Friday, July 18, 2003


The University at Buffalo Reporter has the article Library students test Internet freeware by Patricia Donovan.
"our LS 501 students can learn to configure and mount a Koha system from scratch, then test it and provide 'bug' reports to the Koha group responsible for the overall development and testing of the system. This fall, our LS 506 students will participate in end-user testing of the system."
What a wonderful opportunity for the students to get in and do some real-world work. And how great for the Koha project to have such a group of folks added to the development.

Mapping Thesauri

Another, much larger, mapping of terms from one thesauri to another is mapping MeSH to LCSH as done at Northwestern University. "Mapping the MeSH and LCSH Systems" by Tony Olson and Gary Strawn Information Technology and Libraries. 16(1) (March 1997) p. 5-19 provides more details. This was an on-going project for several years. It looks like the last up-date was done in October 2002. MARC records for both the MeSH and LCSH files are available for users to download.

As the article points out, there are other benefits to these mappings than enhanced user access. A cataloger finding copy with one type of term can use the file to find a suggestion for a term in the thesauri the library uses, for example.

GSAFD Thesaurus

Reading the article Using the OAI-PMH ... Differently by Herbert Van de Sompel, Jeffrey A. Young and Thomas B. Hickey in the latest D-Lib Magazine made me aware of an interesting resource, the GSAFD Thesaurus.

The records have long been available for download in MARC format. OCLC has enriched the records by mapping LCSH to the terms and then making it available using OAI-PMH protocol. The records are displayed in Marc, Dublin Core or thesaurus format. There are permanent links to the record and a link to the LCSH term. Since it uses OAI-PMH, it is both human and machine readable, making it a Web service. Very slick.

Thursday, July 17, 2003


New papers have been posted at the First IFLA Meeting of Experts on an International Cataloguing Code page.
  • Background Paper:
    Guerrini, Mauro: Corporate bodies from ICCP up to 2003
  • Presentation paper:
    Notes and considerations on Brave New FRBR World / Maria De Panicis ...

New Book

Announcing new books by people I read on the net is getting to be a common occurrence. Marylaine Block of NeatNew and ExLibris (both worth reading) announces her new book Net Effects.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003


The open source library sytem Koha is getting close to version 2.0. This is the full MARC version. Two new features are rsskoha and ldapkoha.
rssKoha, an extension to Koha allowing libraries to easily create RSS feeds of their library data, has been released. This software is not being integrated into the main Koha distribution until after the 2.0.0 release of Koha. It is being made available separately to allow interested users to begin testing it.
ldapKoha, an extension to Koha allowing libraries to easily use existing LDAP systems to authenticate Koha users, has been released by the developers at ESIEE. This software is not being integrated into the main Koha distribution until after the 2.0.0 release of Koha. It is being made available separately to allow interested users to begin testing it.


A new work from NISO Metadata Demystified - A Guide for Publishers by Amy Brand, Frank Daly and Barbara Myers.
This guide presents an overview of evolving metadata conventions in publishing, as well as related initiatives designed to standardize how metadata is structured and disseminated online. Focusing on strategic rather than technical considerations in the business of publishing, this guide offers insight into how book and journal publishers can streamline the various metadata-based operations at work in their companies and leverage that metadata for added exposure through digital media such as the Web. This exposure is an additional way of sharing information about content. It benefits not only publishers, but also potential readers who seek access to published products and the resource discovery environment more generally.


The new issue of D-Lib Magazine has the article Identifying Metadata Elements with URIs: The CORES Resolution by Thomas Baker and Makx Dekkers.
On 18 November 2002, at a meeting organised by the CORES Project (Information Society Technologies Programme, European Union), several organisations regarded as maintenance authorities for metadata elements achieved consensus on a resolution to assign Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) to metadata elements as a useful first step towards the development of mapping infrastructures and interoperability services. The signatories of the CORES Resolution agreed to promote this consensus in their communities and beyond and to implement an action plan in the following six months. Six months having passed, the maintainers of GILS, ONIX, MARC 21, CERIF, DOI, IEEE/LOM, and Dublin Core report on their implementations of the resolution and highlight issues of relevance to establishing good-practice conventions for declaring, identifying, and maintaining metadata elements more generally. In June 2003, the resolution was also endorsed by the maintainers of UNIMARC.
Other articles include:
  • Using the OAI-PMH ... Differently by Herbert Van de Sompel, Jeffrey A. Young and Thomas B. Hickey
  • Report on the Third ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital
    Libraries (JCDL): 27 - 31 May 2003, Houston, Texas by Michael Nelson
  • Electronic Theses and Dissertations Worldwide: Highlights of the ETD 2003 Symposium by John H. Hagen and Susanne Dobratz and Peter Schirmbacher


The Information Program of the Open Society Institute (OSI), along with SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), today announced three new publications for developers and publishers of open access journals.
  • Guide to Business Planning for Launching a New Open Access Journal
  • Guide to Business Planning for Converting a Subscription-based Journal to Open Access
  • Model Business Plan: A Supplemental Guide for Open Access Journal Developers & Publishers

Tuesday, July 15, 2003


Yesterday I mentioned how I'd like to see my institution add "What's New" pages using MT and IM reference using Morris Messenger. I'd omitted the other tool I consider necessary, a calendar. Personally, I'd like one with an RSS feed. Something easy to use, able to download to a handheld and standards compliant would be necessary. If it stored info in a MySQL database that would be a plus.


Taxonomy Warehouse is a free service (free to users and free to vocabulary publishers) provided by Synapse, the Knowledge Link Corporation for the benefit of the information and knowledge management community.

The Warehouse aims to provide a comprehensive directory of taxonomies, thesauri, classification schemes and other authority files from around the world, plus information about taxonomy references, resources and events.

They provide a description of the resource as well as contact information. If you know of one they do not list, you may add it to their collection. Seen on -=(In Between)=-


The Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access is discussing the use of conventional terms as SMD's in formats other than electronic resources. This would be a major change, I think for the better. However, they need to hear from you. Let them know your concerns and thoughts on this.

I think, that as long as we continue to use the GMD we can be flexible with the SMD. This is the best option using both the language of our users and a controlled vocabulary. If use of the GMD is discontinued, my position is modified. If we require a 655 drawn from a controlled vocabulary, using conventional terms as SMD's is fine. If that is not required, then we should stop using convention terms as SMD's. There does need to be some access by format using controlled terms.

Cataloging Language

In the latest OCLC Cataloging & Metadata Interest Group Summary, they discuss allowing duplicate records in World Cat if the language of cataloging is different. What a great idea, merging these records is a very parochial idea. Keeping them separate will not only help libraries in other nations but some here in the U.S. Many libraries in Texas, California and Florida could use records in Spanish. Just how it would work would depend on the system. Our ILS can't link two bib records to one item record, but I'd bet some can. There could be a record for both Spanish and English speakers. This is still a year or two away.

There is also some discussion about record nabbing.

Monday, July 14, 2003


Phalbe Henriksen's More Typographical Errors in Library Database was updated in early July. Correct spelling can be an big improvement in access to our catalogs. It is certainly something not available in general on the Web. Just check how many hits you get from Plam Piolet. Creating cross references in our authority from some of these misspellings will be the next step. Or even better, having spell checking in the OPAC. Thanks to Terry Ballard, Phalbe Henriksen and all the others making our records cleaner.

NLM Classification Updated

The online National Library of Medicine Classification, was issued in a newly revised edition on July 14, 2003. This revision incorporates all new Index headings resulting from MeSH terms added to the 2003 vocabulary and selected for addition to the Index.

The new edition contains 133 new MeSH concepts and nearly seven hundred index entries were brought into closer compliance with MeSH; in addition, four new Schedule numbers were added and 40 Schedule records were maintained since the 2002 revised edition was published on February 4, 2003.

Library 'Blogs

The Pacifica Graduate Research Library page has a pleasing look that incorporates a Web log in the design. I'd like to see something like that for our library page. I've been agitating for quite some time now, maybe something will happen. Same for IM reference, I'd like Morris Messenger available for our users.

Collection-level descriptions

Library Review v. 52, no. 6, p. 247-250 (2003) has the article "Collection-level descriptions: metadata of the future?" by George Macgregor.
The potential for digital library growth has recently drawn into question the ability of users to navigate large distributed and heterogeneous collections. This column attempts to summarise some of the potential benefits to be derived through the implementation of collection-level descriptions for both user resource discovery and institutional collection management. In particular, the concept of "functional granularity" is introduced and some related issues are briefly explored.
The same issue also contains a review of Music Classification Systems by Mark McKnight.


An interesting idea on usr/lib/info, benchmarking ILS performance.
I wonder if anyone is aware of a set of tests for catalogs that would test their response times on a range of possible queries (from simple author or title searches to more complex multi-field testing). While these tests would only cover known item searches, it would be interesting, for instance, to see how well one library catalog performs when compared to another with the same record set. One might want to load up one of the open source ILSes with the same set of records s/he has in the local proprietary database, for instance, and compare the results.
It seems that some institutions have done their own tests. It might be good to have some standards or guidelines for such tests. Sounds like a dissertation or a project for NISO.