Cataloging

Do Book Ratings Belong in Library Catalogs?

Do Book Ratings Belong in Library Catalogs?
"To me it feels like a violation of public library philosophy. I have less of a problem when the rating is average or high because I assume it encourages patrons to check out a book they are already considering. But when patrons see a low rating on a book in our catalog, especially a rating not attributed to an individual patron, it appears that our library is bad-mouthing the book…and that discourages, rather than promotes, literacy."

The ILS the digital library and the research library

The ILS, the digital library and the research library. Great question from Lorcan Dempsey

" Responsibility for the integrated library system (or library management system) appears to be a part of each post, yet it is not foregrounded in the position description. For these libraries, maybe, the ILS is a necessary part of doing business, but is not the site of major development. Designing and developing digital infrastructure now includes the ILS but is no longer led by it. Or maybe there is some other reason .... ?"

Can Full-Text Search Replace Metadata?

From a review by Jeffrey Beall of a presentation by Eric Hellman at ALA Annual 2011 that touched upon that:

Hellman's talk was among the most arrogant and flippant I had ever attended at an ALA conference. His talk was supposed to be about linked data, but he exploited his position as speaker to unwarrantedly trash libraries, library standards, and librarians.

By way of GMANE, you can read what the folks at AUTOCAT had to say in discussing the matter further. Links to the slides used are also discussed in that AUTOCAT thread.

Suggested RDA Improvements

Mac Elrod of Special Libraries Cataloguing responds to Tuesday's announcement that implementation of RDA, the successor to AACR2r, has been recommended to be delayed until 2013.

Open data’s role in transforming our bibliographic framework

Open data’s role in transforming our bibliographic framework
If you also see potential in open library data, now is an excellent time to join in the discussions that the Library of Congress and OCLC are inviting. The more these and other leading organizations in the library community see how open data can advance the goals of the community, and how open data initiatives can get the support needed to be sustainable, the richer the knowledge base that our evolving bibliographic framework will support.

The search for a minimum viable record

The search for a minimum viable record
The Open Library has run into these complexities and challenges as it seeks to create "one web page for every book ever published."

George Oates, Open Library lead, recently gave a presentation in which she surveyed audience members, asking them to list the five fields they thought necessary to adequately describe a book. In other words, what constitutes a "minimum viable record"? Akin to the idea of the "minimum viable product" for getting a web project coded and deployed quickly, the minimum viable record (MVR) could be a way to facilitate an easier exchange of information between library catalogs and information systems.

In the interview below, Oates explains the issues and opportunities attached to categorization and MVRs.

How the Modern Web Environment is Reinventing the Theory of Cataloguing

Panizzi, Lubetzky, and Google: How the Modern Web Environment is Reinventing the Theory of Cataloguing: This paper uses cataloguing theory to interpret the partial results of an exploratory study of university students using Web search engines and Web-based OPACs. The participants expressed frustration with the OPAC; while they sensed that it was "organized," they were unable to exploit that organization and attributed their failure to the inadequacy of their own skills. In the Google searches, on the other hand, students were getting the support traditionally advocated in catalogue design. Google gave them starting points: resources that broadly addressed their requirements, enabling them to get a greater sense of the knowledge structure that would help them to increase their precision in subsequent searches. While current OPACs apparently fail to provide these starting points, the effectiveness of Google is consistent with the aims of cataloguing as expressed in the theories of Anthony Panizzi and Seymour Lubetzky

Libraries + RFID + Augmented Reality = ?

Okay, so Apple has a patent on blah-dee-blah and the next-gen-iProducts will have an RFID chip onboard, but what could this mean for libraries?

I'm not familiar with what you can do with RFID, but I was wondering if there would be an app that would be called a Dewey Killer.

I mean, if you could find the books with your phone, why would you need to catalog the books? If each thing could broadcast its location, then is there any need for authority? The books could be anywhere and still be findable.

So you hold your phone up in the library and your reality app shows you the floorplan.
Some other app filled with ISBNs or titles accesses the catalog.
Then what?
Is there a database of RFID transponder signals? What is the range of the phone's antenna?
Would the phone scan the shelves of books and pinpoint the location of the title? Assuming anyone still wants printed books in 2011.

Maybe you know the answer:
Libraries + RFID + Augmented Reality = ?

Because I'm hoping it's multiple choice so I can pick "C." When in doubt, I always pick C.

Cataloging Digital Documents

On "All Things Considered"

This week, Maya Angelou turned over a large trove of personal papers to the New York Public Library's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The collection includes many handwritten notes, drafts and letters. Nowadays, though, so much writing is done on computers rather than on paper; correspondence is done over email rather than through the postal service. To talk about how archivists deal with this shift toward digital documents, Michele Norris talks with Richard Oram, associate director of the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin.

Full piece here.

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