Friday, November 15, 2002


On LibraryPlanet the other day there was a piece on a new device and RIAA. It was dealing with copyright, fair use, and other intellectual concerns. I missed all that in a fit of technolust. I just wanted a Neuros MP3 player. Some day I'll have to go back and consider the implications of such a device on intellectual policy issues, but not yet.


MARC Exit Strategies is the follow-up to Roy Tennant's "MARC is Dead" article last month. This month he offers some ideas of what the new system should be and how to move from MARC to the Next Big Thing. Sure to cause discussion, and that is good.

Thursday, November 14, 2002


The latest issue of Information Outlook is devoted to the topic of marketing. The articles are better than the average ones in the magazine, less trendy management jargon than normal. One thing none of the say, that I believe is important, is that we should always be marketing on several levels. All the articles deal with the library, but the cataloging department is also important. The dept. could always use more resources and respect. We should also be marketing on a personal level. Networking is crucial to professional standing. You just never know when an ax will fall and you will be looking for a position. Just yesterday, one of my co-workers was let go because the new contract did not have a place for her position.

We should also be marketing for the larger institution. The library does not stand much chance of survival, if the larger organization should fail. Hard times do follow the trickle down economic model; if the parent organization is hurting, you can be sure the library will feel the pain. So the university, city, corporation, or school district should be supported.

Each of us moves in several spheres in our professional duties. Different situations call for marketing of a different level. However, marketing is a normal part of every day.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002


I just came across a new degree for information folks, an MBA in Management of Information. The University of Texas has one.
Student take the core courses of the MBA program and graduate with that degree. In addition, they take a set of core courses in Information Management introducing them to key management concepts involving the design, construction, and control of information processing activities within an organization; the strategic role of information technology in rapidly changing business environments; and the new business models and competitive strategies emerging from the electronic marketplace.
Does anyone have any experience with this degree?


A rant. I'm currently cataloging many dissertations from UMI. Our current rules for doing this are just wrong. It violates one on the guiding principles of AACR, Catalog the item in hand. What the current rules have us doing is cataloging the original, which I have no access to, and making notes on the reproduction. My users do not care if the original is 28 or 30 cm. high. When they are searching the shelves they what to know the size of our copy. That information is buried in a note field (533). I get messages on records missing information only to find it is a dissertation and the information is in a note. It is impossible to explain why this is so, since there is no sense to it. That is just the way it is done. When we get AACR3, I hope we go back to principles and catalog what we have in hand, not some item far far away

School Libraries

The White House Conference on School Libraries talks are available.


Marti Hearst at SIMS, UC Berkeley has some interesting work on his professional Web site.
  • Finding the Flow in Web Site Search, Hearst, Elliott, English, Sinha, Swearingen, and Yee, Communications of the ACM, 45 (9), September 2002. (Deals with user interfaces)
  • The Descent of Hierarchy, and Selection in Relational Semantics, Rosario, Hearst, and Fillmore, ACL 2002. (Machine indexing and classification)
  • FLAMENCO: Dynamic Use of Metadata in Search Interfaces (A project on user interfaces)
  • LINDI: Text Data Mining

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Digital Object Identifier

Just noticed I've never mentioned the Digital Object Identifier. This is a URN system being developed by most of the large publishers.
The Digital Object Identifier (DOI®) is a system for identifying and exchanging intellectual property in the digital environment. It provides a framework for managing intellectual content, for linking customers with content suppliers, for facilitating electronic commerce, and enabling automated copyright management for all types of media. Using DOIs makes managing intellectual property in a networked environment much easier and more convenient, and allows the construction of automated services and transactions for e-commerce.

Dublin Core

The meeting report of the DC-Libraries Working Group that was held in Florence is now available.

Facet Analysis

Towards a knowledge structure for high performance subject access and retrieval within managed digital collections is being researched in the UK.
This research will focus on application of such this method in the field of humanities and will try to answer on the following questions:
  • Is FAT useful for developing the kind of complex knowledge structures we need in order to access digital materials
  • How might classification structure based on FAT provide innovative access to digital materials?
  • How might FAT facilitiate cross-disciplinary access?


Shortcomings of today's RSS systems by gpoul has started an interesting thread on Kuro5hin.
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a web content syndication format based on XML 1.0. In the current implementation it's a very capable format used to aggregate content from multiple news sources. The problem with this format is that the architecture on which it is deployed hasn't changed in a while and places too much load onto the infrastructure. In this article I try to point out different approaches to solve these problems and make RSS more suited to be used on mobile devices which are not always-on.