Friday, October 04, 2002


Nothing to do with cataloging, but this article brings to light a deadly problem that is often overlooked. "A dangerous occupation? Violence in public libraries" by Sarah Farrugia. New Library World v. 103, no. 9 pp. 309 -- 319 (2002)
Outlines the problem of violence in British public libraries, where incidents commonly involve problem groups from drunks to unruly youths to irate patrons. The problem can be more extreme in US libraries with several librarians being killed, in a country that averages 20 workplace murders each week. Current feelings amongst library staff are of managerial apathy and a reluctance to tackle the problem with appropriate resources. Discusses the reasons for violence and suggests measures that can be employed to reduce the threat and deal with incidents if they occur.

Archival Description

The ISAD(G) General International Standard Archival Description, is available in PDF.
The purpose of archival description is to identify and explain the context and content of archival material in order to promote its accessibility. This is achieved by creating accurate and appropriate representations and by organizing them in accordance with predetermined models. Description-related processes may begin at or before records creation and continue throughout the life of the records. These processes make it possible to institute the intellectual controls necessary for reliable, authentic, meaningful and accessible descriptive records to be carried forward through time.

Graphic Material Cataloging

Graphic Materials: Rules for Describing Original Items and Historical Collections compiled by Elisabeth Betz Parker in 1982 is available online.
provide guidelines for cataloging a wide variety of visual materials from photographic prints, negatives, and albums to posters, cartoons, popular and fine prints, and architectural drawings. These rules are a national standard supplement to Chapter 8 of the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, which focuses on modern, published audiovisual materials.


course/control, a PHP and PostgreSQL based Reserves Management System, is available for download. Open source.

Created by Emory University General Libraries, course/control is a reserves management system designed to give instructors as much control over their class reserves as they or the reserves department want.

Posted on /usr/lib/info


The results of the COUNTER (Counting Online Usage of NeTworked Electronic Resources) survey of librarians are now available.

Thursday, October 03, 2002

Library Portal

The open-source library portal nee MyLibrary@NCState has a new version available. They are also looking for a new, less institution specific name.

Revolting Librarians

Much of this classic is now available on-line. If you are not familiar with the title, it is a fine example of the best and worst of '60's thinking. Some of the essays include:
  • LIBRARIES TO THE PEOPLE! by Sanford Berman

CPU Details

On a roll with tools for your PC. After checking out your monitor and sound card, get the low-down on your CPU with WCPUID. Shows Frequency, Multiplier, Chipset Info. etc ...

Wednesday, October 02, 2002


In the latest Searcher v. 10, no. 9 (Oct. 2002) (the same one with the article by Jessamyn West) is the paper "A Call to Action: What Every Searcher Should Know -- And Do -- About Domain Names, Standards, and Metadata" by Wallace Koehler. He looks at ICANN, W3C, and other agencies involved in the murky realm of digital documentation management and urges librarians to get involved. I could not agree more. Learn. Watch. Act.


Fun with XML by Eric Lease Morgan
Outlines the process I used to learn a bit about XML, Extensible Markup Language. It is presented here in an effort to share my experiences as well as provide me with the means to articulate what I learned.
Topics include:
  • rules of markup
  • syntax versus semantics
  • creating your own markup
  • transforming XML through XSLT
  • RDF
  • OAI
  • using XML to share bibliographic data
  • XML generated from an HTTP server with Cocoon and/or AxKit
  • Formatting Objects to create PDF output
  • embedding XML in TIFF files
Thanks to Ian Fairclough for pointing this out to me.

Cataloging DVD's

The DVD Task Force of OLAC's (Online Audiovisual Catalogers, Inc.) Cataloging Policy Committee is happy to announce the availability of their primer for cataloging DVDs using AACR2 Chs. 7 and 9. The primer appears in both HTML and PDF formats, and can be found here.

Any comments or questions about the primer should be addressed to myself rbf at rather than to the list.


Robert B. Freeborn
Music/AV Cataloger -
Military Studies Selector
Penn State University Libraries
(814) 865-1755;[Fx] (814) 863-7293
rbf at

I've replaced the @ sign in the e-mail address with "at" to reduce the possibility of spam.--D.B.


Death Of A Meta Tag by Danny Sullivan discusses the keywords tag use on Web pages. The issue of trust has led to search engines not supporting it.
Now supported by only one major crawler-based search engine -- Inktomi -- the value of adding meta keywords tags to pages seems little worth the time. In my opinion, the meta keywords tag is dead, dead, dead.

Library Systems

"Criteria for the success of automated library systems: Iranian experience (application and test of the related scale)" by A. Hossein Farajpahlou appears in vol. 51 Issue 7 of Library Review The results seem to show the librarians in different countries want the same things from their systems.
Refers to a 1999 Australian survey which examined a 26 item scale developed regarding three major automated library systems issues, which approved 23 items that represented criteria for the success of automated library systems, and rejection of the remaining three items. The same scale was translated into Farsi in the year 2000 and distributed among 240 library managers and systems librarians in 120 Iranian institutions of higher education. Results of the Iranian survey were acceptance of 24 out of the 26 scale items by university librarians and systems managers, and rejection of two items. The rejected items were not identical in the two studies, and the discrepancies mainly raised by "boundary" issues. However, Australian and Iranian colleagues seem to be identical in their attitudes towards management, technicalities and usage of automated library systems. The scale, so far, has proved to be reliable and valid, at least with 21 of its items.

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

Imaging Metadata

Imaging Nugget: Metadata Endoding and Transmission Standard in Amigos Agenda & OCLC Connection is a short introduction to the METS standard.

Library Portals

The Library Journal v. 127, no. 15 (Sept. 15, 2002) has an article "The Advent of Portals" by Mary E. Jackson. It describes some of the activity, especially by ARL, in designing and implementing a scholar’s portal.

The Texas Library Journal v. 78, no. 3 (Fall 2002) has two articles on portals or virtual libraries. "A Service-Based Approach for Virtual Libraries" by William E. Moen and Kathleen R. Murry provides a theoretical structure to design a virtual library. The service-based approach is broader than a user-base since it includes library staff as well. The article "Designing and Demonstrating a Resource Discovery Service for the Library of Texas" by the same authors provides a concrete example of how the process works. The Library of Texas (LOT) is a cooperative effort of the Texas Center for Digital Knowledge (TxCDK), Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC), Texas Infrastructure Funding Board (TIF) and TexShare Some very fine work is going on here in Texas.


The Information Professional’s Guide to Career Development Online by Priscilla K. Shontz urges us to have a visible presence on the Web to further our careers. Her advise is one of the reasons I began this 'blog, along with advise by Stephen King to write daily. The latest issue of Library Journal adds a warning, your online presence had better be professional. "Interviewing: Beware Blogging Blunders" by Cheryl LaGuardia and Ed Tallent mention some job applicants reveal too much for their own good. The links to the right are all ones I think present a professional persona. I have seen 'blogs by some librarians which tend to be more personal journals. These can be interesting in a vicarious way, but may not be in the best interest of the writer. We should consider our Web presence.


The EDUCAUSE Conference is netcasting some of the presentations on Wed. and Thurs. Among the presentations are:
  • What's Become of the Digital Library? - Clifford A. Lynch
  • Innovations in Online Learning: Moving Beyond No Significant Difference - Carol A. Twigg
  • The Development and Future of the IT World: Higher Education's Role - Douglas Van Houweling
  • The New Computing--Revisited - Kenneth C. Green

Monday, September 30, 2002

Bar Codes

BarCode-1 is the place to go to find out about bar codes. Standards, news, a bulletin board, shareware, and links are available. There are no products for sale, only unbiased information.

Volunteer Positions

The Inform the World Program sends volunteers from around the world to assist rural librarians in South Africa, Guatemala and Honduras. The volunteers conduct practical service projects determined by the needs of their host libraries. Previous ITW volunteers have trained librarians in basic skills such as how to inventory, weed, repair and catalog books. They also used their knowledge and creativity to help libraries reach out to and meet the needs of their communities. They have painted murals, taught workshops, made display boards, produced publicity fliers and pamphlets and helped clean, brighten and re-organize libraries. They have worked on projects ranging from creating a bookmobile to training students to work in their own libraries. After returning to the U.S., the volunteers also work with WLP to design projects that will continue to help the libraries they visited.


I like maps. I like cataloging them and just looking at them. The MAGERT Education Committee has begun collecting links to map education sites called Resources for Teaching Map and GIS Librarianship. They are open to suggestions for additional sites.