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