Friday, October 30, 2009

Study of the North American MARC Records Marketplace released

"In January 2009, the Library of Congress (LC) contracted with R2 Consulting LLC (R2) to investigate and describe current approaches to the creation and distribution of MARC records in US and Canadian libraries. The primary focus is on the economics of existing practice, in effect mapping the “marketplace” for cataloging records, including incentives for and barriers to production. The underlying question is whether sufficient cataloging capacity exists in North America, and how that capacity is distributed. This project was designed to be descriptive rather than prescriptive, seeking to understand in detail the ways in which cataloging records are produced and distributed, as well as who bears the costs and who realizes the value. "

The LC study is available at:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Law Library of Congress launches Twitter feed

On Oct. 22, 2009, Matt Raymond posted an announcement on the Library of Congress blog that the Law Library of Congress has launched a Twitter feed ( According to the Law Library, the Twitter feed is intended to "engage Members of Congress, their staff, other law libraries, students, professors, librarians, and researchers. … It will also serve as a venue for feedback on our material." View the announcement at:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Data, Data Everywhere: Migration and System Population Practices (NISO November Webinar)

The scope and scale of metadata repositories continues to grow, with increasingly heterogeneous data and complexity both on the ingest side (e.g., bibliographic metadata) and in inter- and intra-organizational exchange of usage, patron, purchase, and accounting data. While data format and exchange standards are a given, how do policies, implementations, and standards interact? What are some examples of effective alignment of standards, policies and implementation, and what challenges remain?

These issues and more will be discussed at NISO's November webinar, Data, Data Everywhere: Migration and System Population Practices, to be held on November 11, 2009 from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. (Eastern Time). Specific topics include:

·       Data quality, policy, and large-scale data flows - How do regional consortia establish and implement policies to allow them to cope with increasing amounts of data in a widening variety of formats?

·       Academic library perspective - Individual research libraries provide local, customized services for their audiences that are based upon large quantities of data—hopefully of high quality and supported by easy-to-use tools and processes provided by vendors and consortia. What are the successes, stress points, and failures from the perspective of the academic library?

·       Vendor perspective - The integrated library system remains the central repository of metadata, usage data, and business data for all types of libraries. As the ILS evolves to interact with electronic resource management systems, link resolvers, and other external systems and repositories, how are commercial vendors aligning standards, policies, and implementations? Where do library and vendor interests intersect and conflict? 

For more information and to register, visit the event webpage. Registration is per site (access for one computer) and includes access to the online recorded archive of the webinar for one year. NISO and NASIG members receive a discounted member rate. A student discount is also available.


Monday, October 26, 2009

2nd ed. of the MARC Record Guide for Monograph Aggregator Vendors is now available

The new 2nd ed. of the MARC Record Guide for Monograph Aggregator Vendors is now available at:

The Provider-Neutral E-Monograph MARC Record Guide was approved by the Program for Cooperative Cataloging and OCLC in 2009. The provider-neutral record is defined as a single bibliographic record that covers all equivalent manifestations of an online monograph. Manifestations are considered equivalent if their format and their content are essentially the same, based on clues from the author, title, edition, publishing information, and physical description. Moving to the provider-neutral model puts the emphasis on the content of the resource. Other information such as individual database names, individual e-package names, publishers or third party aggregators that had formerly been entered into the bibliographic records to distinguish different versions should be coded only in appropriate fields in the local version of the record following this guide.

(from George Prager's message on TS-SIS list)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Permanent Usability Team in Libraries

Nichols, Jane, Alison M. Bobal, and Susan McEvoy. "Using a Permanent Usability Team to Advance User-Centered Design in Libraries" Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship 10(2)(Summer 2009)(


Usability, user studies, and evaluating user experiences have been a part of academic libraries for many years. In the last 20 years libraries have created ad hoc usability teams to do user studies. Oregon State University (OSU) Libraries started its ongoing team in 2006, resulting in an increased focus on user experience throughout the libraries. This article explores the team’s history from formation to work it took on. The merits and challenges usability teams bring to an organization are also discussed. To date the literature describes usability methods and shares findings from libraries’ usability studies but none discusses benefits a standing usability team brings to a library organization or the work it may do.

NISO to Undertake Gap Analysis of ERM-related Data and Standards

New Working Group to Report Results and Recommendations for Next Steps

Baltimore, MD - July 1, 2009 - NISO is pleased to announce the approval of a new work item to focus on Electronic Resource Management (ERM) Data Standards Review. The proposal for this new work was reviewed and approved by NISO's Business Information Topic Committee which will now create a working group to undertake a review and gap analysis of ERM-related data and standards. Following the analysis, the working group will make recommendations regarding the future of the ERMI data dictionary within the context of the broader electronic resource management landscape, to be delivered in a report to the Business Information Topic Committee and made publicly available.

This project is an outgrowth of the Digital Library Federation's Electronic Resource Management Initiative (ERMI), first begun in 2002. A second phase of the Initiative was completed in late 2008. In follow-up discussions between Todd Carpenter, NISO's Managing Director, and Peter Brantley, Executive Director of DLF, regarding the future of ERMI, NISO agreed to perform a needs assessment with respect to ERMI and broader ERM-related data needs and standards, and to assume any appropriate maintenance responsibilities. A subgroup of NISO's Business Information Topic Committee, comprised of committee members Tim Jewell (Director, Information Resources and Scholarly Communication, University of Washington Libraries) and Ivy Anderson (Director of Collections, California Digital Library), was tasked with surveying this landscape to determine what, if any, further steps should be undertaken by NISO. This new project is an outcome of the ERMI landscape review and proposes next steps in this area. "This is the perfect time for an ERM data standards review-not only will it provide a much-needed assessment of the current state, but it will allow a formal mechanism for hearing from the different communities on where clarification, improvement, or further investigation is needed," commented Topic Committee co-chair Kathleen Folger (Senior Associate Librarian, University of Michigan Library). Added co-chair Helen Szigeti (Business Development Manager, HighWire Press, Stanford University), "This is key if we are going to accurately identify how NISO can best assist with next steps in this area of business information development work."

The analysis will begin with a review of the ERMI data dictionary as it presently exists, and a mapping of ERMI data elements to those within relevant standards-related projects (e.g., CORE, SUSHI, ONIX-PL, etc.). Vendors, libraries using ERM systems, and other identified stakeholders will then be consulted via surveys and/or more in-depth interviews to solicit additional feedback.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Register to attend the free "RDA and OCLC" webinar

Register to attend the "RDA and OCLC" webinar.

RDA, Resource Description and Access, is the new cataloging standard that will replace AACR2. RDA offers libraries the potential to change significantly how bibliographic data is created and used. The RDA publication is scheduled for formal release later this year. To help you learn more, OCLC is offering a webinar titled, "RDA and OCLC."

During the no-cost, live webinar you'll learn about:

  • Ongoing work at OCLC that relates to RDA concepts, including bibliographic relationships, linked data and mappings to and from other data structures 
  • OCLC's involvement in the development and testing of RDA
  • Work being done at OCLC to support implementation of RDA
  • Other resources that will help you prepare for the implementation of RDA

Choose the date and time that's most convenient for you and register to attend one of the sessions listed below.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009, 11:00 AM Eastern Time

Register: < >

Friday, October 30, 2009, 1:00 PM Eastern Time

Register: < >

More information about RDA is available on the Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA Web site, the OCLC Web site and on Metalogue, a cataloguing and metadata blog: < >

(Posted on OBS- and TS-SIS lists from OCLC)


Thursday, October 8, 2009

NISO Newsline - October 2009

This week, the IPRES group held its Sixth International Conference on Preservation of Digital Objects in San Francisco, hosted by the California Digital Library. The program—which looks at traditional and non-traditional media, such as blogs, IRs, and research data—is just one example of the need for continued support for preservation and highlights the number of good approaches worthy of formalization and promotion as best practices in the community. We'll have a report on the meeting from Priscilla Caplan in the Fall issue of Information Standards Quarterly (ISQ).


Finding out about new projects and effective approaches to digital preservation provides us with some clues forward. For example, just last week Roger Schonfeld & Ross Housewright at Ithaka S+R, the strategy and research arm of ITHAKA, published a research report on What to Withdraw? Print Collections Management in the Wake of Digitization. This interesting report presents libraries with a framework for selecting print titles that may reasonably be withdrawn from their collections, while addressing the potential impact on long-term preservation. The report concludes: "For journal collections that are available digitally, the online version provides for virtually all access needs, leaving print versions to serve a preservation role and therefore be required in far fewer numbers." However, because many publishers still rely on the print-and-online revenue mix, actions by the library community to cancel print versions would certainly have a financial impact on publishers. In some ways, the argument for preservation copies was among the last bastions for a robust print collection. This report questions those presumptions and many libraries, whose budgets and space needs are squeezed, will find some comfort in this report's recommendations. Publishers, unfortunately, won't.


The role of preservation by libraries, particularly for that content which is "born digital"—without a print counterpart—has been increasingly visible recently. In August, we touched briefly on the proposed change to the Library of Congress's mandatory deposit rules for online-only content. Initial feedback to the ruling has been submitted from a broad range of stakeholders—publishers, libraries, software developers, photographers, and creators of musical works—and is available on the Copyright Office website. The Office has extended its final deadline for receipt of comments until October 16th. I encourage you to take a look at the comments already submitted, which provide much food for thought on the preservation issues for this electronic only content.


These cross-cutting projects all have a central theme: the need for community best practices and improved preservation standards for digital content. The publishing industry was quick to note that the preservation of the "long tail" of content would require significant standardization and best practices. In many ways, standardizing around some common file formats, such as NISO's newly approved Standardized Markup for Journal Articles project (based on what is commonly known as the NLM DTD) will go a long way toward facilitating both preservation and long-term access to journal content. Other standards are also addressing file formats, such as the International Digital Publishing Forum's EPUB standard for e-books and similar content. While there is no expectation that every publisher will use the same production formats, narrowing them down to several standardized options will help to solve some of the problems that preservation of content presents. Certainly, there are other areas—such as packaging, metadata, and digital rights management—that need some work in order for us to find more comprehensive solutions. But, with the work underway at NISO and in the community at large, we'll be a step closer to addressing some of these bigger issues.

Todd Carpenter

Managing Director


BIBCO Standard Record Approved

The PCC Policy Committee (PoCo) has approved the creation of a BIBCO Standard Record (BSR) for monographic materials. The requirements for the BSR for monographs were laid out in the final report of the Task Group on BIBCO Standard Record Requirements, available from the PCC Website at:

The Policy Committee will be discussing the details of BSR implementation at its upcoming meeting (November 5 and 6, 2009) at the Library of Congress. The PoCo will also consider the process of creating BSR guidelines for other formats. Details will be forthcoming after the November meetings in Washington.

Posted on AUTOCAT by:

Anthony R.D. Franks
Head, Cooperative Programs Section
Cooperative and Instructional Programs Division
Library of Congress
202-707-2822 (voice)
202-252-2082 (fax)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

New Company SkyRiver Sparks Cataloging Competition with OCLC

Will budget-conscious libraries embrace a lower-cost alternative for their bibliographic services?

A new company called SkyRiver has launched a bibliographic utility, directly challenging long-dominant OCLC. Over the last 18 years, strategic acquisitions by OCLC have narrowed competition, but SkyRiver—founded by Jerry Kline, the owner and co-founder of Innovative Interfaces—aims to expand the market and offer an alternative bibliographic utility for cataloging that could save libraries up to 40 percent off their expenditures for bibliographic services.

SkyRiver is already fully operational, with a few libraries engaged as development partners. While the company has not disclosed the names of the participating libraries, at least one is a member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). 

Some of the libraries are expected to go into full production with SkyRiver in mid-October, shifting away from their current bibliographic services. In January 2010, the company will begin broadly marketing its service.

Read the full article by Marshall Breeding here.

Monday, October 5, 2009

GPO Administrative Notes Technical Supplement Has Now Ceased as a Printed Publication

The final issue (November-December 2008) of the Administrative Notes Technical Supplement (ANTS) is being distributed to Federal depository libraries in an upcoming shipment box (as reported on the FDLP website on 9/30/09). ANTS has now ceased as a printed publication. 

The information that was disseminated in ANTS will be available online only in the new WEBTech Notes application.The new WEBTech Notes application is in the final stages of development and will be released from beta in the next few weeks. The final release of the application will feature real-time additions and modifications to records.

In the meantime, the November-December 2008 issue of ANTS can be found online and the legacy WEBTech Notes data is available as anxls file.


Z39.50 Download Limit Increased for Download/Retrieval of records from the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP), effective 10/1/09

Library Services and Content Management (LSCM) is pleased to announce a ninety-day pilot that increases the z39.50 per session limit to 10,000 for download and retrieval of records from the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP), effective October 1, 2009. The existing z39.50 password will remain in place for the duration of the pilot.

The pilot is an incremental step in increasing access to bibliographic records in the CGP via z39.50, raising the per session limit for depository libraries. For the length of the pilot, LSCM automation librarians will closely monitor the effect of the ten-fold limit increase on the ILS servers. Although this is not anticipated, the pilot can be ended at any time should the ILS servers show extreme adverse effects from the increase in activity.

Z39.50 Frequently Asked Questions with configuration and password information can be found on the FDLP Desktop.


LCRI Revisions for MARC 21 Changes implemented Sept. 1, 2009

This was implemented last month, so I post simply to place notification on the blog:

Changes in the 4XX field in the MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data include making the 440 field obsolete, redefining the first indicator in the 490 field, and adding subfield $3. These changes are reflected in the revision of six Library of Congress rule interpretations (LCRIs), accessible via the links below. New subfields are also being defined for the 520 field (Summary, etc.); a revised LCRI for this change is also available below. All revised LCRIs will be part of the next LCRI update. These changes to the MARC 21 format will be implemented at the Library of Congress on Sept. 1, 2009.