Thursday, October 23, 2003


In the Spring 2003 issue of the Space Telescope Science Institute Newsletter (v. 20 no. 2), there is an interview with Sarah Stevens-Rayburn on p. 18-20. Sarah was the founder of the library at the STScI and has been there since. Warning for those with slower connections, it is a 24 p. PDF file.

Cataloging Collections

Hidden Collections, Scholarly Barriers: Creating Access to Unprocessed Special Collections Materials In North America's Research Libraries A White Paper for the Association of Research Libraries Task Force on Special Collections compiled by Barbara M. Jones is available. It has a June date, so this may be old news, but it is new to me.
While statistics show steady and dramatic growth in the use of special collections by diverse groups of users, the status of the backlogged “hidden collections” has not changed. Such hidden resources mean that scholarly projects may well be missing some crucial information that could affect research results and the very nature of the project.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

LC Proof Sets

A change in format and distribution for the LC Proof Set is due Jan. 1 2004.
This notice is to inform you that the Cataloging Distribution Service (CDS) plans to discontinue the distribution of Alert Service records in card format effective January 1, 2004. CDS's legacy card-production system is no longer sufficiently reliable for CDS to offer the card format after 2003.

CDS will continue the Alert Service for customers who wish to receive weekly Alert Service records in MARC 21 communications format. The weekly files of MARC 21 format records will be available via electronic FTP (File Transfer Protocol) on an annual subscription basis, with the pricing to be based on the estimated number of records distributed.


Additionally, CDS is exploring the feasibility of distributing the weekly Alert Service notices in other electronic formats. A survey will be mounted to gather customer feedback.

Web List

Late yesterday I had a new project dropped in my lap. What is wanted is a list of on-line books and texts for our Web site. I have about 1200 items with links in our catalog, but something less like a catalog is what is desired and only including on-line resources.

I'm thinking faceted classification might be the way to go. The user picks 1 of 12 to 15 topics and is presented with a list generated from a database. My records are in MARC, but could easily be converted to XML or DC with MarcEdit or some other tools.

Anyone know of any open-source solutions for this? Any other suggestions?

BNB name headings and their NACO equivalents

A project to support users of BNB records in managing the migration of their catalogues to MARC 21 providing:
Over 1300 frequent name headings occurring in the British National Bibliography (BNB) matched with headings established under the Name Authorities Co-operative (NACO) component of the Program for Co-operative Cataloguing (PCC) and intended for use in MARC 21 cataloguing.
The project is in four parts:
  • To the user, describing the selection method and presentation of headings
  • Alphabetical sequence of BNB and equivalent NACO headings showing if they are the same or different or if a NACO heading is not available
  • Frequency listing of headings according to how often they occur in BNB records
  • Statistical analysis of the matching of BNB and NACO headings
Thanks Ian for pointing this out to me.

DC & OpenURL

The OpenURL community has posted, for comments, the paper Dublin Core Community Profile (DCCP) for Simple Dublin Core in KEV Format.
This profile will allow the transport of metadata using the fifteen Dublin Core elements as key/value pairs on an OpenURL. It is intended to provide an OpenURL capability for users of Dublin Core metadata that is a simple transformation from the Dublin Core metadata.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003


OCLC began shipping the the 22nd edition of the Dewey Decimal Classification Monday, October 20.

Available for downloading are

  • The DDC 22 Introduction (37 pages, 258K), a full reprint from volume 1 of DDC 22, provides a detailed overview of the DDC, including basic terminology and an explanation of DDC structure, complete with many helpful examples. If you are new to classifying with Dewey, this introduction will help you get started quickly.
  • The Glossary (9 pages, 74K), also reprinted from volume 1 of DDC 22, provides helpful definitions of DDC terms and gives users a common language for implementing the DDC.
  • New Features (20 pages, 143K), another reprint from volume 1 of DDC 22, concisely describes what’s new in DDC 22, including changes implemented to enhance classifier productivity and a selected list of specific changes to DDC numbers. Look here if you want to quickly assess the changes from DDC 22 that you can apply to your collections.
Does not require any forms to be filled out.


I just received an ad e-mail from Elsevier about their Link Finder Plus. Along with this was a link to a white paper "OpenURL: a Tutorial". After filling in a form asking phone #, address, etc, the result was a paper about 1 1/4 pages long. Just not worth the effort. If it was available without jumping through hoops, that would be OK. As it is, just say no.

IMS Specifications

News from The IMS Global Learning Consortium. Now you can download the entire specification packages as an IMS content package. The specification package includes all specification documents as HTML and PDF, schemas/control documents, and examples.

By downloading the specification as IMS packaged content, you can see what a content package looks like and how it is organized. You can also import it as a learning resource into your Content Packaging enabled learning management system or repository.

These are the wilderness of cataloging. I've not heard of anyone developing guidelines for dealing with D-Space or similar e-learning spaces. They will represent a huge source of information and tools that will deserve description and access.


The Semblogging demonstrator is now out.
Here are some simple notes for looking at the HP Labs semantic blogging demonstrator The blog is intended to show the use of semantic web technologies augmenting the blogging paradigm, and applied to the domain of bibliography management. For further details about the requirements for this demonstrator, see the requirements specification. We believe that the use of semantic metadata can allow a blog to be used in new and powerful ways.

We have chosen bibliography management because it shows how we can use semantic web technologies to push blogging from a communal diary browsing experience to a rich information sharing activity

Specifically, we have divided the functionality into semantic view, semantic navigation and semantic query.

Monday, October 20, 2003


The idea of adding OAI-PMH to 'blogs has been floated on usr/lib/info. From the post and comment it seems a simple hack. The question then becomes, should it be done. OAI has been used, so far, to provide access to more substantial works. If all 'blogs suddenly had a OAI publish button as well as an RSS and e-mail publish buttons would it just muddy the information waters? Or would this be a use that could move OAI into another arena and gain wider acceptance?