One question that I have asked as I have thought about Linked Data and libraries is – is this something that only large academic institutions are thinking about, and is it something only large academic institutions can use? With BIBFRAME on the horizon as the intended successor of MARC, it is clear that Linked Data is something libraries of all types should be aware of. One can understand more easily why these larger academic institutions, who likely have unique material of interest to scholarly researchers, would be interested in linking their data with that of other institutions, and why they would benefit from such linking. I feel like those who work at public libraries may have a harder time understanding how Linked Data could be beneficial to them.
This is why I was so intrigued to find out about OpenCat, a project taking place in France. This is a collaboration between the French National Library (BNF) and a public library in Fresnes, a suburb of Paris. Through Linked Data, the resources of the Fresnes Library are supplemented by archival material, etc., from the national library.
Terry Reese, the genius behind the MarcEdit software, has announced that the latest MarcEdit update includes a tool called MARCNext, which can be used to test BIBFRAME. MARCNext has three different functionalities; Terry has provided a video for each of them:
- MarcEdit’s MARCNext – The BibFrame Testbed (http://youtu.be/2BTkjjowF1s)
- MarcEdit’s MARCNext – The JSON Object Viewer (http://youtu.be/wyijGEn8sr0)
- MarcEdit’s MARCNext – Linked Records Tool (http://youtu.be/ifhxNT1TxVU)
To download MarcEdit or get the update, visit http://marcedit.reeset.net/downloads.
As I mentioned in my last post, I’m still sort of making sense out of all the stuff that I’ve seen coming out of ALA Annual. One project that I’m particularly interested in is the Libhub Initiative. This project is spearheaded by Zepheira, the company working with the Library of Congress on BIBFRAME. Here’s a quote from their website describing the project:
The Libhub Initiative specifically focuses on developing a community of libraries interested in leading and learning through action what it takes to realize the promise of increased library visibility on the Web through publishing and linking of previously invisible collections.
Their first step will be to gather MARC records from libraries in order to transform them into Linked Data. I have been in touch with the team and was told that they will start collecting records sometime in August. I am definitely interested in contributing some of my institution’s records. It will be interesting to see what comes of this.
I’m still making my way through many of the resources that I saw mentioned after ALA Annual Conference, which I did not attend. I’d like to draw attention to the slides from a presentation given at the Faceted Subject Access Interest Group, by Steven Folsom and Chew Chiat Naun of Cornell University, about how their institution is using FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology) headings in their catalog. Though I have not yet worked with FAST headings, I am very interested in them, and I enjoy seeing projects where they are used, as there is a lot about faceted subject access that makes a lot of sense to me. I feel like many (if not all) of the FAST projects I’ve heard of so far have focused on non-MARC metadata, usually in digital repositories outside the library’s main catalog. I was interested to read about Cornell’s use of FAST headings in their catalog, and I look forward to hearing more about the project.
In May, I presented at the online Spring Meeting of the Nebraska Library Association’s Information Technology and Access Round Table. The recording of my presentation, Technology Tools for Technical Services, and all of the other great presentations from the day are now available on the ITART website. Check them out for some great information about technology in libraries.
The RDA Training Booklet, created by Marielle Veve of the University of North Florida, was recently brought to my attention by Christine Schwartz of Cataloging Futures. It looks like a good, concise overview of the changes from AACR2 to RDA. When I do RDA training in the future, I will definitely be drawing on this resource. I especially like the comparisons of RDA and AACR2 records for various types of resources, with the notable differences highlighted.
I haven’t been blogging much lately, but I have been presenting. Here are the slides from some of my recent presentations:
Today, I spent the majority of the day out of the office at the meeting I mentioned yesterday. It was a meeting of the officers of the Nebraska Library Association’s Technical Services Round Table. I am the Web Coordinator of the round table, which means that I maintain our web site and our newly-created Facebook page. The meeting lasted for almost three hours, most of which was spent planning for our upcoming Spring Meeting, which will be held on April 13. There was also quite a bit of travel time involved in attending this meeting, since it was held in Omaha, an hour away from Lincoln, where I work, so I got back to the office with only about two hours left in the work day.
When I got back, the first thing I did was to make a few small updates to the TSRT web site, reflecting things that we talked about at the meeting. I also caught up on the email that I received while I was gone.
Then, I turned my attention to the two book carts that appeared in my office while I was gone. One of the carts had some items that are being moved from our Ready Reference section to our general collection, so I had to edit their catalog records to reflect the change of location. The other cart had items to be withdrawn from the collection. Both of these were nice, relatively easy tasks to work on for the last bit of a Friday afternoon.
Well, as usual, I started my day with email and Google Reader. Looking back on my posts from the last few days, I realized that, reading them, you might assume that I am one of those super-organized people who checks email only at certain times throughout the day in order to maximize my productivity. That is most definitely not the case. I have my email open the whole day and generally get distracted from whatever I’m doing when a desktop alert pops up for a new email, but the only time I really purposefully allot a specific chunk of time to email is at the start of the day, which is why it’s the only time I bother to mention it.
While most of my email time is spent reading email that I’ve received, today I did spend some time writing an email to a few other staff members, asking if they would be willing to join me next week for an interview with a library science student. She is doing an assignment that requires her to interview a technical services department about their process involved in acquiring, cataloging, and processing items in their collection.
After that, I took the time to read one more handout from the MARC Formats Interest Group meeting that I mentioned yesterday. Then, I returned to cataloging the state government documents that I was pulled away from yesterday.
For the last hour before lunch, I multitasked by continuing to catalog while logged into the course website for the online course that I am teaching. I have scheduled a series of synchronous online chats throughout the course; people will know that I will be online during these periods, and they can log in and ask me questions. So far, no one has taken advantage of these chat sessions. I suppose this makes sense, since if they are taking the course specifically because the asynchronous format means that they don’t have to be online at any specific time, they will probably not think of logging on at a specific time to ask questions. I think that I probably won’t include these chat sessions in future asynchronous online classes.
After lunch, I finished my assignment for the RDA class that I am taking. I don’t feel entirely confident in all of my answers (FRBR is really quite tricky!), so I will be very interested to see what kind of feedback I receive.
Then, I took a moment to read over the agenda for the meeting of the officers of the Nebraska Library Association Technical Services Round Table, which I will be attending tomorrow. I also printed out some copies of my Web Coordinator report to take with me tomorrow.
Next, I spent some time working on Codeacademy’s Codeyear exercises. I have signed up to participate in this program, in which you complete a short computer coding lesson every week. This is week 4. I have no idea if I will actually be able to keep up with this for the whole year, but I am enjoying it so far. I’m also enjoying the camaraderie with the other catalogers participating as part of CatCode. I have been doing a lot of Codeyear at home, since it’s really not an extremely pressing job duty, but I had some downtime today, so I decided to take advantage of this fact.
As usual, I started my day by catching up on email and reading new Google Reader items.
Next, I spent some time grading the assignments for my online class that had been submitted since I last checked on Monday.
Then, I switched from online class teacher to online class participant and worked on my assignment for the RDA class that I mentioned yesterday. This particular assignment involves taking pieces of a MARC record and deciding which FRBR attributes they represent. I think doing exercises like this will be an important step in really wrapping my head around RDA, but it
definitely took longer than I expected, and I haven’t finished it yet, so I will have to come back to it later in the week.
After the webinar, I had a few minutes to kill before lunch. I used the time to record the number of government documents that I
cataloged last month in the official processing stats spreadsheet.
After lunch (gyros! yum!), I spent some time on professional reading. One of the items in my email this morning was an announcement that the presentations from the 2012 ALA Midwinter MARC Formats Interest Group meeting, the theme of which was “What Lies Beyond MARC?”, were posted to the ALA Connect website. I downloaded the presentation materials and spent some time reading them. Very interesting stuff!
After that, my intent was to spend the rest of the afternoon cataloging state government documents. I mostly did that, but I was interrupted by an email that came in from a Nebraska librarian asking me a question about series headings, so I switched gears in order to answer him. It took a surprisingly long time to write a series-headings-in-a-nutshell email, but answering questions from librarians is one of the parts of my job that I like best, so I didn’t mind being taken away from my originally scheduled plans. Those gov docs will still be there tomorrow.