Wednesday, March 20, 2013

RSS post Google Reader

As you may have read, Google Reader will soon be like Monty Python's Parrot, and cease to be. So how will this impact anyone using Google Reader for their RSS feeds?

The answer is probably not much, as there are, and have been several alternatives to Google Reader. A recent article on The Verge ( explores just that topic.

Feedly is probably the best of these alternatives. With free mobile apps and an easy user interface (it handles keyboard shortcuts!), it is visually friendly and not overly complicated to use. That being said, if you are requiring your reader to handle more feeds, NewsBlur is probably the feeder you need to be using. It not only handles a large amount of feeds, it refreshes every minute, which is more often than the standard you've come to expect with Google Reader. 

One warning that should be taken out of the Verge article is that with Google out of the "free" reader business, expect the market for premium reader services to pick up. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

MARC Usage in WorldCat

Roy Tennant of OCLC research recently released a new website, MARC Usage in WorldCat.  The site reports how MARC has actually been used as evidence by the "WorldCat aggregation".

For each MARC field, you can see the number of uses of each subfield.  A screen shot of the report for MARC field 337:Media Type shows that the field has been used in 199,079 records held by 1,764,210 institutions.  In some cases underlined subfields maybe expanded to show the actual data elements entered.

This is intended as a temporary service to be updated quarterly through 2013.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Recording and slides from ALA Midwinter RDA Update Forum available

ALA has made a number of recordings of sessions from January's Midwinter meeting freely available online. Among these is the RDA Update Forum; speakers at the Forum include representatives from LC (Beacher Wiggens), ALA Publishing (Troy Linker), OCLC (Cynthia Whitacre), JSC (John Attig) and PCC (Philip Schreur). Users can access a PDF version of the presentation slides, an MP3 of the audio portion of the presentation, and the recorded audio and slides together. The recording is over one and a half hours long, but well worth listening to because of the broad range of RDA-related information presented. Changes to the RDA Toolkit, proposed revisions to RDA itself, updates on PCC task group activities, and a review of OCLC's new RDA Policy Statement (effective March 31, 2012) are all covered.