Friday, May 23, 2003


Howard Dean is using a 'blog as part of the effort in his run for the Democratic nomination. He even has an RSS feed, but it lacks the orange button I've grown accustomed to looking for. His Web site has streaming video, text messaging for mobile phones and an e-mail alert system. He is also using the Meetup site to get his supporters together.


The following MARC discussion paper is available for review by the MARC 21 community. It will be discussed in a meeting of the MARC Advisory Committee, June 21-23, 2003 in Toronto, Canada.

Proposal 2003-05: Changes to Field 352 (Digital Graphic Representation) in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

The draft agenda for the meeting is available online.


Vacation is approaching. We will be going to Mass. for June 16-21. We plan on being in Worcester, Rockport, Boston, and Hyannis. Any suggestions of things to do or see? Folk/contra/English country/international dancing, music (we are seeing Carol Winsence in Rockport), food, libraries? I have been having a mild craving for fish cakes for quite some time; it must have been 25 years since I've had one. Any suggestions there? Do they still make them?

Anyone want to volunteer to keep Catalogablog going for that week? There could be more than one person posting.


Looking at the NCIP standard, it covers much more than the interaction between borrowing and lending library in an ILL transaction. It also includes the ability to verify patron information at a remote host and then grant privileges. Have any of the journal vendors investigated using this to provide access to on-line collections? Have we asked them? I know that keeping up with all the various methods of access to our e-journals is almost a full time position. Some require passwords, others only work from a specific range of IP addresses, and some use cookies. They often change without notification. A standard that would verify a user against our patron records would simplify the process. OCLC is currently using it in this way.
Following a successful installation on January 19, 2003, OCLC FirstSearch now allows libraries to authenticate users against their existing patron file using the NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol (NCIP). NCIP is an approved NISO (National Information Standards Organization) standard that defines messaging between circulation systems, ILL systems, or broker applications. NCIP has many applications, only one of which is authenticating patrons for access into an online service.
From the MLC Communique
It might also be used as a stick to get back materials. If a user was denied access to on-line databases we subscribe to because they had ignored a recall notice, they might take the notice more seriously. Does the standard have that ability, to distinguish patrons in good standing from others?

This will also make reciprocal borrowing much easier. Patron information could be verified and exchanged easily. There could be more statewide library cards, or even cards across state lines. On vacation, it would be nice to drop into the local library and check out a light read for the beach. This standard could open the way for that and more.

Koha & LibraryLookup

There is now a LibraryLookup bookmarklet for Koha, the open source library system.
I've added a tenth OPAC vendor to the LibraryLookup generator, and this one is kind of special. It's an open source product called Koha, commissioned by the HLT Library in New Zealand. Pat Eyler, the Kaitiaki (Guardian) of the project, told me about it way back in November, and the email got buried in a folder which I didn't revisit until this week. Sorry Pat, but better late than never. Very cool to see an open source OPAC in use.

Thursday, May 22, 2003


There's a new version of MARC::Record.
  • MARC::Field::update() by default will append any subfields which do not exist in the record to the end of the field. Added tests to check the new functionality to 60.update.t


  • Updated MARC::Lint to use the latest field/subfield designations from the Library of Congress. The data for MARC::Lint is now automatically generated from the LC webpage. Thanks go to Colin Campbell of Sirsi for the program that does the translation.
  • removed MARC::Lint check_260() since a subfield c is not mandatory (see RT #1565).
The updated field/subfield designations is huge. Going to be adding MARC::Specs soon so that there will be access to MARC fields, subfields, and so on from your own programs. Thanks to Colin for making this possible.

Closed all the bugs that relate to "MARC::Lint is wrong about this subfield".


This ILL standard is being discussed in the Koha and Perl4Lib community currently. This announcement from a commercial vendor might be of interest.
May 06 , 2003- The Library Corporation (TLC) will offer its NCIP Toolkit to ILS vendors and library organizations to benefit libraries worldwide.

NCIP (National Circulation Interchange Protocol) defines the various transactions needed to support circulation activities among individual library systems. NCIP is based on the SIP and SIP2 (Standard Interchange Protocol) communications scheme originally developed by 3M.


The following MARC discussion paper is available for review by the MARC21 community. It will be discussed in a meeting of the MARC Advisory Committee on June 21-23, 2003 in Toronto, Canada.

Discussion Paper 2003-DP04: Defining subfield $2 in fields 155, 455 and 555 of the MARC 21 Authority Format

The draft agenda for that meeting is available online.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003


The Plain Text Gazette has a new issue out. This is a newsletter with tips on writing for business, but they often apply to other situations as well. The current issue has two articles:
  • Order, order! The importance of structure in business writing
  • Words We Hate: the list begins

This 'Blog

Catalogablog is having some problems. The RSS feed from Voidstar is not current, at least in my copy of AmphetaDesk. If you are using that, you may want to change to the 0.91 feed, it seems more stable. In addition, the e-mailing of the posts from Bloglet is not working. Not sure what the problem could be.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003


rssSearch is a search engine which harvests and indexes the RSS/RDF files produced by weblogs across the Internet. It is built up from a number of components, a harvester, an indexer, a search engine, and a user interface. Currently it indexes 34,899 weblogs. Not sure if newspapers and magazines are included. It provides a SOAP interface, bookmarklets and naturally, a 'blog.

Map Cataloging

The American Library Association (ALA Publications) will be publishing a 2nd edition of Cartographic Materials: A Manual of Interpretation for AACR2R later on this year, and is at the point of deciding on size of printrun.

If your library is likely to buy more than one copy of this work, please let me know by May 21 at how many copies your library is likely to buy. I hasten to say, I realize this is just an estimate on your part.


Mary Lynette Larsgaard
Map & Imagery Lab, Library
University of California, Santa Barbara

Used with permission. I'm looking forward to this new edition, so much has changed since the previous one. Does that make my life sound sorry?


Bob Kelly, Director Journal Information Systems, the American Physical Society and Tom Von Foerster, Publisher, Journals and Technical Publications, the American Institute of Physics, have been pondering the on-line submission, storage and delivery of any non-text parts of scientific articles, that is anything that cannot be represented using an ASCII character set (or its extensions). We propose the creation of a small task force, workshop, or ad-hoc committee to discuss the issues raised and are posting this message in the belief that the group should also include a technologically knowledgeable librarian or someone like that who is involved with archival access to data. We are soliciting a volunteer to join us.

Although B&W line art poses no problems, halftones and color illustrations already raise some issues, especially when color images are published online while B&W images appear in print; complex mathematical expressions raise other issue -- at least until a proper language is worked out; and of course video and audio files, interactive graphics, and all those other neat things modern technology makes possible have raised all sorts of questions.

The group would discuss, and ultimately recommend, how such material ("essential non-text components" or "essential non-text stuff" -- which has the more euphonious acronym ENTS) affects all aspects of publication including submission, editorial and peer review, production, storage, on-line access and retrieval, subsequent use publishing and long-term archiving.

Some of the issues that we propose for consideration by this group include:

  1. How can ENTS best be accommodated during the review and production of articles?
  2. What formats should be supported?
  3. Since the on-line journals are intended to be archival, can we guarantee that all files will be useable in 5 years? In 50 years?
  4. Can appropriate links be provided in the posted article text? What is the best way to include such links?
  5. What accommodations need to be made in the printed version of an article to ensure that it represents as complete and useful a record of the contents as possible? Or, at what stage to we start publicly proclaiming to the user community, libraries and members, that the print copy is no longer a complete and faithful version of the journal?
  6. How does one need to restrict the file sizes for ENTS? Since not all of the users of electronic journal content have high-speed access to the Internet, do we need to provide several versions of the same material at different resolutions and file sizes?
  7. What new facilities and skills do publishers need to acquire to process ENTS into archival formats?
  8. What is the impact on subsequent users of the published material (abstracting and indexing services, secondary publishers, and the like)?
  9. What guidelines should one give authors for preparing the materials?
  10. What other problems may arise if journal articles contain ENTS?
  11. what are the costs? Are they recoverable?
We think that the group should include scientists working in areas (such as fluid dynamics or plasma physics, geophysics, bio-molecular chemistry, nonlinear dynamics, optics, acoustics, or high-energy experimental physics) who have experience working with ENTS. The group should, as stated above, also include a technologically knowledgeable librarian or someone like that who is involved with archival access to data.

The group would meet several times over the course of the next year, but would (after the initial meeting) mostly conduct its discussions by e-mail. We expect it to disband after making its recommendations.

While we expect the recommendations of the group to affect the publication of ENTS in AIP and APS journals directly, we also suspect that the establishment of a set of standards for the AIP and APS journals will have an impact in a far larger arena and the results of this effort will be shared with those involved in the flow of scholarly information, from author to current and future readers and subsequent users of the content.

Please contact either Tom or Bob if interested or with recommendations.

Bob Kelly
Director Journal Information Systems
The American Physical Society

Thomas von Foerster
Publisher, Journals and Technical Publications
American Institute of Physics

Posted with permission.


I've received the latest issue of the OLAC Newsletter (Dec. 2002). A good bit is devoted to reports from the 2002 conference. Wish I had been there, maybe next time. The newsletter is also available on-line.

I also noticed my membership has lapsed. Time to renew. $30.00 for three years membership in one of the "best library organizations" is a bargain. That's not just me, that is what Jean Weihs said as reported in the issue.


I've received the new Cataloging Service Bulletin. Revised LCRI's about:
  • Decisions before Cataloging
  • Name of Publisher, Distributor, Etc.
  • Serials, General Rules
  • Serials, Titles
In subject cataloging there are changes in the free-floating subdivision "Curricula" and revisions to scads of headings for battles. Clergymen has been changed to Clergy in several instances. I'd have thought those kind of changes would have been finished by now.


A reader asked about the BSO classification, something new to me, nothing to do with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. It is the Broad System of Ordering: a systematic overview of knowledge, a modern machine-held classification system embracing all fields of knowledge.
BSO is a compilation of about 6800 terms, arranged in an order which is systematic or structured at the level of meaning. It is a knowledge classification which attempts to reflect a modern consensual world outlook, and because it is essentially concept-oriented rather than word-oriented, its captions are supplemented by definition notes whenever the scope and meaning of the caption is not clear from its context in the systematic schedules.


The latest Library Journal has the article Feed Your Head: Keeping Up by Using RSS by Roy Tennant. An overview, nothing new to readers of Steve Cohen's Library Stuff. Still, it is important because this may bring the topic to folks who have missed hearing about it until now. Look for this to become a subject of many conferences presentations over the next year.

Open Archives Initiative

Materials from the 3rd Open Archives Forum, recently held in Berlin, are now available. Many talks have abstracts as well as PowerPoint presentations. Seen on eprintblog.


The open source OPAC, OpenBiblio, has a new version available oss4lib reports.
OpenBiblio is an easy to use, open source, automated library system written in PHP containing OPAC, circulation, cataloging, and staff administration functionality. The purpose of this project is to provide a cost effective library automation solution for private collections, clubs, churches, schools, or public libraries. The project goal is to write a library system with the following strengths:
  1. intuitive and easy to use
  2. well documented
  3. easy to install with minimal expertise
  4. designed with common library features to work with most library work flows


oss4lib reports that the Visual Basic Binding of ZOOM Z39.50 API has a new version available.:
VB-ZOOM is an ActiveX COMponent, written in Visual Basic, which is an implementation of the ZOOM (Z39.50 Object-Orientation Model) Abstract API. It is a wrapper for the YAZ Toolkit from Index Data.

Changes in 1.2c1.1.1 from the previous version include: correct MARC-8 character encoding conversions to Unicode when MARC records are rendered as XML, and all MARC 880 fields are now preserved when the MARC is converted to XML. This is accomplished by using the MARCCharSet.dll, included with this package; MARC XML output has been improved to more exactly conform to the Library of Congress MARC XML standard; the MARC parser has been made more tolerant of badly formed MARC; support for additional YAZ ZOOM Options has been added; the ZOOM_TEST program has been simplified, the code cleaned up, and targeted to a Z39.50 server that should actually work.

Monday, May 19, 2003


The following MARC proposal is available for review by the MARC 21 community. It will be discussed in a meeting of the MARC Advisory Committee on June 21-23, 2003 in Toronto, Canada. Several other papers will be made available soon.

The draft agenda for that meeting is now available online.

The following MARC proposal is available for review:

Proposal 2003-04: Definition of Field 024 (Other Standard Identifier) to the MARC 21 Authority Format


ClayGate 2003 is a gateway to the net using the Dewey Classification system. Simple to use.
The purpose of this project is to facilitate access to the wealth of information available on the World Wide Web to staff and students of La Trobe University, Bendigo, by providing a logical, consistent, coherent and functional means of organising such information. The catalogue is not meant to be comprehensive; rather, it is meant to provide a useful starting point in the quest for information available on the internet by pointing directly to what could be considered the "best sites" in any given topic that the library's users are likely to search on.

Einstein Archives

Later today, more than 900 scientific and nonscientific documents of one of the most influential intellects in the modern era, Albert Einstein, will soon be available online for the first time.

The Einstein Archives Online website, will also be accompanied by an extensive database of archival information. It will be launched on May 19 during a day long symposium on his life and work, to be held at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Name Access Control

The latest D-Lib Magazine has a notice about the XML Name Access Control Repository.
The XML Name Access Control Repository is an initiative of Hong Kong University of Science & Technology Library and is intended to address the problems experienced by catalogers and library catalog users in identifying personal authors whose names are in non-Latin scripts.

In view of the limitations that currently exist in library systems and cataloging standards regarding the recording and linking of multi-lingual name information, we conducted a research for new approaches to deal with the problem. As a result of our study, we developed a Person Model based on the name access control concept, designed a metadata schema derived from the Library of Congress' MARC XML, and implemented the Repository on an XML-based document management system.


The following MARC proposals are available for review:

Proposal 2003-03: Definition of Data Elements for Article Level Description

Proposal 2002-14/9R: Definition of Fields 365 (Trade Price) and 366 (Trade Information) in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format