Friday, February 14, 2003


Typographical Errors in Library Databases has been revised by Tina Gunther and Terry Ballard. I checked our catalog for the new additions to the list and found a couple. So even small libraries may benefit from checking for these errors.

Friday humor

To confuse others use the Anti-Phonetic Alphabet. Most useful for those times on the reference desk. "You'll find that in PN, P as in psi N as in Nguyen."

Web Logs

Filters and Rogue Librarians: Weblogs in the Library World by Geoffrey Skinner.
Defines and discusses the history of weblogs, or "blogs." Examines the creation of weblogs among libraries and librarians. Provides a framework for planning for a library-created weblog using a standard planning process, including needs assessment, budgeting and evaluation. Analyzes the possible uses of weblogs in a small special library.

Judaica Cataloging & Classification

The Web page for A Classification System for Libraries of Judaica has some other interesting items. It also includes:
  • The Making of A Classification Scheme for Libraries of Judaica by David Elazar IFLA Council and General Conference 2000 (Jerusalem, Israel) Library History Workshop Aug. 17, 2000
  • Catherine Buck Morgan's paper (full text) Cultural and Religious Problems in Dewey Decimal Classification
  • Holocaust Expansion - devised by Carylyn Gwyn Moser
  • Technicalities article - Nov/Dec 1998 by David Elazar
  • Judaica Classification Schemes - Fall 1983 by Bella Hass Weinberg


"Library portals: toward the semantic Web" by Tamar Sadeh and Jenny Walker in vol. 104 Issue 1/2 of New Library World
The semantic Web is an exciting prospect, but not yet a reality, for researchers who are faced with an ever-increasing range of material - some freely available and some accessible to them only by virtue of their affiliation. This paper introduces the concept of the semantic Web and indicates how, if realized, the semantic Web could be of great benefit to researchers. Some parallel activities now under way are aimed at providing practical solutions to scholars today through the use of agent technology built into library portals; the paper explains, in particular, how one system, MetaLib - the library portal solution from Ex Libris - addresses these issues.
Let the reader beware, the authors are a marketing manager and sales manager of the MetaLib product being discussed.

Thursday, February 13, 2003


The latest Information Technology and Libraries has a number of good articles.
  • An Empirical Analysis of Web Catalog User Experiences
  • Analysis of Web-based Information Architecture in a University Library: Navigating for Known Items
  • E2M: Automatic Generation of MARC-Formatted Metadata by Crawling E-Publications
  • Library Systems and Unicode: A Review of the Current State of Development


MARC-Record-1.17 for use with MARC/Perl has recently been released.


The Working Group on FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) of the Cataloguing Section of IFLA now has a Web presence. The site includes:
  • FRBR Final Report
  • FRBR Discussion List
  • Bibliography
  • Meeting Reports
  • FAQ and examples
  • Implementation Reports
  • Papers and Studies
  • Teaching FRBR

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Metadata for Web Logs

From Janes' Blogosphere Technology This looks promising, tools and standards. I'll have to look at it in more detail. I've taken off the link to WMDI, that seems to have stalled, and added a link to this project.
I am proposing a core set of weblog metadata, based primarily on Dublin Core elements. Since other weblog metadata efforts are stalled or fractured, I'm trying to pull everything together with (hopefully) well written specs, functioning software, and web pages.

I need your feedback. I want to start integrating this into Janes' Blogosphere ASAP, so that everyone who is marking up their blogs for integration is using some sort of standard we can all use.

Here are the links:

  • WMD: Core Weblog Metadata, the proposed core metadata elements, for describing the weblog itself, entries within the weblog and weblog authors ("creator", in Dublin Core terminology).
  • QSM: Quick Structure Markup, a proposed standard for grouping and structuring metadata elements. The document also outlines the reasons why this type of group/structure mechanism is essential for describing metadata of any complexity.
  • A python program designed next to sit next Mark Pilgrim's widely used rssparser. Not only does it understand QSM, it also understands (to varying degrees) WMDI, Blizg and metadata also.
  • Template Rewriter: An online tool that recognizes many CMS templates and adds the appropriate markup for QSM/WMD.


The newsreader NewsMonster has the ability to use Friend of a Friend data. It also provides for export to PDA's and reads all versions of RSS. Interesting, I'll have to download it and play with it a bit when I have some time.

As for FOAF, I think the idea has some potential uses. However, as I understand it, FOAF metadata should be stored as a separate file. I'd like the ability to place it in the HEAD section of a document, as well as pointing to another file.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Cataloging Electronic Integrating Resources

Introduction to Cataloging Electronic Integrating Resources: An Online Training Presentation

The Cataloging Policy Committee of the Online Audiovisual Catalogers, Inc. (OLAC), is pleased to announce the availability of an online training presentation on cataloging updating Web sites and updating online databases according to the new rules for integrating resources that were published in the 2002 Revision of the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules.

The presentation is a PowerPoint slide show consisting of a little over 100 slides. The presentation is available on the OLAC CAPC Web page or directly. This online training presentation is meant to serve as an introductory overview to orient catalogers to the new AACR2 rules and MARC codes for integrating resources (IRs); it is not a detailed training tutorial. Keeping with the mission and scope of OLAC, the focus is on electronic IRs, with an addendum on what is distinctive for print IRs (loose-leafs).

The presentation includes the following:

  • Definitions of new terms
  • Brief cataloging highlights
  • Overview of AACR2 2002 for electronic integrating resources (by area of description)
  • MARC Leader and 006/008 codes for integrating resources
  • Addendum on updating loose-leafs
  • Concluding review
The presentation was developed by a Task Force of the Cataloging Policy Committee (CAPC). Its members include Steven Miller (chair), Kay Johnson, and David Reynolds. The group wishes to acknowledge that the content of this presentation was developed from a training presentation originally prepared for the Program for Cooperative Cataloging and that it reflects input from the directors and several members of the BIBCO and CONSER Programs. The group also wishes to thank the members of CAPC for their additional review and comments.

Technical note: the training presentation was created using PowerPoint. Your Web browser must have the appropriate plug-in to view the presentation. If using Netscape, click on the link and "Save File...". Use PowerPoint to view the presentation.

For further information or comments, please contact Iris Wolley, Chair, OLAC Cataloging Policy Committee: lw2 at or Steve Miller, Chair, Integrating Resources Task Force: mll at

Steve Miller
Chair, CAPC Integrating Resources Task Force

Posted with permission. In e-mail addresses the @ symbol was replaced by " at " to prevent spam.


LibraryLookUp gets noticed in the latest Library Journal. This is a much more useful tool than the OPAC that can search Amazon, that was making news a while ago. Abebooks will search OCLC if the book you want to purchase is not available. I think our users can find Amazon or There are some parts of the general public that all too often forget the library.

Web logs

Web logs, what are they good for? Steven M. Cohen recently addressed the issue of why we write them, but why do we read them? In what instances do they work?

Here are my views. First, they are one-to-many or a few-to-many format. Topics that require give and take, a conversation, would not work well on a 'blog. A message board, Wiki, phone or other method would be a better method if discussion was required. The tag boards and comments features are not enough to carry on a discussion. Everyone is a broadcaster on a Web log.

'Blog items are arranged in a chronological order. That is a valid method of accessing information in some circumstances. We have accession books (or used to) and chronologies in our collections. However, much information requires a different structure and presentation. Some 'blogs do have categories; The Shifted Librarian has posts by categories. That is not how we approach the site, that is an added tool. A text with an index is not an index. A book that arranged words by the date of usage would be interesting but not much use as a dictionary.

Web logs are on the Web. Reading a screen is not conducive to long passages. I'm currently working my way through The Nature of a Work by Richard P. Smiraglia. I would not read that as a Web page. It challenges me as a book, if I had the additional challenge of reading on a screen, it would be totally beyond me. The Web does provide the benefit of adding links and most 'blogs take advantage of that.

So 'blogs are useful to communicate short items presented in a chronological order, from one-to-many. News items jumps to mind or as a pointer to more in-depth information. They have the advantage of being available as an RSS feed or e-mail. That is user friendly. That is why I read them. I'll not give up going to meetings and conferences, reading book and magazines, watching TV, movies and DVD.


The Metadata Object Description Schema is now at version 2.0. MODS is basically MARC lite expressed as XML.
[It] is intended to be able to carry selected data from existing MARC 21 records as well as to enable the creation of original resource description records. It includes a subset of MARC fields and uses language-based tags rather than numeric ones, in some cases regrouping elements from the MARC 21 bibliographic format.


This is what I found on the LLRX Web site this morning:
Dear LLRX Readers,

This is to let you know that is going on hiatus.

We would like to express our thanks for the contributions of hundreds of authors who shared their expertise with our readers, a global readership that just kept growing, and a terrific group of vendors whose support allowed us to provide you with this free webzine for so long. These relationships have enriched our professional and personal lives, and we are truly grateful. Now it is time for a transition.

LLRX will remain available to our readers without any updates at this point, and we look forward to providing you with continued access in the future.

I'll miss this resource.

Monday, February 10, 2003


Walt Crawford discusses the negative effects of LITA no longer having a newsletter in the latest Cites & Insights. I'm not a member, I'm in SLA, but I think a 'blog would be ideal. The burden of publication would be diffuse. The officers could post items as they arrived and so it would be timelier. The possibility of e-mail and RSS feeds for those who prefer those methods of delivery would be convenient for the members. Finally, LITA as a technology association should be investigating newer methods of communication. Just an off-the-cuff suggestion by an outsider.

Cites & Insights

Cites & Insights :3 (March 2003) is available as a PDF download.

This 20-page issue has "way too much on copyright"--Copyright Currents and a separate perspective on Eldred v Ashcroft, amounting to slightly more than 11 pages in all.

Contents include:

  • Perspective: Midwinter Musings
  • Bibs & Blather
  • Copyright Currents
  • Feedback & Following Up
  • Ebooks & Etext
  • Copyright Perspective: Thinking About Eldred v Ashcroft
  • The Library Stuff

LITA members may want to pay special attention to the first essay...

Canadian Learning Object Repositories

Canadian Learning Object Repositories Projects, Programs and Partners is publication no. 65 of Network Notes
This list, prepared by Barbara Shuh of the National Library of Canada, provides a quick reference guide to Canadian learning object repositories and the partners participating in this on-going activity. Background information is provided on the series of Canadian projects that have lead up to the latest project, eduSource. The projects and programs listed in this reference have the following aims: to develop methods of storage for e-learning resources appropriate of the needs of the Canadian educational community; to develop methods of discovery; to provide Internet access to the resources discovered and to gain experience in the structuring and organization of the metadata that facilitates such discovery and access.