Saturday, December 14, 2002

'Blog Metadata

There are several projects to add metadata to Web logs to provide better access to them. However, everybody seems to be working in isolation. I began by adding Dublin Core, A-Core and PICS. That was OK. DC and PICS were standards, and A-Core was based on DC.

Next came Blogchalk Simple and easy to apply. There was a tool to search 'blogs that had been chalked, but that seems to be no longer working.

This was followed by the Weblog MetaData Initiative (WMDI). This was standards based, an extension of Dublin Core. A tool to read and compile WMDI is available. It will read qualified DC, no need for the WMDI additions. Nice.

The latest is Janes' Blogosphere. It uses non-standard markup but has a suite of tools to create, read and interpret the metadata and 'blog entries.

All this work going in different directions. What is needed is a metadata standard for 'blogs, like WMDI that supports a suite of tools like Janes' to add the medadata to the template and interpret it. Talk to each other people and work together. A widely adopted standard metadata for Web logs could be used in RSS, OPML, OAI-MHP and other Web services. It could improve access in so many ways.

Worth Reading

Every 2 weeks Rory Litwin produces another issue of Library Juice. The focus is on intellectual freedom. Only rarely does it have anything to do with cataloging, sometimes Sandy Berman rates an article. If you support the Library Bill of Rights this fine publication will keep you in the loop. The latest issue has a link to Catalogablog. Thanks for the mention and such a fine publication Rory.

Friday, December 13, 2002


The Bibliography Section newsletter for December is now available


In October 2002, members of the core integration team for the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) program issued a report on progress being made in the continuing effort to improve metadata interoperability in harvesting digital library collections. NSDL's ultimate goal is to integrate the tens of thousands of collections, ranging from simple Web sites to large and sophisticated digital libraries, into a coherent whole that is structured to support education and facilitate incorporation of innovative, value-adding services. Because NSDL can only coax and cajole collections toward preferred standards, their harvesting architecture needs to accommodate a wide spectrum of interoperability, which makes use of widely varying protocols, formats and metadata standards. In designing the architecture, therefore, NSDL's Core Integration team explicitly recognized the necessity to accept whatever metadata the collections can provide, which in many cases is very basic, in any of several preferred metadata formats. The team creates the collection-level metadata, but not the item-level records. To provide a minimally uniform level of metadata for all known items, in addition to storing the native metadata (provided by the collections), a Dublin Core record is created for each item in a format called nsdldc. This format contains a number of Dublin Core elements, including some elements unique to the NSDL, but the actual record may be little more than a simple identifier. While the NSDL Core Team believes it would be too optimistic to hope that every collection will support its metadata harvesting program, the increasing positive responses from many important collections would seem to predict that the program will achieve the desired level of popularity. (Cornell University Oct 2002)

From ShelfLife, No. 84 (12 December 2002) ISSN 1538-4284


This has been reported elsewhere, but is too slick not to mention again. Users of Innovative systems can have a bookmarklet on their tool bar to search their local system. Have this available for your patrons.
Let's say you're on a book-related site (Amazon, BN,, All Consuming, possibly others), and a book's info page is your current page. (Specifically: its URL contains an ISBN.) You can click your bookmarklet to check if the book is available in your local library. The bookmarklet will invoke your library's instance of the Innovative service, feed it the ISBN, and pop up a new window with the result.
Thank you Jon Udell for a useful tool.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Digitizing Audio

A bibliography on digitizing analog audio resources. Haven't had time to read any of the references yet. The 1st one is supposed to be a good introduction.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Digital Library

The NSDL (National Science Digital Library) is looking for collections of materials in the broad science, technology, engineering, and mathematics area ( K through grey) that are willing to share metadata about their resources or content for search and discovery services. I am serving as Director of Collection Development of the NSDL. Please let me know if you have or know of any such collections. For more about the NSDL see below.

"The National Science Foundation (NSF), through its Division of Undergraduate Education, is funding the development of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) over the next 5 years. A limited public release of the NSDL was launched on December 3, 2002. NSF expects the NSDL to become, over-time, the world's largest digital library of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) information resources and services as well as an online network of learning environments and resources for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education at all levels.

Many of the resources that populate the NSDL collection will come from projects funded under the NSDL program and related NSF digital library initiatives. However, the goal is to include access to as many relevant STEM resources as possible, including both open access and proprietary materials.

The Core Integration (CI) team of the NSDL is distributed among a group of collaborating institutions (University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), Cornell University, Columbia University, the San Diego Supercomputer Center, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst) and is aimed at the development, deployment, and support of both the technical and organizational infrastructure of the NSDL. The Cornell team is lead by a group of computer scientists and librarians.

A core component of CI responsibility is the development and maintenance of a metadata repository comprised of collection and item level metadata which serves as the basis for search and discovery services. The metadata repository will be built using a combination of methods including metadata ingest by the Open Archives Metadata Harvesting Protocol OAI-MHP. The NSDL metadata repository is built on open source, open access principles and standards and thus will also be available for harvesting by other services. While the principle of open access and free search and discovery services is a fundamental principle of the NSDL, the NSDL is concurrently looking at integrating proprietary content into it's distributed collections. Authentication and authorization services are being developed to allow for user access to fee-based content once it has been discovered within the open ( search/browse services built on the OAI compliant NSDL metadata repository.

To read more about the NSDL see:

  • Zia, Lee L., "Growing a National Learning Environments and Resources Network for Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology Education: Current Issues and Opportunities for the NSDL Program". D-Lib Magazine, 7 (3), March 2001.].
  • C. Lagoze, W. Arms, S. Gan, D. Hillmann, C. Ingram, D. Krafft, R. Marisa, J. Phipps, J. Saylor, C. Terrizzi, W. Hoehn, D. Millman, J. Allan, S. Guzman-Lara, and T. Kalt, "Core Services in the Architecture of the National Digital Library for Science Education (NSDL),", arXiv Report cs.DL/0201025, January 29 2002.

Other Library Architecture and Design Documents

John M. Saylor
Collection Development
National Science Digital Library
Director (on leave 10/02-9/04)
Engineering & Computer Science Library
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-220
email: JMS1 at
phone: 607-255-4134
fax: 607-255-0278

Posted with permission. The @ symbol in the e-mail address has been replaced by " at " to foil spammers.


Ten taxonomy myths at the Montague Institute provides a basic overview of the topic, from a business viewpoint.
Taxonomies have recently emerged from the quiet backwaters of biology, book indexing, and library science into the corporate limelight. They are supposed to be the silver bullets that will help users find the needle in the intranet haystack, reduce "friction" in electronic commerce, facilitate scientific research, and promote global collaboration. But before this can happen, practitioners need to dispel the myths and confusion, created in part by the multi-disciplinary nature of the task and the hype surrounding content management technologies.

Dublin Core

The Weblog MetaData Initiative (WMDI) had an experimental tool to read WMDI metadata. Since it is based on Dublin Core, it seems to handle that just fine. Catalogablog is marked up with qualified DC and it was read without any problems. If you have DC metadata add your 'blog to those being read. In addition, consider adding some WMDI metadata, it is on my to-do list.

This 'Blog

There may be few, if any, postings the rest of this week. Wednesday I'm attending a training session on digitizing audio, life is good. Thursday and Friday I'm hosting a meeting of the Cataloging Focus Group of the Texas Library Connection. I'm looking forward to getting together with colleagues from across the state, once again life is good. Both of these activities will take most of my time.

Would anyone want to be a guest host for Catalogablog? I'll be out of town over Christmas as well. It would be nice if someone else took over that week. Just let me know.


The latest issue of The Plain Text Gazette is now available.
"You've spent 2 years and GBP 2 million to create the ultimate content management system. Your staff have reached the nirvana of 'total relevance' where they have precisely the right amount of information they need. But because it's so boring and badly written, they don't read it. The board wants to see a return on their massive investment reflected in usage statistics. You have but a tiny bit of budget remaining. What should you spend it on?"
The answer is better writing and editing. I started this 'blog to practice writing clearly and concisely. This newsletter is a valuable for anyone wishing to communicate.

Monday, December 09, 2002


The Joint Steering Committee for Revision of Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules' Format Variation Working Group is seeking to establish liaisons with system vendors and utilities that are either engaged with or are considering incorporating the data model from the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) into the design of their products.

The Format Variation Working Group is now beginning to develop criteria for evaluating online systems that organize bibliographic data according to the FRBR model. We are especially interested in issues related to creating systems that users will find intelligible and easy to use, rather than simply implementing the FRBR theoretical model for the sake of doing so. We welcome the opportunity to discuss this issue with those who are in the process of developing these systems.

The JSC Format Variation Working Group was charged in 2001 with investigating the feasibility of incorporating the FRBR entity "expression" into AACR utilizing a proof of concept model. In June 2002 our discussion paper, "Dealing With FRBR Expressions in MARC 21" (MARBI DP-08) was discussed by MARBI at the ALA Annual Meeting. This paper, along with the other reports from the Group to date, are posted on the website of the Joint Steering Committee.

System vendors who would like to establish a formal liaison relationship with the JSC's Format Variation Working Group may contact the group's Chair, Jennifer Bowen, at jbowen at or (585) 274-1370.

Jennifer Bowen
Head of Cataloging, University of Rochester Libraries
Head of Technical Services, Sibley Music Library, Eastman School of Music
jbowen at
(585) 274-1370

Rush Rhees Library, Box 270055
University of Rochester,
Rochester, NY 14627-0055
Sibley Music Library, Eastman School of Music
27 Gibbs St., Rochester, NY 14604

Posted with premission. N.B. I have replaced the @ symbol in e-mail addresses with " at " to prevent harvesting of addresses for spam mailings. D.B.


Be nice to the environment and pick up some spare change for the library. This is not an endorsement, I've not used them, but the idea sounds worth checking out.
That is why AAA Environmental, Inc./EnviroSmart can design the Recycling Programs to be beneficial to you and the environment both today and well into the future. And our programs are - - FREE. We pay for the collection materials and shipping. Best of all, you are rewarded with CASH for each acceptable empty inkjet cartridge that we receive from your organization and we recycle at the same time. Although your contributions might seem minimal, please remember…Every Effort Counts!

This 'Blog

This week, as an experiment, I'm using w.bloggar to post to this 'blog. W.Blogger is PC based freeware that allows posting to It adds some bells and whistles. So far, it seems to be working just fine. If anyone experiences any problems, please let me know. Thanks, David.

Dublin Core

Mapping between Dublin Core and JPX metadata by Greg Colyer, Kats Ishii, and Jane Hunter is now available.
This document proposes a mapping between
  • the Dublin Core Element Set, Version 1.1, and
  • the JPX file format extended metadata definition, in Annex N of JPEG 2000 Part 2 (ISO/IEC 15444-2:2002), which is itself based on the DIG35 Specification of the Digital Imaging Group.

New 'Blog

Library-Usability is a new Web log with the admirable mission to "help make libraries work better for everybody." is dedicated to the idea that libraries are critical to our communities. But to help people meet their needs, libraries must be usable in every facet of their service. Usability is about more than just software. It's about helping people accomplish their goals, and library usability asks: what can we do to help people in the way we operate, in the way we publish, in the way we deliver service, and in the way we use technology?
Seen at several 'blogs.