Wednesday, June 27, 2012

PCC issues guidelines for the 264 field

On June 11, 2012 the Program for Cooperative Cataloging issued guidelines for the use of the 264 field in the MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data. The 264 field is used for encoding information pertaining to the production, publication, distribution, manufacture, and copyright date associated with resources. The repeatability of the 264 field allows for separate encoding of each of these different functions, which were previously all rolled up into the 260 field. The enhanced granularity of these data will facilitate machine processing and hopefully improve discovery and retrieval of resources. While acknowledging that 260 and 264 fields may coexist in pre-RDA records and in RDA records created prior to the implementation of the 264, the guidelines state that all new original RDA records should use the 264 field. In an email dated June 12, 2012, Jay Weitz of OCLC confirmed that OCLC users may now begin to use the 264 field in accordance with the PCC guidelines ( If your library uses records downloaded from OCLC, you may already have records with 264 fields in your catalog, even if you didn't create those fields yourself! Catalogers will want to make sure their ILS recognizes the 264 as a valid field. You will also want to check out how this new field displays in your online catalog. In my library's OPAC, we discovered that the 264 will not appear in the "brief" display without some tweaking by our staff.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How to search Google

A colleague's Facebook post lead to this fascinating article by John Tedesco about Daniel Russell's demonstration for a group of investigative journalists of how to search Google like a pro. The problem he posed for them was, given the view of a skyscraper, how would you find the phone number of the office from which the photo was taken. The article went on to detail Russell's Google searching techniques, which are well worth reading, before giving a link to Russell's blog, Search ReSearch, where the riddle about the phone number is answered. It turns out Russell's blog is full of many other research puzzles. Russell works for Google, but claims that his blog reflects his own thoughts. He calls himself an "anthropologist of search." Both articles well worth checking out.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

OCLC Board of Trustees Rejects Jack Blount; Keeps Jay Jordan On

On June 20, I received this OCLC Member Update, which I found surprising since it came just 12 days after the OCLC Member Update announcing that Jack B. Blount is OCLC's next President and CEO. I reproduce yesterday's announcement from OCLC in full below:

Dear OCLC Members,

The OCLC Board of Trustees has concluded that rather than moving forward with the appointment of Jack B. Blount as its President and CEO, it is in the best interest of OCLC to have Jay Jordan continue serving in these capacities. Mr. Jordan has agreed to postpone his retirement to continue leading OCLC.

The OCLC Board of Trustees believes Mr. Jordan's strong track record, his skills as a leader, and his ability to identify and navigate emerging trends, make him uniquely qualified to serve the nearly 72,000 institutions that use OCLC services.

The Board of Trustees has complete confidence in the global management team and the 1,250 employees, who are working diligently to serve libraries around the world and fulfill OCLC's mission and goals.

The Board is committed to an orderly transition of leadership and will be assessing its succession planning process as it moves forward.


Larry Alford
Chair, OCLC Board of Trustees

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Preserving Moving Pictures and Sound

Wright, Richard. "Preserving Moving Pictures and Sound." Digital Preservation Coalition Technology Watch Reports 12(01)(March 2012). At:

This report is for anyone with responsibility for collections of sound or moving image content and an interest in preservation of that content.... The report concentrates on digitization, encoding, file formats and wrappers, use of compression, obsolescence and what to do about the particular digital preservation problems of sound and moving images.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cataloging futures: The importance of quality cataloging

A recent Cataloging Futures post spotlights Paul Deschner's letter to the Harvard Library community about the importance of quality cataloging for the development of new library applications. Paul is Applications Developer at the Harvard Library Innovation Lab. 
One of the primary challenges in this work is getting data describing books and periodicals (catalog records) to relate to data from non-library sources, such as data about book talks on YouTube or to NPR broadcasts of author interviews or to archival collections. It’s all about connections in the data. The barer the data, the less described it is, the more it falls flat.
No software can create these connections if the underlying data hasn’t been carefully composed into richly structured records, based on solid analysis and comprehensive description. The difference is like that between reading a newspaper consisting of headlines only and reading one which also has accompanying articles. It is dramatic.