Planet Cataloging

April 26, 2015

OCLC Cataloging and Metadata News

Institution Record questions, answers and next steps

We will be hosting this webinar to answer questions and provide guidance to those who elect to migrate their Institution Records to Local Bibliographic Data.

April 26, 2015 07:00 AM

April 25, 2015

First Thus

RDA-L RE: RE: publisher info

On 25/03/2015 21.39, Amanda Cossham wrote:
> Most patrons are unsophisticated, and do not think to that level of > refinement. They believe they are good at searching because they use > search engines all the time, and that it’s the fault of the library > catalogue when they don’t retrieve what they expect to get when they > search. In many ways, they are correct. We should not be expecting > patrons to understand the data the way cataloguing librarians do. > Library catalogues are still hard to use.

It should also be kept in mind that there are two purposes to the library catalog: one is as an aid for people to find information in the collection, but the other–just as important–is to serve as a complete *inventory* of the collection. The inventory information may not be needed for the other purpose.

Much of the descriptive information in a bibliographic record is needed by the collection managers. They need to know if e.g. something they are considering buying is a reprint and maybe they should check the condition of the local copy. But the library user rarely needs such information. In the case of printers vs. publishers, my experience is that because of reliance on keyword, people are losing the concepts even of author, title, and subject. The concept of a “publisher” and more specifically, the relationship of the “printer” is quite beyond most members of the public. I can’t imagine a user saying, “I would prefer a copy published by Random House to one by Viking” (although I am sure that one person somewhere has asked for something like that!).

Such information is vital for the collection manager. I once wrote a chapter of a book and in it, discussed the importance of the exact number of pages–to the librarian, that is. A library user rarely cares if an item has 228 pages or 232 pages, but for the person who is considering adding an item to the collection, they cannot waste their budgets adding duplicates, and for them, such information can be vital.

Libraries need special information to get their jobs done. We absolutely have to have it but that doesn’t mean that everybody wants it. While some of that information (publisher vs. printer, exact publication dates and so on) may *occasionally* be of real interest to the user, it is very rare. Someone may be a Steinbeck scholar and be interested in specific printings, and the catalog can sometimes provide at least some of that information. Most of the time however, the catalog does not–in any case, it would be a mistake for the serious scholar to trust it–and they still need to use other tools and/or methods.

These were some of the issues that I was hoping would be reconsidered by the cataloging community, especially in relation to “new developments” (now decades old!) such as electronic documents and their associated printouts. We know what libraries need to get their work done, but what do *other people* need to get *their* work done? Does our information help them or just get in their way and confuse everything? This is what I was trying to get at in my cartoon in my podcast “A Conversation Between a Patron and the Library Catalog”

James Weinheimer
First Thus
First Thus Facebook Page
Cooperative Cataloging Rules
Cataloging Matters Podcasts


by James Weinheimer at April 25, 2015 01:15 PM

April 24, 2015

First Thus

ACAT Institution records demise on OCLC

On 3/25/2015 5:04 PM, John Gordon Marr wrote:
> Considering ” when this was discussed and by whom” is significant, especially if the discussion did not include “us.” >
> But the one point that no one has clarified is “why”– was it a budgetary problem OCLC is faced with, and should “we” be made aware of any fiscal weaknesses OCLC may have?

It seems to me that these records constitute an important part of library history, just as important as any other old printed catalog of any other library. We keep those–in fact, I’ve written some articles on these old catalogs myself.

Instead of just deleting what is very possibly the only copy in the universe of those records, I would much prefer that they archive them somewhere, even in the internet archive or some institutional repository, so that they can be used for study and research. There is a wealth of information there and it could be used in all kinds of ways. Who knows what people could come up with? If you delete it, they can’t come up with anything at all….

I have discovered a strange behavior: while libraries happily archive all kinds of old documents from other departments, businesses, and so on, they often dismiss their own old documents as obsolete and want to throw them away.

I vote the records be made available for research and study, if nothing else, just as zip files in the Internet archive.

James Weinheimer
First Thus
First Thus Facebook Page
Personal Facebook Page Google+
Cooperative Cataloging Rules
Cataloging Matters Podcasts The Library Herald


by James Weinheimer at April 24, 2015 04:48 PM

Resource Description & Access (RDA)

RDA Rules Toolkit & LC-PCC PS Revision

RDA Toolkit Update, April 14, 2015 

A new release of the RDA Toolkit is published on Tuesday, April 14. This message will cover several points you should be aware of related to the release. 

TOPIC 1: Changes in RDA Content
TOPIC 2: Change in Content in LC-PCC PSs
TOPIC 3: Functional Changes in the RDA Toolkit

TOPIC 1: Changes in RDA Content

There are two types of changes in the RDA content for this update: 1) the fourth annual major update to RDA based on the decisions made by the Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA (JSC) at their November 2014 meeting; and 2) “Fast Track” changes that are relatively minor and typical of a release update.

Revisions from JSC actions:
The changes to individual instructions are identifiable by the “revision history” icon in the RDA Toolkit (a dark blue rectangular icon with the date "2015/04").  A complete listing of all changes due to the proposal process will appear in the left-side table of contents pane on the RDA tab in the Toolkit, at the bottom under “RDA Update History”—you will see an additional entry there for the “2015 April Update.” 

The attached document (summary rda changes 2015.pdf) lists the main changes to RDA due to the JSC update.  Many of the changes in this update package are due to re-numbering of instructions and references (without a change in actual content) and are not included in the attached listing. 
To help you focus on the more important changes to the instructions, some parts of the attached summary have been highlighted in yellow to draw your attention.  Some noteworthy changes:

Statement of Responsibility (2.4, etc. and  Instructions that distinguished between “statements of responsibility” (2.4) and statements indicating a “performer, narrator, and/or presenter” (7.23) or “artistic and/or technical credit” (7.24) have been removed.  While information formerly recorded in 7.23 and 7.24 are now considered statements of responsibility, the cataloger can judge whether that information is best transcribed as part of the statement of responsibility (e.g., MARC 245$c), or recorded as notes (e.g., MARC 508, 511). The core requirement to transcribe the first or most important statement of responsibility should be fulfilled before recording others in a note.

Noun Phrases Occurring with a Statement of Responsibility ( The instruction to always treat a noun phrase occurring with a statement of responsibility as part of the statement of responsibility has been replaced with an instruction to treat a noun phrase occurring with a statement of responsibility as part of the statement of responsibility if 1) the sequence, layout, or typography indicates the phrase is intended to be part of the statement of responsibility and 2) the noun phrase is indicative of the role of the person named in the statement of responsibility.  Note this is not a return to the AACR2 practice, which included instructions about the role of the person, but said nothing about typography, layout, etc. In cases of doubt, treat the noun phrase as part of the statement of responsibility.

Distribution Statement (2.9), Manufacture Statement (2.10), and Copyright Date (2.11):  The “core if” requirements for the statements and sub-elements of “distribution statement,” “manufacture statement,” and “copyright date” have been eliminated. These elements may be recorded according to cataloger judgment.

Preferred Title for the Work (6.2.2, etc.):  There have been some significant structural changes to the layout and completion of RDA instructions for preferred titles for works, although few represent changes significant changes in LC practice.  There are significant changes in two areas:  choreographic works and books of the Bible known as the Protestant Apocrypha.  Although choreographic works were not directly covered in RDA, examples reflective of the former LCRI practice had been included; choreographic works are now treated as other works in RDA, and examples have been changed accordingly.  Those who deal with choreographic works (or, more likely, works about choreographic works) should examine the revised “Choreographic Works” section of the LC-PCC PS for  The guidelines provide information on creating new authority records, guidance on dealing with existing authority records, and a link to the new subject practices that will be part of the Subject Headings Manual.  For the books of the Protestant Apocrypha, individual books are now to be named directly as a sub-division of the Bible (e.g. Bible. Baruch), the same as individual books of the Old and New Testaments.

Authorized Access Points Representing a Person (9.19.1, etc.): Several instructions in 9.19.1 have been revised to provide the cataloger greater flexibility in choosing an appropriate addition to break a conflict if the additions from and are not available or do not provide adequate distinction.  See the relevant LC-PCC PSs for the “optional addition” of these elements when there is no conflict.  

Fast Track changes
An attached PDF file identifies the "Fast Track" changes to RDA that will be included in this release (6JSC-Sec-15.pdf); Fast Track changes are not added to the RDA Update History.  While you are encouraged to peruse the changes, there are no significant changes.

TOPIC 2: Change in Content in LC-PCC PSs

A summary of LC-PCC PS updates incorporated in this release is attached (LCPCCPS_changes_2015_April.pdf).  Many of the changes to the LC-PCC PSs are related to RDA changes (re-numbering, new references, etc.).  Several PSs are being deleted because the content has been incorporated into RDA itself or the RDA update makes the PS obsolete.  As noted above, the LC-PCC PS for should be reviewed by those who deal with choreographic works, and the PSs for, Option-, Option should be reviewed by those who deal with personal name authority records.
The PSs on manuscripts and works of art have been revised and relocated to because of RDA changes.

TOPIC 3: Functional Changes in the RDA Toolkit

There are two functional changes in the RDA Toolkit that you should be aware of:

a) For reasons associated with the international use of the RDA Toolkit, the names of the Books and Groups of Books of the Bible have been removed from the text of the instructions in Chapter 6, and are now available on the contents pane on the “Tools” tab (see “Books of the Bible”).  Other than the change for individual books of the Apocrypha listed above in Topic 1, there is no change in LC-PCC practice because we use the names of the books and groups of books that were previously listed in RDA as well as the title "Bible. Apocrypha" for that group of books.

b) The RDA index has been removed.  Although formerly made available in the online Toolkit, the index was produced only as a byproduct of the printed RDA; this has been discontinued as it was burdensome to maintain.  The online search features provide a reasonable replacement for the index; see the “Search Tips” in the RDA Toolkit on the “Help” screen for more information on searching.

The next planned release of the RDA Toolkit will be in August 2015.

The documents attached to this email may also be found on the Web:
LC Summary of 2015 RDA Updates:   
Fast Track entries included in the April 2015 update of the RDA Toolkit:
Changes in LC-PCC Policy Statements in the April 2015 release of the RDA Toolkit

[Source : Library of Congresss, Policy and Standards Division]

by Salman Haider ( at April 24, 2015 08:09 AM

April 23, 2015

Mod Librarian

5 Things Thursday: DAM Salaries, Adobe Lightroom, Best Library

Here are five more things:

  1. Insightful post regarding DAM salaries and librarians by Lisa Grimm.
  2. Implementing a controlled vocabulary in Adobe Lightroom.
  3. Awesome Henry Stewart DAM sessions recorded here.
  4. What about the world’s best public library from a design perspective?
  5. Another DAM Podcast with advertising DAM guru Jamie Litchfield.

View On WordPress

April 23, 2015 11:01 AM

April 22, 2015

TSLL TechScans

The law library in an information age: it is time to do away with the local online catalog and focus on research guides and digital content

An SSRN paper by Jonathan E. Germann

His premise: It is time libraries stop investing in a local public online catalog, a century old device used to facilitate access to physical holdings within a library. Instead, it is time for libraries to become experts at helping patrons navigate the world of the anti-library by creating original content in the form of subject guides. It is also time for libraries to focus on owning digital resources that can be manipulated by computer algorithms.

Read the paper at

by (Marlene Bubrick) at April 22, 2015 07:34 PM

April 21, 2015

Resource Description & Access (RDA)

Clarification of Role in Statement of Responsibility : RDA Rule : Questions & Answers

Question on Clarification of Role in Statement of Responsibility : RDA Rule by Omar Hernández Perez:

What language is add a word or short phrase if necessary to clarify the role of a person, family, or corporate body named in a statement of responsibility? RDA

1.  language/script of the resource 
2.  language of the agency 
Russlan und Ludmila : Oper in 5 Aufzügen /Mikhail I. Glinka ; [editado por] M. Balakirew und S. Liapunow

RDA suggests to Add a word or short phrase if necessary to clarify the role of a person, family, or corporate body named in a statement of responsibility. Also it prescribes to indicate that the information was taken from a source outside the resource itself.

The Addition made should be in the language/script of resource in which title proper is given.

There is one RDA Rule for "Preferred Sources of Information in Different Languages or Scripts" : If the resource contains preferred sources of information in more than one language or script, use as the preferred source of information (in this order of preference). Under this six points are mentioned from a-f in the order of preference. 
Under this the first option itself is: a) the source in the language or script that corresponds to the language or script of the content of the resource ... ...
This rule can be interpreted and applied to the asked question.

Note: RDA Blog users please evaluate this answer and express your opinions about this question/answer.

[Revised 2015-04-22]

by Salman Haider ( at April 21, 2015 09:56 PM

Coyle's InFormation

Come in, no questions asked

by Eusebia Parrotto, Trento Public Library*

He is of an indeterminate age, somewhere between 40 and 55. He's wearing two heavy coats, one over the other, even though it's 75 degrees out today (shirt-sleeve weather) and a large backpack. He's been a regular in the library for a couple of months, from first thing in the morning until closing in the evening. He moves from the periodicals area along the hall to the garden on fair weather days. Sundays, when the library is closed, he is not far away, in the nearby park or on the pedestrian street just outside.

I run into him at the coffee vending machine. He asks me, somewhat hesitantly, if I have any change. I can see that he's missing most of his front teeth. I've got a euro in my hand, and I offer it to him. He takes it slowly, looks at it carefully, and is transformed. His face lights up with a huge smile, and like an excited child, but with a mere whisper of a voice, he says: "Wow!! A euro! Thanks!" I smile back at him, and I can see that he's trying to say something else but he can't, it tires him. I can smell the alcohol on his breath and I assume that's the reason for his lapse. He motions to me to wait while he tries to bring forth the sounds, the words. I do wait, watching. He lifts a hand to the center of his neck as if to push out the words, and he says, with great effort and slowly: "I don't speak well, I had an operation. Look." There is a long scar on his throat that goes from one ear to the other. I recognize what it is. He says again, "Wait, look" and pulls up his left sleeve to show me another scar along the inside of his forearm that splits in two just before his wrist. "I know what that is," I say.

Cancer of the throat. An incision is made from under the chin to arrive at the diseased tissue. They then reconstruct the excised portion using healthy tissue taken from the arm. That way the damaged area will recover, to the extent it can, its original functions.

With great effort and determination he tells me, giving me the signal to wait when he has to pause, that he was operated on nearly a year go, after three years in which he thought he had a stubborn toothache. When he couldn't take it any more he was taken to the emergency room and was admitted to hospital immediately. I tell him that he's speaking very clearly, and that he has to exercise his speech often to improve his ability to articulate words; it's a question of muscle tone and practice. I ask him if he is able to eat. I know that for many months, even years, after the operation you can only get down liquids and liquified foods. He replies "soups, mainly!" It will get better, I tell him.

His eyes shine with a bright light, he smiles at me, signals to me to wait. Swallows. Concentrates and continues his story, about a woman doctor friend, who he only discovered was a doctor after he got sick. He tells me some details about the operation; the radiation therapy. This is the second time that he has cheated death, he says. The first was when he fell and hit his head and was in a coma for fifteen days. "So now this, and it's the second time that I have been brought back from the brink." He says this with a smile, even a bit cocky, with punch. And then tears come to his eyes. He continues to smile, impishly, toothlessly. "I'm going to make it, you'll see. Right now I'm putting together the forms to get on disability, maybe that will help." "Let's hope it works out," I say as we part. And he replies: "No, not hope. You've got to believe."

The derelicts of the library. A few months back it was in all of the local papers. One student wrote a letter to the newspaper complaining that the presence of the homeless and the vagabonds profaned the grand temple of culture that is the library. Suddenly everyone had something to say on the matter; even those who had never even been to the library were upset about the derelicts there. They said it made them feel unsafe. Others told how it made them feel uncomfortable to come into the library and see them occupying the chairs all day long. Even when half of the chairs were free they were taking up the places of those who needed to study. Because you can't obviously mix with them.

I don't know how often the person I chatted with today had the occasion to speak to others about his illness. It's a terrible disease, painful, and it leaves one mutilated for life. Recovery from the operation is slow, over months, years. It's an infliction that leaves you with a deep fear even when you think you are cured. That man had such a desire to tell the story of his victory over the disease, his desire to live, his faith that never left him even in the darkest moments. I know this from the great light that radiated from his visage, and from his confident smile.

I don't know of any other place but standing at the vending machine of a library where such an encounter is possible between two worlds, two such distant worlds. I don't know where else there can be a simple conversation between two persons who, by rule or by necessity, occupy these social extremities; between one who lives on the margins of society and another who lives the good life; who enjoys the comforts of a home, a job, clean clothes and access to medical care. Not in other public places, which are open only to a defined segment of the population: consumers, clients, visitors to public offices. These are places where you are defined momentarily based on your social activities. Not in the street, or in the square, because there are the streets and squares that are frequented by them, and the others, well-maintained, that are for us. And if one of them ventures into our space he is surely not come to tell us his story, nor are we there to listen to it.

He is called a derelict, but this to me is the beauty of the public library. It is a living, breathing, cultural space that is at its best when it gathers in all of those beings who are kept outside the walls of civil society, in spite of the complexity and contradictions that implies.

The library is a place with stories; there are the stories running through the thousands of books in the library as well as the stories of the people who visit it. In the same way that we approach a new text with openness and trust, we can also be open and trusting as listeners. Doing so, we'll learn that the stories of others are not so different from our own; that the things that we care about in our lives, the important things, are the same for everyone. That they are us, perhaps a bit more free, a bit more suffering, with clothes somewhat older than our own.

Then I read this. It tells the story of the owner of a fast food restaurant who, having noticed that after closing someone was digging through the trash cans looking for something to eat. So she put a sign on store window, inviting the person to stop in one day and have a fresh meal, for free. The sign ends with: "No questions asked."

So this is what I want written on the front door of all libraries: "Come in, whoever you are. No questions asked."

*Translated and posted with permission. Original.

[Note: David Lankes tweeted (or re-tweeted, I don't remember) a link to Eusebia's blog, and I was immediately taken by it. She writes beautifully of the emotion of the public library. I will translate other posts as I can. And I would be happy to learn of other writers of this genre that we can encourage and publicize. - kc]

by Karen Coyle ( at April 21, 2015 09:40 AM

April 20, 2015

Resource Description & Access (RDA)

Librarianship Studies & Information Technology (LS & IT) Blog

About Librarianship Studies & Information Technology (LS & IT) Blog 

Learn librarianship and information technology with Librarianship Studies & Information Technology (LS & IT) Blog, a blog on studies, research, techniques, technology, best practices, and latest news on librarianship, library and information science, and information technology. Whether you are studying, doing research, or a working professional, this is the place for you... For Librarians, i-School Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) & Ph.D Students & Researchers and IT Professionals 

Librarianship Studies & Information Technology (LS & IT) Blog




  • Join the companion online Google+ Community Librarianship Studies & Information Technology, a place where people can get together to share ideas, trade tips and tricks, and learn about Library & Information Science and Information Technology

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by Salman Haider ( at April 20, 2015 04:45 AM

April 17, 2015

What's the point?

Last post

This is the last post for this blog.

I maintained this blog as an adjunct to my professional life and discussed only professional matters within it; and I had a second blog for all the other stuff. Now that I am retired, my life no longer falls into two halves; it is a merry mash-up of thoughts about libraries (because I still think about them from time to time) and thoughts about all sorts of other things.

And so I am going to close this blog. It has been fun, but it’s over. I hope that some of you will follow me into my new world, and carry on reading at Now and then, as and when. See you there!

by Me ( at April 17, 2015 11:43 AM

April 16, 2015

025.431: The Dewey blog is coming back

Thank you to our members for your recent feedback regarding unavailability of, one of the first library linked data resources when it launched several years ago. I’m excited that you find this experimental service so valuable and I’m happy to share that is coming back!

At this time I do not have an exact date of availability, but please know that our OCLC team is actively working on reliability and scalability improvements needed to bring this service back online as soon as possible. I will keep you informed and appreciate your patience as I continue to learn more.

by Michael Panzer at April 16, 2015 08:05 PM

Mod Librarian

5 Things Thursday: DAM, Getty Images, Kickstarter

Here are five things for spring:

  1. Another DAM Podcast with Dave Ginsberg of the Sundance Institute.
  2. Working with librarians on humanizing search. Check out Wonder, the search guided by librarians.
  3. Fascinating infographic on 20 years of Getty Images.
  4. A Kickstarter campaign fueled the Recirculated library podcast.
  5. DAM is a service oriented profession.

View On WordPress

April 16, 2015 12:41 PM

April 15, 2015


VIAF RDF Changes

Here's a contribution from Jeff Young, who manages the RDF aspects of VIAF:

Since Wikidata’s introduction to the Linked Data Web in 2014 and subsequent integration of Freebase, it has become a premier example of how to publish and manage Linked Data. Like VIAF, Wikidata uses as its core RDF vocabulary and both datasets publish using Linked Data best practices. This consistency should allow applications to treat both datasets as complementary. The main difference will be in the coverage of entities/information, based on their respective sources.

The VIAF RDF changes outlined on the Developer Network blog are intended to further enrich and align the common purpose. Some of the VIAF changes provide additional information to help disambiguate entities, such as schema:location and schema:description. Where possible, schema:names are now language tagged, which should make it easier for applications to select a language-appropriate label for display.

The biggest change, though, is in the “shape of the data” that gets returned via Linked Data requests. Previously, this was a record-oriented view rather than a concise description of the entity. Like Wikidata, the new response will focus on the entity itself and depend on the related entities to describe themselves.

Alignment with Wikidata is a major step in the evolution of VIAF, which started with RDF/XML representations of name authority clusters in 2009 and transitioned to “primary entities” in 2011.  The introduction of VIAF as in 2014 extends the audience and integration with Wikidata further strengthens industry standard practices. These steps should help ensure that VIAF remains an authoritative source of entity identifiers and information in the linked web of data.


Note: We expect these RDF changes to be visible on April 16, 2015.  The bulk distribution will follow shortly after that.


by Thom at April 15, 2015 02:28 PM

April 14, 2015

First Thus

TSLL TechScans

Preservation Week 2015

Preservation Week is quickly approaching, this year it is the week of April 26 - May 2. Sometimes the preservation activities of an institution are not visible to the users of the library's materials, so this week is a great time to promote the activities your institution is undertaking to ensure continued access to its collections - both analog and digital. 

It's also a great time to take advantage of preservation training. This year ALA is sponsoring 3 FREE webinars on different preservation topics:
  • Moving Image Preservation 101
  • Digital Preservation for Individuals and Small Groups
  • Disaster Response Q&A
There are additional preservation videos available on the ALCTS Preservation play list.

by (Lauren Seney) at April 14, 2015 12:58 PM

April 13, 2015

Resource Description & Access (RDA)