Friday, October 18, 2002

Call for trainers

A new course on Integrating Resources is being developed under the auspices of the Serials Cataloging Cooperative Training Program (SCCTP) that will be released in spring 2003. Steve Miller at the University of Wisconsin is preparing the course materials. The course is based on the revised chapters 9 and 12 of AACR2 and will cover all integrating resources, with an emphasis on electronic. The Integrating Resources course is designed as a one-day course.

SCCTP is a program of the CONSER (Cooperative Online Serials) Program and the Program for Cooperative Cataloging. SCCTP provides training materials and trains experienced catalogers to present the materials but does not sponsor the actual workshops. SCCTP trainers work with workshop sponsors to set dates and all expenses are paid by the sponsor. Honoraria are given at the discretion of the sponsor. Complete information on SCCTP is available.

Two train-the-trainer sessions are being scheduled for winter 2003. The first will be held in Philadelphia on Friday January 24 in conjunction with ALA Midwinter. PALINET will be assisting with the logistics of the course. The second session will be held in Seattle in February, dates to be announced. There is no cost for the training or the materials but trainees are responsible for paying their own expenses.


  • A minimum of 1-2 years of experience cataloging integrating resources.
  • Experience in training, such as SCCTP workshops, NACO or BIBCO training, other cataloging-related workshops, or significant in-house training.
  • Support of your institution in providing your expenses to attend the training session and in providing paid leave of absence for you to give two SCCTP workshops a year. The number actually given may vary, depending on demand and the availability of a trainer.

To apply:

  • Current SCCTP, BIBCO or NACO trainers: Send an email to Ana Cristan (acri at indicating your specific experience with integrating resources and the session you would like to attend. No references are needed.
  • All others: Send an email to Ana Cristan (acri at with the following information:
    • Your name, title, mailing and email addresses and telephone and fax numbers.
    • Which session you would like to attend (Philadelphia or Seattle)
    • A brief description of your cataloging experience involving integrating resources, and your experience with providing cataloging training.
    • Names of three references who can attest to your cataloging experience and training ability

Please send in applications or expressions of interest by: November 15. Confirmation will be sent out beginning after Nov. 1. A maximum of 30 people in each session may limit acceptance.

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

I have replaced the @ symbol with "at" to prevent spam. If one of the SCCTP courses is offered in your area, take advantage of it. These folks know their stuff.


XOBIS (XML Organic Bibliographic Information Schema) aims at providing benefits to the end user. This project might give more ammunition to the folks supporting Roy Tennant's MARC Must Die paper.
There are many XML schemas available for modeling MARC data. Most take a literal approach, naming elements and attributes after their corresponding MARC fields, subfields, and indicators. Others represent only a small subset of the data libraries use to describe resources. XOBIS attempts to walk the middle path: describe the full set of library information, but reorganize this information into a structure that empowers the use of library data as just one more information resource available in the digital domain.
They are seeking feedback. There is a lot there, I've just skimmed the introduction. (Posted on usr/lib/info)


NFAIS has made available a PDF brochure touting the value of professional databases and indexes for distribution to students. The question is: "How do you get it to the students who are just using Google?" If they do not come into the library, they are not likely to even see the brochure. Maybe have them at the student pub?

Thursday, October 17, 2002

Library Automation

Computers in Libraries is conducting a survey of user satisfaction with library automation. The survey form is available online or for printing. The cut-off date for public libraries is approaching.
  • Public libraries due: October 21, 2002
  • School Libraries due: March 10, 2003
  • Special Libraries due: January 10, 2003
  • Academic Libraries due: August 10, 2003
Computers in Libraries plans a series of articles providing user ratings of library automation software. The series is called "ILS Marketplace: CIL's Quarterly Series on Library Automation Markets." Pamela Cibbarelli will be compiling the surveys and writing the articles. You are invited to participate in the survey.

Library Catalogs

Marshall Breeding maintains lib-web-cats.
lib-web-cats is a directory of libraries worldwide. While the majority of the current listings are in North America, the numbers of libraries represented in other parts of the globe is growing. Each listing includes links to the library's website and online catalog. Other information available includes the geographic location, address, library type, current and previous library automation systems used, and the size of the library's collection.
It is a good idea to check your listing and make sure it is current. If you are not listed, it is easy to add your institution. Marshall uses this to keep track of library automation as well as providing a directory for the rest of us. Anyone using an open source system should register, if they want the impact to be seen.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002


LJ has the article MARC Must Die by Roy Tennant. He says that the numbered tags are a problem. I like to think of them as language independent. He suggests that XML may be a replacement. However, XML records are very much larger and XML only specifies the carrier not the tags and content of those tags. There is a MARC XML standard available, but that is only useful for some tasks, I'd hate to work with that monster. Granularity is a problem with implementation, not MARC. If a cataloger does not use the necessary fields and subfields, it is poor cataloging, not a problem with MARC. I'll not go through the other arguments against MARC. The ability to nest fields may be useful. Rather than moving to XML, I'd like to see a MARC-like implementation of FRBR.

This 'Blog

I've added a couple of features to the 'blog. Please let me know if either causes problems. Below the links on the left side is a list of pages that folks have used to arrive at Catalogablog. This provides a two-way referral system. They link to me and I link back.

I've also placed an instant messaging tool on the site. Not sure how often I'll open it but it is there. We are considering IM reference, Morris Messenger to be precise. This is dipping a toe in those waters. At the LITA National Forum, I heard Jody Condit Fagan speak about IM and Morris. Excellent talk. If she is speaking near you, catch her presentation.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002


The 2nd Workshop on the Open Archives Initiative (OAI): Gaining independence with e-prints archives will be webcasting the presentations. They will be available shortly after the talk via a link from the agenda page. The overheads are already available.

Movers & Shakers

Library Journal is looking for nominations for the next Movers & Shakers list. The nomination form is available from the bottom of their Web site.

The Weblog MetaData Initiative

The WMDI folks are moving forward and will soon be looking for alpha or pre-alpha testers. This is a ground floor opportunity.


Library Hi-Tech vol. 20, no. 3 (2002) p. 255-257 has the paper "METS and the metadata marketplace" by Michael Seadle.
One purpose of the Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS) is to deal with the multiplication of metadata types in recent years, and especially metadata that deal with non-paper materials, including audiovisual sources and their digital representations. In that sense, it is a kind of meta-metadata. But is it needed? Market forces may decide.
The same issue also has "From MARC to MARC 21 and beyond: some reflections on MARC and the Arabic language" by Zahiruddin Khurshid p. 370-377.
The paper aims to review major developments in the MARC format, including a brief description of metadata schemes and cross-walks. It also offers an assessment of how well MARC works for Arabic script materials, a description of the degree to which MARC is used in Saudi Arabia, and the prospects for the use of XML versions of MARC in the Arab world.

Monday, October 14, 2002

G Schedule

After much delay, the G-schedule of US and Canadian regions (those cutters ending in "2" or "7") is up on our web site. The lists are from LC from July 2001. They are official but OUT OF DATE. They are an improvement over the 1990? fiche.

I hope this helps you out.

Christopher JJ Thiry
Map Librarian
Colorado School of Mines
1400 Illinois
PO Box 4029
Golden, CO 80401-0029

voice: 303-273-3697
fax: 303-273-3199

cthiry at

Posted with permission. I have replaced the @ symbol in the e-mail with "at" to prevent spaming.


I recently asked a vendor if they were considering the implications of the Functional Requirements for Bibliographical Records in their ILS. They had never heard of it.

Circulation Standards

The NCIP-IG (NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol-Implementers Group) was recently formed. This group would like to broaden its membership. The discussion list is open to all. There is some interesting work coming from this effort. They are moving ILL towards circulation and saving both time and money for the user and staff. The standard is available.

This was from another strong session from the LITA National Forum.


At the LITA National Forum this weekend, Clifford Lynch used a definition of metadata that made some sense to me. He said metadata was a statement by someone about a resource. The inclusion of the agent creating the metadata in the definition, is important since it is that knowledge that becomes a point of evaluation for the quality of the metadata.

In libraries, we can trust catalogers at other institutions to make a good faith effort to create quality MARC records. Mistakes may be made. Records may not be as user-friendly as we would like (see Sandy Berman). However, we do assume the person did not deliberately misrepresent the item for some ulterior motive.

This is not true when we move outside closed communities. Metadata affixed to a Web page may be there to spam search engines may have intentions that are even more malicious. Trust is based on knowing who created the metadata and knowing the reputation of that creator. Only then is the metadata of any use or value.

Mr. Lynch was an excellent speaker. This was just an aside in his much more enlightening talk (and he didn't used PowerPoint, Yea!!). I want to thank him for such a thought provoking presentation and the LITA National Forum for inviting him.

S.R. Ranganathan

William Denton has supplied some definitions and principles from Ranganathan's Prolegomena to Library Classification.

Thanks to Ian Fairclough for pointing this out.

MARC Field 245

Here is a minor change I just noticed for field 245, subfields n and p can now follow subfield b. Not quite sure when this change happened.