Friday, March 29, 2019

Library of Congress BIBFRAME progress

A recent ALCTS webinar "Library of Congress BIBFRAME progress" provided information on the current state of BIBFRAME development. Topics included fiscal year 2019 goals and achievements, an exploration of issues mapping MARC to BIBFRAME to MARC, explication of the issue of "blank nodes", and developments in LC's Linked Data Services.

LC is particularly interested in mapping data both into and out of BIBFRAME to eliminate the need for staff participating in the BIBFRAME pilot to do double work. Currently, participating staff are required to describe a resource in BIBFRAME, then re-describe it in MARC. It will be necessary to provide full MARC and BIBFRAME resource descriptions for the foreseeable future. Sally McCallum described several complicated modeling issues that must be resolved before duplicate work can be eliminated. Many of these issues are related to modeling differences; MARC is a "unit record model" with data both from and about the resource integrated into a record, BIBFRAME splits the data about a resource into Works (RDA work/expression), Instance (RDA manifestation), and Items. Decisions are needed on how to present a BIBFRAME work as a MARC work. Use of vernacular scripts and URIs present additional issues. URIs are present in BIBFRAME descriptions in areas that are not currently supported in MARC. Use of URI's to represent concepts at the field level is pretty straight forward, but mapping of headings with qualifiers can be problematic. The goal is to produce structurally sound MARC records from BIBFRAME.

Kevin Ford addressed the issue of "anonymous resources", also known as "blank nodes". He described anonymous resources as a "fact of life" in the context of raw data transformations. Although it would be nice if all data points and concepts had URIs, not everything rises to a level where an entity is willing to mint and maintain a URI. LC is tackling some of this by creating an experimental "providers" file of publishers, available at

This presentation is available via the ALCTS YouTube channel at ALCTS webinars are generally made available via the ALCTS YouTube channel six months after initial presentation. The Library of Congress makes presentations about BIBFRAME available via their Bibliographic Framework page.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Getting to Know TS Librarians: Nariné Bournoutian

Introduce yourself (name & position).
Hello, all! I'm NarinĂ©  Bournoutian. I am the Head of Continuing Resources and Collection Maintenance at Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Columbia University. I've been at the Law Library since 2014 and in my current role since November 2018.

Does your job title actually describe what you do? Why/why not?
It definitely does! I oversee two separate units in the Technical Services department. The CR unit processes incoming print serials/microforms and communicates with vendors to ensure fulfillment of all our paid subscriptions. The Stacks unit is responsible for the physical organization of the library stacks, reshelving books, and keeping the collection updated by filing supplementation and replacing superseded volumes.

What are you reading right now?
I'm in my fifth semester of my MLIS program, which doesn't leave a lot of time for fiction reading, unfortunately. But I've been on a sci-fi short-story compendium binge lately, since it's easier than trying to intermittently read a novel. I recently finished Ken Liu's The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories and am currently working my way through The Winds of Marble Arch and Other Stories by Connie Willis. Science fiction is my favorite genre, and these stories are a welcome break from mountains of assigned reading and essays!

If you could work in any library (either a type of library or a specific one), what would it be? Why?
My undergraduate focus was film studies and I worked in my college's media library as a student. I would love the chance to work with a time-based media/AV collection again and combine my two areas of study.