Friday, September 08, 2006

The Long Tail

The long tail has gotten quite a bit of press recently. Over on IT Conversations there is an MP3 of Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of Wired Magazine, speaking with Dr. Moira Gunn about his new book The Long Tail. Moved to my player.

After MARC

Dan Scott has put up a Wiki After MARC? to serve as a place for discussion about problems with MARC and what, if anything should replace it. Have an axe to grind about MARC, let others know here. This was prompted by the recent Murder MARC discussion started by Karen Coyle taking place so many places.
Let's see if we can find some hard requirements that MARC can't satisfy today, then move on to discussing different ways those requirements can be satisfied and evaluating the alternatives. I think it would be a great start, for example, if Karen could post some real examples of the "kludge after kludge" in our library systems that are caused by a shortcoming in the MARC format (as is suggested in the third paragraph of her "Murdering MARC" post).
BTW if you are not familiar with Wikis, they allow anyone to edit and add to the site from their browser. Have at it.

Well, that had a short life. There is now one covering the same topic, Designing the future -- Library Systems and Data Formats. This one requires a password to create or edit.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Metadata Migrator

The Metadata Migrator is a tool to move data into OAI-compliant records. More flexible than MarcEdit but more complex, if you have MARC records to start with. If you are working from an Access database, Metadata Migrator is a good option.
Using the Metadata Migrator, collections specialists can map or crosswalk the field names of their institution's records into Dublin Core elements to create OAI-compliant XML records. They can also create a data provider that allows OAI harvesters to serve out these records within larger digital library structures, including such sites as OAIster and

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Now available at NISO, the Metasearch XML Gateway Implementers Guide Version 1.0 by the Standards Committee BC / Task Group 3.
The NISO Metasearch XML Gateway (MXG) is a low-barrier-to-entry method to expose content to metasearch services and more effectively interoperate with metasearching applications. The MXG protocol defines a simple message and response which allows a metasearch service to query a content database and receive a standardized XML response.

The MXG protocol is primarily directed to Content Providers who wish to expose their resources to one or more metasearch providers without expending substantial development resources. Metasearch Providers who will be using a Content Provider's MXG to access resources will also find this guide useful.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


The Evergreen library catalog for the Georgia PINES is now live. This is a large open source effort. PINES is:
A program of the Georgia Public Library Service, Georgia Library PINES is the public library automation and lending network for 252 libraries in 123 counties. PINES creates a statewide "borderless library" that provides equal access to information for all Georgians.

User-Generated Metadata

From Spectator to Annotator: Possibilities offered by User-Generated Metadata for Digital Cultural Heritage Collections by Seth van Hooland will be presented at at the CILIP2006 conference.
The changing role of the user, that gradually shifts from a passive consumer of information towards a pro-active user that reorganises and manipulates data, has an increasing impact on traditional information retrieval. A multitude of practical and methodic questions rise as popular web-applications such as blogs, RSS and social bookmarking tools allow users to create and share metadata about online resources. This article tackles these issues in the particular domain of visual cultural heritage. Online image databases increasingly offer users possibilities to annotate and comment on images of interest to them. But what is the pertinence of these user contributions? How can their quality be evaluated? Concretely, our article starts with an introduction to the phenomenon of usergenerated metadata by presenting the social tagging of cultural heritage images and the practice of publishing users comments. Secondly, a case study presents an analysis of users comments within the image database of the National Archives of the Netherlands. Based on these empirical data, conclusions and generalizations outside our specific case study are formulated.

Trade Literature

The RLG forum had the talk Trade literature by Mary Augusta Thomas discussing catalogs at the Smithsonian Institution Libraries. Fascinating collection and talk. I'd never thought about all the possible uses old catalogs could serve. Then a couple of MP3s later on my player I heard John Lienhard on the Engines of Our Ingenuity episode 1897 and 1909 Sears Catalogs. An example of those old catalogs being put to use.