Friday, May 28, 2010

ID.LOC.GOV Web Service Enhancements

Seal of the United States Library of Congress....Image via Wikipedia

News from LC about enhancements of the web service.
The Library of Congress is pleased to announce the enhancement of its ID.LOC.GOV web service, Authorities and Vocabularies, which provides access to Library of Congress standards and vocabularies as Linked Data. In addition to technological refinements aimed at improving the user experience, we now offer additional vocabularies:
  • Thesaurus of Graphic Materials
  • MARC Code List for Relators
  • Cryptographic Hash Functions
  • Preservation Events
  • Preservation Level Role
The latter three are in support of preservation and technical metadata schemes. The vocabulary data are available for bulk download. Additional vocabularies will be added in the future, including (among others) the MARC code lists for geographic areas, countries and languages and additional PREMIS controlled vocabularies.

The Authorities and Vocabularies web service was first made available in May 2009 and offered the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), the Library's initial entry into the Linked Data movement. In part by assigning each vocabulary and each data value within it a unique resource identifier (URI), the service provides a means for machines to semantically access, use, and harvest authority and vocabulary data that adheres to W3C recommendations, such as Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS). In this way, the Authorities and Vocabularies web service also makes government data publicly and freely available in the spirit of the Open Government directive. Although the primary goal of the service is to enable machine access to Library of Congress data, a web interface serves human users searching and browsing the vocabularies.

We are very interested to get feedback on the uses and usefulness of the service to inform ways that we might enhance it. (There is a comment form at the site.).

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Additions to Source Codes for Vocabularies, Rules, and Schemes

The source code listed below has been recently approved. The code will be added to applicable Source Codes for Vocabularies, Rules, and Schemes lists. See the specific source code list for current usage in MARC fields and MODS/MADS elements.

The code should not be used in exchange records until 60 days after the date of this notice to provide implementers time to include newly-defined codes in any validation tables. Genre/Form Code and Term Source Codes

The following source code has been added to the Genre/Form Code and Term Source Codes list for usage in appropriate fields and elements.

Library of Congress genre/form terms for library and archival materials (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, Cataloging Distribution Service)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

W3C Library Linked Data Incubator Group

W3C logoImage via Wikipedia

The W3C has announced the establishment of the Library Linked Data Incubator Group.
The mission of the Library Linked Data incubator group is to help increase global interoperability of library data on the Web, by bringing together people involved in Semantic Web activities—focusing on Linked Data—in the library community and beyond, building on existing initiatives, and identifying collaboration tracks for the future.

The group will explore how existing building blocks of librarianship, such as metadata models, metadata schemas, standards and protocols for building interoperability and library systems and networked environments, encourage libraries to bring their content, and generally re-orient their approaches to data interoperability towards the Web, also reaching to other communities. It will also envision these communities as a potential major provider of authoritative datasets (persons, topics...) for the Linked Data Web. As these evolutions raise a need for a shared standardization effort within the library community around (Semantic) Web standards, the group will refine the knowledge of this need, express requirements for standards and guidelines, and propose a way forward for the library community to contribute to further Web standardization actions.

Information on how to participate is at the Web site.

More mobile apps built with the WorldCat Search API

News from OCLC.

The WorldCat Search API and WorldCat Registry APIs have been busy! There are two free iPhone apps that use the two APIs that you might be interested in:


Image: Pic2shop

A barcode scanning app for iPhone called pic2shop now includes local library results thanks to Vision Smarts, a technology company based in Belgium. Pic2shop helps you compare costs at various retailers and now local libraries. A free download through Apple’s iTunes App store, pic2shop works in all countries and they’re working on translations and platforms beyond iPhone. See screen shots and a YouTube video on the WorldCat blog about it ››

Book Bazaar

Image: Book Bazaar iPhone app

Another free iPhone app is also available now called Book Bazaar. Developed by Bayview Labs in Mountain View, CA, With Book Bazaar, you type in a title, author, keyword or ISBN to compare prices for books at online or local bookstores, and now libraries. Developer Rizwan Virk says, “Book Bazaar is made for book lovers who want to find a specific book right away. The best and easiest way to find a book is at a local library, and so we want to support local libraries as much as possible.” Available for U.S. users at the moment, download Book Bazaar in the iTunes App store.

Monday, May 24, 2010

MARCView and MARConvert Released as Open Source Software

OCLC has released MARCView and MARConvert as open source software.
OCLC and Systems Planning are pleased to announce the donation of MARCView™ and MARConvert™ to OCLC, and OCLC's release of MARCView™ and MARConvert™ as open source software under the Apache 2.0 license.

MARCView™ and MARConvert™ software, developed by Systems Planning of Bethesda, Maryland, USA, are widely-used applications designed to assist librarians and developers working with MARC records. MARCView™ provides a user-friendly interface to navigate and display individual MARC, MARCXML and UNIMARC records. MARConvert™ supports the conversion of bibliographic or authority records into or out of MARC21, UNIMARC or MARCXML and can also convert MARC records from one character set to another.

Stephen Toney, President and Chief Technology Officer of Systems Planning, donated the software to OCLC. The MARCView™ and MARConvert™ source code has been added to OCLC's open source repository, and the library developer community is encouraged to maintain and enhance the services.

Blacklight Version 2.5 Released

Blacklight version 2.5 has just been released on GitHub. Blacklight is:
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.

Linked Data Webinar

Instance linkages within the Linking Open Data...Image via Wikipedia

OCLC Research is hosting a free Webinar on Linked Data, 27 May 2010 at 2 pm EDT.
Linked Data is a hot topic. It provides a mechanism to expose library data in a way that is understandable to non-librarians, thereby facilitating community development of services that go beyond traditional library resources and creatively exploit library data in valuable new ways.

In this webinar, OCLC senior research scientist Ralph LeVan will explain what Linked Data is about and how OCLC produces it, using examples from VIAF (The Virtual International Authority File). He will also discuss topics such as Real World Objects, Generic Documents, Content Negotiation and RDF. In addition, he'll discuss the Open Source infrastructure OCLC uses to make this happen, and which you can use to expose data in a text database like Lucene.

Webinar participation is free and open to all but advanced registration is required.