Monday, February 28, 2011

Beyond 2010 the Year of Cataloging Research

Based on a motion initiated by the Implementation Group on the Library of Congress Working Group Report, at ALA Midwinter 2010 the ALA and ALCTS Boards of Directors passed a resolution designating 2010 as the Year of Cataloging Research. The Report of the LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control addressed several goals, including “Work to develop a stronger, more rigorous culture of formal evaluation, critique and validation, and build a cumulative research agenda and evidence base. Encourage, highlight, reward and share best research practice and results.” Two goals remain unmet at the end of 2010: to build a cumulative research agenda and a solid evidence base to support decisions for future cataloging

How important is cataloging and classification research to your everyday technical services decision-making? Do you find the library literature useful in informing your policies and procedures? Are you producing statistical studies that might help others in the field? How do you disseminate your results? Do you find reviews of the literature helpful? Do you have suggestions for future directions in cataloging research? Is it time to develop formal dissemination forums for metadata research that are separate from MARC cataloging?
Every once in a while it is useful to step back and reassess the direction of our profession and its literature. These are the kinds of questions we will consider and discuss in this e-forum. Bring your ideas and share your thoughts and questions with us on future directions for cataloging research.

Who Should Attend: Anyone with an interest in the topic can benefit from this session and is welcome to participate.

Hosts: Sherab Chen is currently the coordinator librarian for non-Roman cataloging activities at the Ohio State University Libraries, Susan A. Massey is currently the Head of Cataloging at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.

Dates & Times: Tuesday, March 9-Wednesday March 10, 2011
Each day, sessions begin and end at: Pacific: 7am – 3pm Mountain: 8am – 4pm Central: 9am – 5pm Eastern: 10am – 6pm

Fee: Free
How to Register: Registration entails subscribing to an electronic discussion list on ALA's Mailing List Service. Find instructions for subscribing online. Once you have registered for one e-forum, you do not need to register again, unless you choose to leave the email list.

From: ALCTS, 2/28/2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011

RDA Ask-the-Experts webinar recording available

In case you missed last week's "RDA Ask-the-Experts" webinar, or if you want to review it, a recording of the webinar can be downloaded at: RDA_Ask_the_Experts_Webinar.wmv.

The webinar, sponsored by ALCTS, features Linda Gabel, Erin Stalberg, Trina Grover, and Kathryn La Barre. You will need Windows Media software on your computer to view the recording.

In other RDA-related news, Troy Linker’s presentation on "AACR2 to RDA: Using the RDA Toolkit" may be viewed at: This presentation requires Adobe Flash Player. The presentation covers:

o An overview of the new vocabulary, organization, functions, and resources in the RDA Toolkit that can help AACR2 users quickly interact with RDA.

o Support built into the RDA Toolkit that helps in migrating from AACR2 to the RDA Toolkit.

o How AACR2 is integrated into the RDA Toolkit.

o RDA Mappings and Workflows, Element Set, and the "three-tab" concept.

o Enhancements including improved searching of RDA by AACR2 rule number.

o Links to more in-depth resources on the FRBR and FRAD conceptual models.

(RDA Toolkit list 2/24/2011)

Net Neutrality: a primer

With more and more of library services offered via the internet, both within the library building as well as for users at home, net neutrality is an issue of real concern for libraries. The New York Times has a nice summary of where we are with net neutrality here.

And here is a graphical representation of the argument for real net neutrality. (Found via Josh Kitlas.)  Go look -- it's quick.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Defining "Born Digital"

Erway, Ricky. Defining "Born Digital": An Essay by Ricky Erway, OCLC Research. Dublin, OH: OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc., November 2010. At:
A four-page article that provides a definition and lists the variety of born-digital materials. It also has an amusing four-minute YouTube video at:

User-Driven Purchase Giveaway Library

David W. Lewis. "The User-Driven Purchase Giveaway Library." EDUCAUSE Review, 45(5)(September/October 2010). At:

The patron-driven acquisition model is a hot topic lately. In this short article, Lewis, Dean of the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) University Library, imagines a more radical model where the library actually gives away all books to patrons. He argues that with digital technologies such as the e-book readers and print-on-demand machines, such a library is quite possible. It can serve the same purpose as traditional libraries do: "At the core, either type of library is the means for communities and organizations to provide a subsidy for information use.... Large book collections have been viewed as an institutional or community asset, though the long-term commitment to a book collection also creates a large liability. In the past, the possible future use justified the liability of a physical book collection. In the easily imagined future, alternative delivery mechanisms call this justification into question."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

While reading a post on Karen Coyle's blog about the antitrust lawsuit brought by SkyRiver/III against OCLC (an interesting topic, by the way), I somehow wandered into another post about the Knowledge Organization 2011 conference held in Norway last month.Coyle's discussion of the conference, at which she spoke, is interesting. At a wrap-up session on the first day, a day on which talks were given on RDA and linked data, an introduction to RDA , and a comparison of FRBR, FRAD and FRSAD, the audience came up with a list of "burning questions" which Coyle wrote down. They are:

  • If not RDA, what else is there?
  • Are things on hold waiting for RDA? Are people and vendors waiting to see what will happen?
  • Why wasn't RDA simplified?
  • How long will we pay for it?
  • Will communities other than those in the JSC use it?
  • Can others join JSC to make this a truly international code?
  • Should we just forget about this library-specific stuff and use Dublin Core?
The second day featured talks on outside data which might be useful to libraries and the usefulness of library data outside the library once it is freed from MARC. I think these things are the prize we need to keep our eyes on as we suffer through the likely move to RDA -- the ability to move data which is not MARC from outside into our catalogs and from our catalogs out in to the world is what we hope to gain. Coyle closes her remarks on a hopeful note, saying:
As is often the case I was very impressed at the quality of experimentation that is taking place by people who really want to see library data transformed and made web-able. I think we are at the start of a new and highly fruitful phase for libraries.

Read the whole post here.

Angry Birds for the Thinking Person

The National Library of Finland has come up with some creative ideas to engage users in fixing mistakes in its digitized archives.
"We have millions and millions of pages of historically and culturally valuable magazines, newspapers and journals online. The challenge is that the optical character recognition often contains errors and omissions, which hamper for example searches," says Kai Ekholm, Director of the National Library of Finland. "Manual correction is needed to weed out these mistakes so that the texts become machine readable, enabling scholars and archivists to search the material for the information they need."
The library has created games for users to play, which, as they are played, will fix mistakes in the digitized archives. In Mole Hunt, users are shown two different words and must determine if they are actually the same word. In Mole Bridge, users have to spell correctly words which appear on their screen. Both these games correct mistakes brought into the digitized material through optical character recognition. Read more about it (and see images of the games) on ReadWriteWeb.

(Seen first on

Using data from IMDB

Catalogablog quotes from an email sent to  NGC4LIB that Charles Ledvina has created an interesting tool to grab data from a popular movie database and pop it into MARC format.
As creator of the Amazon-to-MARC converter I thought it would be apropos to do a project along the same lines for IMDB. The prototype is located at

I am using Brian Fritz's API ( to populate the fields.

Here is a MARC (or should I say MARX) example of the motion picture "Horse Feathers" :

The only problem is that there is no material type or publisher, so, the 260 and the 300 are a bit suspect. As with the Amazon-to-Marc product you can also verify names.
I would also be interested in seeing his "amazon to MARC converter!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tim Knight's Article on RDA

From a message sent by our Tim Knight to AUTOCAT on Jan. 7:

Hello all,

My introductory article about the new cataloguing rules, Resource Description and Access: From AACR to RDA, was recently published in the Canadian Law Library Review. It's available on YSpace if you're interested in reading it

Abstract: The new cataloguing guidelines Resource Description and Access
(RDA) have recently been released and are set to replace the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules. An evaluation period led by the Library of Congress is currently underway and it is likely that the implementation of RDA will begin sometime in mid-2011. This paper looks briefly at the origins of RDA, provides a high level overview of RDA and reviews some of the major differences that cataloguers and library users can expect to find between RDA and AACR2.

Best regards,



F. Tim Knight, Head of Technical Services

Osgoode Hall Law School Library

York University

(416) 650-8403 Fax: (416) 736-5298

List of Technical Services websites

In response to a question on Autocat soliciting policies and procedures for technical services, Becky Yoose posted the following:

You might be interested in the public Technical Services websites list located at

Granted, it is a long list, but many of the sites posted there have policies and procedures publicly available.


Becky Yoose

Bibliographic Systems Librarian

Miami University

Oxford, OH

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

3 Days Left to take NISO's 4 Question SERU (Shared E-Resources Understanding) Survey

Since SERU (Shared E-Resources Understanding) was approved as a NISO Recommended Practice in 2008 (, more than 130 libraries and almost 50 publishers have recorded their interest in the SERU Registry ( This very short survey is an effort to confirm that you are the correct contact and will provide NISO's SERU Standing Committee--which provides maintenance support to this publication--with quick feedback on your use of SERU.  

Please respond by February 4, 2011.

US RDA Test Participant's Panel Discussion Summary posted

A summary of the US RDA Test Participant’s Panel Discussion, held at the PCC Participants' Meeting at ALA Midwinter in San Diego, CA on Jan. 9, 2011, has been posted to the PCC homepage at:

Paul Frank
Cooperative Programs Section
Cooperative and Instructional Programs Division
Library of Congress

Posted to the PCC List, Jan 27, 2011.