Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Hurricane Rita

The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) is closing, at least for Thursday and Friday. Galveston County is under a mandatory evacuation order starting today, and area schools are closed for the remainder of the week. So, I'll very likely not post anything until Monday. We will be leaving for San Antonio later today. If the LPI site goes down important information about the institute will be posted on the USRA site.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Not cataloging, but maybe useful info for school and academic librarians.
The Pentagon announced just this summer it has been collecting and using data -- including such sensitive personal information as Social Security numbers, ethnicity, GPA, personal email addresses, height, weight, and even the cell phone numbers of kids, without their parent's permission. They had been keeping the database secret for more than three years -- a violation of federal privacy laws and the privacy of tens of millions of young Americans. In addition, a little known provision in the federal No Child Left Behind Act is forcing public high schools to release the personal information of their students to local military recruiters, again without the consent of their families.

While law compels schools to violate the privacy of ordinary Americans, it also creates a way for families to "Opt Out" of both the local high school military recruitment lists, and the national Pentagon database. If you know someone between the ages of 16 and 25, spread the word: you can "Opt Out" to stop the Pentagon from using your data, and to prevent your high school from releasing it to recruiters, by clicking on the link.

Metadata Authority Description Schema

Some news about the Metadata Authority Description Schema (MADS).
Please note that we've made some changes to the draft MARC authorities to MADS mapping, since we discovered in writing the stylesheet for conversion that the authority attribute was missing. That became very complicated particularly because of LCSH coding rules. A revision is up. Please let us know if you see and possible errors.

It's still called preliminary until we test some records with the stylesheet, which we're working on. We also plan to issue the stylesheet to convert MARC authorities to MADS in the near future. Then we hope people will experiment with it.