Friday, August 02, 2002


Improving Usability with a Website Index by Fred Leise.
Indexes are important information-finding tools that can enhance website usability. They offer easy scanning for finding known items, they provide entry points to content using the users’ own vocabulary and they provide access to concepts discussed, but not named, in the text. Perhaps most importantly, site indexes provide direct access to granular chunks of information without the need for traversing multiple links in a hierarchy.
Thanks to Noteworthy for this item.

Thursday, August 01, 2002

Comments on this 'Blog

The ability to add comments to the posts is available but has never been used. Is this something that I should eliminate? Or do you feel the ability to comment is useful, even if never used?

NewBreed Librarian

You'll be missed. Thanks for all the work done so well. There is quite a bit in this last issue for cataloging folks.
The last 18 months have been chock-full of sweat and joy as we've worked indefatigably to create a resource we hoped would inspire and resonate with progressive librarians of all ages and at all libraries. Pilgrims that we are, we poured our hearts into this emprise, growing and learning throughout the entire process. But now, even though there's plenty of love left, there's simply not enough time to keep NewBreed Librarian afloat. So, borrowing from Tom, goodnight to the street sweepers, the night watchman flame keepers, and goodnight to NewBreed, too.

But we're not leaving you empty-handed - we've got one more issue of NewBreed Librarian to share with you:

  • FEATURE: Corey Harper argues that cataloging is a public service
  • INTERVIEW: Eric Miller on the Semantic Web
  • PEOPLE: Fiona Bradley, Aussie music librarian
  • TECHTALK: What's new and cool in library technology
  • ASK SUSU: How do you propose a new subject heading?

MARC Tools

I've added links to MARC tools in the sidebar. If you know of any I've missed, please let me know.

Wednesday, July 31, 2002

OPACs & the Web

The Catalog vs. The Homepage Best Practices in Connecting to Online Resources by Georgia Briscoe, Karen Selden, and Cheryl Nyberg. Includes a Powerpoint presentation from American Association of Law Libraries 95th Annual Meeting, Selected Web Sites of Interest and bibliography.


NISO Z39.7-2002 Draft Standard for Trial Use Information Services and Use: Metrics & statistics for libraries and information providers--Data Dictionary
This standard identifies categories for basic library statistical data at the national level, and provides associated definitions of terms. In doing so it deals with the following areas: reporting unit and target population, human resources, collection resources, infrastructure, finances, and services. The standard is not intended to be comprehensive in scope. Instead, it presents a framework for comparable library data by describing common elements pertaining to libraries of various types in the US. It does not address detailed statistics for specific areas where it seems more appropriate for experts in those areas to make recommendations (e.g., music, government documents, maps). The standard also integrates metrics for electronic network use (e-metrics) into each section as appropriate.

XLM & Dublin Core

A new version of the "Guidelines for implementing Dublin Core in XML" document is available. The principal change in this version is to Recommendation 7 in line with the conventions adopted in the proposed XML schemas for qualified DC.

Comments on this proposal can be posted on the DC-Architecture list until 16 August 2002

XLM & Dublin Core

Proposed XML Schema for Qualified Dublin Core is now available for Comment.

A small group has been working together to formulate a proposed XML schema for qualified Dublin Core. This work builds on a number of efforts including the joint work by the OAI and DCMI that led to the release of an XML schema for unqualified Dublin Core and the metadata work within the Harmony Project.

The proposal is available.

Comments on this proposal can be posted on the DC-Architecture list until 16 August 2002.

Open Source ILS

This from the Koha mail list. More details at the Koha site
Koha 1.2.2 has been released. Special thanks (again) to Steve Tonnesen, who drove this release to completion. 1.2.2 is a significant bug squashing release.

Many people have combined in testing this release, and we expect it to be the best Koha yet!

We encourage you to get this new release and give it a spin. We think you'll like what you see. We plan on continuing to improve Koha, and would love to have you come along on this exciting journey.

As always, downloads and more information are available from Sourceforge.


On Library Stuff, there is an article about the Toledo Public School libraries outdated collection "Imagine the world before the Vietnam War, before men on the moon, back when cloning only appeared in fiction. Imagine a world unaffected by the changes of the last few decades." This is inexcusable, were these libraries run by professionals?

The Sunlink Weed of the Month Club is an excellent resource to help keep the collection current.


GNU Eprints (EP) 2.1, free software which creates web-based archives containing documents and metadata, was released in early July. EP 2.1 supports OAI 2.0 and still supports OAI 1.1 as well. EP 2.1's new subscription service allows registered users to store one or more searchers. Eprints' name change to GNU Eprints reflects its acceptance into the GNU project. Eprints allows organizations to create web-based archives (e-print services) for their research articles, lecture notes and other documents and associated metadata.

From SPARC e-news June-July 2002.

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Advanced Search Facility

The Advanced Search Facility is an open source project worth notice. It supports MARC, GILS, XML, FGDC, Dublin Core, PICS and other standards. It also provides support for Z39.50.
The Advanced Search Facility provides tools for gathering and organizing information within and among information communities. If you want to:
  • Collect information and publish on the Internet
    -- ASF provides a search facility for the collection
  • Point to information elsewhere on the Internet
    -- ASF provides a "gatherer" to index other Web information resources and files
  • Point to information not on the Internet or more complex than text documents
    -- ASF provides for building locator records for all manner of information resources
  • Bridge among multiple information communities
    -- ASF provides for referral of searches within and between information communities


Washington, DC - SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) today released a major white paper, "The Case for Institutional Repositories: A SPARC Position Paper," which examines the strategic roles institutional repositories serve for colleges and universities. The paper asserts that institutional repositories are a natural extension of an academic institution's role as a generator of primary research, and envisions such repositories as critical components in the evolving structure of scholarly communication. It is available in HTML and PDF.


Here is the announcement of a new mail list for Bookwhere users, a popular Z39.50 client.
Hello BookWhere users,

Over the past few years the Bookwhere list has been used almost exclusively by Sea Change to communicate about new releases of the software. As a vendor run and moderated list it tends to be both quiet and uncritical of the product.

Many software packages have lists that are independent of the software vendor. These lists tend to be a lot more dynamic that the vendor run lists and really present a way for the user community to communicate directly with each other.

I've just established an independent, un-moderated "Unofficial BookWhere list" to provide you with an opportunity to communicate directly with other BookWhere users. The list can be used to discuss just about anything related to the product.

In case you're wondering who I am, my name is Paul Nixon and until recently I was in charge of the BookWhere product at Sea Change. I now run which is an Authorized Reseller of BookWhere and other products. I'll be a regular contributor to the list and hope to offer tips and insights into the product.

Information on how to join this new list

By the way, there is information on this BookWhere list

I look forward to seeing you on the new list!
Paul Nixon
Toll Free:(888)369-8889
Neptune8 Corporation
Fax (905)474-3820

Monday, July 29, 2002


XML and bibliographic data: the TVS (Transport, Validation and Services) model by Joaquim de Carvalho and Maria Ines Cordeiro.
This paper discusses the role of XML in library information systems at three major levels: as a representation language that enables the transport of bibliographic data in a way that is technologically independent and universally understood across systems and domains; as a language that enables the specification of complex validation rules according to a particular data format such as MARC; and, finally, as a language that enables the description of services through which such data can be exploited in alternative modes that overcome the limitations of the classical client-server database services. The key point of this paper is that by specifying requirements for XML usage at these three levels, in an articulated but distinct way, a much needed clarification of this area can be achieved. The authors conclude by stressing the importance of advancing the use of XML in the real practice of bibliographic services, in order to improve the interoperable capabilities of existing bibliographic data assets and to advance the WWW integration of bibliographic systems on a sound basis.
Thanks to pate at /usr/lib/info to directing me to this.


“Furber” Debuts at ALA Exhibits" By David Dorman. If I had any doubt that cataloging theory could make a real difference for the library patron, it was dispelled at this year’s ALA Annual Conference." Notice of the award given to Seymour Lubetsky and ILS systems beginning to implement FRBR.


Deborah L. McGuinness. "Ontologies Come of Age". To appear in Dieter Fensel, Jim Hendler, Henry Lieberman, and Wolfgang Wahlster, editors. Spinning the Semantic Web: Bringing the World Wide Web to Its Full Potential. MIT Press, 2002.
In this paper, we will discuss ontologies and requirements in their current instantiations on the web today. We will describe some desirable properties of ontologies. We will also discuss how both simple and complex ontologies are being and may be used to support varied applications. We will conclude with a discussion of emerging trends in ontologies and their environments and briefly mention our evolving ontology evolution environment.


The proceedings of the NASIG annual conference are now available to members online. They will be published as The Serials Librarian Volume 42, Numbers 1/2 and 3/4 (2001). Some of the items of interest to catalogers include:
  • Taming the Aggregators: Providing Access to Journals in Aggregator Databases by John Riemer and Jina Choi Wakimoto
  • Journal Holdings Lists on Web Sites: Designs That Non-Specialized Staff Can Build and Maintain by Susan E. Pulsipher
  • Cataloging Web Resources on the OCLC-CORC: Issues Identified in an Empirical Study by Tschera Harkness Connell
  • Using the ONIX Standard to Manage Serials by Brian Green
  • Providing Web-Based Listings of Electronic Journal Titles the Low-Maintenance Way; or, Automating Ourselves Out of a Job by Rob Withers and Rob Casson
The North American Serials Interest Group (NASIG) is an organization that is a best buy. Dues are only $25.00 a year, benefits far outweigh that cost.

LC Cataloging

The Library of Congress has a severe shortage of catalogers. They have finally started advertising to fill the positions. If interested the position description and application are both available. Due to poor mail service at LC, they suggest applying online.

Not Cataloging, Reference

Last week I attended the Summer Workshop for Distance Learning Librarians, a week of training on providing service to remote patrons. Very well done and interesting. One session was on using Chat for reference. I was surprised to see how many libraries are doing this. I was given the opportunity to try it, and found it easy. This was my first time to use Chat. I can see how it can become a part of reference service with little training and investment in equipment.

A good introduction to the topic is "Digital Reference" at the Teaching Librarian. It gives an overview, describes the technologies, links to other sites and links to libraries using Chat for reference.