Planet Cataloging

October 21, 2016

TSLL TechScans

ISNIs and ORCIDS - the impact of identifiers

A recent post in The Scholarly Kitchen, Why persistent identifiers deserve their own festival got me thinking about the use of identifiers and how these might transform traditional technical services tasks. A post by Karen Smith-Yoshimura in, Impact of identifiers on authority workflows, describes explicitly how the use of identifiers could simplify and enhance the process of associating works and creators. In fact, we are told that use of identifiers is essential to shifting bibliographic description out of MARC into a linked data environment. The implementation of personal identifiers is strongest in the sciences, but their use is expanding into the social sciences and humanities.

According to their website, ISNI (International Standard Name Identifier) is an
ISO certified global standard number for identifying the millions of contributors to creative works and those active in their distribution, including researchers, inventors, writers, artists, visual creators, performers, producers, publishers, aggregators, and more. It is part of a family of international standard identifiers that includes identifiers of works, recordings, products and right holders in all repertoires.

NACO and OCLC plan to incorporate ISNIs in the 024  field of LC/NACO authority records as part of the long delayed RDA authority file conversion phase 3B.

ORCID  is a subset of ISNI - a block of identifiers reserved for authors and researchers. ORCID's mission is to provide
an identifier for individuals to use with their name as they engage in research, scholarship, and innovation activities. We provide open tools that enable transparent and trustworthy connections between researchers, their contributions, and affiliations. We provide this service to help people find information and to simplify reporting and analysis.
Author's and researchers can register with ORCID, then share their ORCID ID with their institution. My institution, Cornell University, is actively encouraging faculty in all fields to establish ORCID IDs. Use of identifiers makes it possible to precisely identify authors without the squishy ambiguity of parsing out character strings.

Curious about the persistent identifier festival? PIDapalooza is scheduled for November 9-10, 2016 in Reykjavík.

by (Jackie Magagnosc) at October 21, 2016 08:39 PM

October 20, 2016


Are you too comfortable in your culture?


Culture matters

A lot has been written about organizational culture, but there is little consensus on what it actually is and how to change it. Two things we know for sure: organizational culture exists and it plays a crucial role in shaping behavior.

Why should we think about culture? Because your culture is how your organization does things. And how you do things is critical to your performance and success.

According to the Katzenbach Center, 96% of employees say some change to their organizational culture is needed, and 51% think their culture requires a major overhaul. So even if you’re comfortable, you probably should be thinking about how your organization’s culture impacts both goals and the quality-of-life for your employees.

How do you even begin to think about shifting something as seemingly monolithic as culture? First, you have to acknowledge that you’ll be experiencing three states:

  • The current state defines who you are and where you have been successful. The current state is often comfortable, even if it needs a lot of work. It may not be ideal, but people know how to get around. They know the rules of engagement.
  • The transition state is messy and disorganized. It forces prioritization and change, and it is emotionally charged. It’s disconcerting and people have to find new ways around.
  • The future state is not fully defined. Even as you describe the future state, it’s still just a model. No one knows if it will really resemble the picture. People are both hopeful and fearful.

How you get to the future depends on your goals. But you also need to prepare for the “messy middle.”

Culture shifts: planning the move from comfortable to messy to hopeful.
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Understanding culture change

About three years ago, OCLC embarked on an effort to shift our culture. Library requirements were changing, and we needed to evolve to serve our members and their communities. We wanted to be a culture characterized by speed, accountability and execution. We took the time to study the current culture, both its strengths and weaknesses. We rethought how to drive and sustain positive changes.

Our culture has been reshaped into a collaborative, technology-driven, high-energy organization. Because physical spaces can both reflect and shape culture, some of our changes are very visible. You can see some “before and after” pictures below, of our OCLC headquarters.

before after

Remember: Culture is the “how” of your organization. Your spaces often reveal how people relate to each other, solve problems and interact. In our case, we wanted more options for staff interaction, more visible and useful technology resources and an emphasis on openness and movement. What do your organization’s spaces say about your culture?

Changing your culture

If you decide to change your organizational culture, keep this in mind: No matter how much everyone agrees and says yes—be ready for a bumpy ride. Change is stressful, even if it’s good change.

Culture is shaped by values, reflected in behavior, affected by rewards.
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But take heart: Most people realize that in today’s world, change is essential. Here are three key things to remember as you move forward.

  • Culture is shaped by values and beliefs. Think about the people you serve. Think about your purpose and how the culture in your organization, in your team, is reflecting that purpose and influencing what you do. How would someone describe you?
  • Culture is reflected in people and behavior. Values and beliefs—even if they are not overtly expressed—are reflected in how people do things. If you want to test this, simply sit and watch your staff interact with users or each other for 15–30 minutes. How do they treat people? What is their behavior in a vague or unexpected situation?
  • Culture is affected by what gets rewarded. This is more of a “holistic view” than a comment on salaries. What behavior, results and efforts are recognized as “good”? It could be a raise in pay, but it is often more subtle—tone, opportunity, projects, relationships, recognition.

Complex cultural changes are successful only if individuals change how they do their day-to-day work. Successful change in your organization will be the culmination of many individuals moving from their own current state to their own future state.

Because, in the end, cultures change one person at a time.

Question…How would you describe your organization’s culture? Let us know on Twitter with the hashtag #OCLCnext

The post Are you too comfortable in your culture? appeared first on OCLC Next.

by Tammi Spayde at October 20, 2016 04:00 PM

First Thus

The New Hillary Library? | by Robert Darnton | The New York Review of Books

The New Hillary Library? | by Robert Darnton | The New York Review of Books

Although he adds little that is new for librarians, this is a good discussion about the need to reconsider the purpose of copyright and open access.


by James Weinheimer at October 20, 2016 07:03 AM

October 19, 2016

025.431: The Dewey blog

Reading multiple history notes

The Dewey team received a question from a translator some time ago regarding one of the new numbers for municipalities of South Africa. We thought the answer would be helpful as a general illustration of how to read history notes in a number record. We first made history notes viewable in WebDewey on the default page for a record as part of some enhancements about five years ago; you can also view history notes in the MARC record for a number, in field 685.

The question we received concerned T2—6849 uThukela District Municipality, located in South Africa’s Kwa-ZuluNatal province. It’s a good example because it has multiple history notes. When more than one history note is associated with a number, the notes are ordered top to bottom from most recent to oldest. Here’s how it appears in WebDewey:


The order of the notes indicates that while T2—6849 was discontinued in Edition 21, it is now active in Edition 23. The districts named in the more recent history note show where some of this geographic area was covered in the meantime. (When used in Edition 21, T2—6849 represented KwaZulu in apartheid South Africa. After apartheid, KwaZulu was merged with the old province of Natal, forming the modern KwaZulu-Natal.)

The MARC record display in WebDewey of the two history notes is:

    685 31 $t Bergville district, Estcourt district, Kliprivier district, Weenen district $i all formerly located in $b T2--6847 $d 20160224 $2 23

    685 12 $i Number discontinued; class in $a T2--684 $d 1997 $2 21

The first indicator of the first 685 note is 3, which indicates that number is reused after being vacated. Both notes also have a subfield 2 that indicates the edition in which the change was made. But remember that the topmost note is the most recent. You’ll see “Number discontinued,” but this one’s perfectly valid in the current edition.

by Alex at October 19, 2016 08:06 PM

October 11, 2016


Beating Watson at a different game

robot handshake

Recently I attended a meeting of the Dutch Association of Information Professionals (KNVI) where an IBM representative demonstrated Watson, the company’s famed supercomputer. Watson uses natural language processing and machine learning to reveal insights from large amounts of data. The system can be fed an enormous collection of information and used to support complete knowledge domains or industries.

The demonstration was fascinating as I watched Watson receive and answer questions in natural language about cancer treatment and diagnosis.

As I left the meeting, I wondered what the impact of technology platforms like Watson will have on libraries. Clearly, the use of Watson, with its incredible ability to organize and analyze data, offers endless possibilities that will result in further automation of the information profession. What place will libraries have in a world of Watsons?

Transformation never ends

Over the past 15 years, “disruptive technologies” like Watson have become the norm in libraries. Many people wonder how libraries still exist and play such a major role in our societies, considering the popularity of search engines, the ability for end users to search databases directly, the exploding availability of information on the internet, and the speed and ease of tools like smartphones.

How can libraries compete against IBM’s Watson?
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The answer is simple. Librarians stay in front of the change curve by continually realigning themselves with the emerging demands of our modern knowledge society. They are flexible and open to permanent change and focus on being where their customers want to be. The key is the value librarians add, not the pace of content creation or the speed of technology advancement.

Focus on what libraries do best

Here are a few examples from an international perspective about how libraries are staying in front of the change curve:

Creative spaces. The Public Library of Aarhus in Denmark has developed a radical concept for its new public library. Library leaders designed and built a new building that functions as an open meeting space for the city. Citizens go there to have meetings, work with each other and develop new ideas. The building is modern and open, and the collection is not in the center of the library anymore. Since the library opened in 2015, the number of visitors has increased to 4,000 per day. In academic libraries, print collections are being managed down and the freed-up space is reused for student facilities, workspaces and computer labs.

Collaborative opportunities. In the Netherlands, the Public Library of Gouda has, in an old factory, developed a new role of connecting groups in the cultural and social communities of the city. This new concept is based on strong cooperation with other organizations, facilitating group meetings and providing maker spaces or maker labs. Groups work together on design, using new technologies such as 3D printers.

Cultural foci. In many other cities in Western Europe, such as Amsterdam, Birmingham and Stuttgart, new city libraries also are designed as important landmarks with a new focus on meeting and connecting, as well as reading and studying. The new Deichman Branch of the Oslo Public Library will open in 2018. It will contain not only the library’s rich collection but also be equipped with the latest technology and new social spaces, such as a movie theater, media workshops, gaming zones, lounges and a restaurant.

Stay ready to change

It is fascinating to me to see how libraries change, develop new services and adjust their roles to stay relevant to the student, scholar and user. As technology platforms like Watson become prominent, more change will be necessary. Information professionals and librarians will help develop and manage the massive digital assets—image, text and data—that are used by these systems, of course. Libraries are going to be technology navigators and trainers on behalf of their users.

But the real field on which we can compete successfully is not technological. Our success comes when we play as large a role as possible in helping communities and campuses understand and adapt to the “Watsons” of our work—the same rapidly changing world we are experiencing.

Question…What do you see in the future for libraries? Let us know on Twitter with the hashtag #OCLCnext

The post Beating Watson at a different game appeared first on OCLC Next.

by Eric van Lubeek at October 11, 2016 03:10 PM

October 10, 2016

Mod Librarian

10 Things on the 10th October: SKOS, Metadata, DAM, Crowdsourcing

10 Things on the 10th October: SKOS, Metadata, DAM, Crowdsourcing

Enjoy autumn and these 10 things:

  1. Help the Huntington Library decode civil war telegrams.
  2. Hack Library School on metadata and cataloging.
  3. What do Content Strategists do?
  4. Recordings of the webinar on controlled vocabularies from COAR.
  5. More crowdsourcing at the Library of Congress Law Library.
  6. What is SKOS and is there an open source tool for that?
  7. Be a fly on the wall at the NYC DAM Meetup.
  8. Check…

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October 10, 2016 12:02 PM

Terry's Worklog

MarcEdit Updates

This round of MarcEdit updates focused on the Task Manager/Task Editing.  After talking to some folks, I really tried to do some work to make it easier for folks when sharing network tasks.  Change logs:


  • Enhancement: Task List will preserve a back up task list before save, and will restore if the original task list is deleted or zero bytes.
  • Enhancement:Task List: Added .lock files to prevent multiple users from editing files on the network at the same time.
  • Enhancement: Task List: Updated Task Manager/process to remove all file paths.  Please see:
  • Enhancement: COM Object additions.


  • Bug Fix: Task Manager: when cloning a task that had been edited, a leak occurred which could also corrupt the task list
  • Bug Fix: MarcEditor: Error occurred if autosave wasn’t enabled.  This has been corrected.
  • Enhancement: Task List will preserve a back up task list before save, and will restore if the original task list is deleted or zero bytes.
  • Enhancement:Task List: Added .lock files to prevent multiple users from editing files on the network at the same time.
  • Enhancement: Task List: Updated Task Manager/process to remove all file paths.  Please see:


Downloads can be found at:


by reeset at October 10, 2016 03:02 AM