Friday, June 28, 2002

RSS Tutorial

The Shifted Librarian alerted me to this nice tutorial, Publish and Syndicate Your News to the Web They are using Metabrowser, a Web browser I use to check Dublin Core metadata on our pages. They mention a workshop, they mean on-line workshop.
In this workshop you'll learn how to create, validate, syndicate, and view your own RSS news channel. The emphasis will be the practical application of RSS XML/RDF metadata for dynamically publishing:

  • news headlines
  • events listings
  • announcements
  • lists of publication titles
  • press releases
  • interactive directories
  • catalogs
  • project status updates
  • breaking news
  • reviews
  • in-depth features

    You'll learn how to use RSS channels to keep current with topics of interest. We'll show you how others can incorporate your news into their pages automatically. The workshop will showcase the use of public domain tools and the Metabrowser editor

  • OLAC

    Just received this notice. OLAC is a most worthwile organization. And membership is cheap, compared to the big library organizations. It is a Best Buy.

    "This is a reminder to send in your OLAC registration if you have not already done so. Remember that postage rates go up on July 1st, so use up your last stamps on your OLAC registration envelope.

    2002 OLAC Conference

    The OnLine Audiovisual Catalogers Conference 2002 Local Arrangements and Program Committees invite all OLAC members, A/V and special format catalogers, and others with interest to make plans to attend the 2002 Conference in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The conference will be held Friday-Sunday, September 27th-29th at the Radisson Riverfront Hotel.

    Jean Weihs will give the opening keynote address. Charles F. Thomas will give a presentation on IMAGES, a metadata sharing initiative at the University of Minnesota. Sheila Intner will give the closing keynote address. The program committee has put together nine workshops on special format cataloging. For full information, please visit the conference Web site at the URL given below. NACO-AV funnel training and the SCCTP Electronic Serials Cataloging Workshop will be offered on Thursday, 26 September. Both classes are all-day events which will begin at 8 or 9 am. and class size is limited. Please watch the OLAC-List for a separate call for NACO-AV participation. SCCTP registration is now closed.

    Conference registration is now open through 30 August 2002 . The registration form is available. Registration fees are $125 for personal members of OLAC, $75 for students, $150 for non-members.

    Call for Poster Presentations: Have you developed creative methods to deal with special format materials? Completed some research studies? Found an imaginative solution to a special format materials problem in your library? If so, why not consider sharing your expertise through a poster presentation at the upcoming OLAC conference to be held 27-29 September in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Visit the Conference Web site for full poster session information and an application.

    Full conference information, including keynote speaker information, workshop descriptions, local attractions and information, and reception information is available on the conference Web site. As always, please feel free to contact the conference cochairs with any questions you may have.

    Bobby Bothmann

    Betsy Friesen

    Commercial Cataloging

    One of the questions that comes up often on public and school library lists is: "Where can I find MARC records for AV?" I've just found a commercial source that may be useful for some institutions, marc4media. They provide MARC records tailored for the grade level being served.
    Marc4media is a content-rich cataloging product designed to be the foundation tool for library media programs across North America. Our purpose is to align educational resources to learning tasks using language that encourages access by a wide range of teachers and students. Providing instant access to appropriate learning materials, marc4media is the key to integrating media into all aspects of curriculum development and student research.
    I'm not endorsing these folks, just pointing to them as one place to explore.

    Thursday, June 27, 2002

    Distance Education

    Over on the RadCat (Radical Cataloging) list there has been some discussion about justification for cataloging in light of pre-processed books. It has been mentioned that it would be nice to have someone check the cataloging, there are often mistakes. Also mentioned was there is a need for local decisions based on the users of a particular library. Another reason would be distant users. As we put our catalogs on the Web and begin serving remote users and as the push for distance education becomes stronger better cataloging will be necessary.

    A remote patron cannot check out the book on the shelf and waste a few minutes if it does not suit their requirements. They must either make a trip to the collection or have the item sent to them. Either way it could be a significant investment in time for either the library or the user. Inclusion of a summary note and/or the table of contents would pay for itself if only used once to decide the item was not what was wanted. To serve the distance learning community our records need to be richer and more descriptive.

    Later this summer I'll be attending a workshop on distance learning. The place of good cataloging in that context is sure to be an impotant topic. Post a comment if you work with distance students.

    Authority Resource

    The OLAC folks have put together Authority Tools for Audio-Visual and Music Catalogers: An Annotated List of Useful Resources. Originally compiled by Subcommittee on Authority Tools Cataloging Policy Committee OnLine Audiovisual Catalogers, Inc. David Procházka, editor: 2001- Looks like I'm going to NACO training at the end of the summer, so I'm keeping my eye out for good resources.

    Wednesday, June 26, 2002

    Open Source

    OCLC has released SiteSearch as Open Source. It looks like it could be used to place a catalog on the Web, but would not be a good choice for the main library system. Here is their description:
    The OCLC SiteSearch toolkit provides a comprehensive solution for managing distributed library information resources in a World Wide Web environment. WebZ™ is java-based Z39.50 client/server component used to create an interface to information resources. Database Builder provides the tools to build local databases in various record formats, that can then be accessed through the WebZ interface.

    Open Archives Initiative

    Liu, Xiaoming, [28]"Federated Searching Interface Techniques for Heterogenous OAI Repositories" [29]Journal of Digital Information 2(4) (May 21, 2002).
    ( - The [30]Open Archives Initiative is our latest, best hope for a technology that can knit together access to a variety of dispersed repositories of information. Although the underlying protocol for "crawling" (fetching information from) such repositories is now in place, there remain some thorny issues -- not the least of which is how to handle disparate sets of metadata. In building the [31]ARC Cross Archive Search Service, the authors had to make decisions on how to handle this issue, which they share in this piece. They determined that to federate metadata from disparate sources, no single approach would work well in all cases. One relatively easy method is to use keyword searching, but then any additional functionality offered by well-described metadata is lost. Another approach is to map each set of elements into a common set. Their decisions on how to handle this dilemma (not surprisingly, a hybrid approach), as well as a thorough accounting of the over 1 million records from dozens of archives with which they were working, round out this very informative article. As libraries try to build cross-archive search services, we will need to become very good at dealing with the challenges outlined here, as well as others. This early work should prove helpful. - [32]RT

    Current Cites 13(6) (June 2002) ISSN: 1060-2356 Copyright B) 2002 by the Regents of the University of California All rights reserved.

    Copying is permitted for noncommercial use by computerized bulletin board/conference systems, individual scholars, and libraries. Libraries are authorized to add the journal to their collections at no cost. This message must appear on copied material. All commercial use requires permission from the editor. All product names are trademarks or registered trade marks of their respective holders. Mention of a product in this publication does not necessarily imply endorsement of the product. To subscribe to the Current Cites distribution list, send the message "sub cites [your name]" to [50], replacing "[your name]" with your name. To unsubscribe, send the message "unsub cites" to the same address.

    Not Cataloging

    This is a great idea, the Librarians Book Club. How did I miss this for so long? Here is how they describe their mission:
    The Librarian's Book Club is a group to read and discuss books that are about libraries and the library profession. Every two months the Librarian's Book Club will select a new book to discuss. All you need to do is get yourself a copy of the current book and subscribe to the discussion list. Click on the book covers to learn more about the current selection. (Note: Although this book club discussion group is focused towards librarians, we welcome members that are not librarians.)
    Thanks to Blake on LISNews for alerting me to this.

    Tuesday, June 25, 2002

    GILS & Dublin Core

    This is a note I recently received.


    I am gratified to report the Web Metadata Standard for Minnesota has been approved by the MN Information Policy Council. This Dublin Core-based standard (ANSI/NISO Z39.85) has been in use by many agencies, beginning with the Foundations Project in 1998. The standard is integrated into the new North Star Portal content management templates, and the state search engine is tuned to use the DC elements in results ranking. It is part of the Enterprise Architecture, along with the GIS metadata standard and the recordkeeping metadata standard.

    Located at

    Eileen Quam
    Information Architect
    Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources
    651.297.4946 FAX"

    Resume Online

    I've wanted to post something about myself to satisfy those curious about such things. However, Blogspace does not allow for such Web pages. While reading The Information Professional's Guide to Career Development Online I got the idea of posting my resume at one of the free services. I picked the one at SLA. This seems to be working just fine. There is an "About me" link in the left column. Please let me know if there is any problem. If you are in the job market, the SLA job center would be a good place to visit, if only to post your resume. It's free and easy.

    Monday, June 24, 2002


    An article in D-Lib magazine which may be of interest, Primary Multimedia Objects and 'Educational Metadata' by Paul Shabajee.

    "Large multimedia database systems have great potential for educational use. Their assets can often be used to support educational and research activities in a wide variety of educational contexts, supporting learners and educators from many subject areas. This article focuses on what appears to be a fundamental dilemma for the developers of such systems regarding how to tag or index their assets with metadata so as to support discovery of the assets by these educational users."


    MARC 21 Data Elements in LC Bibliographic and Authority Files gives info on some minor changes.

    Resource Description Framework

    The jena semantic web toolkit is a java API for manipulating RDF models. Its features include:

  • statement centric methods for manipulating an RDF model as a set of RDF triples
  • resource centric methods for manipulating an RDF model as a set of resources with properties
  • cascading method calls for more convenient programming
  • built in support for RDF containers - bag, alt and seq
  • enhanced resources - the application can extend the behaviour of resources
  • integrated parsers (ARP and David Megginson's RDFFilter)
  • Markup Languages

    The DAML (DARPA Agent Markup Language) language is being developed as an extension to XML and the Resource Description Framework (RDF). The latest release of the language (DAML+OIL) provides a rich set of constructs with which to create ontologies and to markup information so that it is machine readable and understandable.

    Open Source Library System

    What was once Open Book seems to have morphed into LearningAccess.

    "The LearningAccess ILS is a full-feature Open Source library automation system developed for use by small public and school libraries in the U.S. and the rest of the world. The Institute will make this system available free to libraries that, because of cost, have been unable to achieve the benefits of automation.

    Main Components
    The LearningAccess ILS consists of three modules: the patron or user module (OPAC), the cataloging module and the circulation module. In future releases it may also include an acquisition module. All modules are Web-interface based and are multi-lingual user capable, with our initial release supporting English, Spanish and French.

    The system supports the full MARC21 format for bibliographic, holding, authority and community records. It has an intuitive importing program to add records to its database. The cataloging client includes Z39.50 searching capabilities to allow for copy cataloging against OCLC or other larger union databases. Future releases will also support Z39.50 searches against the database."

    Customizable Local WebPAC Pages

    The Index to Creating Customizable Local WebPAC Pages by Raleigh Muns. "This program will demonstrate how to easily create and modify local Web pages external to the "official" WebPAC pages, allowing extensive local control over the features of your own, and others, WebPACs."

  • Text of Presentation, Nashville TN 1998, Innovative Users Group Conference
  • Quick Guide for Creating Customizable Local WebPAC Pages
  • Templates for Hacking Your Own
  • Directory of Hacked PACs (they work if you're on the Internet)
  • An AWFUL example of a Hacked PAC (Cautionary Tale)
  • Missouri's Omnipotent Research Online Network (Same techniques)
  • OPACS On the Web

    British Library Public Catalogue accessible from COPAC
    Joint Press Release from the British Library and the Consortium of University Research Libraries (CURL)
    The British Library and the Consortium of University Research Libraries (CURL) are delighted to announce that from 17 June 2002 the British Library Public Catalogue (BLPC) will be accessible online, free of charge, from COPAC.

    COPAC is an online union catalogue, hosted at MIMAS, which gives free access to the merged catalogues of 22 of the largest university research libraries in the UK and Ireland. Now that the British Library has become a full member of CURL and the BLPC has been added to COPAC, COPAC users will have free online access, via a single search interface, to more than 20 million catalogue records, which they can search simultaneously by title, author or subject.

    The National Library of Scotland and the National Library of Wales / Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru have also become full members of CURL and their records will be available via COPAC within the next twelve months. Meanwhile their catalogues can be searched simultaneously with the COPAC database, which also includes the BLPC, using the experimental version COPAC V3.

    More details about the content of the BLPC are available.

    More information about CURL and MIMAS can be found on their respective web sites.