Friday, June 06, 2003


The latest issue of the OLAC Newsletter is now available. Some of the highlights are:
  • Report From the SURA/ViDe 5th Annual Digital Video Workshop's Pre-Workshop Conference: Using Dublin Core and MPEG-7 to Describe Digital Video March 24, 2003 Georgia Centers for Advanced Telecommunication Technologies (GCATT) Atlanta, GA submitted by Sueyoung Park-Primiano
  • Some Changes Hidden in AACR2 Amendments 2002 Nancy B. Olson
One thing I learned from this issue, is that the word stereo should be followed by a period, since it is an abbreviation for stereophonic. I'm sure I've not been doing that.

Consider joining this fine organization. At $30.00 for three years it is a bargain.

Dublin Core

The DCMI Collection Description WG reported in October 2002 that there had been limited interest in the proposal to develop a DC-based application profile for collection-level description.

Since that time, however, the co-chairs have received a number of concrete expressions of interest in this work, and with this support, we propose to relaunch the activity of the group and review/amend the existing proposal with the aim of developing an application profile for collection-level description, applicable to a broad range of collection types.

Some suggested revised milestones are available. The proposal discussed during 2002 is available and the proposal is now presented in the form of an "application profile".

Human Markup Language

This sounds like a joke to me, but who knows, it could be TNBT, the Human Markup Language Initiative (HumanML).
The initiative is an XML-based non-proprietary endeavor, open to the contributions of all parties interested in helping define human XML standards. These standards include various aspects of human communication process through markup, including 'gestures', 'thoughts', 'emotions', and 'attitudes'. The project has a goal of "enriching human communications and reducing human misunderstanding" through explicit mechanisms to represent paralinguistic features of human communication.

Thursday, June 05, 2003


Writing for the Web - How to Write Web-Friendly Content for your Site by Steve Lee.
This article provides a short introduction to the basics of writing for the Web. It considers how Web users approach the information they find on the net, and, based on this, offers some practical tips to help you produce Web friendly content for your site. It does not seek to dictate a specific style, and cannot take account of any style or other guides available to you; these should be read in conjunction with the advice below.


Time is also running out if you wish to make a nomination for this year's CILIP/FreePint Online Community Award. Make your nomination for any online community from any sector by June 27. I've nominated LISNews. Let's get some of the other library sites nominated as well.


As the FRBR Working Group gets ready for the IFLA meeting in Berlin they have made available discussion, presentation and code comparison papers. Papers include:
  • Buizza, Pino; Guerrini, Mauro: Author and Title Access Point Control
  • Heijligers, Ton: 'Main Entry' into the future?
  • Jonsson, Gunilla: The bibliographic unit in digital context - how to define it?
  • Byrum, John D.: IFLA's ISBD Programme: Purpose, Process, and Prospects
  • Le Boeuf, Patrick: Brave New FRBR World
  • Munnich, Monika; Popst, Hans: Principles for Library Catalogues and other Bibliographic Files


Another association of librarians, The Middle East Librarians' Association.
The Middle East Librarians' Association is a private, non-profit, non-political organization of librarians and others interested in those aspects of librarianship which support the study of or dissemination of information about the Middle East. The area signified is considered to include those countries from Morocco through Pakistan as well as other areas formerly included in the Arab, Ottoman, or Mughal empires.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003


Prospects for institutional e-print repositories in the United Kingdom by Michael Day discusses the UK project to establish an eprint server by harvesting metadata from institutional and subject-based e-prints archives using the Open Archive Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH).
This study introduces ePrints UK, a project funded as part of the JISC's Focus on Access to Institutional Resources (FAIR) Programme. It first introduces the project and the main features of the FAIR programme as it relates to e-print repositories. Then it provides some general information on open-access principles, institutional repositories and the technical developments that have made their development viable. There follows a review of relevant repositories in the UK and an indication of what impact ePrints UK might have in supporting learning, teaching and research. This is followed by a discussion of perceived impediments to the take-up of institutional repositories, including both practical and cultural issues. A final section investigates the development of ongoing evaluation criteria for the project.


It seems the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) issued CD-ROMs containing their publications beginning in 1990. They will not work on current machines. Those issued from 1994-96 require Windows 95, will not work with Win98 or later. Those issued 1990-1993 will not even work on a Win 95 machine.

Digitization improves access not preservation. The microfiche from the 1980's still works just fine but electronic versions from less than 10 years ago are worthless. FBIS seems to be uninterested in the old stuff and has no plans to expand their on-line backfile to cover the CD years.

Online Conference

This October there will be a Web based conference, Learning Times Library Online Conference 2003. Steve Cohen, of Library Stuff, is a keynote presenter. A rather unique method of having a conference.

Tomorrow, June 5, is the on-line Web conference, Chief Considerations in Choosing an ILS. A much smaller event. One speaker on one topic.

Recently I attended a meeting of the Cataloging Focus Group of the Texas Library Connection using closed circuit TV (I think). It worked well. We were able to meet, which would not have happened otherwise. It saved considerable time. I just drove across town, rather than flying to Dallas or San Antonio. However, it did not provide for dining together and the serendipity that occurs in that setting. The free exchange of ideas outside the meeting proper is something I missed. There is a place for browsing the stacks as well as using the catalog. With budget problems everywhere, on-line meetings allow for some important meetings to occur, but at a price. I expect the same from the conference tomorrow. It is not something I'd have flown to Denver to attend, so it is nice to have it available on-line, but I don't expect it to be as rich an experience as meeting in person.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003


Some valid questions have been raised by Saul J. Amdursky in ILL: Sacred Cow or Vital Service?, Library Journal v. 128, no. 10 (June 2003)
Interlibrary loan (ILL) is one of those services that librarians and their patrons have embraced for decades. Unfortunately, in a public library setting, this has proven to be an expensive mistake. The public library community directs too many dollars to a service that has too few users. There are better things to do with the money.
The companion pieces Purchase on Demand A Better Customer Service Model by Richard Hulsey and Patron-Initiated This Ain't Your Grandfather's ILL! by Christie Pearson Brandau provide further details. Should funds be diverted from ILL to full-text databases, buying more items and reciprocal borrowing agreements?


National Archives' of Australia is converting records in proprietary data formats to equivalent data formats in XML. The Archives has developed a number of data formats for converting the digital records it receives from Commonwealth agencies. They are asking for comments on their completeness and suitability. The comment period ends 1 July 2003.


The May Newsletter of the Classification and Indexing Section, Division of Bibliographic Control of IFLA is now available. Contents include
  • Programme for 69th IFLA Conference, Berlin 2003
  • Developments since the Glasgow Conference
  • Abstracts of Developments in Classification and Indexing, 2002-2003

MARC Tag of the Month

This month Follett's MARC Tag of the Month is a sample record for an Electronic Resource Website.

Monday, June 02, 2003


Just started reading XML in Libraries edited by Roy Tennant. Looks interesting.


Metadata is essential web writing skill by Gerry McGovern appears in the current New Thinking Newsletter.
Metadata gives your content context. Content that does not have effective metadata is not web content. It is sloppy, next-to-useless print content that has been unprofessionally published on the Web. If you don't have time to publish professional metadata for your content, you shouldn't be allowed to publish anything on a website.


William Denton has posted his paper "FRBR and Fundamental Cataloguing Rules".
IFLA's proposed data model, Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR), arranges bibliographic entities in a new way, using an entity-relationship model that unites the products of intellectual and artistic endeavour, their creators, and their subjects. A catalogue that uses FRBR principles would give the user more helpful information and power over the collection than current catalogues do. This essay looks back at the fundamental laws and objectives of cataloguing and librarianship -- as set down by Panizzi, Cutter, Lubetzky, and Ranganathan -- and shows how FRBR embodies them. The FRBR entity-relationship model is described, and a possible web-based FRBR-aware catalogue imagined. Current work on FRBR, including experiments done with WorldCat, is examined. FRBR offers great hope for the future of catalogues.

Digital Repository Management System

The Fedora project was established under the auspices of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to build a digital object repository management system based on the Flexible Extensible Digital Object and Repository Architecture (Fedora). The new system, designed to be a foundation upon which interoperable web-based digital libraries, institutional repositories and other information management systems can be built, demonstrates how distributed digital library architecture can be deployed using web-based technologies, including XML and Web services.

Jointly developed by the University of Virginia and Cornell University, the system completely implements the Fedora architecture, adding utilities such as batch creation tools and interactive programs for creating behavior objects that facilitate repository management. The version 1.0 of the software is aimed at providing a repository that can handle one million objects efficiently using only open source software. Later versions of the software will add important functionality, such as policy enforcement, versioning of objects and performance enhancement to support very large repositories.

The software has the following key features:

  • It is written in Java 1.4.
  • A repository is exposed as a Web service and is described using Web Services Description Language (WSDL).Digital object behaviors are implemented as linkages to distributed web services that are expressed using WSDL and implemented via HTTP GET/POST or SOAP bindings.
  • Digital objects are encoded and stored as XML using the Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS).
  • All of the software resulting from the project is freely available under an open-source Mozilla Public License.
Seen on FOS news.