Planet Cataloging

October 10, 2015

First Thus

ACAT Hate literature

Posting to Autocat

On 9/9/2015 4:45 PM, Nathan Rinne wrote:
I would only note that when Jim says “For instance, the collection-development librarians should not buy materials based only on their own opinions of what is right or wrong” I do think that this, actually, is largely impossible to do (and it’s often a good thing that libraries do not collect material that*advocates* for certain views). Also, of course private religious institutions should be able to make such decisions in accordance with their school’s mission.

It is possible to do, as I discovered with my example of the library’s books about globalization. It can happen naturally, as it did there, when the faculty are the ones selecting the books for the library.

I have spoken with several collection-development librarians and faculty members, and there is a danger of skewed collections such as this, when selection is left in the hands of the faculty. Faculty are very concerned about academic freedom, as they should be. This means that in the classroom, they are free to discuss any ideas they want. Of course, this also means that they are equally free to ignore any ideas they do not like. Again, this is all fine.

When faculty are selecting the books for the library’s collection, it is completely different from selecting books to be used in their classrooms. While they are perfectly free to exclude any books they want from their syllabi, in a library there are other needs so that the collection does not just reflect the views of the selectors.

In the case of the books on globalization, the teacher was very anti-globalization and had anti-globalization books on the syllabus. The library bought those books and … that was it. And the collection was skewed as a result.

Some/many faculty can deal with this but others cannot and they see it as an offense against their academic freedom. As an example, there was a famous writer (to be unnamed) who selected the literature books at a university. This writer absolutely hated Dostoyevsky and refused to have anything to do with him or his works in class. That was fine and is a vital part of academic freedom, but: he also refused to buy anything by or about Dostoyevsky for the library. As a result, the collection was skewed until a trained librarian took over selection and brought the collection into more balance.


by James Weinheimer at October 10, 2015 11:44 AM

October 09, 2015

First Thus

ACAT Controversial literature

Posting to Autocat

On 9/9/2015 7:18 PM, J. McRee Elrod wrote:
Aaron said:

It would be nice if we could indicate opposition to some non-religious topics as well …

Yes, for example Evolution–Controversial literature.

But that subdivision has problems, It is misunderstood by most patrons (and some cataloguers) to mean that the literature itself is controversial, rather than to being in opposition.

There is also the older practice, which was probably better understood by the average user:
–Controversial literature–Pro
–Controversial literature–Con

But the question is: would it be any easier for the cataloger to assign these headings than what we have been discussing? Perhaps.

With the Donald Trump example, what about:
Emigration and immigration–United States–Controversial literature–Con.

I think even Donald Trump might agree with this heading.

or concerning Europe:
Emigration and immigration–European Union countries–Controversial literature–Pro.

Of course, this entirely avoids the fact that absolutely NOBODY could ever come up with such a heading on their own! Only a cataloger would even think of such a thing!

But that is an entirely different issue….

By the way, in Wikipedia, the “Con” side is “Opposition to immigration”
Plus, there is a category: Anti-immigration politics

Finally, once linked data arrives, catalogers will (in theory) be able to add much more than only LC subject headings, and so long as there is something with a URI, they will be able to use it. As a result, catalogers will be able to add URIs other than only LC subject headings, if they want to, and the system will function.


by James Weinheimer at October 09, 2015 09:15 PM

Hate literature

Posting to Autocat

On 09/09/2015 1.40, John Gordon Marr wrote:

You write: “They consider their speech more as ‘defending’ their country from harm as well as defending their culture, their communities, their values and so on.”? So do all self-obsessed elitists, like racists, misogynists, confederate-flag wavers, anti-immigration groups in general (throughout history), fascists, communists, hunters, “manifest-destiny” purveyors, anti-public-educationists, anti-science persons, propagandists, all “extremists.” At the very least, the perception offered in your quote cannot be allowed to stand unquestioned, particularly if “They” are not willing to describe the potential harms they perceive in empathetic and non-self-obsessive terms and discuss them in a practical, constructive manner appreciative of all aspects of predation.

Once again, I am not saying this is my opinion, but I respect those who hold opinions other than my own because I want others to respect me even though they may not agree with my opinions. Librarians cannot and should not mold the collection, or its catalog, to mirror their own preferred versions of “how the universe should be”. If there is serious debate on an issue, it should be the collection that reflects the debate and not by the librarian’s power either through his or her speech, through skewed selection, or through skewed catalog records. Once someone takes off “the librarian’s hat” and becomes a private citizen, then they can do anything they want but a librarian has certain responsibilities.

For instance, the collection-development librarians should not buy materials based only on their own opinions of what is right or wrong.

Example: at one institution I worked at, I noticed that there were classes taught about “Globalization” and the library had several books on that topic. I looked at them and found that all of the books in the library were anti-globalization. As it so happens, I am anti-globalization myself based on my own experiences and beliefs, but as the librarian, I saw a real problem. I decided to buy several books that were pro-globalization to make sure that people who were interested could gain a more balanced opinion of the topic. Of course, there was no way I would have ever bought those materials for my own collection at home or would read them myself, but as a librarian, I had other responsibilities.

I have already given examples of how the catalog was designed to provide a view onto the debates on different topics simply by bringing similar items together. (See the example of von Daniken) There is a genuine power in what seems so simple–that is, when the catalog is implemented correctly and used in the right ways. Unfortunately, the computerized catalogs have messed all that up and is why I propose other means for surmounting these types of problems.

In my opinion, in the current world of the Googles and algorithms, if cataloging (and libraries themselves) are to really survive as dynamic places to find answers to questions and to commune with the ideas of others, and not just as a place to get a free copy of a book or DVD that you found out about elsewhere, to get free access to the internet, or as a comfortable place to hear a public lecture and get a cup of coffee afterward–or even worse, as a museum of old books–if libraries are to survive as vital centers of thought, they must provide the public with something the Googles cannot and will not give them and catalogs should be a vital part of that.

Our aim of “objectivity” would be very popular if it was widely known. People have been screaming for it, and for quite awhile too. But our tools need to work quite differently than they do now.


by James Weinheimer at October 09, 2015 01:12 PM

Resource Description & Access (RDA)

Introduction to Bibliography : Information Access ThroughThe Subject

Information Access ThroughThe Subject

Information Access Through The Subject : An Annotated Bibliography / by Salman Haider. - Online : OpenThesis, 2015. (408 pages ; 23 cm.)

Annotated bibliography titled Information Access Through The Subject covering Subject Indexing, Subject Cataloging, Classification, Artificial Intelligence, Expert Systems, and Subject Approaches in Bibliographic and Non Bibliographic Databases etc. 

The project "annotated bibliography" was worked out as Master of Library & Information Science (MLIS) thesis.

by Salman Haider ( at October 09, 2015 09:17 AM

First Thus

40 books every child should read

Reply to Linked-In post about “40 books every child should read

It’s always interesting to see lists of books like this. I especially like to compare them to past collections of books. Here is one from 1907 “Children’s Books and Reading” by Montrose J. Moses and at the end is a bibliography. That list is quite different, with real classics such as Aesop, Anderssen, Grimm brothers, Kipling (who I really liked as a child), retellings of Don Quixote, Shakespeare, Homer and so on. One book I discovered in this list, I think I would have loved as a boy, “What Mr. Darwin saw in his voyage round the world in the Beagle” if only because of the wonderful drawings. Maybe times have changed too much and kids wouldn’t like these books today. I don’t know.


by James Weinheimer at October 09, 2015 07:27 AM

October 08, 2015

First Thus

Hate literature

Posting to Autocat

On 9/8/2015 7:17 PM, John Gordon Marr wrote:
James presents the example of “Donald Trump’s characterization of ‘undocumented immigrants’ from Mexico, as well as his pledge to build a wall and deport 11 million people” and asks: “Is this an example of hate speech?” James, it */is/* an example of */predatory /*speech, regardless of whether Trump hates or not. It does harm, or can result in harm, and it inflates Trumps’ ego at the expense of others. …
But “predation” can be objectively defined as an act that does harm or could potentially do harm, leaving out intent as a subjective factor. You can’t escape accusation of “predation” by claiming that you don’t intend to do harm if you actually do harm (or set up a situation where harm will be done

This is going a bit far afield from cataloging. I have looked for definitions of “predatory speech” and have found very little. I have found no precise definitions.

To bring this back to cataloging, in the NAF, there is “Predatory pricing” “Predatory marine animals” “Predatory lending” and so on, all of which are more or less understandable, but there is no “predatory speech”. On the web, what I have found of “predatory speech” seems to be used primarily in relation to adults preying on children. I find that concept of “predatory speech” quite understandable.

Would Mr. Trump agree that his speeches are examples of “predatory speech”? Once again, I would venture that he would say no. Just as is happening here in Europe with the refugee/immigrant issue, people who want to stop it would reply they are not doing “harm” with their speech and in fact, they would say that harm is happening right now. They consider their speech more as “defending” their country from harm as well as defending their culture, their communities, their values and so on.

Continuing my examples from “The Index of Forbidden Books,” the compilers were trying to defend their beliefs from what they believed were attacks by Locke, Montaigne, Sartre and others.

I am not saying I agree with all or any of this, but my opinions–as a cataloger–are completely irrelevant. These considerations only confirm my belief that our predecessors were very wise to divorce the cataloger’s opinion from the item, and to try–as well as we can even though it can be difficult!–to describe materials in the way their authors would want them described.


by James Weinheimer at October 08, 2015 08:57 PM

Mod Librarian

5 Things Thursday: Music Metadata, Maps, DAM, Special Collections

5 Things Thursday: Music Metadata, Maps, DAM, Special Collections

Without further ado, 5 things:

  1. The importance of music metadata.
  2. Competencies for special collections professionals.
  3. Looking for maps? The Library of Congress has a ton.
  4. Do’s and don’ts of corporate digital asset management.
  5. There is a Special Library Association DAM section!

View On WordPress

October 08, 2015 12:07 PM

October 06, 2015

First Thus

ACAT Hate literature

Posting to Autocat

On 9/5/2015 5:26 PM, Bowers, Kate A. wrote:
I also think “Hate speech” for instances of hate speech should be a form-genre term. It may never appear in LCSH but there are other thesauri where it would be useful. This suggestion that “hate speech” is somehow too subjective to be identified is just plain wrong. Most libraries won’t be collecting hate speech, but if you are a research library or special collection you very likely will collect it and need to identify it as such. For example, it’s likely that there are researchers out there right now making collections of hate speech (websites or tweets) and that they are writing books about it. Those books will get the subject heading “Hate speech” but eventually the original research material will find its way into archives and special collections, where it will need to be identified. In fact, there is already a close term in

I’m afraid we have a serious disagreement. If I am the compiler (creator) of a collection of hate speech, I can decide whether individual examples of speech should be labelled as “hate speech” or not. Let’s consider a recent instance: Donald Trump’s characterization of “undocumented immigrants” from Mexico, as well as his pledge to build a wall and deport 11 million people. Is this an example of hate speech?

From the regular and social media, I have seen people come down on both sides: some will say yes, and others will say no. There is, and can be, no objective, definitive answer. I am 100% certain that if someone asked Mr. Trump himself, he would reply that it is definitely NOT an example of hate speech.

If I am the compiler of a collection/archive of hate speech, I am perfectly free to consider Trump’s statements as hate speech and add them to my compilation/archive and give it a title like: “A compilation of examples of hate speech”.

If I am a compiler of a collection/archive of freedom of speech, I am just as free NOT to consider his declarations as examples of hate speech, add it to my compilation/archive and give it a title like “A compilation of examples of freedom of speech”.

If I am a reader of these compilations/archives, I can agree or disagree whether Mr. Trump’s speeches are examples of hate speech or freedom of speech. But they are definitely not hate speech simply because some compiler somewhere decided to put it into a collection of hate speech–any more than a book is immoral because it was on the Catholic Church’s Index of Forbidden Books. As a reader, I make up my own mind on these issues.

Now comes the tricky part: if I am the cataloger, what do I do?

First, I must acknowledge that I have my own opinions on these matters. (When a cataloger has no opinion one way or another, everything becomes much, much easier) All I need to do is understand that I have opinions and what those opinion are, so I can set them aside for the moment.

Second, it depends on what I am cataloging. If I am cataloging the compilation, and it has a title, or in some way characterizes itself as a collection of hate speech, I will catalog the compilation as a compilation of hate speech, because I am following how the creator presented it. I do this no matter what my opinion is of the collection itself: in my personal opinion, I may consider the collection actually to be examples of statements of freedom of speech. But I must set my own opinions aside–when, and only when, I am a cataloger. When I become a reader like anyone else, I can speak my own opinions, and I could even write a reader review where I can do so.

But, if I am cataloging the individual pieces of the collection, I must once again take each piece as it characterizes itself. To return to one of Mr. Trump’s speeches, to say that it is “hate speech” when he (supposedly) would say it is not hate speech, and then to justify my determination that it is hate speech on the fact that it is in a collection of hate speech, then this would be just like saying that I must catalog the works of Galileo, Copernicus, Bruno, Sartre, Voltaire, Milton, Locke, etc. as “immoral works” because they happen to be in a collection that declares them to be immoral (The Index).

Yes, I realize that this seems inconsistent: in the catalog the same item may be characterized in different ways. When it is in the catalog an item is characterized one way, but individually that same item may be characterized in a completely different way. Nevertheless, when looked at in the aggregate, it is an entirely consistent treatment. This may seem weird to us today because the catalog itself is becoming a strange tool to 21st century eyes.

Of course this method has never been perfect and in other posts, I have pointed to several examples where it has fallen apart. Perhaps someday, someone will come up with other methods that are better. As Ann mentioned, reader opinions may take precedence (for good or ill), but that has yet to happen and so far I have seen nothing except concerns that we are finding ourselves more and more into our own personal “Filter Bubbles” where the technology silently makes us aware only of things that make us happy and comfortable. There has been a debate about this, but (in my opinion!) I think it very well may be true.

That is not the purpose of the catalog and it is one (forgotten?) powers of the catalog that I think could become appreciated if it were widely known and–more importantly–if our catalogs functioned differently so that people could actually see it in action.


by James Weinheimer at October 06, 2015 06:05 PM

October 05, 2015

First Thus

Hate literature

Posting to Autocat

On 9/5/2015 12:30 AM, John Gordon Marr wrote:
… but if we can use “Controversial literature” in relation to religious works, we could at least employ its use under */any /*”names of individual [groups and ideologies] and uniform titles for works that argue against or express opposition to those groups or works” without being overly subjective.
We’d just be alerting patrons to the presence of controversy as to the factual validity of what they chose to read. Note that religion is just one particular form of ideology. One might say, relatively neutrally, that ideology itself is the major divisive element of societies.

Perhaps, although I would want to find out what others think about it. I guess this would also mean that the subdivision –Apologetic literature that would defend the group, would also be usable.

My first question is: what do we mean by groups? –Controversial literature already works for religious groups (, but should it be for e.g. ethnic groups,
Indians of North America–Controversial literature

or political groups
Communists–Controversial literature

or should it apply not to the group but to the doctrines:
Communism–Controversial literature
Neoliberalism–Controversial literature
National socialism–Controversial literature

Should it apply to professional groups, e.g.
Physicians–Controversial literature
College teachers–Controversial literature

although here we would seem to run into the subdivisions already used: –Professional ethics and –Moral and ethical aspects, (e.g.
Physicians–Professional ethics
and it would normally be
Medical care–Moral and ethical aspects, but we are told to use Medical ethics)

A usage such as Physicians–Controversial literature would seem to be a different topic, since this would assume an attack on physicians while Physicians–Professional ethics would be something different.

Nationalities and related groups?
Greeks–Controversial literature
Immigrants–Europe–Controversial literature
(these could be used for much of what is happening today)

Corporate bodies?
Microsoft Corporation–Controversial literature
Dow Chemical Company–Controversial literature
Monsanto Company–Controversial literature
(but there is already –Corrupt practices)

And all of these would also have –Apologetic literature.

In sum, I sympathize with wanting to give this kind of access but when it comes to actually adding a heading, I hesitate because I worry that I would just be recording my own opinions. If the title of the book were clear and read something like: “I hate [fill in the group]”
“A hearty defense of [fill in the group]”

I might go along. But otherwise, a resource that strongly criticizes some kind of group, I think is best handled by the various forms of –Public opinion.

For instance, the book by Naomi Klein against excesses of the big brands:

No logo : taking aim at the brand bullies / Naomi Klein.

got the subjects
International business enterprises–Political aspects.
International business enterprises–Public opinion.
Brand name products–Political aspects.
Brand name products–Public opinion.

Of course, “Public opinion” here means her opinion.

Could we add here:
International business enterprises–Controversial literature



by James Weinheimer at October 05, 2015 02:58 PM

October 04, 2015

First Thus

Hate literature

Posting to Autocat

On 9/4/2015 7:09 PM, John Gordon Marr wrote:
Could we please pause here and ask, about such journals: what makes them “predatory”, and can a line be drawn between opportunistic (but “legal”) business practices and genuinely harmful (but not illegal) activities?

Once again, these are very tough issues. Since I tend to see matters in their historical contexts, I think Beall’s list could be compared to the “Index of Forbidden Books” that the Catholic Church put out for a few centuries, and that list included some books that we now consider to be the greatest works of Western Civilization.

I have the greatest respect for Mr. Beall and his work, but I am also highly concerned about catalogers putting a code in the bibliographic record for “predatory publisher” just because it happens to be on his list, just as I would hesitate to add a code because a book happened to be on some other form of “Index of Forbidden Books” put out by the Catholic Church or any other agency, and there are lots of materials that all kinds of powerful agencies do not want you to know about.

That said, would it be good for the public to be aware that some item has been deemed harmful for whatever reason? Sure, and at one time that was the role of the arrangements of the catalog. We can see it in things like von Daniken’s “Chariots of the Gods” (where the author believed that aliens came to the Earth in ancient times) where if you search for him as an author, you get all the editions/manifestations

but it is just as important when you search by subject, you find out there are many other opinions about von Daniken’s work, and this is one point where the catalog was designed to open your mind to other ideas.

Strangely enough, because of those arrangements, to see these juxtapositions was much clearer in the card catalog than it is today. The subject cards would (usually) be found right after the author cards and people could see the disputes right in front of their eyes just by browsing the cards. You can see it even more clearly with really outrageous things, such as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The catalog really is a powerful tool when used correctly.

But those days are gone and it seems as if nobody has any interest to rethink those capabilities for a new epoch. That is why I suggest doing things with APIs and linked data, to restore at least some of the powers of the card catalog. I suspect that letting people know that an item was on the Index could perhaps be even more interesting for the public than that it is on Beall’s list.

(Yes, I know lots of people will be laughing at me out there as a dinosaur, once again talking about how powerful the card catalog was, but I reply that perhaps there are good things that have been forgotten for a long, long time….)

“Oral communication — Social aspects” and “Freedom of speech” seem to me way too broad, timid and “politically correct” as sole references to examples of predatory “Propaganda” that researchers may be seeking. Of course, predation (and propaganda) do exist on scales, but parameters can be established (e.g., */how thoroughly/* manipulative, veering from fact, and/or damaging).

Of course, this is strictly a political matter. The term “propaganda” means different things to different people. Even back in the 1940s, the term “propaganda” did not have the strictly negative connotation that we think of today. Edward Bernays’ classic book “Propaganda” (1920s) did not have that negative slant to it, and it meant simply “public relations”. In several languages today, it still doesn’t really have a negative connotation.

For some, Fox News and Glenn Beck are the purest propaganda. For others, they are the closest thing to truth, and propaganda is Democracy Now and Noam Chomsky.

Cataloging must stay away from this and strive to be “objective”. So far, the only way to achieve this has been to describe an item as it describes itself. Therefore, something that denies the Holocaust but claims it does not, should not be described as Holocaust denial literature. A text that catalogers (and any reasonable person) would say is outrageously racist, bigoted, etc. but claims it is not, should not be described by the cataloger as “Hate speech”.

In the future, other methods may be discovered besides describing an item as it describes itself. But even then, cataloging should stay as far away from those matters as possible, and trust that it is the individual users who are the best people to decide. We should not decide for them.

And if the only solution is to have, as you put it, “broad, timid and politically correct” subject headings, then so be it.


by James Weinheimer at October 04, 2015 09:52 PM

ACAT Hate literature

Posting to Autocat

On 9/4/2015 1:10 AM, J. McRee Elrod wrote:
Christopher aid:

“Hate literature” or “Hate speech”as a genre term would be very subjective, and applying it would require the cataloger to make a value judgment about the work.

Agreed. Applying a code to “predatory” journal records has the same problem, in addition to the time consuming research required to identify such resources.

When I suggested leaving it to the professor, I was thinking more of acceptance as a valid citation, e.g., some will accept “Wikipedia”, and some won’t; it is a value judgement.

Yes, there is a clear delineation of responsibility of the selector/person responsible for collection development and that of the cataloger, who is responsible for describing and organizing the items into the collection in ways that are as consistent and unbiased as possible. Sometimes there are reasons to make it more difficult to access certain materials because of possibilities of theft or damage to sexually explicit or controversial materials. Perhaps some materials should be withdrawn altogether, but it is nevertheless the job of the catalogers to remain as unbiased as possible, and they should not try to make materials more difficult for the public to find in the catalog based on the cataloger’s own opinions.

For instance, I can imagine using the term “Hate speech” only if it is used pretty much explicitly on the item I would be cataloging, e.g. but even in this case, the cataloger did a good job by adding the subjects:

Oral communication — Social aspects
Freedom of speech

By the way, even the Wikipedia page says: “The neutrality of this section is disputed” ( I don’t know how it could be anything else!


by James Weinheimer at October 04, 2015 08:57 AM

October 03, 2015

Resource Description & Access (RDA)



RDA Cataloging News is a monthly initiative by RDA Blog. It combines the entries of RDA Bibliography and also items on Subject Cataloging. Please suggest entries to be included in RDA Cataloging News (preferably through RDA Cataloging - Google+ Community on Resource Description and Access (RDA) or by any other means of your wish).

Do you think this tedious and time consuming initiative of compiling a monthly newsletter of RDA Cataloging News should be continued? Will you be helping me in this compilation by suggesting information to be included here? What do you think about RDA Blog, is this helpful? Please provide us your valuable feedback in the RDA Blog Guest Book; selected detailed feedback will be published on RDA Blog Testimonials. 

Events / Workshops / Seminars / Conferences / Training / Etc.
Web / Blog Posts

RDA Bibliography

  • Suggest items to be included here
  • Relavance of Ranganathan's cataloguing principles. D Rajyalakshi. 2004.  Dattsons. xxii, 381 pages. Nagpur
  • AACR 2 headings : a five-year projection of their impact on catalogs. Arlene G Taylor. 1982. Libraries Unlimited. 145 pages. Littleton, Colo.
  • The concept of main entry as represented in the Anglo-American cataloging rules; a critical appraisal with some suggestions: author main entry vs. title main entry. M Nabil Hamdy. 1973. Libraries Unlimited. 160 pages. Littleton, Colo.
  • Cataloguing of Indic names in AACR-2 : a study. D K Kaushik. 2000. Originals. viii, 348 pages. Delhi 
  • Suggest items to be included here
  • A Review of The RDA Workbook: Learning the Basics of Resource Description and Access. Benjamin Abrahamse. 2015. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly. Vol. 53, Iss. 7, pages 851-854. Online
  • A Review of RDA, Resource Description & Access and Cartographic Resources. Cheri A. Folkner. 2005. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly. Vol. 53, Iss. 7, pages 855-857. Online

Format of bibliographic description here is similar to description on Bibliography Page of RDA Bibliography: Title. Author/Editor/Compiler. Year. Publisher/Journal. Pages/Volume/Issue/Slides/Minutes. Place.

This is a compilation from Google Alerts and other sources and searches. Check complete compilation so far in the Bibliography Page of RDA Bibliography containing Articles, Books, Presentations, Thesis, and Videos on Resource Description and Access (RDA) in a spreadsheet view as shown below:

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by Salman Haider ( at October 03, 2015 10:32 AM

October 01, 2015

OCLC Cataloging and Metadata News

OCLC prints last library catalog cards

OCLC printed its last library catalog cards today, officially closing the book on what was once a familiar resource for generations of information seekers who now use computer catalogs and online search engines to access library collections around the world.

October 01, 2015 08:30 PM

Mod Librarian

5 Things Thursday: DAM, Fanzines and St. Marks Place

5 Things Thursday: DAM, Fanzines and St. Marks Place

And now, five things:

  1. Another DAM Podcast interview with Jennifer Veiga and Theresa Honig of American Media.
  2. Clean up your DAM.
  3. The strange history of the East Village’s most famous street.
  4. What is metadata-driven design and how does it apply to mobile apps?
  5. How a collection of sci fi fanzines helps us understand life before the Internet.

BONUS: Metadatabetween Archivists’ Toolkit and…

View On WordPress

October 01, 2015 12:04 PM

September 30, 2015

First Thus

ACAT Usage of “History” as a free floating subdivision

Posting to Autocat

On 30/09/2015 8.56, Fatima al-Bazzal wrote:
I have some concerns about using “History” as a free floating subdivision and i want to share them with you, my question is divided into three parts:

Many of your questions are answered in the SCM for History The entire procedure is important, including the end, “Subdivisions not further subdivided by –History”
Also, if a heading is authorized, it can be used, e.g.

i- International relations–History–20th century versus International relations–20th century

If you look in the NAF, International relations–History is authorized while International relations–20th century is not. Use the form that is authorized.

All of this is terribly complicated, much of it is arbitrary and there are mistakes everywhere in our catalogs (understandably enough). Also, while such procedures were absolutely vital in a card catalog, it is difficult to determine how much of this is really necessary in today’s keyword environment, or how it could all be made easier for catalogers and users.


by James Weinheimer at September 30, 2015 10:16 AM

September 29, 2015

First Thus

Comment to: Print Lives!

Comment to LinkedIn message about the article from the Atlantic Magazine The Plot Twist: E-Book Sales Slip, and Print Is Far From Dead

A more in-depth discussion about these numbers is here: In short, they found:

“So far in 2015, the AAP’s reports have charted a progressive decline in both ebook sales and overall revenue for the AAP’s member publishers.”


“During that same period in 2015, Amazon’s overall ebook sales have continued to grow in both unit and dollar terms, fueled by a strong shift in consumer ebook purchasing behavior away from traditionally-published ebooks and toward indie-published- and Amazon-imprint-published ebooks.

These “non-traditionally-published” books now make up nearly 60% of all Kindle ebooks purchased in the US, and take in 40% of all consumer dollars spent on those ebooks.”

So, they conclude that the traditional publishers are losing market share, but that the independents are doing much better, and that actually, ebook publishing is higher than ever. What is happening is that people are turning away from the traditional publishers. The main publishers’ decision to raise prices hurt their sales seriously. People have found that they have a choice.

I love printed books, but I think we are living on borrowed time. The Google Books-Publishers agreement was not implemented, but if it had gone through and there was full access to all of Google Books–through libraries!–the information world would be completely different than it is now. If all of those Google Books were available electronically, it would have to hit circulation numbers somehow. I wonder how much?

Those scans in Google Books will be made available sooner or later, no matter how much the publishers want to stop people from accessing them. And that will be the moment of real change. I hope libraries will be up to the challenge.


by James Weinheimer at September 29, 2015 01:28 PM

Resource Description & Access (RDA)

Salman Haider Author - Facebook Page

Salman Haider

I have created a Facebook Page Salman Haider Author:

I will be using this to share and communicate about my writing on Librarianship Studies & Information Technology, Library and Information Science, Resource Description and Access - RDA, Library Cataloging, Library Classification, Subject Headings, Information Access Through The Subject, Library Management, etc.

I will also post here items which are not covered by RDA BlogLibrarianship Studies and Information Technology Blog, and Information Access Through The Subject Blog.

I will stop sharing professional communication from my personal Facebook profile after some time.

Like this page if you wish to be updated about my research writings on library and information science and information technology.

You can also communicate with me on this page on issues related to library and information science and information technology.

by Salman Haider ( at September 29, 2015 02:33 AM

September 28, 2015

mashcat « mashcat

Mashcat face-to-face event in Boston: call for proposals

We are excited to announce that the first face-to-face Mashcat event in North America will be held on January 13th, 2016, at Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. We invite you to save the date, and we hope to have registration and a schedule for this low-cost (less than $10), 1-day event announced in November.

At present, we are accepting proposals for talks, events, panels, workshops or other for the Mashcat event. We are open to a variety of formats, with the reminder that this will be a one-day, single-track event aiming to support the cross-pollination goals of Mashcat (see more below). We are open to proposals for sessions led virtually. Please submit your proposals using this form. All proposals must be received by November 1st, 2015, midnight, and we will respond to all proposals by November 8th, 2015.

Not sure what Mashcat is? “Mashcat” was originally an event in the UK in 2012 which was aimed at bringing together people working on the IT systems side of libraries with those working in cataloguing and metadata. Three years later, Mashcat is a loose group of metadata specialists, cataloguers, developers and anyone else with an interest in how metadata in and around libraries can be created, manipulated, used and re-used by computers and software. The aim is to work together and bridge the communications gap that has sometimes gotten in the way of building the best tools we possibly can to manage library data.

Thanks for considering, and we hope to see you in January.

by Galen Charlton at September 28, 2015 05:15 PM

TSLL TechScans


From 2011-2014 a team at the School of Information and Library Science at UNC-Chapel Hill and the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities worked to develop a structure of incorporated digital forensics tools that was accessible to librarians, archivists, and their peers. What they developed was an environment that collected free and open source tools into a suite of resources for anyone working with a digital curation workflow. Known as BitCurator, the environment is available for local download, running in a Linux environment, or can be accessed via a virtual machine. As we look to preserve a progressively digital environment the tools in the BitCurator suite will prove to be increasingly more valuable to ensure the authenticity and preservation of materials in addition to addressing the privacy concerns of the item creators.

The creation of BitCurator was just the beginning and an additional grant has extended the project, now known as BitCurator Access for an additional 2 years. This project seeks to expand upon the foundation set up in the initial project and to develop tools to help in streamlining the process for information professionals.

To support the future of BitCurator, the developers have set up the BitCurator Consortium. The mission of the consortium is to support digital forensics practices in libraries, archives, and museums and to help preserve and provide authentic access to our digital records through the sharing of resources and the improvement of the BitCurator environment. 

by (Lauren Seney) at September 28, 2015 05:04 PM

September 27, 2015

First Thus

ACAT DOAJ and predatory publishers

Posting to Autocat

On 9/3/2015 1:40 PM, Marcel Plourde wrote:
It appears that DOAJ allows the distribution of hundreds of journals published by predatory publishers that are listed by Jeffrey Beall (
This situation is known, although difficult to manage with the resources we currently have.
We can either disable the target DOAJ which would deprive our users to thousands of open source journals, or disable only all predatory titles after long bibliographical research to be sure of every title.
However, it is reluctant to us to offer through our research tools access to poor quality journals.

That is a really tough decision. Putting a code into the record raises the concern that a library could be put at risk of legal action. Publishers have threatened Jeffrey Beall (, so I would certainly want to run this by the legal department of my institution before I did anything like that.

This seems to be a great example of how the principles of linked data could help, although an API to make a webservice would probably be easier to implement. If the list were made available in certain ways, the data could be worked with so that, e.g. when someone saw a record from one of these predatory publishers, the record could display that fact, plus whatever information the library would want, and the individual searchers could decide what to do for themselves.

It would work similarly to how the Google API operates. It automatically searches Google Books, sees if there is anything that matches, and feeds the information back into the catalog display. The catalogers don’t have to add anything to the records.

To see it in action, this is how it works in the catalog at Princeton, when the searcher clicks on the catalog record, behind the scenes the catalog is searching Google Books and bringing back links and book covers, while the searchers are unaware that they are searching two databases at once.

We would just have it search the Jeffrey Beall API (which would need to be built) along with the Google Books API!


by James Weinheimer at September 27, 2015 12:53 PM

Resource Description & Access (RDA)

RDA - Production Publication Distribution Manufacture Date - MARC 264

RDA - Production Publication Distribution Manufacture Date - MARC 264

MARC field 264 (formerly known as the publication, distribution, field in AACR2) is the home for many different RDA elements.  MARC field 264 will replace field 260 so that each of the different types can be coded explicitly. We will talk about the following areas:

  • Production statement (2.7)
  • Publication statement (2.8)
  • Distribution statement (2.9)
  • Manufacture statement (2.10)
  • Copyright date (2.11)
[Source: Library of Congress]

Please note that relevant rules are available in RDA RULES-CHAPTER 2

Some popular RDA Blog posts on PUBLICATION DISTRIBUTION ETC.MARC-260MARC-264, and DATE using guidelines from RDA RULES-CHAPTER 2 are following:
Bookmark this RDA Blog post for important links to Resource Description and Access and AACR2 Cataloging Rules and Examples on PUBLICATION PRODUCTION MANUFACTURE DISTRIBUTION ETC.MARC-260MARC-264, and DATE applying guidelines from RDA RULES-CHAPTER 2 and LC-PCC PS.
Thanks all for your love, suggestions, testimonials, likes, +1, tweets and shares ....

See also related posts in following RDA Blog Categories (Labels):

by Salman Haider ( at September 27, 2015 06:22 AM

September 26, 2015

Terry's Worklog

Automatic Headings Correction–Validate Headings

After about a month of working with the headings validation tool, I’m ready to start adding a few enhancements to provide some automated headings corrections.  The first change to be implemented will be automatic correction of headings where the preferred heading is different from the in-use headings.  This will be implemented as an optional element.  If this option is selected, the report will continue to note variants are part of the validation report – but when exporting data for further processing – automatically corrected headings will not be included in the record sets for further action.


Additionally – I’ll continue to be looking at ways to improve the speed of the process.  While there are some limits to what I can do since this tool relies on a web service (outside of providing an option for users to download the ~10GB worth of LC data locally), there are a few things I can to do continue to ensure that only new items are queried when resolving links.

These changes will be made available on the next update.


by reeset at September 26, 2015 09:24 PM