Friday, June 17, 2005


Today is Stravinsky's birthday. Celebrate by listening to some of his music.

Classification Scheme

Here is a different classification scheme, one from the publishers. The BIC Standard Subject Categories uses a mixture of letters and numbers to describe the subject or genre of an item. It is used in ONIX.

Transfer of Digital Assets

A Standards-based Solution for the Accurate Transfer of Digital Assets by Jeroen Bekaert and Herbert Van de Sompel appears in the latest issue of D-Lib Magazine
This article describes results of a collaboration between the Research Library of the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and the American Physical Society (APS) aimed at designing and implementing a robust solution for the recurrent transfer of digital assets from the APS collection to LANL. In this solution, various recent standards are combined to obtain an asset transfer framework that should be attractive as a means to optimize content transfer in environments beyond the specific APS/LANL project. The proposed solution uses an XML-based complex object format (the MPEG-21 Digital Item Declaration Language) for the application-neutral representation of compound digital assets of all sorts. It uses a pull-oriented HTTP-based protocol (the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting) that allows incrementally collecting new and updated assets, represented as XML documents, from a producing archive. It builds on an XML-specific technique (W3C XML Signatures) to provide guarantees regarding authenticity and accuracy of the transferred assets.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Authority File

OCLC has an interesting experiment, accessing the LC authority file from within a database.
We developed this service so that remotely located systems-institutional repository software, for example (DSpace, ePrints UK, CONTENTdm,, Fedora)-can offer authority control without having to build full authority control modules. Without this service DSpace does not know, for example, that Mark Twain and Samuel Clemens are the same man; nor does it distinguish well between two authors with the same name. With the OCLC Research name authority service, people entering metadata for preprints can make sure the author names are consistent and well-formed.
This would be nice inside a cataloging tool also. Not only searching the local file but also a remote file could make things a bit easier. Seen on Outgoing.

MARC Authority Records

Here is a poll. Make your opinion count.
I am trying to simplify the saving (downloading) of records from LC Authorities and would like to ask LC to change the default format for saving such records from text format to MARC format. Currently, when we retrieve a record the default setting under Select Format at the bottom of the MARC Display screen is Text Format, which means that we must select MARC Format before clicking Print or Save Search Results each and every time we download a record.

I suspect that AUTOCAT subscribers are fairly representative of LC Authorities users and would prefer that MARC Format be the default setting, sparing us one step every time we download a record. Thus, I invite subscribers to participate in an online poll. The software uses IP addresses and cookies to prevent multiple votes from the same computer.

I will inform LC of the poll's standing on Thursday, June 23.

Jonathan David Makepeace
Bibliographic Services Librarian
Leddy Library, University of Windsor
Thanks Jonathan for taking this on. Seen on AUTOCAT.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


Is anyone else sad to see the end of R.O.D.--the TV Series (Read Or Die) on Anime Unleashed? Having the British library as the bad guy was a strange twist. With authors, bookstores and libraries as part of the story it was different than most TV. Maybe it will get shown again.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Public Broadcasting

I generally avoid politics, but I have such stong feeleings about this issue I have to break that policy.
A House panel has voted to eliminate all funding for NPR and PBS, starting with "Sesame Street," "Reading Rainbow," and other commercial-free children's shows. If approved, this would be the most severe cut in the history of public broadcasting, threatening to pull the plug on Big Bird, Cookie Monster, and Oscar the Grouch.

The cuts would slash 25% of the federal funding this year--$100 million--and end funding altogether within two years. The loss could kill beloved children's shows like "Clifford the Big Red Dog," "Arthur," and "Postcards from Buster." Rural stations and those serving low-income communities might not survive. Other stations would have to increase corporate sponsorships.

A certain group of conservatives have always tried to destroy the public airspace. This time the friendship of George W. Bush with the head of Clear Channel Communications gets added to the mix. Check the local radio stations in your area owned by them and then picture who is left if the public radio stations are gone. Please sign the petition.

Unshelved Book

My copy of Library Mascot Cage Match: An Unshelved Collection arrived while I was at SLA last week. If you haven't yet experienced this great strip check out Unshelved. I'm still waiting for the cataloger to appear. How long can they keep him chained in the back room?

Monday, June 13, 2005


The new edition of the ISBN standard has been published.


The report, Assessment of Options for Handling Full Unicode in Character Encodings in MARC 21 * Part 2: Issues is available. It will be discussed during the June 25th MARBI meeting.

The slides from Joan Aliprand's 2004 presentation True Scripts in Library Catalogs -- The Way Forward, may assist those reviewing the report.

Metadata Object Description Schema 2 Dublin Core

A mapping from MODS to unqualified Dublin Core is now available on the MODS site.

This mapping gives equivalencies between the elements in the Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS) and the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set, version 1.1 (simple Dublin Core).


The draft agenda for the upcoming MARBI meetings (June 25-26) in Chicago is available.

Thesauri on the Semantic Web

W3C Semantic Web Best Practices and Deployment Working Group announces the publication of the following technical reports as first public Working Drafts:SKOS Core is a simple, flexible and extensible language for expressing the structure and content of concept schemes (thesauri, classification schemes, subject heading lists, taxonomies, terminologies, glossaries and other types of controlled vocabulary) in a machine-understandable form.

The SKOS Core Vocabulary is an application of the Resource Description Framework (RDF). Using RDF allows data to be linked to and/or merged with other data. In practice, this means that distributed sources of data can be meaningfully composed and integrated.

The 'SKOS Core Guide' is a guide to the recommended usage of the SKOS Core Vocabulary, for readers who already have a basic understanding of RDF concepts.

The 'SKOS Core Vocabulary Specification' gives a reference-style overview of the SKOS Core Vocabulary, and describes policies for ownership, naming, persistence and change management.

The 'Quick Guide to Publishing a Thesaurus on the Semantic Web' describes in brief how to express the content and structure of a thesaurus, and metadata about a thesaurus, in RDF, and gives some practical guidance for publication of RDF data.

Metadata Object Description Schema

There is a MODS Implementation Registry available.

Please include:

  1. Name of the institution or organization implementing MODS
  2. The MODS project name
  3. A short description of the MODS project
  4. Projected dates of implementation
  5. A URL to the MODS project web site (if available)
  6. A URL to any available documentation or specifications developed for the MODS project
  7. A list of any MODS tools developed and or used as part of the MODS project
  8. The MODS version used in the project
  9. Contact name and e-mail address