Friday, October 17, 2003

Cites & Insights

Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large 3:13 (November 2003) is now available for downloading.

The 20-page issue (PDF) includes:

  • A scholarly access perspective: Getting That Article: Good News
  • Bibs & blather
  • Scholarly article access
  • Interesting & peculiar products
  • Feedback: Your insights
  • Trends & quick takes
  • Copyright currents.

    The opening article dealing with open access might be of interest to some catalogers. It deals with URL resolvers and OAI.

  • XML

    Introducing XOBIS to the FRBR Working Group by Dick R. Miller is now on-line.

    He has also written a book with Kevin Clarke, Putting XML to Work in the Library.

    Thursday, October 16, 2003


    It's coming to MARC. This is a gentle introduction. The Absolute Minimum Every Software Developer Absolutely, Positively Must Know About Unicode and Character Sets (No Excuses!) by Joel Spolsky.
    Before I get started, I should warn you that if you are one of those rare people who knows about internationalization, you are going to find my entire discussion a little bit oversimplified. I'm really just trying to set a minimum bar here so that everyone can understand what's going on and can write code that has a hope of working with text in any language other than the subset of English that doesn't include words with accents. And I should warn you that character handling is only a tiny portion of what it takes to create software that works internationally, but I can only write about one thing at a time so today it's character sets.


    Two Paths to Interoperable Metadata by Carol Jean Godby, Devon Smith, and Eric Childress, presented at the 2003 Dublin Core Conference in Seattle, Wash. is now available.
    This paper describes a prototype for a Web service that translates between pairs of metadata schemas. Despite a current trend toward encoding in XML and XSLT, we present arguments for a design that features a more distinct separation of syntax from semantics. The result is a system that auomates routine processes, has a well-defined place for human input, and achieves a clean separation of the document data model, the document translations, and the machinery of the application.

    Guide to US Map Resources - 3rd ed. Survey

    Fill out a survey and win one of 2 $100 gift certificates from a national map dealer!

    The Map and Geography Roundtable (MAGERT) of the American Library Association is pleased to announce the opening of the survey whose results will be used to create the 3rd Edition of the Guide to U.S. Map Resources. The first edition was published in 1986, and the second in 1990 (974 collections participated). In the last 13 years there have been significant changes in the map library community. The 3rd Edition is long overdue and your help is needed.

    All libraries in the United States and its territories with collections of over 1,000 maps, or with collections of significant research, or historic value are asked to participate. MAGERT's goal is to compile a comprehensive guide. This will be accomplished only with YOUR help. Libraries will need to complete the official survey. The official survey is exclusively available on the web.

    Completed paper copies of the survey will also be accepted via US mail or FAX by the editor (see contact information below). The Survey will take approximately 10 to 40 minutes to finish. It is acceptable to approximate figures or leave answers blank, particularly if the maps are dispersed throughout your institution. Please forward this message on to institutions you believe should be included in the Guide. The Survey itself will begin October 15, 2003 and close January 31, 2004.

    After the closing of the survey, two libraries completing the survey will be chosen at random and each awarded a gift certificate from a national map dealer in the amount of $100.

    Christopher J.J. Thiry, Map Librarian at The Colorado School of Mines, is the editor of this edition. Approximately 30 other people will act as regional editors.

    Once again, the survey can be found online.

    For more information or questions, please contact:
    Christopher J.J. Thiry, editor
    Map Librarian
    Colorado School of Mines

    Posted with permission.

    Wednesday, October 15, 2003

    Lunar and Planetary Institute

    I've updated the What's New pages at the LPI. Subscribe to the RSS feed to be alerted to changes.

    Tuesday, October 14, 2003

    Faceted Application of Subject Terminology

    The paper, FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology): A Simplified LCSH-based Vocabulary presented at the World Library and Information Congress, is available, in PDF, from the IFLA Web site. Originally written in English, it is also available in French, German, and Russian versions.
    Recent trends, driven to a large extent by the rapid growth of the Web, are forcing changes in bibliographic control systems to make them easier to use, understand, and apply, and subject headings are no exception. The purpose of adapting the LCSH in a faceted schema with a simplified syntax is to retain the very rich vocabulary of LCSH while making it easier to understand, control, apply, and use. The FAST schema maintains upward compatibility with LCSH, and any valid set of LC subject headings can be converted to FAST headings.

    FAST consists of eight distinct facets. Authority records have been created for all established headings except for the chronological facet. The initial version of the FAST authority file will contain approximately two million authority records.

    A very readable and complete introduction to FAST.

    Lorcan Dempsey of OCLC Research points those interested in further info, to the FAST project site.

    Monday, October 13, 2003

    Language of Records in OCLC

    This is great news for libraries that do not have English as their primary language.
    Previously, records for the same title, but cataloged in different languages, such as English, Spanish and French, were considered duplicate records.

    OCLC will no longer consider these records duplicates, but will consider them parallel records.


    Exciting news from the OAI. Now it is very easy to make a small number of records available to the OAI community.
    Beta Release of OAI Static Repository Specification

    Ithaca, NY & Los Alamos NM - The Open Archives Initiative announces the beta release of the Specification for an OAI Static Repository and an OAI Static Repository Gateway. These beta releases follow a period of alpha testing during which implementations were written to the specification and functional details addressed. Public comment is invited during this beta period. Comments should be addressed to the OAI-implementers list. We expect the beta period to last for approximately two months from this release.

    A Static Repository provides a simple approach for exposing relatively static and small collections of metadata records through the OAI-PMH. The Static Repository approach is targeted at organizations that:

    • Have metadata collections ranging in size between 1 and 5000 records;
    • Can make static content available through a network-accessible Web server;
    • Need a technically simpler implementation strategy compared to acting as an OAI-PMH Repository, which requires processing OAI-PMH requests;
    A Static Repository is an XML file that is made accessible at a persistent HTTP URL. The XML file contains metadata records and repository information.

    A Static Repository becomes accessible via OAI-PMH through the intermediation of one Static Repository Gateway. A Static Repository Gateway uses the metadata records and repository information, provided via XML in the Static Repository, to process the six OAI-PMH requests for access to that information. Because a Static Repository Gateway maps a unique Static Repository base URL to each such Static Repository, harvesters can access a Static Repository in exactly the same manner as they access any other OAI-PMH Repository.

    This release is accompanied by the beta release of an XML Schema for Gateway Descriptions, a container that may be used to describe OAI-PMH Gateways, and in particular Static Repository Gateways.