Thursday, November 21, 2002

Scout Portal Toolkit

Internet Scout Project is pleased to announce the 1.0 release of the Scout Portal Toolkit (SPT)!

This open source software package, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, allows groups or organizations to develop a portal online without making a big investment in technical resources or expertise. This release marks the first post-beta release of SPT.

Interested users and current beta testing organizations are strongly encouraged to offer feedback by taking a brief (12 questions) survey. This survey will help us gather information to refine SPT in future releases and evaluate our work to date.

The SPT 1.0.0 package features include:

  • Shipped with a MySQL database with Dublin Core compliant metadata default fields
  • Cross-Field Searching (Advanced Search)
  • Metadata field editor, which allows portal administrators the ability to add, delete, or disable a variety of metadata fields
  • Resource comments by Users
  • Intelligent User Agents
  • Resource Quality Ratings by Users
  • Suggested Resource Referrals (Recommender System)
  • Accessible to users with disabilities
  • Support for RSS channel export and the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) Protocol for Metadata Harvesting 2.0
  • Discussion forum options

More information on SPT and its features, to explore a demo installation, or to download the software is available on-line.

Specific comments, question and bug reports can be sent to

Also, the November issue of D-LIB Magazine has an article on the SPT software. Discussed are the key features and functionality. The article may be found on-line.

The development team looks forward to hearing your feedback!


David J. Sleasman
Metadata and Cataloging Services Coordinator
Internet Scout Project
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Phone: 608-263-2674 with permission


A registration page for those using or evaluating Koha has been established. This could lead to user groups in some places or at least act as a directory of where to see the product.


I'm taking a long weekend, Fri. through Mon., in Palm Springs, Calif. So there will not be any posts those days. If you have any suggestions of what to do, see, where to eat, drink, hear music, dance I'd be happy to hear. I know Internet Librarian met there not too long ago, any attendees have some interesting tips? Thanks.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002


If you are looking for some more 'blogs to read Recommended Reading is a nice service. Plug in your home page and based on that you receive a list of related Web logs. When I tried it, over half were ones I found of interest.


I have started a poll on "Is MARC Dead?" Cast your vote at the bottom of this page. I've done this not because it will reveal anything important, but rather to see how polling on Web sites works. This seems like a natural topic. It has created quite a bit of debate on AUTOCAT. I hope cataloging classes are using it for discussion and debate.

Cataloging Portals

There are a few Web sites that attempt to link to all resources available to catalogers on the Internet. Lynne LeGrow has attempted this feat at Library Cataloguing Aids. It is good to bookmark one or two of these cataloging portals. Lynn's has an image that makes it worth a bookmark on that basis alone. She does keep it up and check the links. It is a bit lighthearted including anagrams for cataloging as well as more task-oriented links. Items are grouped by topic and anchors allow jumping to the topic of choice.


FacetMap: Your Home for Faceted Classification "FacetMap is both a data model and a software package, created to let users browse complex metadata while retaining a simple, familiar, menu interface" Looks a bit complex at the moment, in time there may be tools developed to create the metadata simply and easily.--Seen on Library TechLog, Thanks Matthew.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002


A new ISBN is coming from NISO. It seems they are running out of available numbers. This will mean that any tools we are using to validate ISBN's in MARC will also need to be revised. We have until 2005, so it should be done by then.


The Minutes of the Standing Committee Meetings, 17 and 23 August 2002 of the IFLA Cataloguing Section are now available.


The past few days Catalogablog has experienced about five times the normal traffic, an example of swarming. A posting on AUTOCAT (subscribe if not yet a member) directed all that traffic here. This type of behavior is becoming more prevalent in the physical world as well. Someone calls a few friends on their cell phone to say they are at a happening place, they call others and suddenly the place is packed. Swarms of people suddenly descend on a Web site or physical location and then move on just as quickly. Having been there once, some will return.

The question then becomes how can libraries use this behavior to their advantage? How to initiate the swarm? How to handle the swarm when it arrives? How to make sure some of them return? This is new territory. In the Web, it is easy. Some visitors here over the past few days signed up to receive posts over e-mail. Others may have added Catalogablog to their newsreader or favorites. In a physical setting, it becomes less obvious.

K-12 Schools

Here is an offer from Apple for a free version of their new operating system, OS X v10.2 “Jaguar".
From now through December 31, 2002, qualifying K-12 teachers can order their free “X for Teachers Kit,” which provides everything a teacher needs to learn and become comfortable with Mac OS X including:
  • Getting Started with Mac OS X Training CD filled with practice exercises, tips, and over 80 QuickTime movies
  • Mac OS X v10.2 (Jaguar) Install CD Set
  • Telephone support for 90 days
  • Manual and License Agreement

Monday, November 18, 2002


Terry Reese has released a patch for MarcEdit.
A patch is available to address a bug with the replace command in the MarcEditor. The error generally occurs when attempting to replace a string with nothing or a set of spaces--but could manifest itself using different criteria. This fix addresses all these issues.

ISBD(ER) Revisions

Proposals initiated by the IFLA Section on Cataloguing’s ISDB Review Group "Four specific problem areas were identified: 0.5 (Sources of Information); Area 3 (Type and Extent of Resource); Area 5 (Physical Description); and Area 8 (Standard Number (or Alternative) and Terms of Availability" They seek comments on the changes by Jan. 15, 2003.


D-Lib Magazine has the article A Metadata Framework Developed at the Tsinghua University Library to Aid in the Preservation of Digital Resources by Jinfang Niu.
This article provides an overview of work completed at Tsinghua University Library in which a metadata framework was developed to aid in the preservation of digital resources. The metadata framework is used for the creation of metadata to describe resources, and includes an encoding standard used to store metadata and resource structures in information systems. The author points out that the Tsinghua University Library metadata framework provides a successful digital preservation solution that may be an appropriate solution for other organizations as well.

Sharing Scripts

On Extranet Peter Verhagen writes" I wrote a library material suggestion form to email script for Adult Services just recently so I thought I'd release it under the BSD license and share it with you." This is good. There should be more sharing of this type of work. Some big projects like MyLibrary and Morris Messenger come to mind. The forms and other minor scripts can save others time or for smaller libraries without anyone to write scripts, provide a service they could not on their own. Thanks Peter.