Friday, September 03, 2004


Jenny, the Shifted Librarian, writes about how unresponsive ILS vendors are to the suggestions and comments of their customers. The slow response to RSS is shown as an example. How true. I have been trying to get Athena to display conference name headings properly for years. They had better wake up.

There are now open-source options available or nearly so. This increased competition should make them wake up. When Koha, Weblis and other small systems get just a bit more installation friendly they will be serious competition to the Athena and Follett products. The PINES project, a few years down the road, will be a option for the large system. If the option is for a free product that is easy to customize and is responsive to trends or a high priced system that can't be changed and is slow to use new technology, not many will opt for the later.

Thursday, September 02, 2004


OAI seems to be such a useful and widespread tool. Here is another exapmle:
The Sheet Music Consortium is a group of libraries working toward the goal of building an open collection of digitized sheet music using the Open Archives Initiative:Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI:PMH).

Harvested metadata about sheet music in participating collections is hosted by UCLA Digital Library Program, which provides an access service via this metadata to sheet music records at the host libraries. For technical details of the harvesting process and service, consult the Project Timeline and Technical Overview. Member institutions and data providers have chosen to catalog their sheet music in different ways, but a very large proportion of the original sheets in participating collections has been digitized, allowing users direct access to the music itself and - in many cases - covers and advertisements that offer evidence of the cultural context in which the songs were published.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Dublin Core

The inaugural version of PBCore (Public Broadcasting Metadata Dictionary), a standard way to describe all public broadcasting content, has emerged from the Test Implementation phase and is being finalized for the launch of version 1.0 in September 2004. Under development since January 2002, PBCore is the result of unprecedented cross-organizational cooperation by a team of public radio and television producers and managers, archivists and information scientists.

A common metadata protocol is fundamental to public broadcasting’s ability to work in collaborative environments to deliver and exchange content across new digital distribution platforms. PBCore will enable more efficient and cost-effective ways to leverage content and service partnerships to serve existing and new constituents. PBCore will facilitate new production collaborations and the ability to parse traditional programs into short segments for Web distribution or as niche content for specific community, service and institutional needs. For these applications where granular manipulation and interoperability are required, PBCore will be essential.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

RSS & the OPAC

Lots of activity about creating RSS feeds from the Dynix System. First there was Creating an RSS Feed of Books You Have Checked Out of the Library. This generated some discussion and further development. Then came an RSS feed of new DVDs, again for the Dynix system. I hope the folks at Dynix are getting some of this and will include some of these tools in future versions. I hope all vendors are aware of this and will include RSS feeds, or their easy creation in future products. Seen at Library Stuff.

Institutional Repository

OCLC has created an institutional repository for works produced, sponsored, or submitted by OCLC Research. It is able to be harvested by OAI and has an RSS feed.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Open Source Library System

WEBLIS, an Integrated Library System based on CDS/ISIS, is available free of charge from UNESCO and ICIE.

The current version of WEBLIS, available in English, consists of the following modules:

  • Cataloguing system (books, papers from book, papers from journals, journals, miscellaneous -slides, photos, audio, video, etc)
  • OPAC -on-line public access catalogue- (basic and advanced search, history, saving queries function, and ISIS Query language facilities, thesaurus based search)
  • LOAN module (hold/reserve, loan/ renew, automatic claiming by e-mail or a traditional mail in word form, urgent task lists)
  • Statistical module (the main goal of the program is to generate statistical data aggregated from the CDS/ISIS databases)


The Role of Ontologies in Teaching and Learning by Ruth Wilson is a white paper on the topic.
Ontologies are currently a buzzword in many communities, hailed as a mechanism for making better use of the Web. They offer a shared definition of a domain that can be understood by computers, enabling them to complete more meaningful tasks. Although ontologies of different descriptions have been in development and use for some time, it is their potential as a key technology in the Semantic Web which is responsible for the current wave of interest. Communities have different expectations of the Semantic Web and how it will be realised, but it is generally believed that ontologies will play a major role.


This Technology and Standards Watch report discusses ontologies and their role in the Semantic Web, with a special focus on their implications for teaching and learning.

Seen on ResourceShelf.