Planet Cataloging

February 15, 2017

025.431: The Dewey blog

Updates to historical period numbers

At its June 2016 Meeting 139, the DDC Editorial Policy Committee (EPC) approved new historical period numbers in 930-990 for Pakistan, Bangladesh, Syria, Israel, Jordan, Myanmar, Philippines, Ethiopia, Benin, Tanzania, Mauritius, Guatemala, and Guyana. EPC also approved updates to existing historical period numbers for Egypt, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, and Democratic Republic of the Congo. Those updates were published in WebDewey at the end of September 2016. Some of the new numbers were timely, e.g., for Philippines:

959.9053 Administration of Rodrigo Duterte, 2016-

Others were overdue, e.g., for Syria:

956.910423          Administration of Bashar al-Assad, 2000-

Between EPC meetings, proposals for updates to historical period numbers are sent to EPC via email.  In December 2016, the period notation for the long-reigning king of Thailand was closed, and a new number was published for the reign of the new king:

959.3044 Reign of Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), 1946-2016

959.3045 Reign of Wachirālongkō̜n (Vajiralongkorn, Rama X), 2016-

In January 2017, new historical period numbers, both sent to EPC via email, were published to WebDewey for the Gambia and the United States. We watched the situation in the Gambia carefully before publishing the new historical period number, because the country was undergoing a constitutional crisis.  The new president (Adama Barrow) was sworn into office in a Gambian embassy in Senegal because the previous president (A. J. J. Jammeh) had rejected the election results and wanted to stay in office.  However, Jammeh was persuaded to relinquish office by a coalition of military forces from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the new president was able to return home to Gambia. The Dewey update closed off the administration of Jammeh and started a new history period in 2017, with the administration of Adama Barrow given in an including note.

966.51032 Administration of A. J. J. Jammeh, 1994-2017

966.51033 2017-

Including administration of Adama Barrow, 2017-

The new development for the United States closed off the administration of Barack Obama and opened the administration of Donald Trump.

973.932 Administration of Barack Obama, 2009-2017

973.933 Administration of Donald Trump, 2017-

For details of the updates to historical period numbers, see entries dated 20170125, 20161216, and 20160930 in Updates to DDC 23

by Juli at February 15, 2017 08:47 PM

OCLC Next

Looking at interlibrary loan, 2016 edition

Christa ILL titles

Everyone likes reading about lists and trends. I guess it’s part of our natural curiosity to wonder who’s in the top ten and to analyze what direction our culture or profession appears to be headed.

In the case of interlibrary loan (ILL), it’s also a lot of fun! To bibliophiles like me, it’s interesting to look at who’s reading what and which books are the most popular based on our ILL transactions.

The ILL community enjoys the data as well. Last year, the most popular post in the Next blog—based on page views and unique visitors—was the one on ILL trends to watch. And in December, a person on Twitter posted about how eager she was to see what new trends might be revealed in this year’s look at ILL statistics.

Well, here are the latest themes in the interlibrary loan world based on our data. Comparing it with last year, it’s more of the same with one new finding.

The top 10 ILL’d titles for 2016

(Shown in order, 1-10. Click to see the book in WorldCat)

Hillbilly ElegymebeforeyoucoverwhenbreathbecomesairamancalledoveGirl on the train

nightengaleBetween the world and meAll the lightamerica2020crackingthecode

ILL reflects the political events of the tumultuous 2016 election season

If you recall from last year’s post, we looked at six years’ worth of data, from 2010 to 2015, and identified four trends. Adding 2016 to the mix didn’t change anything very much, except for one notable observation. Not surprisingly, the top 2016 ILL theme was how closely aligned ILL was with current events. Two of the top ten books requested were political books that reflected what was taking place in the news and popular culture—the US presidential race.* Hillbilly Elegy was published in June 2016 and by the end of July, it had rocketed to the 12th most-requested monograph on the OCLC ILL system. By August, it was firmly entrenched in first place and remains there to this day. America 2020: The Survival Blueprint debuted among top ten titles in May and remained there until after the November election.


The top 2016 ILL theme was closely aligned with current events.
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Other than that, here is what we observed.

  • Repeats from 2015. Three books from the 2015 most-borrowed list found their way onto the 2016 list—The Girl on the Train, Between the World and Me and All the Light We Cannot See. What titles will repeat in 2017?
  • More movie tie-ins. There were three movie tie-ins in the 2016 list, which seems to be a recurring trend every year. In fact, the movie based on The Girl on the Train, which made the list for the second year in a row, was released in October. What movie tie-ins will be there next year?
  • No self-published titles. There were two in 2015 but no self-published titles in 2016. Will this continue?
  • No YA titles. This was a surprise, since at least two young adult titles had been on the list for several years. Last year we wondered if more adults were requesting YA titles or if younger people were discovering ILL. Is this the start of a new, downward trend for YA titles?
  • Same fiction/nonfiction mix. Six fiction and four nonfiction titles were on the 2016 list, just the same as 2015.

This year, we also looked at the top ILL titles by library type. What we found is what you might expect. Medical and law libraries borrowed medical and law-related books, while corporate, government and theological libraries borrowed business, governing and religious materials. Below are the top ILL titles by library type.

More interesting numbers for you to ponder

Is your ILL statistic appetite still wanting? Well, here are few more numbers to satisfy your fix!

  • More than 10,000 libraries subscribe to OCLC resource sharing services.
  • Every 18 seconds, a library fills an interlibrary loan request.
  • More than 7,300 libraries requested at least one item using ILL, and 7,500 libraries loaned at least one item in 2016.
  • More than 1 million articles were shared online using OCLC’s Article Exchange.

What interesting numbers and trends in ILL do you see? Let us know on Twitter with #OCLCnext.

Top Three ILL titles by library type

Public

  1. A Man Called Ove: A Novel
  2. The Nightingale
  3. America 2020: The Survival Blueprint

Academic

  1. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
  2. When Breath Becomes Air
  3. Me Before You

Academic Research

  1. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
  2. When Breath Becomes Air
  3. Me Before You

Community or Junior College

  1. A Man Called Ove: A Novel
  2. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
  3. The Nightingale

Schools Below College Level

  1. I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World
  2. The Girl on the Train
  3. Maus: A Survivor’s Tale

Law

  1. Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
  2. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
  3. Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right

  Medical

  1. Report on Medical School Faculty Salaries
  2. Family Nurse Practitioner Certification Intensive Review: Fast Facts and Practice
  3. Understanding Voice Problems: A Physiological Perspective for Diagnosis and Treatment

Corporate

  1. Online Technical Meeting Papers
  2. Science of Synthesis: Houben-Weyl Methods of Molecular Transformations
  3. European Pharmacopoeia

Theological

  1. Choosing the Good: Christian Ethics in a Complex World
  2. Trauma and Traumatization in Individual and Collective Dimensions: Insights from Biblical Studies and Beyond
  3. Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible

Government

  1. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
  2. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t
  3. The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals       

* 98% of the libraries and 93% of the total borrows are from US libraries.

The post Looking at interlibrary loan, 2016 edition appeared first on OCLC Next.

by Christa Starck at February 15, 2017 02:57 PM

February 14, 2017

First Thus

Re: [RDA-L] More than one preferred name?

Posting to RDA-L

On 08/02/2017 10:11, Heidrun Wiesenmüller wrote:

Quoting from
http://www.rda-rsc.org/sites/all/files/RSC-Chair-18.pdf
(p. 3/4):

“The definite article (“the”) is replaced by the indefinite article (“a” or “an”) where it refers to recording an element. For example, “Determine the preferred name for a person from the following sources” at RDA 9.2.2.2 is replaced with “Determine a preferred name for person from the following sources”. This change and referencing an element in the singular form emphasizes that there are no constraints on the repeatability of RDA elements, giving a cataloguing community the choice of recording one or more iterations of any element.”

Now this is a very interesting statement. Up to now, I would have thought that there were a small number of elements which are emphatically *not* repeatable, e.g., preferred name for the person, title proper, or preferred title for the work.

I guess that I considered this to be a forward-looking rule in advance of linked data. Even though library catalogs don’t seem to work with links very much now, someday they will, or at least they are supposed to. What that means is when you have a record with a link such as
100 0_ |a Confucius.$0http://www.viaf.org/viaf/89664672/rdf.xml (his record from VIAF)

there is not necessarily a single “preferred form” of his name. Right now, our catalogs simply display what is in the 100$a, so we think of it as a single preferred form, but when configured correctly, the catalog will be able to display any or all the information from the VIAF record instead of the 100$a. In fact, the designers could use the links going from VIAF into Wikipedia (once those links are converted to Wikidata links), and they could even show information from there.

Therefore, displays will become far more flexible than what we see today and many may find it disconcerting. For instance one searcher may prefer the Latvian form Konfūcijs, 551-479 p.m.ē. while a person sitting nearby, looking at exactly the same bibliographic record, will see the Russian form Конфуций ок.551-479 до н.э. while yet another will see the form used in Taiwan (周) 孔丘, all depending on what each searcher prefers. Alternatively, they may see multiple names along with pictures (from Wikipedia) similar to what we see now in the “Knowledge Graph” of a Google search result, once again, in various languages:

 

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by James Weinheimer at February 14, 2017 03:02 PM

Terry's Worklog

MarcEdit Update: All Versions

All versions have been updated.  For specific information about workstream work, please see: MarcEdit Workstreams: MacOS and Windows/Linux

MarcEdit Mac Changelog:

*************************************************
** 2.2.35
*************************************************
* Bug Fix: Delimited Text Translator: The 3rd delimiter wasn’t being set reliably. This should be corrected.
* Enhancement: Accessibility: Users can now change the font and font sizes in the application.
* Enhancement: Delimited Text Translator: Users can enter position and length on all fields.

MarcEdit Windows/Linux Changelog:

6.2.460
* Enhancement: Plugin management: automated updates, support for 3rd party plugins, and better plugin management has been added.
* Bug Fix: Delimited Text Translator: The 3rd delimiter wasn’t being set reliably. This should be corrected.
* Update: Field Count: Field count has been updated to improve counting when dealing with formatting issues.
* Enhancement: Delimited Text Translator: Users can enter position and length on all fields.

Downloads are available via the automated updating tool or via the Downloads (http://marcedit.reeset.net/downloads) page.

–tr

 

by reeset at February 14, 2017 05:59 AM

February 13, 2017

Coyle's InFormation

Miseducation

There's a fascinating video created by the Southern Poverty Law Center (in January 2017) that focuses on Google but is equally relevant to libraries. It is called The Miseducation of Dylann Roof.

 

 In this video, the speaker shows that by searching on "black on white violence" in Google the top items are all from racist sites. Each of these link only to other racist sites. The speaker claims that Google's algorithms will favor similar sites to ones that a user has visited from a Google search, and that eventually, in this case, the user's online searching will be skewed toward sites that are racist in nature. The claim is that this is what happened to Dylan Roof, the man who killed 9 people at an historic African-American church - he entered a closed information system that consisted only of racist sites. It ends by saying: "It's a fundamental problem that Google must address if it is truly going to be the world's library."

I'm not going to defend or deny the claims of the video, and you should watch it yourself because I'm not giving a full exposition of its premise here (and it is short and very interesting). But I do want to question whether Google is or could be "the world's library", and also whether libraries do a sufficient job of presenting users with a well-round information space.

It's fairly easy to dismiss the first premise - that Google is or should be seen as a library. Google is operating in a significantly different information ecosystem from libraries. While there is some overlap between Google and library collections, primarily because Google now partners with publishers to index some books, there is much that is on the Internet that is not in libraries, and a significant amount that is in libraries but not available online. Libraries pride themselves on providing quality information, but we can't really take the lion's share of the credit for that; the primary gatekeepers are the publishers from whom we purchase the items in our collections. In terms of content, most libraries are pretty staid, collecting only from mainstream publishers.

I decided to test this out and went looking for works promoting Holocaust denial or Creationism in a non-random group of libraries. I was able to find numerous books about deniers and denial, but only research libraries seem to carry the books by the deniers themselves. None of these come from mainstream publishing houses. I note that the subject heading, Holocaust denial literature, is applied to both those items written from the denial point of view, as well as ones analyzing or debating that view.

Creationism gets a bit more visibility; I was able to find some creationist works in public libraries in the Bible Belt. Again, there is a single subject heading, Creationism, that covers both the pro- and the con-. Finding pro- works in WorldCat is a kind of "needle in a haystack" exercise.

Don't dwell too much on my findings - this is purely anecdotal, although a true study would be fascinating. We know that libraries to some extent reflect their local cultures, such as the presence of the Gay and Lesbian Archives at the San Francisco Public Library.  But you often hear that libraries "cover all points of view," which is not really true.

The common statement about libraries is that we gather materials on all sides of an issue. Another statement is that users will discover them because they will reside near each other on the library shelves. Is this true? Is this adequate? Does this guarantee that library users will encounter a full range of thoughts and facts on an issue?

First, just because the library has more than one book on a topic does not guarantee that a user will choose to engage with multiple sources. There are people who seek out everything they can find on a topic, but as we know from the general statistics on reading habits, many people will not read voraciously on a topic. So the fact that the library has multiple items with different points of view doesn't mean that the user reads all of those points of view.

Second, there can be a big difference between what the library holds and what a user finds on the shelf. Many public libraries have a high rate of circulation of a large part of their collection, and some books have such long holds lists that they may not hit the shelf for months or longer. I have no way to predict what a user would find on the shelf in a library that had an equal number of books expounding the science of evolution vs those promoting the biblical concept of creation, but it is frightening to think that what a person learns will be the result of some random library bookshelf.

But the third point is really the key one: libraries do not cover all points of view, if by points of view you include the kind of mis-information that is described in the SPLC video. There are many points of view that are not available from mainstream publishers, and there are many points of view that are not considered appropriate for anything but serious study. A researcher looking into race relations in the United States today would find the sites that attracted Roof to provide important insights, as SPLC did, but you will not find that same information in a "reading" library.

Libraries have an idea of "appropriate" that they share with the publishing community. We are both scientific and moral gatekeepers, whether we want to admit it or not. Google is an algorithm functioning over an uncontrolled and uncontrollable number of conversations. Although Google pretends that its algorithm is neutral, we know that it is not. On Amazon, which does accept self-published and alternative press books, certain content like pornography is consciously kept away from promotions and best seller lists. Google has "tweaked" its algorithms to remove Holocaust denial literature from view in some European countries that forbid the topic. The video essentially says that Google should make wide-ranging cultural, scientific and moral judgments about the content it indexes.

I am of two minds about the idea of letting Google or Amazon be a gatekeeper. On the one hand, immersing a Dylann Roof in an online racist community is a terrible thing, and we see the result (although the cause and effect may be hard to prove as strongly as the video shows). On the other hand, letting Google and Amazon decide what is and what is not appropriate does not sit well at all. As I've said before having gatekeepers whose motivations are trade secrets that cannot be discussed is quite dangerous.

There has been a lot of discussion lately about libraries and their supposed neutrality. I am very glad that we can have that discussion. With all of the current hoopla about fake news, Russian hackers, and the use of social media to target and change opinion, we should embrace the fact of our collection policies, and admit widely that we and others have thought carefully about the content of the library. It won't be the most radical in many cases, but we care about veracity, and that''s something that Google cannot say.

by Karen Coyle (noreply@blogger.com) at February 13, 2017 09:04 AM

February 12, 2017

Terry's Worklog

Fonts, Font-sizes and the MacOS

So, one of the questions I’ve occasionally been getting from Mac users is that they would really like the ability to shift the font and font sizes of the programs’ interface.  If you’ve used the Windows version of MarcEdit, this has been available for some time, but I’ve not put it into the Mac version in part, because, I didn’t know how.  The Mac UI is definitely different from what I’m use to, and the way that the AppKit exposes controls and the way controls are structures as a collection of Views and Subviews complicates some of the sizing and layout options.  But I’ve been wanting to provide something because on really high resolution screens, the application was definitely getting hard to read.

Anyway, I’m not sure if this is the best way to do it, but this is what I’ve come up with.  Essentially, it’s a function that can determine if an element has text, an image, and perform the font scaling, control resizing and ultimately, windows sizing to take advantage of Apples Autolayout features.  Code is below.

 

public void SizeLabels(NSWindow objW, NSControl custom_control = null)
		{
			string test_string = "THIS IS MY TEST STRING";

			string val = string.Empty;
			string font_name = "";
			string font_size = "";
			NSStringAttributes myattribute = new NSStringAttributes();


			cxmlini.GetSettings(XMLPath(), "settings", "mac_font_name", "", ref font_name);
			cxmlini.GetSettings(XMLPath(), "settings", "mac_font_size", "", ref font_size);



			if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(font_name) && string.IsNullOrEmpty(font_size))
			{
				return;
			}

			NSFont myfont = null;
			if (String.IsNullOrEmpty(font_name))
			{
				myfont = NSFont.UserFontOfSize((nfloat)System.Convert.ToInt32(font_size));

			}
			else if (String.IsNullOrEmpty(font_size))
			{
				font_size = "13";
				myfont = NSFont.FromFontName(font_name, (nfloat)System.Convert.ToInt32(font_size));
			}
			else {
				myfont = NSFont.FromFontName(font_name, (nfloat)System.Convert.ToInt32(font_size));
			}




			if (custom_control == null)
			{
				

				CoreGraphics.CGSize original_size = NSStringDrawing.StringSize(test_string, myattribute);

				myattribute.Font = myfont;
				CoreGraphics.CGSize new_size = NSStringDrawing.StringSize(test_string, myattribute);

				CoreGraphics.CGRect frame = objW.Frame;
				frame.Size = ResizeWindow(original_size, new_size, frame.Size);
				objW.MinSize = frame.Size;
				objW.SetFrame(frame, true);
				objW.ContentView.UpdateConstraints();
				//objW.ContentView.UpdateTrackingAreas();


				//MessageBox(objW, objW.Frame.Size.Width.ToString() + ":" + objW.Frame.Size.Height.ToString());

				foreach (NSView v in objW.ContentView.Subviews)
				{
					if (v.IsKindOfClass(new ObjCRuntime.Class("NSControl")))
					{
						NSControl mycontrol = ((NSControl)v);
						switch (mycontrol.GetType().ToString())
						{

							case "AppKit.NSTextField":
							case "AppKit.NSButtonCell":
							case "AppKit.NSBox":
							case "AppKit.NSButton":

								if (mycontrol.GetType().ToString() == "AppKit.NSButton")
								{
									if (((NSButton)mycontrol).Image != null)
									{
										break;
									}
								}

								mycontrol.Font = myfont;
								//if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(mycontrol.StringValue))
								//{
								//	mycontrol.SizeToFit();
								//}
								mycontrol.UpdateConstraints();
								break;

						}

						if (mycontrol.Subviews.Length > 0)
						{
							SizeLabels(objW, mycontrol);
						}
					}
					else if (v.IsKindOfClass(new ObjCRuntime.Class("NSTabView")))
					{
						NSTabView mytabview = ((NSTabView)v);
						foreach (NSTabViewItem ti in mytabview.Items)
						{
							foreach (NSView tv in ti.View.Subviews)
							{
								if (tv.IsKindOfClass(new ObjCRuntime.Class("NSControl")))
								{
									SizeLabels(objW, (NSControl)tv);
								}
							}
						}
					}
				}
			}
			else {
				if (custom_control.Subviews.Length == 0)
				{
					if (custom_control.GetType().ToString() != "AppKit.NSButton" ||
						(custom_control.GetType().ToString() == "AppKit.NSButton" &&
						 ((NSButton)custom_control).Image == null))
					{
						custom_control.Font = myfont;
						custom_control.UpdateConstraints();
					}
				}
				else {
					foreach (NSView v in custom_control.Subviews)
					{

						NSControl mycontrol = ((NSControl)v);
						switch (mycontrol.GetType().ToString())
						{

							case "AppKit.NSTextField":
							case "AppKit.NSButtonCell":
							case "AppKit.NSBox":
							case "AppKit.NSButton":
								if (mycontrol.GetType().ToString() == "AppKit.NSButton")
								{
									if (((NSButton)mycontrol).Image != null)
									{
										break;
									}
								}
								mycontrol.Font = myfont;
								//if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(mycontrol.StringValue))
								//{
								//	mycontrol.SizeToFit();
								//}
								mycontrol.UpdateConstraints();
								break;
							default:
								if (mycontrol.Subviews.Length > 0)
								{
									SizeLabels(objW, mycontrol);
								}
								break;
						}



					}
				}

			}

		}

And that was it. I’m sure there might be better ways, but this is (crossing my fingers) working for me right now.

by reeset at February 12, 2017 05:49 AM

MarcEdit KBart Plugin

Last year, I had the opportunity to present at NASIG, and one of the questions that came up was related to the KBart format and if MarcEdit could generate it.  I’ll be honest, I’d never heard of KBart and this was the first time it had come up.  Well, fast forward a few months and I’ve heard the name a few more times, and since I’ll be making my way to NASIG again later this year to speak, I figured this time I’d come bearing new gifts.  So, I spent about 20 minutes this evening wrapping up a kbart plugin.  The interface is very basic:

And essentially has been designed to allow a user to take a MARC or MarcEdit mnemonic file and output a kbart file in either tab or comma delimited format.

Now, a couple of caveats — I still don’t really have a great idea of why folks want to create kbart files — this isn’t my area.  But the documentation on the working group’s website was straightforward, so I believe that the files generated will be up to par.  Though, I’m hoping that prior to NASIG, a few of the folks that may actually find something like this interesting may be willing to give it a spin and provide a little feedback.

Again, this will be available after the next update is posted so that I can allow it to take advantage of some of the new plugin management features being added to the tool.

–tr

by reeset at February 12, 2017 05:42 AM

February 11, 2017

Terry's Worklog

MarcEdit Workstreams: MacOS and Windows/Linux

Over the past couple of months, I’ve had some interesting questions that have been leading me to going back and relooking at how a handful of things work within MarcEdit.  To that end, I’m hoping to complete the following two workstreams this weekend.

MacOS

Two of the features most often asked for at this point deal with accessibility options and plugin support.  The creation of the AddPinyin plugin for windows (https://library.princeton.edu/eastasian/addpinyin-plugin-marcedit) has got people asking if this will show up for Mac Users as well.  My guess is that it could, but in order for that to happen, I need to implement plugin support in the Mac.  The challenge is figuring out how, since the process I used with Windows and Linux simply won’t work with the Mac UI thread model.  So, I’ve been thinking on this, and this weekend, I’ll be including the first parts of code that should allow me to start making this happen.  Ideally, I’ll start by migrating some of the current MarcEdit plugins, probably the Internet Archive 2 HathiTrust Packager first; and then go from there.

The other change that I’m working on that will show up in this update is the ability to control the application font and font sizes.  You can see the start of this work here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k00OL7QVcI4  Like the windows version, I’ll eventually add language support, which will enable the use of language files to set the text in the application.  But for now, I’ll be enabling the ability to modify the application font and change the size of the fonts within the application and editor.

Windows/Linux

The interest in the plugins have made me take another look at how they are managed.  Currently it is clunky, users get no notification when they change, and updating them takes multiple steps.  That will change.  I’ve been restructuring how plugins are managed, so that they will now automatically notify users when they have changed, as well as offer the ability to download the update.  Additionally, I’ve extended the plugin manager so that it can manage access to plugins outside of the MarcEdit website, so I’ll be including links to the AddPinyin plugin, and be able to include this plugin in the automated management (i.e., update notification).  Overall, I believe that this will make plugins easier to use, and much, much easier to manage.

–tr

by reeset at February 11, 2017 02:33 AM

February 10, 2017

First Thus

Pros and Cons of the Algorithm Age

There is a new research report from Pew, Code-Dependent: Pros and Cons of the Algorithm Age, and the results are surprising. There has been a lot of pushback against the algorithms that are controlling more and more of our lives, and this reports provides a great summary of what is going on.

One of the best books I have read about this is Cathy O’Neil’s Weapons of math destruction: how big data increases inequality and threatens democracy. One of her main purposes is to illustrate the serious consequences that algorithms have on people’s lives: from losing jobs to greater prison time, and often these decisions are made without any understanding of the algorithm and with without any possibility of finding out how the algorithm comes to its decisions. She tries to demystify the algorithms for the general public and wants greater transparency.

She says that algorithms reflect the biases of the people who build them. Since most people who build these algorithms tend to be the rich and powerful, it is their biases that are reflected in the algorithms. These biases may be honest, that is, they were not incorporated into the algorithm intentionally, but the biases are there nevertheless. For instance, an algorithm may use zip code as a data point and do so in all innocence, but the zip code can reflect on the racial makeup of the neighborhood, the local economy (how much money someone makes, the number of arrests and so on. As a result, zip code is not an unbiased data point.

As libraries go into the world of big data and linked data, librarians should be aware of how that data can be used. This Pew report is most enlightening.

There is also a talk by Cathy O’Neil that she gave at Google.

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by James Weinheimer at February 10, 2017 01:07 PM

Re: [BIBFRAME] Failure

Posting to Bibframe

On 06/02/2017 16:32, Jeff Edmunds wrote:

Your final paragraph is what intrigues me most. How, in fact, would widespread adoption by libraries of BIBFRAME (or whatever it evolves into) affect user experience? Would they find more resources? Would they find them more quickly? Would resources discovered be better contextualized, such that information literacy would be in some sense built into search results? I doubt it.

Again, when someone makes their data available in RDF and linked data, that doesn’t mean that the owners of that data will be able to do something they couldn’t already have done with their own data. Sure, some things may get easier and others may get harder, but when you are dealing with your own data, you can already do whatever you want to with it. The purpose of RDF/Linked data is to allow others to use your data in better, easier, and more standardized ways than putting your data up in Excel files or something similar. If a library wants to use linked data from some other sites in their catalog, e.g. from Wikipedia/Wikidata, they can do it right now without having to turn their own data into RDF.

So, putting our data in Bibframe/RDF will allow non-library agencies to create tools such as an “Uber” but they will be able to include Bibframe library data, e.g. something that brings together Bibframe data, Wikidata, and the Google Art Project might be useful–if it doesn’t exist already. Still, just because you put your data into RDF and make it openly available, doesn’t guarantee that anyone will use your data, and a glance at the Linked Open Data cloud (http://lod-cloud.net/) will show lots of linked data sites that perhaps no one has ever used.

One app I have considered making would bring together images and information for visitors to some of the museums in Rome. For instance, there is a fabulous museum of musical instruments and when I visited it, I kept thinking it would be great to be able to hear how those instruments sound. Additional information about the instruments would be OK too. There would be a lot of ways to make it, but one way of creating a tool such as this would be to include, e.g. the LOD information from Wikipedia/Wikidata. Would I use Bibframe information if it were available? Maybe. I don’t know if letting someone in a museum know what is available from a library would be all that useful for them or not–but I must say that if there is no option to use library data, it certainly cannot be used at all.

Additionally, RDF/Linked data is not the only way to use information from other sites. The fabulously popular Google Maps uses a different technology (API) which is simpler for everyone to implement and there are tons of all kinds of APIs (https://www.programmableweb.com/apis/directory). Worldcat has APIs but I’m not sure they are open or not.

That said, we should make library data available in formats other than Z39.50 and it should have been done at least 20 years ago. I am for the Bibframe project, but we shouldn’t expect libraries to do anything new with their own data than what they have been doing all along.

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by James Weinheimer at February 10, 2017 12:34 PM

Re: [BIBFRAME] Failure

Posting to Bibframe

On 02/02/2017 21:29, Karen Coyle wrote:

My fave scenario for library linked data, the data flows in the opposite direction. Look at how rich an author page is in WorldCat Identities.[1] Look how rich it is in Wikipedia.[2] Look what Google does when you search on an author’s name and you get that nice box that pulls from Wikipedia and other sources.[3] That’s done with linked data. Then do a search on an author in a library catalog. No information beyond the author’s name. A name is an identifier, not an information source, and it doesn’t tell users anything about the author.

Linked data, to me, means being able to use resources on the net to better serve library users. By connecting place names in library data to the geonames database [4] you could show users those places on maps. This ability already exists because even small sites on the web often show you maps. It’s not big tech to do this. You could give author bios for at least some authors. Many books have a Wikipedia page that has coded information included awards won and links to reviews. All of this is available as linked data, but we aren’t making use of it.

It also means being able to make easier use of many tools arriving on the scene; better searching, visualization of data (put books on a topic in a timeline), etc. You see some of this in WorldCat Identities, in subject searches in the Open Library,[5] in the Agris database[6]. Other communities are giving their users a rich information experience, but we are not. We are not helping our users understand what they’ve found. You get more information about a refrigerator online that you do about a book in a library catalog. That’s what has to change to bring users back to the library as an information source.

I think this shows a basic difference of opinion. From my point of view, my life has been inundated with a flood of all kinds of information: ads for almost every product, both conceivable and inconceivable, “suggestions” for reading or watching, “other people liked…,” or “your friends liked …” or “information” popping up on my smartphone. I have had a belly-full of “information” and I am far from alone.

So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that when someone mentions a tool, I immediately wonder how useful it really is. Take Worldcat Identities. This was a truly new idea: to mine the Worldcat database to find out new kinds of “information.” There may be nothing wrong with it but we have to ask seriously: is it genuinely useful for people? To be honest, when it came out I was really impressed and I showed it to all kinds of people, from undergraduates to senior faculty. All agreed that it was pretty cool, but they couldn’t even imagine how they could use it for anything. Nobody was interested in the information it provided: genres, the alternative names were bizarre, a publication timeline(?), most widely held books and so on, they saw no use in any of it. The links labeled “useful” they thought were not useful at all.

I thought the most useful, and most novel part of Worldcat Identities is the word cloud of subjects at the very bottom. I remember looking with someone at Taylor Swift’s record, who I knew, and continue to know, very little about (http://worldcat.org/identities/lccn-no2007053238/). In the subject cloud at the bottom, I saw terms like “Ecology” “Environmentalism” “Utopian plays” that surprised me and I thought this would be interesting for someone. Strangely enough, nobody I showed Worldcat Identities to thought the subject word clouds were useful in any way at all. I figured this was because the concept of a “subject” is becoming increasingly strange among 21st century society. I still think they could be useful but perhaps my positive opinion just makes me an anachronism.

In any case, nobody except me–a librarian–was interested in actually using Worldcat Identities. That the only person who liked it was a librarian told me a lot.

The Agris database is another interesting point. It’s pretty amazing how it searches all of these different sites and brings it all together, but we must ask: does a searcher of Agris, who is most probably an expert agronomist or skilled agricultural technician (among the main users of Agris) and is interested in this (random) record: “Intercropping Spring Wheat with Cereal Grains, Legumes, and Oilseeds Fails to Improve Productivity under Organic Management [2008]” (http://agris.fao.org/agris-search/search.do?recordID=US201301549367) need information from Wikipedia about “Field experimentation” “Intercropping” “Weed control”? Wouldn’t they have already known the relatively elementary information found in Wikipedia? Do they need a map or chart from the World Bank or does it just get in the way? The Google related articles may be genuinely useful, I don’t know. Only an agronomist could determine that and I am not an agronomist. In any case, I know that many users of Agris have complained about all of this extraneous information.

The point about adding maps. In a book chapter I wrote a few years ago (http://eprints.rclis.org/15838/1/weinheimerRealities.pdf), I copied the entire “metadata record” for a Google Book and you can see quite clearly that it includes an interactive map (p. 197-198. Apologies that my finger covers up one of the page numbers!). It turns out that in the current iteration of the metadata page for this same book, the map is no longer there (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=OHtKvgAACAAJ). In fact, I haven’t found any Google metadata records (i.e. “About this book” page) with maps. I assume this means that Google discovered no one was using the maps so they got rid of them. But we are supposed to believe that maps in a metadata record are exciting and useful.

The point of all of this is that I think librarians today must be very, very careful to introduce even more “information” to our users who are already in danger of drowning in the flood of information they currently find themselves in. People think our catalogs are too complicated as they are now! Why will adding even more make it easier for them? Allow me my skepticism.

Librarians, developers, IT people and administrators absolutely cannot be the ones to determine if what we are making is useful or not. Each group has far too much invested in it. There must be serious attempts to do honest “market testing” among the potential users of whatever is being made and marketers know that it is far from easy to get honest answers from people. Just because we can add something doesn’t mean anyone will find it useful (such as Worldcat Identities) and it may clutter things up so much that the parts the catalog/finding aid is supposed to do gets lost, or at least becomes so difficult it irritates the searchers. Irritation is probably the most worrying of all: those are the people who will leave in an instant for something that is less irritating.

I do believe that there are many things we could do to improve the public’s experience of the catalog, which in turn would improve their experience of a library’s collection, and some of those improvements could include things like linked data.

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by James Weinheimer at February 10, 2017 07:52 AM

February 08, 2017

OCLC Next

How flexible is your future collection?

FlexibleFutureCollection-A

You can’t predict the future. But together we can prepare for it.

What attribute of your library is most valuable to your community? For a long time, the answer to that question might have been “our collection.” For generations, libraries have spent much of their budgets on acquiring and managing local materials, but that is shifting. These days, what the library owns isn’t as important as how it supports its users and community. Access to materials must keep up with needs that are changing faster than any one institution can manage.

It is nearly impossible for any one library to hit the moving target of comprehensive access to relevant content. Working together, however, libraries can take advantage of a characteristic that may be the most important for collection access going forward: flexibility.

Opening the stacks even further

As a 2015 OCLC Research report demonstrates, putting the library in the life of the user is key to our future success. Being where your users are—on social media, on their devices, in their lives—is a given requirement today. To do that, libraries have been shifting journals and other print resources to online collections. This has had the additional benefit (or challenge) of reducing stack space. These areas can then be turned into common gathering and study areas, giving users a place to collaborate and learn new things.

All of which is great. But how do you decide which physical materials to share with nearby institutions? Which should go into off-site storage? And which can be safely deaccessioned? All while still giving people access to as much content as possible?


Resource sharing can help your library stay flexible enough to accommodate the expectations of your users.
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The key is to offer flexible services that provide users with resources in a responsive and timely way. This may mean fewer materials in the local collection, but much broader access outside the building. To do this, more and more libraries are expanding resource sharing options and exploring consortial borrowing plans to meet needs. Sustainable Collection Services’ (SCS) decision-support tool, GreenGlass, helps libraries manage physical collections in a systematic way to support that kind of informed flexibility specifically by providing data about the scarcity and ubiquity of your collection in comparison to other libraries’ collections.

E-sharing on the fly

With the shift to electronic collections, libraries have not only opened up their physical space, but they’ve also further supported research needs by providing nearly immediate access to information. Just as with the physical collection, libraries don’t need to have licenses to every e-resource their users might want—through interlibrary loan, information seekers can often get e-resources within hours of requesting them. To support today’s information seekers, this speed is essential.

A few years ago, we introduced WorldShare Interlibrary Loan (ILL), which now connects the collections of nearly 7,000 libraries. It’s remarkable that every 18 seconds, libraries supply an item that a user wants but can’t access through his or her own library. The lending library could be down the street or halfway around the world.

Staying flexible in the future

At OCLC, we see these trends as only accelerating. Our response is to make significant investment in resource sharing services that give libraries even more flexibility to meet user needs. In addition to SCS, GreenGlass and WorldShare ILL, we have a comprehensive strategy to support resource sharing for the future.

Just last month, we introduced Tipasa, a new cloud-based ILL management system. Tipasa reimagines features and functionality of the Windows-based ILLiad service and moves them to the cloud. In addition, we also announced plans to acquire Relais International. The Relais D2D (Discovery to Delivery) solution is the market leader in consortial borrowing and continues to grow, and it is consistent with our vision for a new service to address the needs of consortial borrowing users.

Resource sharing can help your library stay flexible enough to accommodate the expectations of your users. Collectively, we can make informed decisions about what should remain local without sacrificing access to the long tail of content that may be essential, yet rarely requested.

Together, OCLC members can leverage the content and expertise of thousands of libraries. And when you know your colleagues have your back, you can take more risks and innovate locally. Broad-based access combined with local expertise—that’s the future of resource sharing.

The post How flexible is your future collection? appeared first on OCLC Next.

by Katie Birch at February 08, 2017 03:28 PM

February 07, 2017

TSLL TechScans

Review of the Recommended Formats Statement

The Library of Congress has initiated its annual review of the Recommended Formats Statement and is again calling for feedback. The Statement was initially written in 2014 and after several years of updates this year the process will take on a more focused approach.


Concerns about file formats have dominated the conversation in the past, so there is a specific request for the review of metadata including the potential incorporation of the work of Federal Agencies’ DigitalGuidelines Initiative (FADGI) and the Library of Congress' archiving of podcasts. An additional focus this year is to review the coverage of Websites, as this was the first year for inclusion, and Software and Electronic Gaming and Learning. If you have feedback on any of these topics, or a different aspect of the Statement, please send your comments to the appropriate party by March 31 as revisions will begin in April.

by noreply@blogger.com (Lauren Seney) at February 07, 2017 03:55 PM

First Thus

Re: [BIBFRAME] Failure

Posting to Bibframe

On 02/02/2017 16:55, Jeremy Goldstein wrote:
For an example, let’s say a patron is searching for a copy of the film Zootopia at my library. My holding would fit into Google’s search results among IMDB, a slew of movie reviews from various major news sources, and currently the recent Oscar nominee announcements, and that’s without even getting into places where the title may be purchased. How does our linked data compete in that environment to appear on page one of the Google results?

It depends on the setup of your data and the setup of the searcher’s Google search page results. According to the current iteration of Google’s SEO (search engine optimization) if a page has schema.org, it will be promoted higher than results without schema.org. Also, if the local settings are set on the searcher’s device, local results will also be promoted above non-local results. Naturally, this is all mixed in with the other algorithms that Google uses, much of it based on the individual user, if a page is “mobile friendly” and so on.

As with all Google search results pages, there is no telling after all this rigamarole whether any particular result will come up as no. 1, no. 10 or no. 1000. There are just too many variables. Plus, Google can do a tweak and it can all change tomorrow.

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by James Weinheimer at February 07, 2017 02:24 PM

February 06, 2017

Terry's Worklog

MarcEdit MacOS Updates

This past weekend, I spent a good deal of time getting the MacOS version of MarcEdit synchronized with the Windows and Linux builds.  In addition to the updates, there is a significant change to the program that needs to be noted as well. 

First, let’s start with the changelog.  The following changes were made in this version:

*************************************************
** 2.2.30
*************************************************
* Bug Fix: Delimited Text Translator — when receiving Unix formatted files on Windows, the program may struggle with determining new line data.  This has been corrected.
* Bug Fix: RDA Helper — when processing copyright information, there are occasions where the output can create double brackets ($c[[) — this should be corrected.
* Behavior Change: Delimited Text Translator — I’ve changed the default value from on to off as it applies to ignoring header rows. 
* Enhancement: System Info (main window) — I’ve added information related to referenced libraries to help with debugging questions.
* Bug fix/Behavior Change: Export Tab Delimited Records: Second delimiter insertion should be standardized with all regressions removed.
* New Feature: Linked Data Tools: Service Status options have been included so users can check the status of the currently profiled linked data services.
* New Feature: Preferences/Networked Tasks: MarcEdit uses a short timeout (0.03 seconds) when determining if a network is available.  I’ve had reports of folks using MarcEdit have their network dropped from MarcEdit.  This is likely because their network has more latency.  In the preferences, you can modify this value.  I would never set it above 500 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) because it will cause MarcEdit to freeze when off network, but this will give users more control over their network interactions.
* Bug Fix: Swap Field Function: The new enhancement in the swap field function added with the last update didn’t work in all cases.  This should close that gap.
* Enhancement: Export Tab Delimited Records: Added Configurable third delimiter.
* Enhancement: MarcEditor: Improvements in the Page Counting to better support invalid formatted data.
* Enhancement: Extract/Delete MARC Records: Added file open button to make it easier to select file for batch search
* Bug Fix: Log File locking and inaccessible till closed in very specific instances.
* Enhancement: Compiling changes…For the first time, I’ve been able to compile as 64-bit, which has reduced download size.
* Bug Fix: Deduplicate Records: The program would thrown an error if the dedup save file was left blank.

Application Architecture Changes

The first thing that I wanted to highlight is that the program is being built as a 64-bit application.  This is a significant change to the program.  Since the program was ported to MacOS, the program has been compiled as a 32-bit application.  This has been necessary due to some of the requirements found in the mono stack.  However, over the past year, Microsoft has become very involved in this space (primarily to make it easier to develop IOS applications on Windows via an emulator), and that has lead to the ability to compile MarcEdit as a 64-bit application. 

So why do this if the 32-bit version worked?  Well, what spurred this on was a conversation that I had with the homebrew maintainers.  It appears that they are removing the universal compilation options which will break Z39.50 support in MarcEdit.  They suggested making my own tap (which I will likely pursue), but it got me spending time seeing what dependencies were keeping me from compiling directly to 64-bit.  It took some doing, but I believe that I’ve gotten all code that necessitated building as 32-bit out of the application, and the build is passing and working. 

I’m pointing this out because I could have missed something.  My tools for automated testing for the MacOS build are pretty non-existent.  So, if you run into a problem, please let me know.  Also, as a consequence of compiling only to 64-bit, I’ve been able to reduce the size of the download significantly because I am able to reduce the number of dependencies that I needed to link to.  This download should be roughly 38 MB smaller than previous versions.

Downloading the Update

You can download the update using the automated download prompt in MarcEdit or by going to the downloads page at: http://marcedit.reeset.net/downloads/

–tr

by reeset at February 06, 2017 06:15 AM

MarcEdit Windows/Linux Updates

This weekend, I worked on a couple of updates related to MarcEdit.  The updates applicable to the Windows and Linux builds are the following:

6.2.455
* Enhancement: Export Tab Delimited Records: Added Configurable third delimiter.
* Enhancement: MarcEditor: Improvements in the Page Counting to better support invalid formatted data.
* Enhancement: Extract/Delete MARC Records: Added file open button to make it easier to select file for batch search
* Update: Field Count: The record count of the field count can be off if formatting is wrong.  I’ve made this better.
* Update: Extract Selected Records: Added an option to sort checked items to the top.
* Bug Fix: Log File locking and inaccessible till closed in very specific instances.

The downloads can be picked up via the automatic downloader or via the downloads page at: http://marcedit.reeset.net/downloads/

–tr

by reeset at February 06, 2017 06:02 AM

February 04, 2017

mashcat

Mashcat Twitter chats in 2017

Including the inaugural Mashcat Twitter chat in April of 2015, we have had 19 chats since the second round of Mashcat began. Now, it’s time to start planning for even more.

What is a #mashcat Twitter chat? It is a way for us share information (and sometimes war stories) about a topic of interest to programmers, catalogers, metadata folk, and techies active in libraries, archives, museums, and related cultural heritage institutions. By meeting every month or so, we hope to tear down the walls that sometimes divide those who wish to put metadata in service to the benefit of all.

As the name implies, the chat takes place on Twitter at a time announced in advance. Somebody acts as moderator, asking a set of questions, spread out over the hour; participants can answer them—then let the conversation ramify. The #mashcat hashtag is used to keep everything together. After each chat, a summary is published allowing those who couldn’t attend the chat to read along.

Past topics have included:

  • How catalogers and library technologists can build better relationships
  • Use Cases: What exactly are the problems catalogers and metadata librarians want to solve with code?
  • Critical approaches to library data and systems (AKA #critlib meets #mashcat)
  • Systems migrations
  • Linked open data

Is there a library metadata itch you would liked scratched? Do you want to learn how folks “on the other side” do something? Would you like to moderate a chat? Then visit this Google document and add your suggestions!

by Galen Charlton at February 04, 2017 02:07 AM

February 02, 2017

OCLC Next

Visible metadata: pushing the right buttons

Button contest blog post header

We often fight against the idea of being labeled by others. We don’t like people to make assumptions about us based on single aspects of our lives. Why is it, then, that we are so often excited to associate ourselves with causes, teams, groups, bands, artists and places using very specific labels? We display bumper stickers and wear T-shirts, pins and buttons with short, easily identifiable phrases that link us to ideas we find important.

Obviously, the difference here is that in one case someone else is labeling us, but in the other, we label ourselves, on our own terms, using our own personally selected metadata.

As a button aficionado, this subject fascinates me. As a librarian, it inspires me.

Personal metadata as public history

The campaign button was introduced in 1789 during George Washington’s presidential campaign. The pin-back button made its debut in 1896, and we have been wearing buttons ever since to identify ourselves and connect to people with similar ideas. We catalog ourselves within a broader collection of people and look around for others who are near us on the shelf.


When you wear a button, you express a kind of personal metadata.
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When I was a kid, my most treasured button was an oversized one for the New Kids on the Block with Jordan Knight on it. He was my favorite NKOTB, and a button as large as my head was the best way to show it. More recently, when I was in a rock band myself, I would pick up buttons from the merch tables of all the bands we played with. I’d put the buttons on my jean jacket, and when I met someone who recognized a band on one of the buttons, we had an instant connection.

So, when I found a Princeton file full of buttons in the OCLC archives, I basically freaked out. I was giddy to find such a rich history of library buttons that were specific to OCLC.

But how did OCLC come to have such an extensive collection?

Pins in the timeline of cooperative librarianship

From 1984 to 1988, OCLC held an annual contest asking librarians to submit slogans to be considered for printing on promotional buttons.

historic_buttons_325They were handed out at library events throughout the year. I love all of these, but my favorites were the winners. “Terminals of Endearment” got me thinking about the first days of online, cooperative cataloging. “You Send Me” had me singing Sam Cooke all day while I imagined cataloging on an old OCLC terminal. And “Access Makes the Heart Grow Fonder” could still be a rallying cry for librarians.

I wanted to pin them all to my jean jacket and go run into some librarians. And I wanted the contest to live again.

Bringing the buttons back

The return of the OCLC Button Contest this year gave us the opportunity to again ask librarians to submit quips, slogans and puns that would reverberate throughout the community today. And the results we received didn’t disappoint. Carol Welch and Jon Finkel, ILL librarians at the Chester County Public Library in Exton, Pennsylvania, submitted the slogan librarian voters deemed best:

Either a Borrower or Lender Be.”

Carol and Jon’s button debuted at ALA Midwinter in Atlanta this year. Librarians stopped by the booth and picked them up for themselves and other staff members at home. I saw people wearing them around the conference and felt that same old feeling I used to get when I’d run into someone wearing the same band button as me.

A button is a visible piece of metadata you can wear to help other people identify who you are. It’s a visual tag, a quick way to signal to someone that you are a part of the same club. The slogan and the design communicate in just a few words and colors an entire concept, value system or lifestyle.

My buttons catalog me as a rocker…and a librarian. What do yours say about you?

The post Visible metadata: pushing the right buttons appeared first on OCLC Next.

by Susan Musser at February 02, 2017 06:02 PM

First Thus

Re: [BIBFRAME] Failure

Posting to Bibframe

On 01/02/2017 22:25, Jeff Edmunds wrote (concerning the definition of “failure”):
Widely adopted = adopted by a majority of libraries (of which, in the US, according to ALA, there are approximately 119,000, the vast majority of which use MARC now)

Just as important as a definition of failure is a definition of success. Success here seems to be equated with getting a majority of libraries to use Bibframe. If we are considering Bibframe as a path to some future linked data universe, then this is certainly different from the original dream of linked data. Simply put, the original dream of linked data is to put your data on the web in a coherent way for others, i.e. those who do not know or understand your data, to use it for their purposes. The idea of linked data is not that you can do something new with your own data–after all, you already understand how your own data is structured and you have complete control over it to do whatever you want. It’s for others outside of your own community to use your data as they want.

Tim Berners-Lee has given lots of examples, e.g. a quote: “A classic story, the first one which lots of people picked up, was when in March — on March 10th in fact, soon after TED — Paul Clarke, in the U.K. government, blogged, “Oh, I’ve just got some raw data. Here it is, it’s about bicycle accidents.” Two days it took the Times Online to make a map, a mashable map — we call these things mash-ups — a mashed-up user interface that allows you to go in there and have a look and find out whether your bicycle route to work was affected.” (From: http://www.ted.com/talks/tim_berners_lee_the_year_open_data_went_worldwide. If you haven’t already seen this talk, I suggest it)

If Bibframe is supposed to be aimed only toward libraries, then that means it is aimed at members of the same community who already understand how the data is structured. With such a group, very similar results could be achieved with OAI-PMH, APIs, or even crosswalks, depending on what someone wants to do. That would be much simpler, cheaper, and faster. Still, that means building new services and of course, that requires lots of time, is expensive and involves risk. We should never forget that the garbage dump of the web is littered with services that people have rejected. (Remember MySpace? I found out it still exists!) There is absolutely no guarantee that if libraries make new services, that anyone will like them one bit more than our current catalogs.

If the purpose of Bibframe is to “open the silos” and put our metadata where the users are, that would mean (to me at least) that libraries want their data included in the search results of Google, Bing, Yandex, perhaps even Baidu, and other search engines that are used by the overwhelming majority of the public. In that sense, the risk mentioned above about creating new services is avoided. But to get your data into the search engines you must use schema.org. Not Bibframe. Enough said. If you want your data on Facebook, it’s got to be Open Graph.

Of course, even when you get your data in the popular search engines your problems are only beginning: it’s true that your linked data and your structures tend to disintegrate, but most important: since there will be no links to your data, it will remain trapped at the very bottom of the search engine results, much like sludge at the bottom of an oil tank. Raising those results has proven to be incredibly difficult and expensive, and even then it doesn’t always work. It is possible that in the future, those search engines may change their policies and allow Bibframe, but the chances for that seem to be very, very low.

If we expect webmasters to use our library data to create new tools such as those described by TBL, there is no guarantee that anyone will want Bibframe data, especially if it is very complicated for them to do so. Webmasters would prefer to take their bibliographic data from easier sources, e.g. Amazon or Google, as they already do and where they don’t have to pay for it (open). Promoting our bibliographic information as being “superior” would be largely meaningless to most of them, I suppose, especially if our data is not open (if they would have to pay for it).

Yet, I believe the public (and by extension, webmasters) would absolutely love some of the data of libraries, primarily circulation data, so that people could discover, e.g. what are the most popular books checked out by Ivy-League undergraduates, or undergraduates in London. They would love to know what is checked out by graduate students in business schools, or by senior faculty in political science, and so on. I would like that myself! Instructors designing course syllabi would love to know what are the assigned readings for similar courses taught elsewhere (i.e. what is currently on Reserve). But letting out circulation information has serious ethical consequences for librarians, and most of it is not part of Bibframe anyway.

In this scenario, which I consider describes the real world, I don’t know how to measure success and failure. The Bibframe initiative should be looking forward toward how to deal with such highly obvious issues. It is not a matter of simply believing in: “Build it and they will come!” That is a sure-fire recipe for disaster.

I think it would be safe to assume that if nothing real is produced for the public in the next 5-10 years, it will be seen as a failure? Of course, the public would still have to be convinced that what we make is wonderful and administrators would need to be convinced it has an adequate ROI …

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by James Weinheimer at February 02, 2017 02:56 PM