Friday, May 02, 2003

Open Source OPAC

Marc2Opac v 1.2 is a PHP4 script for searching and displaying MARC (MAchine Readable Catalog) files.


Sleuthing Out Data by Fred Hapgood discusses the power of grouping items in catagories to improve the usefulness of result sets and the ability of computer programs do do the work.
There's no sign that advances in categorization and search technology will slow down anytime soon either. If searching is the foundation of all our relations with the online data, and categorization is the foundation of intelligent searching, then it seems likely that CIOs are going to be boosting the IQ of their searching tools for some time to come. Smart searching might very well become as important to the face of an enterprise as smart salespeople.
Seen on Column Two.


SimpleServer is a nifty looking tool. I'll have to play with it sometime and see just how it can be used to improve access.
SimpleServer is a Perl module which is intended to make it as simple as possible to develop new Z39.50 servers over any type of database imaginable. All you have to do is implement a function for initializing your database (optional), searching the database, and returning "database records" on request. The module takes care of everything else and automatically starts a server for you, listens to incoming connections, and implements the Z39.50 protocol. It couldn't really be easier.
I found this mentioned in the posting at /usr/lib/info "adding Z39.50 to non-Z39.50 databases (that you don't own)" concerning the ethics of providing Z39.50 access to someone else's database.

Book Numbers

William Denton, an MLS student, has written and posted a paper on book numbers.
I wrote this essay in February 2003 for a course in the theory of classification at the Faculty of Information Studies at the University of Toronto. The introductory cataloguing course had, of course, covered Dewey and Library of Congress, but the details of book numbers were dismissed with a quick "and you can add on something to indicate what volume or copy it is." I wasn't clear on exactly what a book mark was, or a title mark or collection mark, and who said you could use them, and who made the rules. I wanted to know, so when I got the chance I wrote this ten-pager.

Thursday, May 01, 2003


OCLC has, in the PowerPoint presentation Non-Member Use of Cataloging Records called Z39.50 users rogues. The tone is much like the RIAA going after KaZar. Z39.50 the next P2P? A long discussion ensued on AUTOCAT in the 3rd week of April.


The OpenURL standard has run into a bump on the road when it was found that there was a patent pending on a resolving service. NISO has issued a statement. There is a good discussion of the issues at /usr/lib/info.


The May issue of Info Career Trends is now available. Contents include:
  1. Editor's Note
  2. Career Q&A From the Library Job People
  3. Librarianship: Not Just a Job, a Career
  4. Where Do You Go When There Is No Up?
  5. Laid Off Twice At Age 30
  6. Growth Through Change
  7. Charting Your Course
  8. What's Online? Recommended Resources
  9. But I Want To Hold It In My Hand! Print Resources

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Ice Cream

Free Scoop Night at Baskin-Robbins. Visit one of the participating stores on Wednesday, April 30, 2003, from 6 to 10 p.m. and get a free 2.5 oz scoop of ice cream. Choose from any available flavor.

In 3 days, Free Comic Book Day. Is life great or what.

This 'blog

I've flipped the layout of the 'blog. Now folks who use AvantGo, or something similar, will get the postings first and only after those the links and descriptions. Should make for less scrolling and easier reading. Is anyone using AvantGo to read library 'blogs? How do you like it? If I had a rail or bus commute it would be something I'd try.

This 'blog

I'm considering cleaning up Catalogablog by removing some minor features. Let me know if you use any of these:
  • ThreadTrack (only once has this linked back)
  • IM with me, Blog Chat (Never has anyone chatted)
  • The Amphetadesk icon (You should be able to select one of the feeds from above)
  • Links open new window box


The program It's Not Just Google Anymore: Blogs and the Latest in Search Engines sponsored by NEASIST is summarized by Elizabeth Riba on her 'blog, Riba Rambles. Speakers included Jenny Levine of The Shifted Librarian, Steven Cohen of Library Stuff, Jessamyn West of, and Greg Notess of Search Engine Showdown. All that and in Cambridge, Mass. a great city. I've spent some time at the Inman Square pubs, the Coop, and Legal Seafood in the days of my youth. Good contra, English country and folk dancing there. Have to revisit soon.

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Geography Markup Language

Geography Markup Language (GML) is a new (to me) metadata standard. Wonder how it fits in with FGDC metadata?
GML or Geography Markup Language is an XML based encoding standard for geographic information developed by the OpenGIS Consortium (OGC). It is current status is an RFC under review within the OpenGIS Consortium. The RFC is supported by a variety of vendors including Oracle Corporation, Galdos Systems Inc, MapInfo, CubeWerx and Compusult Ltd. GML was implemented and tested through a series of demonstrations which formed part of the OpenGIS Consortium's Web Mapping Test Bed (WMT) conducted in September 1999. These tests involved GML mapping clients interacting with GML data servers and service providers.
An "Introduction to GML Geography Markup Language" by Ron Lake provides an overview.

Found in a reference in the paper "Geographic Information Science and Technologies: Impacts on Information Access and Exchange for the Geosciences" by Christopher A. Badurek in Geoscience Information: a Dynamic Odyssey. GIS in libraries scares me. It seems like it could be an endless time sink. Yet, that data belongs in libraries.


The latest Information Outlook, vol. 7, no. 5 (2003) has a concise introductory article on instant messaging. "Simple Collaboration Tools - Quick and Easy KM" by Stephen Abram.

High Energy Physics Libraries Webzine

Issue 7 of the High Energy Physics Libraries Webzine has just been published.
  • Diffused Knowledge Immortalizes Itself: The LOCKSS Program - Victoria A. Reich
  • The Instituto Fisico on Via Panisperna: the new Museo Storico della Fisica e Centro Studi e Ricerche "Enrico Fermi" di Roma - Luca Carbonari, Gilda Leoni
  • Project Report: Management of the Videotape Collection in the CERN Library: Accessing multiple virtual collections from a unique bibliographic record - Maywenn Haldimann, Ingrid Geretschlager (English and French version available)


Here is some good news from Texas.
PEN American Center today named Jerilynn Adams Williams, a Texas librarian who successfully turned back an attempt to remove books from circulation at Montgomery County public libraries, as the recipient of this year's prestigious PEN/Newman's Own First Amendment Award. Ms. Williams will receive the $25,000 prize, along with a limited-edition artwork, at PEN's annual Gala on April 22, 2003 at the Pierre Hotel in New York City.
All too often Texas is depicted as a place of backward, intolerant, fundamentalists. Here is someone who shatters that myth.

Controlled Vocabularies

Six of the Gateway to Educational Materials (GEM) elements require the use of controlled vocabularies.
  • Audience
  • Format
  • Grade
  • Language
  • Pedagogy
  • Relation
  • Resource Type
  • Subject

Monday, April 28, 2003

RDF and Topic Maps

Taking RDF and Topic Maps seriously - what happens when you drink the Kool Aid by Kent Fitch is an older piece (but new to me), 2002, but worth a look.
A great deal of attention has been focussed on the concept of the "Semantic Web". One of the core ideas behind the Semantic Web is the creation of machine-processable relationships between resource identifiers (URI's). Two often discussed ways of representing those relationships are RDF and Topic Maps.

This paper describes how the concepts and goals of Resource Description Framework (RDF) and Topic Maps influenced the design of the Australian Literature Gateway (AustLit) project.

There is some connection to FRBR as well.
AustLit is a bibliographic and biographic system that represents its core application data using a new model from the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) known as the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Record (FRBR) model.


A LITA intrest group on portals has created a Web site for their mission.
The Internet Portals Interest Group defines a portal as a service (and related systems and approaches to organization) that facilitates organized knowledge discovery through the Internet. The mission of the IG is to explore, research, educate and generally facilitate an understanding and sharing of knowledge about portal services (best practices, system design and software) among LITA members and throughout the library community and to help improve the state-of-the-art of portal services, systems and support groups in regard to both current and future library (or related) services.
The home page is useless, you would think a library organization would favor content over style.