Friday, December 30, 2005

Linking to Amazon or Open WorldCat

A while back I received a nice note from a person at OCLC mentioning that I could link to Open WorldCat rather than Amazon when mentioning a book. The truth is I get about $20.00 to $40.00 a year in Amazon credits by linking to them. It has been a nice surprise when I get a note from them saying I have so much credit with them. Yet I feel I should help spread the use of Open WorldCat.

So, I'm going to take a survey and I'll go by that and any comments I receive.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

ALA Midwinter

I'll be going to ALA Midwinter. Since this is my 1st ALA conference I'm open to suggestions about what not to miss. MARBI sessions, the OCLC blogger get-together, Walt's get-together are on my schedule. But what else? Any suggestions gladly taken.

LPI Podcast

I'm happy to say that my weekly podcast for the patrons of the Lunar and Planetary Institute library is now available on iTunes.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

MARC Content Designation Utilization Project

The MARC Content Designation Utilization (MCDU) Project is now making available the first set of results from analyses of the MCDU dataset of more than 56 million MARC bibliographic records from OCLC's WorldCat database. Separate data reports containing basic frequency count analysis are posted on the project website; go there to view the reports.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

MARBI Discussion Papers

The following discussion papers are available for review by the MARC community. They will be discussed at the Midwinter 2006 ALA meetings in San Antonio.There will be one more discussion paper that will be posted shortly.

See agenda for discussion times.

MarcEdit Now Does RSS

MarcEdit, the free MARC tool from Terry Reese now has an RSS reader.
At this point, the RSS reader is designed for querying my blog to allow for instant notification of changes in the application (since I've been posting all changes to my blog). However, I'm thinking that I'll likely tap the new RSS engine so that you can setup schedules to query particular sites and get MARC records from RSS data. I'm thinking that this might be useful when dealing with online Serial vendors or aggregators -- but I'll have to think on it a little more. Anyway, information on the new rss notification component can be found here: MarcEdit and RSS.


Emerging Uses for the OpenURL Framework by Ann Apps and Ross MacIntyre appears in Proceedings ELPUB2005 : The Ninth ICCC International Conference on Electronic Publishing.
This paper describes the OpenURL Framework, both the original 'de facto' standard version 0.1, and the NISO standard Z39.88-2004, 'The OpenURL Framework for Context-Sensitive Services'. The explanation is illustrated by examples from Zetoc, a journal article and conference paper current awareness service available in the UK. Various emerging novel uses of the OpenURL Framework are described. Evaluation studies indicate positive reader appreciation of OpenURL technology providing direct access to discovered articles.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah. I'll be back Tuesday.

LPI Podcast

Last night I submitted the LPI podcast to iTunes. The submission seemed to go fine, the metadata was read and the RSS feed acceptable. They have a review process, so now I'm waiting to see if it will be accepted. Anyone have any idea how long it takes?

I've also just learned about high and low pass filters. I've been using noise reduction and volume normalization, these are some more tools to add to the mix. I'll be using them on my next podcast, sometime next year.

Learning Object Metadata

The latest issue of Interdisciplinary Journal of Knowledge and Learning Objects has some interesting articles.

Tree View Editing Learning Object Metadata by Zeynel Cebeci and Yoldas Erdogan.

This paper introduces and examines an authoring tool called as TreeLom for producing the metadata compatible to IEEE LOM draft standard. TreeLom, has been developed with MS .NET framework technology, is an application of XML binding of the LOM. Its tree view editing interface provides rapid data input in building learning object metadata.
A Framework for Metadata Creation Tools by Valentina Malaxa and Ian Douglas
Metadata is an increasingly important aspect of resource discovery. Good metadata has the potential to increase discovery and reuse and to facilitate interoperability of digital assets. Using the domain of learning objects, issues associated with the application of metadata standards and the challenges in metadata creation are examined. A framework for customizable metadata authoring that addresses the issues and challenges is described. The framework consists of flexible metadata schema, metadata schema views, templates, collaborative metadata editing, contextual help, and an effective interface component selection. A prototype implementation of the framework, CLOMAT (Customizable Learning Objects Metadata Authoring Tool), is used to illustrate the framework in operation. An initial evaluation of this prototype indicates substantial productivity gains over conventional metadata creation tools.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

MarcOnt Ontology

Some interesting work being done by the MarcOnt initiative.
With the Semantic Web emerged the Dublin Core Metadata standard for library resource description. Besides the fact that most of the information covered by MARC21 is lost, the full potential of the Semantic Web is not being used. It still seems to be the best core ontology for L2L communication.

However MarcOnt ontology, is based on a social agreement that will combine descriptions from MARC21 together with DublinCore and makes use of the full potential of the Semantic Web technologies. This will include translations to/from other ontologies, better support for L2L, more efficient searching for resources (i.e. users may have impact on the searching process).


The following paper is available for review by the MARC community:Several discussion papers and a draft agenda will be distributed shortly.

These will be discussed at the meetings of the MARC Advisory Committee at Midwinter ALA in San Antonio on Jan. 21-22, 2006.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Support Texas School Libraries

School libraries and school librarians are in an extremely vulnerable position right now. They need your help, your voice, and the voices of your library’s supporters to let the lawmakers know that the education of our children will be irreparably harmed if school libraries are forced to close, if schools administrators decide they can “do without” school librarians, or if school libraries wither away for lack of funding. All of these scenarios are possible if the proposed 65% rule passes, using the federal guidelines that exclude libraries (but include sports) in the definition of “classroom instruction.”

The vast majority of people, whether they are parents, teachers or persons with no personal stake in local schools, are shocked and outraged when they learn that school libraries might not be considered instructional elements of education. School libraries support classroom instruction, and school librarians teach students skills that will be critical throughout their educations.

They are asking you to do at least one of these four things to help save Texas school librarians and school libraries.

  1. Email your state representative, senator, and State Board of Education member. It’s easy. Find the contact information for your elected officials.
  2. Ask three people-such as the chair of your local PTA or friends group, a teacher, community and business leaders-to support this effort by emailing, contacting their representatives, or writing a letter to the editor of their paper.
  3. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Talking points and suggested instructions (65% letter to the editor campaign).
  4. Schedule an editorial board meeting with your local newspaper. Ask the newspaper to write an editorial advocating for school libraries to be included in the definition as “instructional.” See talking points and background information. Get instructions on setting up an editorial board meeting.


An assessment of RDF/OWL modelling by Dave Reynolds, Carol Thompson, Jishnu Mukerji, and Derek Coleman is a recent HP Labs tech report.
The Semantic Web initiative offers a set of standards (RDF, RDFS and OWL) for the representation and exchange of information. We address the question of what sorts of modelling problems these standards can be most fruitfully applied to. What benefits can be gained from using them? What are the costs and trade-offs involved? We use some simplified examples drawn from work exploring the use of RDF/OWL within a systems management setting but the overall discussion should be relevant to a broad range of potential RDF/OWL applications. We do not assume in depth knowledge of the RDF and OWL standards and include a summary of their main features in order to make the discussion accessible.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Midwinter MARBI Meeting

The following papers are available for review by the MARC community:Other papers and a draft agenda will be distributed shortly. The MARC Advisory Committee will meet to discuss these at Midwinter ALA in San Antonio at the following times:
Sat., Jan. 21 10:30-12:30
Sun., Jan. 22 1:30-3:30 and 4:00-6:00
There will not be a Monday afternoon meeting.

OAI-PMH Overlays

The Masters thesis by Magnus Enger, The concept of 'overlay' in relation to the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) is avilable via E-LIS.
The evolution of scholarly documentation is discussed in light of the theory of the "ecology of documentation". The OAI-PMH is presented, and a survey of features found in existing service providers/overlays is presented. A prototype overlay incorporating features of wikis and "tagging" is presented along with some thoughts on how overlays may evolve and differentiate in the future.
It is a 102 page PDF file. Seen on the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog

NLM Authority File

NLM has announced the implementation of a new authority index feature in the NLM Catalog. This feature provides access to an index of full author names (including dates and name qualifiers), organizations, and conference names, as well as series titles, associated with the bibliographic records in the NLM Catalog.
The authority index also offers added value by incorporating rich cross-reference entries for variant forms of names and titles that lead the user from a raw, initial search to the established form used on bibliographic records in the NLM Catalog. It also supports searching of names that may have changed over time, providing links to other and historical names used by authors or organizations, and to conference names and series titles that have changed numerous times. For series titles, additional information regarding NLM bibliographic treatment of that series is also provided.
Seen on ResourceShelf.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Digital Library Projects

Volume 2, Issue 1 of the IEEE TCDL Bulletin is now available. This issue features 31 brief articles describing digital library projects being conducted in the US and around the world. They are based on the Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL 2005) Poster and Demonstration session chaired by Michael (MIck) Khoo in June 2005.

Visual Resources Association

VRA Core 4.0 Beta Draft documents and XML schema are now available for perusal on vraweb. These documents can be accessed from the "What's New" column on the VRA home page or from the new Data Standards home page.

At this site, there are links to the following documents:

  • Introduction
  • Element Outline
  • Element Description
  • VRA Core XML Schema and Examples page.
This last page has links to two XML schemas (one lax and one strict) and a number of examples submitted by DSC members. Each example has 2 data "views," created by xslt stylesheets to illustrate how the XML data may be formatted for different kinds of display, in addition to a raw XML data view. At the bottom of this page are links to an XML validator, some XML information sites, and the stylesheets and java source code used to format the examples.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

MARCXML authorities to MADS stylesheet

LC has made available a MARCXML authorities to MADS stylesheet.


Yesterday it was two years since my auto accident. I'm still not fully recovered. I'm still in pain, not so it bothers me much, but it does make it difficult to get a good night's sleep. I'm still building up my strength and endurance. At TMEA and TLA last year I was in lots of pain by the end of the day. By SLA I was much better, I could hit some of the after parties. I'm still seeing doctors and having tests and taking pills much more than I'd like.

My advice, avoid an auto accident. Drive defensively. Get as many air bags as possible.

Thanks to all who have helped in my recovery, both physical and emotional.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Open Office

Last night I installed Open Office on my home machine. Pretty slick. It comes with a database program. I couldn't find anything about the db, is it MySQL? Open Office is worth investigating. It has the look and feel of a mature commercial product. I think it will handle all my word processing, presentation, and spreadsheet needs.

Cataloging Podcasts

The Krafty Librarian is looking to provide access to medical podcasts. More questions than answers at this time. Best way to find them, MARC or list on the Web site, treat as a serial or describe each episode? Join the conversation.

Resource Description and Access

The draft of part I of RDA is being made available for comment prior to the April 2006 JSC meeting.

Draft of RDA Part I [PDF format]

The cover letter of the draft refers to a number of new or revised JSC documents. Links have been provided below:
For information on who to submit your comments to, see Making comments on RDA drafts.

The deadline for comments is March 1, 2006, to allow time for the comments to be compiled for consideration by the JSC at their meeting on April 24-28, 2006.

The JSC has also set up a discussion list on RDA.

Metadata Markup

Now available: Cordes, Christopher Sean (2005) Creating HTML Meta-tags with the Dublin Core Element Set. Tutorial.
The breadth and scope of information available online and through intranets are making the standardization and use of metadata to identify records imperative if not mandated. Some measure of searchability is provided by the HTML meta tag <meta>, but the tag has limited potential for describing complex documents. The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative group has developed metadata standards that support a broad range of purposes and business models, most notably the Dublin Core Element Set. The set is fairly easy to learn, but must be combined with HTML if to provide metadata for referencing by a web crawler or search engine. This paper outlines the steps needed to create HTML metadata using the Dublin Core Element Set, and some of the benefits of doing so.
I don't think many search engines are now using any meta tags, except maybe description. However, as a tool for providing better searcing on your own site this is still of value.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Authority Tools for Audiovisual and Music Catalogers

Authority Tools for Audiovisual and Music Catalogers: An Annotated List of Useful Resources has been expanded and updated.

Searching the OPAC

Thom Hickey writes in his weblog, Outgoing, about improving searching in databases. He has a working demonstration of the LCSH and a library catalog.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Free Tagging

I've added a tool to the side bar that allows free tagging. Currently it is only for the page. When I get some free time I'll see if I can tweak the code a bit so that it can be used for each post.

I've been adding tags for each post in Technorati and Delicious for a while. But like Flickr, that is only sharing my personal tags. The real power of social tagging comes when others add their tags. The Wisdom of Crowds.


I was just looking at some data about visitors to this site from Google Analytics. Almost 30% of the visitors use Firefox. If you toss in Mozillia and Netscape it is well over 30%. I've seen recently that on the net in the figure is about 8%. As a profession we are well ahead of the curve.

Role Properties for Dublin Core

The DCMI Usage Board, together with the Network Development and MARC Standards Office of the Library of Congress, have announced the availability of a sub-set of MARC Relator terms as role properties which refine the "agent" elements of Dublin Core (Creator, Contributor, and Publisher). The use of MARC Relator terms will allow designers of Dublin-Core-based metadata applications to distinguish between different types of Contributor, such as Illustrator or Translator (see guidelines). For more information see MARC Relator terms and Dublin Core.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

To Be Read

Here is another book to add to my "to be read" list, Open Sources 2.0.The description from O'Riley:
For software developers: essays on practices and methodology from leading open source developers like Jeremy Allison and Ben Laurie -For business executives: analyses of business strategies from Sleepycat co-founder and CEO Michael Olson, and Open Source Business Conference founder Matt Asay -From China, Europe, India, and Brazil: descriptions of the developing world's efforts to use open source to take control of its high tech destiny -Learn how the growing impact of this model on all forms of online collaboration is fundamentally challenging our notion of community -Discover what the future holds from veteran open source commentators Tim O'Reilly, Doc Searls, Steven Weber and Sonali Shah -Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger and Slashdot co-founder Jeff Bates provide frontline views of functioning, flourishing online collaborative communities.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

DLF MODS Implementation Guidelines

The Digital Library Federation’s Aquifer Initiative invites public review and comment on the DLF MODS Implementation Guidelines for Cultural Heritage Materials.

The primary goal of the Digital Library Federation’s Aquifer Initiative is to enable distributed content to be used effectively by libraries and scholars for teaching, learning, and research. The provision of rich, shareable metadata for this distributed content is an important step towards this goal. To this end, the Metadata Working Group of the DLF Aquifer Initiative has developed a set of implementation guidelines for the Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS). These guidelines are meant specifically for metadata records that are to be shared (whether by the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting or other means) and that describe digital cultural heritage and humanities-based resources.

In order to ensure the Implementation Guidelines are useful and coherent, they are collecting comments and feedback from the wider digital library community. They appreciate any and all comments, feedback, and questions. These may be sent to The deadline for comments and review is January 20, 2006.

How to Catalog Your Masonic Library

The How to Catalog Your Masonic Library Web site consists of images of pages from the book Classification of the Literature of Freemasonry and Related Societies by William L. Boyden (1991). The system owes something to the Dewey Classification.

Seen on the LITA e-mail list.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Greater Clear Lake Texas Area

I've won four books in a drawing by Library Journal. If any library or reader (preference given to libraries) would like them just drop me a line.

Ontology of Folksonomy

From Ontology of Folksonomy: A Mash-up of Apples and Oranges by Tom Gruber:
a group of people from the tagging community are beginning to work on a common ontology for tagging - the TagOntology. (Note: this is not about developing a common folksonomy - a common set of words to use when tagging. For example, the ontology will not include terms for labeling documents as about science or business; it will not be for modeling particular domains such as geography or photography.) The TagOntology is about identifying and formalizing a conceptualization of the activity of tagging, and building technology that commits to the ontology at the semantic level. The community is also working on enabling infrastructure at the levels of formats, data models, and APIs. The larger approach is to create a coherent stack from conception to implementation that fosters innovation at all levels.

News Markup Language

It is now five years since the completion of the NewsML standard and the International Press Telecommunications Council is working on NewsML 2. In November 2004 they published the Requirements for NewsML 2 and are now announcing the publication of the first public Working Drafts of:
  • the NewsML 2 Architecture Model
  • the NewsML 2 Architecture Technical Specification
They welcome comments on these documents and will study them carefully though they do not have the resources to provide feedback on each comment received.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Cataloging Cartographic Materials

Where Do I Start? A Cartographic Cataloguing Code by Williams, Paula appears in The Cartographic Journal, v. 42, no. 3 (December 2005) pp. 227-230.
The cataloguing C.O.D.E. given is intended as an aide-memoire for any librarian or curator faced with cataloguing maps. It raises questions which should be considered when cataloguing maps, including the most basic: why catalogue?, what is cataloguing?, and what should the catalogue record include? Suggestions for answers are given in discussions about the nature of cartographic materials, cartographic intellectual ownership, titles, and physical and mathematical descriptions. The needs of the reader are considered in the degree of detail required to make a useful catalogue record.

Catalogablog Now has a Favicon

I've added a favicon to this site. Very easy to create. There are on-line tools to guide the creation. If you already have a logo, why not go ahead and create a favicon for your site? Total time to create and add some coding less than 1/2 an hour. It will give you site a bit more presence and a slightly more professional look.

Cataloging E-Journals

The Bridge Consortium: Carleton College & St. Olaf College Libraries has made available the responses to a survey they conducted on Cataloging E-Journals in OPAC. This is a 13 page Word document.
To gain insight into how other libraries are dealing with the questions about how best to make e-journal access clear and easy for their patrons to negotiate, SWG sent a survey to several discussion lists Oct 21-24, 2005. In particular, we were interested in the question of whether or not libraries that were using an open-URL resolver and A-Z list were also cataloging e-journals for their OPAC.

We asked six questions (one with 3 parts). We posted our survey on innopacusers, obegroup, serialst and autocat. By Nov 16, we had received 22 responses. Library types included 12 private colleges & universities, 5 state colleges/universities, 4 science/health sciences libraries and 1 academic library consortium.

The questions and responses from each library are compiled below. The text of the email survey we sent follows the compiled responses to each question.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Identifiers and Subject Access

A while back I posted a criticism of David Weinberger's piece in the Boston Globe. He was kind enough to respond. Since many folks might miss the comments, I'm reposting them here.
Here's what I was trying to say, in a highly-compressed article.

Of course subject headings let us classify objects in more than one way. But the number of subject headings under which an object can fall is limited by the physical constraints of card catalogs and books. Further, the physical world requires us to shelve books in one spot and not another. (Multiple copies can be shelved in multiple spots, but that gets messy fast.) So, if we want a collection through which users can roam, we have to make a decision about the primary subject area within which the book will be physically shelved, and then a limited number of other subheadings under which it can be classified (with some number of see-also's). The limit (ten for the LoC, for example) is based not on the number of subject headings that might be relevant but on the awkwardness of physical material.

Digitizing the content as well as the metadata not only removes the limitation, it also allows for richer ways of identifying books one might want to read. Subjects, author and title are obvious ways we want to find books, but there are many more relationships that are useful for locating books we know or don't yet know we want to read. Cf. Amazon for a commercially-inspired -- and plain old inspired -- example.

But, to enable these richer ways of finding books, we need identifiers. IMO (and it's an uncertain opinion), semantics-free global unique IDs are the best choice. The minimal semantics and prevalence of ISBNs make them a good candidate, although there are some obvious problems with them (e.g., they only started in the 1960s). In any case, there's no reason to stick with a single set of GUIDs because computers are good at coordinating multiple sets of related data. So bring on the multiple ID schemes! (I hope Google Print publishes whatever ID's its using internally.)

That's what my piece in the Globe intended to say. If it led readers to a different understanding, then I wrote it badly.
Libraries provide many more access points than authors, titles and subjects. Format, genre, geographic codes, publisher numbers, time codes, keywords, and dates of publication or content all spring readily to mind. The bibliographic record in a library catalog is a very rich source of metadata. How easy it is to access that richness is another story. Collocation by many different facets is possible with the current metadata. Users can roam through the search results as easily as through digital collections.

Due to concerns about patron privacy we have not implemented recommendation systems. I think we could do so and still protect an individual's personal data. I think we will move in that direction in the next few years.

Identifiers are a problem. There will, as you suggest, have to be many. There already are. Many records in a library catalog will contain an ISBN, EAN and UPC. Many other standard identifiers can be included in a bibliographic record.

A greater problem is what do the identifiers identify. If I'm looking for Hamlet do I want a particular format, or edition? Would a book on CD do or a large print, or a film do, or do I require the Everyman's edition with a particular introduction? ISBNs are acceptable for identifying a particular manifestation. Searching for a expression or all manifestations of a work is a problem. OCLC has the xISBN service that collects all other ISBNs for a work and allows searching by all of them. That helps somewhat, it is not a good long-term solution. Librarians are working on an identifier for works. Parts of a work will also need to have identifiers, maybe standard citations would work. The OpenURL is a possible solution since it uses citation data. The Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) will be useful in pulling together all the different manifestations of a work and differentiating among them.

Folksonomies, trackbacks, reader's comments will all enrich access to materials in the library (either physical or digital) in the not too distant future. RSS allows distribution of new item lists and other information from libraries. This is already being done and will become more widespread.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Cataloging Aerial Photographs

A Digital Archive of Illinois Historical Aerial Photographs (ILHAP) by Arlyn Booth describes making this collection available. Part of the paper deals with MARC cataloging and Dublin Core metadata.

OLAC Newsletter

I've just received my print copy of the OLAC Newsletter. OLAC members should be getting their copies soon, if they haven't received it yet. If you are not a member, why not? 2006 is a conference year, an excellent time to join.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Searching Repositories

OJAX is an open-source tool that provides a highly dynamic AJAX based user interface to a federated search service for OAI-PMH compatible repository metadata.

OJAX is simple, non-threatening but powerful. It attempts to minimise upfront user investment and provide immediate dynamic feedback, thus encouraging experimentation and enabling enactive learning.

SKOS Documents from the W3C

The W3C Semantic Web Best Practices and Deployment Working Group has announced the publication of the following technical reports as second W3C Public Working Drafts:A summary of revisions since first Working Draft publication are available.
SKOS Core is a simple, flexible and extensible language for expressing in a machine-understandable form the structure and content of concept schemes such as thesauri, classification schemes, subject heading lists, taxonomies, 'folksonomies', other types of controlled vocabulary, and also concept schemes embedded in glossaries and terminologies.
I thought folksonomies were uncontrolled. Maybe they should not be in the description.

Textbooks Online

Here is a worthwile effort
Welcome to Textbook Revolution, the web's source for free educational materials.

In response to the textbook industry's constant drive to maximize profits instead of educational value, I have started this collection of the existing free textbooks and educational tools available online. This website has several reasons for being:

  • To serve as a catalog of resources for students and teachers looking for free textbooks (one-stop shopping)
  • To act as a mirror for files. Mirrors help reduce bandwidth costs and prevent files from disappearing if a website goes out of business.
  • To promote the need for and availability of free textbooks.
Please look around and enjoy the site. I'll be adding books and links as fast as I can. If you have something you'd like to contribute, please email submissions at textbookrevolution dot org

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


At my recent talk I pointed folks to my FURL site for links to all the tools I discussed. I've just received a note from a school librarian saying the filter will not allow access to that site. That is so wrong. Is Google or Yahoo filtered? FURL and Delicious and Technoriti and the rest are another method of finding information on the Web. Why can't a teacher or librarian bypass the filter? Commercial filtering programs also have hidden biases. A better option would be to go with an open source product like DansGuardian.

Spelling Catalog

Catalog or Catalogue?: Examining a Library Dilemma by Beall, Jeffrey (2004).
The variant spellings catalog and catalogue create problems for librarianship by causing confusion, hindering research, and betraying the standardization the profession values. The predominant spelling in Britain (catalogue) differs from the predominant spelling in the U.S. (catalog), but within the U.S. both spellings are commonly used. Both of these different practices create inconsistencies. Although the spelling catalog has long been prescribed in the U.S., it has not fully caught on. The spelling catalog is far more common on the Web than catalogue. The best solution to this dilemma for librarians may be to not use this outmoded term at all.

Monday, November 21, 2005


Very early Tuesday I leave for Virginia and Delaware for the holiday and a wedding. I don't expect to post again until next Tuesday. Brian and Ian, you both still have posting rights. If you see anything and feel like posting go right ahead. Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers in the states.

Cataloging Documentation

I received in the mail today notice that these items will be freely available in PDF format in 2006:
  • All 4 issues of the Cataloging Service Bulletin
  • The 2 updates to the LCRIs
  • The 2 updates to the Subject Cataloging Manual
The printed versions will still be distributed for those who prefer that format. Details will be available after Jan. 1.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Webcasts from FLICC

A couple of webcasts from FLICC that sound interesting.
  • Information Architecture, Metadata and Controlled Vocabularies
    Join Denise Bedford, senior information officer, World Bank, for a lively discussion of library science, linguistics and IT
  • 2005 Joint Spring Workshop
    Learn about the trends in iInformation organization for the 21st Century: Taxonomies, Ontologies and the Semantic Web
Requires Real Player.

Google Base

I've loaded 425 items into Google Base. That is the limit they currently impose.
Google Base is a place where you can easily submit all types of online and offline content that we'll host and make searchable online. You can describe any item you post with attributes, which will help people find it when they search Google Base. In fact, based on the relevance of your items, they may also be included in the main Google search index and other Google products like Froogle, Google Base and Google Local.
I searched our catalog for records with links to our Web site. Extracted a few fields that matched the ones Google accepts. Hint: a 4 digit year date is not enough, it requires YYYY-MM-DD. Then I loaded the fields into Excel and did a few global changes, removing the ISBD punctuation for the most part. Exported as a tab delimited file and uploaded into Google.

I'm hoping this exposes some of our resources better and increases our hits. Recycling information from the catalog, field 520 especially, should better inform Google searchers.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Metadata 101

Understanding Metadata and Its Purpose by Karen Coyle from the The Journal of Academic Librarianship v. 31 no. 2 160-3 Mr 2005 is now available on-line.
What is happening in the world of technology that is leading everyone to believe that metadata is the answer? Alternatively, if metadata is the answer, what is the question, and what does it mean for libraries and library catalogs?

Classification and the Web

Crunching the metadata: What Google Print really tells us about the future of books by David Weinberger appears in the Nov. 13 edition of the Boston Globe. Wrong on so many counts. He seems to confuse classification with identification. In many libraries the call number is not unique. He seems to ignore subject headings, a book of bird paintings can have subject access both for the artistic and avian content. There is no reason we should not be able to apply multiple call numbers in 050 and 082, the "mark and park" is taken care of in the copies part of the record. But even now most records have both LC and Dewey some have USGS or NASA or NAL or NLM classifications as well.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

MARC Records on Our Web Site

I have made available for download the MARC records for our scanned versions of the USGS Geologic Atlas of the Moon. We plan to continue this and have MARC records available for all our scanning projects.

NISO Newsletter

The Nov. issue of the NISO Newsletter is now available. Topics include:
  • RFID Institute Highlights
  • Metasearch Initiative Reaches Major Milestone
  • Controlled Vocabulary Standard Published
  • NISO, DLF, and EDItEUR Form Joint Working Group

Tag Cloud

At the bottom of this Web page you can see an example of a tag cloud generated from several weblogs dealing with metadata and cataloging issues. Now thanks to Davey P. you can generate one from your Horizion catalog.

Even if you don't publish one for your patrons, (but why not?) this could give you a unique picture of your collection. Could be useful for collection development.

Seen on

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

MS Office 2003 Research Pane

A few days ago I asked about the MS Office 2003 Research Pane. I received some responses I want to make sure everybody sees. Doing a bit of Web searching I found the MSDN Library entry instructions. Turns out you must be delivering information in XML, so we won't be able to implement this. Back when Office 2003 just came out the Shifted Librarian had an essay on this. She points to a community college library that has done this. Here is a site with instructions on adding the service from OAI-PMH.

Adding services to the research pane is bit involved, but if you are providing XML already it is a service you could institute.

Ontologies and the Semantic Web

Order from Chaos by Natalya Noy appears in ACM Queue v. 3, no. 8 - October 2005.
Just as anyone can put up his or her own page on the Web and anyone can point to it (and say either good or bad things about it), on the Semantic Web anyone can post an ontology, and anyone can reuse and extend any ontology that is appropriate to his or her task. Naturally, this model brings up issues of finding the right ontologies, evaluating them, trusting the sources they come from, and so on.

Terminology Mapping

Challenges and issues in terminology mapping: a digital library perspective by McCulloch, Emma and Shiri, Ali and Nicholson, Dennis is now available in PDF format.
Effective information retrieval within digital libraries is limited by the lack of semantic interoperability between subject schemes used by online services and collections. The use of multiple terminologies and ad hoc modifications to standard schemes prevents users from cross searching multiple repositories, cross-sectoral resources and interdisciplinary material. In order to overcome this, improved compatibility between schemes is required. This paper considers potential solutions to the terminology problem, with a particular focus on the mapping approach. Key aspects of the mapping technique are discussed with reference to practical applications and initiatives.


Construction of Controlled Vocabularies, A Primer is a tutorial compiled by Marcia Lei Zeng, a member of the Z39.19 Standard Committee.

Monday, November 14, 2005


Becky Kornegay, Heidi Buchanan, & Hiddy Morgan praise subdivisions in Amazing, Magic Searches! in the Nov. 1 issue of Library Journal

JSC Meeting

Two summaries of the The Joint Steering Committee (JSC) for Revision of Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR) meeting in London are now available on the JSC Web site:
  • a brief executive summary
  • a detailed Outcomes document

TLA District 8 Fall Meeting

The TLA District 8 Fall Meeting on is over. It had to be rescheduled due to a hurricane, and so lost a lot in attendance. Still it was a good conference. There were 7 or 8 sessions in each of the time slots to chose among, a general session and lunch. I enjoy meeting folks I've not see for too long and meeting some new faces. One person said I have given a decent talk at last year's meeting. I was very relieved to hear that. I was still on pain medication and a bit loopy. Afterwards I wasn't quite sure how it had gone. If anyone wants to give me feedback on the talk this year I'd be happy to hear from you. The conference doesn't supply feedback forms.

Thanks to all those who had to put it together twice.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Be Back Monday

Friday is a holiday here in the states, Veteran's Day. Saturday I give my talk about Free MARC Tools at the TLA District 8 Conference. Hope to see some readers there. So this weblog will be quiet until Monday. I have posted an MP3 of my talk on OurMedia. Other than that have an enjoyable weekend.

MS Office 2003 Research Pane

Anyone have any idea what it takes to configure our resources so they can be added to the MS Office 2003 research pane? Hoovers has instructions on how the user can add their resource to their research pane. What did they have to do on their side to make this possible? This would be just another way we could make our work more widely available.

Subject Access

Here is a field that was brought to my attention by the talk by Bill Moen at Access 2005, 656. "An index term that is descriptive of the occupation reflected in the contents of the described materials." I've never used this. Not many folks have, it seems. He had a collection of seven million records and it only appeared once. When would this be used rather than a 650?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


LISA V - Library and Information Services in Astronomy: Common Challenges, Uncommon Solutions

June 18-21, 2006, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

The fifth Library and Information Services in Astronomy meeting will be hosted by the Wolbach Library at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Libraries. This First Announcement is meant to provide general information about the meeting. Additional details will be given in the Second Announcement, to be distributed in January 2006. Please forward this information to colleagues who may be interested.


The meeting will be held at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, which is minutes away from the historic city of Boston.


The proceedings will be published electronically. Further instructions will follow in the Second Announcement.


Registration: US $300
Early Bird (before March 15, 2006): US $250
Single day: US $100
Student/Retired: US $50/day

Registration opens in January. Registration will be available for the
entire conference or for individual days.

Preliminary Program
  • The role of libraries and librarians in the era of the Virtual Observatory
  • Metadata and interoperability
  • Bibliometric studies using the Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
  • Dataset and facility identifiers - easier retrieval of papers based on observational data
  • Pricing aspects:
  • E-only vs. print -- does cancellation of print actually achieve savings?
  • Consortia models -- experiences from astronomy libraries
  • Difficulties in leaving "Big Deals" with major publishers
  • Access considerations:
  • Are we buying or renting? Access to e-journals after cancellations
  • Copyright issues
  • Reasons to keep print; is there a future for print?
  • When is full text not full text?
  • Open access and institutional repositories
  • Open Archive Initiative (and how it differs from open access)
  • Future of traditional journals
  • Pre-publication vs. post-publication peer-review
  • Technological aspects of electronic preservation
  • Digitization projects in astronomy
  • Migration -- preserving the integrity of the scientific record
  • Paper copies as backups for e-journals
  • How to use e-tools to set up an archive
  • Who needs commercial databases? Case studies on ISI Web of Science, Scopus, Scitation, et al.
  • "Invisible literature" -- what IS NOT indexed
  • ARIbib -- where is it and where is it going?
  • Retrieval of non-English language literature
  • Who's afraid of the big bad Google? Google Scholar, Google Print and more
  • Which search engines for which purpose?
  • E-metrics - how to measure library e-resources and services
  • Bibliomining -- data mining for libraries
  • Online library catalog -- does it have a future?
  • Blogs and wikis and podcasts, oh my!
  • Widening fields of activities, e.g., public outreach, education
  • Marketing in the astronomy setting
  • Webpages -- the library's business card
  • Disaster management
  • Libraries as publishers / providers
The conference Keynote Speaker will be Dr. John Huchra, Vice Provost for Research Policy, Harvard University, and Robert O. & Holly Thomis Doyle Professor of Cosmology, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA, USA.

Important Dates

Second Announcement: January 2006
Early bird registration and fee due: March 15, 2006
Late registration and fee due: May 15, 2006

Arabic Name Authority

Arabic name authority in the online environment : options and implications Speirs Plettner, Martha (2003)International Cataloguing and Bibliographic Control 32(2).

The article examines the efforts for incorporating non-Roman scripts, notably Arabic, in MARC bibliographic and authority records. Arabic name authority records have been handwritten using Arabic script and filed manually in book or card catalogs since the time that it was considered important to preserve this information. After the adoption of typewriters as tools in library cataloging departments, those who only had Latin script typewriters were forced into using transliteration schemes, a practice that has been criticized for compromising uniformity and accessibility.(Houissa) Later, typewriters fitted with Arabic character keys allowed authority cards to be typed in Arabic. There were also attempts to encode both Latin and Arabic scripts on cards—or in book catalogs, as the first dual-script name authorities; something that was encouraged by the catalog cards distributed between 1902 and 1997 by the Library of Congress.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Graphic Novels

Recently I've read a couple of outstanding graphic novels. Out From Boneville is a wonderful story, good for all ages. It reminded me, at times of Walt Kelly. Smith has an affection for people and his characters and their foibles. I'm going to be reading the rest in this series.

Blankets is another great story. It concerns first love, the cruelty of parents, and coming of age. All those things I'd not read in a book and my wife would have to drag me to the cinema to watch in a movie. Yet, here the form made it something I picked up, and I'm glad I did. Looking forward to his next work. Due to some sex, this one would be for teens and adults in library collections.

American Memory COinS-PMH Enabled via Greasemonkey

Dan on his dchud's work log describes the American Memory COinS-PMH Enabled via Greasemonkey.
Tonight I found Simon Willison's greasemonkey script that "fixes" American Memory to look better in various ways. It gave me the idea that the very suggestion we had for adding dynamic access to robust metadata and objects in our paper on this topic (see "Adding a Layer on Top of OpenURL Autodiscovery" section near the end) is not only possible, but doable now. As it turns out, it is, and it does!


I know, it's ugly, but, that's easily fixed. The point is - without even talking to anybody at LoC, American Memory now speaks COinS-PMH, and anybody could use similar techniques to pull robust metadata for these items with just a single click right from the human UI. I've fiddled a bit with attempting to make other American Memory collections work the same way (there are a lot of them!), and it kind of works sometimes, but, you should get the point.

Access 2005

Many talks from Access 2005 are available as MP3 files. Lots of good stuff here. I'll have to get to that conference at some point. Among the talks are:
  • Introduction to METS by Jerome Mcdonough
  • Sorting Out Social Classification: Folksonomies and Tagging In Practice by Gene Smith
  • A Radioactive Metadata Record Approach for Interoperability Testing Based on Analysis of Metadata Utilization by William Moen
  • (Grease)Monkeywrenching the Library: utilizing the sloppy underbelly of the web to expose our collections and services by Ross Singer
Seen on Lorcan Dempsey's weblog (always a good read).

Rights Metadata

Following the example of Yahoo!'s CC-search that was released in March 2004 and then incorporated into Yahoo!'s Advanced Search page, Google has incorporated a new element into its Advanced Search page that allows users to filter their search by Usage Rights. By choosing to search for content that "allows some form of reuse" or "can be freely modified, adapted or built upon", search results with be limited to content that is made available under a Creative Commons license.

From the Creative Commons news release. Are we identifying CC licenses for Web sites we include in the catalog? How often is field 540 used? Is this something our users want? Google and Yahoo! seem to think so. I know, in my catalog, when I do include rights information it is not is a standard language, so it would make limiting by that field difficult.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Houston Area - Open Source Software in Libraries Workshop

Title: Open Source Software in Libraries
Date: February 17, 2006
Early Bird Deadline: 1/06/2006
Location: North Harris Montgomery Community College District Libraries, The Woodlands, TX

According to the Open Source Initiative, "the basic idea behind open source is very simple: when programmers can read, redistribute, and modify the source code for a piece of software, the software evolves. People improve it, people adapt it, people fix bugs. And this can happen at a speed that, if one is used to the slow pace of conventional software development, seems astonishing."

This workshop will provide structured opportunities for participants to experience how open source software can be used to implement many library-specific processes. Learn how open source software can help simplify such processes such as reading and writing MARC records, creating and maintaining databases, providing user-friendly interfaces to indexed content, hosting a World Wide Web server, and most importantly, bringing all of these processes together to providing meaningful library collections and services.

Participants in this hands-on workshop will learn skills enabling them to:
  • Bring up a Web server and serve simple HTML files
  • Write and run very simple computer programs
  • Use a Z39.50 client to search for and download Library of Congress MARC records
  • Read, write, and create reports against sets of MARC records
  • Index MARC records and HTML files and make these indexes available on the web as CGI scripts
  • Read, write, and convert XML files
  • Create a very simple library catalog using a relational database
Library directors, managers, catalogers, reference librarians, bibliographers, archivists, electronic resource librarians, systems librarians, IT managers -- all types of librarians.

Participants should be able to type, have an understanding of the fundamental principles of librarianship, and most importantly, be willing to learn.

Eric Lease Morgan is head of the Digital Access and Information Architecture Department at the University Libraries at Notre Dame. He considers himself a librarian first and a computer user second. His professional goal is to discover new ways to use computers to improve library and knowledge services. Applied research and development has included investigations into traditional library science, digital libraries, information retrieval, and human-computer interaction. In 1994, he began the Mr Serials Process, a systematic method for collecting, indexing, and disseminating electronic serials. This matured into Index Morganagus. One of his more recognized accomplishments is the development of a portal application called MyLibrary. In 2002, he was awarded the Bowker/Ulrich Serials Librarianship Award for his serials work as well as MyLibrary. In 2004, he was awarded the LITA/Library Hi Tech Award for outstanding communication in library and information technology.

For more information.

I attended this workshop a while back in Dallas and it was worth it. Now it is here in my area. Well worth attending.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Rex Libris

The second issue of Rex Libris is out.
Rex's preparations for a book retrieval mission to Benzine V are interrupted by crisis in the library. A hapless patron has become lost in the labyrinth of literature and only Rex can save her from certain doom, for amidst the shelves of books lurks a terror, a hideous, malefic entity whose unspeakable purpose can only be guessed at!


MKDoc Ltd. has announced the first beta release of MKSearch, under the GNU General Public Licence. Source and pre-compiled binary downloads are available from the project Web site.

MKSearch is a metadata search engine that indexes structured metadata in Web documents, not free text in the document body. The data acquisition system:

  • Conforms to the Dublin Core metadata in HTML recommendations
  • Supports other application profiles, such as the UK e-Government Metadata Standard
  • Indexes native RDF formats, including RSS 1.0
MKSearch is a research project to develop a metadata search engine. The system is composed of two linked systems; an indexing Web crawler and a public query interface. The indexing component extracts Dublin Core metadata from Web documents and stores them in RDF format. The query interface matches documents in the index using an RDF query language and can return the results in a variety of formats including standard HTML and as a standing RSS feed.

Functional Requirements for Describing Agents

There is now a draft version of Functional Requirements for Describing Agents by the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative - Agents Working Group. Looks it over and submit your comments.
This document aims to set out the requirements and the metadata elements needed for unambiguously describing OR identifying the agents associated with resources. Agent descriptions may be contained within DC metadata records, or linked to the DC metadata records for particular resources as an associated metadata description. It is not within the scope of this document to consider the issue of where agent descriptions should be located. The functional requirements set out in this document will form the basis for development of a core set of metadata elements for describing agents.


Bella and Yakov and Tillie's Panties: What I learned in "Construction and Maintenance of Indexing Languages and Thesauri" by Jeanette Ezzo appears in the latest issue of Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

NISO Newsline

The November issue of the NISO Newsline is on available.
NISO's had a "bumper year" with a number of key standards reaching completion - this month we are reaping the harvest with the release of the "new" Z39.19, now titled Controlled Vocabularies. We are also releasing this month the first round of Metasearch tools. One item to take note of is the report on Ranking and Access Methods - this is the first serious examination of this topic since Cliff Lynch's seminal study in 1998. What's next? Well, far from resting on our laurels we are "planting" new standards projects: in collaboration with the Digital Library Federation and EDItEUR NISO is launching a new working group to think through a standard for the exchange of license information between publishers and libraries.

Naked Metadata

Naked Metadata by Jonathan O'Donnell is an interesting concept, one that seems sound in principle. The details look OK to me, but I only skimed them.
The problem
Metadata in Web pages often doesn't get updated when the pages get updated.

The solution
Tag data, and point to it from the appropriate metadata field. The metadata is 'naked'. That is, it is visible on the page, rather than being hidden in the header.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

NSDL Metadata Registry

The NSDL Metadata Registry provides projects within the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) with the means to registry their metadata schemas (element/property sets) and schemes (controlled vocabularies) for purposes of discovery and reuse in support of metadata interoperability.

Cartographic Materials

Cartographic Materials: A Manual of Interpretation for AACR2, 2002 Revision, edited by Elizabeth Mangan, is now part of the Web version of Cataloger's Desktop.

Monday, October 31, 2005

OCLC's The Future of Libraries

In the report The Future of Libraries: Beginning the Great Transformation, the DaVinci Institute, a nonprofit futurist think tank, has put together 10 key trends that are affecting the development of the next generation library. They are:
  • Time compression is changing the lifestyle of library users
  • Libraries are transitioning from a center of information to a center of culture
  • We are transitioning from a product-based to an experience-based economy
  • The stage is being set for a new era of global systems
  • The demand for global information is growing exponentially
  • Over time, we will be transitioning to a verbal society
  • Search technology will become increasingly more complicated
  • We havenÃ?’t yet reached the ultimate small particle for storage, but will soon
  • All technology ends and all technologies commonly used today will be replaced by something new
  • Communication systems are continually changing the way people access information
Their recommendations:
  • Evaluate the library experience
  • Preserve the memories of your own communities
  • Embrace new information technologies
  • Experiment with creative spaces so the future role of the library can define itself
From the e-mail message OCLC Abstracts.

I'm not so sure about "Over time, we will be transitioning to a verbal society." They seem to mean folks will be talking to their computers. Well, if you can imagine a room or plane full of people all talking to their machines you can see the drawback. And you thought mobile phones were a disturbance. Maybe if they could be used in a cone of silence.

FRBR Review Group

For your reading pleasure, Minutes of the FRBR Review Group's Meeting Oslo, August 18, 2005.

NASIGuide: Serial Holdings

Now available the NASIGuide: Serial Holdings by Frieda Rosenberg, edited by Betty Landesman and Lillian DeBlois.
This guide is designed to serve libraries automating their local serial holdings, particularly those implementing the MARC21 Format for Holdings Data (MFHD). It also aims to help anyone who needs to understand the format. The Guide focuses on the functions of MARC coding in general serials control and display of information. Users may look at a range of options and alternatives provided in the Format, rather than single solutions. The hope is to design a guide that is easy to use.

Friday, October 28, 2005


I recently started podcasting the What's New at the Lunar and Planetary Library. Before we just had the weblog and the print. Since it seemed to be working just fine, this morning I submitted it to several podcast directories. NOT ONE had a category for library.

IFLA Reports

ALCTS has made available IFLA Reports From the 2005 World Library and Information Conference, Oslo, August 14-18, 2005.
ALCTS sponsors representatives to seven sections of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions annual meeting (named World Library and Information Conference beginning in 2003): Acquisition and Collection Development, Bibliography, Cataloguing, Classification and Indexing, Knowledge Management, Preservation and Conservation, and Serial Publications. We regret that reporters were not available to to cover the Serials Section activities.


The fall 2005 issue of CONSERline, newsletter of the CONSER Program is now available.

Table of Contents

  • From the Editor
  • Access Level Record for Serials
  • Publication Patterns Meetings at ALA
  • CONSER Documentation
  • From AACR3 to RDA
  • CONSER People

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Podcasting at the LPI

Now the Lunar and Planetary Institute has a podcast. I've created an RSS feed for the audio. I'd appreciate it if you would let me know if it works OK for you. It worked just fine for me, but that is not always a valid test.

Genre/Form Headings

Over on AUTOCAT there has been discussion about form and genre headings, what to use since LC doesn't have any 155 authority records. There have been suggestions about GSAFD, AAT, using LC subject headings as the form heading also. A new, to me anyway, list of terms was the MESH Publication Types. A few of the terms are strictly medical but most have a much wider audience. There are scope notes and references, but no MARC records, as far as I could see. Have to roll your own there.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Audio - Not Quite Podcasting

There is now an MP3 version of the What's New from the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) Library page. I hope to be able to keep this up once a week. Since it is not distributed via RSS it can't be called podcasting, but it is a big step in that direction. Feedback welcomed.

For any techies out there, I used Audacity to record the presentation. I recorded at a high quality, then applied noise reduction, cut out pauses, shuffling of pages and other noises. I had 10 seconds of quiet at the very start to serve as a base for the noise reduction, later cut out. I then exported at a lower, Web friendly quality.

Metadata Tools and Learning Objects

A Framework for Metadata Creation Tools by Valentina Malaxa and Ian Douglas appears in the initial issue of Interdisciplinary Journal of Knowledge and Learning Objects
Metadata is an increasingly important aspect of resource discovery. Good metadata has the potential to increase discovery and reuse and to facilitate interoperability of digital assets. Using the domain of learning objects, issues associated with the application of metadata standards and the challenges in metadata creation are examined. A framework for customizable metadata authoring that addresses the issues and challenges is described. The framework consists of flexible metadata schema, metadata schema views, templates, collaborative metadata editing, contextual help, and an effective interface component selection. A prototype implementation of the framework, CLOMAT (Customizable Learning Objects Metadata Authoring Tool), is used to illustrate the framework in operation. An initial evaluation of this prototype indicates substantial productivity gains over conventional metadata creation tools.
Also appearing in the same issue is Tree View Editing Learning Object Metadata by Zeynel Cebeci and Yoldas Erdogan.
This paper introduces and examines an authoring tool called as TreeLom for producing the metadata compatible to IEEE LOM draft standard. TreeLom, has been developed with MS .NET framework technology, is an application of XML binding of the LOM. Its tree view editing interface provides rapid data input in building learning object metadata.


Ranking of Authentication and Access Methods Available to the Metasearch Environment by the Standards Committee BA (Task Group 1): Access Management is now available.
This report provides an evaluation and ranking of existing authentication methods, as they could be used in a metasearch environment, and recommends metasearch-related authentication best practices in today's environment.


At last, the cataloger has appeared in Unshelved.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Radio Frequency Identification Workshop

RFID Institute: October 25-26 - Walk-ins Welcome!
NISO and the University of North Texas Center are bringing you a 2-day Institute on RFID (Radio Frequency Identification). We have tapped an array of experts to examine the use of RFID in business and the library and book world; this event will inform you about the benefits and opportunities this technology offers and the standards needed to maximize performance.

In general I don't see why libraries should invest in this. Large systems maybe, they could do sorting of returns and make it pay off. Maybe drop boxes cold be locked and only open when receiving a signal from a tag. That would stop snow, kittens, and other stuff being dropped down the chute. Maybe if I went to the institute I'd drink the kool-aid and see the light.

Z39.50 Gateway

A Z39.50 Gateway Implementation by Zeljko Pajkic, Dejan Jovanovic, and Zoran Ognjanovic describes how they used mostly open source tools to construct the gateway.
An implementation of an Z39.50 server and the corresponding gateway is presented. The software enables one to retrieve data from remote databases. Its interface is web-based with user-friendly interface. Our implementation is based on free software.

Monday, October 24, 2005


XFrames W3C Working Draft 12 October 2005 would seem to be an important document to the Web development community.
XFrames is an XML application for composing documents together, replacing HTML Frames. By being a separate application from XHTML, it allows content negotiation to determine if the user agent accepts frames; by encoding the 'population' of frames in the URI, it allows framesets to be bookmarked.

Cataloging Problem

In Unshelved today Dewey faces a cataloging problem. Looks like it might be the start of a longer story line. Will we finally meet the cataloger?

Friday, October 21, 2005

OAI Webcasts

Webcasts are available for the 4th OAI workshop at CERN.

CC:DA's Comments on FRAR

The comments on Functional Requirements for Authority Records: A Conceptual Model by the Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access are available.
We find the resulting document to be generally acceptable although at times not intuitive or easily grasped. Those who question the use of an entity-attribute model for this exercise continue to find the approach unsuitable and find some results objectionable.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Task Force on Non-English Access

I wanted to let you know about a new task force that has been created: The Task Force on Non-English Access. The task force will examine our role in enabling access to library resources in all languages and scripts and in addressing the needs of users of materials in all languages and scripts through the development of library standards and practices. This task force was created to address resolutions that came before Council at ALA Annual in Chicago.

Cynthia Whitacre, Chair of the CCS Section, has written the following charge to the task force:
The Task Force shall examine ALA's past, present, and potential future roles in enabling access to library resources in all languages and scripts and in addressing the needs of users of materials in all languages and scripts through the development of library standards and practices.

In particular, the TF shall examine MARBI, CC:DA, and CC:AAM actions related to non-English language resources, and their role in encouraging and facilitating access to materials in all languages and scripts. The TF shall also examine efforts by online vendors and bibliographic utilities to facilitate balanced access to non-English language materials within their areas of responsibility.

The Task Force shall provide a written report to the ALCTS Executive Committee at its Spring 2006 meeting. This report will include information on access to non-English language materials in library records, catalogs, online systems and bibliographic utilities, as well as recommended actions for ALCTS to consider for encouraging timely development of non-English language material access and support.
Task Force members:
  • Beth Picknally Camden (Chair), University of Pennsylvania Libraries
  • Joan Aliprand
  • Diana M. Brooking, University of Washington Libraries
  • Karen Coyle (MARBI)
  • Ann Della Porta, Library of Congress
  • Shi Deng, UCSD Libraries
  • William J. Kopycki, University of Pennsylvania Libraries
  • Heidi G. Lerner, Stanford University Libraries
  • Kristin Lindlan, University of Washington Libraries
  • Sally H. McCallum, Library of Congress
  • David N. Nelson, University of Pennsylvania Libraries
  • Glenn Patton, Online Computer Library Center
  • Karen Smith-Yoshimura, Research Libraries Group
Please forward this email message to all appropriate lists and colleagues.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


The latest issue of the Journal of Digital Information (JoDI), vol. 6, no. 2 is now available. Papers include:
  • Searching and Browsing in a Digital Library of Historical Maps and Newspapers by S. Jones, M. Jones, M. Barr, T. Keegan
  • Separation of Concerns: a Web Application Architecture Framework by X. Kong, L. Liu, D. Lowe
  • The Dublin Core Metadata Registry: Requirements, Implementation, and Experience by H. Wagner, S. Weibel

OAI and MARC - Vortex Software

I'm not sure if Vortex works on all ILS or only VTLS systems. Or maybe it sets up a seperate repository, the description is unclear. It seems to be a UNIX or Linux program since it downloads as a tar file. It is open-source from a respected company.
Discover the power of VORTEX a revolutionary open-source tool that allows your library records to become harvestable through OAI compliance. Be recognized as a leader in resource sharing, and unlock your library's resources to more users than ever before.

Your library's catalog is resource rich in bibliographic and authority metadata - information that's in increasingly wide demand from sources worldwide. VORTEX is a simple, yet powerful tool that gives more people access to these resources by carving new channels through which information can easily flow. By enabling existing databases to comply with Open Archives Initiative's Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH), Vortex makes your library's records harvestable to a potentially limitless number of patrons. As a VORTEX user and an OAI-compliant institution, your library will be perched on the leading edge of technology in resource sharing and coordinated collection work.

Podcasting 101

I'd not normally point to this, Podcasting 101, too many others are already pointing to it and it is slides from a talk. However, it has some very information packed slides. It is a good introduction to podcasting. Thanks to Jenny Levine and Su Bochenski for such a useful work.

One thing I miss from almost all introductory podcasting talks is any mention of BitTorrent. Many of the tools for downloading podcasts support torrents. Bandwidth usage can become a concern for a popular podcast. You could end up owing your IP service provider a pile of cash. Making your talk available as a torrent solves this problem. There are easy to use, free services where you can make your podcast available using BitTorrent such as Prodigem.

040 Cataloging Source

Picked up some new, to me anyways, information on AUTOCAT about field 040, Cataloging Source. Subfield a is optional but subfield c is mandatory. Who would have guessed? LC practice is to copy subfield a to c if the latter is missing. There is a code for Undetermined Organization (Undetermined City, Undetermined), XX-XxUND. That would work when both are missing.

If you are not reading AUTOCAT you are missing out on some interesting discussions and bits of information. It is a busy e-mail list, I get the daily digest.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


The latest issue of D-Lib Magazine has the paper Hierarchical Catalog Records: Implementing a FRBR Catalog by David Mimno, Gregory Crane and Alison Jones
Much work has gone into finding ways to infer FRBR relationships between existing catalog records and modifying catalog interfaces to display those relationships. Relatively little work, however, has gone into exploring the creation of catalog records that are inherently based on the FRBR hierarchy of works, expressions, manifestations, and items. The Perseus Digital Library has created a new catalog that implements such a system for a small collection that includes many works with multiple versions. We have used this catalog to explore some of the implications of hierarchical catalog records for searching and browsing.
Other papers that look interesting:I've just checked out the appendix to the FRBR paper, it shows the XML markup of a record with the work, manifestations and expressions. I question the placement of some of the items. For instance, the classification number should be associated with the work, the whole number in DDC, the class portion in LCC. In LCC only the cutter and year are connected to the manifestation. Also most of the subject headings would apply to all expressions and should be at the work level. Some, those having the subdivision "Translations into English" do belong at a lower level. How to deal with the same element being available in different levels of the record is a real problem. Maybe just the subdivision should be recorded at the expression level. Interesting work.

Monday, October 17, 2005


I was just listening to a podcast from Web Essentials 05, where the speaker was asking about old data archives. He was discussing the problems of data migration, and archiving. It occurred to me I have data from the mid-1980s that I use often. I've had no problems with migration. Some of the data was even created 10 years or more before it arrived here. Isn't MARC wonderful. I've not lost any part of my records as they have migrated from one system to another. We have lost some circulation history, but that is not part of those MARC records. My MultiMate files from the mid-1980s or the Q&A files from a few years later would pose problems but not my MARC records. Even Microlif would work just fine after a few tweaks. Thanks to all those who had the foresight to build such a stable foundation for our catalogs.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Greater Houston Area

The District 8 Fall Conference has been rescheduled for Saturday, Novemeber 12. The TLA District 8 web page has been and will continue to be updated. A few workshops will be changed so don't be afraid to try something new. New vendors are coming and we will have a difference main speaker but we will have a conference. I want to thank everyone for your perseverance. Remember We can be flexible-We can overcome obstacles-We are librarians. So please help us get the word out and if you are not registered you can register at the conference.

I'll still be there giving the presentation Free MARC Tools. Hope to see some of you there.

FRBR and Topic Maps

Alexander Sigel has put together a page looking into the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records, topic maps and XTM: FRBR and XTM.
  • How can FRBR used for the modelling of bibliographic relationships, using Knowledge Technologies like XTM, OWL/RDF?
  • What are Published Subjects for FRBR to be used as shared vocabularies for XTM and OWL/RDF?
Seen on the FRBR weblog.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

ALA Mid-Winter

Given the comments I received, I've decided to attend ALA Mid-Winter. Hope to see some of you there.

End Users

I've been listening to a talk Bill Moen gave at the TLA 2004 conference on my MP3 player. (TLA makes CDs of the conference with MP3 files of the talks available for a very reasonable sum.) In it he talks about our end users. Those are the folks walking in during business hours and visiting our Web site. OK, nothing new. Then there are the staff. We have to circulate, weed, preserve, build bibliographies, do collection development, etc. All that makes us users of our own work. Again nothing new, but one aspect we often overlook. Then he mentioned software as an end user. New idea to me, turn on the light. Of course, with Z39.50, OAI, APIs, SRU/SRW, etc. it makes perfect sense. We should include all the interoperability aspects when discussing end users. Making an XML version of our work might make sense to our software end users.

Greenstone Digital Library Software

Greenstone v2.62 has been released. This is a "stable" release of the software with no major new features but many bug fixes and minor improvements. See this page for a list of some of the most important changes in this version.
Greenstone is a suite of software for building and distributing digital library collections. It provides a new way of organizing information and publishing it on the Internet or on CD-ROM. Greenstone is produced by the New Zealand Digital Library Project at the University of Waikato, and developed and distributed in cooperation with UNESCO and the Human Info NGO. It is open-source, multilingual software, issued under the terms of the GNU General Public License.

Additions to the MARC Code Lists for Relators, Sources, Description

The codes listed below have been recently approved for use in MARC 21 records. The new codes will be added to the online MARC Code Lists for Relators, Sources, Description Conventions.

The codes should not be used in exchange records until after December 12, 2005. This 60-day waiting period is required to provide MARC 21 implementers time to include newly defined codes in any validation tables they may apply to the MARC fields where the codes are used.

MARC Term, Name, Title Sources & Other Sources

These codes are for use in subfield $2 in Bibliographic and Community Information records in fields 600-651 and 655 and field 040, subfield $f (Cataloging Source / Subject heading/thesaurus conventions) in Authority records.


  • hkcan - Hong Kong Chinese Authority File (Name) - HKCAN (Hong Kong: JULAC) [use after December 12, 2005]
  • jhpb - Jezyk hasel przedmiotowych Biblioteki Narodowej = National Library of Poland Subject Headings (Warszawie: Biblioteki Narodowej) [use after December 12, 2005]
  • jhpk - Jezyk hasel przedmiotowych KABA = KABA Subject Headings (Warszawie: Stowarzyszenie Bibliotekarzy Polskich, Centrum Formataw i Kartotek Hasel Wzorcowych Biblioteki Uniwersyteckiej w Warszawie) [use after December 12, 2005]
  • pmcsg - Combined standards glossary (New Town Square, PA: Project Management Institute) [use after December 12, 2005]
  • reroa - Indexation matihres RERO (autoritis) (Martigny: Riseau des bibliothhques de Suisse occidentale) [use after December 12, 2005]
MARC Relator Codes/Terms

Relator codes are for use in subfield $4 in name access fields. Relator terms are for use in subfield $e in name access fields.


  • acp - Art copyist - Use for a person (e.g., a painter or sculptor) who makes copies of works of visual art. [use after December 12, 2005]
  • mcp - Music copyist - Use for a person who transcribes or copies musical notation. [use after December 12, 2005]

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Web Essentials 05 Podcasts

Web Essentials 05 has podcasts of the talks. They include:
  • State of the Web 2005 by Molly Holzschlag
  • Beyond Usability: Designing the Complete User Experience by Jeffrey Veen
  • Panel: Moving your organisation to standards
  • Rapid Design Prototyping With Standards by Eric Meyer
They also have Flickr and blog coverage. Seen on Column Two