Saturday, July 04, 2009

Copyright Gone Crazy

This sounds too crazy to be true.
As part of a ploy to squeeze more money out of mobile phone companies, the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) has told a federal court that each time a phone rings in a public place, the phone user has violated copyright law. Therefore, ASCAP argues, phone carriers must pay additional royalties or face legal liability for contributing to what they claim is cell phone users' copyright infringement.
Emphasis added. More info at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Report and Recommendations for Moving Image Works, Part 3a: Operational Definitions

News from OLAC.
CAPC's Moving Image Work-Level Records Task Force has completed a draft of its report and recommendations for operational definitions for a sample of five attributes of or roles needed for moving image work/primary expression records.

We started out with the intention to simply write definitions for each term. However, while thinking about these pieces of information in the context of a shared, online database, we decided that it would be useful to investigate at least some types of "data about data" and to consider how we might be able to accommodate different types of data (e.g., both identifiers and textual strings) and deal with different levels of data reliability. We have tried to explain our reasoning and process in the introductory section. We do not believe that this draft has reached its final form yet, but we do think that we have come to a point where it would be useful to get feedback from a larger group on the perceived viability of our general approach. To evaluate the document, you may find it helpful to attempt to create a few sample records using these guidelines.

This section will also include an annotated list of potential sources for work-level information. The secondary sources section is not quite complete, but we hope to issue a draft in the near future.

The draft report is available on the OLAC web site as Part 3a. We will take comments and suggestions on the draft through Friday, July 31.

Comments are sought.


The Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) of the American Library Association (ALA) has released Fiber to the Library: How Public Libraries Can Benefit from Using Fiber Optics for their Broadband Internet Connections It "articulates the benefits of fiber optic technology for public libraries and strategies to obtain such fiber connectivity. An important goal of this policy brief is to help applicants include “fiber to the library” in their federal broadband stimulus funding proposals under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)."

My local library, Helen Hall, is receiving Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant funds to get a new cooling system.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Cataloging & Classification Quarterly

Call for Papers....

Cataloging & Classification Quarterly

CCQ welcomes the submission of research, theory, and practice papers relevant to the broad field of bibliographic organization.

This journal, published now 8 times a year by Taylor & Francis, LLC, is respected as an international forum that emphasizes research and review articles, description of new programs and technologies relevant to cataloging and classification, and considered speculative articles on improved methods of bibliographic control for the future.

Articles are particularly welcome in areas dealing with research-based cataloging practice, including user behavior, user needs and benefits.

Authors are encouraged to submit manuscripts via email with attached word document to the Editor, Sandra K. Roe, Bibliographic Services Librarian, Illinois State University (email:

Special Issues
Colleagues interested in guest editing a special issue or expanded double issue are invited to contact the Editor with a general proposal, tentative schedule, and CVs. Previous special issues have included:
  • Metadata and Open Access Repositories (Michael Babinec and Holly Mercer, Guest Editors)
  • Bibliographic Database Quality (Jeffrey Beall and Stephen Hearn, Guest Editors)
  • The Intellectual and Professional World of Cataloging (Qiang Jin, Guest Editor)
  • Knitting the Semantic Web (Jane Greenberg and Eva Méndez, Guest Editor)
  • Cataloger, Editor and Scholar: Essays in Honor of Ruth C. Carter (Robert Holley, Guest Editor)
Annual Best Paper Award
Taylor & Francis sponsors an annual prize for CCQ with a small financial stipend for the Best Paper of the Year.

Free Print Sample
A free print specimen copy may be obtained by sending an email to <>

For More Details
Further details may be found at the CCQ home page.

von Braun Collection

Digital librarians and archivists might be interested in this. NASA is seeking ideas on how to analyze and catalog notes from Wernher von Braun into an electronic system.
On the eve of the 40th anniversary of the historic first moon landing, NASA is seeking ideas from the public, academia, and industry about how to analyze and catalog notes from spaceflight pioneer Wernher von Braun into an electronic, searchable database or other system.

Von Braun was the first director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., and a key figure in the development of the Saturn V rocket and NASA's Apollo program. NASA has a full collection of "Weekly Notes" von Braun wrote during the 1960s and 1970s. These notes were used to track programmatic and institutional issues at Marshall, and are considered by many historians to be a valuable source of data.

NASA has issued a request for information and is looking for concepts that will provide an innovative resource for agency engineers and scientists, as well as researchers in academia

Geospatial Information in MODS

The MODS Editorial Committee is looking for community input on geospatial information in MODS.
In considering changes for future versions of MODS, the MODS/MADS Editorial Committee is starting to think about how to better handle geospatial information. Detailed geospatial information in the form of coordinates, etc. is becoming more and more common and can promote many innovative user interactions with resources. Currently MODS has poor support for this information.

The committee would like to bring together use cases for supporting geospatial access to resources from MODS and/or MADS implementations. We are interested both in use cases that you already have in your MODS/MADS implementation and that any local geospatial experts you have access to can provide, to help us inform how MODS and/or MADS should evolve to better handle this information. It should be noted this discussion came to the Editorial Committee from the more specific geospatial elements (latitude/longitude, equinox/epoch) in RDA, although we want to look beyond RDA for guidance in this decision.

So far, we have identified the following use cases for geospatial data:
  • To allow resources with a geospatial component (interpreted widely) to be plotted on an interactive map-based interface
  • Interactively overlaying different maps, including aerial photographs, digitized historic maps, and current maps in a GIS environment
  • To index coordinate data about the geographic coverage of a resource for retrieval purposes
  • To index coordinate data about the geographic origin of a resource for retrieval purposes
What others can you provide?

Are there more specific use cases both for geospatial *coverage* (what a resource is about or represents) and geospatial *origin* (where a resource is from, for example, a soil sample)? This distinction seems important but it would be useful to understand what is done differently in each case.

There is some question as to whether the appropriate place for this information is MODS or MADS - thoughts on this issue? Should MODS/MADS be looking to embedding or referencing other standards for this information, and, if so, which and where? What is the best balance between functionality (and potentially complexity) and ease of creation/maintenance/use?

We look forward to hearing discussion on this issue - it's a complex but important one that will benefit from community contribution.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Linked Data

A couple of articles on linked data.

Linked Data - The Story So Far by Christian Bizer, Tom Heath, and Tim Berners-Lee

The term Linked Data refers to a set of best practices for publishing and connecting structured data on the Web. These best practices have been adopted by an increasing number of data providers over the last three years, leading to the creation of a global data space containing billions of assertions - the Web of Data. In this article we present the concept and technical principles of Linked Data, and situate these within the broader context of related technological developments. We describe progress to date in publishing Linked Data on the Web, review applications that have been developed to exploit the Web of Data, and map out a research agenda for the Linked Data community as it moves forward.
DBpedia - A Crystallization Point for the Web of Data by Christian Bizer, Jens Lehmann, Georgi Kobilarov, Soren Auer, Christian Becker, Richard Cyganiak and Sebastian Hellmann
The DBpedia project is a community effort to extract structured information from Wikipedia and to make this information accessible on the Web. The resulting DBpedia knowledge base currently describes over 2.6 million entities. For each of these entities, DBpedia defines a globally unique identifier that can be dereferenced over the Web into a rich RDF description of the entity, including human-readable definitions in 30 languages, relationships to other resources, classifications in four concept hierarchies, various facts as well as data-level links to other Web data sources describing the entity. Over the last year, an increasing number of data publishers have begun to set data-level links to DBpedia resources, making DBpedia a central interlinking hub for the emerging Web of data. Currently, the Web of interlinked data sources around DBpedia provides approximately 4.7 billion pieces of information and covers domains such as geographic information, people, companies, films, music, genes, drugs, books, and scientific publications. This article describes the extraction of the DBpedia knowledge base, the current status of interlinking DBpedia with other data sources on the Web, and gives an overview of applications that facilitate the Web of Data around DBpedia.


The latest issue of SCATNews, the newsletter of the IFLA Cataloguing Section, is now available.

Functional Requirements for Authority Data

IFLA has a new book available, Functional Requirements for Authority Data: A Conceptual Model.
This book represents one portion of the extension and expansion of the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records. FRBR has been published as Nr 19 in the present Series. It contains a further analysis of attributes of various entities that are the centre of focus for authority data (persons, families, corporate bodies, works, expressions, manifestations, items, concepts, objects, events, and places), the name by which these entities are known, and the controlled access points created by cataloguers for them. The conceptual model describes the attributes of these entities and the relationships between them.