Friday, September 13, 2002


Treatment of Publications in Multiple Formats proposals initiated by the IFLA Section on Cataloguing’s ISDB Review Group is now available. Comments should be made before November 15.
Recognizing the increasing incidence of resources published in more than one physical medium, and the challenges that these publications pose for bibliographic control, an ad-hoc committee of the IFLA ISBD Review Group was charged with investigating the treatment of publications in multiple formats. Within this context, the Study Group considered (1) the use of multiple ISBDs and the use of multiple general material designations ([gmd’s]), (2) the order in which elements for multiple formats should be treated, and (3) the number of bibliographic records to be created for multiple versions. Those discussions have resulted in a number of proposed additions or changes to the ISBD(M) text which are now being issued for worldwide review.

Thursday, September 12, 2002


MS is due to release a tablet PC this Fall. It looks like they will be touting it as an e-book reader device. Why else have secret discussions with publishers?
Microsoft Corp. is in discussions with executives at a handful of major publishing companies to make content -- and advertising -- from their publications available on its highly anticipated TabletPC.

Controlled Vocabularies

Mind your phraseology! Using controlled vocabularies to improve findability by Christina Wodtke is a nice and rather complete introduction to the topic. It takes a business approach to the topic, lost customers and profits are the result of poor word choice.


Information architecture: learning how to classify by Gerry McGovern talks about the need for metadata in information management. He seems to mean something different than I do when discussing classification.
If you are a knowledge worker, a key skill you require is how to classify content. Classification skills are needed in order to better organize content on your computer, for your emails, and for how you compose documents. If you have responsibility for a website, classification is an essential skill.


It seems at least one filtering product is blocking this site. I can only assume it is blocking everything at since some of the sites there may have some objectionable material. I can't see anything on this site that would be objectionable.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002


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.


vCard is a widely used metadata scheme. It is available in MS Outlook and OS X's contact book. Given the Warwick framework is should be useable along with Dublin Core and A-Core to provide contact information about the author or publisher. Is anyone using vCard in this way? Has anyone made available a vCard on their Web page for moving into a contact list?
vCard is the electronic business card. It is a powerful new means of Personal Data Interchange (PDI) that is automating the traditional business card. Whether it's your computer (hand held organizer, Personal Information Manager (PIM), electronic e-mail application, Web Browser) or telephone, the vCard will revolutionize your personal communications.

Sandy Berman

Several new items have recently been added to the Sanford Berman Website.

Tuesday, September 10, 2002


Open Source classification software form OCLC.
The Scorpion Open Source project offers software that implements a system for automatically classifying Web-accessible text documents. Scorpion is intended for use by investigators who have a machine-readable subject classification scheme or thesaurus and wish to incorporate it into an automatic classification system.

AACR Revision

Dear Colleagues,

With the upcoming revision of AACR2 soon to be upon us, I wanted to let you know what CONSER and others have been doing to make sure that everyone receives the needed training and information concerning the changes. While AACR2 is scheduled to be published in September, LC and CONSER will not be implementing the changes until December 1.


  • The first major revision of the CONSER Cataloging Manual has just been completed and the 2002 edition will be available this fall, both in print and on the Cataloger's Desktop. The print version should be available mid-October; the Desktop version will be available mid-November. This is a new edition that completely replaces the earlier version. Included are a new module on the concept of continuing resources and other concepts that formed the basis of the revision, updated text and examples, and revisions to practices that have changed over time. The revision took a year to complete and involved many CONSER and SCCTP catalogers.
  • A new module on the cataloging of Integrating Resources is being prepared by Diane Boehr and Alice Jacobs of NLM that should be available summer 2003. This document will be included in the BIBCO Manual as well and may also be made available as a stand-alone document.
  • The CONSER Editing Guide will be revised this fall to reflect practices related to tagging that will impact on serials and integrating resources. The major changes: code i and repeatable 260 fields are currently not available and will not be included. New coding in the serials 008/006 field, however, will be added, as well as many other changes. This will be the first update to the CEG since the spring of 2001. The update will be available in late 2002 or early 2003.
  • The CONSER Editing Guide and CONSER Cataloging Manual are sold by the Library of Congress Cataloging Distribution Service. For pricing and ordering information, consult the CDS Web site.

SCCTP workshops

  • Advanced Serials Cataloging Workshop (now available). This is a new two-day workshop, prepared by Kristin Lindlan (University of Washington) and Margaret Mering (University of Nebraska). The course is a comprehensive area-by-area review of serials that incorporates all of the recent changes to the code. It is designed for catalogers with some serials cataloging experience and is a follow-up to the Basic Serials Cataloging Workshop. The course is now available (see below for details).
  • Basic Serials Cataloging Workshop (revision coming in Oct.) The popular 2-day Basic Serials workshop is undergoing revision to accommodate the recent changes in Chapters 9 and 12. New exercises are being added and text and examples have been updated. The basic structure and content of the course remain the same: an overview of what is a serial, original cataloging, copy cataloging, electronic serials, and an optional session on subject control. The course will be available at the beginning of October.
  • Integrating Resources Cataloging Workshop (coming next spring). This is a one-day course that is being prepared by Steve Miller (University of Wisconsin) for release next spring. The course will include focus on the descriptive cataloging of updating Web sites, databases, and loose-leafs, with special problem-solving sessions as well. The introduction of rules for integrating resources and the acknowledgment that these are continuing resources-and not monographs-is one of the most significant changes in the code.
  • The Integrating Resources course will serve as a companion to the Electronic Serials Cataloging Workshop, which is currently being given in a number of venues. This one day workshop focuses on the cataloging of online serials, aggregations, and a variety of associated issues.
  • SCCTP course materials are available from the Library of Congress Cataloging Distribution Service. For pricing and ordering information, consult the CDS Web site. SCCTP courses are designed to be given by SCCTP-trained catalogers but SCCTP does not plan the workshops. A complete schedule of upcoming workshops and more information about SCCTP is available.

Web resources

  • CONSER/BIBCO presentation on integrating resources May 2002: Steve Miller prepared this presentation that was given in May and later revised as a handy resource for those cataloging integrating resources. It is a preview to his upcoming SCCTP course and covers the description of integrating resources. The presentation is available on the PCC Web site
  • NASIG presentation June 2002: Les Hawkins and I gave a three-hour presentation on the AACR2 changes at the recent NASIG meeting in Williamsburg. The files from this presentation are available in PDF and html on the CONSER Web site. Included are four sessions, covering: the conceptual model and definitions, the description of serials, the description of integrating resources, and major/minor changes (e.g., title changes).
  • ALA presentations: My colleague Regina Reynolds and I participated in a program at ALA, sponsored by the Committee to Study Serials Cataloging, along with Rhonda Lawrence (UCLA) and Adam Schiff (U. Washington). The coverage was the same as the NASIG presentation, but more extensive. The powerpoint files from those presentations are being made available.
  • Upcoming videocast: In addition, the Library of Congress is hoping to produce a videocast of one of our in-house training sessions for LC serials cataloger that will be made freely available on the CONSER Web site some time in November or early December. The training will include all aspects of the changes except for the description of integrating resources.

There are also a number of local and regional meetings and ALCTS institutes being planned with speakers addressing the changes. SCCTP trainers of the Advanced Serials workshop have agreed to be available to speak and a list can be furnished by contacting me at

In addition, some of the resources above or related materials are being made available in French, Spanish, and Chinese. Links from the CONSER or SCCTP home page will be provided once the materials are available.

It is going to take a little time for everyone to understand the new concepts, organization of the rules, and the minor title change provisions, but I'm sure that these resources will make it easier.

Best wishes!

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

[Posted with premission.]

Research Libraries

A white paper by Wendy Pradt Lougee, Diffuse Libraries: Emergent Roles for the Research Library in the Digital Age is interesting.
In the section on information access, for example, she notes the potential for libraries to contribute to the development of the Semantic Web, which aims to develop languages for expressing information in a form that machines can process, and which therefore can be searched more accurately and efficiently. She writes, "Designing the Semantic Web will require a mix of skills, and librarians have the potential to contribute significantly to this effort." She also notes that there is a potential role for the library in certifying the authenticity and provenance of content on the Semantic Web.


An Open Source solution. "MarcSearch is a small package written in PHP which allows users to search for records from MARC files. It is not meant as a replacement for a library system, but as an easy way for libraries who want to go online without having to upgrade their software or purchasing expensive add ons."


Alan Kent has posted an early version of converting ASN.1 of Z39.50 into a format that is closer to what you would really generate for XER (XML encoding instead of BER). The Unofficial XER summary page for Z39.50 page lists the Z39.50 tag name with a link to the XML representation.

Monday, September 09, 2002

Metadata for Web Pages

Matthew Eberle at Library Techlog asked if I knew of any search engines that used Dublin Core metadata. The answer is yes and no. The regular search engines we all use can not make use of it, or very limited use. Search Engine Watch has details on how the major services handle metadata. There do exist some data harvesters that do recognize and use DC metadata. The OAI uses it. The Advanced Search Facility can use Dublin Core as well as GILS and other formats. The Hotmeta Metadata Search Engine is another capable of harvesting and using DC. Will your site be hit by any of these? Not likely, unless you are part of a project or consortium that has decided to use these tools to create a database of member resources.

I do not see search engines making use of DC because of the trust issue. It is just too easy to misrepresent the site and create spam. Inside a group where trust exists, resources can be described in greater detail using metadata and related tools. For example, the American Geophysical Union could create a database of resources at member institutions sites. Or NASA could index their own pages using metadata.