Friday, October 31, 2003


Delivering OAI Records as RSS: An IMesh Toolkit module for facilitating resource sharing by Monica Duke provides an overview of a means of providing records in RSS through the use of an IMesh Toolkit module. Ariadne no. 37 (2003)


The Nov./Dec. issue of Searcher has an editorial about OCLC. It first complains about OCLC suing the NY hotel over using Dewey and says it should focus on important tasks. The example it gives is OCLC opening up the catalog to Google. That, the article says, is the type of thinking OCLC should be engaged in. The funny part is that between writing the article and it arriving here, OCLC has done exactly that. Strange.


The Nov. issue of Info Career Trends is now available. Articles include:
  • Career Q&A From the Library Career People
  • Management in the Middle: Life is Unfair
  • Managing Up At Your Library
  • From Management Class to Management
  • Managing a Library With Limited Resources
  • Developing Leadership Skills and Gaining Experience
  • What's Online? Recommended Resources
  • But I Want To Hold It In My Hand! Print Resources
Good news. It is now available via RSS.
I'm pleased to announce that Info Career Trends now has an RSS feed, courtesy of (Thanks, Blake! Thanks, Steven!) If you would prefer to access ICT via your newsreader, just go to the current issue page at and click on the handy XML button to retrieve the feed.

Digital Libraries

"Building digital libraries from simple building blocks" by Hussein Suleman; Edward A Fox; Rohit Kelapure; Aaron Krowne; Ming Luo in Online Information Review v. 27, no. 5, p. 301-310 (2003)
Metadata harvesting has been established by the Open Archives Initiative as a viable mechanism for connecting a provider of data to a purveyor of services. The Open Digital Library model is an emerging framework which attempts to break up the services into appropriate components based also on the basic philosophy of the OAI model. This framework has been applied to various projects and evaluated for its simplicity, extensibility and reusability to support the hypothesis that digital libraries should be built from simple Web service-like components instead of as monolithic software applications.
Includes links and descriptions to some of the software.


XML 1.0 Third Edition Is a Proposed Edited Recommendation 30 October 2003: The XML Core Working Group has published the Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.0 Third Edition as a Proposed Edited Recommendation. The third edition is not a new version of XML. It brings the XML 1.0 Recommendation up to date with second edition errata, and clarifies its use of RFC 2119 key words like must, should and may. Comments are welcome through 1 December. Visit the XML home page.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Controlled Vocabularies

Controlled Vocabularies: A Glosso-Thesaurus by Karl Fast, Fred Leise and Mike Steckel is available on Boxes and Arrows.
The glossary reflects our usage of terms in the articles of this series. But this glossary is more than just a list of terms. We wanted it to serve as an illustration of what a controlled vocabulary looks like (we are fond of killing multiple birds with multiple stones).

Accordingly, the glossary is itself a controlled vocabulary, more specifically a thesaurus. So you will find all of the standard features of any thesaurus: broader, narrower, and variant term indicators, as well as scope notes. In this case, however, the scope notes provide the definition of the particular glossary term being presented.

Seen on Column Two.


Interesting prestentation, Connecting Learning Objects with RSS, Trackback, and Weblogs. Slides and voice, have your speakers on to hear the 21 min. presentation. I keep wondering just how we are going to provide access to learning objects and e-classrooms.

Open Source

Lots of OS news at oss4lib this morning.
  • pyCatalog-1.0.1 is a Python, MySQL, wxPython, Reportlab application specifically usable in library and information centers. It simply produces book catalog and card catalog in pdf format rendered using reportlab. The program takes MARC file as its source data.
  • Library Acquisitions Database manages the ordering and receiving of items, such as books and video cassettes, for a library system, featuring individual-branch buying and budgeting. It is developed in Perl with a MySQL database backend by the TNRD Library System.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Project FLOW

Some interesting ideas about adding functions to the OPAC in Project FLOW.
Web-based library catalogues, or WebCats, have often seemed to be clunky in comparison to other bibliographic-centric systems like Amazon, although much of the underlying metadata-based activities and processes are more intensive in the library world. Most library systems have support for advanced constructs like authority control and classification, but are typically constrained in the amount of options they offer for customization and the creation of new functions. Fortunately, it is often possible to bypass the in-built mechanisms of the web display to augment the WebCat with a judicious amount of javascript if the web interface allows even a small amount of control in adding custom HTML.
Maps to the item selected, spelling corrections from Google, the Bookmarklet helper, RSS feeds and more are mentioned. Looking forward to the product release.


I've finally bought a PDA, the Palm m515. The price was just too good to pass up. I've been wanting to provide the What's New at the Lunar and Planetary Library updates in a form that could be synced to a PDA. Now I've got one to experiment on and get the files in the right format. Anything I should know or any cool software I would enjoy?

RSS Tool

Feedroll makes adding RSS feeds to your site as easy as cut and paste. Slick. I've added the feed from where I work.

Learning Object Metadata (LOM)

Some potentially useful tools from CanCore (Canadian Core Learning Object Metadata Application Profile).
CanCore, with the support of Athabasca University and the eduSource project, has developed three open-source software components for the access and manipulation of LOM/CanCore metadata. Released under the Free Software Foundation's LGPL License, these three components have the potential to greatly simplify the challenging task of developing learning object repositories --all without adding in any way to development costs.

These components take the form of interfaces, APIs (Application Program Interfaces), or schemas for working with LOM (Learning Object Metadata) or LOR (Learning Object Repository) data and functions:

  • A LOM Interface or API simplifying the manipulation and transmission of LOM data within and between software systems.
  • LOR Interface or API for communicating with a Learning Object and Metadata Repository.
  • A custom LDAP schema which allows LOM records to be stored and accessed via an LDAP server.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

LC Subject Headings

The latest issue of the Cataloging Service Bulletin has these major subject heading changes
  • Australian aborigines becomes Aboriginal Australians
  • The geographic qualifier Nfld. becomes N.L.
A change affecting many fewer records but most likely more libraries, is the change from Libraries and readers to Public services (Libraries) and from Library catalogs and readers to Library catalogs and users There is a change in meaning in these headings that I'm not sure I feel comfortable with. A reader is an active participant, a verb. A user has a bad undertone. Saying "She's just a user" isn't a compliment. This is a shift in meaning, not expression. Are we moving towards a business attitude rather than public service attitude? I hope not. The Public services (Libraries) heading seems not to have that attitude. Library catalogs and users, does.

New 'Blog

Library Cog, it's like, you know, library systems and stuff... looks interesting. I've put it on my reading list.


This has been reported already by Jenny on the Shifted Librarian, but now there is an official notice.
The Open WorldCat pilot is a year-long initiative that makes library resources available from nonlibrary Web sites. The pilot aims to test the effectiveness of Web search engines in guiding users to library-owned materials, making libraries more visible to Web users and more accessible from the Web sites many people turn to first.

The pilot marks the first time OCLC has made the unique resources of WorldCat records available outside the traditional library environment. A Web user who uses a search engine or other site to locate a particular item may be pointed to a library that owns the item based on records in WorldCat, the world's most comprehensive bibliographic database. See how easy the Open WorldCat pilot is to use.

Between this and RedLightGreen from RLG, library resources should become much more visible. If you are an OCLC member you can enhance your participation by making more information about your library available. There is a on-line form to fill in. It seems to be down at the moment, but check later and make sure your institution does its best to make this succeed.

Monday, October 27, 2003


Guidelines for the Application of the ISBDs to the Description of Component Parts - Reproduction with corrections has been posted to the IFLA site. The 1988 version, with corrections made in 2003.


Dr. Gloriana St. Clair, Dean, University Libraries, Carnegie Mellon University, visited OCLC Dublin (Ohio) recently to discuss the Million Book Digital Library Project. This international library project strives to create a free-to-read, searchable collection of one million books, available to everyone over the Internet. Dr. St. Clair's presentation focused on the development and growth of the project, and highlighted opportunities and challenges in collaboration, content, and sustainability.

A digital audio recording and presentation slides have recently been posted to the OCLC Research Web page.

Topic Maps: The Inventor's Perspective on Subject-based Access is now available at LC. This includes video as well as voice.

Dr. Newcomb will speak about the conceptual foundations of the Topic Maps paradigm. (He has drafted a statement of these foundations under the title, "The Topic Maps Reference Model".) These conceptual foundations are more abstract (less "ontologically committed"), than the Topic Maps standard. The conceptual foundations are concerned with facilitating the creation and maintenance of subject-based indexes that amalgamate other subject-based indexes. The amalgamated indexes may themselves be either collaboratively or independently created, maintained, and amalgamated, and they may be based on different ontologies and/or taxonomies. The development of an effective conceptual and methodological basis for the amalgamation of subject-based indexes speaks to several of the goals and issues of Library Science, including the "co-location" objective and the "co-referencing" problem. Perhaps the simplest way to communicate the goal of the Topic Maps Reference Model is to ask, "How can a single perspective be most easily provided for each subject, from which various independent assertions about the subject are directly available?" To put it even more briefly, "How can a master index be made from indexes that were never intended to be merged with others?"

Dr. Biezunski will speak about his vision on what the next step should be in applying the abstract foundation provided by the proposed Reference Model. He will assess, among other things, the possibility amalgamating knowledge resources (including finding tools) expressed in accordance with diverse interchange standards, by creating a new layer where semantic integration has a broader range of application. Dr. Biezunski will present his experiences in applying the Topic Maps paradigm, and their impacts on the ongoing development of his methodologies and software. He will report on the Internal Revenue Service application as a case study.

Making presentations available to a wider audience, than was present, is a wonderful use of technology. Thanks to OCLC, LC and the speakers for making these available 24/7.

Dublin Core

The proceedings of the 2003 DC Conference are available. This is grown to a major source of information, way too many papers to even begin to list.

RSS for Cataloging?

Pheed (photo feed) is using RSS to describe and distribute the descriptions of photographs. is a database of information about photographs available on the web. We present the work of photographers who have made information about their images available as an RSS feed. RSS is a simple document format based on XML that is used to syndicate web-based content. A pheed is simply an rss feed that has been extended to include information about photographs; a photo feed.