Friday, March 31, 2006

National Library Legislative Day

Come and participate in National Library Legislative Day May 1 & 2, 2006. SLA is collaborating with ALA and DCLA in bringing together hundreds of library supporters from across the United States. Attendees will visit Members of Congress to share stories about libraries in their communities and to talk about the needs and accomplishments of libraries in their area. Full details and registration information.

Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS)

There is a draft of MODS version 3.2 out for review.

Authority Records

News from OCLC regarding notification of authority records with death dates added.

The Library of Congress recently announced a change in policy about adding death dates to personal name heading and a revision to the LCRI for AACR2 rule 22.17 that allows the option for catalogers to add death dates to personal name headings with open dates.

Both the Library of Congress and OCLC are aware that many libraries will be very interested in incorporating these changes into their catalogs. Libraries that use authority control services for ongoing processing will receive these changes as part of their normal workflows but, for other libraries, OCLC is providing an alerting service to announce headings to which death dates have been added. The alerting service is being offered as both an RSS feed and in an HTML version.

The new RSS feed is available online. To learn how to subscribe to RSS feeds, see the RSS Feeds and Podcasts page on the OCLC web site and follow the instructions on the right side of the page in the section labeled "How do I add a feed?". This page also includes links to information about selecting newsreaders.

To view the HTML version, go to the Closed Dates in Authority Records page on the OCLC web site and select one of the weekly entries from the list.

Headings containing diacritics and special characters may not display correctly in the RSS feed version. Diacritics and special characters will display correctly in the HTML version provided the font, ALA BT Courier, is installed on the computer being used. Please use Internet Explorer for best results when viewing this font. This is a temporary situation while a better solution is being worked on.

Lists for each week since the new policy went into effect on February 1 are now available. A list of newly changed headings will be added once each week in the future.

Staff in OCLC's Quality Control Section are giving priority to making these heading changes in WorldCat.

Thanks OCLC. I'm subscribing.


At times we take big hits on our system. For instance, when we recently put up scans of 100 lunar maps and hundreds of folks decided to download them all at the same time. Now demand has tapered off and things are back to normal. I've been an advocate here for BitTorrent. I thought putting up the files a day or two ahead of general release as torrents might lessen some of the load. But, that requires some tech savvy of the part of the users.

I've just discovered a new method of distributing large files when there is a peak in demand, Coral. This is nice since the user never even needs to know what is happening, it is all behind the scenes. The only change the server has to make is to add a short string to the URL. Once the peak is past, a script could easily remove the string and rename the files. Worth further investigation. Wikipedia has this to say:

Coral is an open source, peer-to-peer content distribution network designed to mirror web content. Coral is designed to use the bandwidth of volunteers to reduce the load on websites and other providers of web content. To use coral, simply add to the hostname in a URL. So, for example, becomes The latter is known as a coralized link.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Future of Cataloging

This news from Indiana:
The Indiana University Libraries are now making public a report produced by our Future of Cataloging Task Force, titled A White Paper on the Future of Cataloging at Indiana University, that might be of interest to some of you in the metadata librarian community. Our charge was in many ways similar to the charge to the U.C. Bibliographic Services task force which recently released their own report, but the two reports differ in interesting ways.
They recommend:
  • Facilitate the formation of new partnerships between cataloging departments and other units, both internal and external to the libraries.
  • Actively seek ways to build on catalogers existing expertise and expand their work into other forms of non-MARC metadata.
  • Review internal cataloging operations at the local and system-wide levels with the goal of gaining improved efficiencies.
  • Continue to monitor and prepare for the evolution of the online catalog.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

unAPI on YouTube

Check out unAPI and the dawn of social clipboards on YouTube.
a sloppy whirlwind tour of the unAPI spec for webapp object copying and pasting with the atom publishing protocol in a social clipboard service. More info at ct/unapi/dawn-of-social- clipboards-screencast
Exciting stuff.

Strangers in Paradise

Strangers in Paradise is a wonderful series of graphic novels by Terry Moore. However, none of my local libraries have any of the series. Terry is from the Houston area, the stories are mostly set in Houston. You would think Houston area libraries would carry them. No such luck. Maybe someone local will read this and add them to the collection?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


I've made a change to the Web version of this weblog, RSS viewers will see no change. I've added a search box or Google OpenWorldCat. The code came from libdev. If you experience any problems because of this change please let me know.

Monday, March 27, 2006


On oss4lib the ISBN tool was noted. This is a versatile tool able to perform these tasks:
  • convert($isbn)
    Takes a 10 digit ISBN and returns the 13 digit equivalent. Does not perform any error checking or validation.
  • gettype($isbn)
    Takes a string value and will make a guess as to whether or not it fits the criteria of an ISBN. Returns 10 for a possible ISBN-10 and 13 for ISBN-13. Does not validate further.
  • validateten($isbn)
    Takes a 10 digit numeric value and checks to determine if it is a valid ISBN-10.
  • validatettn($isbn)
    Takes a 13 digit numeric value and checks to determine if it is a valid ISBN-13.
  • genchksum13($isbn)
    Takes a 12 digit numeric value and generates an ISBN-13 checksum digit.
  • genchksum10($isbn)
    Takes a 9 digit numeric value and generates an ISBN-10 checksum digit.
  • printinvalid()
    Returns a message informing the user the ISBN is invalid.
Note if the item does not include the 13 digit numbers with the prefix ISBN we are not to treat it as one. We can't take this tool and generate 13 digit ISBNs and plug them into records as such. They could go elsewhere in the record, just not 020.