Friday, April 12, 2002


Introduction to RSS is a short, 3 page, introduction. It has links to some tools for display and creation of RSS. I can see some use for this in a library setting, but I'm not yet savvy enough to set one up for us.


Folks are always looking for low cost alternatives in cataloging software. Small church libraries, clubs, and departments are just a few who find the cost of even the smaller PC systems out of their budget. Well, there are a few alternatives.

Koha is an open source library system running in a LAMP environment (Lunix, Apache, MySQL, Perl). That means it is free and all the software needed to run it is also free. It includes a catalog, OPAC, circulation and acquisitions system. The drawback is it does not yet support MARC. is a commercial service which provides small users with free space, up to about 5000 records. Larger collections, more features or better support are available for a fee. The database is available remotely on the Web. It provides an OPAC, circulation and cataloging system. It does support MARC.

Thursday, April 11, 2002

Open Archives Initiative

Open Archives Protocol for Metadata Harvesting v.2.0 scheduled for release. Here is a description of the OAI from their FAQ:

The Open Archives Initiative develops and promotes interoperability standards that aim to facilitate the efficient dissemination of content. The Open Archives Initiative has its roots in an effort to enhance access to e-print archives as a means of increasing the availability of scholarly communication. Continued support of this work remains a cornerstone of the Open Archives program. The fundamental technological framework and standards that are developing to support this work are, however, independent of the both the type of content offered and the economic mechanisms surrounding that content, and promise to have much broader relevance in opening up access to a range of digital materials. As a result, the Open Archives Initiative is currently an organization and an effort explicitly in transition, and is committed to exploring and enabling this new and broader range of applications. As we gain greater knowledge of the scope of applicability of the underlying technology and standards being developed, and begin to understand the structure and culture of the various adopter communities, we expect that we will have to make continued evolutionary changes to both the mission and organization of the Open Archives Initiative.

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Not Cataloging Related

My co-workers will be at the Texas Library Assoc. annual conference. Their exhibit displays a Youth Services and Children's program for public and school libraries named, "Explore! Fun with Science". It is a series of hands-on, fun activities presented to library staff through workshops. Explore! is a collaborative project between NASA's Office of Space Science and the Lunar and Planetary Institute and public libraries. Even if you are not interested in the program stop by booth 3043 and tell them Hi.


Ask any reference person and they will tell you they often get requests for items by color. Well, the library at the New England School of Law have done something to help those folks, they have included the color of the book in the MARC record. In subfield z of field 599 they have included the color of the item. It has been indexed on their system and is used to limit searches or may be searched. This makes some sense for monographs. Now if the patrons could only remember the color correctly.

Metadata Standards

The UK has issued e-Government Metadata Standard "The e-GMS lists the elements and refinements that will be used by the public sector to create metadata for information resources. It also gives guidance on the purpose and use of each element." Elements from Dublin Core, GILS and other standards are part of the mix.

I've added permanent links to the items. Slowly but surely I'm learning the tools. If anyone has suggestions or tips, please let me know. Thanks.

Tuesday, April 09, 2002


Not major news but welcome news to some of my co-workers.... The latest supplement to the Subject Cataloging Manual: Subject Headings says the term "textbooks" is now a valid form/genre subdivision. That one snuck by me until I was filing the update pages.


Another useful organization for catalogers is OLAC, the OnLine Audiovisual Catalogers.

Their statement of purpose is "In 1980, OLAC was founded to establish and maintain a group that could speak for catalogers of audiovisual materials. OLAC provides a means for exchange of information, continuing education, and communication among catalogers of audiovisual materials and with the Library of Congress. While maintaining a voice with the bibliographic utilities that speak for catalogers of audiovisual materials, OLAC works toward common understanding of AV cataloging practices and standards."

Dues are merely $12.00 a year with discounts given for multiple year subscriptions. Well worth the investment.


After posting about the Radical Cataloging List it is only fair to mention the most important list for catalogers AUTOCAT

"AUTOCAT is a semi-moderated international electronic discussion list running on LISTSERV(R) software. It serves as an electronic forum for the discussion of all questions relating to cataloging and authority control in libraries. The range of topics discussed extends from the very broad to the very specific, from the very theoretical to the most pragmatic."--from their scope note.

AUTOCAT is a busy list, for example, last week there were 83 topics, some with many postings. However, it is possible to subscribe in digest mode or even in no mail and scan the archives as time permits. There is a wealth on knowledge and experience available here.