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.

From librarian.net

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: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/asi.21433/abstract.

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: http://pewinternet.com/~/media//Files/Reports/2010/PIP_Nielsen%20Apps%20Report.pdf.

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:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304354104575568592236241242.html

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 http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Q5968DB. 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 (tlinker@ala.org).

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 (jxa16@psu.edu).

= = = =

Judy Kuhagen
Policy and Standards Division
Library of Congress

From: Autocat, 11/1/2010