Planet Cataloging

September 03, 2014

Terry's Worklog

MarcEdit 6 Update

I’ve just posted a new update to MarcEdit.  In addition to fixing the following three issues:

  • Check URL crashes when running…this has been fixed.
  • Delimited Text Translator doesn’t show finishing message…fixed
  • Debugging messagebox shows when processing mnemonic files not using MarcEdit’s documented format.

In addition to these three bug fixes, MarcEdit is including a new tool called MARCNext for testing BibFrame principles. Please note, the BibFrame Testbed currently *does not* work on the MAC platform under MONO.  This is due to an incompatibility in the current version of saxon with the runtime.  It appears that downgrading the version will correct the problem, but I need to make sure there are not any unforeseen issues.  I’ll be working to correct this during the week.

I’ve recorded a couple videos documenting the new functionality.  You can find there here:

You can download the update via MarcEdit’s automated update tool or view the MarcEdit downloads page at:


by reeset at September 03, 2014 02:58 AM

September 02, 2014

Bibliographic Wilderness

Defeating IE forced ‘compatibility mode’

We recently deployed a new version of our catalog front end (Rails, Blacklight), which is based on Bootstrap 3 CSS.

Bootstrap3 supports IE10 fine, IE9 mostly, and IE8 . IE8 has no media queries out of the box, so columns will be collapsed to single-column small-screen versions in Bootstrap3’s mobile-first CSS — although you can use the third party respond.js to bring media queries to IE8.  We tested IE8 with respond.js, and everything

IE7 according to bootstrap “should look and behave well enough… though not officially supported.”  We weren’t aware of any on-campus units that still had IE7 installed (although we certainly can’t say with certainty there aren’t any), and in general decided that IE7 was old enough that we were comfortable no longer supporting it (especially if the alternative was essentially not upgrading to latest version of Blacklight).

I did do some limited testing with IE7, and found that our Bootstrap3-based app definitely, as expected, fell back to a single column view on all monitor sizes (IE7 lacks media queries).   In a limited skim, all functionality did seem available, although some screen areas on some pages could look pretty jumbled and messy.

Meanwhile, however, Bootstrap also says that “Bootstrap is not supported in the old Internet Explorer compatibility modes.”

What we did not anticipate is that some units in our large and hetereogenous academic/medical organization(s) use, not only a fairly old version of IE (we were able to convince them to upgrade from IE8 to IE9, but no further) — but also one that was configured by group policy to use ‘compatibility mode’ for all websites. IE9 would have been great — but ‘compatibility mode’ not so much.

They reported that the upgraded catalog was unuseable on their browsers.

The bootstrap web site recommend adding a meta tag to your pages to “be sure you’re using the latest rendering mode for IE”:

<!-- note: not what we ended up doing or recommend -->
<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=edge"

However, we didn’t have much luck getting this to work. Google research suggested that it probably would have worked if it is placed immediately after the opening <head> tag (and not in a conditional comment), to make sure IE encounters it before its  ‘rendering mode’ is otherwise fixed.   But this seemed fragile and easy for us to accidentally break with future development, especially when there’s no good way to have an automated test ensuring this is working, and we don’t have access to an IE configured exactly like theirs to test ourselves either. 

What did work, was sending that as an actual HTTP header. “X-UA-Compatible: IE=edge,chrome=1″

In a Rails4 app, this can be easily configured in your config/application.rb:

'X-UA-Compatible' => 'IE=edge,chrome=1'

After adding this header, affected users reported that the catalog site was displaying manageably again. 

Also, I discovered that I could mimic the forced compatibility mode at least to some extent in my own IE11, by clicking on the settings sprocket icon, choosing “Compatibility View Settings”, and then adding our top level domain to “Websites you’ve added to Compatibility View.”  Only top-level domains are accepted there. This did succesfully force our catalog to be displayed in horrible compatibility mode — but only until we added that header. I can’t say this is identical to an IE9 set by group policy to display all websites in compatibility mode, but in this case it seemed to behave equivalently. 

I think, with enough work on our CSS, we could have made the site display in an ugly but workable single-column layout even in IE8 with compatibility mode. It wasn’t doing that initially, many areas of pages were entirely missing. But it probably would have been quite a bit of work, and with this simple alternate solution it’s displaying much better than we ever could have reached with that approach. 


Filed under: Uncategorized

by jrochkind at September 02, 2014 02:29 PM

A portal to my Cataloguing Aids website

The Holy Koran

The Holy KoranThis subject heading change might be tricky for some library software packages due to the diacritic.


For instance, my library software displays as: Qur[AE]an


by Fictionophile at September 02, 2014 12:58 PM

September 01, 2014

Free Moth :: Flutterings

No Shortage: The Video

Hard to believe it’s been nine years since Silent K released the critically unacclaimed No Shortage EP (a second CD is in the works but finding the time to master and pull it all together has been difficult). One thing I had always meant to do was create some visuals to go along with the title track.  I’ve been playing around with the Windows Live Movie Maker software and thought I’d give it a go.

And here are the results; my first music video:  No Shortage

No Shortage


This piece suggests movement and/or travelling to me. I had visions of a car kicking up some dust on an unpaved country road framed by large oak trees. I didn’t have anything like that handy so instead I used three short vignettes that I’d shot in the past:  a subway arriving at the platform; some highway traffic at night filmed from the backseat of a car; and a goofy section of me entering the house with the camera looking down at my feet.  

The videos have been cut up and looped in ways that hopefully reinforce the musical structure. I used various cartoony settings and adjusted the brightness levels to get some slight variation in the looped presentations, mostly transitioning from lighter to darker scenes.

For a long weekend experiment I think it’s turned out pretty well … 

If you are inclined to give it a watch I hope you let me know what you think.

Thanks for listening!

by freemoth at September 01, 2014 02:26 PM

First Thus

ACAT Quality of MLS education cataloging

Posting to Autocat

On 31/08/2014 23.42, Gene Fieg wrote:

I recently went to the website of California state school that teaches  library science and for which I taught courses in 1990s. The core  courses are all about “information” and information access, etc. Cataloging is not a core course as it was in the 90s not to mention reference librarianship. Cataloging at this school is an elective now. And the program is ALA approved, the same organization that pushed RDA. And now the principles behind RDA or any other cataloging code and the teaching them is secondary in their view. Have they forgotten their own history? Dewey ring a bell? Cutter ring a bell? I guess not. Just make librarians “information science” specialists (whatever that might mean) and category that Michael Gorman correctly denoted as bogus. Bogus. Bogus!

If I am not mistaken, “cataloging” has not been core for some time now. In defense of library schools, the purpose was not to produce “catalogers” and the actual training of a cataloger was done by the libraries themselves. I took every course in cataloging that I could in my MLIS degree, but I was shocked when I discovered that I had learned more after 1/2 day of copy cataloging than I had in all the time in library school! This is no criticism of my library school, just a statement of the realities of professional training.

I have gotten the sense that libraries don’t want to do the hands-on training any longer and expect people to show up already trained. That has never been the purpose of professional graduate schools: attorneys are supposed to get on-the-job training, business graduates; doctors have a very, very long term of apprenticeship known as “residency”.

Matters appear to be different today, at least when it comes to librarianship. Professional schools were always supposed to prepare you for the future you will meet, not so much to churn out fully-trained, accomplished professionals ready for full-production from day 1. In that sense, library schools are training the “librarians of the future” and therefore, I see the fact that cataloging is not core more as a statement of what they believe the future will be.

I think we can all assume that digital materials will continue to grow at almost exponential rates and if libraries want to remain relevant to society, we must figure that into our future forecasts. We aren’t in it alone, and there are other agencies such as Google, Yahoo, Wolfram Alpha, along with massive advances in search performed by incredible algorithms, that work tirelessly 24 hours a day to find out more and more about us and try to discern what we want, most often without our knowledge. That may be a wonderful idea or a nightmarish vision but no matter our opinion, it is the “intelligent agent” that Tim Berners Lee has been aiming at. (See where he is quoted from his “Weaving the web”) We have learned that these “intelligent agents” are not necessarily so benevolent and while they can work in our interests, they can also work for all types of people and organizations for all kinds of purposes.

Instead of just walking into this scenario, I think lots of people would like to see some kind of alternatives. Libraries, in my opinion, would be the perfect community to offer alternatives that may be more palatable to large portions of the public who, more often than not, find it difficult even to imagine any alternatives. Libraries, and catalogers, know that there can be alternatives, but much work would remain to be done to refashion these alternatives into something useful for people in the 21st century.

Will it happen? I don’t know, but I have no doubt that it could.


by James Weinheimer at September 01, 2014 11:23 AM

Resource Description & Access (RDA)

Sources of Information in Resource Description and Access (RDA)


The AACR2 concept of “chief source” has been replaced by the RDA concept of “preferred sources.” This is not only a change of term but also reflects RDA’s expansion from a single source to multiple sources for information. The preferred source of information is still the source where you find the title proper. For most elements, RDA gives you permission to take information from any source, with the choices given in a priority order.

If data is taken from outside the resource, it is enclosed in square brackets. For some elements, the data can come from “any source”; consult the ‘sources’ instruction for each element, or 2.2.4. 
  • Exception: when cataloging a resource that doesn’t typically have bibliographic information on the resource (e.g., photograph, sculpture), you do not need the square brackets. 
The sources given in the AACR2 part I chapters have been condensed into three categories: 
     A. Resources with pages, leaves, etc., or images of pages (
     B. Moving images (
     C.All other resources (

A. Resources with Pages, Leaves, etc., or Images of Pages
RDA provides a priority order for the preferred sources for these materials:
  • Title page, title sheet, etc. (or image) 
  • Cover (or image) 
  • Caption (or image) 
  • Masthead (or image) 
  • Colophon (or image) 
If you have exhausted those sources, you can use the source where the title is located.

If your resource doesn’t have a title page, use a source where the information may be formally presented (e.g., perhaps introductory pages). But these are still within the resource.

  • There is an alternative for microform or digital resources, which says to use an eye-readable label. There is also an exception for early-printed resources, with a different priority order. 
Resources Issued in More Than One Part
RDA provides the instructions for resources issued in multiple parts. This includes serials, multipart monographs, integrating resources, and kits. 
  • If the parts are sequentially numbered, use the lowest-numbered issue or part available 
  • If the parts are unnumbered or not sequentially numbered, use the issue or part with the earliest date of issue 
  • If the concept of sequential numbering is not appropriate (e.g., for a kit), use the resource as a whole; if this is not possible, generally determine the main part 

B. Moving-Image Resources
Moving images are typically contained in carriers such as film, DVD, etc. For these, the source is generally where the title appears.

RDA provides a priority order for the preferred sources for these materials: 
  • Title frames or title screens 
  • Label that is permanently printed on or affixed to the resource, excluding accompanying textual material or a container 
  • embedded metadata in textual form containing a title 
When none of the listed sources apply, use a source where the information is formally presented. 
  • There is an alternative to use a label and skip the title frames so you don’t have to project the image to find the data. 

C. Other Resources
RDA provides a priority order for the preferred sources for resources other than those in the first two categories
  • Label 
  • Embedded metadata in textual form containing a title 
  • If neither of the above is appropriate, use a source where the data is formally presented 

Other Sources of Information
RDA 2.2.4 provides a priority order for the other sources when you can’t find a title from the resource itself: 
  • Accompanying materials 
  • Container not issued as part of the resource (e.g., a case made by the owner) 
  • Other published descriptions of the resource 
  • Any other source (e.g., a reference source that indicates how the resource is commonly known) 

[Source: Library of Congress]

by Salman Haider ( at September 01, 2014 11:28 AM

August 31, 2014

Resource Description & Access (RDA)

RDA: What it is --

A Content Standard

RDA provides instructions on recording the contentof records.
  • It does not provide instruction on how a given library system (e.g.) should display the bibliographic information (although there is information about displaying RDA content).
  • Nor does it provide instruction on encoding the information. RDA is schema-neutral. You can use it with any schema, including MARC, or Dublin Core.

More International

RDA is less Anglo-centric than AACR2.  It focuses on user needs, as stressed in the International Cataloguing Principles.

In addition, the agency preparing the description can make choices regarding the:
  • language of additions to access points
  • language of supplied data
  • script and transliteration
  • calendar
  • numeric system

Wider Scope of Resources

RDA also covers the wider scope of resources being acquired in libraries today. It provides for more elements for:
  • non-printed text resources
  • non-text resources
  • unpublished resources

But RDA defers appropriately to the specialist manuals of collaborative communities in situations where more detailed description is wanted than the general view provided by RDA (e.g., music, sound recordings, moving images, electronic resources, cartographic materials).

Authority Data

RDA includes instructions on authority data, based on attributes and relationships in the FRAD model. There were no AACR2 rules for authority data and authority records. RDA doesn’t indicate how authority data should be encoded; but for now, that information will continue to be documented by most libraries in authority records.

Controlled Vocabularies

RDA has many controlled vocabularies. Only a few of the vocabularies are closed (e.g., content type; media type; carrier type; mode of issuance). Most of the vocabularies are open; you can either supply your own term as needed, or suggest a term be added to the vocabulary (or do both).

Libraries may decide to include some of these controlled vocabulary terms in templates; ILS vendors could provide them in drop-down lists.  And so on. 

The RDA vocabularies are now registered on the Web. The existence of those machine-readable controlled vocabularies will allow more machine manipulation of data than is now possible, including the mapping of RDA to other metadata schemes.

[Source: Library of Congress]

by Salman Haider ( at August 31, 2014 11:01 AM

August 30, 2014

Books and Library stuff


You Who Never Arrived

You who never arrived
in my arms, Beloved, who were lost
from the start,
I don’t even know what songs
would please you. I have given up trying to recognize you in the surging wave of the next moment. All the immense images in me — the far-off, deeply-felt landscape, cities, towers, and bridges, and unsuspected turns in the path, and those powerful lands that were once pulsing with the life of the gods–
all rise within me to mean you, who forever elude me.

You, Beloved, who are all
the gardens I have ever gazed at,
longing. An open window
in a country house–, and you almost
stepped out, pensive, to meet me.
Streets that I chanced upon,–
you had just walked down them and vanished.
And sometimes, in a shop, the mirrors
were still dizzy with your presence and,
startled, gave back my too-sudden image.
Who knows? Perhaps the same
bird echoed through both of us
yesterday, separate, in the evening…

Rainer Maria Rilke


by venessa harris at August 30, 2014 07:32 AM

August 29, 2014

First Thus

RDA-L RE: Re: When a new edition is treated as a new work

Posting to RDA-L

On 8/26/2014 3:54 PM, Benjamin A Abrahamse wrote:

While guidelines such as the ones LC has released are certainly helpful, I don’t think we will, or should, see RDA give a simple formulation that  “edition = {work|expression|manifestation}”. The word “edition” on a piece can mean many things, and it is the job of the cataloger to determine how it should be treated.

Ultimately, the question comes down to something very simple: do I add this particular item I am cataloging to this record, to that record, or do I make a new one? This is a matter of *definition* and has been interpreted by different agencies in different times in different ways. For instance, the venerable LCRI 1.0 seemed to be pretty clear (
“anything in the following areas or elements of areas differs from one bibliographic record to another: title and statement of responsibility area, edition area, the extent statement of the physical description area, and series area.”

Of course, in turn there were various interpretations of the meaning of the word “anything”. I always interpreted it quite literally: anything, but others interpreted it in their own ways. I remember when LC changed the rule about plates, which in turn made a difference to rule 1.0.

Then there is ALA’s “Differences Between, Changes Within” ( p. 6, pdf p. 12) A5a:
“A different extent of item, including the specific material designation, indicating a significant difference in extent or in the nature of the resource is MAJOR. Minor variations due to bracketed or estimated information are MINOR. Variation or presence vs. absence of preliminary paging is MINOR. Use of an equivalent conventional term vs. a specific material designation is MINOR. For example:

  • 351 p. vs. 353 p. is MINOR
  • 452 p. vs. x, 452 p. is MINOR”

which is quite different from the LCRI. What does “significant” mean?

But yet one more very important consideration in this brave new world of linked data and where everything is supposed to work with everything else is: how do other non-library agencies deal with this issue of “edition/manifestation”? After all, shouldn’t we at least consider what these other organizations are doing, or do we just ignore them?

With books: Rare book cataloging (in libraries) may look at a specific book in a completely different way from regular cataloging. Antiquarian book dealers look at it differently from either. Publishers also have their own needs and look at things quite differently from all the others.

Museums look at things even more differently. For instance, consider a teapot. There is nothing really special about the teapot itself, who made the teapot or where or when; there may be hundreds or thousands of similar teapots. But this particular teapot was used by Bonnie Prince Charlie during the Jacobite uprising, which makes it special.

I have cataloged different materials in diverse ways for different purposes using various rules. One thing I have learned is that before you begin cataloging, you must orient yourself: I am an AACR2 cataloger; I am an indexer using AGRIS rules; I am a rare book cataloger, etc. The item then looks quite different as you (re)orient yourself.

I was hoping that changes in cataloging would allow these kinds of traditional knotty questions to simply disappear. Today, it is very possible to catalog the thing in hand (that is, just copy what you see) and then let today’s very powerful software process your record as it will. In that way, the traditional question:

do I add this particular item I am cataloging to this record, to that record, or do I make a new one?

could change into one of how the software processes it: Software for purposes of rare books would process it one way; software for publishers’ needs would be processed in another; for library catalogs following LCRI1.0 in another, while other catalogs following ALA practices in yet another; software could follow other practices used in libraries around the world, and so on. I think this will be the reality no matter what we want as we enter the worlds of linked and open data as our cataloging information is taken, reformatted and repurposed, sliced and diced; and it is anybody’s guess what else will happen to it.

That is the world we need to consider, not our lonely, shrinking world of library catalogs; if nothing else because it is the world we are striving for (linked data). Our records must fit into the greater whole

There are many options today that can make our lives (and maybe everyone else’s) much easier.


by James Weinheimer at August 29, 2014 08:48 AM

August 28, 2014

Bibliographic Wilderness

UIUC and Academic Freedom

Professor Steven Salaita was offered a job at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), as associate professor of American Indian Studies, in October 2013. He resigned his previous position at Virginia Tech, and his partner also made arrangements to move with him. 

On August 1 2014, less than a month before classes were to begin, the UIUC Chancellor rescinded the offer, due to angry posts he had made on Twitter about Israel’s attack on Gaza. 

This situation seems to me to be a pretty clear assault on academic freedom. I don’t think the UIUC or it’s chancellor dispute these basic facts — Chancellor Wise’s letter and the Board of Trustees statement of support for the Chancellor claim that “The decision regarding Prof. Salaita was not influenced in any way by his positions on the conflict in the Middle East nor his criticism of Israel”, but is somewhat less direct in explaining on what grounds ‘the decision’ was made, but imply that Salaita’s tweets constituted “personal and disrespectful words or actions that demean and abuse either viewpoints themselves or those who express them,” and that this is good cause to rescind a job offer (that is, effectively fire a professor).  (Incidentally, Salaita has a proven history of excellence in classroom instruction, including respect for diverse student opinions). 

[I have questions about what constitutes "demeaning and abusing viewpoints themselves", and generally thought that "demeaning viewpoints themselves", although never one's academic peers personally, was a standard and accepted part of scholarly discourse. But anyway.]

I’ve looked through Salaita’s tweets, and am not actually sure which ones are supposed to be the ones justifying effective dismissal.   I’m not sure Chancellor Wise or the trustees are either.  The website Inside Higher Ed made an open records request and received emails indicating that pressure from U of I funders motivated the decision — there are emails from major donors and university development (fund-raising) administrators pressuring the Chancellor to get rid of Salaita. 

This raises academic freedom issues not only in relation to firing a professor because of his political beliefs; but also issues of faculty governance and autonomy, when an administrator rescinds a job offer enthusiastically made by an academic department because of pressure from funders. 

I’ve made no secret of my support for Palestinian human rights, and an end to the Israeli occupation and apartheid system.  However, I stop to consider whether I would have the same reaction if a hypothetical professor had made the same sorts of tweets about the Ukraine/Russia conflict (partisan to either side), or tweeting anti-Palestinian content about Gaza instead. I am confident I would be just as alarmed about an assault on academic freedom. However, the fact that it’s hard to imagine funders exerting concerted pressure because of a professor’s opinions on Ukraine — or a professor’s anti-Palestinian opinions — is telling about the political context here, and I think indicates that this really is about Salaita’s “positions on the conflict in the Middle East and his criticism of Israel.”

So lots of academics are upset about this. So many that I suspected, when this story first developed, the UIUC would clearly have to back down, but instead they dug in further. The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has expressed serious concern about violations of Salaita’s academic freedom — and the academic freedom of the faculty members who selected him for hire. The AAUP also notes that they have “long objected to using criteria of civility and collegiality in faculty evaluation,” in part just because of how easy it is to use those criteria as a cover for suppression of political dissent. 

The Chronicle of Higher Ed, in a good article covering the controversy, reports that “Thousands of scholars in a variety of disciplines signed petitions pledging to avoid the campus unless it reversed its decision to rescind the job offer,” and some have already carried through on their pledge of boycott. Including David J. Blacker, director of the Legal Studies Program and a professor of Philosophy at the University of Deleware, who cancelled an appearance in a prestigious lecture series. The UIUC Education Justice project cancelled a conference due to the boycott. The executive council of the Modern Language Association has sent a letter to UIUC urging them to reconsider. 

This isn’t a partisan issue. Instead, it’s illustrative of the increasingly corporatized academy, where administrative decisions in deference to donor preferences or objections take precedence over academic freedom or faculty decisions about their own departmental hiring and other scholarly matters.  Also, the way the university was willing to rescind a job offer due to political speech after Salaita had resigned his previous position, reminds us of the general precarity of junior faculty careers, and the lack of respect and dignity faculty receive from university administration.  

A variety of disciplinary-specific open letters and boycott pledges have been started in support of Salaita.

I think librarians have a special professional responsibility to stand up for academic freedom.  

Dr. Sarah T. Roberts, a UIUC LIS alumnus and professor of Media Studies at Western University in Ontario, hosts a pledge in support of Salaita from LIS practitioners, students and scholars, with a boycott pledge to “not engage with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, including visiting the campus, providing workshops, attending conferences, delivering talks or lectures, offering services, or co-sponsoring events of any kind.”  

I’ve signed the letter, and I encourage you to consider doing so as well. I know I see at least one other signer I know from the Code4Lib community already.   I think it is important for librarians to take action to stand up for academic freedom. 

Filed under: Uncategorized

by jrochkind at August 28, 2014 04:27 AM

August 27, 2014

First Thus

The Library Herald

I would like to announce that I have created a Library News website, that I call “The Library Herald” at

I have tried to add most of the main topics in librarianship, but what I know best are “Technology” and “Cataloging” so they are the best covered at the moment. To find the sources I am using, you can see them under each topic, e.g. Acquisitions has Acquisitions Sources, and so on. Some of these are rather sparse.

I have added the Google Translate widget, plus if you look at the RSS feeds, under Subscribe & More, you can see “Feed RSS”, where there are feeds in several languages. I did this as an experiment. You can see the Russian translation of the Technology RSS Feed. It doesn’t look as if the feeds are complete, but oh well….

I based this site on an older version that I have used for several years now, and I just wanted to try something new to help me learn WordPress.

Please feel free to share this with all and sundry who may be interested. And of course, if you have any suggestions for other sites or any other suggestions and comments, please let me know.


by James Weinheimer at August 27, 2014 11:01 AM

August 26, 2014

025.431: The Dewey blog

WebDewey Number Building Tool: Music, Part 1

Note: The general approach to building numbers described here can be applied in any discipline, not just music.

Are you having problems using the WebDewey number building tool with the add tables in the 780 Music schedule?  

If so, let’s try an example: What to Listen For in Rock: A Stylistic Analysis, to which the LCSH "Rock music--Analysis, appreciation" has been assigned.

Here is a summary of the instructions for using the WebDewey number building tool to build the DDC number 781.66117, the number for Rock music--artistic principles.  (The format of the summary is modeled on the tables used in the WebDewey training modules for the WebDewey number building tool.)

Navigate to this number / span


Number built so far

Caption of last number / notation added




Rock (Rock 'n' roll)




General principles




Artistic principles

Does that answer all your questions about how to build the number?  If not, keep reading for details.

First you need to find the record with the base number that you will use and the record with the add note that you will use.  Often—as in this case—the base number and the add note are in the same record.

A quick way to find the number for rock music is to browse the Relative Index for "rock music" and select this entry:

Rock music 781.66

Click the number to see the full record.  In the title bar of the Hierarchy window and in the middle of the hierarchy display, you will see 781.66 †Rock (Rock 'n' roll):


The base number that you will use is 781.66. In the Notes box, you will see the add note (in the form of a footnote marked with a dagger): †Add as instructed under 781.63-781.69


At this point, the Create built number box has no number in the title bar.  Inside the box appear only the number and caption 781.66 †Rock (Rock 'n' roll) plus a Start button:


Click Start in the Create built number box.  The Create built number box changes to show in the title bar that the number built so far is 781.66.  And—important!—the add note appears inside the Create built number box (†Add as instructed under 781.63-781.69). (This is a key to success: clicking Start gets the add note copied from the Notes box into the Create built number box.)  Now there are three buttons: Add, Edit Local, and Cancel. (For the purpose of this exercise, you will use only the Add button.)


If you look in the Hierarchy box, you will see that the number building tool has also taken you to the record for 781.63-781.69 Other traditions of music:


In the Notes box, you see the add table under 781.63-781.69:


How to express appreciation, using that add table? Because the complete add table is displayed in the Notes box, there are now multiple add notes visible in the Notes box. Of those add notes, which is relevant?

If you browse the Relative Index for "appreciation," you will find the entry:

Appreciation—music 781.17

You’ll get similar results if you browse the Relative Index for "music appreciation":

Music appreciation    781.17

If you click the number 781.17 in the Relative Index, you will see that the Hierarchy box focuses on 781.17 Artistic principles:


In the Notes box is a class-here note: "Class here aesthetics, appreciation, taste."


You decide to pursue the possibility of adding notation from 781.17. In order to do that, you need to look again at the add table under 781.63-781.69. The Create built number box is the same as you left it after you clicked Start:


To return to the add table under 781.63-781.69, click that number span in the add note inside the Create number box.  Looking again at the add table in the Notes box, you notice the following entry:

11-15 General principles

Add to 1 the numbers following 781 in 781.1-781.5, e.g., springtime music 15242, melody in springtime music 15242124

The add note under the span 11-15 General principles will allow you to add notation from 781.17 Artistic principles.  Click the span 11-15 in the Notes box.  Then the Hierarchy box changes to focus on that span: 781.63-781.69:11-15 General principles.


Now instead of the multiple add notes in the complete add table, the Notes box displays only the one relevant add note:


Click Add in the Create built number box.  The Create built number box changes to show that the number built so far is 781.661. Inside the Create built number box appears the number 781.63-781.69:1.  And—important!—the add note that you want to follow appears inside the Create built number box:


Now the Hierarchy box focuses on 781 General principles and musical forms, with an outline of its subdivisions, since it is the "numbers following 781" that you can add using the add note in the Create built number box:


Either by clicking down in the Hierarchy box or by searching for the number 781.17, you need to get 781.17 Artistic principles displayed as the focal point of the Hierarchy box:


Now click Add in the Create built number box.  At this point the number building tool will give you an opportunity to add a standard subdivision—but you don’t want to do that.  Look at the updated Create built number box; it shows that you have built the number 781.66117. (Note: you may have to scroll down to the bottom of the screen to see the Create built number box.) The number and caption 781.17 Artistic principles appear inside the Create built number box:


Click Save in the Create built number box.  Your newly built number will appear in the Hierarchy box:


You now have an opportunity to modify or add to the user terms associated with that new number, as explained in the "User Terms with Number Building" part of the WebDewey training modules.  Enough for now!  You have successfully built the number.

A key to success: at each step, find the record with the relevant add note, display the full record so that the add note appears in the Notes box, and click Start or Add to get that add note to appear inside the Create number box. If more than one add note appears in the Notes box, as when a complete add table is displayed, click to select the entry with the add note that you need. When only the one relevant add note is displayed in the Notes box, then click Start to get that add note to appear inside the Create built number box.

by Juli at August 26, 2014 06:18 PM

First Thus

ACAT Amazon dot com as a source of information about the date of publication

Posting to Autocat

On 26/08/2014 14.41, Brian Briscoe wrote:
I do not believe that the popularity of keyword searching is based upon a “preference” for that type of searching. I think it is a matter of the gorilla making it so common that it is now expected and what users have become accustomed to. Of course, my opinion is no more based on research than the supposition that keyword searching is what users really prefer.

Keyword searching and relevance rankings based upon imperfect data assumptions has some very serious flaws. As information professionals, we should be working to provide a solution that provides better accuracy as well as recall.

I don’t want to get into a debate because I agree with you. It is just that I remember very clearly how incredibly happy the public was when keyword was introduced. Even though I would show people the “hidden pitfalls” repeatedly, they just didn’t care. Today, keyword and relevance ranking are default in most catalogs. That didn’t just happen. They are default because the public wants it that way. They have become used to those methods and that means, they are not used to ours. If we don’t do follow along and insist: “Do not use keyword or relevance. The other ways are much better for you.” Of course, the public would completely ignore us.

But I agree that there have not been any real options for people. What does this mean? For a long time (decades?) after the introduction of the OPACs, there were no authority records available to the public at all. I never understood how anybody could find anything. We couldn’t even put in simple guide cards. Now some catalogs include authority records, but that has turned out to be barely a step forward. That is because you don’t get them with the default search of keyword and everybody has to pretend they are back in the 1950s searching a card catalog, i.e. you have to do left-anchored text browsing! We just have to admit that nobody does that anymore, except for weirdos like me. I have gone to pains to show how and why it just doesn’t work in an online environment, and why even I have shown why I hate it. In the card catalog, it wasn’t so bad. Online it just does not work at all and should be abolished, because the public won’t do it and even mentioning it makes us look “soooo 20th century!”

So what do we do? It’s obvious: we must change the catalog so that its traditional powers can be utilized in a 21st-century information environment. But the problem is, with RDA/FRBR, we have been concentrating on the individual records (an overwhelming task!) while the catalogs don’t change at all and the public thinks are are stuck in the pre-20th century. The only new things the public may notice are rather weird things, such as my current favorite:

100 1_ |a Sturrock, John, |c heckler. (

That is a really useful $c.


by James Weinheimer at August 26, 2014 02:36 PM


Library Linked Data Happening

LOD happening

On August 14 the IFLA 2014 Satellite Meeting ‘Linked Data in Libraries: Let’s make it happen! took place at the National Library of France in Paris. Rurik Greenall (who also wrote a very readable conference report) and I had the opportunity to present our paper ‘An unbroken chain: approaches to implementing Linked Open Data in libraries; comparing local, open-source, collaborative and commercial systems’. In this paper we do not go into reasons for libraries to implement linked open data, nor into detailed technical implementation options. Instead we focus on the strategies that libraries can adopt for the three objectives of linked open data, original cataloguing/creating of linked data, exposing legacy data as linked open data and consuming external linked open data. Possible approaches are: local development, using Free and open Source Software, participating in consortia or service centres, and relying on commercial vendors, or any combination of these. Our main conclusions and recommendations are: identify your business case, if you’re not big enough be part of some community, and take lifecycle planning seriously.

The other morning presentations provided some interesting examples of a number of approaches we described in our talk. Valentine Charles presented the work in the area of aggregating library and heritage data from a large number of heterogeneous sources in different languages by two European institutions that de facto function as large consortia or service centres for exposing and enriching data, Europeana and The European Library. Both platforms not only expose their aggregated content in web pages for human consumption but also as linked open data, besides other so called machine readable formats. Moreover they enrich their aggregated content by consuming data from their own network of providers and from external sources, for instance multilingual “value vocabularies” like thesauri, authority lists, classifications. The ideas is to use concepts/URIs together with display labels in multiple languages. For Europeana these sources currently are GeoNames, DBPedia and GEMET. Work is being done on including the Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) which was recently published as Linked Open Data. Besides using VIAF for person authorities, The European Library has started adding multilingual subject headings by integrating the Common European Research Classification Scheme, part of the CERIF format. The use of MACS (Multilingual Access to Subjects) as Linked Open Data is being investigated. This topic was also discussed during the informal networking breaks. Questions that were asked: is MACS valuable for libraries, who should be responsible for MACS and how can administering MACS in a Linked Open Data environment best be organized? Personally I believe that a multilingual concept based subject authority file for libraries, archives, museums and related institutions is long overdue and will be extremely valuable, not only in Linked Open Data environments.

The importance of multilingual issues and the advantages that Linked Open Data can offer in this area were also demonstrated in the presentation about the Linked Open Authority Data project at the National Diet Library of Japan. The Web NDL Authorities are strongly connected to VIAF and LCSH among others.

The presentation of the Linked Open Data environment of the National Library of France BnF ( highlighted a very interesting collaboration between a large library with considerable resources in expertise, people and funding on the one hand, and the non-library commercial IT company Logilab. The result of this project is a very sophisticated local environment consisting of the aggregated data sources of the National Library and a dedicated application based on the free software tool Cubicweb. An interesting situation arose when the company Logilab itself asked if the developed applications could be released as Open Source by the National Library. The BnF representative Gildas Illien (also one of the organizers of the meeting together with Emmanuelle Bermes) replied with considerations about planning, support and scalability, which is completely understandable from the perspective of lifecycle planning.

With all these success stories about exposing and publishing Linked Open Data, the question always remains if the data is actually used by others. It is impossible to incorporate this in project planning and results evaluation. Regarding the BnF data this question was answered in the presentation about Linked Open Data in the book industry. The Electre and Antidot project uses linked open data form among others

The afternoon presentations were focused on creating, maintaining and using various data models, controlled vocabularies and knowledge organisation sysems (KOS) as Linked Open Data: The EDM Europeana data Model, UNIMARC, MODS. An interesting perspective was presented by Gordon Dunsire on versioning vocabularies in a linked data world. Vocabularies change over time, so an assignment of a URI of a certain vocabulary concept should always contain version information (like timestamps and/or version numbers) in order to be able to identify the intended meaning at the time of assigning.

The meeting was concluded with a panel with representatives of three commercial companies involved in library systems and Linked Open Data developments: Ex Libris, OCLC and the afore-mentioned Logilab. The fact that this panel with commercial companies on library linked data took place was significant and important in itself, regardless of the statements that were made about the value and importance of Linked Open Data in library systems. After years of dedicated temporarily funded proof of concept projects this may be an indication that Linked Open Data in libraries is slowly becoming mainstream.


flattr this!

by Lukas Koster at August 26, 2014 01:52 PM

First Thus

ACAT Amazon dot com as a source of information about the date of publication

Posting to Autocat

On 26/08/2014 7.38, Hal Cain wrote:
We need to be practical, and put the practical level of information on the top level, where it’s most visible. The subtleties and complexities do need to be recorded, but they are not necessarily “what matters for cataloguing” where it’s our job to fit them into the bibliographical context.
Hal Cain, who doubts that all the subtleties and complexities called for by RDA matter much to the human users of the product of cataloguing

Hear, hear! To catalog an item is not to turn it into a research project suitable for publication. Certainly, the cataloger may do some bits of research when cataloging items but even then, that is when it makes a difference to the public, e.g. the cataloger finds out that materials published under a bunch of separate names were actually pseudonyms of a single author. But those occurrences are rare.

The simple fact that the public prefers Google-type results, as shown by the overwhelming preference for keyword searching and relevance ranking–even in our own catalogs–speaks volumes and should be a major consideration in our discussions. Google doesn’t have any of the subtleties that we discuss, and nobody seems to complain about it. At present, the public seems to be concerned much more with censorship (e.g. the EU’s “Right to be forgotten” and privacy (e.g. the Edward Snowden/NSA controversy).

There are also concerns, but less pressing, over “filter bubbles” and “information overload.” I have not seen that WEMI and FRBR, with their relationships (which are what is really new) deal with any of this.

But the field of librarianship and cataloging in particular, address all of these issues and can offer special insights that–I think–could even point in the directions of some solutions.


by James Weinheimer at August 26, 2014 09:14 AM

Terry's Worklog

MarcEdit’s MARCNext: JSON Object Viewer

As I noted in my last post (, I’ll be adding a new area to the MarcEdit application called MARCNext.  This will be used to expose a number of research tools for users interested in working with BibFrame data.  In addition to the BibFrame Testbed, I’ll also be releasing a JSON Object Viewer.  The JSON Object Viewer is a specialized viewer designed to parse JSON text and provide an object visualization of the data.  The idea is that this tool could be utilized to render MARC data translated into Bibframe as JSON for easy reading.  However, I’m sure that there will be other uses as well.  I’ve tried to keep the interface simple.  Essentially, you point the tool at a JSON file and the tool will render the file as objects.  From there, you can search and query the data, view the JSON file in Object or Plain text mode, and ultimately, copy data for use elsewhere. 


Some additional testing needs to be done to make sure the program works well when coming across poorly formed data – but this tool will be a part of the next update.


by reeset at August 26, 2014 04:31 AM

August 25, 2014

Resource Description & Access (RDA)

Temporary / Permanent Date in an Incomplete Multipart Monograph : Questions and Answers in the Google+ Community "RDA Cataloging"

RDA Cataloging is an online community/group/forum for library and information science students, professionals and cataloging & metadata librarians. It is a place where people can get together to share ideas, trade tips and tricks, share resources, get the latest news, and learn about Resource Description and Access (RDA), a new cataloging standard to replace AACR2, and other issues related to cataloging and metadata.

 Questions and Answers in the Google+ Community "RDA Cataloging"


Publication etc., dates (MARC21 264). These conventions do not apply to serials or integrating resources (temporary data not recorded in this field).

Temporary date. If a portion of a date is temporary, enclose the portion in angle brackets.


, 1980-〈1981〉 
v. 1-2 held; v. 2 published in 1981

, 〈1981-〉 
v. 2 held; v. 1-2 published in 1981

, 〈1979〉-1981. 
v. 2-3 held of a 3-volume set

, 〈1978-1980〉 
v. 2-3 held of a 5-volume set

Permanent date. If an entire date is judged to be permanent, record it without angle brackets.


, 1980-
〈1980-〉 or, 1980-〈 〉 
v. 1 held; v. 1 published in 1980

[Source: LC-PCC PS for RDA Rule 1.7.1]

by Salman Haider ( at August 25, 2014 02:10 AM

Relationship Designators in Resource Description and Access (RDA) : honouree, host institution, organizer, sponsoring body

RELATIONSHIP DESIGNATORAPPENDIX I.2.2 : Relationship Designators for Other Persons, Families, or Corporate Bodies Associated with a Work
honoureeUse this relationship designator with a person, family, or corporate body honoured by a work (e.g., the honouree of a festschrift or a commemorative volume) (MARC21 tag 700, 710, subfield e)
host institutionUse this relationship designator with a corporate body hosting the event, exhibit, conference, etc., which gave rise to a work, but having little or no responsibility for the content of the work (MARC21 tag 710, subfield e)
organizerUse this relationship designator with a person, family, or corporate body organizing the exhibit, event, conference, etc., which gave rise to a work (MARC21 tag 700, 710, subfield e)
sponsoring bodyUse this relationship designator with a person, family, or corporate body sponsoring some aspect of a work, e.g., funding research, sponsoring an event (MARC21 tag 700, 710, subfield e)

[Questions asked on the use and scope of some RDA Relationship designators, see RDA Toolkit Appendix I for more]

Aaron Kuperman I have found the "honouree" (not just for festscrifts) to be very useful. If they publish someone's essay to honor him, it get a double $e (author, honouree). --- The "Sponsoring party" is good for a law of legal publications where and organization wasn't the publisher, but wasn't an author, but is identified with the book.

by Salman Haider ( at August 25, 2014 02:10 AM



I had some excellent comments from my last post and I wanted to return to some ideas that came from these comments. One noted that the quality of metadata is a ticking time bomb. In both comments, issues about the place and increasing reliance on technology was raised.

Metadata quality is a hot issue. Where I work, it is a struggle to be able to respond to the number of requests and provide good metadata, especially if it isn’t there to begin with. Let me explain. Part of my job is to take EAD records and create MODS records for our digital repository. The collection level portion of these EADs are full and impressive records. The amount of work put in by our archivists, curators and their pages is tremendous. The issue, however, is that the item level descriptions are less than full. I have tried to add common subject and genre terms and any other information that can be set to a default. The reason is that I typically transform hundreds of EAD records at a time that in turn create even more MODS records. In the last 3 months, I’ve created over 20,000 MODS records. As the only person on this project, it becomes more than a challenge to go back and enhance all of these records. It is not that these records are less than minimal. They still allow for discovery and accessibility. However, they are not really unique. I would say these records are average and not above average or even good in terms of providing good or above average unique descriptions. Now the good news is that help is on the way slowly and surely. Also, I keep annoying my supervisors for little helper elves to handle enhancement. And this brings me to my second point about technology.

My main focus is to get these records into the digital repository efficiently and in a timely manner. There are 7 who work in Archives. Then there is the metadata that needs to be transformed from our partner institutions; here I work with a variety of people. Then there are others around campus including those who need help with metadata. All of this is to illustrate that I deal in bulk produce! I write transformations creating little MODS records by the hundreds. This is an automatic approach that many use. Some do this in Oxygen, the xml editor, others in MarcEdit, and others rely on programmers who have written scripts to create these records. These various technologies have been and continue to be a lifesaver. I and other metadata librarians rely on it every day to do our work. However, when push comes to shove, enhancements are still in the realm of a person adding good quality metadata. A good example is that the transformations transform the data that are present. If that data is wrong or inaccurate, that is brought over into the new xml structure. Recently, I saw one record that I transformed en mass where the title was in German and not English. In the original data file, there was only the English title; the German was never recorded. It was only thanks to a person who looked at the digital resource to discover this and add the German title to the metadata.

All of this is to say that technology and human knowledge and expertise must work together. Technology certainly can take us far and provide solutions to problems that seem amazing. For the Digital Commonwealth, programmers have written a script that controls place, name and topic headings in spreadsheets. For the this script to work, someone familiar with thee controlled vocabularies had to inform the programmers such that the requirements of the task were and continue to be met by the script. The Digital Commonwealth also has a post review by people to ensure the script and other automated processes worked as expected.

The discussion can’t be about whether technology will supplant people. Technology are tools created by us. In a sense, the better we understand these technologies, the better we can leverage it to assist us in our work. We can avoid the ticking time bomb of metadata quality by ensuring that people don’t get lost, that metadata librarians add value and quality to repositories along with technology, and that even if all of these metadata are not seen that it is thanks to people and technology that cool visualizations like timelines and mappings are possible.

Filed under: cataloging, Metadata Tagged: metadata quality, technology

by Jen at August 25, 2014 12:42 AM

August 24, 2014

Terry's Worklog

MarcEdit’s Research Toolkit – MARCNext

While developing MarcEdit 6, one of the areas that I spent a significant amount of time working on was the MarcEdit Research Toolkit.  The Research Toolkit is an easter egg of sorts – it’s a set of tools and utilities that I’ve developed to support my own personal research interests around library metadata – specifically, around the future of library metadata including topics the current BibFrame testing and linked data.  I’ve kept these tools private because they tend to not be fully realized concepts or ideas and have very little in the way of a user interface.  Just as important, many of these tools represent work being created to engage in the conversation that the library community is having around library metadata formats and standards, so things can and do change or drop out of the conversation and are then removed from my toolkit.

While developing MarcEdit 6, one of the goals of the project was to find a way to make some or parts of these tools available to the general MarcEdit community.  To that end, I’ll be making a new area available within MarcEdit called MARCNext.  MARCNext will provide a space to make proof of concept tools available for anyone to use, and offer a simple to use interface that anyone can use to test new bibliographic concepts like BibFrame. 

Presently, I’m evaluating my current workbench to see which of the available tools can be made public.  I have a handful that I think may be applicable – but will need some time to move them from concept to a utility for public consumption.  With that said, I will be making one tool immediately available as part of the next MarcEdit update, and that will be the BibFrame Testbed.  This is code that utilizes the LC XQuery files being developed and distributed at: with a handful of changes made to provide better support within MarcEdit.  These are my base files that will enable librarians to easily model their MARC metadata in a variety of serializations.  And using this initial work, I’ll likely add some additional serializations to the list. 

I have two goals for making this particular tool available.  First and foremost, I would like to enable anyone that is interested the ability to take their existing library metadata and model it using Bibframe concepts.  Currently, Library of Congress makes available a handful of commandline tools that users can utilize to process their metadata – but these tools tend to not be designed for the average user.  By making this information available in MarcEdit – I’m hoping to lower the barrier so that anyone can model their data and then engage in the larger discussion around this work. 

Secondly, I’m currently engaging in some work with Zepheira and other early implementers to take Bibframe testing mainstream.  Given the number of users working with MarcEdit, it made a lot of sense to provide tools to support this level of integration.  Likewise, by taking the time to move this work from the concept stage, I’ve been able to develop the start of a framework around these concepts. 

So how is this going to work?  On the next update, you will see a new link within the Main MarcEdit Window called MARCNext. 

MarcEdit Main Window

Click on the MARCNext link, and you will be taken to the public version of the Research Toolkit.  At this point, the only tool being made publically available is the BibFrame Testbed, though this will change.

MarcEdit’s MARCNext Window

Selecting the BibFrame Testbed initializes a simple dialog box to allow a user to select from a variety of library metadata types and convert them using BibFrame principles into a user-defined serialization. 

BibFrame Testbed window

As noted above, this test bed will be the first of a handful of tools that I will eventually be making available.  Will they be useful to anyone – who knows.  Honestly, the questions that these tools are working to answer are not ones that come up on the list serv, and at present, aren’t going to help much in one’s daily cataloging work.  But hopefully they will enable every cataloger that wants to, the ability to engage with some of these new metadata concepts and at least take their existing data and see how it may change utilizing different serializations and concepts.

Questions – feel free to ask.


by reeset at August 24, 2014 04:36 AM

August 22, 2014

TSLL TechScans

OLCC MARC Format Update 2014, phase 2

OCLC Technical Bulletin 264 describes changes to the MARC 21 formats for bibliographic, authority and holdings data to be implemented in the near future. Things we are most likely to see in our day-to-day cataloging work include:
  • Addition of $q Qualifying information to identifier fields such as 020 (ISBN), 024 (Other standard number) and 027 (Standard Technical Report Number). 
  • Definition of first indicators for field 588 (Source of Description) to provide display constants. First indicator 0 will generate a display constant meaning source of description; first indicator 1 will generate a display constant meaning latest issue consulted. CONSER participants should wait for notification by the Library of Congress and OCLC before using these new indicators.
  • Data recorded in Marc field 265 (Source for Acquisition/Subscription Address) will be converted to field 037 $b (Source of Acquisition/Source of Stock Number/Acquisition). Marc field 265 will be invalidated
  • $c (Location of Meeting) has been re-defined as repeatable for for many fields including 110, 111, 610, 611, 710 and 711)
Changes to the MARC format for authority data include:
  • Addition of $q (Qualifying information) in fields 020 and 024
  • Repeatability of $c (Location of meeting) in fields  110, 111, 410, 411, 510 and 511
Additional MARC fields relating to audience and creator characteristics have also been defined. 

by (Jackie Magagnosc) at August 22, 2014 06:24 PM

OCLC Cataloging and Metadata News

August 2014 data update now available for the WorldCat knowledge base

The WorldCat knowledge base continues to grow with new providers and collections added monthly.  The details for August updates are now available in the full release notes.

August 22, 2014 06:15 PM

First Thus

ACAT An Amazing Record redux

Posting to Autocat

On 8/22/2014 4:13 AM, Daniel CannCasciato wrote:
I wrote something back in 1999 about what would now be called social tagging, etc., and why it’s so different in concept than are the things we do in a library. I think James’ post exemplifies that. We should NOT, in all likelihood, want patron tagging for our catalogs or websites or IRs. We don’t know what they are doing, and especially we don’t know why. And depending on how the system is set up, don’t even know who they are.
That’s not what we do. We don’t know (from what I’ve read) that it*helps* patrons. So why keep it, emphasize it, except to appear trendy?

It’s not that I am “hurt” by a thumbs down. On some of these lists, I have had to:

“… suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune …”

so a thumbs down counts for nothing.

Nevertheless, I think it is important not only to be able to “like” something but to show disapproval as well. Otherwise, everything becomes much too skewed. The choice of only a like is similar to Soviet elections, where you had a choice of one candidate. (True, you could vote against him/her but that was almost never done) In U.S. politics, where a dualistic structure reigns, there is somewhat more of an option: Republican or Democrat. Even in this case, it more often than not turns into a thumbs down over a specific candidate, i.e. a vote not so much for but against someone–against Jimmy Carter, against Dukakis, against George Bush, against Barack Obama, even against any Republican whatsoever or any Democrat–entire governments can be based on that kind of vague information. In Italy, where you really do have all kinds of choices, it is called chaos! :-)

If it can work for governments (or it’s supposed to), why not for bibliographic records as well?

For at least some of the reasons I mentioned. I suspect the real problem is the complete anonymity, as Mac suggested. We don’t need individual names, but if you knew that the thumbs up/down was given by a professor in the field, or that a high-school teacher thought it was good/not good for someone he or she taught, that might be useful information. Even that a student thought it was good or not could be useful information.

About blog comments, things are very strange. There is a blight of “comment spam”. I have noticed a change in the past few years. It’s a variation on the old ILOVEYOU virus. You get a nice comment, describing how good your post was, how it was so clear and helpful, how smart you are blah blah, and then there are links to websites–and they can be very, very clever at hiding these links. As an example, I just received this comment (unedited) to a posting from 2009! (By adding this link, I just made my own type of spam!) :-)

“You actually make it aplpear so easy with your presentation however I find this matter to be really something which I think I’d never understand. It sort of feels too complicated and extremely wide for me. I amm looking ahead in your next post, I will attempt to get the grasp of it!”

And then the URL links to a page about ways to cure acne problems! First time I noticed this, I was completely mystified. The reason for this seeming craziness is marketing in Google. The more links a page has to it, the higher it will be in Google’s search results. Therefore, if someone can mask links to specific pages so that you will add them to your otherwise legitimate page (and these comments are sent to hundreds or thousands of others), there can be rewards. This is a simple case, but it is merely one example of what is called “Black Hat SEO” which can be fiendishly ingenious. ( In my opinion, “White Hat SEO” is not all that much better, but I guess it’s necessary.

Catalogs are being spammed, e.g. See “The sports business” (article from the Economist) with a comment by “cheapshoesonline” Who says, “I like it” followed by 3 links where you can buy Nike shoes.

What to do? I don’t know, but it is a new world and seems unavoidable as we enter into the “Social Web” and “Linked Data”.


by James Weinheimer at August 22, 2014 10:23 AM

Resource Description & Access (RDA)

Editor of Compilation vs Compiler

The editor of a compilation, as defined in I.3.1, is not a creator of a work and thus has to be treated as a 700, not a 100.

On the other hand, a compiler (for example of a dictionary, a directory, a bibliography, etc.) can be considered a creator (see I.2.1) and thus can be treated as a 100.

Expert remarks by Aaron KupermanLaw Librarian, Library of Congress A good rule of thumb is that a compilation needs to consist of works that can (and should) be listed in the contents note.

According to RDA Toolkit: I.2.1 Relationship Designators for Creators: Compiler : A person, family, or corporate body responsible for creating a new work (e.g., a bibliography, a directory) by selecting, arranging, aggregating, and editing data, information, etc.

[Blog post revised on August 22, 2014]

by Salman Haider ( at August 22, 2014 04:57 AM

August 21, 2014

Bibliographic Wilderness

Columbian student faces jail time for sharing scholarly thesis

Columbia strengthened their copyright laws were strengthened in 2006, basically at U.S. demands as part of a free trade agreement. 

As a result, according to Nature News Blog,Diego Gómez Hoyos , a Columbian student, faces jail time for posting someone elses thesis on Scribd. 

In the U.S., of course, ‘grey’ sharing of copyrighted scholarly work without permission is fairly routine. We call it ‘grey’ only because everyone does it, and so far publishers in the U.S. have shown little inclination to stop it, when it’s being done amongst scholars on a one-by-one basis — not because it’s legal in the U.S. If you google (scholar) search recent scholarly publications, you can quite frequently find ‘grey’ publically accessible copies on the public internet, including on Scribd.  

What is done routinely by scholars in the U.S. and ignored, gets you a trial and possible jail time in Columbia — because of laws passed to satisfy the U.S. in ‘free trade’ agreements.  This case may start going around the facebooks as “copyright out of control”, and it is that, but it’s also about how neo-colonialism is alive and well, what’s good for the metropole isn’t good for the periphery, and ‘free trade’ agreements are never about equality.

Student may be jailed for posting scientist’s thesis on web
Posted on behalf of Michele Catanzaro


A Colombian biology student is facing up to 8 years in jail and a fine for sharing a thesis

by another scientist on a social network.


Diego Gómez Hoyos posted the 2006 work, about amphibian taxonomy, on Scribd in 2011. An undergraduate at the time, he had hoped that it would help fellow students with their fieldwork. But two years later, in 2013, he was notified that the author of the thesis was suing him for violating copyright laws. His case has now been taken up by the Karisma Foundation, a human rights organization in Bogotá, which has launched a campaign called “Sharing is not a crime”.




Gómez says that he deleted the thesis from the social network as soon as he was notified of the legal proceedings. But the case against him is rolling on, with the most recent hearing taking place in Bogotá in May. He faces between 4 and 8 years in jail if found guilty. The next hearing will be in September.


The student, who is currently studying for a master’s degree in conservation of protected areas at the National University of Costa Rica in Heredia, refuses to reveal who is suing him. He says he does not want to “put pressure on this person”. “My lawyer has tried unsuccessfully to establish contacts with the complainant: I am open to negotiate and get to an agreement to move this issue out of the criminal trial,” he told Nature.


The case has left Gómez feeling disappointed. “I thought people did biology for passion, not for making money,” he says. “Now other scientists are much more circumspect [about sharing publications].”


Filed under: General

by jrochkind at August 21, 2014 08:29 PM

Mod Librarian

5 Things Thursday: @SPLBuzz Online Collections, DAM, Space Age Crowdsourcing

5 Things

Here are five summer things:

  1. Check out the awesome digital collections at The Seattle Public Library.
  2. 10 must read books about libraries and librarians which I have not read.
  3. David Diamond on the sheer value of information professionals.
  4. NASA seeks public help with photo archive.
  5. Using ArchivesSpace as DAM for Austin graffiti.

Thanks for reading, loyal readers. Taking two weeks off and returning…

View On WordPress

August 21, 2014 12:20 PM

First Thus

An Amazing Record redux

Posting to Autocat & Radcat

(This does eventually get around to catalogs, so bear with me! It’s my vice)

I thought I would share something I discovered recently. A few months ago, I changed the hosting of my website ( and my original intention for my blog (hosted at Blogger) was just to keep using it. This turned out to be complicated so I decided to change everything to WordPress. That turned out to be more difficult than I thought, but I was stuck.

I am a novice at WordPress but still find it to be very good. Currently, I am learning WordPress plugins and I recently included the “thumbs-up, thumbs-down” for each post. I find it interesting that people have used the WordPress version much more often than what I had on Blogger.

But I don’t really understand it. For instance, I wrote a post An Amazing record, about a record I found on Worldcat that has a huge number of authors, and won’t even load.

I didn’t make any comments–I just pointed out that this record exists; then I found the document it pointed to at, and discovered that there are several others of these types of records in Worldcat. In another post, I discussed it a bit (where I can understand an up/down vote), but not in this one where I just mentioned it.

As it stands currently, this post has 2 thumbs up and 3 down. What do the thumbs-down represent? The fact that these records exist? That Worldcat accepted these records? Or that I pointed them out?

Another example is where I mentioned that I knew the writer of a Star Trek episode about libraries (Jean Aroeste). This also currently has 2 thumbs up and 3 down.

Again, what signifies the thumbs-down? I can’t believe that anybody could ever dislike Jean, who was one of the nicest people I ever met. Perhaps it’s people who dislike the original Star Trek series, or this particular episode. Or perhaps it is just that I wrote something about it.

There are many other similar examples I could point to.

Bringing this back to catalogs (I said I would!), it seems that most do not use thumbs up/down but employ a rating system for their records (1-5 stars), e.g. in LibraryThing Hamlet got 4.17 stars, while Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone got 4.26.

There are “likes” on on the author pages. Shakespeare got 70 while Glenn Beck got 73 and Noam Chomsky got 47. J.K. Rowling beat them all easily with 476 likes. Homer got a humiliating 19 likes but even he did better than Dante, who has a lonely single [1] like. Dislikes (thumbs-down) are not available.

What do all these stars and likes mean? I don’t know.

So, while in itself, a thumbs-down from an anonymous reader doesn’t bother me, I am not at all sure what the likes/thumbs up-down are supposed to mean. I realize I have some ideas that go against the general trends of many people’s opinions, so I understand thumbs-down on those, but a thumbs-down to a simple “This bibliographic record exists” or “I knew this person” is something different. People are communicating something, but what I cannot say.

I watched the Frontline episode Generation Like and while it is very interesting, it doesn’t seem to explain anything either. Maybe I should switch from thumbs to stars! But I don’t know if even that would help me understand. I am sure that this post will get several thumbs-down and I will still be at a loss to understand what they mean.

Perhaps others can help enlighten me.


by James Weinheimer at August 21, 2014 10:15 AM