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 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.