantly
  3. Why you feel the nominee deserves the award.
You may attach supporting documentation as RTF files, Microsoft Word documents, or other common binary formats, or as plain text. Individuals, or representatives of organizations, receiving an EFF Pioneer Award will be invited to attend the ceremony at the Foundation's expense.

Nominee Criteria
There are no specific categories for the EFF Pioneer Awards, but the following guidelines apply:

  1. The nominees must have made a substantial contribution to the health, growth, accessibility, or freedom of computer-based communications.
  2. The contribution may be technical, social, economic, or cultural.
  3. Nominations may be of individuals, systems, or organizations in the private or public sectors.
  4. Nominations are open to all (other than EFF staff & board and this year's award judges), and you may nominate more than one recipient. You may nominate yourself or your organization.
  5. All nominations, to be valid, must contain your reasons, however brief, for nominating the individual or organization, along with a means of contacting the nominee (or heirs, if posthumous), and your own contact number. Anonymous nominations will be allowed, but we prefer to be able to contact the nominating parties in the event that we need further information.

The 2003 Awards
The 12th annual EFF Pioneer Awards will be presented in New York, NY, in conjunction with the 13th Conference on Computers, Freedom, and Privacy (CFP2003). All nominations will be reviewed by a panel of judges chosen for their knowledge of the technical, legal, and social issues associated with information technology.

Pioneer Awards webpage

CFP site

Lets have plenty of libraries and librarians get nominated.

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Scout Portal Toolkit

Internet Scout Project is pleased to announce the 1.0 release of the Scout Portal Toolkit (SPT)!

This open source software package, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, allows groups or organizations to develop a portal online without making a big investment in technical resources or expertise. This release marks the first post-beta release of SPT.

Interested users and current beta testing organizations are strongly encouraged to offer feedback by taking a brief (12 questions) survey. This survey will help us gather information to refine SPT in future releases and evaluate our work to date.

The SPT 1.0.0 package features include:

  • Shipped with a MySQL database with Dublin Core compliant metadata default fields
  • Cross-Field Searching (Advanced Search)
  • Metadata field editor, which allows portal administrators the ability to add, delete, or disable a variety of metadata fields
  • Resource comments by Users
  • Intelligent User Agents
  • Resource Quality Ratings by Users
  • Suggested Resource Referrals (Recommender System)
  • Accessible to users with disabilities
  • Support for RSS channel export and the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) Protocol for Metadata Harvesting 2.0
  • Discussion forum options

More information on SPT and its features, to explore a demo installation, or to download the software is available on-line.

Specific comments, question and bug reports can be sent to SPTSupport@scout.wisc.edu.

Also, the November issue of D-LIB Magazine has an article on the SPT software. Discussed are the key features and functionality. The article may be found on-line.

The development team looks forward to hearing your feedback!


David J. Sleasman
Metadata and Cataloging Services Coordinator
Internet Scout Project
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Phone: 608-263-2674
http://scout.cs.wisc.edu--Posted with permission


A registration page for those using or evaluating Koha has been established. This could lead to user groups in some places or at least act as a directory of where to see the product.


I'm taking a long weekend, Fri. through Mon., in Palm Springs, Calif. So there will not be any posts those days. If you have any suggestions of what to do, see, where to eat, drink, hear music, dance I'd be happy to hear. I know Internet Librarian met there not too long ago, any attendees have some interesting tips? Thanks.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002


If you are looking for some more 'blogs to read Recommended Reading is a nice service. Plug in your home page and based on that you receive a list of related Web logs. When I tried it, over half were ones I found of interest.


I have started a poll on "Is MARC Dead?" Cast your vote at the bottom of this page. I've done this not because it will reveal anything important, but rather to see how polling on Web sites works. This seems like a natural topic. It has created quite a bit of debate on AUTOCAT. I hope cataloging classes are using it for discussion and debate.

Cataloging Portals

There are a few Web sites that attempt to link to all resources available to catalogers on the Internet. Lynne LeGrow has attempted this feat at Library Cataloguing Aids. It is good to bookmark one or two of these cataloging portals. Lynn's has an image that makes it worth a bookmark on that basis alone. She does keep it up and check the links. It is a bit lighthearted including anagrams for cataloging as well as more task-oriented links. Items are grouped by topic and anchors allow jumping to the topic of choice.


FacetMap: Your Home for Faceted Classification "FacetMap is both a data model and a software package, created to let users browse complex metadata while retaining a simple, familiar, menu interface" Looks a bit complex at the moment, in time there may be tools developed to create the metadata simply and easily.--Seen on Library TechLog, Thanks Matthew.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002


A new ISBN is coming from NISO. It seems they are running out of available numbers. This will mean that any tools we are using to validate ISBN's in MARC will also need to be revised. We have until 2005, so it should be done by then.


The Minutes of the Standing Committee Meetings, 17 and 23 August 2002 of the IFLA Cataloguing Section are now available.


The past few days Catalogablog has experienced about five times the normal traffic, an example of swarming. A posting on AUTOCAT (subscribe if not yet a member) directed all that traffic here. This type of behavior is becoming more prevalent in the physical world as well. Someone calls a few friends on their cell phone to say they are at a happening place, they call others and suddenly the place is packed. Swarms of people suddenly descend on a Web site or physical location and then move on just as quickly. Having been there once, some will return.

The question then becomes how can libraries use this behavior to their advantage? How to initiate the swarm? How to handle the swarm when it arrives? How to make sure some of them return? This is new territory. In the Web, it is easy. Some visitors here over the past few days signed up to receive posts over e-mail. Others may have added Catalogablog to their newsreader or favorites. In a physical setting, it becomes less obvious.

K-12 Schools

Here is an offer from Apple for a free version of their new operating system, OS X v10.2 “Jaguar".
From now through December 31, 2002, qualifying K-12 teachers can order their free “X for Teachers Kit,” which provides everything a teacher needs to learn and become comfortable with Mac OS X including:
  • Getting Started with Mac OS X Training CD filled with practice exercises, tips, and over 80 QuickTime movies
  • Mac OS X v10.2 (Jaguar) Install CD Set
  • Telephone support for 90 days
  • Manual and License Agreement

Monday, November 18, 2002


Terry Reese has released a patch for MarcEdit.
A patch is available to address a bug with the replace command in the MarcEditor. The error generally occurs when attempting to replace a string with nothing or a set of spaces--but could manifest itself using different criteria. This fix addresses all these issues.

ISBD(ER) Revisions

Proposals initiated by the IFLA Section on Cataloguing’s ISDB Review Group "Four specific problem areas were identified: 0.5 (Sources of Information); Area 3 (Type and Extent of Resource); Area 5 (Physical Description); and Area 8 (Standard Number (or Alternative) and Terms of Availability" They seek comments on the changes by Jan. 15, 2003.


D-Lib Magazine has the article A Metadata Framework Developed at the Tsinghua University Library to Aid in the Preservation of Digital Resources by Jinfang Niu.
This article provides an overview of work completed at Tsinghua University Library in which a metadata framework was developed to aid in the preservation of digital resources. The metadata framework is used for the creation of metadata to describe resources, and includes an encoding standard used to store metadata and resource structures in information systems. The author points out that the Tsinghua University Library metadata framework provides a successful digital preservation solution that may be an appropriate solution for other organizations as well.

Sharing Scripts

On Extranet Peter Verhagen writes" I wrote a library material suggestion form to email script for Adult Services just recently so I thought I'd release it under the BSD license and share it with you." This is good. There should be more sharing of this type of work. Some big projects like MyLibrary and Morris Messenger come to mind. The forms and other minor scripts can save others time or for smaller libraries without anyone to write scripts, provide a service they could not on their own. Thanks Peter.

Friday, November 15, 2002


On LibraryPlanet the other day there was a piece on a new device and RIAA. It was dealing with copyright, fair use, and other intellectual concerns. I missed all that in a fit of technolust. I just wanted a Neuros MP3 player. Some day I'll have to go back and consider the implications of such a device on intellectual policy issues, but not yet.


MARC Exit Strategies is the follow-up to Roy Tennant's "MARC is Dead" article last month. This month he offers some ideas of what the new system should be and how to move from MARC to the Next Big Thing. Sure to cause discussion, and that is good.

Thursday, November 14, 2002


The latest issue of Information Outlook is devoted to the topic of marketing. The articles are better than the average ones in the magazine, less trendy management jargon than normal. One thing none of the say, that I believe is important, is that we should always be marketing on several levels. All the articles deal with the library, but the cataloging department is also important. The dept. could always use more resources and respect. We should also be marketing on a personal level. Networking is crucial to professional standing. You just never know when an ax will fall and you will be looking for a position. Just yesterday, one of my co-workers was let go because the new contract did not have a place for her position.

We should also be marketing for the larger institution. The library does not stand much chance of survival, if the larger organization should fail. Hard times do follow the trickle down economic model; if the parent organization is hurting, you can be sure the library will feel the pain. So the university, city, corporation, or school district should be supported.

Each of us moves in several spheres in our professional duties. Different situations call for marketing of a different level. However, marketing is a normal part of every day.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002


I just came across a new degree for information folks, an MBA in Management of Information. The University of Texas has one.
Student take the core courses of the MBA program and graduate with that degree. In addition, they take a set of core courses in Information Management introducing them to key management concepts involving the design, construction, and control of information processing activities within an organization; the strategic role of information technology in rapidly changing business environments; and the new business models and competitive strategies emerging from the electronic marketplace.
Does anyone have any experience with this degree?


A rant. I'm currently cataloging many dissertations from UMI. Our current rules for doing this are just wrong. It violates one on the guiding principles of AACR, Catalog the item in hand. What the current rules have us doing is cataloging the original, which I have no access to, and making notes on the reproduction. My users do not care if the original is 28 or 30 cm. high. When they are searching the shelves they what to know the size of our copy. That information is buried in a note field (533). I get messages on records missing information only to find it is a dissertation and the information is in a note. It is impossible to explain why this is so, since there is no sense to it. That is just the way it is done. When we get AACR3, I hope we go back to principles and catalog what we have in hand, not some item far far away

School Libraries

The White House Conference on School Libraries talks are available.


Marti Hearst at SIMS, UC Berkeley has some interesting work on his professional Web site.
  • Finding the Flow in Web Site Search, Hearst, Elliott, English, Sinha, Swearingen, and Yee, Communications of the ACM, 45 (9), September 2002. (Deals with user interfaces)
  • The Descent of Hierarchy, and Selection in Relational Semantics, Rosario, Hearst, and Fillmore, ACL 2002. (Machine indexing and classification)
  • FLAMENCO: Dynamic Use of Metadata in Search Interfaces (A project on user interfaces)
  • LINDI: Text Data Mining

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Digital Object Identifier

Just noticed I've never mentioned the Digital Object Identifier. This is a URN system being developed by most of the large publishers.
The Digital Object Identifier (DOI®) is a system for identifying and exchanging intellectual property in the digital environment. It provides a framework for managing intellectual content, for linking customers with content suppliers, for facilitating electronic commerce, and enabling automated copyright management for all types of media. Using DOIs makes managing intellectual property in a networked environment much easier and more convenient, and allows the construction of automated services and transactions for e-commerce.

Dublin Core

The meeting report of the DC-Libraries Working Group that was held in Florence is now available.

Facet Analysis

Towards a knowledge structure for high performance subject access and retrieval within managed digital collections is being researched in the UK.
This research will focus on application of such this method in the field of humanities and will try to answer on the following questions:
  • Is FAT useful for developing the kind of complex knowledge structures we need in order to access digital materials
  • How might classification structure based on FAT provide innovative access to digital materials?
  • How might FAT facilitiate cross-disciplinary access?


Shortcomings of today's RSS systems by gpoul has started an interesting thread on Kuro5hin.
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a web content syndication format based on XML 1.0. In the current implementation it's a very capable format used to aggregate content from multiple news sources. The problem with this format is that the architecture on which it is deployed hasn't changed in a while and places too much load onto the infrastructure. In this article I try to point out different approaches to solve these problems and make RSS more suited to be used on mobile devices which are not always-on.

Friday, November 08, 2002

Library On-Line Forum

Between the Stacks "is an online community for all information professionals, from library assistants to library directors. BTS provides a common area where ideas and support can be shared."

I spent some time checking it out and made a few postings. It is interesting to see how each of these different forms of communication each have their own rules and etiquette. IM and chat allow the worst spelling and grammar and have a whole world of abbreviations, none of which would be acceptable anywhere else. Even though forums have been around quite some time, I first looked at them on Fidonet, I'm not used to the ethos. Just how it will fit into my overall effort to communicate and keep current remains to be seen. Another issue is the technology, I've not played with it yet. Can there be RSS feeds from topics? Would be nice. How about receiving postings via e-mail? Could I post using e-mail? If not on this software, how about another? Or would these techniques ruin the purpose of a common meeting place?

Thursday, November 07, 2002


Some free software from the Dewey Classification folks.

Dewey Cutter Software. Software program that automatically provides cutter numbers from the OCLC Four-Figure Cutter Tables (Cutter Four-Figure Table and Cutter-Sanborn Four-Figure Table) upon input of text. Works with Windows 95, 98, NT, XP, and 2000.

Dewey Screen Saver A screen saver to load on your PC to view the ten main classes of the DDC. Works with Windows NT, 95, 98, and 2000.


Update No. 3 (October 2002) to the MARC 21 Format for Classification Data is now available from the Library of Congress. It includes changes made to the classification format resulting from proposals which were considered by the ALA ALCTS/LITA/RUSA Machine-Readable Bibliographic Information Committee (MARBI) at its 2002 meetings and by the Canadian Committee on MARC (CCM) at its meetings in 2002. This update features important new information including:
  • Addition of field 748 (Index term -- Chronological)
  • Updated examples
  • Improved descriptions of content designators

Keeping Up with Changes

Sometimes in cataloging it is important to track a Web site for changes. I have link checking software, Xenu, but that only lets me know when the site has moved or been taken down. I had been using Infominder for tracking changes to important pages, but then they began charging. I've been without a tracking tool for several months. Now, thanks to Steve at Library Stuff, I have a new tool, WatchThatPage.
WatchThatPage is a service that enables you to automatically collect new information from your favorite pages on the Internet. You select which pages to monitor, and WatchThatPage will find which pages have changed, and collect all the new content for you. The new information is presented to you in an email and/or a personal web page. You can specify when the changes will be collected, so they are fresh when you want to read them. The service is free!

Wednesday, November 06, 2002


Update No. 3 (October 2002) to the MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data is now available from the Library of Congress. It includes changes made to the bibliographic format resulting from proposals which were considered by the ALA ALCTS/LITA/RUSA Machine-Readable Bibliographic Information Committee (MARBI) at its 2002 meetings and by the Canadian Committee on MARC (CCM) at its meetings in 2002. This update features important new information including:
  • Addition of field 026 (Fingerprint identifier)
  • Addition of subfield $u (Uniform resource identifier) in fields 506 and 540
  • Addition of the second indicator values in field 655
  • Updated examples
  • Improved descriptions of content designators


Update No. 3 (October 2002) to the MARC 21 Format for Authority Data is now available from the Library of Congress. It includes changes made to the authority format resulting from proposals which were considered by the ALA ALCTS/LITA/RUSA Machine-Readable Bibliographic Information Committee (MARBI) at its meetings in 2002 and by the Canadian Committee on MARC (CCM) at its 2002 meetings. This update features important new information including:
  • Addition of field 065 (Other classification number)
  • Addition of subfield $u (Uniform Resource Identifier) in field 670
  • Updated examples
  • Improved descriptions of content designators


Update No. 3 (October 2002) to the MARC 21 Format for Holdings Data is now available from the Library of Congress. It includes changes made to the holdings format resulting from proposals which were considered by the ALA ALCTS/LITA/RUSA Machine-Readable Bibliographic Information Committee (MARBI) at its 2002 meetings and by the Canadian Committee on MARC (CCM) at its meetings in 2002. This update features important new information including:
  • Addition of field 563 (Binding information)
  • Addition of subfields $n (Pattern note) and $p (Number of pieces per issuance) in fields 853-855
  • Updated examples
  • Improved descriptions of content designators


Update No. 3 (October 2002) to the MARC 21 Format for Community Information is now available from the Library of Congress. It includes changes made to the community information format resulting from proposals which were considered by the ALA ALCTS/LITA/RUSA Machine-Readable Bibliographic Information Committee (MARBI) at its 2002 meetings and by the Canadian Committee on MARC (CCM) at its meetings in 2002. This update features important new information including:
  • Addition of field 648 (Subject added entry -- Chronological term)
  • Improved descriptions of content designators
  • Updated examples
Does anyone use this format? For the type of information it contains I think I'd opt to use GILS, unless the information was to be in the OPAC. However, how many OPACs can handle Community Information and display it nicely? I used to see ads for a company that sold MARC records for national level community information services. I haven't seen them in a while. Has Google put an end to their service? I think if I wanted to contact an organization dealing with liver disease I'd do a Web search, not check out the local the local library catalog.


There are Classification Tips for Dewey available. Scroll down past the Web Dewey tips and there is the listing of tips. They do give the tips cute names, so it is sometimes difficult to know what the topic is. A few include:
  • Plain Planes
  • Standing Room
  • Amazing Grace
  • Swimming Upstream
  • Good Grief
  • Time Periods
  • Significant Expansion
  • Medical Research

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Faceted Classification

Matthew Eberle at Library Techlog has provided a useful set of links on faceted classification and XFML. He has links to examples, articles and the standards. Thanks Matthew.


The AACR2, 2002 Revision: Chapter 12, etc.- presentation by Judy Kuhagen in Denver, Colorado, Sept. 19, 2002 is now available on-line. This is nice, it has a panel for notes, as well as the slides. There are over 100 slides, so this is not a quick read.

Type of Material

The latest Cataloging Service Bulletin had LCRI 1.0, "What is Being Cataloged" This is also on-line as Monograph, Serial, or Integrating Resource: Guidelines for Making the Decision in PDF format. It gives LC policy on issues that are unclear.

Hong Kong

Ian Fairclough thought worthy of notice. Hong Kong and the City of Victoria have had some major changes in the past decade. This affects their subject headings, country codes and language codes.

Monday, November 04, 2002


2001/2002 CONSER Annual Report is now available. Even if you are not a CONSER member it is good to read the report, since CONSER rules have a tendency to spread. They are looking at FRBR, PURLs, and single records. Publication patterns and training are also concerns.


Currently I'm reading Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A Unified Theory of the Web by David Weinberger. He makes an interesting point about information that we (or at least me) often overlook. There are times we want just the facts, but most often we what more than that. The Web isn't interesting because there are many facts there, but rather because there are interesting people there. At a party, the person spouting facts, we avoid. The person telling jokes, stories or even his opinion is whom we seek. So it is on the Web. I read Library Stuff and The Shifted Librarian not for the facts but because Steven and Jenny are never boring. If I was at a conference, I'd want to sit at their table for lunch and not because I agree with them on everything.

Libraries and our catalogs tend to be "just the facts" places. There is no place in a MARC record for an opinion. Amazon has a place for reviews and comments. Maybe, we should consider this for our catalogs. It would be messy, but maybe richer and more interesting.


NISO and EDItEUR to Set Serials Exchange Standard. The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) and EDItEUR are establishing a Joint Working Party (JWP) to explore the development of a common standard format for the exchange of serials subscription information.

A NISO White Paper released in September 2002 reported that libraries, content aggregators, publishers, and third party service providers are increasingly exchanging information about serials subscription. The White Paper indicated that a standard exchange format would be beneficial to all parties in the supply chain and identified ONIX for Serials as a good foundation for such an exchange format.

The NISO/EDItEUR group will begin work in November 2002 and will be tasked to:

  • Recommend specific enhancements to the ONIX for Serials schema and documentation to support exchange of serials subscription information
  • Recommend how the query/response scenarios can be accommodated within the emerging EDItEUR framework for transaction-based exchange
  • Plan, organize and coordinate a pilot project involving publishers, intermediaries, and libraries to demonstrate the feasibility of using ONIX for Serials as an exchange format for serials subscription information

The Joint Working Party will be co-chaired by Priscilla Caplan, a member of the NISO Standards Development Committee and Assistant Director of the Florida Center for Library Automation, Gainesville FL and Richard Gedye, Journals Sales and Marketing Director, Oxford University Press, Oxford UK.

Thanks Ian for passing this on.


News from OCLC. Using OCLC Connexion: An OCLC Tutorial is now available! This tutorial provides both an introduction to Connexion and a workflow-oriented approach to searching and cataloging. Within the tutorial, you can print review pages and use them later for online practice or as job-aids. The tutorial is suitable for existing and new OCLC cataloging users as well as cataloging users migrating from Passport. The tutorial is web-based and is best viewed with Internet Explorer version 4.01 or higher.


If you ever thought of writing a novel, now is the time. November is National Novel Writing Month
National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.


I've added the standard, Outline Processor Markup Language (OPML), to the list at the left. (I've yet to move everything over to the right side. One of these days....) It is an XML standard for outliners.
The purpose of this format is to provide a way to exchange information between outliners and Internet services that can be browsed or controlled through an outliner.

The design goal is to have a transparently simple, self-documenting, extensible and human readable format that's capable of representing a wide variety of data that's easily browsed and edited. As the format evolves this goal will be preserved. It should be possible for a reasonably technical person to fully understand the format with a quick read of a single Web page.

Friday, November 01, 2002


The latest issue of Info Career Trends is now available. Contents include:
  • The Joy Of Being Solo
  • I'm Still a Librarian
  • So, You Want to Be a Systems Librarian?
  • To Be a Music Librarian
  • One Day I Walk: How I Changed Specializations -- and Survived!
  • Choosing To Change: From Public To Law Librarianship
  • What's Online? Recommended Resources
  • But I Want To Hold It In My Hand! Print Resources


LC has made some additions and changes to "MARC Code List for Languages additions" and "MARC Code List for Relators and Sources additions" recently.


The Outcomes of the Meeting of the Joint Steering Committee Held in York, England, 9-11 September 2002 are now available. Topics included:
  • JSC Format Variation Working Group
  • Incorporating FRBR Terminology in AACR
  • Chapter 21 and “Rule of three”
  • Revised Introduction
  • GMDs and Class of Materials

Open Source

The Open Source Software and Libraries Bibliography compiled by Brenda Chawner "includes announcements, journal articles, and web documents that are about open source software development in libraries. It also includes articles that describe specific open source applications used in libraries, in particular Koha, Greenstone, and MyLibrary." The bibliography is also available as an EndNote library. That's a nice touch.

Thanks to Matthew Eberle at Library Techlog for bringing this to my attention.

Thursday, October 31, 2002

Foreign Languages

Recently, I've been cataloging some foreign language dissertations. German, French, Italian and Spanish are the languages. I'm poor in all of these. However, I've been using the Google translation tool and getting some good results. Good enough to be able to assign subject headings in most cases.


Saw this posted somewhere recently: Power corrupts. PowerPoint corrupts absolutely.

Wednesday, October 30, 2002


This is a plea to OCLC and RLN to consider providing access to the authority files as a separate product. We are a small library and cannot afford full cataloging status on either of these utilities. However, with our specialized collection and close ties with the community of users, we are in a very good position to contribute to NACO. We see the authors as they come through for meetings and workshops. I'm sure there are other special libraries in a similar position. Yet, a requirement for NACO participation is access to OCLC or RLG. This prevents our participation.

I have found a work around. I'm e-mailing submissions to someone at another institution who then searches and inputs the record. This does create double work, more selectivity on my part (I don't want to place too heavy a burden on my colleague) and time delay.

This could be alleviated if one of the utilities offered access to their authority files and the ability to contribute as a separate service. They could bring in a few more dollars and the library community would benefit from the contributions of small, specialized libraries.

Tuesday, October 29, 2002


The 4th ed. of the Government Printing Office Cataloging Guidelines is available in PDF. At about 200 pages is it a large file.

Open URL

An open source open URL linking program is available, GODOT (Generalized Online Documents Ordering Texts).
It does the fulltext linking for a host of different databases and supports OpenURL linking. It uses a special version of jake (GODOTjake) for the fulltext lookup (we are currently in the process of updating this version of jake) and it will also make use of the 856 field if available in the ILS. The result is a very robust and accurate linking system. As an example of additional functionality, it may be used to send ILL requests to other libraries as per a matrix of borrowing rules that can be setup and controlled. In cases where the ILL requesting is unmediated, the request can go direct to the lending institution.

Open Archives Initative

The Open Archives Forum is seeking input from European institutions.
An important role of the Open Archive Forum is sharing information about technical issues relating to open archives, and especially about implementations of the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). Please help us by filling at least part of our questionnaire.


The PhpMyLibrary-2.0.1 has been released. Its major enhancement, Multi-admin support. Library user picture upload. Database structure changed. polGenSQL revised. Content Management added. Found via oss4lib.

Open Source

Building WebPAC for Faculty of Philosophy Libraries - experiences and lessons learned by Marijana Glavica and Dobrica Pavlinusic details the decisions to use an open source for their Web presence.
In this article, we'll try to answer the question "how" we implemented our WebPAC, what were our goals and how they were changing as we were progressing and adjusting them to fluctuating conditions. We will describe our environment, consisting of 19 different libraries with an undefined organisational structure, problems with space, insufficient communications between library staff and the management board, and many other problems. Another important question we want to answer is why we decided to solve our problem going step by step and using the existing Open Source solutions, no matter how complete or inadequate they were, instead of waiting for a single "perfect" solution that would solve all our problems in one integrated package. Finally, we will share with you what we have learned in this process and how our new knowledge affected creation of new requirements, as well as our future plans.
They were using ISIS not MARC, so the details may not apply to everybody, still the process is valid. Found at oss4lib.

Almost a Virus

This message is being passed around:

has sent you an E-Card -- a virtual postcard from FriendGreetings.com. You can pickup your E-Card at FriendGreetings.com by clicking on the link below.

If you click the link, it asks to download a program to your machine and gives you an End User License Agreement to agree with. By agreeing, you give them permission to send a greeting to every person in your contact list. It is nothing more than a sneaky way to spam and collect valid e-mail addresses. Symantic is not calling it a virus, since you agree to have it do just what it says it is going to do. Beware. More details at Symantec.

Monday, October 28, 2002


Glancing at the Revised LC Subject Headings in the latest Cataloging Service Bulletin it seem as if all battles are having geographic information added. The format looks like: XXX, Battle of, Place, Date. For example, Cool Springs, Battle of, Va., 1864. Libraries with history sections will have some major updating to do. Luckily, here at the Lunar and Planetary Institute we have no such headings.

OLAC Newsletter

The March/June 2002 issue of the OLAC Newsletter is now available. I've received mine in the mail over the weekend. If you are not yet a member of OLAC, see what $12.00 can buy.


If your catalog is available via Z39.50, and you want others to know, WebClarity has a database of sites to which you can contribute. This will make it available to all the Bookwhere 2000 users in about a week.


CIMI Releases SPECTRUM Schema. The CIMI Consortium is pleased to announce the public release of Version 1.5 of the CIMI XML Schema for SPECTRUM, and the launch of an Open Implementers call to participate an Alpha Test Period. The CIMI Schema will enable museums to encode rich descriptive information relating to museum objects, including associated information about people, places and events surrounding the history of museum objects, as well as information about their management and use within museums. The CIMI Schema will be useful for migrating data, the sharing of information between applications, and as an interchange format for OAI metadata harvesting.

From The Open Archives Initiative


Faceted Metadata Search and Browse is a short introduction with a few links.

ANSEL Designated/Invoked by Two Bytes, Not One

Received via e-mail this morning.

This is a clarification of information on the newly assigned escape sequence for designating and invoking ANSEL, the Extended Latin character set used in MARC 21.

The email notification of the escape sequence assigned to the extended Latin set (ANSI/NISO Z39.47) provided information about the final character of the escape sequence only, which was identified as hexadecimal 45 (the uppercase letter "E"). The text of the registration itself, however, indicates that final part of the escape sequence for ANSEL is actually two bytes, hexadecimal 21 ("!") followed by hexadecimal 45 ("E"). Although "E" is the final character, it appears that the pair hex 21 45 ("!E") would need to be used in MARC 21 records to designate and/or invoke ANSEL. This is important with regard to the application of ISO 2022 which specifies the technique for using escape sequences to change character sets. ISO 2022 does not indicate that the final portion of the escape sequence is restricted to a single character. Please make note of this clarification when implementing any escape sequences to designate and/or invoke ANSEL (ANSI/NISO Z39.47)

Library of Congress
Network Development and MARC Standards Office
101 Independence Avenue, S.E.
Washington, DC 20540-4402 U.S.A.
TEL: +1-202-707-6237
FAX: +1-202-707-0115
NET: rbar@loc.gov

Friday, October 25, 2002

Value of Cataloging

The Seattle Times has the story A cloistered treasure about a collection at Gonzaga University. The collection, including incunabula, from the Jesuit's of the Northeast U.S. is unavailable even to local users, because it is uncataloged. "I'm perhaps one of the last ones who knows the collection," says Father Fredric Schlatter, a professor emeritus of classical languages at Gonzaga and the collection's unofficial keeper for decades. "I've been very distressed that it hasn't been cataloged. It's pathetic. It's a disgrace."


Misspellings limit access to information. Terry Ballard has mobilized others to hunt out common typos and produces the Typographical Errors in Library Databases list. I've mentioned the list before, but it has recently been revised. Worth checking out again. I did find a "Mew Haven" in our catalog. Seems there are many "Mew Yorks" and "Mew Mexicos" in other catalogs.


The Oct./Nov. issue of Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology has the articles "What Can You Do with XML Today?" by Jay ven Emanarticle and "Automatic Indexing: A Matter of Degree" by Marjorie M. Hlava.

Thursday, October 24, 2002


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

Wednesday, October 23, 2002


The RSS Valiadator checks RSS feeds. It works with RSS 0.91, 0.92, 0.93, 0.94, 1.0, and 2.0, but it is optimized for RSS 2.0 feeds. This ensures that the RSS feed is up to standards. It also recognizes elements from other name spaces, like Dublin Core. The RSS feed I have from Voidstar does not pass. Maybe I'll have to look at finding another. The validator is open source, so if you need to check many feeds install it locally. From Library Stuff.


The Scout Portal Toolkit (SPT) allows groups or organizations that have a collection of knowledge or resources they want to share it via the World Wide Web put that collection online without making a big investment in technical resources or expertise. The current SPT package features include: a metadata field editor, which allows portal administrators the ability to add, delete, or disable a variety of metadata fields; a Dublin Core compliant metadata field set; cross-field Searching; resource annotations and quality ratings by users; intelligent user agents; suggested resource referrals (recommender system); accessibility for users with disabilities; and RSS channel export.

Open source. Found at oss4lib.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Serials Subscription Information

NISO has released a white paper on The Exchange of Serials Subscription Information.
NISO commissioned this White Paper to help the organization think through the current needs and prospects for successfully developing a standard format for exchanging serials subscription information.

Increasingly libraries, content aggregators, publishers, and third party service providers are exchanging serials subscription data. Indeed, in the last five years, several new businesses have been started to provide libraries with accurate information about the serials to which they subscribe via aggregations.

They are seeking comments on the paper.


From oss4lib: a first beta release of Open Request is available for download. Open Request is a pure java toolkit for developers wishing to implement the ISO 10161 Inter Library Loans protocol. The current release features helpers for constructing all protocol messages, encoders and decoders for the full protocol and components that store all incoming and outgoing messages in the database.

School Librarians

The TExES Preparation Manual for School Librarians outlines the skills necessary for that profession. Folks studying for that career might find it useful as a review text.

Monday, October 21, 2002


Ending Punctuation for Variable Fields prepared by Becky Culbertson is a handy piece of work. Nothing new, but worth mentioning since some folks might not have yet seen it.


The Weblog MetaData Initiative has begun testing its metadata model
I've developed a specification which shows how to encode our general schema's metadata using only HTML [meta] tags. Along the way, I've also "Dublin Core-ized" our data schema, and tried to use DC tags wherever possible and appropriate.

What we'd like to do is get several (as many as possible) volunteers to apply this specification to their own weblogs, thereby beginning to actually 'publish' real metadata. At the same time, we call on everyone who is codingly-inclined to begin examining approaches for grabbing, parsing, slicing, dicing and presenting back this very same metadata.


Agreement Signed on MARC21 Development and Maintenance
On August 16, 2002, in Glasgow, the members of the MARC Harmonization Coordinating Committee (MHCC) completed the signing of an agreement confirming the commitment of the National Library of Canada, the Library of Congress and the British Library to work together on the maintenance and development of the MARC21 format.

The Future

A summary of the excellent speech by Clifford Lynch at LITA is now available at LJ. I hope a more complete version is available sometime.

Friday, October 18, 2002

Call for trainers

A new course on Integrating Resources is being developed under the auspices of the Serials Cataloging Cooperative Training Program (SCCTP) that will be released in spring 2003. Steve Miller at the University of Wisconsin is preparing the course materials. The course is based on the revised chapters 9 and 12 of AACR2 and will cover all integrating resources, with an emphasis on electronic. The Integrating Resources course is designed as a one-day course.

SCCTP is a program of the CONSER (Cooperative Online Serials) Program and the Program for Cooperative Cataloging. SCCTP provides training materials and trains experienced catalogers to present the materials but does not sponsor the actual workshops. SCCTP trainers work with workshop sponsors to set dates and all expenses are paid by the sponsor. Honoraria are given at the discretion of the sponsor. Complete information on SCCTP is available.

Two train-the-trainer sessions are being scheduled for winter 2003. The first will be held in Philadelphia on Friday January 24 in conjunction with ALA Midwinter. PALINET will be assisting with the logistics of the course. The second session will be held in Seattle in February, dates to be announced. There is no cost for the training or the materials but trainees are responsible for paying their own expenses.


  • A minimum of 1-2 years of experience cataloging integrating resources.
  • Experience in training, such as SCCTP workshops, NACO or BIBCO training, other cataloging-related workshops, or significant in-house training.
  • Support of your institution in providing your expenses to attend the training session and in providing paid leave of absence for you to give two SCCTP workshops a year. The number actually given may vary, depending on demand and the availability of a trainer.

To apply:

  • Current SCCTP, BIBCO or NACO trainers: Send an email to Ana Cristan (acri at loc.gov) indicating your specific experience with integrating resources and the session you would like to attend. No references are needed.
  • All others: Send an email to Ana Cristan (acri at loc.gov) with the following information:
    • Your name, title, mailing and email addresses and telephone and fax numbers.
    • Which session you would like to attend (Philadelphia or Seattle)
    • A brief description of your cataloging experience involving integrating resources, and your experience with providing cataloging training.
    • Names of three references who can attest to your cataloging experience and training ability

Please send in applications or expressions of interest by: November 15. Confirmation will be sent out beginning after Nov. 1. A maximum of 30 people in each session may limit acceptance.

Jean Hirons
CONSER Coordinator
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. SE
Washington, DC 20540-4160
voice: 202-707-5947
fax: 202-707-1778
email: jhir at loc.gov

I have replaced the @ symbol with "at" to prevent spam. If one of the SCCTP courses is offered in your area, take advantage of it. These folks know their stuff.