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.

Facebook Blog Network

Still need a few more confirmations on the Blog Network on Facebook that I'm responsible for New and Noteworthy. Still need plenty for Recent Additions. Catalogablog is doing fine.


I'll be on vacation next week. No WiFi in the beach house. I may or may not bring a laptop. So, most likely, no news for a week after today. Any good dancing, eating, hiking, gardens in the Panama City, Fla. area?

ORE Challenge at RepoCamp

There will be a cash prize of $2000, sponsored by Microsoft Research, for the the best prototype that uses and promotes OAI-ORE. This challenge is open to teams from anywhere, whether or not they attend RepoCamp. The competition deadline for prototype entries is August 8th (two weeks on from RepoCamp).

Training PDF Products Available for Free Download

Good news from LC.
On October 1, 2008, CDS will discontinue selling PDF training products. Instead, the following PDF training courses will be made available for free download:
  • The workshop materials from the Serials Cataloging Cooperative Training Program (SCCTP): Basic Serials Cataloging; Advanced Serials Cataloging, Integrating Resources Cataloging, Electronic Serials Cataloging, and Serials Holdings.
  • The workshop materials from Cooperative Cataloging Training (CCT): Basic Subject Cataloging using LCSH, Basic Creation of Name and Title Authorities, Fundamentals of Series Authorities, and Fundamentals of Library of Congress Classification.
  • The workshop materials from Cataloging for the 21st Century (Cat21): Rules and Tools for Cataloging Internet Resources, Metadata Standards and Applications, Metadata and Digital Library Development, Digital Project Planning and Management Basics, Principles of Controlled Vocabulary and Thesaurus Design.
The maintenance of these PDF training products will be handled by the Instructional development and Training Division of the Acquisitions and Bibliographic Control Directorate at the Library of Congress. Additional information about these workshops is available online.

CDS will continue to sell printed training products such as Cataloging Concepts and MARC Content Designation for the present.

CDS will not be issuing refunds to customers who purchased PDF course materials prior to October 1, 2008.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Database of Databases

The Internet Search Environment Number (ISEN) intends to catalog catalogs and other databases.
You know how the ISBN is assigned to books. Over 1 million books are assigned ISBNs each year. What ISEN plans to do is emulate that system for databases. We would assign over 1 million databases ISEN or Internet Search Environment Numbers once the system is in place in its first year. There may be as many as 5 million in the backlog for cataloging by a social nework of librarians. Life Science databases would be cataloged by life science librarians, law resources by law librarians, etc...

Then we would create a database of databases or search engine only for databases. Your hit list would only be databases instead of PDF files, blog postings and random HTML files. We pull out the databases. The hits you get would be the interface to databases which provides access to upwards of 500 to 650 times the amount of information available on the "surface web" indexed by the major search engines. ISEN reveals the what is called the "deep web".

They have a weblog and mailing list.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Next week I'll be on vacation in Panama Beach, Fla. Anyone have suggestions on things to do or see in the area? Thanks.

FRBR Tool for ISIS

Roberto Sturman has announced that the IFPA2 (ISIS FRBR Prototype Application - ver. 2) is now online.

(username/password for dataentry: ifpa2/demo2)

The new implementation of the prototype is based on WebLis.

Its main features are:
  • new database design: relationships are managed in dedicated records, one relationship per record;
  • unlimited no. of relationships for each Entity (within the database capability);
  • creation of Entities/Relationships by hyperlinks; picklist assisted relationship management;
  • WEB based interface for all functions, data entry included;
  • pseudo-tree view of FRBR bibliographic "towers"
He asks us to "Please note as the user interface design is still in fluctuation and the application has still many bugs, inconsistencies, so it is not yet available for download. I hope to make it downloadable shortly."

The requirements are: Firefox, Opera, IE6 or IE7; cookies, javascript and pop-ups enabled. That last requirement might prove to be a problem.


A Registry of collections and their services : from metadata to implementation by Ann Apps appears in the Proceedings The International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications (DC2004), pp. 67-73, Shanghai (China).
The JISC Information Environment Service Registry (IESR) is a machine-to-machine middleware shared service providing a single central catalogue of quality descriptions of collections of resources available to researchers, learners and teachers in the UK, along with details of the services that provide access to those collections. The collections and services are described according to a set of metadata, which is defined by IESR, but is based on open standards wherever possible. The prototype registry is implemented as an XML repository indexed with the Cheshire II information retrieval software, with an associated meta-registry to support browsing and data capture. Several interfaces for server-to-server retrieval of IESR XML descriptions are available, as well as a Web interface.
Some other related papers by Ann Apps include:

Monday, July 28, 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 September 25, 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.

Description Conventions

The following code is for use in subfield $e in field 040 in Bibliographic and Authority records (Description Conventions).


Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Serials) (Washington, DC: Library of Congress) [use only after September 25, 2008]
Term, Name, Title Sources

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


Chiropractic Subject Headings ( [use only after September 25, 2008]
European education thesaurus ( [use only after September 25, 2008]
Predmetnik za katoliske knjiznice (Ljubljana: Maribor) [use only after September 25, 2008]
Splosni slovenski geslovnik ( [use only after September 25, 2008]
The code listed below was previously defined for use in subfield $2 in Bibliographic and Community Information records in fields 600-651 and field 040, subfield $f in Authority records. Usage has been expanded and this code is now available for use in subfield $2 in fields 600-657 and 662 in Bibliographic and Community Information records (Subject Added Entries/Index Terms); subfield $f in field 040 (Cataloging Source) in Authority records; and subfield $2 in fields 700-788 (Heading Linking Entries) in Authority records.


GOO-trefwoorden thesaurus (Den Haag: Koninklijke Bibliotheek) [use in new fields after September 25, 2008]
Other codes

The following code is for use in subfield $2 in field 047 (Form of Musical Composition Code) in the Bibliographic format.


International Association of Music Libraries Musical forms codes ( [use only after September 25, 2008]
The following code is for use in subfield $2 in field 048 (Number of Musical Instruments or Voices Codes) in the Bibliographic format.


International Association of Music Libraries Medium of performance codes ( [use only after September 25, 2008]

European APIs

The JISC Information Environment Service Registry (IESR):
  • is a machine readable registry of electronic resources;
  • contains information about these electronic resources, and details of how to access them;
  • aims to make it easier for other applications to discover and use materials which will help their users' learning, teaching and research.