Friday, April 16, 2004


A few interesting articles in the current issue of RLG DigiNews.
  • Computational Linguistics Meets Metadata, or the Automatic Extraction of Key Words from Full Text Content
  • Character Sets and Character Encoding: A Brief Introduction
  • LEADERS: Linking EAD to Electronically Retrievable Sources

Card Sorting

Card sorting: a definitive guide by Donna Maurer and Todd Warfel provides a good introduction to this tool.
In summary, card sorting is a simple, reliable, and inexpensive method for gathering user input for an overall structure. It is most effective in the early stages of a (re)design. And while it’s not intended to be a silver bullet, when done correctly, it is instrumental in capturing helpful information to answer questions during the information design phase – ultimately making the product easier to use.

Thursday, April 15, 2004


Are cataloging and/or metadata part of your professional routine? The SLA Committee on Cataloging is conducting a survey of all members in order to receive input for future committee activities and consideration.

It is the first part of a two-step survey by the committee to find out about SLA members' interests in cataloging and metadata before considering specific aspects of cataloging and the impact that technology has had on it in more detail.

Taking only 5 minutes to complete, responses to the survey will help the Committee tremendously.

For more information contact Dorothy McGarry at

Posted with permission.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004


The paper, Brooks, T.A. (2003) "Watch this: forms move centre stage" Information Research, 9(2) TB0401 discusses XForms. This is a tool to structure data as it is entered. This could have applications in metadata creation with author or subject expert input as well as catalogers. Or readers could add comments, reviews and ratings for books at the public library and have them entered into a MARC record. Some interesting possibilities.
Information can be structured and validated at the periphery of an organization. Incoming information is thereby already groomed and ready to be shredded (i.e., individual fields of the incoming XML document are broken out) and submitted to the appropriate applications (read: databases, spreadsheets, etc). Reward goes to practice that emphasizes re-use of information and reduces the inefficiencies of keyboarding information more than once.

Union Catalog

The state of Louisiana has a union catalog consisting of community colleges, colleges, universities and the state library. MARC records are available for download.

Seen on netbib weblog.

Technorati Cosmos

I've enabled a link to Technorati Cosmos that will show any links to a post on Catalogablog. It does not happen very often, so I'm not sure it is working. After each post there is now the link "Others commenting on this." Please let me know if it is working or not.

Thanks to Library Stuff for bring this tool to my attention.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Download Records from LC

Many smaller libraries still do not have the resources to join OCLC or RLG. One of their chief sources of records is the publicly available Library of Congress database. The folks at MITINET/marc have put together detailed instructions for downloading these records. This could be of use to those small church and school libraries.


The lastest OCLC Systems and Services has these articles that may be of interest:
  • OCLC's Office of Research: the value of research to an organization and to a profession
    Diane Marie Ward
  • Unqualified Dublin Core usage in OAI-PMH data providers
    Jewel Ward
Library Hi Tech News v.21, no. 3 has these articles:
  • Open Archives Initiative (OAI) 3 Workshop
    Valentina Comba
  • E-profile: Open Archives Initiative Data Providers. Part I: General
    Gerry McKiernan


I've just received the 2004 update no. 1 to the Subject Cataloging Manual: Subject Headings.

Monday, April 12, 2004

Geographic Cutter Numbers

Worth a bookmark.
The 2001 edition of Class G includes Tables G1-G11. Although references to Tables G1548-G9804 appear throughout the schedule, it was not practical to include those tables of geographic Cutter numbers in the printed schedule because the Cutters now number over 100,000. Online access to the tables is available by subscription to Classification Web. In addition, the Library of Congress is now making them available at no charge in the form of a PDF file that will be updated on a regular basis. The current version of the file was updated in February 2004.

Users are cautioned that this is a large file (8730 KB; 3000 pages) and may take several minutes or more to download, depending on Internet connection speed.

Seen in the WAML Information Bulletin.