Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009

ISBD Area 0 in Russian

A Russian translation of Area 0 of the ISBD is now available.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


The subject headings used for cooking are being discussed. Cooking may soon replace Cookery. LC asks for input on some of these changes.

Character Sets

Michael Doran has put together Coded Character Sets: A Technical Primer for Librarians. If you, like I am, are trying to get a handle on character encoding, this is an excellent starting point.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Anatomy of a Catalog Record

Anatomy of a Catalog Record from the American Antiquarian Society. Only scratches the surface, but a start.

Cuttering at the National Library of Medicine

News from the NLM.
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) wishes to announce that it will cease providing cutter numbers in LocatorPlus for most of the classification numbers assigned to print monographs that the Library catalogs. Cutter assignment will cease on June 21, 2010, with the exception of material being shelved in the NLM Reference collection or titles cataloged for the NLM History of Medicine Division.

As the library looks to increase efficiencies in its cataloging practices, the time spent cuttering stood out as an inefficient activity. For the past 15 years, NLM has been shelving print monographs by accession number, rather than by call numbers, but has continued to provide fully shelflisted call numbers for the convenience of other libraries using NLM records. NLM is still committed to providing a classification number that reflects the subject of a book, in recognition that this information can be used widely by others. Cutter numbers, on the other hand, are unique to a particular collection. Libraries that use cutters to arrange their material on the shelf will not have identical collections to NLM, so cutters provided by NLM often need adjustments to arrange material properly on any particular library's shelves.

Because NLM recognizes this may have an impact on the workflow in some libraries, we hope that the six month notice of this change will provide ample time for these libraries to make needed adjustments.

Friday, December 18, 2009


XForms4lib is a new e-mail list for discussing the use of W3C XForms in connection with library metadata.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Open Source Institutional Repository Software Platform

The University of Rochester is pleased to announce the 1.0 production version of its new open source institutional repository software platform, IR+. The University has been running IR+ in production since August 2009.

The download

The website for the project.

IR+ includes the following features:
  • Repository Wide Statistics: download counts at the repository collection and publication level. The statistics excludes web crawler results, and includes the ability to retroactively remove previously unknown crawlers or download counts that should not be included, for more accurate statistical reporting.
  • Researcher Pages, to allow users (faculty, graduate students, researchers) to highlight their work and post their CV
  • Example of a current researcher
  • Ability to create "Personal publications" that allows users to have full control over their work and see download counts without publishing into the repository.
  • An online workspace where users can store files they are working on, and if needed, share files with colleagues or their thesis advisor.
  • Contributor pages where users can view download counts for all publications that they are associated with in the repository.
  • Example of a contributor page
  • Faceted Searching (example search for: Graduate Student Research)
  • Embargos (example below embargoed until 2011-01-01)
  • Name Authority Control (Notice changes in last name)
You can see the IR+ system customized for our university and in action.

A further explanation of highlights can be found on my researcher page here.

The documentation for the system (install/user/administration) with lots of pictures can be found on my researcher page here.

Adapted from the e-mail announcement

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

MARBI Papers for Review

The following papers are available for review by the MARC community:
  • Proposal 2010-01:Defining codes for online and direct access electronic resources in 008/23 and 008/29 (Form of item)
  • Proposal 2010-02: Addition of subfield $5 (Institution to which field applies) in the 80X-830 Series Added Entry Fields of the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format
  • Proposal No. 2010-03: Recording Place and Date of Capture in the MARC21 Bibliographic Format
  • Proposal No. 2010-04: New data elements in the MARC 21 Authority and Bibliographic Format for works and expressions
  • Proposal No. 2010-05: Adding subfield $3 (Materials specified) to field 034 (Coded Cartographic Mathematical Data) in the MARC 21 Bibliographic and Authority Formats
  • Discussion Paper No. 2010-DP01: ISBD punctuation in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format
  • Discussion Paper No. 2010-DP02: Encoding URIs for controlled values in MARC records
  • Discussion Paper No. 2010-DP03: Encoding the International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) and the International Standard Text Code (ISTC) in the MARC 21 Bibliographic and Authority Format

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mobile Apps

When folks talk of mobile they generally mean a smart phone or net book. One mobile device I've never seen mentioned is the DSi. With over seven million sold it should be at least mentioned. With my DS I can browse the Web over WiFi. It is also an MP3 player, and has a camera. It can include a calculator and clock and notepad. All this and I can play games. I can even play games and pass notes and pictures with others in the vicinity, no wires required. What else do I need to carry when I travel?

Kids are playing with these. Messing around with them, seeing what they do. What will they expect when they get a bit older?

Tags into RDFa

LODr looks interesting. It brings tagging, Web 2.0, into the Semantic Web, Web 3.0.
LODr is a RDF-based (re-)tagging service, that allows people to weave their Web 2.0 tagged data into the Linked Data Web and provides a dedicated browsing interface.

LODr is not yet another social tagging service, you will still be able to use Flickr for your pics, del.icio.us for your bookmarks, slideshare for your presentations, etc.
LODr will simply help you to:
  • aggregate data and get a single entry-point for all your tagged content from those services, and translate it into RDF, provinding RDFa export of each items using SIOC, FOAF, the Tag Ontology and DublinCore;
  • re-tag this content in a machine-understandable way, by using URIs of Semantic Web resources (or concepts) to model what your usual simpe-keywords tag mean thanks to MOAT. Once your content have been tagged this way, it becomes part of the Semantic Web and can be discovered by Semantic Web aware agents and services, such as Sindice, SWSE or SearchMonkey.
You will also be able to browse your own content locally thanks to your LODr interface, providing advanced data view, but also discover content created by other members of the LODr community, especially using the LODr tools. Moreover, as your data is hostel locally and available in RDF, you can easily reuse it or mash it up with other content.
Seen from a Del.icio.us tag by ranti.

WorldCat API

Exciting news from OCLC.
Now anyone and everyone can create apps and mash-ups using library data from WorldCat, the world's largest library catalog. Because the WorldCat Basic API is here!

This new API is a simplified version of the WorldCat Search API. Send it RESTful URI queries in OpenSearch, and it retrieves results in RSS or Atom. The WorldCat Basic API can support up to 1,000/queries per day for noncommercial use. In addition, the WorldCat Basic API provides:

  • Information about books, videos, music and more in WorldCat
  • Information about authors, titles, ISBNs and OCLC numbers
  • Standard bibliographic citation formats in HTML (APA, Chicago, Harvard, MLA, and Turabian)
  • A link back to WorldCat.org for geographically-sorted library information
  • An easy way to include library results in comparison-shopping Web sites, mobile or Facebook apps
To gain access to the WorldCat Basic API, select the WorldCat Basic API on the WorldCat Affiliates Tools page. Sign in with your WorldCat Affiliates account (or create a new one) and then you'll be taken to a specific site where your individual WS Key will be auto-generated. Note if you already have a WorldCat Search API WSKey through your institution, then you do NOT need a WorldCat Basic API WSKey.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Texas Librarians

Each year the Texas Library Association recognizes contributions and excellence in our profession through the TLA Awards. TLA depends on its members to identify those individuals, organizations, and projects most worthy of recognition for having advanced the cause of Texas Libraries.

The 2010 Awards include:

  • Librarian of the Year Award Recognizes extraordinary leadership or service within the library community within the past 12-18 months.
  • Distinguished Service Award Recognizes outstanding and continuing service in one or more areas of the library profession.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award Recognizes an exemplary career in librarianship.
  • Outstanding Services to Libraries Award Given to an individual or to an organization in recognition of outstanding lay advocacy.
  • Wayne Williams Library Project of the Year Award Recognizes a project that exemplifies the highest levels of achievement, professional standards, and inspiration to other libraries.
  • Libraries Change Communities Award Given to a collaborative community effort that recognizes positive achievements and promotes outstanding library based initiatives in Texas.
  • Benefactor(s) Award Recognizes substantial donations.
Complete information about each award and the nomination procedure is available online. Submitting a nomination is not difficult! Nominations are made entirely online and are open from September 15, 2009 to January 15, 2010. For additional information about submitting nominations, please contact the Awards Committee Chair, Sue Compton, at 972-874-6151 or via email at sue.compton@flower-mound.com.

Monday, December 07, 2009


Is anyone using Twitter to distribute cataloging information? I've found a list of catalogers on Twitter, but most are not using it mainly as a way to get news out.

Friday, December 04, 2009

GPO Cataloging Record Distribution Pilot Project

The United States Government Printing Office has contracted with MARCIVE, Inc. for a Cataloging Record Distribution Pilot Project in which a selection of Federal depository libraries will be chosen to participate. For this pilot, GPO bibliographic records will be distributed from GPO's Integrated Library System (ILS) to participating libraries.

This pilot will serve as a test of the record distribution process. This test will help determine if the catalog records meet the needs of FDLP libraries and are compatible with libraries' workflows.

GPO will evaluate the success of the delivery mechanism pilot and report back to the FDLP community on outcomes and next steps. GPO will take lessons learned from this pilot to look at a long-term solution for bibliographic record distribution.

To learn more about the Cataloging Record Distribution Pilot Project, read the frequently asked questions.

View detailed information on how to complete the Pilot Profile.

Complete the Pilot ProfileApply to become a participating library in the Cataloging Record Distribution Pilot Project. All applications for participation must be submitted no later than January 11, 2010. Selected libraries will be notified in February, 2010.

At 1:30 p.m. EST on Tuesday, December 8, 2009, Laurie Hall, GPO's Director of Library Technical Information Services, and Joan Chapa from MARCIVE, Inc. will discuss the new pilot project and answer your questions with their "Chat with GPO" OPAL session on the Cataloging Record Distribution Pilot Project. The session will be held in the GPO OPAL room, which you can get to from the FDLP Desktop. Just click on Outreach, then on Online Learning, and then on "Click here to enter the GPO OPAL room." It is recommended that participants of this chat view the Cataloging Record Distribution Pilot Project Web page on the FDLP Desktop prior to this session.

The program will be archived on the GPO OPAL site, so you will have convenient access at all times.

In order to participate in the live session, please follow the instructions below. No prior RSVP is required for participation.

  • Bring up the GPO OPAL room.
  • If this is your first use of OPAL, install the plugin by following the directions in the box labeled "First time participants." Once you have installed the plugin, you can then go back to the above URL (the same window you had open) and click in the box to enter the room.
  • You may use any name that you choose to log in to the conference room.
  • No password is required for this session.

To participate in the event, you will need to be connected to the Internet, access an Internet browser, and have speakers turned on to listen to the audio presentations. A microphone connected to (or embedded in) your PC allows you to speak to the other participants. If you don't have a microphone, you will be able to text comments and questions.

If you have questions or comments, please use the askGPO help service. When submitting a question, please choose the category "Federal Depository Libraries" and the appropriate subcategory, if any, in order to ensure that your question is routed to the correct area.

Seen on AUTOCAT. Adapted slightly from the e-mail message.

Snow in Houston

Its snowing here in Houston. Large slow flakes. Not yet sticking to the ground, but it is pretty out my window.

Resource Description and Access Publication

This announcement about RDA has been widely posted and distributed, but just in case....
RDA: Resource Description and Access will be published in June 2010. While we regret this delay in release of RDA, the transition from publication of AACR2 as a printed manual to release of RDA as a web based toolkit is a complex process with many interdependencies.,p />The updated text of RDA incorporates recommendations from constituencies and other stakeholders approved at the JSC meeting earlier this year. The revised text has been successfully loaded into the RDA database. The product is currently undergoing thorough quality review and testing in preparation for release.

We recognize that customers and prospective users of RDA need reliable and timely information for planning and budgeting. We are confident that this revised deadline is a realistic target for publication of RDA.

Pricing and purchasing information will be introduced at the time of the ALA Midwinter Meeting, 15-18 January 2010.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

ISBD Area 0

The new Area 0 of the International Standard Bibliographic Description has been published on the Web.
Area 0: Content Form and Media Type Area is an amendment to the International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD). This new area of the bibliographic description takes the place of the general material designation (GMD) in area 1. It is being issued with a set of examples. Area 0 will be incorporated into the consolidated ISBD for its next revision in 2010.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


The ALCTS Non-English Access Working Group on Romanization invites comment on its draft report. Recommendations
  1. A majority of the Working Group believes that the factors discussed in this report are significant enough to make a general shift to Model B in bibliographic records premature at this point. Some members of the Working Group feel that having romanized access points in records provides enough added value that their use should be continued indefinitely. Others believe that in an environment of shrinking staffs and production pressures we should anticipate future developments in making our decision and recommend a move to Model B sooner rather than later. However, most believe that although a gradual move towards the use of Model B for current cataloging is probable, we should continue current practice for some time longer as we prepare for the transition.
  2. Further research is needed into the remaining obstacles so that we can identify decision points that will allow us to move beyond the status quo. We recommend that ALCTS sponsor a survey of libraries and library systems to better understand the status quo and possible future directions from a technical perspective.
  3. Automatic transliteration software should be utilized to reduce time needed to create the romanization, when possible.
  4. The amount of romanization in records could be reduced by limiting it to fields including key data for access (titles and headings).
  5. Since different languages and scripts raise very different issues, some language/script cataloging communities may decide to move to Model B sooner than others. A coordinated decision to change practice within each community would be preferable to individual decisions to implement Model B in different libraries at different times.

Monday, November 23, 2009

LCSH Subdivisions for Cartographic Materials

Changes in map cataloging from LC.
On June 10, 2009 the Policy and Standards Division (PSD) of the Library of Congress requested input from the library community about its proposal to change the structure of LCSH subdivisions for many cartographic materials. In brief, the paper suggested simplifying form subdivisions used for cartographic materials by removing the adjective (e.g. -Maps, Comparative would be revised to -Maps). The new genre/form headings would then do the “heavy lifting” of identifying a particular genre or form of material. After reviewing all of the comments it received, PSD has decided to implement its proposal to simplify the subdivisions.

The full text of the decision, which includes PSD’s responses to several concerns raised by the correspondents, is available on LC’s web site.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Korean Guidelines

Catalogers dealing with Korean materials should check out the extensive guidelines in the latest Cataloging Service Bulletin.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Date Time Discussuion

The Library of Congress has created an e-mail discussion list for continuing discussion of the developing date/time specification, EDTF.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Decision Regarding the Final Disposition of LCSH Headings for Video Recordings

LC has published Decision regarding the final disposition of LCSH headings for video recordings.
In summary, the decisions are:
  • Topical headings (MARC tag 150) denoting a genre or form of video recording will be cancelled in favor of the correlated film headings;
  • The heading Video mini-series will be revised to Film mini-series and the heading Television mini-series will be retained;
  • The existing topical heading Interactive video will be made plural and a genre/form heading will be created; and,
  • Genre/form headings for Internet videos, podcasts, and webisodes will be created.

MARC Update No. 10

News from the Network Development and MARC Standards Office.
Update No. 10 (October 2009) is now available on the MARC website. It is integrated into the documentation for each of the Online Full and Concise formats that are maintained on that site -- the Bibliographic format, Authority format, Holdings format, Classification format, and Community Information format. The documentation includes changes made to the MARC 21 formats resulting from proposals which were considered by the ALA ALCTS/LITA/RUSA Machine-Readable Bibliographic Information Committee (MARBI), the Canadian Committee on MARC (CCM) and the BIC Bibliographic Standards Group in 2009. Many of the changes in this update have been made to accommodate the new cataloging rules, Resource Description and Access (RDA). Note that no changes are made to the Classification and Community Information Formats in this update.

The changes are indicated in red. Each format also has an appendix, "Format Changes for Update No. 10 (October 2009)" that lists the changes that comprise the update. The Web version of the formats is the official version and is considered the start for implementation planning for MARC 21. Users are not expected to begin using the new features in the format until 60 days from the date of this announcement: January 13, 2010. For more information about format documentation see: http://www.loc.gov/marc/status.html

The printed version of the update will be available through the Cataloging Distribution Service in the future. The format update will include pages for fields that have been changed, with changes marked with sidelining. At the same time the 2009 Concise formats will be made available in print. The printed publications will be announced when they are ready for distribution.

Classification Presentations

Presentations from the International UDC Seminar 2009 are now available.
The International UDC Seminar 2009 "Classification at a Crossroads: multiple directions to usability" took place on 29-30 October in the National Library of the Netherlands in The Hague.

Colleagues may be interested in the conference recordings (mp3), slides and photographs that are now available....

There were 22 talks on the topic of changes in classification use, relationships between classification and thesaurus, the relationship between classification schemes and semantic technologies etc. There were 135 participants from 32 countries of Europe, North America and Asia.

Friday, November 13, 2009

MARC in Germany

MARC 21 Formats for Authority, Bibliographic, and Holdings are now available in German.

New Cataloging Weblog

Cataloging thoughts is a new weblog devoted to cataloging issues.

LPI on Flickr

Not cataloging, but something I find exciting, the LPI Library is now placing imagery on Flickr. Our first collection is planetary size comparisons, how a basin compares to Arizona or a crater to Los Angeles. More collections will follow.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

OLAC Conference

The next OLAC conference will be held October 14-17, 2010 in Macon, Georgia.

The Program Committee has created a blog for potential attendees to discuss the conference.

We invite you to share your ideas, and to take the breakout session interest survey.

From an e-mail on OLAC-L.


A new version of Blacklight is available.
Blacklight is a free and open source ruby-on-rails based discovery interface (a.k.a. “next-generation catalog”) especially optimized for heterogeneous collections. You can use it as a library catalog, as a front end for a digital repository, or as a single-search interface to aggregate digital content that would otherwise be siloed.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Full ISBD Examples

New from IFLA, Full ISBD Examples
Full ISBD Examples, a collection of full bibliographic descriptions following the ISBD guidelines, has been published. It is a supplement to the preliminary consolidated edition of the International Standard Bibliographic Description.

DC Conference Papers

Papers from the Dublin Core Conference are now available. Some of the papers include:
  • Modeling Classification Systems in SKOS: Some Challenges and Best-Practice Recommendations / Michael Panzer, Marcia Lei Zeng
  • Using Metadata for Query Refinement and Recommendation / Jian Qin, Xiaozhong Liu, Xia Lin, Miao Chen
  • A Unified Approach for Representing Metametadata / Kai Eckert, Magnus Pfeffer, Heiner Stuckenschmidt
  • Is Tagging Effective? – Overlapping Ratios with Other Metadata Fields / Wooseob Jeong
  • Knowledge Management and Dublin Core / Jon Mason
  • Multilayered Paper Prototyping for User Concept Modeling: Supporting the Development of Application Profiles / Emma Tonkin

Monday, November 02, 2009

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 December 26, 2009. 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.

Other sources
The following code may be used in subfield $2 in field 043 in Bibliographic, Authority and Community Information records (Geographic Area Code):

043 - ccga - Cadre de classement geographique actuel (Paris: Bibliotheque Nationale)

Classification Sources
The following codes may be used 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).

084 - chfbn - Classification de l'Histoire de France (Paris: Bibliothque nationale de France)

084- frtav - Referentiel du format INTERMAC Bibliographique: Audiovisuel - Matiere generale (Paris: Bibliotheque nationale de France)

Term, Name, Title Sources
The following code may be used in subfield $2 in appropriate 6XX fields (Subject Added Entries/Index Terms) in Bibliographic and Community Information 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.

651 - cdcng - Catalogage des documents cartographiques: forme et structure des vedettes noms gographiques - NF Z 44-081 (Paris-La Dfense: AFNOR)

Correction of Typographical Error in new MARC source sode MARC Code Lists for Relators, Sources, Description Conventions:

In a September 30, 2009 Technical Notice on codes newly assigned to the MARC Code Lists for Relators, Sources, Description Conventions, a typographical error was made in the listing for the code for PlaceNames Online: South Australian State Gazetteer (Government of South Australia, Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure)

The code should be

"pnosa" NOT "nosa"

We apologize for the error and any problems this causes for systems in which it has been recently implemented for use in Field 034 (Coded Cartographic Mathematical Data) in Bibliographic and Authority records.

From the Network Development and MARC Standards Office Library of Congress

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Random Hacks of Kindness

Random Hacks of Kindness might be of interest to any library coders living in the SF Bay Area.
Random Hacks of Kindness
The Disaster Relief Codejam

What is Random Hacks of Kindness?

It is an initiative that brings together disaster relief experts and software engineers to work on identifying key challenges to disaster relief, and developing solutions to these critical issues. This Codejam is the first of a series of Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) events that will bring the best and brightest together for a "give camp" to solve real world-problems related to Crisis/Disaster Relief.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ident Engine

Ident Engine is a nifty tool, a javascript library that retrieves and aggregates profiles from across the web.
Most of us create identities across the web without much conscious thought. We fill in profiles, upload photos, videos, reviews, and bookmarks. Although this information is often public, it’s fragmented into the silos of individual websites. Wouldn’t it be a little magical if, when you signed up for a new site, the site said something like, “We notice you have a profile photo on Flickr and Twitter, would you like to use one of those or upload a new one?” I built a JavaScript library that can help you do just that. Ident Engine discovers and retrieves distributed identities and user-generated content to help you build a little magic into your user interfaces.
Article about the tool in A List Apart.

OCLC is Enriching ONIX Metadata

OCLC now offers a service to enrich ONIX metadata for publishers.
OCLC now offers Metadata Services for Publishers, a new service that takes publishers' ONIX title metadata, enriches it using WorldCat mining and mapping techniques, and delivers the enhanced ONIX metadata back to the publishers for use in their systems. The publishers' enhanced metadata is then made available early in the data creation process to libraries for use in selection, acquisition and technical services workflows. Information seekers also benefit from Web discovery of this metadata via WorldCat.org, the Web destination for discovery of library resources.

Cooperative Cataloging Rules Website

Cooperative Cataloging Rules is a new website devoted to cataloging issues.
We want to announce its existence and to put out a general request for professional metadata creators to participate. The site has two primary purposes: 1) to offer a serious alternative to RDA and 2) to offer a place for sharing bibliographic concepts within the general metadata community.
They already have an impressive number of cataloging rules available from the site. It is possible to become a contributor, but membership is required.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


There is plenty of coverage of the new bibliographic utility, SkyRiver, so I'll not rehash all that's been said. The article by Marshall Breeding in Library Journal is a good place to start. However, one aspect that has not been covered is the authority file they offer. MARC authority records are available form LC, but the process of downloading them is painful. It is not easy, maybe not possible, to create a file and import them once. Each record has to be downloaded and then imported into the local system. Then the next record is downloaded, etc., etc., etc. An improvement in this process, if it was inexpensive would be greatly welcomed here.

Another bibliographic utility with an authority file that can be edited means it may be possible for smaller libraries to participate in NACO. We have no money in our budget to become full members of OCLC. Yet, in planetary science, our community, we have very good access to most of the authors. We're the folks who host the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference that brings all the community together for a week each year. Nice access. We could be an excellent source of authority records and corrections to existing records if we could become part of NACO. I'd guess there are plenty of other special libraries that have similar expertise that could benefit other libraries.

This is not to say it will ever be offered. There are rules about how often the database has to be updated and how changes in the local one be uploaded to LC. Nothing on their website mentions NACO, but still I dream.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Organizing Tags

Tag Clustering with Self Organizing Maps by Marco Luca Sbodio and Edwin Simpson is a recent HP Labs Technical Report.
Today, user-generated tags are a common way of navigating and organizing collections of resources. However, their value is limited by a lack of explicit semantics and differing use of tags between users. Clustering techniques that find groups of related tags could help to address these problems. In this paper, we show that a Self-Organizing Map (SOM) can be used to cluster tagged bookmarks. We present and test an iterative method for determining the optimal number of clusters. Finally, we show how the SOM can be used to intuitively classify new bookmarks into a set of clusters.

NCIP Update

The next NISO Open Teleconference will be October 13, 2009. Rob Walsh, President of EnvisionWare (Maintenance Agency for NCIP), will be providing an update from the NCIP Standing Committee.
Join NISO on these free conference calls to learn about new projects within NISO as well as to provide the organization with feedback and input on areas where NISO ought to be engaged. NISO teleconferences are held from 3-4 p.m. (eastern) on the second Monday of each month (excepting July--no call--and October, which is held October 13th). To join, simply dial 877-375-2160 and enter the code: 17800743.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Fundamentals of the NLM Classification

NLM announces a classification course.
The Cataloging Section of the National Library of Medicine® is pleased to announce the availability of an new e-learning course called Fundamentals of the NLM Classification. It is available as a link from the Cataloging Section homepage, as well as the Distance Education page. The course is a free set of modules and interactive exercises that students may take at their own pace without an instructor.

This course covers the principles and applications of the NLM Classification in the cataloging environment. The course is divided into nine modules:

  1. Overview of the NLM Classification
  2. Using the Online NLM Classification
  3. Components of NLM Call Numbers
  4. General Principles
  5. Table G (Geographic Notations)
  6. Form Numbers
  7. Bibliographies and Related Materials
  8. Classification of 19th Century Works and Early Printed Books
  9. Continuing Resources

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Relying on Web Services

Recently we have had two examples of trusted resources being off line for an extended time. A few weeks ago the GPO PURL server was down for several days. This meant that thousands of links in library catalogs around the globe were broken.

Now the NASA Technical Reports Server is down. It went down about a week and a half ago. No word on when it will return. It went down Monday, on Wednesday this notice appeared
The NASA Technical Reports Server is currently unavailable as of September 24, 2009, due to unforeseen but required data maintenance. We apologize for the incovenience [sic]. NASA hopes to make this database available in approximately 1 week.
This affects fewer libraries but in my catalog hundreds of links to the full-text stored at the server are broken.

It seems we have put too much reliance in trusted sites (NASA, GPO). What does this mean for mash-ups? For the Web in general? If we can't trust NASA or the GPO to keep vital services up, who can we trust? Just musing.

Oct. 6 Update: The NTRS Server is still down.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

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 30, 2009. 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.

Other Sources
Field 034 (Coded Cartographic Mathematical Data)

The following codes are for use in subfield $2 in field 034 (Coded Cartographic Mathematical Data) in the Authority and Bibliographic formats.


Australian Antarctic Data Centre Antarctic Gazetteer (Australian Antarctic Data Centre) [use only after November 30, 2009]
Atlas of Canada Gazetteer Map Service (Natural Resources Canada) [use only after November 30, 2009]
Atlas of Historical County Boundaries (Newberry Library) [use only after November 30, 2009]
BC Geographical Names Information System (BCGNIS) (Government of British Columbia ) [use only after November 30, 2009]
Cartographic Boundary Files (U.S. Census Bureau) [use only after November 30, 2009]
Composite Gazetteer of Antarctica (Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR)) [use only after November 30, 2009]
Canadian Geographical Names Database (Natural Resources Canada) [use only after November 30, 2009]
Columbia Gazetteer of the World (Columbia University Press) [use only after November 30, 2009]
ESRI ArcView [use only after November 30, 2009]
Ordnance Survey (Great Britain Ordnance Survey) [use only after November 30, 2009]
GeoScience Australia Place Names (Geoscience Australia) [use only after November 30, 2009]
GeoNames [use only after November 30, 2009]
NGA GEOnet Names Server (GNS) (National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency) [use only after November 30, 2009]
Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names Online (J. Paul Getty Trust) [use only after November 30, 2009]
Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) (United States Geological Survey, Board on Geographic Names) [use only after November 30, 2009]
Geographical Names Register of NSW (New South Wales Government) [use only after November 30, 2009]
Gazetteer of Japan (Geographical Survey Institute, and the Hydrographic and Oceanographic Department of the Japan Coast Guard) [use only after November 30, 2009]
Google Earth [use only after November 30, 2009]
GEBCO Gazetteer of Undersea Feature Names (General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO)) [use only after November 30, 2009]
Kohanimeandmebaas (KNAB) (Eesti Keele Instituut) [use only after November 30, 2009]
Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) [use only after November 30, 2009]
Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc.) [use only after November 30, 2009]
The National Map-Boundaries (USGS) (U.S. Geological Survey) [use only after November 30, 2009]
Nova Scotia Geographical Names (Province of Nova Scotia) [use only after November 30, 2009]
Peakbagger.com [use only after November 30, 2009]
PlaceNames Online: South Australian State Gazetteer (Government of South Australia, Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure) [use only after November 30, 2009]
Peakware World Mountain Encyclopedia (Peakware) [use only after November 30, 2009]
Ramsar Sites Database (Ramsar) [use only after November 30, 2009]
South African Geographical Names System (South African Department of Arts and Culture) [use only after November 30, 2009]
Volcano World (Oregon Space Grant Consortium) [use only after November 30, 2009]
Volcanoes of the World [use only after November 30, 2009]
World Database on Protected Areas (World Commission on Protected Areas) [use only after November 30, 2009]
World Heritage List (UNESCO) [use only after November 30, 2009]
World Lakes Database (International Lake Environment Committee) [use only after November 30, 2009]
Other (A source other than one for which a unique code has been established) [use only after November 30, 2009]
The following code was previously defined for usage in subfield $2 in appropriate 6XX fields (Subject Added Entries/Index Terms) in Bibliographic and Community Information 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. Usage has been expanded for field 034 in Authority and Bibliographic records.
New Zealand Gazetteer of Official Geographic Names (New Zealand Geographic Board Ng Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa (NZGB)) [use only after November 30, 2009 in field 034]

WorldCat Mashathon Seattle

News from OCLC, the next WorldCat Mashathon Seattle.
Join fellow developers for the next two-day WorldCat Mashathon. Sponsored by the OCLC Developer Network and the University of Washington libraries, this WorldCat Mashathon will be held Thursday and Friday, November 5-6 at Odegaard Undergraduate Library at the University of Washington, Seattle.

The Seattle Mashathon will follow the same format as previous events in Amsterdam and New York. Participants will spend the two days brainstorming and coding mash-ups with local systems and other Web services to take advantage of all that WorldCat, the world's largest and most comprehensive bibliographic database, has to offer. Developers from the library community and beyond are encouraged to attend.

WorldCat includes materials from libraries around the world, including images, video games, movies, articles, books, maps and more.

Why attend the WorldCat Mashathon?

  • Brainstorm potential apps for the WorldCat Search API, our bibliographic grouping services and other OCLC Web services.
  • Get a preview of the new WorldCat Basic API.
  • Gain development access to 1.4 billion items from more than 10,000 libraries worldwide.
  • Integrate these resources with many others to create innovative new services.
  • Meet fellow developers across the information industry.
  • Share your creative vision and be a part of the next wave of online library development.
Roy Tennant of OCLC Research and longtime Code4Lib participant will kick off the session. OCLC staff will also be available for questions and breakout facilitation. Ideas, outcomes and code from the Mashathon, together with a participants list, will be shared during and after the event for others to download and build on.

Learn more and register now for the Mashathon.

Cookery is Soon to Be Cooking

LC is finally changing the subject heading Cookery to Cooking in most cases. Long overdue.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Library Mashups

I just received my copy of Nicole C. Engard's Library Mashups: Exploring New Ways to Deliver Library Data. Thank you Nicole for editing this book. I've only have time to skim it and read one paper but it looks like a winner. Can't wait to read more.

The article I read was on making your library's data accessible by Ross Singer. YES. Microformats, RDFa and eRDF, linked data, COinS, unAPI and other POSH (plain old semantic HTML) are all things I consider important.

440/490/8XX Problem

Over on Bibliographic Wilderness there is an interesting discussion about display and indexing of series information. Shows a true weakness of MARC.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Virtual International Authority File Now Linked Data

Some interesting news about the VIAF.
As promised in an earlier post, VIAF (the Virtual International Authority File) is now available as linked data. For those not familiar with VIAF, it is a merger of nearly 20 national-level name authority files (currently we are only dealing with personal names). There are some 9.5 million personae described in VIAF and have established more than 4 million links between the files.

To us linked data means:
  • URIs for everything
  • HTTP 303 redirects for URIs representing the personae our metadata is about
  • HTTP content negotiation for different data formats
  • An RDF view of the data
  • A rich a set of internal and external links in our data

In addition to using the extensions (e.g. m21), HTTP content negotiation can be used to get the various versions of the record.

The canonical URI currently returns an XML version of the VIAF record (which gets rendered into HTML in the browser via XSLT), but in the future we expect to return HTML. As more of the authority files contributing to VIAF become available on the web we will be including more links to external sites.

For RDF we are currently returning a fairly rudimentary Friend of a Friend (FOAF) record.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

DBPedia Tools

Some useful tools from the DBpedia folk.
We are pleased to announce the release of the DBpedia Faceted Browser by Jona Christopher Sahnwaldt as well as the DBpedia User Script by Anja Jentzsch.

The DBpedia Faceted Browser allows you to explore Wikipedia via a faceted browsing interface. It supports keyword queries and offers relevant facets to narrow down search results, based on the DBpedia Ontology. In this manner, queries such as “recent films about Buenos Aires” can be easily and intuitively posed against DBpedia.
The DBpedia Faceted browser was developed in cooperation with the search engine company Neofonie, which also kindly provided the funding for this project.

The DBpedia User Script is a Greasemonkey script that enhances Wikipedia pages with a link to their corresponding DBpedia page and can be used within Firefox, Safari and Opera with a suitable Greasemonkey plugin.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mapping MARC records

Recently I won a contest, a copy of Library Mashups: Exploring New Ways to Deliver Library Data by Nicole Engard was the prize. The entry was to suggest a library mashup.

I suggested mashing the MARC record with Google maps to show area of cartographic items. Nothing Earth shattering. I knew that someone had mapped Craig's List and there was another for buying a home. I expected that such a project would have been in Nicole's book. I was pleasantly happy when I won.

That's when I found out about a project, MapHappy that was just what I had in mind. Johnston, L., and K. Jensen. 2009. "MapHappy: A User-Centered Interface to Library Map Collections via a Google Maps “Mashup”. JOURNAL OF MAP AND GEOGRAPHY LIBRARIES. 5 (2): 114-130. They have a demo running and would like feedback. Brilliant.

If/when it goes open-source I'd like to use it for our lunar and Mars maps.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

IT Conversation about RDFa

Jon Udell's Interviews with Innovators on IT Conversations discusses RDFa from a business viewpoint.
RDFa and Structured Data, 49 minutes, 22.7mb, recorded 2009-09-02

Topics: The Internet and the World Wide Web Software Development. Kingsley Idehen Kingsley Idehen thinks the semantic web should make us masters of our own search indexes. Structured data, in other words, is the new SEO (search engine optimization). In this conversation with host Jon Udell, you'll learn how a web-friendly format called RDFa, along with business-friendly vocabularies like GoodRelations, can help our personal and business About pages tell the world what services we offer, and what services we need.
Downloaded to my MP3 player.


Openbook4wordpress might be a useful tool for some.
When you insert an OpenBook shortcode with an ISBN or other book number in a WordPress post or widget, the OpenBook plugin replaces it with a book cover image and other book data from Open Library. It also adds links to popular book sites, such as WorldCat, LibraryThing, GoogleBooks and BookFinder. Users have complete control over the content and styling of the display through templates. Librarians can configure OpenBook with an OpenURL resolver to point to their library's records.
It does not use COinS or any other citation metadata, as far as I could tell. It would be nice if it did.A comment informs me that it does use COinS.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Tunguska Event

Is it sad that I work at a library that deals with meteorite impacts and I'm looking forward to the Secret Files: Tunguska video Game?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

NLM Tag Suite

NISO's Standardized Markup for Journal Articles Based on the NLM’s Journal Archiving and Interchange Tag Suite has been approved.

Library Card Sign-up Month 2009

From ALA, "September is Library Card Sign-up Month - a time to remind parents and kids that a library card is the most important school supply of all."

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

COinS Generator Problem

It seems the COinS Generator has been down for quite some time. Anyone know the story?

ER&L 2010 Conference - Call for Proposals

Electronic Resources & Libraries 2010
February 1-3, 2010
Austin, TX

Call for Proposals

ER&L Conference Program Planning Committee encourages you to submit a proposal for the Electronic Resources & Libraries 2010 Conference to be held February 1-3, 2010 with pre-conferences on January 31st. The conference location will be on the campus of the University of Texas, Austin at the AT&T Conference Center. Topics include managing, selecting, assessing and marketing e-resources as well as issues in digital rights and relationships in and out of libraries.

View Track Descriptions.

Proposal Deadline: Proposals will be evaluated as they are received, and priority may be given to those who submit early. The Proposal Deadline is October 30, 2009.

Proposal Evaluation: The committee will evaluate each proposal on the basis of subject matter (including, but not limited to, the issues listed in the topic descriptions), clarity, and timeliness. We will also hold a period of open voting to allow potential attendees to help shape the program. Proposals should be for original work that has not been published. We may request that some presenters combine sessions with complementary subject matter.

Compensation: Presenters receive 50% off the cost of registration.

More info: ER&L provides a forum for information professionals to explore ideas, trends, and technologies related to electronic resources and digital services. The idea of this event is to bring together stakeholders inside and outside of the library to look at the impact the digital environment has on library collections, access to resources, and our organizations. We invite various perspectives and approaches to managing, promoting and accessing electronic resources. We hope to foster collaborative, cross-departmental, cross-community approaches to the issues e-resources have brought to our environment.

More information about the Call for Proposals is available.

ER&L '10 conference details are online.

Adapted from the e-mail announcement. The weblog software has no way to have an ampersand in the tags. It should be ER&L

SKOS and Linked Data

News from the W3C about linking SKOS and linked data.
From Chaos, Order: SKOS Recommendation Helps Organize Knowledge

Today W3C announces a new standard that builds a bridge between the world of knowledge organization systems - including thesauri, classifications, subject headings, taxonomies, and folksonomies - and the linked data community, bringing benefits to both. Libraries, museums, newspapers, government portals, enterprises, social networking applications, and other communities that manage large collections of books, historical artifacts, news reports, business glossaries, blog entries, and other items can now use Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS) to leverage the power of linked data. The Semantic Web Deployment Working Group also published today two Group Notes with the Recommendation, updating the SKOS Primer and SKOS Use Cases and Requirements. Read the press release and testimonials and learn more about the Semantic Web Activity.

Friday, August 28, 2009

New Computer

Its time for a new computer for our home. Ours still works, but the kids' is just too slow and old. Cora and I are getting a new machine and the kids are getting our current one. Any suggestions? I think I'll pass on a modem, haven't used one in a few years and I can't see going back to dial-up. I think one DVD/CD-RW drive would be enough. Or should I get a blu-ray drive or 2 disc drives? What else don't I need anymore or should have just in case? Monitors have gotten much nicer in the past several years. Any suggestions? What would be a good general purpose home machine? I'm not into on-line gaming, so it does not need that kind of power. I might watch video downloaded from Netflix or Hulu. Thanks.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

WorldCat Search API and WorldCat Basic API

Positive news from OCLC about the WorldCat API.

New limit by holdings for WorldCat Search API

Good news for WorldCat Search API WSkey holders. The WorldCat Search API has been enhanced. You can now limit the results returned to an individual library's holding symbol, without authenticating the application's users, at all service levels. In lots of discussions with developers, people have asked for this feature. Yay, now it's here.

With this functionality update, the eligibility requirements for the WorldCat Search API have also been updated.

NB: ALL 200+ current WorldCat Search API WSKeys will remain active through at least Sept 1, 2010. This eligibility change should affect very few future requests for service. In addition, there is even more good news if your library doesn't currently qualify--or if you're a developer who is not connected to a library.

WorldCat Basic API planned
For a long time now, OCLC has wanted to provide a general Web service to WorldCat in addition to WorldCat.org. This wish is now becoming a reality. Later this year you'll have a simple API into WorldCat that anyone and everyone in the world can use, for noncommercial use. Called the WorldCat Basic API, it provides a mashable access point for lightweight apps built by developers who may or may not have ties to the library community.

The WorldCat Basic API is planned to use OpenSearch and return feeds in Atom and RSS. Results include OCLC number links to WorldCat.org, ISBNs and formatted citations.

We're excited to announce these improvements and updates, expanding the range of developers able to include WorldCat and library data in their apps. Sign up for the Developer Network listserv (WC-DEVNET-L) if you haven't already, to hear when the WorldCat Basic API is available.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Moving Image Work-Level Records Task Force Papers

The Moving Image Work-Level Records Task Force has released several more papers.
3a: Operational Definitions: A Thought Experiment This document examines the types of information and guidance that will be needed by catalogers in order to create, enhance, correct, and maintain work/primary expression records for moving images, which we have often referred to as work records for short. It discusses five pieces of information that describe moving image works (title, director, original language, original date, and original aspect ratio) in an attempt to assess a representative sample of work-level data elements. It includes names, recommended usage (core, recommended, optional), operational definitions, guidelines for usage, and subelements for each data element. Subelements were included to try to address the need for data about data in a cooperatively-maintained, shared database.

3b: Data Sources This document examines a number of primary and secondary sources that include information about moving images works and provides brief annotations of coverage, assessment of reliability, and a list of elements covered in each source. Print, and free and subscription online sources are included. Information about these sources is being entered into a relational database in the hope that it can be made available on the web in a flexible manner (e.g., by element covered, types of works covered, level of reliability, online vs. print).

4 Appendix: Comparison of Selected Extracted MARC Data with External Sources This document compares the work-level data we extracted from MARC records for ten works with data in five online reference sources. The extracted data was generally accurate. The more prevalent problem was lack of data. It also examines the variation in metadata practice and fullness of data available from the external sources.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Book Covers

The other day I asked for suggestions about where to get book covers to include in the cataog. One comment suggest BookChaser.com.
This is an experimental tool that lets people compare what book covers are available through different APIs. It uses four underlying services to lookup that information: LibraryThing's covers API, OpenLibrary's JSON API, Amazon's Associates Web Service and Google's Books API.

Amazon web services are used in compliance with their terms. LibraryThing API is used with permission of LibraryThing.com. Google's Book API is used in compliance with their terms.
Thanks for the suggestion.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Book Covers

I'd be interested in getting info about a good source for book covers. I've tried LibraryThing. It was simple but the hit rate for covers, for our collection, was about 1%. How about Google Books, or Open Library? Any legal problems with use? I know Amazon just changed the use agreement to make it much less open.

I'd like to see an example of the HTML link for any you use and recommend.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


News from OCLC.
On Sunday, August 16, 2009, OCLC implemented the changes related to the OCLC-MARC Bibliographic, Authority, and Holdings Formats Update 2009. This includes MARC 21 Updates No. 8 (October 2007) and No. 9 (October 2008), MARC Code List changes since July 2008, and user and OCLC staff suggestions. OCLC Technical Bulletin 257, which presents the details, is available... If you have read or printed a version of TB 257 before the implementation, you may want to do so again, as there have been several substantive corrections and changes. Among the points of interest:
  • Defining Videorecording 007/04 (subfield $e) code "s" for Blu-ray Discs.
  • Linking ISSNs (ISSN-L) in bibliographic, authority, and holdings fields 022.
  • Changing field 041 to separately subfield subtitles/captions for moving images (subfield $j).
  • Validating codes for subfield $2 in field 047 (musical form) and 048 (medium of performance) for the respective code lists maintained by IAML (International Association of Music Libraries).
  • Implementing two new Dewey fields: 083 (Additional Dewey Decimal Classification Number) and 085 (Synthesized Classification Number Components).
  • Implementing the repeatable 260 field.
  • Making field 440 obsolete and converting appropriate 4XX/8XX combinations.
  • Defining new subfields in field 502 for dissertation details (degree, school, date, etc.).
  • Implementing new field 542 for Information Relating to Copyright Status.
  • Implementing subfield $0 (zero) for the Authority Record Control Number in 28 bibliographic fields and three authority fields.
Appropriate data conversions and re-indexing of WorldCat will begin following the August installation.

All new searching and indexing capabilities; new fields, subfields, and indicators; and new codes can now be used in both Connexion browser and Connexion client.

Connexion browser:
  • Connexion browser users have changes to the dropdown lists for fixed field elements available for use immediately.
  • The National Bibliography Number index ("nn:") will not appear in the Connexion browser dropdown list until November 2009. In the meantime, it is available via the command line in Connexion browser. All other new indexes and new or changed language qualifiers appear in search screen dropdown lists.
Connexion client:
  • Beginning on Tuesday, August 18, 2009, Connexion client users will be prompted when they start the Connexion client software to download a new file with changes to the dropdown lists for fixed field elements. The window with the prompt is labeled "New Components Available." You do not need Administrative Privileges on your workstation to download the file. Say "Yes" to download the file immediately. Say "Remind me later" if you do not wish to download right away. You will be prompted to download the file each time you open Connexion client until you complete the download.
  • In Connexion client, all new indexes and new or changed language qualifiers do not appear in search screen dropdown lists, but may be input manually via the command line. The search screen dropdown lists of indexes and language qualifiers will be updated in the next version of the Connexion client.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Genre/Form Headings Presentation

Janis Young's presentation at the Library of Congress is now available. Expanding the Power of the Library's Family of Vocabularies: Genre/Form Headings
In 2007, the Library of Congress embarked upon a project to create a system of genre/form headings, which describe what a work is rather than what it is about, as subject headings do. This presentation will explain the motivations for undertaking the project, including the need to anticipate the linked data requirements of the new generation of search engines and user interfaces, and also enumerate the authority record distribution channels, which furnish data for both human use and for data mining and computer manipulation. In addition, the presentation will address the practical impacts of this project on LC staff and users alike.
It requires Real Player (or Real Alternative) for playback.

Dewey Classification as Linked Data

News from the Dewey office.
For a long time, we wanted to do something with Linked Data. That is, apply Linked Data principles to parts of the Dewey Decimal Classification and present the data as a small “terminology service.” The service should respond to regular HTTP requests with either a machine- or a human-readable presentation of Dewey classes. There should be a URI (and, even better, a web page that delivers a useful description) for every Dewey concept, not just single classes. The data should be presented in a format that is capable of handling rich semantic information and in a way that allows users or user agents to just follow their nose to explore the data. For more complex stuff, the service should offer an API-like query access. Finally, the data that are presented should be reusable by anyone for non-commercial purposes.

Some results of these efforts are now available as dewey.info. We had to come up with a URI pattern for the DDC that would generate persistent identifiers for DDC concepts in a distributed environment. Secondly, we wanted to test out the RDF vocabulary SKOS for creating a representational model to express some of the best nuggets of DDC data (language-independent identifiers, multilingual terminology, and semantic relationships). And finally, because Linked Open Data is not really open when you have to ask someone before you can use it, we wanted to test out a Creative Commons license for easier reuse of DDC data for non-commercial purposes.

We chose the DDC Summaries as a first data set to publish according to Linked Data principles. The latest version of the Summaries, i.e., the top three levels of DDC 22, has been available as a web document for some time. To broaden the possible applications of what now essentially is just tag soup (in only one language), every class had to be identified with a URI and the data had to be presented in a reusable way. Please give it a try at dewey.info. An extended overview of the service can be found here, a slightly more technical description is available on the OCLC Developer Network wiki.

What you see now is only the first step. The intention of dewey.info is to be a platform for Dewey data on the web; more is to come in terms of languages, deeper data, and links to other datasets. The DDC has been widely used as a knowledge organization tool, and the way the URIs have been set up should allow the construction of links based on existing metadata in resource descriptions like bibliographic records.

An example: As the World Digital Library is getting ready to deploy RDF views of its data, instead of just including the Dewey number as a literal (or pointing to some other data source), they could include URIs to dewey.info to tap into the SKOS relationships pointing to broader and narrower classes for retrieval interactions, etc. In turn, this establishes a link from a Dewey class to other vocabularies used concurrently for that resource, to Wikipedia, etc. Links can go both ways and benefit all participating data sets, establishing a graph of Linked Data.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Semantic Web @ SXSW 2010

Here are some proposed Semantic Web sessions proposed for South by Southwest 2010. Talis seems to represent the library pretty well. If you want to see any of these on the final program, vote for it.

  • Set your data free
    Ian Davis, CTO - Talis
    Data isn't like content: it's infinitely remixable, machines churn through it by the bucketload and it isn't covered by copyright. But there are other rights that get in the way of reuse. This panel will tackle how we can free our data more effectively.
    Semantic Tagging and Blogging
  • Andraz Tori, CTO - Zemanta
    How can bloggers and social media websites take benefit of the rise of the Semantic Web? Efforts such as CommonTag and Rich Snippets are offering bloggers new options to add semantics to their blogs. This panel will discuss how bloggers and social media sites can leverage semantic tagging for their benefit.
  • What the hell is the Semantic Web?
    Juan Sequeda, Co-Founder - Semantic Web Austin
    In the past year, the Semantic Web has gained a lot of publicity. However, many may still not understand what the Semantic Web is. This panel of experts will address the myths, realities and all the open issues that the public may have about the Semantic Web
  • The Semantic City
    John De Oliveira, Co-Founder - Semantic Web Austin
    Imagine a metropolitan area with highly coordinated residents, where rich online and real world experiences amplified each other. Economic and social improvement would dramatically outpace other cities. This is the vision of Semantic Web Austin, the most active and well-funded Semantic Web organization in the United States.
  • Bin the Browser? Interacting with Linked Data
    Tom Heath, Researcher – Talis
    In among the Web of documents we've built a Web of Linked Data. It's huge, it's heterogeneous and it's here. So what are we going to do with it? Is the search/browse paradigm the right basis for Linked Data applications, or are we selling ourselves short?
  • Big Data, Big Dream
    Juan Sequeda, PhD Student - University of Texas at Austin
    How can we have applications that can scale with large amounts of data? Are relational databases sufficient? What other technologies are out there that can scale? This panel will talk about existing technologies that manage large amounts of data.
  • I Have Never Believed in the Semantic Web
    Leigh Dodds, Program Manager – Talis
    It turns out a six-year old can understand the basic idea of the Semantic Web. So why do so many developers think it's so complicated? If you're a skeptic then come and have your assumptions challenged. Find out how the web of data is being built today.
  • Metadata Wars: Untangling Microformats, RDFa and Microdata
    John de Oliveira, Co-Founder - Semantic Web Austin
    Microformats, RDFa and microdata are largely incompatible ways of annotating HTML documents with metadata. What is the difference and why do we need them all? Organizations such as Google, The Associated Press and Yahoo all have their opinions about metadata. Where is this all going?
  • Semantic Search: Life Beyond Ten Blue Links
    Peter Mika, Yahoo!
    Ten blue links with a title and an abstract have dominated the lives of search users for over a decade now. Semantic technologies have the potential to change the face of search through a deeper understanding of the needs of users and the content on the Web. Will it be a revolution in search?
  • Semantic Search: Off to a Good Start
    Peter Mika, Yahoo!
    Pursued by a number of search companies both large and small, semantic search turned into one of the hottest trends in search innovation. What's the benefit for publishers, end-users and developers? This presentation examines the case for semantic search.
  • Semantic Music
    Yves Raimond, BBC
    By publishing music information on the web as Linked Data, artists ensure that their material can be reused and discovered in new ways. Sites such as BBC Music and Myspace have been publishing structured web data enabling a wide range of innovative third party applications and mashups.
  • Making Dollars And Sense Out Of The Semantic Web
    Nik Daftary, CEO – Turn2Live
    With the advent of the semantic web, powerful new ways to consume and disseminate information will emerge. Information that once proved difficult to contextualize will now become commonly easy. So, what does that mean for consumers? In this panel discussion, we will cover what the Semantic web means to you as well as how it will change online advertising as we know it today.
Voting Closes September 4.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Humor

Dublin Core and Hardcore.

Bibliocommons and Social

One idea struck me as I listened to the latest Library 2.0 Gang podcast. Beth Jefferson from Bibliocommons said she doesn't refer to their product as a social ILS. Amazon is not called a social book seller, they have lots of social content and tools, but that is just the way the Web works now. They are just a book seller and Bibliocommons is just an ILS. Lots of other good stuff in the discussion, but that one idea struck me and stayed with me.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

ILL Tool

Anyone using the ILL tool Odyssey?
The Odyssey software allows sites to send and receive electronic documents to other Odyssey sites, OCLC ILLiad sites, and other vendor's software that supports the Odyssey protocol. Odyssey was designed with low cost, ease of use, and network security in mind. The software is a client/server application which allows the processing application to be split off from the delivery service function. This controls cost by allowing sites to expand by just adding the processing functionality to additional machines. It helps with network security by allowing the delivery service function of the software to be run on a server/workstation that may or may not be located in the ILL office.

Best of all - it is FREE!

Monday, August 10, 2009

NISO Teleconference

News from NISO.
After a brief break during July, we will be restarting the NISO open teleconference series today at 3:00 pm EDT. The main discussion topic will be the Institutional Identifier project and its status. Tina Feick, the I2 co-chair, will join us to provide an update. In addition, we'll provide some background on the two new work item proposals that are currently before the NISO voting membership, the Standardized Markup for Journal Articles and Physical Delivery of Library Resources. As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome.

This Open Teleconference conversation is pat of an ongoing series of month calls held on the second Monday of each month as a way to keep the community appraised of NISO's activities. It also provides an opportunity for you to provide feedback to NISO on our activities or make suggestions about new activities we should be engaging in.

The call is free and anyone is welcome to participate in the conversation. To join, simply dial 877-375-2160 and enter the code: 17800743.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Printing Labels

Looking for advice. I want to print card labels. I hear there is a problem with spine labels fading, sometimes rather quickly, at least on the Dymo printers. Since we are a research library, materials are rarely weeded. I can't afford to redo all the spine labels 10 years from now. So I figure if I can print the card labels that is some time saved.

I use Marc Wizard for cataloging. However, that does not have an option to print continuous feed card labels, every option also has spine labels. Our ILS, Athena, has even fewer options.

Does anyone have a suggestion on how I could automate the printing of card labels? Thanks.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

OCLC Digital Forum West

Register Now for the 2009 OCLC Digital Forum West
September 16-17, 2009
Getty Research Institute Lecture Hall, Getty Center

The fifth annual OCLC Digital Forum, co-sponsored by the Getty Research Institute, Orbis Cascade Alliance, OCLC Digital Programs, and OCLC Digital Collection Services, will focus on "Convergence: Where Metadata and Access Meet for Digital Discovery and Delivery."

The Forum will feature national experts from the archival, museum, and library communities to discuss current projects and initiatives exploring creation of metadata for digital discovery and delivery. Distinguished presenters include:
  • Anne J. Gilliland (keynote speaker), Professor, Information Studies & Moving Image Archive Studies and Chair of the UCLA Department of Information Studies
  • Maureen Whalen, Associate General Counsel, J. Paul Getty Trust
  • Kristine Brancolini, Dean of University Libraries, Loyola Marymount University
  • Dr. John Falk, Sea Grant Professor in Free-Choice Learning, Oregon State University
View Schedule and Register

For more information, contact OCLC Digital Programs:
Call 1-800-848-5800 (select 1, then 1, then 2), or e-mail oclcdigitalprograms@oclc.org

From the announcement. They are still accepting registrations.

Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP)

August 14 is the deadline to apply for the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) funding. ALA has more details and help.
The American Library Association’s (ALA) Washington Office announces its final push to inform and guide libraries as the August 14, 2009, deadline for the first-round Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grant applications draws near. It will hold the third in a series of webinars Wednesday, which will focus on the “nuts and bolts” of the application process.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

OCLC's PURL Server

OCLC has a new version of their PURL server running.
The software is open source and was written for us by Zepheira. The original specifications for the new software allowed for some variation in the exact operation of PURLs. Our thinking was that part of the reason we were redoing the software was to make improvements to PURLs, and we wanted to impose as few restrictions on that as we could. As we attempted the transition, however, reality collided with our best intentions and we found that changes that seemed quite reasonable had too great an impact on existing users. Working through those issues took quite a bit of work and a lot of testing, but I think we finally managed it.

Probably the most important new feature in PURLs is the ability to create advanced PURLs for which you can control the HTTP status code (e.g. the new 303-See Other redirection code used in the semantic Web). You can also delete PURLs. Once you have done this the PURL is tombstoned so there is a record in the PURL server, even though the PURL no longer is available for redirection.

New Unshelved Book

I'm always happy to see a new Unshelved book. The latest is Reader’s Advisory.
Packed with awesome, Reader’s Advisory is the funniest and best-drawn Unshelved collection yet. If you’ve never bought one of our books this is a great place to start!

Includes daily strips touching on homework help, The Kid Who Wouldn’t Read, volunteers, cat psychics, local authors, emergency drills, library students, cupcakes, and ukuleles. Plus full-color Unshelved Book Clubs and never-before-published Conference Tips. Foreword by Wondermark's David Malki!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Open Library Environment Project Report

News from the Open Library Environment Project.
The Open Library Environment (OLE) Project has posted a draft of its final report. We are excited to offer this report publicly to the community and welcomes comment. As a community-source project, your input is vital to the future and success of the OLE Project. You can access the report at this address:


About the Open Library Environment Project:
With support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, a multinational group of libraries is developing the design for an Open Library Environment (OLE), an alternative to the current model of an Integrated Library System. The goal is to produce 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.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Search and Discovery

The archived version of Defining Web-Scale Discovery: The Promise of a Unified Search Index for Libraries is now available.
“Why can’t I search the library the way Google searches the Web?”

Librarians have been fielding that question for more than a decade as popular general search engines have set new expectations for service, searching and responsiveness. The complexity of multiple formats and the sheer scale of library collections have proven formidable barriers to simple, speedy, single search box interfaces. However, a new technology called a unified search index—the core of the groundbreaker Summon web-scale discovery service—offers the promise of answering that question with “You can.”

Join us for an insightful panel discussion that explores the emerging framework of web-scale discovery and what distinguishes the unified search index from existing library technologies. Expert panelists Marshall Breeding and Eric Lease Morgan will define the unified search index, as well as web-scale discovery – both their mechanics and their impact on library users. This intriguing discussion will examine the library’s new ally in taking back its role as the starting point for research and exposing the expanse of its content riches.

Marshall Breeding, Director for Innovative Technologies and Research for the Jean and Alexander Heard Library at Vanderbilt University

Eric Lease Morgan, Head of the Digital Access and Information Architecture Department, University Libraries of Notre Dame

Andrew Nagy, Senior Discovery Services Engineer, Serials Solutions

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Can Bibliographic Data Be Put Directly Onto the Semantic Web?

Martha M. Yee, Can Bibliographic Data Be Put Directly Onto the Semantic Web? (2009). Information Technology and Libraries. 28 (2), pp. 55-80. Postprint available free.
This paper is a think piece about the possible future of bibliographic control; provides a brief introduction to the semantic web and defines terms pertaining to the it.; discusses granularity and structure issues and the lack of standards for the efficient display and indexing of bibliographic data. It is also a report on a work in progress, an experiment in building an RDF model of more FRBRized cataloging rules than those about to be introduced to the library community (Resource Description and Access or RDA) and the creation of an RDF data model for the rules. I am now in the process of trying to model my cataloging rules in the form of an RDF model; this model can also be inspected at http://myee.bol.ucla.edu. In the process of doing this, I have discovered a number of areas in which I am not sure that RDF is sophisticated enough yet to deal with our data. This article is an attempt to identify some of those areas and explore whether or not the problems I have encountered are soluble, in other words, whether or not our data might be able to live on the semantic web. In this paper, I am focusing on raising the questions about the suitability of RDF to our data that have come up in the course of my work.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

PURL Server News

The PURL Server is being replaced with a new architecture.

During the transition period the ability to Register, Create, or Modify records on this Server will be disabled. If testing of the new release is successful, we will announce a more definite cutover date.

When this new architecture goes into effect some of the purls that were resolved by the old purl server will cause errors on the new system. This is because some of the purls sent to the server are not legitimate urls.

Examples of these illegal purls are: /dc/elements/1.1\\ (trailing illegal characters)

News from OCLC

On August 16, 2009, OCLC plans to implement the changes related to the OCLC-MARC Bibliographic, Authority, and Holdings Formats Update 2009. This will include MARC 21 Updates No. 8 (October 2007) and No. 9 (October 2008), MARC Code List changes since July 2008, and user and OCLC staff suggestions. OCLC Technical Bulletin 257, which presents the details, is now available. Among the points of interest:
  • Defining Videorecording 007/04 (subfield $e) code "s" for Blu-ray Discs.
  • Linking ISSNs (ISSN-L) in bibliographic, authority, and holdings fields 022.
  • Changing field 041 to separately subfield subtitles/captions for moving images (subfield $j).
  • Validating codes for subfield $2 in field 047 (musical form) and 048 (medium of performance) for the respective code lists maintained by IAML (International Association of Music Libraries).
  • Implementing two new Dewey fields: 083 (Additional Dewey Decimal Classification Number) and 085 (Synthesized Classification Number Components).
  • Implementing the repeatable 260 field.
  • Making field 440 obsolete and converting appropriate 4XX/8XX combinations.
  • Defining new subfields in field 502 for dissertation details (degree, school, date, etc.).
  • Implementing new field 542 for Information Relating to Copyright Status.
  • Implementing subfield $0 (zero) for the Authority Record Control Number in 28 bibliographic fields and three authority fields.
Appropriate data conversions will begin following the August installation. Please note that new capabilities, new elements, and new practices cannot be used until after the August installation. See TB 257 for additional details.

Monday, July 20, 2009

NBC Authority Record

Thomas Whittaker posted on AUTOCAT about the strange change to the Authority record for NBC (ARN 432270). Seems it was changed just recently, but maybe not correctly. Other subordinate units of NBC still have the old version, National Broadcasting Company, inc. as the parent organization. I'm waiting to see if anything happens in response to his question before making any changes in my catalog.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Electronic Resources & Libraries

In collaboration with the University of Texas at Austin Libraries, ER&L is excited to announce 2010 conference plans.

The conference will be held February 1 – 3, 2010 at the AT&T Conference Center at the University of Texas at Austin in Austin, Texas, USA. There will be Pre-conference workshops on January 31, 2010.

Early registration (from September 15, 2009 – December 1, 2009) will be $220. More detailed information will soon be posted on the Wiki.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Alternative to Institutional Repositories

BibApp might be an alternative to the traditional IR.
BibApp matches researchers on your campus with their publication data and mines that data to see collaborations and to find experts in research areas. With BibApp, it’s easy to see what publications can be placed on the Web for greater access and impact. BibApp can push those publications directly into an institutional or other repository.
Version 1 is due this summer, it supports tagging and should support COinS and export in RIS format when finished. They are looking for people to help with the development.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Semantic Web 4 Libraries Pipes

Fiona Bradley at Semantic Library has put together a Yahoo Pipes feed of weblogs covering the Semantic Web for libraries.
A while ago now, Jodi Schneider floated the idea of setting up a Planet for Semantic Web and Libraries. I had some trouble with various flavours of the Planet and Venus software, so instead I put something I’m calling a ‘Planet Lite’ together in Yahoo Pipes. Let me know if you like it! And feel free to suggest additional blogs, I have only listed a few to start.

Semantic Web & Libraries ‘Planet Lite’: JSON and RSS also available.

I've subscribed to the RSS feed.

Monday, July 13, 2009

BookServer Specification

A specification is being developed for distribution of books via a catalog, the OpenPub standard.
OpenPub is an initiative of Lexcycle, Adobe, the Internet Archive, and O'Reilly Media to create an Open Publication Distribution System (OPDS) enabling the widespread discovery, description, and access of book and other published material on the open web. OPDS utilizes existing or emergent open standards and conventions such as ATOM with a priority on simplicity and extensibility.
Libraries might have an interest in this. Why are none among the developers?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Podcast Discussing RDFa

The Nodalities folk at Talis have an interesting podcast on RDFa.
In my latest podcast I talk with Mark Birbeck. We discuss the role of RDFa in bringing structure and semantics to HTML web pages, and look at effective examples from the UK Government’s Central Office of Information.

During the conversation, we refer to the following resources;

  • Creative Commons
  • Drupal
  • Dublin Core
  • FOAF
  • HTML
  • Linked Data
  • Microformats
  • N3
  • ODF
  • RDF
  • RDFa
  • Rule Interchange Format
  • W3C
  • XForms
  • XHTML 2.0
  • XML
  • Yahoo! SearchMonkey
This conversation was recorded on Thursday 9 July, 2009.

For other Talis podcasts in this Nodalities series, see here. To subscribe to updates from all of Talis’ podcast series, see here.

BTW Nodalities is on Twitter. I'm following them as LPI_Library.

Thursday, July 09, 2009


OpenMIC is good news for the METS community.
The Rutgers University Libraries are pleased to announce the availability of OpenMIC, a METS-based bibliographic utility for describing and managing resources. OpenMIC is the open source release of the Rutgers University Libraries’ RUCore repository bibliographic utility and will be maintained on the RUcore annual release schedule. Releases will include fixes for known problems and recommendations for enhancements received from internal projects and the user community at large. OpenMIC can be used as a stand alone metadata creation tool or with its companion object and workflow handling utility, OpenWMS, which will be released in fall 2009 and can interact with any repository software for a complete digital object management solution.

OpenMIC includes a complete METS metadata implementation with structure map, descriptive metadata, source metadata, technical metadata and rights metadata documents. OpenMIC incorporates MODS, Dublin Core, MIX (NISO technical metadata for images) AES (technical metadata for sound recordings) and PREMIS.

OpenMIC can be fully customized and managed for use at a single or at multiple institutions in a consortial environment. OpenMIC is currently in use for RUcore, the Rutgers Community Repository, the New Jersey Digital Highway, the statewide cultural heritage portal, and NJVid, the statewide digital video portal.

Features of OpenMIC include:

  • An event-based data model that enables libraries and archives to document significant events in the lifecycle of the resource, including full event description, agents and their roles and associated documentation, in any METS metadata category. For example, a library may create a rights event for a non-exclusive license, with the heir of the resource creator documented as donor and a PDF of the signed license linked as a related object. Events have been used to document exhibits and their curators, preservation activities and condition inventories.
  • The ability to create multiple METS documents and to link METS documents together (e.g., the source document for the analog source used to create a digital preservation copy documented in a technical metadata document)
  • An authentication and authorization module that enables administrators to set permissions at the organization, collection or project level.
  • The ability to determine required data elements and establish templates, based on organization, collection or project.
  • The ability to add taxonomies to any vocabulary-based data element
  • Management options based on single or multiple-organization use
  • Rich metadata for describing analog source objects, digital masters and associated rights.
  • An intuitive user interface that can be customized for simple or complex levels of description depending on the needs of the resource or collection or the expertise of the cataloger.
  • Complete documentation, including a metadata data dictionary.

Save Icon

Just noticed that the Save icon is a floppy. Neither of my kids have ever used a floppy, but I know they have seen an old box of them at some point. I'm not sure they would connect the icon with the item. I know when they think of saving they are not thinking of floppies. Yet the icon persists. It has a life of its own beyond the representation of the long past item.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

OAI2LOD Server

The OAI2LOD Server seems like a useful tool if you are running an OAI repository.
The OAI2LOD Server exposes any OAI-PMH compliant metadata repository according to the Linked Data guidelines. This makes things and media objects accessible via HTTP URIs and query able via the SPARQL protocol. Parts of the OAI2LOD architecture, especially the front-end, are based on the D2R Server implementation.

Further, it provides a configurable linking mechanism based on string similarity metrics. This allows the automatic linking of OAI-PMH data with other open data sets such as DBPedia or any other OAI-PMH repository exposed via the OAI2LOD Server.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

MARC in Germany

Powerpoint slides and videos for "Umstieg auf MARC 21" Symposium MARC-ing a new landscape in data exchange are now available.
In June 2009, the project "Internationalisierung der deutschen Standards: Umstieg auf MARC 21" completed the groundwork for the full implementation of the data exchange format MARC 21 in Germany and Austria.

To mark the successful conclusion of this migration project, the German National Library hold a symposium on June 2, 2009 in Frankfurt am Main. The objective of this meeting was to exchange expertise and ideas with the aim of promoting the use of MARC 21 as a foundation of international interoperability in the library world.

  • We are in the game - German and Austrian libraries in the international MARC community / Reinhold Heuvelmann
  • MAB, UNIMARC und MARC 21 - use of three standards in BSZ / Cornelia Katz
  • The challenge of cataloguing in a MARC-based system / Gabriele MeƟmer
  • After thoughts / Sally McCallum
  • MARC 21, RDA, and the FRBR and FRAD models ... making the connections / Tom Delsey
  • Mapping RDA to MARC 21 / Margaret Stewart
  • Expectations / Sally McCallum
The talks are in English. How many conferences in the USA could be held in another language? It always impresses me that others are so competent.