Friday, December 17, 2010

FirstSearch database reports now COUNTER-compliant

OCLC FirstSearch database reports are now COUNTER-compliant, having passed a standards compliance audit for Counting Online Usage for Networked Electronic Resources (COUNTER). OCLC has provided usage statistics for FirstSearch databases for many years. In response to requests from member libraries, OCLC COUNTER reports are now available to help members more easily meet certain requirements within their institutions. COUNTER provides usage statistics reports that allow libraries to compare database usage across vendor platforms in a consistent, credible and compatible manner. OCLC’s COUNTER reports measure journal use within databases, including download methods, database use at the session and search level, turn-aways and service use. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

ARL 2030 Scenarios

The ARL 2030 Scenarios: A User's Guide for Research Libraries. Washington, DC: Association of Research Libraries, October 2010. At:
Designed to serve as a resource for ARL member libraries to explore scenario planning, this guide contains four possible futures of research environments in 2030. Scenario planning, used widely in other sectors and industries, is a strategy-related methodology for identifying and engaging with uncertainty and applying the results to organizational planning. ARL is planning to continue its scenario project and develop workshops and other resources to support members’ use of the scenarios. As further support is developed, information will be provided at the project’s website at

Monday, December 6, 2010

Guidelines for the Assignment of ISBNs to E-books

The International ISBN Agency has issued a set of guidelines and FAQs to assist national ISBN agencies, publishers, intermediaries and other interested parties in the appropriate identification of digital publications, including "apps." 

You can access the guidelines here:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Status of the US RDA Test

The record creation phase of the US RDA Implementation test has passed the halfway point. The 26 participating institutions have completed over 55% of the common set records and created more than 2,700 additional RDA bibliographic records.

Beginning in January 2011, the US RDA Test Coordinating Committee will analyze the test results and prepare a report with recommendations for their respective senior managers at the Library of Congress (LC), the National Agricultural Library (NAL), and the National Library of Medicine (NLM). The goal is to complete the recommendation phase in March 2011. The senior managers will issue a public report by June 2011.

Background on the RDA Implementation Test
What is being tested and why?
RDA: Resource Description and Access is the content standard for cataloging superseding the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd ed. In 2008, the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control recommended to the Joint Steering Committee that further new developmental work on RDA be suspended.

That did not occur and consequently LC, NAL, and NLM jointly determined that testing based on objective facts was an essential prerequisite to a decision about adopting RDA. LC, NAL, NLM, and 23 partnering institutions are the formal, official test participants. Further details are available at (

What questions are we answering?
The test has been designed to answer the following sorts of questions:
· Does RDA meet its announced goals?
· What is user reaction to the records?
· What is the economic impact?
. What is the impact on library operations?
. What are the direct costs?
. What are the training impact and costs?

What are the possible decisions?
There are four possible outcomes:
· Do not implement RDA
· Postpone implementation until certain changes are made
· Implement RDA
· Implement RDA with specific recommended changes or policy decisions for US libraries

I’m not a formal participant how can I share my opinions and any RDA records created?The US RDA Test Coordinating Committee has developed an online survey to gather information from informal testers and others who are not part of the testing process. It is available at:

From: Autocat, 12/1/2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thomas Mann on the importance of subject headings

Syracuse Library School student Joshua Kitlas has posted a short, informative interview of Library of Congress reference librarian Thomas Mann on his blog, Kitlas. Mann touches on how important Library of Congress subject headings are to the reference librarian, and how social tagging will never fill that need.

There is so much more to search than Google or OCLC.
You need to see relationships between subjects and their headings. Tags
by users are simply no substitute. They’re okay as supplements to
controlled vocabularies but not substitutes.
There’s a need to go beyond the internet and look at the systems
librarians and publishers have developed that are not accessible by
Google or the other engines.

It's an interesting view that maybe Google may not be able to replace the tools that librarians and publishers have created over the years.


LC seeks feedback on MADS/RDF vocabulary description

The Library of Congress has developed a new owl ontology to make available the data commonly found in LC authority records.

MADS/RDF provides a means to represent the detailed information embedded in common LIS authority records. . . .MADS/RDF is a more specifically defined data model to represent the complexities of authority data. In part because MADS/RDF derives, ultimately, from the MARC Authority format, it is expected that MADS/RDF will be of greatest interest to the LIS community, though it may also be of interest to non-library applications. It provides a means to not only capture information regularly found in LIS authority records but also represent authority data as it has come to be expected by those working in the LIS community. MADS/RDF is designed to complement SKOS and, as such, is formally mapped to the SKOS/RDF vocabulary to be used for inferencing purposes or data exchange between a MADS/RDF user and a SKOS user. 

Public comment period closes January 14, 2011. Documentation and ontology available here.

From Catalogablog

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A coder looks at MARC

Jason Thomale has written an interesting article,  Interpreting MARC: Where’s the Bibliographic Data?  in the latest issue of Code4Lib Journal. In it he discusses realizing that MARC, first imagined in 1966, dates from before 44 years of rapid technological change. Even more important is the fact that MARC was created not to store bibliographic date, but to replicate catalog cards:
Its original purpose was to automate the processes and tasks of a 1950s/60s technical services department—i.e., the creation and printing of catalog cards
 Now, as we prepare, maybe,  to move on from MARC, it's interesting to look at it for the innovation it as.

From Catalogablog

Friday, November 12, 2010

Spelling and Search Behavior in OPACs

Willson, Rebekah, and Lisa Given. "The effect of spelling and retrieval system familiarity on search behavior in online public access catalogs: A mixed methods study" Journal of the American Society for Information Science & Technology 61(12) (December 2010). At:

From the Abstract:

This study examines the search behaviors of 38 university students, divided into groups with either easy-to-spell or difficult-to-spell search terms, who were asked to find items in the OPAC with these search terms. Search behaviors and strategy use in the OPAC and on the World Wide Web (WWW) were examined. In general, students used familiar Web resources to check their spelling or discover more about the assigned topic. Students with difficult-to-spell search terms checked spelling more often, changed search strategies to look for the general topic and had fewer successful searches. Students unable to find the correct spelling of a search term were unable to complete their search. Students tended to search the OPAC as they would search a search engine, with few search terms or complex search strategies. The results of this study have implications for spell checking, user-focused OPAC design, and cataloging. Students' search behaviors are discussed by expanding Thatcher's (2006) Information-Seeking Process and Tactics for the WWW model to include OPACs.

Apps Use on Cell Phones

Purcell, Kristen, Roger Entner, and Nichole Henderson. The Rise of Apps Culture. Washington, DC: The Pew Research Center Internet & American Life Project, 2010. At:

This report summaries a national survey conducted by the Pew Internet Project among adult cell phone users about the use of apps on their cell phone. According to the report, 35% of U.S. adults have cell phones with apps, but only two-thirds of those who have apps actually use them. App users are younger, more educated and affluent than other cell phone users. App use still ranks low compared to other non-voice cell phone data applications such as taking pictures and texting.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

New Library Technologies Dispense With Librarians

In the Hugo, Minn., suburb of St. Paul, the new library branch has no librarians, no card catalog and no comfortable chairs in which to curl up and read. Instead, when patrons want a book or DVD, they order it online and pick it up from a digitally locked, glove-compartment-sized cubby a few days later from Library Express, a stack of metal lockers outside city hall.  


Faced with layoffs and budget cuts, or simply looking for ways to expand their reach, libraries around the country are considering innovative ways to replace traditional, full-service institutions with devices and strategies that may be redefining what it means to have a library.  Later this year Mesa, Ariz., plans to open a new "express" library in a strip-mall, open three days a week, with outdoor kiosks to dispense books and DVDs at all hours of the day. Meanwhile, Palm Harbor, Fla., has offset the impact of reduced hours by installing glass-front vending machines that dispense DVDs and popular books.    


To read more about this or to hear an audio interview with Wall Street Journal reporter Conor Dougherty speaking on the library of tomorrow and what's behind the shift, log onto the Wall Street Journal at:

Monday, November 1, 2010

Questionnaire for U.S. Individuals/Libraries Who Want to Comment on RDA

Now Available: Questionnaire for U.S. Individuals/Libraries Who Want to Comment on RDA

The U.S. RDA Test Coordinating Committee would welcome comments from individuals or libraries in the U.S. who are not formal or informal Test participants, whether they did or did not create RDA records.

The Committee has designed an online questionnaire available at URL Note that the questionnaire is designed primarily to accept comments about the experiences of creating catalog records using the RDA instructions and of using RDA records in a catalog but record creation is not a requirement for filling out the survey.

If you are a formal US RDA Test participant and have submitted other surveys for the Test, please do not use the Informal US RDA Testers Questionnaire.

If your comments relate to the RDA Toolkit, please also email them to Troy Linker, ALA Publishing (

If your comments relate to the content of RDA, please also email them to John Attig, ALA representative to the Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA (

= = = =

Judy Kuhagen
Policy and Standards Division
Library of Congress

From: Autocat, 11/1/2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The ethics of innovation: navigating privacy, policy and service issues

Join OCLC and Library Journal online for their second “Virtual Symposium” to discuss the ways in which ethical considerations affect innovation, privacy issues and how libraries deliver services. This free online symposium will be held on November 17, 2010 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM (EST). Following the symposium, from 3:00 to 4:00 PM the conversation will continue on twitter. For more details and to register, visit:

OCLC Record Use Policy Council's work has now concluded

In a letter dated October 18, 2010, OCLC announced that the work of the Record Use Policy Council has now concluded. The Council spent many months grappling with complex issues and listening to community input from librarians, technologists, and other interested parties regarding OCLC record use. With its final report, the Council conveyed several observations and recommendations, which can be read here:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Upcoming Webinar: RDA Toolkit—What's new since August

A series of free webinars will be presented in November to demonstrate some of the new functionality and content added to the RDA Toolkit since the end of the open-access period (August 31). The webinar will include:
• LCPS (Library of Congress Policy Statements)—now included in the RDA toolkit. See a demo, including links to and from RDA.
• Accessing and using globally and locally shared workflows
• Creating and sharing your own workflows
• Links from AACR2 to RDA
• Using RDA Toolkit support, including new how-to videos
• Discussion of future enhancements
• Q&A

The webinar will be offered at four different times to accommodate the global audience:

• Wednesday, November 10, 11:30am-12:30pm CST (GMT -6)
• Wednesday, November 10, 8:00-9:00pm CDT (GMT -6)
• Thursday, November 11, 9:00-10:00am CDT (GMT -6)
• Thursday, November 11, 3:00-4:00pm CDT (GMT -6)

Go to to register for one of the sessions. Recordings of the webinars will be made available after they have taken place at:

Posted to the RDA Toolkit list on October 20, 2010; updated October 21.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Developing a Library Metadata Policy (free ALCTS e-forum)

The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) is hosting an e-forum for Developing a Library Metadata Policy. As libraries move toward using non-MARC metadata schema to describe their collections in addition to MARC format cataloging, many discover the need to develop a local metadata policy. This e-forum is intended to be a two-day session to discuss various considerations when developing a Library Metadata Policy.

 The e-forum will take place Oct. 13 – 14, 2010 (from 9 a.m. – 5 a.m. EST) and will be moderated by Melanie Wacker and Susan Massey. Registration is necessary to participate, but it’s free!

 ALCTS e-forums provide opportunities for librarians to discuss matters of interest, led by a moderator, through the e-forum discussion list. The e-forum discussion list works like an e-mail discussion list: register your e-mail address with the list and then you will receive messages and communicate with other participants through an e-mail discussion. Registration is necessary to participate, but it’s free. For more information or to register:


Preserving Social Media

This month’s NISO Newsline has an intriguing thought piece on preserving social media. The managing director of NISO, Todd Carpenter, speaks of preserving  “’live web’ content by saving some of the increasingly vibrant conversations taking place in social forums, blogs and other non-traditional content distribution forms.” He sees that standards and best practices need to be developed and tested, and he suggests that such conversations should start now. It will be interesting to watch NISO’s role in developing such standards. 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

RDA for Administrators: Managing the Transition in Your Library

RDA for Administrators: Managing the Transition in Your Library
Released in June 2010, Resource Description and Access (RDA) is the intended successor to the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules (AACR2). At this initial stage, much remains unknown about the impact that RDA will have on library staff, metadata, systems, and services. One thing is clear: adopting RDA will not happen immediately, and will not be uniform across all institutions. Over the coming months and years, libraries will have different timeframes and levels of support for the shift to RDA. Administrators will require accurate information, particularly from early adopters, on what is required to implement the new cataloging code. During this beginning period, while the U.S. cataloging community awaits a formal decision on adoption resulting from the U.S. National Libraries RDA Test process, how do library administrators and cataloging managers begin to think about preparing their staff and their systems for the transition from AACR2 to RDA?

This ALCTS Webinar will attempt to address, from the perspective of the manager, some of the major issues related to adopting the new cataloging code, including:

--allocating staff and financial resources to understanding, planning for, and adopting RDA;
--managing and organizing training for staff;
--implications of RDA on policies and procedures for original and copy cataloging;
--preparing the ILS for RDA metadata;
--managing the integration of RDA and AACR2 records and their displays in the catalog;
--managing the impact on vended authority control and cataloging;
--assessing the overall costs and benefits of RDA, and its impact on users and public services; ----assessing the consequences and potential of RDA for the development and design of future information systems and data structures;
--developing mechanisms for sharing implementation experiences across the profession.

Who Should Attend:
This webinar will be of interest to managers and administrators, who will begin dealing with major issues related to adopting RDA.

Christopher Cronin has been Director of Metadata and Cataloging Services at the University of Chicago Library since 2008. Prior to going to Chicago, he was Assistant Professor and Head of Digital Resources Cataloging at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Mr. Cronin has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of British Columbia, and an MIS from the University of Toronto. He is member the ALA Committee on Organization, and is active in the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS), currently serving on the Subject Analysis Committee and as Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect of the ALCTS Heads of Cataloging Interest Group. Mr. Cronin is the coordinator for the University of Chicago’s participation in the U.S. National Libraries RDA Testing.

Date(s) & Time(s):
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Webinar sessions are intended to last an hour and will begin at 11am PT 12pm MT 1pm CT 2pm ET

ALCTS Members & Non-Members: $39 & $49; Group rates: $99. All webinars are recorded and the one-time fee includes unlimited access to the webinar recording. All registered attendees will receive the link to the recorded session if you are unable to attend the webinar at the time it is presented, you will have the opportunity to listen to the recording at your convenience

How to Register:
To register, complete the online registration form or or register by mail for the session you would like to attend

From: ALCTS, 9/30/2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

Updated version of Provider-Neutral E-Monograph MARC Record Guide now available

An updated version of the Provider-Neutral E-Monograph MARC Record Guide is now posted on the PCC site at Some changes were made to correspond with the BIBCO Standard Record (BSR) and other revisions reflect changes to the MARC format. Here are the main changes:

* 008/23: use code "o" for "online"

* 246: language changed to "Retain from source record or record provider-specific title variants if deemed important." Also, explanatory notes are now optional, e.g.,
246 1_ $i Available from some providers with title: $a [title]
246 1_ $a [title]

* Use 500 for Source of Title note and 588 for Description Based On note

* 538: changed to "... make a Mode of access note only if the resource is accessed by means other than the World Wide Web"

* New FAQ #15: Should the provider-neutral record be used for resources that must be downloaded and accessed via e-readers or other electronic devices?
Since the provider-neutral record focuses on the content of a resource rather than on its specific digital format, it should be used to describe any e-monograph that is either accessed directly online or is available online for downloading. URLs linking to free downloads of the resource from non-commercial sites (e.g., or may be included in the master record, but do not provide URLs for downloads via commercial sites (e.g., or Vendor-specific information about access restrictions, transmitting technologies, reading devices, etc. should be kept out of the OCLC master record but may be recorded locally in holdings or bibliographic records.

Thanks to Yael Mandelstam for this information.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Universities and Libraries Move to the Mobile Web

Aldrich, Alan W. "Universities and Libraries Move to the Mobile Web" EDUCAUSE Quarterly 33(2)(May/June 2010), at:

The author examined 111 English-speaking ARL member universities and their library for mobile web presence. His analysis across multiple mobile websites provides universities and their libraries with an initial benchmark for comparisons with other institutions.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

True Serials ERM Finds a New Home

With Nylink winding down it's operations, many librarians were wondering about the fate of the True Serials ERM. True Serials team Lauren Pinsley and Luke Williams have dedicated more than a year to building this flexible and robust Electronic Resources Management system. They will continue to provide their trademark high level of in-depth service and support as the new co-proprietors of independent startup The team met with the New York Ethics Commission and Nylink leadership before taking this step. Thanks to their efforts, True Serials is now running on its own servers, rather than Nylink’s, and will soon have a dedicated website at The move to new servers, hosted at Adirondack Area Network, has been a smooth one. An official announcement of the launch of is expected soon.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

CORE: Cost of Resource Exchange Protocol - NISO's latest Recommended Practice

NISO recently announced the publication of its latest Recommended Practice, CORE: Cost of Resource Exchange Protocol (NISO RP-10-2010). This Recommended Practice defines an XML schema to facilitate the exchange of financial information related to the acquisition of library resources between systems. The two systems may be within the same organization, e.g., an ILS and an ERMS, or from two different organizations, e.g., a subscription agent and a library. CORE was originally intended for publication as a NISO standard. However, following a draft period of trial use that ended March 2010, the CORE Working Group and NISO's Business Information Topic Committee voted to approve the document as a Recommended Practice.  

You can read and review the CORE Recommended Practice document at:

A standing committee has been created to monitor the uptake of the Recommended Practice, provide support and outreach on the protocol, and conduct an annual review of the document with the aim of making future recommendation for re-release as a standard publication. Anyone interested in implementing the CORE Recommended Practice, joining the standing committee, or in receiving additional information should contact NISO at


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Preparing Your Library for RDA

Preparing Your Library for RDA

September 14-15, 2010
Hosted by Mary Beth Weber and Christopher Cronin

Please join us for an e-forum discussion. It’s free and open to everyone!

Registration information is at the end of the message. Each day, sessions begin and end at:
Pacific: 7am – 3pm
Mountain: 8am – 4pm
Central: 9am – 5pm
Eastern: 10am – 6pm

Released in June 2010, Resource Description and Access (RDA) is the intended successor to the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules (AACR2). While RDA is not being immediately adopted in the United States, it is being tested by the Library of Congress, the National Library of Medicine, and the National Agriculture Library as part of the U.S. National Libraries RDA Test Plan. During this time, what are libraries doing to prepare for the adoption of RDA? What impact will implementation have on staff training and systems? How will libraries manage the integration of RDA records with AACR2 records in their catalogs? How will libraries assess the value of the new cataloging code in terms of its ability to meet user needs and contribute to future systems development? This ALCTS E-Forum will provide an opportunity for the community at large to discuss a wide range of issues related to RDA and it overall implications for library operations

Mary Beth Weber has been head of Central Technical Services at Rutgers University Libraries since 2008. Christopher Cronin has been Director of Metadata and Cataloging Services at the University of Chicago Library since 2008.

What is an e-forum?*

An ALCTS e-forum provides an opportunity for librarians to discuss matters of interest, led by a moderator, through the e-forum discussion list. The e-forum discussion list works like an email listserv: register your email address with the list, and then you will receive messages and communicate with other participants through an email discussion. Most e-forums last two to three days. Registration is necessary to participate, but it's free. See a list of upcoming e-forums at:

To register:*
Instructions for registration are available at: Once you have registered for one e-forum, you do not need to register again, unless you choose to leave the email list. Participation is free and open to anyone.

From: ALA Connect, 8/22/2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

ALCTS webinar: Introduction to RDA

Description: This introductory webinar on the proposed cataloging rules, Resource Description and Access (RDA), will highlight the critical differences between the current cataloging rules, AACR2, and RDA. It is designed as a primer for both front line catalogers and library administrators in all types of libraries who need to learn how bibliographic and authority records will change when RDA is implemented. The session would be an excellent introduction to record changes for both original catalogers and copy catalogers.

Note: This webinar will not cover the elements of the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Data (FRBR) on which RDA is based nor will the RDA Toolkit interface be demonstrated.

Presenter: Robert Ellett is the Catalog Librarian at the Joint Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia. He is also an instructor for the online LIS program at San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science and a trainer for the Program for Cooperative Cataloging. Robert serves on the ALCTS Cataloging & Classification Section Executive Committee and is a member of the Resource Description & Access (RDA) Planning and Programming Task Force. He received his library degree from UNC Chapel Hill and his PhD from the Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences at Nova Southeastern University.

Date: September 22, 2010

Note special time for this session only: 5pm Eastern, 4pm Central, 3pm Mountain, and 2pm Pacific Time.

This is the first in a planned series of workshops on RDA. Additional information and dates to be announced soon.

To Register, complete the online registration form at for the session you would like to attend.

Fees:Group Rates - ALCTS Members & Non-Members: $99Individuals - ALCTS Members: $39; Non-Members: $49

Participants outside the United States may register at the ALCTS member rate.
The one-time fee includes unlimited access to the webinar recording.
For questions about registration, contact Tom Ferren, ALA Senior Registration Coordinator at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 4293 or

From: ALA Connect, 8/17/2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

"Data" are not the same as "information"

A recent blog post by Steven B. Levy on "Slaw," the Canadian weblog, resonated with me, as I work on compiling my library's annual ABA statistics. Levy makes the often-ignored point that "data" without context are not the equivalent of "information." He talks about metrics and the validity (or lack thereof) of their use in organizational decision-making. He concludes the post by describing a format for status reports called "3 x 3" ("three by three") which consists of three sets of up to three bullets points each:
* What I/we did since the last 3×3
* What I/we will do before the next 3×3
* Issues I/we need help with or want to raise an alert on

You can read the original blog post on Slaw at:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cloud Computing Explained

Matz, Rosalyn. "Cloud computing explained" EDUCAUSE Quartely, 33(2) (2010). At:
While there are several definitions of cloud computing out there, Matz chooses to use the NIST definition as it is concise and uses standard terms. NIST defines cloud computing as: "...a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model promotes availability and is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models." Matz further explains the different characteristics, service and deployment models, and provides some examples of cloud-based technologies.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

GPO Hires First Preservation Librarian

GPO Hires First Preservation Librarian by David Rapp.

The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) announced July 14 that it has hired Yale University preservation librarian David Walls its first preservation librarian, to aid the GPO's ongoing digital initiatives.

Walls will be involved with the GPO's ongoing migration of materials from its GPOAccess interface, first launched in 1994, to its current Federal Digital System (FDsys).

The GPO wants FDsys to not only provide public access to government information, but also to preserve that information as technology changes. During his 12 years as a preservation librarian at Yale, Walls was primarily involved with converting materials from "analog"--books, papers, obsolete audio formats--to digital. Today most materials are born digital, and the GPO is exploring using FDsys as a preservation repository for the federal government's digital information.

You may read more about the article at: Library July, 19, 2010

The GPO full news release is available at:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Marshall Breeding's Guide to the SkyRiver vs OCLC Lawsuit

The lawsuit between SkyRiver and OCLC has generated a great deal of interest in the library community. Marshall Breeding wrote a  story for Library Journal that describe the suit, largely based on the complaint filed by SkyRiver, joined by Innovative Interfaces as a co-plaintiff. Marshall Breeding has also created a Guide to the SkyRiver vs OCLC Lawsuit that provides access to the primary documents, plus the articles and major blog posts related to this event. In his guide you will find links to the court documents, including the original complaint and other materials referenced in the complaint. This is a great resource to keep abreast of the suit.(Library Technology Guides)

Friday, July 23, 2010

OCLC Web-scale Management Services now available to early adopters

OCLC is moving its Web-scale library management services from pilot phase to production with the release of acquisitions and circulation components to a limited number of early adopters. On July 1, OCLC began working with libraries that are interested and prepared to implement Web-based services for acquisitions and circulation. This will be followed by successive updates for subscription and license management, and cooperative intelligence—analysis and recommendations based on statistics and workflow evaluation among participating libraries. The cloud computing environment and agile development methodology will facilitate incremental updates while minimizing impact to library operations. More information about OCLC's Web-scale library management services may be found at:

OCLC Cooperative eNews, vol. 1, no. 9 (July 2010)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Google purchases Metaweb, creator of Freebase

Google has purchased Metaweb, the creators of Freebase. Freebase is "An entity graph of people, places and things, built by a community that loves open data," or "Freebase is an open, Creative Commons licensed repository of structured data of more than 12 million entities." According to Google's blog,

In addition to our ideas for search, we’re also excited about the possibilities for Freebase, Metaweb’s free and open database of over 12 million things, including movies, books, TV shows, celebrities, locations, companies and more. Google and Metaweb plan to maintain Freebase as a free and open database for the world. Better yet, we plan to contribute to and further develop Freebase and would be delighted if other web companies use and contribute to the data. We believe that by improving Freebase, it will be a tremendous resource to make the web richer for everyone. And to the extent the web becomes a better place, this is good for webmasters and good for users.

Friday, July 16, 2010

New York Times Index releases subject headings to the Linked Data Cloud

The New York Times, which has already released subject headings for people, places and organizations as terms available to the semantic web, is now releasing 498 topical subject headings. In an article dated June 24, 2010, authors Kristi Reilly and Jennifer Parrucci describe broader and narrower terms and the differences between a paper and an online thesaurus. It's very interesting.

Actually, if you use the tag "linked data cloud" to search the NYT archive, there are several articles on their decision to release their thesaurus to the Linked Data Cloud, how they did it using RDF and SKOS, and how you can get ahold of their thesaurus to do anything you want with as well as an example of a little application created with the data. It's fascinating.

Thanks to Kathy Winzer of the Robert Crown Library at Stanford Law School for pointing me to the original article.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Accurate Metadata sells books

I've come back from AALL all fired up. The session on RDA and the Semantic Web finally got me thinking beyond the bother of a learning a new cataloging standard to the reason for doing so -- which, I think, is to make the data we've got locked up in our library catalogs usable by the rest of the world in ways we have not even considered. The article Accurate Metadata Sells Books by Calvin Reid in Publishers Weekly discusses how important accurate metadata about books and ebooks is to the publishing industry. As David Bigwood, in Catalogablog, points out, some of the metadata comes from nonlibrarians, as in ONIX (Online Information Exchange, an XML-based standardized format for transmitting information electronically) which is used by publishers, distributers, retailers and consumers, and Librarything, whose data is used by Calibre, an open source management tool for e-books. Library data is already enriching these metadata systems -- OCLC metadata is used to enrich ONIX, and Library Thing gets some of its metadata from libraries, too. Already our data and metadata is being used by non-librarians in ways we hadn't really considered. It will be interesting to see how this increases, and in what ways.

From Catalogablog

Is this an opensource answer to things like Encore?

Today, VuFind 1.0 has been released.

In addition to improved stability, the new release includes several features missing from the previous release candidate:

* Flexible support for non-MARC metadata formats
* A mobile interface
* Dewey Decimal support
* Integration with Serials Solutions' Summon
* Dynamic "recommendations modules" to complement search results with relevant tips

Here is the description of VuFind from their home page.

VuFind is a library resource portal designed and developed for libraries by libraries. The goal of VuFind is to enable your users to search and browse through all of your library's resources by replacing the traditional OPAC to include:

* Catalog Records
* Locally Cached Journals
* Digital Library Items
* Institutional Repository
* Institutional Bibliography
* Other Library Collections and Resources

VuFind is completely modular so you can implement just the basic system, or all of the components. And since it's open source, you can modify the modules to best fit your need or you can add new modules to extend your resource offerings.

from Catalogablog

Thursday, July 8, 2010

OCLC Policy Statement on RDA Cataloging in WorldCat for the U.S. Testing Period

On June 15, 2010, OCLC released a statement entitled: OCLC Policy Statement on RDA Cataloging in WorldCat for the  U.S. Testing Period (available at:

Catalogers who are familiar with RDA rules may begin to contribute original cataloging to WorldCat using RDA, or wait for the results of the RDA testing. All RDA records should be coded 040 $e "rda" and "$b eng". To see sample RDA records in WorldCat, RDA records may be searched via the new OCLC index: Descriptive conventions (label "dx:" in the Connexion Browser).

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Visual "map" of the metadata landscape for standards most commonly used

Indiana University librarian Jenn Riley has done an impressive visual "map" of the metadata landscape for standards most commonly used in the cultural heritage sector. She created this map of metadata standards to assist planners with the selection and implementation of metadata standards. She also provides an 18-page glossary with brief descriptions of the purpose of each standard.

To check it out, click the following link:  
"Seeing Standards: A Visualization of the Metadata Universe."  

Friday, June 11, 2010

Strategy Framework for Digital Natives

Blowers, Helene. "From Realities to Values: A Strategy Framework for Digital Natives" Computers in Libraries 30(4)(May 2010): 6-10. At:

When technology changes constantly, how can an institution support their digital initiatives? Blowers summarized the young digital generation's perceptions of digital identity, privacy, creativity, piracy/sharing, and advocacy. As she points out, technologies come and go, but the reasons that people gravitate toward them do not. She identifies common threads that support the social and emotional needs of Digital Natives: engagement, enrichment, and empowerment. Libraries can use these three factors to help measure the potential social ROI (Return On Influence) of digital projects and online initiatives.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Examples illustrating differences between AACR2 and RDA

The Library of Congress has made available examples illustrating differences between AACR2 and RDA. The examples are provided as part of their documentation for the RDA Test. 

Some examples have only a few fields; others are more complete; some are made-up examples; some illustrate more than one category, but only appear in one category; and some examples are accompanied by RDA citations and other comments. 

One such category of examples is Legal Works. Additional examples will be added on an ongoing basis.


Friday, May 28, 2010

RDA Train-the-Trainer Webcasts available

The Library of Congress is providing free access to a series of RDA "Train-the-Trainer" webcasts recorded at Northeastern University’s Snell Library on Jan. 15, 2010. The instructors are Barbara Tillett, Ph. D., chief of the Library of Congress Policy and Standards Division and the Library of Congress representative to the Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA, and Judith Kuhagen, senior policy specialist in the Library of Congress Policy and Standards Division. The nine separate modules require RealPlayer, available freely from the RealMedia website at: Links to the webcasts are available at:

From: Autocat, 5/28/2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

Online Shelf Browse Tool

The North Carolina State University Library has released an open-source tool for browsing the shelf in the catalog that displays images of book covers.

Try it here (click on "browse shelf"):

Catalogablog, 5/20/2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Upcoming RLG-sponsored Webcast (6/10): Transitioning with and Beyond MARC

June 10, 2010
2:30-4:00 PM (EDT)

The RLG Partners working group that gathered and analyzed evidence over the past two years about MARC tag usage to inform library metadata practices completed its work in March 2010 with the publication of the 72-page Implications of MARC Tag Usage on Library Metadata Practices report ( Among the working group's conclusions: MARC data cannot continue to exist in its own discrete environment. It will need to be leveraged and used in other domains to reach users in their own networked environments. RLG is presenting the Webcast on June 10 as part of its annual Partnership Meeting. The Webcast will feature a discussion of the next steps we need to take to transition towards a post-MARC future. To register for the webcast, go to:

RLG Announcements list, 5/20/2010

Friday, May 14, 2010

Gutenberg 2.0

Shaw, Jonathan. "Gutenberg 2.0" Harvard Magazine (May-June 2010), at:

The author interviewed several professors and librarians (including John Palfrey at the Harvard Law Library) at Harvard University to hear their views on libraries. Issues brought up include: librarians' role as information brokers, the importance of being able to find relevant information when faced with overwhelming data, books and budget, "just in time" libraries, digital preservation, and the future for books.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Upcoming ALCTS e-forum: Using Web 2.0 Tools to Enhance Technical Services Work

ALCTS is sponsoring a free e-forum May 19-20 on "Using Web 2.0 Tools to Enhance Technical Services Work." Social software such as wikis, blogs, mashups, tagging, RSS feeds, instant messaging, Google Docs, etc. have been used successfully for several years now on the public services side of libraries. This forum is intended to be a two-day discussion where the following topics, as well as others can be addressed:
• How can technical services librarians and staff use social software to enhance their work?
• Are there applications of social software that can "bridge the gap" and increase communication between technical services and public services departments in libraries?
• What kinds of information problems do you see in your library/technical services unit(s) that could be solved by using Web 2.0 tools?
• Are there specific types of social tools you're hoping to learn more about? Hopefully other libraries can share examples of their applications of these tools to help you get started.
• How are you (or your library's technical services unit(s))making use of social software?
For a complete description of the e-forum, and registration information, go to:

Posted on the OCLC-CAT list, 5/13/2010

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Upcoming Webcast (5/12): It’s in the Mail: Improving the Physical Delivery of Library Resources

Upcoming Webcast (5/12): It’s in the Mail: Improving the Physical Delivery of Library Resources
May 12, 2010 at 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. (Eastern Time)

Many users assume that most information today is digital. As digital content increases, so does the information resources that are produced, consumed, and distributed in physical formats. Resource sharing of physical formats—whether books, DVDs, CDs, or audiocassettes—continues to play an important role in library services. Moving library materials between libraries has been a hidden component of resource sharing activities. Numerous activities have focused on improving resource sharing workflow, but little attention has been paid to how materials are moved from one library to another, and from a library directly to a patron (e.g., to a home or office). The issues around how to deliver library materials quickly, securely, and cost-effectively are equally immense. What are the best ways to provide physical delivery of library materials? 

In this webinar you will hear from three speakers. The first speaker will first provide an overview of library delivery services today; the second speaker will discuss the charge, current work plan and emerging recommended practices of NISO’s Physical Delivery of Library Resources Working Group; and the final speaker will talk about efforts to provide a delivery service directly to library patrons.

For more information or to register, visit the NISO website:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Serials Solutions receives full permissions as CONSER Affiliate member

March 31, 2010: Serials Solutions, a business unit of ProQuest Information and Learning, announced today that its catalogers can “CONSER authenticate” non-CONSER records for distribution as new records. Now a CONSER Affiliate member of the Library of Congress’ Serial Record Division with full permissions, Serials Solutions can improve the quality of CONSER records used worldwide and provide current clients of Serials Solutions 360 MARC Update service with new and enhanced records.

The full announcement is available at:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Library of Congress documentation for the RDA test

The Library of Congress is making available its files of policy decisions, training materials, etc., developed for its participation in the US Resource Description and Access (RDA) test. Other libraries, whether participating in the RDA test or not, are welcome to use and modify these files for their local situations.

Note that these files represent decisions just for the RDA test. If the Library of Congress decides to implement RDA, some of the decisions may be changed as the result of feedback from the test.

The files are posted at

This information is courtesy of Judith A. Kuhagen at the Library of Congress, posted to Autocat on 4/21/2010.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Metada Standards for Digital Audio

PARS Task Force on Audio Preservation Metadata, and MLA BCC Metadata Subcommittee. Metadata Standards and Guidelines Relevant to Digital Audio. Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (Feb. 2010), at:
Developed by the ALCTS Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS) Task Force on Audio Preservation Metadata in cooperation with the Music Library Association Bibliographic Control Committee Metadata Subcommittee, this chart provides a quick overview of metadata standards and guidelines for digital audio projects, including links to standards documentation and examples. The chart is arranged by metadata type, including descriptive, technical, and administrative metadata standards.

RDA Changes from AACR2 for Texts

Barbara Tillett's Webcast of Jan. 12, 2010 is available online. It's entitled: RDA Changes from AACR2 for Texts. Both the Webcast (75 minutes) and the equivalent PowerPoint presentation (51 slides) are available at:
To access the PowerPoint slides, click on the link at the bottom of the Webpage. Some of the details relate to LC practice for the upcoming RDA test.

Thanks very much to George Prager for this information.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Library Journal summarizes OCLC's new draft policy on record use

Josh Hadro of Library Journal summarizes OCLC's new draft policy on record use, "WorldCat Rights and Responsibilities for the OCLC Cooperative." Interested parties may comment on the draft policy, issued April 7, 2010, until May 20. Hadro's article is available at

From: Library, April 7, 2010

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Directions in Metadata with Karen Coyle

Did you miss the Directions in Metadata webinar, or want to listen to it again? If so, you can review the video archive and slides of the presentation here.

After that, the discussion about metadata continues on Twitter using the #LibData hashtag. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

2010 Census

You'd be hard pressed to have missed all the commercials -- many of them quite funny -- for the 2010 Census (pronounced twenty-ten, putting an official spin in favor of that pronunciation). Just In Case points to an official promotional website for the census, 2010 Census. There is also a more research oriented site, called American FactFinder. The 2010 Census site is designed to appeal to a wide audience, and includes interesting features like a map of response rates by city and state, videos of participants and answers to frequently asked questions. It's kind of fun to try it out -- take a look!

Preserving Born-Digital Legal Materials - Where to Start?

Rhodes, Sarah. “Preserving Born Digital Legal Materials – Where to Start.” (Feb. 14, 2010), at

The author speculates that part of the problem is that we often don't know where to start when it comes to preserving born-digital content. What needs to be preserved? What systems and formats should we use? How will we pay for it? She firmly believes that law libraries must invest in digital preservation if we are to remain relevant and true to our purpose in the 21st century.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Checklist for Digital Book Readers

McSherry, Corynne, and Cindy Cohn. Digital Books and Your Rights: A Checklist for Readers. San Francisco, CA: Electronic Frontier Foundation, 2010. At:
Digital books have become widely available through various devices and vendors. This whitepaper addresses questions about the future of reader privacy, consumers' rights, and potential censorship. It offers readers of digital books a checklist with eight basic questions, such as: Does the e-book reader/service/tool protect your privacy? Do you own the book or just rent or license it? Is it burdened with digital rights management(DRM)? Does it promote access to knowledge?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Crowdsourcing: How and Why Should Libraries Do It?

Rose Holley
National Library of Australia


The definition and purpose of crowdsourcing and its relevance to libraries is discussed with particular reference to the Australian Newspapers service, FamilySearch, Wikipedia, Distributed Proofreaders, Galaxy Zoo and The Guardian MP's Expenses Scandal. These services have harnessed thousands of digital volunteers who transcribe, create, enhance and correct text, images and archives. Known facts about crowdsourcing are presented and helpful tips and strategies for libraries beginning to crowdsource are given.

Monday, March 15, 2010

New Report: Implications of MARC Tag Usage on Library Metadata Practices

An RLG Partnership working group has issued a report about MARC tag usage to inform library metadata practices, with a focus on machine applications. The report is available at: A free webinar to present the findings of the report is scheduled for Thursday, March 18, at 4:00 EDT.

Karen Smith-Yoshimura (OCLC Research) will provide an overview of the working group’s analysis, including highlights of her analysis of MARC tag occurrences in WorldCat, the analysis of MARC tags used for matching records while building five aggregated databases done by Hugh Taylor (University of Cambridge) and analysis of encoding levels in Worldcat done by Chew Chiat Naun (University of Minnesota). Karen will also present the working group’s list of factors to consider when making decisions about local MARC metadata practices and its view on MARC’s future.

Catherine Argus (National Library of Australia) will summarize her analysis of MARC tags indexed in five aggregate databases: AMICUS (the national union catalog of Canada, hosted by the Library and Archives Canada), COPAC (the pubic union catalog of the Research Libraries UK), Libraries Australia, and OCLC’s FirstSearch.

Timothy J. Dickey (OCLC Research) will present his recommendations for enhanced library data mining.

Lisa Rowlison de Ortiz (University of California, Berkeley), one of authors of the report’s executive summary, will also be participating.

You may register for the webinar here.

From the RLG announcement mailing list 3/12/2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

Upcoming Webcast: The Summon Service in Academic Libraries

Serials Solutions and Library Journal are sponsoring a free webcast on April 8 entitled: The Success of Web-Scale Discovery in Returning Net-Gen Users to the Library: The Summon™ Service in Academic Libraries. The full announcement and link to registration are available at:

From LJ Academic Newswire, 3/11/2010

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Announcing the Year of Cataloging Research Website

In response to "On the Record" (the final report created by the LC commissioned Task Force for the Future of Bibliographic Control), the American Library Association and the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) are highlighting the need for research in bibliographic control by declaring 2010 the Year of Cataloging Research.

The Year of Cataloging Research website is now available at While the spirit of the Year of Cataloging Research embraces all research relating to bibliographic control (including metadata, classification theory , social tagging, etc.), the information posted on the Year of Cataloging Research website may be restricted to that specifically related to library metadata, cataloging, classification, and catalogs.

Posted by Allyson Carlyle on Autocat, March 3, 2010

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

This Book is Overdue!

You've probably already seen the reviews for This Book is Overdue!, the new book by Marilyn Johnson. Johnson apparently became interested in librarians when writing her previous book, The Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs, and the Perverse Pleasures of Obituaries and coming across the obituary for Henrietta Avram, the mother of MARC. By most accounts, an enjoyable read about a rapidly changing profession.

Westlaw shipments

A funny post from the Law Librarian Blog:

Some law libraries have been experiencing, ah, problems with West's shipping boxes. They're empty! Thanks to CRIV taking action, West figured out why.

Dear Colleagues:

I want to thank you for your recent comments alerting us to the issue of customers receiving empty boxes from us. In response to your feedback, we have examined our processes; following is a summary of the root causes and resolutions we have implemented.

We believe the primary reason for the empty cartons was inadequate carton glue. We have since worked with our adhesive vendor to implement changes to our packaging and shipping process to ensure the correct glue is available and properly applied.

We also found that the book feeder on the packaging line occasionally misfeeds books, causing empty boxes to be sealed and mailed. To remedy this, we installed an electronic eye on the machine to detect boxes without books and remove them.

Lastly, we contacted the United States Postal Service (USPS) to understand the USPS package handling equipment and processes that could impact the integrity of our packaging.

I appreciate the feedback we have received from this group and apologize for the frustration this issue has caused. Please know we take your comments seriously and are working to remedy this situation.

Anne Ellis
Senior Director, Librarian Relations
Thomson Reuters

(Emphasis added.)


Open Bibliographic Data

Catalogablog reports that the Working Group on Open Bibliographic Data has a wiki to support their efforts. It's purpose is to:
  1. Act as a central point of reference and support for people interested in open bibliographic data
  2. Identify relevant projects and practices. Promote best practices as well as legal and technical standards for making data open (such as the Open Knowledge Definition).
  3. Act as a hub for the development and maintenance of low cost, community driven projects related to open bibliographic data.
A further discussion of open bibliographic data can be viewed here. Apparently, there really are not many sources of open bibliographic data -- but if you think about it, that's not much of a surprise. The Library of Congress data is free of copyright within the United States, but not outside of it. I think the thing is, it's not an inexpensive thing to make a catalog

Discovered through Catalogablog.

User Experience (UX)

Amanda Etches-Johnson, who was asked to speak about User experience at the LITA Top Tech Trends at ALA Midwinter, discusses new trends in User Experience on her blog, Blogwithoutalibrary. Generally what she's interested in is the user experience of library websites, and particularly in the emotional experience, or sort of holistic experience, library users have when using our websites. What seems to be happening more and more is that users are coming to websites from mobile devices, and many websites now have special mobile versions for browsing with mobile devices. Since our catalogs are viewed as part of the library website, this is something for us to consider. How would our catalogs best work on a mobile display?

New Metadata Blog - Call for Bloggers

Below is a call for bloggers for a new Metadata Blog, which may also be of interest to our readers.

*Call for Bloggers: Information about Metadata wants to be Shared*   

Do you have an interest in metadata and digital library projects? Have you recently read a good article on the subject? Have you developed a new project or workflow? Have you attended a workshop or conference of interest to the community? Would you like to connect and get your name out to other metadata librarians?   If so, become a contributor to the Metadata Blog:  

The official blog of the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) Metadata Interest Group has traditionally been used to advertise and report on events at ALA conferences.  We are expanding our focus to keep the metadata community informed throughout the year on related research, projects, and events.  Contributions can include summaries of articles or research, links to educational opportunities, calls for papers, descriptions of interesting projects, conference reports, requests for assistance, or anything else of potential interest to the community.  Posts may contain original content or link to existing content, as appropriate.   

What are the requirements to become a contributor? 
-Have knowledge, interest, or experience in metadata and/or digital library projects. -Be willing to write at least one post for the Metadata Blog during 2010 (more are welcome!) 
-LIS students and new librarians are encouraged to participate.   

If you are interested, contact Kristin Martin, Blog Coordinator for the Metadata Blog at  Please provide some brief information on your background and ideas for contributions.  Initial posts to the blog will be reviewed prior to posting.  After that, contributors will be able to post directly to the blog as new information comes up to be shared.   

-- Kristin E. Martin 
Metadata Librarian 
Catalog Department (MC 234) 
2-390 Richard J. Daley Library 
University of Illinois at Chicago 
801 S. Morgan 
Chicago, IL  60607 
312-413-0424 (Fax)  

(AUTOCAT; reposted with permission)

Monday, March 1, 2010

RDA Toolkit will be available in June 2010

According to the RDA Online website, the RDA Toolkit will be available in June 2010.

In addition to including RDA, the RDA Toolkit "helps you navigate from AACR2 to RDA—the new, unified standard for resource description and access, designed for the digital world and an expanding universe of metadata users." 

Check out the website, which also includes detailed US pricing. At the bottom, pay special attention to last paragraph, with instructions to send email to to be added to a mailing list for information about free trials, special introductory offers, and product updates.  

Friday, February 26, 2010

Cataloging: Where are we now? Where are we going?

The College of DuPage Press has made available streaming video of a recent 90-minute webcast entitled, "Cataloging: Where are we now? Where are we going?" Originally broadcast on February 19, 2010, the webcast was presented by Renee Register, Senior Product Manager at OCLC, and Karen Coyle, consultant and leader in the area of digital libraries. The presenters review current cataloging practices and discuss the future of metadata, the MARC record, the Resource Description and Access standard, and the librarian's place in online information organization and access. Both high bandwidth and low bandwidth streaming video links are available at:

From Autocat, Feb. 24, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Understanding the Semantic Web

The rise of a new information environment—the World Wide Web—has revealed the downside of the long history that libraries have with metadata. We must figure out how we can best transform our data so that it can become part of the dominant information environment that is the Web. This issue of Library Technology Reports, authored by Karen Coyle, examines how this transformation can occur, and what can be done to help facilitate it.

From Library Technology Reports, January 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Classify: a FRBR-based research prototype for applying classification numbers

Classification schemes are used by libraries to provide a systematic arrangement of materials. The classification numbers applied to books and other materials are used to arrange items physically on shelves and to support browsing, filtering and retrieval of bibliographic information in online systems. The Classify prototype is designed to help users apply classification numbers.

Classify is a FRBR-based prototype designed to support the assignment of classification numbers and subject headings for books, DVDs, CDs, and other types of materials. This project applies principles of the FRBR model to aggregate bibliographic information above the manifestation level. Bibliographic records are grouped using the OCLC FRBR Work-Set algorithm to form a work-level summary of the class numbers and subject headings assigned to a work. You can retrieve a summary by ISBN, ISSN, UPC, OCLC number, author/title, or subject heading. A Classify record for a work contains the most frequently assigned DDC, LCC and NLM class numbers, as applicable, based on holdings counts.

The Classify database is accessible through a user interface and as a machine-to-machine service.

From OCLC NEXTSpace, January 2010