Friday, April 11, 2003


This tool just keeps getting better. I wish more library home pages would make it available for download from their site.
Two more LibraryLookup-compatible OPACS. I've added two new OPAC systems to the LibraryLookup bookmarklet generator. Thanks to Chris Tovell, at the Beaverton City Library in Beaverton, OR, for the key that unlocks a number of Polaris libraries. And thanks to Jonathan Rentzsch for the key to Sirsi's WebCat systems.
Seen at the Shifted Librarian.


Automatic Classification: Moving to the Mainstream by Robert Blumberg and Shaku Atre in DM Review Magazine.
Together, enterprise search and classification provide an initial response to the information explosion. Classification complements search by enabling browsing of large repositories based on intuitive categories of information. Like search, classification is quickly becoming an important infrastructure technology.

First Have Something to Say

The new book by Walt Crawford,
First Have Something to Say: Writing for the Library Profession

is due in June.
In First Have Something to Say, author Walt Crawford lends a personal perspective on writing for the library field. He covers all the forums for the writer: the refereed journals, magazines, library periodicals, books, electronic discussion lists, book reviews, blogs, and zines and also briefly addresses speaking. He addresses working with editors and covers the basics of copyright and other key clauses in contracts for writers. Crawford's approach to the topic is fitting. His informal, sometimes irreverent, tone is refreshing in a topic often taken too seriously.
I just hope this 'blog is not used as an example of what not to do. Seen at Library Stuff.

TX School Libraries

At this time, the Texas Library Connection has not been recommended for funding. Library advocates are urged to call or fax their senators IMMEDIATELY, particularly if they serve on the Senate Finance Committee. Ask your senator to support funding for the Texas Library Connection at $4 million per year. This is the program's current funding and insures access to a rich body of electronic educational information for students.

Be sure to tell your senator that "the Texas Library Connection (TLC) is a program administered through the Texas Education Agency. TLC was included in TEA's original budget request in Rider 21 of the Agency's budget. Rider 21 covered TEA's Long Range Plan for Technology Initiative, which included the Texas Library Connection, an $8 million biennial program ($4 million for each year)." Tell your senator that funding for the Texas Library Connection is crucial for student success. Describe TLC and it impact on students.--from TLA TEXLINE NO. 152. The possibility that this wonderful program may be cut is incomprehensible. It has provided access to databases for all the public schools, a union catalog, an ILL system, and training.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

The Good Old Days

Last week at TLA Dr. Fran Miksa's presentation had a slide quoting Charles A. Cutter as saying in 1903, "The golden age of cataloging is over." I have a natural tendency to disbelieve anything about the "good old days". Memory is too selective, so I tend to disagree with Cutter's prediction. Miksa explained that Cutter meant no one would ever again create a catalog from scratch. Well, if that is the requirement for a golden age we are in the midst of one.

Everywhere people are creating databases describing a Web site. What is that if not a catalog? There are discussions, in fields outside library science, on metadata, ontologies, thesauri, and classification. The discussion that has long divided the Dublin Core community, full complete accurate data vs. simple, good-enough data, is philosophical as well as practical. The foundation of our cataloging structure, AACR, is being reevaluated in the light of FRBR. There are some very interesting and important discussions being conducted now.

Cutter would have loved to be alive today, the discussions taking place would have made him reconsider his statement a century ago. These are the good old days.


I've received the Proceedings of the 36th Meeting of the Geoscience Information Society. Lots of reading, and reason enough to join the society. Not much on cataloging or metadata. The real revelation was that the publications of the USGS are missing the normal distribution process, in large numbers. There are publications on the Web that have bib records that do not reflect that, publications on the Web that the main publications page do not point to, and publications on the Web that have no record. The depository system, Marcive, and even the USGS itself cannot guide a user to all the publications available.


This one is more for the school or children's librarian, but it is so important. Unlucky Arithmetic: Thirteen Ways to Raise a Nonreader by Dean Schneider and Robin Smith.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

OLAC Newsletter

The latest OLAC Newsletter, vol. 23, no. 1, is now available. Among the many articles it includes an article on cataloging streaming video. Have I mentioned that membership in OLAC is a bargain?


A Classification System for Church Libraries compiled by Pat Brown.
Now small and medium-sized church libraries can classify media using only one resource. This easy-to-use abridged volume contains the Dewey Decimal Classification System numbers most used in church libraries for classifying every resource in their collections.

Dublin Core

DCMI introduces a new Question and Answer service for the community: AskDCMI. This service is based on the virtual reference infrastructure developed by the Information Institute of Syracuse as part of the Virtual Reference Desk project. A number of experts from the Usage Board and the Advisory Board have agreed to be available to answer questions from the community. Selected questions and answers will be available in a searchable archive.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003


Now available are the proceedings of LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SERVICES IN ASTRONOMY IV (LISA IV) Proceedings of a Conference held at Charles University Prague, Czech Republic July 2-5, 2002 Conference Theme: EMERGING AND PRESERVING: PROVIDING ASTRONOMICAL INFORMATION IN THE DIGITAL AGE Edited by: Brenda G. Corbin, Elizabeth P. Bryson, Marek Wolf. Papers include:
  • Exploring Bibliographic Collections using Concept Hierarchies by J. Mothe, D. Egret, C. Chrisment, and K. Englmeier
  • Vocabulary Mapping in the NASA ADS: Prospects for Practical Subject Access by J. Lee and D. Dubin
  • Investigation of Metadata Applications at Palermo Astronomical Observatory by F. Martines and F. Morale


Link Checking Best Practices from NISO. "NISO's Link Check Best Practices spells out five simple things you can do to be a good citizen in the digital domain!"

Library Systems

Yet another open source library system, FireFly.
FireFly is a Complete Public Library system. It is being written in Python, Perl, with all data being stored in XML. The driving force behind this project is to give public libraries a Free-Software set to run and maintain library systems.

Information Formats

Five-Year Information Format Trends by the OCLC Library & Information Center, report prepared for OCLC Members Council.
  • A shift in new unit production of traditional and scholarly materials from paper-only to a combination of paper, print-on-demand (POD) and electronic versions is evident in the developed world. Annual production rates of electronic-only formats are growing faster than their paper only counterparts. Additionally, the 2007 forecasts suggest even stronger shifts.
  • On the more distant horizon, print-on-demand is likely to increase and bears watching
  • Traditional information formats are not going away.
  • New Web sites are not likely to continue to be created at current or recent growth rates. But, the number of objects (both text and graphic) expected to populate current sites is predicted to grow exponentially.
  • Digitization, although the most difficult area to quantify with respect to total worldwide production volume, may emerge as the most significant new format trend by 2007. New funding, imaging technology, marketing and patron appeal will likely fuel expansion faster than other categories.

Seymour Lubetzky

Seymour Lubetzky died on Saturday morning, a few weeks short of his 105th birthday.

Memorial services will be held 2:00 PM Sunday, April 13, at Hillside Memorial Park Chapel in Los Angeles.

Cards, letters of condolence, etc. can be sent to The Lubetzky Family, c/o David Lubetzky, 1250 H St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20005.

If you don't know who this is go to a library and check out a collection of his essays. Cataloging would not be where it is if not for his work.

Dublin Core

The DC2003 Conference & Workshop in Seattle, WA --September 28 (evening) - October 2, 2003 - will be preceded by two day-long pre-conference workshops on Sunday, September 28, 2003. The workshops will be followed immediately by the DC2003 Opening Reception.