Monday, December 29, 2008

Testing RDA

RDA news.
The Library of Congress, the National Agricultural Library and the National Library of Medicine have jointly decided to test Resource Description and Access (RDA), the proposed new cataloging code, before making a decision on whether or not to implement this new standard. See the joint statement and accompanying letter from Deanna Marcum, Associate Librarian for Library Services, Library of Congress for more details.


I just heard of the search engine, GoodSearch. It makes a small donation to a charity of my choice each time I search.
GoodSearch is a search engine which donates 50-percent of its revenue to the charities and schools designated by its users. It's a simple and compelling concept. You use GoodSearch exactly as you would any other search engine. Because it's powered by Yahoo!, you get proven search results. The money GoodSearch donates to your cause comes from its advertisers — the users and the organizations do not spend a dime!

GoodSearch: You Search...We Give!
I'll be using this whenever I used to use Yahoo.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

More MARBI News

The draft agenda for the 2009 ALA Midwinter MARBI meeting is now available.

Also, the minutes for the 2008 Annual MARBI meeting are now available.

News from MARBI

The following papers are available for review by the MARC community:
  • Proposal No. 2009-02: Definition of new codes for legal deposits in 008/07 (Method of Acquisition) in the MARC 21 Holdings Format
  • Proposal No. 2009-03: Definition of field 080 in the MARC 21 Authority Format
  • Proposal No. 2009-04: Addition of Codes for Map Projections in 008/22-23 (Maps) in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format
  • Proposal No. 2009-05: Adding subfield $u for Uniform Resource Identifier to field 510 (Citation/References note) of the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format
  • Discussion Paper No. 2009-DP02: Definition of field 588 for metadata control note in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format
A few additional proposals and a discussion paper will be posted shortly. MARBI proposals and discussion papers related to RDA will be posted in early January.

The draft agenda for the 2008 ALA Annual MARBI meetings and the Annual 2008 MARBI minutes will be made available soon.

Monday, December 22, 2008

2009 Electronic Resources & Libraries

I'll be going to the 2009 Electronic Resources & Libraries. Hope to see some people there I've only "met" online. This is made possible by the scholarship I received from the conference. My sincere thanks to the conference organizers and the scholarship committee. Gone

Some sad news. "On December 18th I was asked to shut off by the Library of Congress. As an LC employee I really did not have much choice other than to comply." This has been posted everywhere else, but deserves the widest exposure, so I'm posting here as well.

uClassify Contest

The folks at LibraryThing are interested in what could be done with the uClassify tool. They are offering a $100.00 prize for the best tool.
Our dream is to share hardcore classifier technology with everyone. We recognized that classifiers are mostly present at universities research departments and expensive commercial companies. We want to change that. We want everyone to have the possibility to use a top notch classifier - completely free. We find it enormously exciting to see what happens when a tool for creativity is given to the community. We hope to see all kinds of beyond-our-imagination classifiers and incredible web applications being built around the API.

Friday, December 19, 2008


PURLZ Server version 1.2 has been released.
Purlz are Web addresses or Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) that act as permanent identifiers in the face of a dynamic and changing Web infrastructure. Instead of resolving directly to Web resources, PURLs provide a level of indirection that allows the underlying Web addresses of resources to change over time without negatively affecting systems that depend on them. This capability provides continuity of references to network resources that may migrate from machine to machine for business, social or technical reasons.

Cataloging Video Discs

DVDImage via Wikipedia

Another from the draft folder. The DVD Guide Update Task Force of the Cataloging Policy Committee (CAPC) of OLAC has completed the document, Guide to Cataloging DVD and Blu-ray Discs Using AACR2r and MARC 21 (2008 update).

Thanks to all involved.

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Cataloging Video Discs

The DVD Guide Update Task Force of the Cataloging Policy Committee (CAPC) of OLAC has completed the document, Guide to Cataloging DVD and Blu-ray Discs Using AACR2r and MARC 21 (2008 update).

Thanks to all involved.

Additions to the MARC Code Lists for Relators, Sources, Descriptions

The code listed below has been recently approved for use in MARC 21 records. The code will be added to MARC Code Lists for Relators, Sources, Description Conventions.

The code should not be used in exchange records until after February 16, 2008. This 60-day waiting period is required to provide MARC 21 implementers time to include newly-defined codes in any validation tables they may apply to the MARC fields where the codes are used.

Category Code Sources

The following code is for use in subfield $2 in field 072 in Authority and Bibliographic records (Subject Category Code) and in subfield $z in field 073 (Subdivision Usage) in Authority records.

E4Libraries Category Headings
[use only after February 16, 2008]

Term, Name, Title Sources

The following code is for use in subfield $2 in fields 600-657 (Subject Added Entries/Index Terms) in Bibliographic and Community Information records; subfield 662 (Subject Added Entry) in Bibliographic records; subfield $2 in fields 700-754 (Index Terms) in Classification records; subfield $2 in fields 700-788 (Heading Linking Entries) in Authority records; and subfield $f in field 040 (Cataloging Source) in Authority records.

E4Libraries Category Headings
[use only after February 16, 2008]

Nature Now has XMP

Nature now includes XMP semantic data in the PDF version of their articles.
We now have a complete bibliographic record (including DOI) embedded in the PDF using structured markup. And, moreover, we also have a solid bedrock for adding in any additional metadata should the need arise. This semantic labelling is available on all new issues of Nature and will be added to other NPG titles over the coming months.

XMP as a labelling technology could well go a long way towards addressing concerns raised by Olivia Judson in an op-ed piece earlier this week in the New York Times: Defeating Bedlam. The author decries that "downloading papers from journal Web sites" means that "access to information is easier and faster than ever before ... but there’s been no obvious way to manage it once you’ve got it." Those days may soon be over.

Now with XMP all manner of scholarly content - documents, images and other media types - can be properly labelled and many programs (not just Zotero and Papers which she reviews) can directly profit from the richness of semantic web descriptions.

Indexing 2.0

Unshelved is going to use use the crowd to index their strips. is the tool they selected to do the indexing. It is also a tool for searching across over 91,000 Web comics.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Timeline and Plan for the Next Five Library of Congress Genre/Form Projects

News from LC.
In July, 2008, the Library of Congress Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access (ABA) management team approved five new genre/form projects to be undertaken by the Cataloging Policy and Support Office (now the Policy and Standards Division): cartography, law, literature, music, and religion. On October 31st, 2008, the Division presented its timeline and plan for those projects to the ABA management team, and it was approved on November 17th.

The plan follows the principles and recommendations for the management of the genre/form projects, as outlined in the moving image project report; provides opportunities for involvement by other libraries and organizations with an interest in genre/form headings; requests input from the broader library community at various points in each project; and, furnishes a timeline that will allow for the orderly roll-out of genre/form headings in each of the five disciplines under development during the next four years.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Bay Area Youth Singers Holiday Concert

Bay Area Youth Singers (BAYS) Holiday Concert
December 14 4:00 p.m.
University Baptist Church
Tickets $10 Adults $3 Students

Contact me for tickets.


The IFLA Cataloguing Section, ISBD Review Group has the document Proposed Area 0 for ISBD up for review.
The Working Group on General Material Designations of the IFLA Meeting of Experts on an International Cataloguing Code (IME ICC) held in Frankfurt in 2003 suggested that the GMD seemed unsatisfactory because the presence of the content of the resource and of the presentation of the resource were mixed, confusing more than clarifying. Other comments were on its present location, interrupting the logical order of the title information. It was also thought that the GMD was important enough to be at the beginning of the record, and that it should not be optional as it currently is.
Comment by 30 January 2009.

GPO Separate Record Cataloging Policy

The Government Printing Office (GPO) has adopted a separate record cataloging policy.
At the request of the Federal Depository Library community, the Government Printing Office, Library Services & Content Services, Library Technical Information Services (LTIS) staff has formulated a policy for creating separate records for every manifestation of a document. This policy follows an internal review of the current approach of single record cataloging.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Preliminary Authority Records

Here is another preliminary authority record:

American Association of Petroleum Geologists. |b Committee on Structural Nomenclature

It was created in 1985 as shown by the ID n 85806886. It was updated in 2008 as shown by 005. But it is still PRELIMINARY. How long can these stay preliminary?

COinS in WordPress

The OpenBook Book Data plug-in for WordPress by John Miedema now supports COinS.
OpenBook is for book reviewers, book bloggers, library webmasters, anyone who wants to put book covers and data on their WordPress blog or website.

OpenBook gets its covers and book data from Open Library (, the only source of bibliographic data that is both open source and open data, hence the OpenBook label.

About COinS
The goal is to embed citation metadata into html in such a way that processing agents can discover, process and make use of the metadata. Since an important use of this metadata will be to allow processing agents to make OpenURL hyperlinks for users in libraries (latent OpenURL), the method must allow the metadata to be placed any where in HTML that a link might appear. In the absence of some metadata-aware agent, the embedded metadata must be invisible to the user and innocuous with respect to HTML markup. To meet these requirements, the span element was selected. The NISO OpenURL ContextObject is selected as the specific metadata package. The resulting specification is named "ContextObject in SPAN" or COinS for short.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Problems with Microformats

This is old news, but new to me and maybe someone else. There are some basic problems with many of the microformats, including the hCalendar. The BBC has stopped using microformats.
Since /programmes first went live we've been working to ensure that programme data was accessible to people and machines alike. The API design was baked in at the application design stage. Similarly we've worked on adding microformats to HTML pages as a lightweight API. All broadcasts use the hCalendar microformat to add start times, end times, broadcast channels etc.

Unfortunately there have been a number of concerns over hCalendar's use of the abbreviation design pattern.

They were considering RDFa as an alternative.

So, does anyone know of any tools to easily create RDFa? Something to just plug in the info and have it pop out?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Name Authority Records

News form LC concerning Name Authority Records.
The Library of Congress is pleased to announce that OCLC has completed the pre-population of the NACO authority file with non-Latin references (authority 4XX fields) derived from non-Latin bibliographic heading fields in WorldCat, a use of data-mining techniques originally developed for the WorldCat Identities project. The pre-population project, which began in mid-July, added non-Latin script references to 497,576 name authority records for personal names and corporate bodies.

**For NACO catalogers, this means that the moratorium on updating 100/110 authority records that existed prior to July 2008 to add non-Latin script references is now lifted. All name authority records are now candidates for the addition of non-Latin script references. Thanks for your patience during this period.**

LC hopes to announce soon a process by which catalogers that have been examining the non-Latin script references added by this project can contribute to the development of policies and practices for the future, such as the issues raised in the white paper on non-Latin script references in name authority records.

Special thanks to Robert Bremer, and colleagues at OCLC, for all the efforts to make this pre-population a reality.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Elias Torres, Ben Adida discuss RDFa on Technometria with Phil Windley
While the web is primarily for human consumption, more sites are including machine readable data. However, this information is usually included separately. As the RFDa Primer states, RFDa provides a set of XHTML attributes to augment visual data with machine-readable hints. RDFa helps bloggers and website authors make their web pages smarter by adding computer-readable information to a site. Elias Torres and Ben Adida talk about it, including its history and what problems RFDa is attempting to solve.

Torres and Adida also discuss the technical details of RDFa and give a detailed technical description of how RDFa works. They review the mechanics of RDFa and give examples of its usage.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Metadata Extraction

Effective Metadata Extraction from Irregularly Structured Web Content by Baoyao Zhou, Wei Liu, Yu Yang, Weichun Wang Ming Zhang, (HPL-2008-203)
Metadata extraction is one crucial module for domain specific Web content discovery and management, because the accuracy and completeness of the extracted metadata would directly affect the quality of subsequent domain information services. Our Online Course Organization project aims to build an online course portal to serve the course information obtained from the Web. Since most course pages are irregularly structured, most existing approaches are not effective for extracting course metadata. In this paper, we proposed a novel hierarchical clustering approach to generate a web page semantic structure model from the DOM tree, called Logical Structure Model, such that the hidden patterns and knowledge can be revealed and used to facilitate identifying course metadata. The experimental results have shown that our solution can achieve effective metadata extraction

Library Weblogs

Now available, The Liblog Landscape 2007-2008 by Walt Crawford.
Liblogs--blogs written by library people, as opposed to official library blogs--provide some of today's most interesting and useful library literature. This book offers a broad look at English-language liblogs as they are and as they've changed between 2007 and 2008. The book includes more than 600 blogs with detailed analysis of 27 metrics for 2007 and 2008 and changes from 2007 to 2008--and, for 143 of them, 2006 as well. Through tables, charts and text, we explore the liblog landscape.

MODS Tools

The MODS users are collecting examples of tools using MODS. One example is Tellico.
Tellico is a KDE application for organizing your collections. It provides default templates for books, bibliographies, videos, music, video games, coins, stamps, trading cards, comic books, and wines.

Tellico allows you to enter your collection in a catalogue database, saving many different properties like title, author, etc. Two different views of your collection are shown. On the left, your entries are grouped together by any field you like, allowing you to see how many are in each group. On the right, selected fields are shown in column format, allowing you to sort by any field. On the bottom is a customizable HTML view of the current entry. The entry editor is a dialog box where you enter the data.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cataloging Tools

LibLime has announced the beta test of a suite of cataloging tools, ‡
‡ is a subscription-based, hosted version of the open-source ‡biblios metadata editor that we released earlier this year. In addition to the editor, ‡ includes some extended community features such as integrated real-time chat, forums, and private messaging.

‡ also provides access to the world's largest database of freely-licensed library records. The database will be freely available to ‡ subscribers and non-subscribers alike via Z39.50, OAI, and direct download.

Furthermore, the database itself will be maintained by ‡ users similar to the way that Wikipedia's database is maintained by users.

We're now looking for enthusiastic participants to help shape the final production release of ‡

Ways you can help:

  • Become a beta tester for the ‡ platform by filling out the beta tester application form.
  • Donate your records to ‡ Upload records to, and drop us an email at 'info AT liblime DOT com'
  • Get involved in the ‡biblios open-source community: get your copy of ‡biblios and join the development team at
An aside, wouldn't it make more sense in that first paragraph to link "‡biblios metadata editor" rather than "released earlier this year?" Links are a form of mark-up and clean mark-up matters.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Metadata Matters

Diane Hillmann and Jon Phipps have started a new weblog, Metadata Matters. Based on the names, I'd call this a must read. Subscribed.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Better 404 Pages

Good idea from Dean Frickey writing in A List Apart (the other ALA), A More Useful 404.
Encountering 404 errors is not new. Often, developers provide custom 404 pages to make the experience a little less frustrating. However, for a custom 404 page to be truly useful, it should not only provide relevant information to the user, but should also provide immediate feedback to the developer so that, when possible, the problem can be fixed.

To accomplish this, I developed a custom 404 page that can be adapted to the look and feel of the website it’s used on and uses server-side includes (SSI) to execute a Perl script that determines the cause of the 404 error and takes appropriate action.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Authority Record Access

Why doesn't LC offer Z39.50 access to the authority files? How about their other thesauri, like the Thesaurus For Graphic Materials? Easy access to these files would be useful. Maybe Z39.50 is "so yesterday" and SRU/SRW or an API is the answer. These are rich resources and access would be useful in ways we can't yet imagine. How about other institutions? AAT or the NASA Thesaurus, or... would be useful. This is not only about bibliographic access, but has wider issues in a Semantic Web environment.

[Later] OCLC does provide access via their Terminologies Project, see the comment for full details.

[21 Nov. 2008] Someone sent me a note saying that the Voyager software used does not support Z39.50 access to the authority records. That they are not a separate database and have very little indexing. Do check out the comments for some useful information.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

RSS for TOCs

RSS and Scholarly Journal Tables of Contents: the ticTOCs Project, and Good Practice Guidelines for Publishers by Lisa Rogers provides some advise based on experience.
Publishers are using various versions of feeds such as RSS 1.0, RSS 2.0, RSS 0.91 and Atom. RSS 0.91 and RSS 2.0 are very simple XML formats, and typically only contain the fields for title, description and link. However, RSS 1.0 can easily be extended by the use of modules so as to not only deliver the content, but also provide structured metadata. One such module for extended RSS 1.0 is the Publishing Requirements for Industry Standard Metadata (PRISM) module. A variety of publishers such as Nature Publishing Group (6), Inderscience (7) and SAGE (8) are already using PRISM along with Dublin Core Metadata to provide rich metadata in their RSS feeds.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Comment on RDA

Form for comments from the US about RDA.

Koha User Group Meeting

On April 16-17th there will be a Koha innovations and sharing group in Plano Texas (suburb of Dallas/Fort Worth). The 2 day workshop would have lab access and presentation space. There would be a charge to cover lunch both days and other expenses. Any leftover money would be given to the KUDOS users group as seed money. Anticipated cost $100.

Algorithms for Clustering Tags

Clustering Tags in Enterprise and Web Folksonomies by Simpson, Edwin will be published and presented at the International Conference on Weblogs & Social Media, Seattle, March 31st, 2008 (HPL-2008-18 )
Tags lack organizational structure limiting their utility for navigation. We present two clustering algorithms that improve this by organizing tags automatically. We apply the algorithms to two very different datasets, visualize the results and propose future improvements.

Monday, November 17, 2008

RDA Draft

The full draft of RDA is now available for comment. Comments needed.

Indexing Tool

Library catalogs these days are mostly ralational databases and related indexes. LuSql is a tool to create an index from a relational databse.
LuSql is a simple but powerful tool for building Lucene indexes from relational databases. It is a command-line Java application for the construction of a Lucene index from an arbitrary SQL query of a JDBC-accessible SQL database. It allows a user to control a number of parameters, including the SQL query to use, individual indexing/storage/term-vector nature of fields, analyzer, stop word list, and other tuning parameters. In its default mode it uses threading to take advantage of multiple cores.

LuSql can handle complex queries, allows for additional per record sub-queries, and has a plug-in architecture for arbitrary Lucene document manipulation. Its only dependencies are three Apache Commons libraries, the Lucene core itself, and a JDBC driver.

LuSql has been extensively tested, including a large 6+ million full-text & article metadata document collection, producing an 86GB Lucene index.Lots of the Code4Lib folks are working with Lucene indexes.


Adding semantic mark-up to text is something the cataloger in me always finds good. Microformats, XML, or RDF all make searches more precise. Lemon8-XML is a tool to chamge scholarly papers in MS Word or Open Office formats into XML. Sweet idea.
Lemon8-XML is a web-based application designed to make it easier for non-technical editors and authors to convert scholarly papers from typical word-processor editing formats such as MS-Word .DOC and OpenOffice .ODT, into publishing layout formats such as the open, industry-standard NLM Journal Publishing XML format.

To use Lemon8-XML, you don't need to understand XML, all you need is a little time and a general understanding of how scholarly articles are structured. In general, this means a document with:

  1. some information about the article and authors at the top
  2. usually an abstract
  3. several sections, often titled "introduction", "methods", "results", etc.
  4. optional figures or tables, either in-text or as appendices
  5. a list of references or citations in a standardized format (eg. MLA, APA, etc.)
It is from the Public Knowledge Project.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Preliminary Authority Records

Just what does it take to upgrade a preliminary authority record? I ask because there are some about 25 years old that are still preliminary.

n 83827701
Space Age Astronomy Symposium (1961 : Pasadena, Calif.)


n 83827385
Solar Spectrum Symposium (1963 : Rijksuniversiteit te Utrecht)

OpenSearch and unAPI Enrichs the Cataloges

SeeAlso: A Simple Linkserver Protocol by Jakob Voss appears in Ariadne no. 57 (October 2008)
In recent years the principle of Service-oriented Architecture (SOA) has grown increasingly important in digital library systems. More and more core functionalities are becoming available in the form of Web-based, standardised services which can be combined dynamically to operate across a broader environment [1]. Standard APIs for searching (SRU [2] [3], OpenSearch [4]), harvesting and syndication (OAI-OMH [5], ATOM [6]), copying (unAPI [7] [8]), publishing, editing (AtomPub [9], Jangle [10], SRU Update [11]), and more basic library operations, either already exist or are being developed.

The creation of the SeeAlso linkserver protocol was occasioned by the need to enrich title views in library catalogues of the German Common Library Network (GBV) with links to additional information. However, instead of integrating those links into title records and tailoring the presentation to our specific OPAC software, we decided to create a general linkserver Web service.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Omeka 0.10

Omeka 0.10 was released yesterday.
Omeka 0.10b incorporates many of the changes you asked for: an unqualified Dublin Core metadata schema and fully extensible element sets to accommodate interoperability with digital repository software and collections management systems; elegant reworkings of our theme API and plugin API to make add-on development more intuitive and more powerful; a new, even more user friendly look for the administrative interface; and a new and improved Exhibit Builder. While the changes are extensive and represent a next-to-last step forward toward a 1.0 release in early 2009, existing users of Omeka should have little trouble switching to 0.10b. New users should have even less trouble getting started. Meanwhile, visitors to will find a new look, a more intuitive information architecture, easily browsable themes and plugins directories, improved documentation and user support, and new ways to get involved in the Omeka community.

Monday, November 10, 2008


How (and Why) to Create an OPML File by Marshall Kirkpatrick is only new to me. A PR person looks at the Outline Processor Markup Language.
There’s a billion other reasons to use OPML - just ask yourself in what circumstances you can imagine sending someone else one link or file that contains a collection of dynamic sources on any topic. I know these are the sorts of questions that keep me up at night.
I'm not seeing OPML icons as often as I'd expect. Is this another PICS, a good idea that just never gets adopted?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

WorldCat Hackathon

WorldCat Hackathon is the impetus for some tool development. From OCLC comes this notice
We added a few more features in this month's xID deployment, hopefully it could be useful in upcoming WorldCat Hackathon.
  • support LCCN query such as:,lccn
  • support deleted OCLCNUM (marc 019 field) In this case OCLCNUM 47139964 was merged into 33100112, and we use a flag "presentOclcnum" to mark present OCLC numbers.
  • xISSN project now supports tab-delimited and CSV dissemination,form,title,form,title
  • start to support php dissemination format in all XID projects*&format=php
Matienzo, Mark has announced that Python WorldCat Module v0.1.0 is now available.
In preparation for the upcoming WorldCat Hackathon starting this Friday, I've made a few changes to worldcat, my Python module for interacting with OCLC's APIs. Most notably, I've added iterators for SRU and OpenSearch requests, which (like the rest of the module) painfully need documentation.


William Denton has written a program, isbn2marc, that takes and ISBN and returns a MARC record. It uses Z39.50 and is written in Ruby. Mr. Denton is the person responsible for the FRBR Blog, good stuff.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Changes to Dewey

973.931 Administration of George W. Bush, 2001–2009
973.932 Administration of Barack Obama, 2009–

Conference Presentations

Have you done a conference presentation lately? If so, let all that work continue to inform the library community by submitting it to the WebJunction conference page. They already have several presentations, both slides and audio, from several conferences. Well worth a look and listen. Great idea WebJunction, thanks.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Ten Do’s and Don’ts for Conference, Workshop, and Program Organizers

In the wake of Internet Librarian lots of folks have been posting tips for presenters. Conference organizers also have a nice list of hints, Ten Do’s and Don’ts for Conference, Workshop, and Program Organizers. Many of our conferences are arraigned by volunteers who change every year or two. A look at this list and the comments should make for happier speakers.

Thanks to Rachael Singer Gordon for pointing me to this again, I'd lost the link.

New DCMI Documnets

Two new documents from the Dublin Core Metadata Imitative. The first involves concepts that relate to RDA. (Although why we are still working on the intellectual foundation when it it nearly ready....) The second provides a model for interoperability on the Semantic Web. The DCMI folks are looking for comments on both.
Guidelines for Dublin Core Application Profiles describes the key components of an application profile and walks the reader through the process of designing a profile. Addressed primarily to a non-technical audience, the guidelines also provide a technical appendix about modeling the metadata interoperably for use in linked data environments. This draft will be revised in response to feedback from readers.

Interoperability Levels for Dublin Core Metadata, published today as a DCMI Working Draft, discusses the modeling choices involved in designing metadata applications for different types of interoperability. At Level 1, applications use data components with shared natural-language definitions. At Level 2, data is based on the formal-semantic model of the W3C Resource Description Framework. At Level 3, data is structured as Description Sets (i.e., as records). At Level 4, data content is subject to a shared set of constraints (as described in a Description Set Profile). Conformance tests and examples are provided for each level. The Working Draft represents work in progress for which the authors seek feedback.

Monday, November 03, 2008


OCLC has a new policy on sharing records. We have until Feb. to consider this policy and all the implications. There was lots of speculation about this before it was released.

Searching with Tags

Searching with Tags: Do Tags Help Users Find Things? by Margaret E.I. Kipp appears in Proceedings 10th International Conference of the International Society for Knowledge Organization, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
This study examines the question of whether tags can be useful in the process of information retrieval. Participants were asked to search a social bookmarking tool specialising in academic articles (CiteULike) and an online journal database (Pubmed) in order to determine if users found tags were useful in their search process. The actions of each participants were captured using screen capture software and they were asked to describe their search process. The preliminary study showed that users did indeed make use of tags in their search process, as a guide to searching and as hyperlinks to potentially useful articles. However, users also made use of controlled vocabularies in the journal database.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Web 2.0 Concepts to Enhance Digital Collections

The ‘Long Tale’: Using Web 2.0 Concepts to Enhance Digital Collections by Andrew Bullen appeared in the October 2008 issue of Computers in Libraries.
The wonderful Web 2.0 is a famously slippery concept to define. The very ambiguity of the term is Escheresque, self-referential to its ever-changing meaning. As Tim O’Reilly, CEO of O’Reilly Media, described it, “Like many important concepts, Web 2.0 doesn’t have a hard boundary, but rather, a gravitational core.” As Illinois State Library’s information technology coordinator, I have come to realize that embracing this essential Web 2.0 philosophy is a useful tool in unlocking the true potential of digital collections. In fact, the central premise behind this article is that until we embrace Web 2.0 concepts, digital repositories cannot evolve beyond very useful cataloging tools.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Field 440

The Program for Cooperative Cataloging has issued PCC Guidelines for Field 440 for implementing the recent decision to make field 440 obsolete. The PCC recommends that members implement this change beginning Oct 24, 2008.

Political Cartoons

Landbeck, Chris (2008) Issues in Subject Analysis and Description of Political Cartoons. In Lussky, Joan, Eds. Proceedings 19th Workshop of the American Society for Information Science and Technology Special Interest Group in Classification Research, Columbus, Ohio.
Political cartoons are not meant to record visual evidence of an event as a photo might, neither are they created to act as icons for the events that they speak to. Rather, they treat the events of their day with an acknowledged slant in the point-of-view, draw correlations between events when such correlations might exist only in the mind of the artist, or deride (or, rarely, admire) individuals or organizations. In all cases, political cartoons fall far more on Fidel’s Object pole than they do on her Data pole (1997). Indexing political cartoons offers a unique challenge in the larger realm of indexing images. But while subject access has been the focus of image indexing research in recent years, and is a robust and active topic of discussion and debate, it has rarely been turned to the realm of indexing opinion, visual or otherwise. Will Armitage and Enser’s Panofsky-Shatford mode/facet matrix (1997) be more useful in such work than Jorgensen’s 12 classes (1994), or will an entirely new measure of subject need to be developed? This paper asks questions within this realm of image indexing as it pertains to political cartoons.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cartographic Cataloging

The October 2008 issue of base line, the newsletter of the Map and Geography Round Table (ALA), is now available on the MAGERT Web site. Cataloging news and an article on metadata in GIS, ArcGIS in particular.

Video Game Price Drop

My favorite game, Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, just had a price drop to $19.99. I paid almost $50.00, and thought it worth every penny.

Monday, October 20, 2008

New Version of marc4j

For the first time in almost two years there has been a new release of marc4j. Release 2.4 is a minor release in the sense that it shouldn't break any existing code, but it's a major release in the sense that it represents an influx of new people into the development of this project, and a significant improvement in marc4j's ability to handle malformed or mis-encoded marc records. Release notes.

Adapted from the email sent to code4lib.

21 Oct. 2008 URL fixed.

Cataloguing Section's Pages on IFLANET

There have been a number of updates and additions to the Cataloguing Section's pages on IFLANET.

Friday, October 17, 2008

OAI-ORE Specifications and Implementation Documents

The production versions of the OAI-ORE specifications and implementation documents are now available to the public, with a table of contents page. This public release is the culmination of several months of testing and review of initial alpha and beta releases. The participation and feedback from the wider OAI-ORE community, especially the OAI-ORE technical committee, was instrumental to the process leading up to this production release.

The documents in the release describe a data model to introduce aggregations as resources with URIs on the web. They also detail the machine-readable descriptions of aggregations expressed in the popular Atom syndication format, in RDF/XML, and RDFa. The documents included in the release are:

  • ORE User Guide Documents
    • Primer
    • Resource Map Implementation in Atom
    • Resource Map Implementation in RDF/XML
    • Resource Map Implementation in RDFa
    • HTTP Implementation
    • Resource Map Discovery
  • ORE Specification Documents
    • Abstract Data Model
    • Vocabulary

International Authority Data Number

"The IFLA Working Group on Functional Requirements and Numbering of Authority Records (FRANAR) is pleased to announce the availability on IFLANET of a paper titled "A Review of the Feasibility of an International Authority Data Number (ISADN)". Prepared for the Working Group by Dr. Barbara B. Tillett, the paper has now been approved by the IFLA Cataloguing Section Standing Committee and is thus being made available via IFLANET."


The technical specification RDFa in XHTML Syntax and Processing was formally accepted as a Web Consortium Technical Recommendation by W3C Director Tim Berners-Lee.
The current Web is primarily made up of an enormous number of documents that have been created using HTML. These documents contain significant amounts of structured data, which is largely unavailable to tools and applications. When publishers can express this data more completely, and when tools can read it, a new world of user functionality becomes available, letting users transfer structured data between applications and web sites, and allowing browsing applications to improve the user experience: an event on a web page can be directly imported into a user's desktop calendar; a license on a document can be detected so that users can be informed of their rights automatically; a photo's creator, camera setting information, resolution, location and topic can be published as easily as the original photo itself, enabling structured search and sharing.

RDFa is a specification for attributes to express structured data in any markup language. This document specifies how to use RDFa with XHTML.

eXtensible Catalog Project

The eXtensible Catalog Project has announced that they have launched their new website.
This new website will be the main vehicle for distributing our open-source software once it is released in 2009. In the mean time, the website contains a wealth of information regarding the project, including publications, an overview of the software we are developing and the technologies that software will use, and a blog that has already been in use.

American Libraries

Some news from American Libraries.
  1. Our weekly e-newsletter, American Libraries Direct, is now available to anyone who wants to sign up for it, not just ALA members. There is a sign-up form, as well as the FAQ.
  2. American Libraries has launched its own blog, AL Inside Scoop. Editor-in-chief Leonard Kniffel offers an insider’s view of goings-on at ALA headquarters and what hot topics ALA staffers are talking about in the hallways. Associate Editor Greg Landgraf offers his perspective from "the lower floors" of what many see as the ALA ivory tower.
  3. Login is no longer required to view the current issue of the American Libraries print magazine online (in PDF format), or to view the archives, which date back to the January 2003 issue. First-time viewers will need to install the ebrary reader to view issues. Firefox 3 users installing the reader for the first time will need a workaround, to make the ebrary reader work with their browser.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Topic Maps

Steve Pepper has written an article on Topic Maps for the 3rd edition of the Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences. "This article provides a comprehensive treatment of the core concepts, in addition to the background and current status of the standard, its relationship to traditional knowledge organization techniques, and examples of the kinds of applications for which it is being used."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Open Office and BitTorrent

Open Office 3.0 is released today. It is also Open Access Day, nice fit there. But don't bother to try to download it now, the servers are overwelmed. You can grab it using BitTorrent. A nice P2P tool that is for more than stealing movies.
BitTorrent is a P2P method where a central 'tracker' keeps track of who is downloading and sharing specific files.

When using BitTorrent to download, your computer automatically uses spare bandwidth to help share the file with others, and this means that you don't have to put up with slower downloads during peak download times (such as just after a release), because the more people downloading, the more people sharing.

Also, your download is automatically checked for integrity to make sure that it is identical to the official version.

To use BitTorrent technology, you must have a BitTorrent "client" installed.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records

Renear, Allen H. and Dubin, David (2007) Three of the Four FRBR Group 1 Entity Types are Roles, not Types. In Grove, Andrew, Eds. Proceedings 70th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIST) 44, Milwaukee, WI (US).
We examine the conceptual model of the "bibliographic universe" presented in IFLA's Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) and argue, applying ontology design recommendations proposed by N. Guarino and C. Welty, that three of the four Group 1 entity types might be more accurately conceptualized as roles.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Off Topic: Timeline Tool

Does anyone know of a free/cheap tool to create a timeline for history? Must be able to handle BCE dates. Thanks

Friday, October 10, 2008

Additions to the MARC Code Lists for Relators, Sources, Description Conventions

The code listed below has been recently approved for use in MARC 21 records. The code will be added to the MARC Code Lists for Relators, Sources, Description Conventions.

The code should not be used in exchange records until after December 10, 2008. This 60-day waiting period is required to provide MARC 21
implementers time to include newly-defined codes in any validation tables they may apply to the MARC fields where the codes are used.

Term, Name, Title Sources

The following code is for use in:

subfield $2 in fields 600-657 (Subject Added Entries/Index Terms) in Bibliographic and Community Information records;

subfield 662 (Subject Added Entry) in Bibliographic records;

subfield $2 in fields 700-754 (Index Terms) in Classification records;

subfield $2 in fields 700-788 (Heading Linking Entries) in Authority records;

subfield $f in field 040 (Cataloging Source) in Authority records.


Trimboli, T., and Martyn S. Marianist subject headings

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


The latest issue of Nodalities has an interesting article, Anatomy Of A SearchMonkey by Peter Mika. It is a run-down of Yahoo's new Semantic Web search platform. The part that interested me was a flavor of ATOM, DataRSS.
These considerations led to the development of DataRSS, an extension of Atom for carrying structure data as part of feeds. A standard based on Atom immediately opens up the option of submitting metadata as a feed. Atom is an XML-based format which can be both input and output of XML transformation. The extension provides the data itself as well as metadata such as which application generated the data and when was it last updated.

Cataloger’s Desktop Enhancement

LC has announced "The Cataloging Distribution Service (CDS) is pleased to announce that its flagship online cataloging documentation resource, Cataloger’s Desktop, has been enhanced to include OCLC’s Bibliographic Formats and Standards." About time.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

MoinMoin Wiki Syntax for Description Set Profiles

The Dublin Core folks have a draft, A MoinMoin Wiki Syntax for Description Set Profiles
This document describes a MoinMoin wiki syntax for a Description Set Profile as defined in the DCMI Working Draft "Description Set Profiles: A constraint language for Dublin Core Application Profiles" of March 2008 [DC-DSP], which in turn is based on the DCMI Abstract Model [ABSTRACT-MODEL]. It is recommended to have some understanding of the concepts of Description Set Profile (abbreviated DSP in the rest of this document) before reading this document.

A DSP is a way of describing structural constraints on a description set and is not directly intended for human consumption. However, with the wiki syntax for DSPs described here, it is possible to mix normal wiki syntax with DSP-specific wiki syntax in order to document an Application Profile. This means that from the same source it is possible to create:

  • A Dublin Core Application Profile that contains wiki syntax for a Description Set Profile, but is rendered as an HTML page for human consumption
  • A formal serialization in XML for the same Description Set Profile, used for machine (computer) consumption.
Once again the DCMI Abstract Model is a basis for the document (like RDA), have to get to know it better.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Draft Version of Jangle Spec

Email from Ross Singer, widely distributed.
Jangle, an open specification to apply the Atom Publishing Protocol to library services and resources, has just released a draft version of a 1.0 release spec.

The goal of Jangle is to provide a very simple and easily understandable RESTful interface to library data that can be accessed with common commodity Atom clients.

The draft spec has been released to get feedback on the usefulness and clarity of the specification and to solicit ideas for how to improve Jangle for use in actual production environments. If you have any opinions, positive or negative; criticisms, constructive or otherwise, feel free to leave comments.

Grammar and sentence structure could definitely use attention.

For a more in-depth introduction to Jangle, there is an article in the latest issue of the Code4Lib Journal, Unveiling Jangle: Untangling Library Resources and Exposing them through the Atom Publishing Protocol (although the API responses have changed since this article was written, the basic architecture remains the same).

To join the Jangle development process, feel free to join our Google Group or contribute to the development.

OLAC Handouts

Handouts from the OLAC Conference are available. Handouts, not just cryptic PowerPoints.

MARC Records for the DOE Information Bridge

The DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is now providing MARC records for the full-text reports available through the DOE Information Bridge. Like all OSTI products, the OSTI MARC records are available free of charge. The records are available through the MARC Records page of the OSTI website. Options for downloading include subject category, year, and OSTI ID number. The OSTI MARC Records are derived from existing Information Bridge records.

Information Bridge provides free public access to full-text documents and bibliographic citations of DOE research report literature. Documents are primarily from 1991 forward and were produced by DOE, the DOE contractor community, and/or DOE grantees. Legacy documents - including U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) documents dating back to the 1940s - and their MARC Records, are added as they become available. Visit OSTI's Library Tools & Special Services Web page.

LC Email Address Changed

With the administrative reorganization of the Library of Congress/Library Services/Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access Directorate on Oct. 1, 2008, the Cataloging Policy and Support Office has become the Policy and Standards Division and its email account has been changed to Anything addressed to will be forwarded to the new address but only for the next 30 days, at which point any mail so addressed will be bounced back to the sender as address unknown. The email addresses of individuals remain unchanged.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

St Jerome

Today is the feast day of St Jerome, patron saint of libraries and librarians.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Zotero News

Some bad Zotero news today. They are being sued.
Thomson Reuters demands $10 million and an injunction to stop George Mason University from distributing its new Web browser application, Zotero software, an open-source format that allows users to convert Reuters' EndNote Software. Reuters claims George Mason is violating its license agreement and destroying the EndNote customer base.
I like Endnote even less now. Just the threat of this could be enough to make a small school back off.

Information Delivery

I thought this was an interesting way to deliver information, in real time.
The dirty coal industry is planning to launch a major advertising blitz during the presidential debates. The Sierra Club will be keeping them accountable by monitoring the ads and coverage for ‘bogus coal moments’ where they attempt to spread misinformation.

Sign up for text updates via the form below or you can text the keyword DIRTY to 69866 from your mobile phone.

Sign up to receive a mobile alert when a ‘bogus coal moment’ occurs during the debates. The Sierra Club will text you updates throughout the debates and in the future on other major initiatives. You may opt out of these alerts by texting STOP to 69866 at any time.

An immediate response to broadcast media. As a profession how do we find, identify, select, obtain and navigate this information landscape? What about preservation?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

SOPAC Now Available

The social OPAC, SOPAC is now available. is the official website of the Social OPAC application suite--an open source social discovery platform for bibliographic data. The purpose of this site is to build a cohesive community of users and developers around the SOPAC project suite.

Library Weblogs

Public Library Blogs: 252 Examples and Academic Library Blogs: 231 Examples by Walt Crawford are both soon to go out of print. Get your copies while you still can.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Introduction to Metadata

Now available, Version 3.0 of Introduction to Metadata by Tony Gill, Anne J. Gilliland, Maureen Whalen, and Mary S. Woodley ; edited by Murtha Baca.

Metadata Tools for Institutional Repositories

Nichols, David M. and Paynter, Gordon W. and Chan, Chu-Hsiang and Bainbridge, David and McKay, Dana and Twidale, Michael B. and Blandford, Ann (2008) Metadata tools for institutional repositories.
Current institutional repository software provides few tools to help metadata librarians understand and analyse their collections. In this paper we compare and contrast metadata analysis tools that were developed simultaneously, but independently, at two New Zealand institutions during a period of national investment in research repositories: the Metadata Analysis Tool (MAT) at The University of Waikato, and the Kiwi Research Information Service (KRIS) at the National Library of New Zealand. The tools have many similarities: they are convenient, online, on-demand services that harvest metadata using OAI-PMH, they were developed in response to feedback from repository administrators, and they both help pinpoint specific metadata errors as well as generating summary statistics. They also have significant differences: one is a dedicated tool while the other is part of a wider access tool; one gives a holistic view of the metadata while the other looks for specific problems; one seeks patterns in the data values while the other checks that those values conform to metadata standards. Both tools work in a complementary manner to existing web-based administration tools. We have observed that discovery and correction of metadata errors can be quickly achieved by switching web browser views from the analysis tool to the repository interface, and back. We summarise the findings from both tools’ deployment into a checklist of requirements for metadata analysis tools.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

WorldCat Tagging

Tagging is now available in WorldCat. It will be interesting to see how extensive, and so useful, tagging becomes here.
You and your users can now keep track of your favorite items in WorldCat through tags—keywords that help you classify or describe an item. Tags are displayed in search results lists and may help you find similar items or organize items in a way that makes sense to you. You can add as many tags as you would like to an unlimited set of items. You can view and maintain all of your personalized tags from your WorldCat profile page. Plus, you can also browse items using the tags other people have contributed.

Latest Code4Lib Journal

The fourth issue of Code4Lib Journal is now available. Articles include:
  • Auto-Populating an ILL form with the Serial Solutions Link Resolver API by Daniel Talsky
  • Mining Data from ISI Web of Science Reports by Alfred Kraemer
  • Unveiling Jangle: Untangling Library Resources and Exposing them through the Atom Publishing Protocol by Ross Singer and James Farrugia
  • LibraryH3lp: A New Flexible Chat Reference System by Pam Sessoms and Eric Sessoms
  • OpenBook WordPress Plugin: Open Source Access to Bibliographic Data by John Miedema
  • The Library Search Engine: A Smart Solution for Integrating Resources Beyond Library Holdings b y Karin Herm and Sibylle Volz
  • BOOK REVIEW: Two Books about FRBR, Compared by Christine Schwartz

Monday, September 22, 2008

OAI Tool

Nichols, David M. and Chan, Chu-Hsiang and Bainbridge, David and McKay, Dana and Twidale, Michael B. (2008) A lightweight metadata quality tool. In Proceedings The 8th ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Conference on Digital Libraries, pp. 385-388, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (US).
We describe a Web-based metadata quality tool that provides statistical descriptions and visualisations of Dublin Core metadata harvested via the OAI protocol. The lightweight nature of development allows it to be used to gather contextualized requirements and some initial user feedback is discussed.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Video Metadata

Lostify is a free tool for Apple users wishing to add metadata to their videos.
Lostify is a metadata tagger for MP4 videos. It runs on Mac OS X, and the tags it produces aim to be compatible with iTunes, the iPod, iPhone, Front Row and Apple TV. This means that after you tag a video using Lostify, it will show up in iTunes, iPod etc. appropriately as a TV Show, Music Video, etc., with all the episode information, season information, etc. intact.

Movers & Shakers

Know an innovative librarian? The 2009 Movers & Shakers nominations are open. Let's get some catalogers in the mix.


The transformation from MARCXML to MODS 3.3 has been finalized.

The new MARC to MODS 3.3 stylesheet. Changes in the stylesheet reflect changes made in the MARC to MODS mapping for MODS 3.3

The MARC to MODS 3.3 mapping.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Report and Recommendations for Moving Image Works

OLAC has a draft of the Report and Recommendations for Moving Image Works
OLAC's Cataloging Policy Committee (CAPC) created a task force earlier this year to investigate and make recommendations on issues related to FRBR-based work-level records for moving image materials.

The task force has recently completed an initial draft report with recommendations that attempts to define a moving image work record, draw boundaries for such a record, identify attributes and relationships that are important to include in such records, and assess the relative importance of these attributes and relationships....

The task force is interested in feedback from the wider cataloging community and will take comments on the draft through Friday, October 17.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hurricane Ike

The Texas Library Association is assembling reports on libraries affected by Hurricane Ike and has put them online. You can donate to the Disaster Relief Fund.

The Society of Southwest Archivists has set up an unofficial Wiki so that repositories can report news on Hurricane Ike and how they fared. Since it is an unofficial site, anyone can add content, and many libraries are posting there as well.

Adapted from an email distributed by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Citation Software

Citations are tricky, so many different formats. FreeCite is a new open-source tool in this space.
Please help us beta test "FreeCite", a new citation parser for non-structured bibliographic data. FreeCite is the result of collaboration between the Brown University Library and Public Display, a Providence-based software company founded by and employing many Brown grads. Public Display's core business is information extraction. Partial funding for this project was provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

FreeCite is implemented in Ruby on Rails and uses the CRF++ library implementation of conditional random fields. The model is trained on the CORA dataset with lexical augmentation from the Directory of Research and Researchers at Brown (DRR-B).The API and code are available.

iPhone App

There is now a WorldCat app for your iPhone.
Find what you want in a library near you with WorldCat, a global catalog of library collections.
  • Search many libraries at once for an item and then locate it in a library nearby
  • Find books, music, and videos to check out
  • Find research articles and digital items (like audiobooks) that can be directly viewed or downloaded

Monday, September 15, 2008

Additions to the MARC Code Lists for Relators, Sources, Description Conventions

The codes listed below have been recently approved for use in MARC 21 records. The codes will be added to MARC Code Lists for Relators, Sources, Description Conventions.

The codes should not be used in exchange records until after November 15, 2008. This 60-day waiting period is required to provide MARC 21 implementers time to include newly defined codes in any validation tables they may apply to the MARC fields where the codes are used.

Classification Code Sources

The following codes are for use in subfield $2 in field 084 in Bibliographic and Community Information records (Other Classification Number), in subfield $2 in field 084 in Classification records (Classification Scheme and Edition) and in subfield $2 in field 065 in Authority records (Other Classification Number).

Elazar, David H. & Elazar, Daniel J. A classification system for libraries of Judaica (Lanham, MD: University Press of America) [use only after November 15, 2008]
Nordrhein-Westfalische Bibliographie (Kaln: hbz - Hochschulbibliothekszentrum NRW) [use only after November 15, 2008]
Richardson classification system (Yardley, Pa.: F. S. Cook & Son) [use only after November 15, 2008]
Rheinland-Pfalzische Bibliographie [use only after November 15, 2008]
Sachbuch-Systematik fur Katholische offentliche Büchereien (Munchen: St. Michaelsbund) [use only after November 15, 2008]
Schlagwortnormdatei [use only after November 15, 2008]
Other Sources
Field 210 - Abbreviated Title
The following code is for use in subfield $2 in field 210 in Bibliographic records (Abbreviated Title).

INIS: authority list for journal titles [use only after November 15, 2008]

IFLA RDA Satellite Meeting Materials

The PowerPoint presentations and speaker notes from the IFLA RDA Satellite Meeting held in conjunction with the 2008 IFLA Conference are now available on the JSC website. The talks include:
  • Resource Description and Access Overview: History, Principles, Conceptual Models by Barbara Tillett. See also the Speaker notes
  • Resource Description and Access: Structure, Content and the Development process by Deirdre Kiorgaard. See also the Speaker notes
  • RDA vocabularies and concepts by Gordon Dunsire
  • The International Community’s Reaction to RDA by Anders Cato
  • Between Yesterday and Tomorrow – On Track for International Standards by Renate Gömpel (presented by Christel Hengel-Dittrich)
  • Beyond RDA’s First Release by Pam Gatenby RDA demonstration

Hurricane Ike

Came through Ike just fine. We are all safe. The house only had minor damage. We have power and water. Yesterday I drove by my library and no windows were missing. That should mean no major damage to the collection. No power up there, mold is the only concern. Came through it pretty well.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Enriching the Catlog

Dynamic Catalogue Enrichment with SeeAlso Link Servers by Jakob Voss appears in Proceedings European Conference on Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries (ECDL), Aarhus, Denmark.
The poster presents architecture and usage of SeeAlso, a simple protocol for link servers that is used to dynamically enrich catalouges of libraries in the German Common library network GBV.
Currently the tool is at version 0.50, so it may take some tech savvy to get it up and running.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Work Records for Music

The Music Library Association's Bibliographic Control Committee (BCC) has announced the availability of the Final Report of The BCC Working Group on Work Records for Music.
The recommendations in the final report cannot be applied in a current, "real world" environment. Instead, the working group provided a conceptual document based on the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) and Functional Requirements for Authority Data (FRAD) conceptual models that addresses what a work record for music should encompass.

Cataloging Playaway Devices

The Playaways Cataloging Joint Task Force, comprised of members from OLAC and MLA, has announced that the final version of their Guide to Cataloging Playaway Devices Based on AACR2 Chapters 6 and 9 has been approved. The Guide is available in PDF, HTML, or MS Word formats.

Monday, September 08, 2008

NH Classification Schedule for Artistic Photography

Faculty want the artistic photography books with the rest of the art books? Class NH is an alternative to the way LC handles these materials.
The NH schedule is designed for the classification of photography books of an artistic nature. It was initially compiled for the 4th edition of N, which was issued in 1970. When the Library of Congress rejected the proposed subclass for art photography, it was published by ARLIS/NA in 1974. NH has been adopted by a number of libraries with strong collections of artistic photography as an alternative to TR, which emphasizes the technical aspects of photography.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Prototype a Cooperative "Identities Hub"

I've complained off-and-on about how much is lost because small special libraries can't contribute to OCLC. For instance, without OCLC membership we can't be NACO participants. Well, OCLC is taking a step in a better direction with the Identities Hub.
The current LC/NACO contributor model has severe limitations, both in who is enabled to add and edit authority records and the rules that constrain what information can be entered (even if the cataloger knows more information).The intellectual work that librarians who are not NACO contributors do in the course of creating bibliographic records is untapped. The expertise in archival and museum communities is not reflected. Scholars have expertise to contribute to more clearly differentiate creators of works and do so within the Web environment.
Only an announcement at this point, I look forward to seeing what develops.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Comics and Google

The Google Chrome comic is by Scott McCloud. Google was wise to choose him since he is a master of the nonfiction sequencial graphic format. His ground breaking work was using a comic to describe comics, Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art

Dublin Core Abstract Model

Karen Coyle provides an introduction to the Dublin Core Abstract Model (DCAM). It is something that deserves to be better uderstood and studied. I've heard that it, along with FRBR, is a basis for RDA. FRBR over the past 10 or so years has become somewhat known and taught in classes. I haven't seen the same dissemination of ideas from DCAM. I have considered giving a presentation on it, I believe it is important, but it is sooooo dry. Maybe Karen can begin to make it more widely known.

Microformats, Rel-Tag

I like microformats, just another metadata format really. Lately I've been looking at the rel-tag. It says what a page is about. Can it handle a phrase "Paul Spudis", for example? Doesn't seem to be able to do that. Pretty worthless otherwise. Examples? I've been using the hCal microformat and that seems to work pretty well. With my Firefox extension I can drop the info right into Outlook. I've got the rel-tag to work but can't seem to get a phrase to work. Saying a page is about the Lunar and Planetary Institute is a lot more useful than saying it is about institute. Any suggestions? Anyone else using microformats?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


The most recent issue of TechKNOW is now available. Issue 14, no. 2 includes:
  • OCLC's Enhance Program: The Best-Kept Secret of Quality Control / by Sevim McCutcheon, Catalog Librarian, Kent State University
  • What will we do when the 440 Field Becomes Obsolete?
  • Book Review: Radical Cataloging: Essays at the Front
  • Innovation @ Our Library: Floating Collections at Columbus Metropolitan Library / by Marihelen Hatcher, Public Services Administrator, Columbus Metropolitan Library
  • Ohio Library Council Technical Services Retreat: Mohican III-Looking Beyond the Horizon / by Fred Gaieck, Librarian, Ohio Reformatory for Women, Marysville, Ohio
  • OLAC/MOUG Conference is Just Around the Corner / by Mary Huismann, Music/Media Cataloging Coordinator, University of Minnesota Libraries
  • Coordinator's Corner / by Ian Fairclough, George Mason University
  • A Summary of LC's Response to the Report of the Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control / by Amey L. Park, Database Maintenance Librarian, Kent State University
  • Book Review: The Complete RFID Handbook: A Manual and DVD for Assessing, Implementing and Managing Radio Frequency Identification Technologies in Libraries

ORE in Atom Proposal

Comment quickly on this one, Revising the ORE Profile of Atom, the specs are due the end of September.
This document describes a possible revision of the serialization of Resource Maps in Atom. The core characteristics of the revision are:
  1. Convey ORE semantics in Atom as add-ons/extensions to regular Atom Feeds by introducing explicit ORE relationships instead of by according ORE-specific meaning to pre-defined Atom relationship values as is the case in the current 0.9 serialization.
  2. Express an ORE Aggregation at the level of an Atom Entry not an Atom Feed; there are no ORE-specific semantics at the Feed level.

Off Topic - Gaming

I've never played e-games. When Pac-Man came out tried it once or twice then stopped. Wasn't fun for me. Same with all the many games in the years since. I once or twice visited a MUD, found it dull. Rather watch re-runs of 3s Company. So it was for years, no excitement in the Xbox, PS2, and all the other things folks lined up for the night before to purchase.

The one exception to this was Dance Dance Revolution. I played this about 6 or 7 years ago and then priced the game and PS2. It seemed a bit too much for our budget then for just one game. I still had no interest in the ones where you sit and watch a screen.

Just about a year ago, we gave a home to some kids. For Christmas we got them a Wii and a couple of games. I was impressed by the imagination behind Super Mario Galaxy. Lego Star Wars was another that I found intriguing, so much so that about a week ago I started playing. Now I'm hooked. This is much better than TV, except it is much harder to turn off. It is engaging, it has problems and puzzles to solve, plenty of rewards, interesting and varied settings and an excellent soundtrack. There is more thinking going on in these games than I realized. In some ways it is more like reading a book than watching a movie. It is active rather than passive.

I always supported gaming in libraries. I don't read romance novels but think they have a place there. Same with the games. Now I think they have more reason to be there than the DVDs we all carry. The Shifted Librarian and all the other gaming librarians have another convert.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Guide to Cataloging DVDs

The DVD Guide Update Task Force of the Cataloging Policy Committee (CAPC) has completed the draft of the guide and is interested in your comments and suggestions. Many thanks to Sue Neumeister for placing the draft on the OLAC website in the following areas:

CAPC Publications & Training Materials
CAPC What's New
OLAC What's New

The charge to the Task Force was “to revise the Guide to Cataloging DVDs using AACR2r4 Chapters 7 and 9 and to include additional formats such as audio DVDs (AACR2r4 Chapter 6) and DualDiscs.”

Adapted from the email notice


There is now a VMWare appliance of Koha 3.0 on Debian. It's not configured, so it can be set up however you want it. This makes it very easy to play with and learn Koha.

Kete 1.1 Released

Kete version 1.1, from the same folks who brought you Koha, has been released.
Kete is software that combines aspects of Digital Libraries/Repositories, Knowledge and Content Management Systems, and collaboration tools such as Wikis to make it easy to add and relate content on a Kete site.

It is also an open source web application written on top of the Ruby on Rails framework.
Some improvements include:
  • Privacy Control - ability to designate any item version within a basket as only viewable to its members
  • Content Licensing - users can choose from Kete instance's available Licenses for a piece of content they create. Creative Commons licenses are available to be loaded as license options with one command on the server.
  • OAI-PMH Repository - an Kete instance can optionally answer OAI-PMH harvester requests for its content.
  • Force use of SSL Encryption on Private Items and User Account Information (optional) Kete now can be configured to use HTTPS for all sensitive areas (login, registration, private items, certain administrator functionality).

Open Library Environment (OLE) Project

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has announced that it is participating in the Open Library Environment Project.
With support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Open Library Environment (OLE) Project will convene the academic library community in the design of an Open Library Management System built on Service Oriented Architecture. The project leaders are a multi-national group of libraries dedicated to thinking beyond the current model of an Integrated Library System and to designing a new system that is flexible, customizable and able to meet the changing and complex needs of modern, dynamic academic libraries. The end product will be a design document to inform open source library system development efforts, to guide future library system implementations, and to influence current Integrated Library System vendor products.

Dublin Core in XML

The Dublin Core folks are looking for comments.
"Expressing Dublin Core description sets using XML (DC-DS-XML)" by Pete Johnston and Andy Powell has been published as a DCMI Proposed Recommendation for public comment from 1 to 29 September 2008. A related document, "Notes on the DC-DS-XML XML Format", describes the development of the format and its relationship to the DCMI Recommendation "Guidelines for implementing Dublin Core in XML" of April 2003. The Proposed Recommendation supports the W3C specification Gleaning Resource Descriptions from Dialects of Languages (GRDDL) in the form of an XSLT transform for extracting RDF triples from instances of metadata in the DC-DS-XML format. The specification includes 21 examples together with their equivalent representations in the DC-Text and RDF/XML syntaxes. A W3C XML Schema for the DC-DS-XML format is provided. Interested members of the public are invited to post comments to the DC-ARCHITECTURE mailing list, including [Public Comment] in the subject line.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Browse LCSH Database Links to

The Browse LCSH database (6.5m records) now includes the complete file of 266.857 terms that was made available by the project. That means you find links from our database to the record in to view their innovative display. The notes contained in the records have been included too. LC classes are indexed as well and can be browsed, to find LCSH terms.

LC has improved the findability of authority records recently. They have added a keyword search to the database.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Facebook Application

The Earl Gregg Swem Library has announced the release of it's Facebook application, Swem Tools to the open source community.
Released under the Apache 2.0 license, the project, Facebook Athenaeum, allows libraries to quickly develop and customize a Facebook application that provides a searching interface for a library's catalog, website, databases, or any other search target, pull RSS feeds, and provide users with the ability to show friends their location in the library.

Requirements for the application are relatively light. A set of floor plans in image form, a database compatible with the Pear DB package (MySQL, MSSQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, etc), and PHP 5.

WorldCat Copyright Evidence Registry

OCLC is conducting a beta test of the WorldCat Copyright Evidence Registry.
The WorldCat Copyright Evidence Registry (CER) is a community of people, libraries, and other organizations working together to discover and share information about the copyright status of books.

The Copyright Evidence Registry is based on WorldCat, which contains more than 100 million bibliographic records describing items held in thousands of libraries worldwide. In addition to the WorldCat metadata, the Copyright Evidence Registry uses data contributed by libraries and other organizations.

You can search the Copyright Evidence Registry to find information about a book, learn what others have said about its copyright status, and share what you know.

If your library or organization is a Copyright Evidence Registry subscriber, you can run automated copyright rules that you create in the Copyright Evidence Registry to conform to your standards for determining copyright status. The rules help you analyze the information available in the Copyright Evidence Registry and form your own conclusions about copyright status.

Also, you can receive an e-mail notification when information about a book changes within the Copyright Evidence Registry.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Additions to the MARC Code Lists for Relators, Sources, Description Conventions

The codes listed below have been recently approved for use in MARC 21 records. The codes will be added to the online MARC Code Lists for Relators, Sources, Description Conventions.

The codes should not be used in exchange records until after October 22, 2008. This 60-day waiting period is required to provide MARC 21 implementers time to include newly defined codes in any validation tables they may apply to the MARC fields where the codes are used.

Category Code Source

The following code is for use in subfield $2 in field 072 (Subject Category Code/Code Source) in Authority and Bibliographic records.

Kokoelmien kuvailun aihealueet (Kokoelmakartta) [PDF: 9 KB; requires a PDF reader to view] [use only after October 22, 2008]

Classification Sources

The following codes are for use in subfield $2 in field 084 in Bibliographic and Community Information records (Other Classification Number), in subfield $2 in field 084 in Classification records (Classification Scheme and Edition) and in subfield $2 in field 065 in Authority records (Other Classification Number).

Barnard, Cyril C. A classification for medical and veterinary libraries. (London: H.K. Lewis) [use only after October 22, 2008]

Eduskunnan kirjaston luokitus = Library of Parliament Classification [use only after October 22, 2008]

Finagri-luokitus (Helsinki: Maatalouskirjasto - Agricultural
Library) [use only after October 22, 2008]

Kuvataideakatemian kirjaston luokitusjarjestelma = Finnish Academy of Fine Arts Library Classification (Helsinki: Kuvataideakatemian
kirjasto) [use only after October 22, 2008]

Maanpuolustuskorkeakoulun kirjaston luokitusjarjestelma [use only after October 22, 2008]

Sibelius-Akatemian kirjaston luokitusjarjestelma = Sibelius Academy Library classification system [use only after October 22, 2008]
Note: arranged in two sections:
  1. Sibelius-Akatemian kirjaston luokitusjarjestelma - kirjojen luokitus = Sibelius Academy Library classification system - book classification scheme
  2. Sibelius-Akatemian kirjaston luokitusjarjestelma - nuottien luokitus = Sibelius Academy Library classification system - sheet music classification scheme
Seinajoen korkeakoulukirjaston luokitus (Seinajoki: Seinajoen korkeakoulukirjaston luokitus) [use only after October 22, 2008]

Taideteollisen korkeakoulun kirjaston luokitus = University of Art and Design Helsinki Library Classification [use only after October 22, 2008]

Tampereen yliopiston kirjaston luokitus: Systemaattinen osa & Aakkosellinen osa (Tampere: Tampereen yliopisto) [use only after October 22, 2008]

Teatterikorkeakoulun kirjaston luokitusopas [use only after October 22, 2008]

Turun yliopiston kirjaston vanha luokitus [use only after October 22, 2008]

VEERA-luokitus = VEERA-Klassifikatsiia [use only after October 22, 2008]

Friday, August 22, 2008

Beloit College Mindset List

The Beloit College Mindset List has once again arrived. Always enlightening and fun.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

RSS and Rights Metadata

RSS4Lib has simple instructions for including Creative Commons rights metadata in your RSS feeds.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Semantic Web Podcast

The Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science has a podcast by Rober Wolfe, The Semantic Library: RDF in Practice. Some of the topics he discusses are:
  • SIMILE, Semantic Interoperability of Metadata in unLike Environments
  • Babel, Format Converter developed by the SIMILE Project
  • Longwell, A SIMILE demo by MIT Libraries
  • W3C Semantic Web Activity, Simple Knowledge Organization System
  • Open Archives Initiative Object Reuse and Exchange
21 Aug. 2008 Listening to this on my commute. Fascinating. So much to consider.

‡biblios Released

LibLime announces the release of their open-source cataloging tool, ‡biblios.
At Code4lib 2007 you may have attended a presentation by yours truly about a new open-source cataloging editor initiative at LibLime called ‡biblios. In case you missed it, there's a video of the presentation available from:

Over this past week we put the finishing touches on the project Web site and the .9 release of the ‡biblios editor.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Dangers in the Library

Who was prepared in library school for all the dangerous critters in the library?

Hebrew Script Tool

lc-hebrew-detransliteration allows you to convert from Library of Congress Romanized Hebrew to Hebrew script. Great for adding those 880 fields.

Work and Edition Fields

The Open Library has been doing some FRBR work on their records. They have been trying to decide which fields are work and which expression fields. Some end up as both. Not MARC BTW. They welcome comments.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Techie Looks at Libraries

Digital Web Magazine has an article on libraries, Getting The Most Out Of Your Library by William Hicks. Some interesting statemnents:
  • Think of the library system as something akin to the open-source movement before software.
  • You will not be happy with many library websites.
  • So you found the library catalog, fired off a search and found an item that sounds mildly intriguing. The result page probably didn’t have any real reviews of the book, it is doubtful there was a book cover, nor apparently any other related items. You’re most likely staring at a title, some notes on the author, a bunch of useless publication data, some subject headings, notes, and a string of letters and numbers. it is not. It’s not built for you the user. It’s built for the vendors, librarians, and their staff.
  • While you may not get instant gratification from a library, and few if any are really cutting-edge when it comes to their use of web technologies, there is something to be said for the diversity and quality of information they provide you in your daily development tasks.
WorldCat and the LibX Firefox toolbar are both mentioned.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Telescope Library Exhibit

Apply by Sept. 19 to host "Visions of the Universe: Four Centuries of Discovery"
Public libraries are invited to apply to host “Visions of the Universe: Four Centuries of Discovery,” a traveling exhibition developed by the America Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office in cooperation with the Space Telescope Science Institute Office of Public Outreach and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, to mark the International Year of Astronomy in 2009. The exhibit will travel to 40 selected public libraries from January 2009 through December 2010.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Free Covers from LibraryThing

LibraryThing is making nearly one million book covers available for free. It is pretty simple coding to grab them. Thanks Tim et al.

Update 12 Aug. 2008 I just added 37 links to covers from a page and none of the items had covers in LibraryThing. One million might be enough for a public library, not so much for a research library. Oh well.

WorldCat Search API

Nice for members of OCLC, WorldCat Search API (Web service).
The WorldCat Search API allows your application to search the WorldCat catalog—which indexes the collections of thousands of member libraries around the world—and retrieve:
  • lists of bibliographic records, and individual records, for library-held items;
  • information about WorldCat libraries that have cataloged a particular item; and
  • direct links to those libraries' Web catalog records for the item, when available
Your application will allow users to discover books, videos, music, electronic content and more through WorldCat.

How the API works
  • Send searches in OpenSearch or SRU CQL syntax
  • Receive OpenSearch responses in RSS or Atom format
  • Receive SRU responses in MARC XML or Dublin Core
  • Receive MARC XML content for a single OCLC record
  • Receive geographically-sorted library holdings information (each including the institution's name, location and a catalog link) within requests for single records
  • Receive records in standard bibliographic citation formats (APA, Chicago, Harvard, MLA, and Turabian)
Who can use this tool.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Panama City Beach Library

Panama City Beach Library
Originally uploaded by dbigwood
While on vacation I stopped into the library to check my e-mail. I was greeted by a person at the front desk. Very friendly, not like the Wal-Mart greeters. I was able to use the machine to check my email, Facebook page, and OK some comments to this weblog. Nothing seemed to be blocked. There was a 30 minute a day time limit, it seems a silly rule, if the machines are empty, but....

While I was there other folks were using the computers browsing the fiction, reading a magazine. It was a very small library, but they did have a childrens' collection and provided story time.

They caught me taking this picture and asked about it, curious not snooping.

Koha 3.0

The Koha folks have announced that a packaged release of Koha 3.00.00 is now available. It can be download from the usual location:

The 3.0 manual is available and will continually be updated.

Friday, August 01, 2008

LibraryThing API

News from LibraryThing.
LibraryThing just released a free, CC-attribution-licensed Web Services XML API to our "Common Knowledge" system, including series data, fictional characters, author dates and much else. I'm particularly stoked about the series data. I think it's of exceptional quality, suitable for use in OPACs (eg., Star+Wars). Anyway, in a catalog or not, there are a lot of cool things to do with it.

OCLC Crosswalk Web Service Demo

New demo tool from OCLC Research, Crosswalk Web Service.
The purpose of the Crosswalk Web Service (CWS) is to translate a group of metadata records from one format into another.

For this service, a metadata format is defined as a triple of:
  • standard - The metadata standard of the record (e.g. MARC, DC, MODS, etc ...)
  • structure - The structure of how the metadata is expressed in the record (e.g. XML, RDF, ISO 2709, etc ...)
  • encoding - The character encoding of the metadata (e.g. MARC8, UTF-8, Windows 1251, etc ...)
To use the service you will have to write your own client software. With the aid of the WSDL file, this should be relatively easy. This documentation, however, does not cover how to write the client.