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.