Friday, October 28, 2011

Library Linked Data Incubator Group Publishes Final Report

The W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) Library Linked Data Incubator Group published its final report on October 25, 2011. The Incubator Group's mission is "to help increase global interoperability of library data on the Web, by bringing together people involved in Semantic Web activities — focusing on Linked Data — in the library community and beyond, building on existing initiatives, and identifying collaboration tracks for the future."

Recommendations in the report include:
  • That library leaders identify sets of data as possible candidates for early exposure as Linked Data and foster a discussion about Open Data and rights;
  • That library standards bodies increase library participation in Semantic Web standardization, develop library data standards that are compatible with Linked Data, and disseminate best-practice design patterns tailored to library Linked Data;
  • That data and systems designers design enhanced user services based on Linked Data capabilities, create URIs for the items in library datasets, develop policies for managing RDF vocabularies and their URIs, and express library data by re-using or mapping to existing Linked Data vocabularies;
  • That librarians and archivists preserve Linked Data element sets and value vocabularies and apply library experience in curation and long-term preservation to Linked Data datasets.
The report itself is available online at: Two supplementary reports, "Use Cases" ( and "Datasets, Value Vocabularies, and Metadata Element Sets" ( are also available.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

LC Cataloging Staff Involved in US RDA Test to Resume RDA Cataloging in November 2011

To help LC in carrying out its responsibilities for (1) the ongoing development of RDA, and (2) the creation and/or revision of training materials supporting documentation for LC, PCC, and the U.S. library community, most of the LC cataloging staff who participated in the U.S. RDA Test will return to using RDA for cataloging starting in November 2011.

Documents identifying changes in LC policies from those followed during the U.S. RDA Test and refresher training materials prepared for LC’s RDA cataloging staff will be posted on LC’s web site for preparation for RDA (

The Library of Congress to Issue Next Steps in the Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative

The Library of Congress will issue initial plans for its Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative by the end of October. The Library is also developing a flexible list of stakeholders and experts (both individuals and organizations) to assure that a broad spectrum of affected communities is consulted during the planning and execution phases of the initiative. To keep apprised of the latest information on the initiative, visit

Transformation in Academic Libraries Demand Transformed Automation Support

Until recent times, the basic model of library automation centered on an integrated library system, including an online catalog and circulation functions. As the emphasis of academic libraries has made a dramatic shift toward access of subscribed electronic content and digital collections, the online catalog has been relegated to a search tool for the physical collection, as discovery interfaces are providing broader discovery across all varied components of library collections.

We need robust, flexible and scalable discovery and search platforms capable of handling diverse types of materials. As new platforms emerge that aim to provide more comprehensive automation for libraries, the author hopes they will encompass support for public services activities as well as internal library functions.

Marshall Breeding, Computers in Libraries, May 2011

Moving Toward the Reintegration of Discovery

The scenario of mixing and matching different ILS products and discovery interfaces has become quite common in libraries. As the next phase of library automation plays out, the author expects to see more tightly integrated product suites. If this pattern prevails, over the course of the next decade we may see at least a partial return to a scenario where a library receives most of its automation support from a single company, which could result in better functionality between the discovery and automation environments.

Marshall Breeding, Smart Libraries, November 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

U. of California E-Book Usage Survey

Li, Chan, Felicia Poe, and Michele Potter, et. al. UC Libraries Academic e-Book Usage Survey. Oakland, CA: University of California Libraries, May 2011. At:

In October 2010, the University of California Libraries conducted system-wide survey on e-book usage and user experience from the Springer E-Book Pilot Project initiated in 2008. The survey asked users their general preference for print and e-books, barriers to e-books adoption, and e-book functionalities. Some interesting findings include: Only 47% of the respondents in business and law field reported using academic e-books, lower than all other disciplines; While 49% of all respondents prefer print books for various reasons, 54% of the respondents in business and law field prefer e-books. As for functionalities, being able to search across e-book contents and annotate/highlight are very important to users. Users also want to download a whole book, access books via e-book readers, and are willing to pay for printing on demand.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The power of molecules of information

And again via Catalogablog, here's Karen Coyle talking about
How can libraries use the power of metadata — those little molecules of information that help describe the greater work — to help users get more out of their search for resources?

at Harvard Law Library's Library Lab podcast.

Library linked data

I've found an interesting new blog, Managing Metadata,  via one of my old standbys, Catalogablog. In it, Laura Smart, the manager of Metadata Services at Caltech Libraries, muses about what things like Linked Open Data mean to us as Technical Services librarians. Her most recent post, "Should academic libraries expose bib data as linked open data" discusses exactly that. That seems to be the point of things like RDA -- to eventually get all our data out of the catalog and into the semantic web, where other people (and machines) can make use of it. Smart's conclusion, however, is that it might make sense to get your bib data out as open data if you have a lot of unique information in your catalog -- but if your catalog is pretty much represented by the master records on World Cat, then you might as well wait for them to do it. It seems to her to make more sense to work on your list of faculty and their publications -- data that's not represented elsewhere:
I just don’t think it’s realistic for the academic institutions sans lots of unique stuff in Worldcat to heed the call.  I’d rather that the calls for academic libraries to participate in the linked data movement get broader.   It’s not about freeing the ILS.  It’s about pushing out metadata that exposes the work of the people in your organization, not the metadata that exposes the library materials available to the people in your organization.

Friday, October 7, 2011

2012 Cutting-edge Technology in Library Services - Nominations Due Nov. 1

The American Library Association’s Office for Information Technology Policy and the Library & Information Technology Association are soliciting nominations for best library practices using cutting-edge technology. “Cutting edge” refers to tested and successful implementations of technological advancements used in services such as:
  • Improvements in traditional services and processes by inventing/re-inventing/twisting technology
  • Introduction of new, innovative services that are flexible and responsive to community needs
  • Methods for connecting libraries to their communities
  • Funding initiatives or organizational models that ensure library information technology will remain current
To submit your nomination, or to learn more about the nomination process, please consult the ALA website:

Monday, October 3, 2011

Updates posted to LC's RDA information page, 9/29/2011

On September 29, LC posted two updates to its RDA information page ( One is a PDF document called "LC RDA Core Elements for November 2011- " ( and the other is a Word document entitled "RDA alternatives and options - LC's policy decisions for November 2011+" ( In both documents, changes made to LC's RDA policies since the nationwide RDA test are highlighted in yellow. LC plans to use RDA to catalog approximately 5% of its cataloging output beginning in November 2011.