Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Coming to terms with the IFLA LRM

In early December, ALCTS sponsored a webinar entitled The IFLA LRM Model: an introduction presented by Thomas M. Dousa of The University of Chicago Library. The webinar attempted to distill the concepts embodied in the ILFA Library Reference Model for an audience just beginning exploration of the model. Since the revised RDA Toolkit is organized in alignment with IFLA LRM entities, understanding of the model should aid use of the new toolkit.

Dousa explained that the IFLA LRM represents a harmonization of the three conceptual models sometimes referred to as the "FRAMILY", that is FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records), FRAD (Functional Requirements for Authority Data), and FRSAD (Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Data).In the training period leading up to the introduction of RDA, many of us spent time wrestling with the FRBR WEMI model and the FRBR user tasks of Find, Identify, Select and Obtain.

The LRM presents an expanded suite of user tasks:
  • Find - bring together information about one of more resources of interest ...
  • Identify - clearly understand the nature of the resources found and distinguish between similar resources
  • Select - determine the suitability of the resources found ...
  • Obtain - access the content of the resource
  • Explore - discover resources using the relationships between them, placing the resources in context
And a consolidated list of entities:

  • Res
  • Work
  • Manifestation
  • Expression 
  • Item
  • Agent
  • Person
  • Collective Agent
  • Nomen
  • Place
  • Time-Span
These entities function in an "is-a" hierarchy, where entities inherit the characteristics of entities further up in the hierarchy. Practically, all entities are subcategories of "res", and "person" and "collective agent" are subcategories of "agent". 

The definition of "work" has been adjusted to read "the intellectual or artistic content of a distinct creation". It should be noted that works are modeled as coming into existence with the creation of an initial expression; there is no work without at least one expression of the work. The definition of "expression" has been adjusted to account for simultaneous creation with a work; the definitions of manifestation and item have also been adjusted. 

Some additional things to keep in mind include the definition of "person" in a way that prohibits the treatment of fictional beings as persons , the concept of "nomen" defined as "an association between an entity and a designation that refers to it", and the idea of a "representative expression" as essential to characterizing a work.

The concept of relationships is central to the LRM. Currently 36 have been declared in the format [Entity A]<Relationship>[Entity B]. Relationships among the various WEMI entities form the core of the model.

How any of this will play out in the daily work of bibliographic description remains to be seen. The RDA Steering Committee has yet to finalize revisions to the RDA Toolkit, but it is my understanding that many cataloging policy decisions will be governed by application profiles.

As a reminder ALCTS webinars are made available at no cost on the ALCTS Youtube channel six months after original presentation.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Getting to Know TS Librarians: Gypsy Moody

1. Introduce yourself (name & position). 
Gypsy Moody - Cataloging Librarian at Belmont University College of Law

2. Does your job title actually describe what you do? Why/why not?
It describes only a small portion of what I actually do.  At this point, my time is spent doing a lot more metadata management and systems work than strict cataloging.  I started in this position over seven years ago, when the law school was founded.  My duties have grown, developed and evolved as the library has established itself and needs have arisen that I was able to fill.  I have learned Qualtrics to run our student satisfaction surveys, tackled a systems migration and configuration to become the Alma Administrator for the Law Library, and manage all aspects of the Law School collections in the Belmont’s Digital Repository.    

3. What are you reading right now?
In my quest to better understand Scholarly Communications, I located the NASIG Core Competencies for Scholarly Communication Librarians and have been trying to find the bottom of the Open Access articles rabbit hole...

4. If you could work in any library (either a type of library or a specific one), what would it be? Why?
I believe being a solo librarian would be a fascinating, challenging and rewarding job.  I have been given the opportunity to work in so many facets of librarianship and I think there would be something very poetic about wrapping it all up with a nice bow as a solo librarian at a small art college or museum. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The Library of Congress’ Policy and Standards Division (PSD) announces the cancellation of “multiple” subdivisions

Beginning December 2018, the Library of Congress’ PSD announced the cancellation of “multiple” subdivisions from Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH).
Established LCSH multiple subdivisions are identified by the presence of [square brackets] and followed by “etc.”  The concept allowed catalogers flexibility in creating and maintaining LCSH heading strings as catalogers can “fill in the blank” and substitute any word, phrase, or other information that fits the instruction without seeking PSD approval. Unfortunately, the use of multiple subdivisions, which are not fully authorized, presents obstacles in implementing linked-data projects.  Using multiples to generate free-floating lists under individual headings creates headings without identifiers and heading strings that cannot be machine-validated.
The announcement, which contains the project plan and instructions for catalogers, is found at

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Getting to Know TS Librarians: Aaron Retteen

1. Introduce yourself (name & position). 
Aaron Retteen, Digital Services & Repository Librarian.

2. Does your job title actually describe what you do? Why/why not?
Yes and no, because I do focus a lot of energy on maintaining and improving our institutional repository, but I have taken on a scholarly communications librarian role as well by consulting with faculty on all aspects of the research lifecycle. Copyright consultations regarding published scholarship, as well as educating faculty about scholarship impact data and altmetrics, are big aspects of my position that aren’t readily apparent in the title. Like many other librarians today, I also take on other roles as needed (and for me, these roles typically involve technology to some extent).

3. What are you reading right now?
Actually, a lot of different titles all of the time, but these titles are currently on my desk and resources I’m paging through a lot:
  • Wu, Michelle M., editor. Academic Law Library Director Perspectives: Case Studies Andinsights. William S. Hein & Co., 2015.
  • Kroski, Ellyssa, editor. Law Librarianship in the Digital Age. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2014.
  • Allan, Barbara. The No-Nonsense Guide to Project Management. Facet Publishing, 2017.
4. If you could work in any library (either a type of library or a specific one), what would it be? Why?
I’ve always thought it would be cool to work in the Library of Congress in some capacity, because of my interest in politics and the United States government in general.

5. You suddenly have a free day at work, what project would you work on?
Oh man, there’s so many big projects I want to work on! I would probably work on my project to build a scholarship reporting solution through an easy-to-use web application. Or maybe start planning a library website refresh. Or collect empirical data for my scholarship project. I should look into getting an RA or two!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

MarcEdit a.k.a. "A Cataloger's Best Friend"

Yael Mandelstam, Head of Cataloging & Metadata Services at Fordham University School of Law conducted an excellent day-long workshop on the functionality of MarcEdit during the 2018 AALL conference. If you were not able to attend that session, don’t despair.  “Free” instructional resources are available. 
MarcEdit, which includes a built-in help tool, was recently updated to version 7. New features incorporated into the latest rendition include linked data enhancements, BibFrame2 support, expanded command-line options, and integrated help. In addition, there is a Knowledge Bases and Related Tools (KBART) plugin. Basic MARC functionality has changed very little in the new version.    
As a follow-up to workshops offered at the NASIG 32nd Annual Conference, Terry Reese, Head, Digital Initiatives, Ohio State University and Wendy Robertson, Institutional Repository Librarian, University of Iowa, published an article that provides a brief history and overview of the many features of MarcEdit. The article, “A Beginners Guide to MarcEdit and Beyond the Editor: Advanced Tools and Techniques for Working with Metadata," is freely available on the University of Iowa’s Institutional Repository.   In addition, a YouTube series titled NASIGMarcEdit 7 Webinar Parts has been created to compliment the NASIG workshop. The videos provide brief explanations and demonstrations of the new features and tools found in MarcEdit 7. Topics covered are XML/JSON Profile, Using MarcEdit’s Clustering Tools, and Using MarcEdit’s Linked Data functionality.
Terry Reese includes many helpful topics and issues on his MarcEdit Development webpage.  Here, in addition to Current News, one finds MarcEdit 7.0 downloads and logs of changes made for Windows (32 and 64-bit), MacOS, and Linux; Getting Help; MarcEdit FAQs; and Technical Details. Additional software downloads include MSI Cleaner, XSLT files, and Plug-in downloads to create check digits, help with OCLC functionality, and an Internet Archive to Hathi Trust plugin.
If you wish to become familiar with the new features of MarcEdit 7, Reese’s video tutorials are available on his YouTube channel.  A series of webinars facilitating the use of the basic MARC features is available as well.
One video I recommend is posted by Reaching Across Illinois Library System (rails).  This clip was presented by Emily Dust Nimsakont while she was at Schmid Law Library, University of Nebraska, Lincoln College of Law.  Although the video does not cover additions and changes made in the most recent update, the information presented is valid and useful.
The final YouTube that I’ll mention is “Introducing MarcEdit 7 --A Cataloger’s Best Friend." This is an entertaining piece written and performed by Jeff Edmunds as a tribute to MarcEdit 7.  I hope this ode brings a smile to your face as you investigate MarcEdit and the many features available in this remarkable software.

Friday, November 2, 2018

What's up with identity management?

A recent post The coverage of Identity Management work by Karen Smith-Yoshimura in OCLC's Hanging Together blog highlights developments in the probable shift in cataloging practice from "authority control" to "identity management". To put it most simply, our efforts to differentiate creators and correctly correlate their output would shift from constructing a unique text string for each entity to associating the entity with a unique identifier in the form of a URI. Movement towards identity management specifically aligns with the PCC's Strategic Direction 4 "Accelerate the movement toward ubiquitous identifier creation and identity management at the network level"  (, page 5).

The Program for Cooperative Cataloging's ISNI Pilot  represents one venue to explore the possibilities of identity management in the context of cataloging. Association of creators with URIs will ease the transition of bibliographic data into a BIBFRAME/linked data environment. The presentations given at the PCC Participant's meeting at ALA Annual in New Orleans provide an overview of the project and examples of project participant's experiences.

Identity management also has the potential to facilitate authority control in the context of journal literature and institutional repositories. How should catalogers provide authority control for journal article authors? Name identifiers in the linked data world (Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 54:8, p. 537-552 (2016) examined the possibilities for using several sources of author identifiers available through international authority databases.  ORCID recently invited feedback on a draft recommendation for ORCID in repositories and is evaluating the use of identifiers for organizations. A recent paper published by JISC explores the potential of Persistent Identifiers to track scholarly work through the research life-cycle, linking the work of researchers with institutions, funding and publication. The focus of the paper is on OA workflows, but the use of PIDs should be applicable across both OA and paid publications.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Getting to Know TS Librarians: Sue Burkhart

Sue Burkhart is the Acquisitions Librarian for the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Library and she has been here for 24 years.  She grew up in Middle Georgia and went to Tift College in Forsyth, GA (now closed) and worked in a library for the first time as a student assistant. From there she travelled around the country and worked in libraries wherever she went.  Sue got her MLN from Emory University with two young children in the house.

Sue worked at a law firm in New York City, Mercer University Law School Library, and the University of Southern California Law Library before starting with the Circuit Library.  She began her career here as the catalog librarian keeping our online catalog up to date.  She moved on to acquisitions of legal materials for the libraries, the judges and other court staff.  She is also in charge of our Library Digital Collection of court historical material.

In her spare time, Sue enjoys spending time with her nine grandchildren and travelling to visit them as often as she can.  She also has an old English bulldog who takes her for a walk rather than the other way around.  If there is any time left she enjoys quilting and reading.

1. Does your job title describe what you do? Why?
I believe my job title does describe what I do. Since we have a small library staff I get to wear many hats.  I am the Acquisitions Librarian purchasing reference materials for judges, probation officers, federal public defenders, and other federal court staff in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. I am also the Catalog Librarian performing copy cataloging using OCLC and original cataloging when the demand is there. I am also the Serials Librarian in charge of bindery for the few law reviews that we still bind. I am also in charge of our Digital Collection which consists of staff scanning historical court documents, creating metadata for these items, and entering them into our digital repository.

2. What are you reading right now?
I am usually reading two or three books at the same time.  I like all genres but at the present time I am reading historical fiction and non-fiction. For my book club I am reading America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie. This is an interesting look at the life of Thomas Jefferson through the perspective of his daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph, from the time she was a young girl, acting as hostess at the White House during the presidency of her father, and through his death. I am also reading Not Everyone Gets a Trophy by Bruce Tulgan so that I can learn how to better manage members of the millennial generation.

3. If you could work in any library what would it be? Why?
If I could work in any library it would be the one that I am working in right now. I have been here for 24 years and I still love my job. People ask me when I plan to retire and right now I can not give them an answer.  I like the variety of things that I do everyday.

4. You suddenly have a free day at work, what project would you work on? 
I do like the variety of tasks that I do everyday, but some days it feels like I don’t get a lot accomplished because I do have so many things that need to be done.  If I suddenly had a free day at work I would work all day on our library digital collection. That always seems to be at the bottom of my list of things to do but I like having our court history available to people who are looking for a specific item and we don’t have to go looking in file cabinets for them.  

Monday, September 24, 2018

Getting to Know TS Librarians: Celia Gavett

1. Introduce yourself (name & position). 
Hi everyone, I'm Celia Gavett. I'm actually at a point of transition between two positions within Columbia Law School's Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, so the invitation to interview for this blog post came at an interesting time! Since January 2016, I have served as the Head of Continuing Resources & Collection Maintenance. Starting October 1st, I will be working as a Law Cataloger (my first post-MS ILS position).

2. Does your job title actually describe what you do? Why/why not?
Yes, I think the job title for my current position is accurate. As Head of CR & CM, I manage two small teams responsible for print serials processing and maintenance of the stacks, respectively. These two units also handling filing (microforms and print supplementation) and claiming, so although a joint CR & CM unit is perhaps a less common combination, there are several ways that communication and workflows overlap. We are expecting a very large series of book moves within the next year, so I've definitely been thinking more about ways to streamline and improve upon the shift planning processes we've used in the past.

In my upcoming position as Law Cataloger, I'm looking forward to taking on original and complex copy-cataloging of items in various formats and languages. I really enjoy learning new things, and I'm excited to contribute to another area of Technical Services.

3. What are you reading right now?
For work, next on my list is to check out Steven Carl Fortriede's Moving Your Library. Now that I don't have assigned readings from LIS coursework, I'm gradually getting back to more leisure reading too. As a fairly eager home cook, I've enjoyed flipping through J. Kenji López-Alt's The Food Lab over the past couple of months. I know there are a lot of musicians in the law librarianship ranks too, so I'll also mention that I'm trying to get back into playing piano for leisure more regularly -- a couple weeks ago I dusted off my old copy of Mozart sonatas and have found it fun to (badly and stiffly) sight-read a movement or two at a time.

4. You suddenly have a free day at work, what project would you work on?
Free time is especially unexpected for me these days, since our entire Technical Services Department is working through a complete retrospective inventory project. If I suddenly had a truly free day at work with no sensible catch-up tasks to do, I might take some extra time to play around with some of our ILS's reporting functions, because there's always another interesting tip or quirk to discover. I might also try to study up on a bit of basic bibliographic/legal vocabulary in a language I don't read.

Monday, September 17, 2018

RDA Toolkit update

An American Library Association sponsored webcast, "What's next for RDA and the 3R Project" was presented Friday, September 14, 2018. The presentation provided updates on development of the new version of the RDA Toolkit available at

The presenters emphasized that changes to the beta toolkit scheduled for implementation September 26, 2018 were at least partially driven by user feedback. These enhancements include improvements to the HTML editor, improvements to search, updates to tools, and improvements to MARC mapping. The RDA Steering Committee plans to have the beta toolkit function in compliance with W3C accessibility guidelines by the end of the year.

In response to a "use case" for a way to cite to particular guidelines in RDA, citation numbers will be introduced. These will be six to eight digit numbers randomly associated with instructions. They will be "invisible" but searchable within the toolkit.

The presenters again emphasized consistence in structure across instructions; every element will be laid out in the same order. This "boilerplate" is a feature of the content management system used to edit the beta toolkit. Reusable components will enable more efficient updates and translations.

Since RDA is an implementation and extension of the IFLA LRM, the RSC is now able to resolve gaps and inconsistencies within the toolkit. The editors continue to add and adjust content on a regular basis including 96 elements to be added as part of a new Appellation element and modeling of aggregates and serials within the framework of the IFLA LRM.

Navigation and utility should be enhanced by the addition of a "relationship matrix" and a graphical browser intended to show elements in context.

Workshop slides and an archived recording of the session are available. The RDA Toolkit also has a YouTube Channel with links to other presentations.

Friday, September 14, 2018

BIBFRAME Update Forum at the ALA Annual Conference 2018

A BIBFRAME update forum was held at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference with presentations from institutions reporting on projects underway.
Jodi Williamschen, Library of Congress, gave an update on BIBFRAME Pilot 2.0.  She reported that recent infrastructure improvements at LC have been made with the addition of servers and software updates.  The BIBFRAME database, updated daily, contains over 17 million MARC records that have been converted to BIBFRAME Works.
A BIBFRAME 2.0 Implementation Register is available on the LC website.  Located here is information about a project undertaken at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library (UIUC) that focused on creating an interface and converting 7,829 Dublin Core items to BIBFRAME 2.0.  A link is provided to the UIUC Bibframe search interface
A presentation by Tiziana Possemato, Casalini Libri - @Cult, From MARC to BIBFRAME in the SHARE-VDE project, highlighted a collaborative linked data endeavor developed by Casalini Libri (European bibliographic and authority data provider) and @Cult (ILS and Discovery tool provider).  Initial input for the project was received from sixteen North American Research Libraries.
Jeremy Nelson, Metadata & Systems Librarian at Colorado College and co-founder of presented a model for using BIBFRAME in a multi-institutional projects.  The project known as Plains to Peaks collective attempts to unite isolated digital collections located across Colorado and Wyoming into one platform.
Nathan Putnam, Director, Metadata Quality, OCLC discussed the OCLC Research process in converting approximately 11 million MARC records to BIBFRAME 2.0.  Through the process the team learned the importance of Work IDs and URI.  OCLC remains committed to working with LC to support development of BIBFRAME
For links to individual presentations and further information see the BIBFRAME webpage at the Library of Congress website

Monday, August 27, 2018

Getting to Know TS Librarians: Ryan Tamares

1. Introduce yourself (name & position). 

Hello, I’m Ryan Tamares, Head of Collection Services, Robert Crown Law Library, Stanford Law School. I began my work at the library as Lead Cataloging Specialist in 2004, and was promoted to the role of Catalog Librarian in 2013. I have held the title of Head of Collection Services since 2016. My experiences in technical services roles have been so helpful, providing much background from where the collection has been as well as informing on how the library might proceed in the future.

2. Does your job title actually describe what you do? Why/why not?

This is not inaccurate, but doesn’t tell very much about what I do. Officially I oversee the cataloging, processing, and preservation of my library’s collection. I collaborate with my colleagues in other departments as well as the main campus library to make sure library users are able to find and access resources, regardless if they are physical or otherwise.

3. What are you reading right now?

I began reading Pamela Druckerman’s There are no grownups (Penguin Press, 2018) on my flight to AALL Annual in Baltimore, and am nearly done with the book. On professional readings, I am taking a look at two new titles: Elevating customer service in higher education : a practical guide / Heath Boice-Pardee, Emily Richardson, Eileen Soisson (Academic Impressions, 2018), and Reengineering the library : issues in electronic resources management / edited by George Stachokas (ALA Editions, 2018).

4. If you could work in any library (either a type of library or a specific one), what would it be? Why?

Given the choice, I would love to work in a music library, as that is in part my training—my undergraduate degree is in music education, and I earned a Master of Music in bassoon performance. Having a background in performing and teaching music has truly informed me about working with others as well as training people. These are skills that have helped me greatly as a librarian.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Revised RDA Toolkit workshop

Recently I was able to attend a workshop at the American Library Association Annual Meeting, sponsored by the RDA Steering Committee, providing an introduction to the beta revised RDA Toolkit. The RDA Steering Committee (RSC)  initiated the RDA Toolkit Restructure and Redesign (3R) project in 2017, redesigning the toolkit to align with the IFLA Library Reference Model.

The beta Toolkit is available at and users are encouraged to explore and provide feedback. Presentations from the workshop are available on the RSC's presentation site,

What do I think the takeaways are? An understanding of the IFLA LRM is essential to navigating the revised toolkit as all instructions are organized in accordance with this model. The toolkit is very much a work in progress, so it is difficult to tell how it will be to work with, examples are incomplete and some navigational aids have yet to be developed. While the language used is very consistent, it is also somewhat opaque. The new version will be reliant on "application profiles" to provide guidance to catalogers for use of the recording options presented for each data element. It is anticipated that communities of practice, e.g. music catalogers, law catalogers, will develop best practices for catalogers working in these areas.

The RSC has not determined a date for transition to the revised toolkit; they must first agree that the 3R project is complete. The RDA Board must unanimously approve the determination. A transition date will then be announced; the original site will remain available for one year beyond that date so users can move to the new toolkit.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Stanford Libraries Awarded Grant to Implement LD Environment

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded Stanford Libraries a $4 million grant to lead an effort to integrate library data into the greater Web via linked data. Stanford will be partnering with Cornell, Harvard, and the University of Iowa to implement a prototype environment and tools over the next two years. A deliberate partnership with the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) and the Library of Congress has been included in the project, allowing for an expansion of the number of libraries that will be able to implement linked data.

More details can be found in the press release on Library Technology Guides at

Monday, June 25, 2018

Getting to Know TS Librarians: Jason LeMay

1. Introduce yourself:
I am Jason LeMay, Assistant Law Librarian for Cataloging and Metadata at Emory University’s Hugh F. MacMillan Law Library in Atlanta, Georgia.

2. Does your job title actually describe what you do? Why/why not?
Most of the time, yes. My primary role is cataloger, and during normal times I spend a substantial amount of my time at work cataloging more complex materials that need original cataloging. I also spend a fair amount of time cataloging rare materials, with a large backlog of early modern European dissertations to guarantee that I’ll be busy for quite a long time.

Most recently, I’ve been spending the bulk of my time performing my now-retired supervisor’s duties – paying invoices, dealing with vendors, and general administrative technical services tasks. Now that this position has been filled, I anticipate being able to return to my growing backlog of cataloging.

3. What are you reading right now?
I actually just finished my latest book yesterday, The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. I’m finally getting around to my list of “books everyone should read,” and Anne Frank’s diary was up near the top. I’ll probably keep with the theme and start on Wiesel’s Night next.

4. You suddenly have a free day at work, what project would you work on?
I would probably tackle some rare books that have been getting neglected. I have a few bound-withs that are waiting that would probably top my list. I generally dislike cataloging bound-withs, so they tend to get left until I truly have time to work on them.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

LawArXiv One Year Anniversary Report

It hardly seems like it's been over a year since we posted about the launch of LawArXiv. LawArXiv now houses nearly 700 open access legal articles. The organization has published a One Year Anniversary Report.

Some of the highlights from the report:

  • 89% of the submissions to the repository are from Cornell, one of the developers of the platform
  • The majority of the submissions deal with intellectual property law
  • A process for batch uploading of articles was developed in April 2018

Goals for the coming year included:

  • Adding the ability for institutions to use their branding on their submissions
  • Setting up subject-based email alerts
  • Adding a data field for the institution of the article author

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Getting to Know TS Librarians: Elizabeth Outler

1. Introduce yourself (name & position).
I am Elizabeth Outler, Assistant Director for Technical Services at Oliver B. Spellman Law Library, Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

2. Does your job title actually describe what you do? Why/why not?
I think my job title is pretty accurate, though my experience in the TS field is only a couple of years at this point, so I may be mistaken about what is typical. I have recently arrived at Southern and my first task has been working on a cataloging and processing backlog that has stacked up while they waited for hiring to be approved. In the past my role focused on acquisitions, so this is different territory for me. I’m also getting to be in charge of Systems, which again, isn’t really in my training background, but I like it. I really enjoy learning new skills and solving problems, so I am having a pretty good time, and I think I have a great job.

3. What are you reading right now?
I am sort of an abomination – a librarian who does not read. The only explanation for this phenomenon that I have been able to come up with is that law school, and studying for the bar examination, scarred all my reading brain cells and I just don’t want to do it anymore. I do have a book on my nightstand that I have been creeping through when I make myself pick it up: Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans, by John Marzluff & Tony Angell. I like birds, and am particularly interested in crows, so this was a birthday present a few years ago. It is a fascinating book.

4. If you could work in any library (either a type of library or a specific one), what would it be? Why?
I am totally in love with my undergraduate alma mater, Smith College, so if I could work in any library, it would be Neilson Library, which is currently undergoing a major renovation designed by Maya Lin. (See 

Friday, May 25, 2018

Linked data for librarians - new online tutorial

Drexel University's College of Computing and Informatics and the Institute for Library and Museum Services have recently released an online course, Linked Data for Librarians. The course provides an accessible, free and open access introduction to linked data concepts. 

The first part of the course is designed to provide introductory material, part two covers more advanced material and hands on exercises. Each module requires a relatively brief time commitment concluding with a series of questions designed to check the user's understanding of the material presented.

The course is designed and presented by Seth van Hooland, Associate Professor, Département des Sciences de l'Information et de la Communication, Université libre de Bruxelles, and Ruben Verborgh, professor of Semantic Web Technology at IDLab, a group of Ghent University/imec.

As of this writing, I have completed the first three units of Part 1. The material is well organized, examples are well thought out, and the topics are presented in what seem to be new and creative ways. I am looking forward to completing the balance of the material.

Course citation: van Hooland, S. and Verborgh, R. (2017) “Linked Data for Librarians.” Available at

Course outline:

Part 1
  • Introduction
  • Understanding data modesl
  • Possibilities and limitations of RDF
  • Data quality
  • Data profiling and cleaning
Part 2
  • Vocabulary reconciliation
  • Metadata enriching
  • REST
  • Decentralization and federation
  • Conclusions

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

2018 IIIF (International Image Interoperability Framework) Conference

Registration is currently open for the 2018 IIIF Conference held May 21-25 in Washington, DC. The IIIF Conference is co-hosted by the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Folger Shakespeare Library, with an aim to advance the adoption of the IIIF framework. 

IIIF (International Image Interoperability Framework) is a framework for publishing image-based resources in a way that enables images across repositories to be presented in IIIF-compatible image viewers. In particular, images can be “viewed, cited, annotated, and compared” side-by-side. In this example, you can view and compare digitized Litchfield Law School student notebooks from the Harvard Law Library collection and the Yale Law Library collection, in a Mirador viewer. The Harvard collection of student notebooks is from Harvard’s Digital Repository Service and the Yale collection is from the Internet Archive.   

Pre-conference workshops will demo and showcase Mirador and Universal Viewer, two open-source applications that are gaining growing communities of adopters among libraries and museums. 

Conference takeaways will focus on:
  • How to adopt IIIF at your institution
  • Leveraging open source software to get more out of your collection of images  and video
  • Use cases and best practices from IIIF adopters
  • The latest developments in the community including IIIF A/V