Planet Cataloging

November 23, 2015

First Thus

RDA-L Michael Gorman’s new essay on RDA

Posting to RDA-L

On 10/23/2015 7:35 PM, Kevin M Randall wrote:
That is certainly not true at all, in the sense that we’re talking about.

With MARC records following ISBD conventions, the meanings of the data in particular tags and subfields are sometimes dependent entirely upon their placement within the field, preceding ISBD punctuation, and/or other contextual factors that would be impossible to determine by algorithm. The tagging of the data and the intended public display are hopelessly jumbled together in MARC records.

Just a few examples of ambiguous MARC data that may–or sometimes *will*–require human intelligence to decipher:

245 $b contains both parallel title and other title information 245 $c contains statement of responsibility, plus in some cases additional titles proper, parallel titles, other title information, and their respective statements of responsibility 246 contains variant title, parallel title, other title information 700 contains creator and/or contributor and/or other related person/family/body and/or included work/expression/manifestation and/or related work/expression/manifestation, etc.

These are some of the points that are often brought up but make absolutely no sense to me. Why would anybody have to extract that information when it is the job of the cataloger to do it manually? Any
additional titles that may be in the $b or $c will be placed into additional 246 or 740 (or even 730) fields manually by the cataloger. The authors will also be added manually by the cataloger into 1xx or 7xx fields, of course. If a cataloger does not add those fields into the record then that cataloger must be considered incompetent. That is an indispensable part of the job of the cataloger.

So, saying that everything is mixed up in the fields is a non-issue that any cataloger should instantly understand because that ignores what catalogers have always done, in the days before computers it was done by adding additional cards and later, by adding additional fields for names and titles.

I discussed this at some length in the article “Interpreting MARC: Where’s the Bibliographic Data?” by Jason Tomale Code{4}lib Journal, Issue 11, 2010-09-21 ( See his article plus my comment there. I would like to add Hal Cain’s comment to me, plus mine at I believe an IT person may not be expected to understand what a cataloger does, so they may think there is a need to parse out information. But the cataloger has already done it, as I wrote there.

In any case, what difference at all do such intricacies make to the user, who doesn’t need to understand any of this but perhaps wants to find materials by variant titles, and different authors, all of which can be found through the 246/730/740 or 1xx/7xx, i.e. by a simple title or author search? Of course, such a search will work only if the cataloger exists and is competent.

Now, if we want to consider that there is no cataloger to add the additional titles and authors and the computer must do it all, that is a completely different matter, but I do not like that scenario one bit. When a competent cataloger exists, there is no problem with any of that.

What any of this has to do with the rule changes mandated by RDA: the rule of one instead of rule of three, no more abbreviations, 245$b optional, adding relators, extra 33x fields etc., is beyond me.

Things like “rule of one”, deprecation of abbreviations, and optionality of parallel title and other title information would very likely have come along even if we had kept revising AACR2, or gone to AACR3 as originally intended. For relationship designators, see my previous paragraph. The 33X fields are a way of standardizing things that were very, very mushy in the GMDs and inconsistent usage of MARC 006-008 elements.

Again, I beg to differ, this time, more seriously. I am not a betting man, but I just might bet everything I own that the rule of one would be shot down immediately if put before the public, e.g. how many people would say that they need to find Masters but not Johnson? I do not know of any rules (past or present) that would allow that except RDA, nor have I met any user who would agree that Johnson is a throw-away author. Please specify. To follow such an outrageous rule would only demonstrate to everyone how modern cataloging does not fulfill the needs of the public. For the good of the profession, that rule should be abandoned as soon as possible. I only hope that nobody is following it.

Option of subtitles. Subtitles often contain the most substantive part of the record, e.g. off the top of my head, I think of one of my favorite authors, Barbara Tuchman “Proud tower : a portrait of the world before the war, 1890-1914 / Barbara W. Tuchman”. Once again, please specify how the public would not want subtitles added to the record. I haven’t met anyone who would agree–even a subtitle such as “a novel” provides very important information for the user.

I do not think either of those RDA changes to long-established rules involved what the public needs or wants. They were suddenly thrust upon everyone without any debate as a fait accompli.

If anything, the public would probably be most amenable to getting rid of 245$c, which (theoretically) repeats information available in other parts of the record. But RDA actually increases this section by adding all of the information about the institutions an author is associated with plus the degrees he or she has. (Or as I call it, the alphabet soup) If memory does not fail me, Lubetzky himself did not like the statement of responsibility for precisely the reason that it repeats information (the authors’ names) found in the rest of the record, but the SR was added for ISBD purposes. I agree with traditional ISBD practice.

Concerning 006-008 vs. 33x fields, I agree that the 3xx fields could conceivably be more useful, but please specify how the public will understand the information recorded there. Many catalogs do not even display it, and in any case, searching for 33x fields will make pre-RDA records without those fields unfindable (the overwhelming majority of records), which overrides the utility of the 33x fields.

In this regard, the natural question also arises: If the traditional cataloging abbreviations were too much for the public to bear (p., ill., and the dreaded et al.) the 33x information has shown itself to be too much for many librarians and catalogers themselves.

How is any of this for the good of the users? Who does this help? And as I mentioned before, all of this is unnecessary for search, display, or if the goal is to “achieve” linked data.


by James Weinheimer at November 23, 2015 02:06 PM

November 22, 2015

First Thus

RDA-L Michael Gorman’s new essay on RDA

Posting to RDA-L

On 10/23/2015 3:31 PM, Brenndorfer, Thomas wrote:
The separation of data from display is a central idea. I think everyone should have had enough time by now to be clear-eyed about what the development of RDA was about. It is a bridge that supports the data that went into catalogs such that different implementation scenarios, including the original flat file card catalog design, can be realized.

The following article explains this point very well…

But the data has already been separate from the display since the implementation of MARC. I have worked with CDS-ISIS catalogs, which are similar to those early computerized catalogs because they are not a DBMS and they contain only native ISO-2709 records. Even in those databases, I could search and display any part of any record, or any groups of records, in any way I wanted. In MySQL databases, I have done the same thing, and with XML and other formats, I can do the same thing. In this sense, nothing is new since the 1960s.

As an example, I can write instructions to do anything, to put 100$d next to 300$b next to the entire 240 and end it all with a period or semi-colon or asterisk. Often I did this kind of thing to create .csv files (comma separated value) that I could then import into Excel or Access, but I could have done anything else with this information that I wanted. Once the bits of information in our catalog records were formatted separately with MARC format, everything could be searched and displayed however we wanted. And that happened in the 1960s.

Originally, in the US the purpose was to print cards but that was before video displays appeared. It didn’t have to just print cards however, it could have been displayed in lots of other ways. Where I worked with the CDS-ISIS database, they never printed cards but they used their ISO-2709 records to print out book catalogs. I am sure you could do exactly the same with MARC-21 records if you wanted to, and I think I may have done it myself at some point.

What any of this has to do with the rule changes mandated by RDA: the rule of one instead of rule of three, no more abbreviations, 245$b optional, adding relators, extra 33x fields etc., is beyond me. Except for the additional information mandated by RDA (33x fields, relators, etc. which are only on the newest records and therefore makes access inconsistent and unreliable) RDA won’t allow us to search or display anything that we haven’t been able to search and display for the last 50 or so years.

If we are talking about FRBR-type data structures, where the work is separate from the expression, etc. and everything is imported through URIs into a display that brings the WEMI together in some sort of fashion (I deliberately set aside issues of how genuinely useful that is for either searchers or librarians), it is still discussing differences in computer formats, not changes of the rules for describing resources.

If we are talking about linked data (heavenly chorus) then what we need to do is just … put in the links!

But RDA is not needed for any of that.


by James Weinheimer at November 22, 2015 04:26 PM

Resource Description & Access (RDA)

RDA LC-PCC PS Revision

Resource Description and Access RDA

RDA Toolkit Update, October 13, 2015 - Changes in Resource Description and Access (RDA) and Library of Congress - Program for Cooperative Cataloging Policy Statements (LC-PCC PS) and RDA Toolkit

A new release of the RDA Toolkit is published on Tuesday, October 13.  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 : Fast Track changes

"Fast Track" and other editorial changes to RDA that will be included in this release (see links below); Fast Track changes are not added to the RDA Update History.  While you are encouraged to peruse the changes, there are no significant changes. Most of the changes are editorial changes to clarify wording about authorized and variant access points.  This includes changes to some instruction captions, but there is no actual change in practice.  There are a few new relationship designators for Appendix I, the term “researcher” may be one of broad interest.

According to I.2.2 Relationship Designators for Other Persons, Families, or Corporate Bodies Associated with a Work: Researcher: A person, family, or corporate body who does research in support of the creation of a work.

TOPIC 2: Change in Content in LC-PCC PSs

A summary of LC-PCC PS updates incorporated in this release.  Many of the changes are related to the PCC Series Policy Task Group and impact series authority records (not applicable to LC catalogers). Catalogers should review the following policy statement:  Revised instructions for dates associated with persons to use a $2 with ‘edtf’ in MARC authority field 046.  The PS will now match the DCM Z1 page for the 046.  Note that a revised macro to help populate authority 046 fields will be available soon.

TOPIC 3: Functional Changes in the RDA Toolkit

There are no functional changes in the RDA Toolkit in this release.

The next planned release of the RDA Toolkit will be in February 2016.

Fast Track entries included in the August 2015 update of the RDA Toolkit:
Changes in LC-PCC Policy Statements in the August 2015 release of the RDA Toolkit

Source: Library of Congress, RDA Toolkit

See also:

Thanks all for your love, suggestions, testimonials, likes, +1, tweets and shares ....

See also related posts in following RDA Blog Categories (Labels):

by Salman Haider ( at November 22, 2015 01:21 AM

November 21, 2015

First Thus

RDA-L Michael Gorman’s new essay on RDA

Posting to RDA-L

On 10/22/2015 7:47 PM, Kevin M Randall wrote:
I think that RDA proper (the guidelines) can’t help but be anything besides a “tool of transition”. That’s because we’re in a period of huge changes in the areas of recording, storing, searching, and displaying bibliographic data. I think what*will* endure for quite a while in some form (with expected and necessary updates over time) is the list of RDA elements. That is something that is worlds away from what AACR2 was. I believe it was at the midwinter CC:DA meeting in Boston 2015 that, during the enormous controversy over the AACR3 draft, someone asked: So, what you really want is a data dictionary? And there was an enthusiastic “yes” response. And that is what we have finally been given in the RDA elements. In time, some guidelines may go away because of lack of relevance, and some may become rewritten/reorganized to make them easier to use or more applicable to certain communities. Maybe the RDA guidelines themselves will go away completely. But the very essense–the set of RDA elements and their basic meanings–gets at the heart of bibliographic description and form the basic building blocks of library linked data.

This may be true, but it is fortune telling the future. Perhaps others are better at reading the tea leaves, or in Rome, while I have often watched fascinated at how the birds fly, it means nothing to me, although the ancient Etruscans claimed to be able to foretell the future by their formations. ( The first time I saw them, I couldn’t believe they were birds)

To be honest, I have been very bad at predicting what the future holds. Even 10 years ago, I could never have predicted the changes we have all experienced with mobile computing, the issues concerning privacy, or how search is changing everything in ways that are fundamental and radical.

This analysis assumes a couple of points:
1) that changing to RDA was necessary for to create the “data dictionary” 2) that linked data is the way forward

I have seen nothing that proves that either of these are necessary steps toward the future. It is something that everyone is supposed to simply accept. I am not the only one who questions those assumptions.


by James Weinheimer at November 21, 2015 09:13 PM

RDA-L Raiders of the Lost Web

On 10/22/2015 5:25 PM, Pamela Dearinger wrote:
> I found it very interesting, for what that’s worth. Don’t drink the > “kool aide”
> On Thu, Oct 22, 2015 at 5:32 AM, Wojciech Siemaszkiewicz
> > wrote:
> I agree with John and Cindy. It seems to me that the author of a > critical e-mail (who is it anyway?) overreacted in a big way. I > suggest drinking some cool aid.

I start this with a “Trigger Warning” to alert people that this does not have to do much with RDA, so they can safely delete this message immediately. Instead it is an explanation to an international group for those who may not know what “drink the kool aid” means.

Apparently, for most people, it is attached to the incredible story of the Jonestown religious group suicide, where hundreds of people died by drinking kool aid mixed with cyanide.

For me though, it always meant doing LSD. It was a popular way to take LSD back in the wild and crazy days before it became illegal. Ken Kesey (the author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) and his group of Merry Pranksters, went around the US giving “Acid Tests” where they served “Electric Kool Aid.”

It is a wild and true story told by Tom Wolfe in his book “The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test.” Some videos are now on the web about all of them, and I just discovered they finally came out with the movie they made back then.

I’ll have to see it!


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


by James Weinheimer at November 21, 2015 03:55 PM

November 20, 2015

TSLL TechScans

Working smarter: a round-up of useful tools

I’ve noticed a lot of recent talk about “working smarter, not harder.”  As a result, I’ve been thinking of what technology I can use to help me accomplish my work more efficiently.  Here’s what I’ve been using so far:

Boomerang: If you use Google for Education, you can install an extension on your browser to make it easy to schedule an email to send later or have an email “boomerang” to the top of your inbox at a later date.  I often use these to schedule sending reminder emails to look at trials for electronic resources.
Canned responses: This is one of my favorite tricks!  Do you have similar emails that you send regularly?  If you use Google for Education or Microsoft Outlook, you can create template emails to save as “canned responses,” and insert into a new email when it’s time to send that boilerplate message.  I’ve found canned responses invaluable as I order electronic resources, communicate with our campus procurement office about licenses, and more.  Check out this tutorial for implementation tips.
Email filtering: Sick of looking at dozens of listserv emails per day?  I filter most of mine into designated folders and set aside time to read and clean out those folders a few times a week.  Batching this work keeps me focused on work-related emails instead of being distracted by disjointed conversations.
Genius Scan App: This app is great if you need to scan an awkwardly-sized document (or even receipts for expense reports) and get it onto your computer.
Google Translate App: Is a foreign language material stumping your cataloging work?  With the Google Translate App, you can take a picture of the material with your phone and the app will translate it for you!  Not having to type new-to-you characters into the website is an easy bonus.
Trello:  Move away from that spreadsheet you use to track where you are in a process, and instead use a visual board to organize your projects.  You can even create public boards to let others know how your project is going, or use it as a collaboration tool for committee work.

What technology do you use to work smarter?  What else belongs on this list?

by (Elyssa Gould) at November 20, 2015 08:55 PM

November 19, 2015

Mod Librarian

5 Things Thursday: Search-Based Architecture, Taxonomy Bootcamp, Carl Sagan

5 Things Thursday: Search-Based Architecture, Taxonomy Bootcamp, Carl Sagan

Here are five more things:

  1. Getting a crash course in organizing information at Taxonomy Boot Camp.
  2. Another DAM Podcast talks to Frank DeCarlo about pre-media.
  3. What is search-based architecture?
  4. The Carl Sagan collection.
  5. Should libraries think more like entrepreneurs?

BONUS: Use cases for graph databases.

View On WordPress

November 19, 2015 01:05 PM

November 18, 2015

First Thus

ACAT Raiders of the Lost Web

Posting to Autocat

On 10/16/2015 8:07 PM, Tennant,Roy wrote:
The reason to minimize use of Javascript is to reduce the overall load on the mobile browser in terms of downloading and execution. But Javascript is doing just fine, thank you very much, and likely will for quite some time to come.

While I won’t argue with this, the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) demonstrate how Google and related companies control development today, and is one reason why some older developers have claimed that in the mobile environment, they do not have nearly the freedom to create as they did on the web.

In this case, Google claims that on the mobile web the problem is speed and the cause is technologies such as flash and javascript (which is being limited). The problem for Google is not that everyone is being overwhelmed by irrelevant ads that Google is sending you, along with all kinds of trackers that slow everything down at least as much. But that is untouchable because that is how Google makes its money. Google therefore controls technologies used by developers and not the ads, which are much more important to Google.

Of course, it’s not that you cannot add flash, your own javascript, etc. to your pages. You can, and you won’t be thrown in jail, BUT Google will downgrade your pages in their search results, ensuring that nobody will ever see your pages.

Ouch! That’s pretty effective to ensure compliance.

Anyway, this is just an example of how much development is controlled today. I hope javascript stays around for a long time, but clearly, that is the decision of the Googles.


by James Weinheimer at November 18, 2015 03:24 PM

RDA-L No definition for “compilation” in the glossary?

Posting to RDA-L

On 17/11/2015 17.09, Heidrun Wiesenmüller wrote:

Yesterday, a colleague asked me why there is no definition for “Zusammenstellung” – the German equivalent for “compilation (of works)” – in the glossary of the German RDA translation.

I checked and was amazed to find that there is no definition for the English term, either. Have I missed something? Or is the term assumed to be self-explanatory?

I remember a presentation of the British Library, where it was said that “compilation” was one of the terms most often searched for in the Toolkit. It’s also considered a difficult concept by many of my German colleagues (especially as it’s sometimes difficult to distinguish a compilation from a work for which several creators are jointly responsible).

So, I think it would be good to have an entry for it in the glossary.

Interesting. I looked up in AACR2 and did not find “compilation,” but I found “compiler” which is defined as:
“1. One who produces a collection by selecting and putting together matter from the works of various persons or bodies.
2. One who selects and puts together in one publication matter from the works of one person or body.
See also: Editor”

So, it may be inferred that a compilation and a collection are the same thing. This would make sense since I looked up “compilation” and “collection” in dictionaries and found no distinction. Also, I would be hard-pressed to distinguish the two.

So, this actually reveals a peculiarity of English in that there is a word “compiler” but no comparable word for “the person who makes a collection” i.e. there is no word “collectioner” or “collectionist”. I don’t know why.

The definition of “collection” is:
“1) three or more independent works or parts of works by one author published together
2) two or more independent works or parts of works by more than one author published together and not written for the same occasion or for the publication in hand”

In the LC Rule Interpretations, collection is even more technical:
“If one main entry heading would be appropriate: three or more independent works or parts of works published together. If more than one main entry heading would be appropriate: two or more independent works published together and not written for the same occasion or for the publication being cataloged.”

I don’t know if any of this has changed with RDA.

So, it would seem to me that there is no need to make a definition of “compilation” but a cross-reference
See: Collection

would be in order.


by James Weinheimer at November 18, 2015 09:42 AM

November 17, 2015

TSLL TechScans

Library Workflow Exchange

I recently became aware of a new website designed to let librarians learn from each other by sharing their workflows. At Library Workflow Exchange, you can check out what other librarians are doing in a variety of workflow situations. The website launched in June, and it already includes workflows
for processes relating to cataloging, authority control, archives, and a variety of metadata standards among many other topics.

Library Workflow Exchange's tag cloud provides a summary of the topics covered on the site
If you are inspired to share your library's workflow to help populate this resource, instructions are provided to help you do so.

You can also keep up with Library Workflow Exchange through their Facebook page and their Twitter account.

by (Emily Dust Nimsakont) at November 17, 2015 08:35 PM

First Thus

A couple of Interesting Articles

I found a couple of interesting articles.

  1. The Death of the Collection and the Necessity of Library-Publisher Collaboration: Young Librarians on the Future of Libraries by Rick Anderson. Scholarly Kitchen, Nov 17, 2015
  2. Outsourcing the Harvard Library by Noah D. Cohen, Harvard Crimson, November 12, 2015

I’ll probably discuss these after a bit of research.


by James Weinheimer at November 17, 2015 02:47 PM

November 15, 2015

First Thus

ACAT Raiders of the Lost Web

Posting to Autocat

On 10/16/2015 6:04 PM, Noble, Richard wrote:
There’s a link in the Atlantic article to the reconstructed “The Crossing”:

The reconstructed site is given in the article at:

The IA has also archived this page and that version is the URL is what you gave.

The reconstructed site uses Flash, just as the first one did. This is a problem of archiving web resources: not only do you have to archive the content, you archive additional tools like java, javascript and flash. Already, flash is being downgraded for use on the web, and future browsers will probably not support it someday. Therefore, even if it is in the IA, this site very possible will not work, perhaps even 10 years from now.

Another example is that recently Google announced AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) which every will be expected to implemented. As the name suggests, it is about the mobile web, in essence to make pages load a lot faster on a phone, which is where all the futurists believe everything will wind up.

Anyway, what AMP will do will be to force developers to simplify their HTML, CSS and practically do away with Javascript. (When I read that I was really shocked because javascript is everywhere) Why is Google doing this? Because the word now is: Speed. If it takes a page 10 seconds to load, your users have already been gone for 5 seconds. People can’t wait for anything, it seems they all believe they are so busy. (RE: So, probably Javascript will be obsolete someday.

There are ways around these problems, so long as the files exist, which is the main thing.


by James Weinheimer at November 15, 2015 05:01 PM

Raiders of the Lost Web

Posting to various lists

I suggest this disturbing article from the Atlantic, about the disappearance from the web of an article that was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize as recently as 2007.

In short, the article that disappeared was published by the now-defunct Rocky Mountain News. It was published in print but they updated it extensively for the newspaper’s website, in fact making an entire separate interactive interface for it. When the paper went out of business the next year, it sent its paper archive to the Denver Public Library, but the website was (apparently) just shut down. The story about the extensive, online article (34 parts) is enlightening, but one part about recreating the site struck me:

“…most of the work involved combing through old code and adapting it for a today’s web. In a pre-iPhone 2007, “The Crossing” had been designed as a desktop experience. It also relied heavily on Flash, once-ubiquitous software that is now all but dead. “My role was fixing all of the parts of the website that had broken due to changes in web standards and a change of host,” said Sawyer, now a junior studying electrical engineering and computer science. “The coolest part of the website was the extra content associated with the stories… The problem with the website is that all of this content was accessible to the user via Flash.””

This struck me about how fast things are changing: “pre-iPhone” is now considered a type of “era” in terms of information and computing, and that Flash is all but dead (on the web, Flash was one of the major ways to add animation and video but is being phased out, especially with browsers on mobile devices).

All this is true, and all since 2007. Just 8 years ago, it was a different era! The first iPhone came out in 2007 and Google recently announced that there were more searches on mobile than on desktop ( I think even younger people would be amazed at that. (Actually, Flash on the web has been dying for awhile and I think I would have been concerned using it for important purposes even in 2007)

In my experience, it is tricky to mention archiving with web developers. I remember once I brought up archiving at an institution where I was a consultant, and the immediate answer was: we don’t archive. That’s not our job.

I replied: You have the only copy in the world. You control the URL. You are the archive–nobody else can be. You can decide to be an archive that throws everything away after it reaches a certain age–and there are archives that work that way, but nobody can do it but you because you control everything. If 25 years from now, people see a reference to something on your website that was published today, should those people be able to access it?

I mentioned that maybe it didn’t necessarily have to work seamlessly but people who want to access a page that has been taken down (archived), should find out what they must do to access the page. If nothing else, just make sure the information itself, not necessarily the bells and whistles with javascripts, flash, java, etc. but all the information itself, is in the Internet Archive and retrievable. Then, you can hope for the best, but they had to do something.

Web developers often don’t think in those terms. That is a librarian idea. I wonder how many articles such as the one described in the Atlantic article really are lost forever? The pictures and videos of cats and babies can disappear, but other sites are more important.

I say this, but at the same time, I wonder about my own blog site, My blog was originally on Blogger at but I changed to WordPress for some reason I have forgotten, tried to transfer everything, and lost some of it. A lot of my blog is in the Internet Archive, but you have to search under both URLs. In the IA, it only goes back to 2010 but on my current site, it goes back to the beginning in 2007.

I just noticed my first post where all I did was mention that I was starting a blog.

That post has gotten 63 thumbs up and 61 thumbs down.

Well, you can’t please everybody! At least I’m ahead of the game–for the moment!

(The Atlantic article was also discussed at


by James Weinheimer at November 15, 2015 12:50 PM

November 14, 2015

Resource Description & Access (RDA)

Library of Congress Subject Headings : Glossary of Library & Information Science

LCSH Library of Congress Subject Headings
Librarianship Studies & Information Technology

New Post on Librarianship Studies & Information Technology Blog provides a comprehensive and most up-to-date description and definition of Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH)

LCSH is a multidisciplinary vocabulary that includes headings in all subjects, from science to religion, to history, social science, education, literature, and philosophy. It also includes headings for geographic features, ethnic groups, historical events, building names, etc. Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) is the most widely used subject vocabulary in the world. It is the model for many other vocabularies in English and other languages, and has been translated into numerous languages. The strongest aspect of LCSH is that it represents subject headings of the Library of Congress, the national library of United States, one of the richest of national libraries of the world ... … … (Visit link mentioned above to read complete article)

This new encyclopedic entry in the “Glossary of Library & Information Science” of the Librarianship Studies & Information Technology Blog answers following questions?

Librarianship Studies & Information Technology Blog will be more focused on Information Access Through The Subject with special reference to the techniques of Library of Congress Classification (LCC) and Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) by use of Classification & Shelflisting Manual (CSM), Subject Headings Manual (SHM), and Classification Web tool of Library of Congress. Librarianship Studies Blog will also highlight the history, development, and techniques of providing classification number using Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC).

Librarianship Studies & Information Technology (LS & IT) Blog is envisioned as an Encyclopedia, Wikipedia, and Khan Academy of Library and Information Science; an authoritative source for consultation and reference for any library or information profession related issue and a treasure hub of knowledge on Library and Information Science.

Follow Librarianship Studies & Information Technology blog in Social Media to be updated of new items and to start/comment on the discussions in the Google+ Community Librarianship Studies & Information Technology and Facebook Group Librarianship Studies & Information Technology.

by Salman Haider ( at November 14, 2015 04:44 AM

November 13, 2015

025.431: The Dewey blog

New addition to the editorial team

AlexAlex Kyrios was recently appointed as an editor of the Dewey Decimal Classification.  Based at the Library of Congress, he joins us from the Folger Shakespeare Library.  Before that, he was a metadata librarian / cataloger at the University of Idaho.  Alex is new to the editor role, but not new to Dewey.  Four years ago, Alex was an OCLC intern and worked with us on Abridged Edition 15.

Alex has an MLS from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an undergraduate degree in English from the College of William & Mary.  Professionally, he's interested in user-focused research, and how cataloging and classification can be more responsive and accessible to users without sacrificing quality.  In his spare time, he enjoys board games, tennis, watching soccer, Wikipedia, and playing with his dog Trevor.

by Rebecca at November 13, 2015 02:10 PM

November 12, 2015

Mod Librarian

5 Things Thursday: Data Anxiety, Clean Metadata and Metadata as Evidence

5 Things Thursday: Data Anxiety, Clean Metadata and Metadata as Evidence

Here are five interesting things:

  1. Do you have data anxiety? This article by John Horodyski can help.
  2. How did photo metadata become evidence in a case against a photographer?
  3. What is clean metadata and how to get it.
  4. Pitt Law Librarians Help Uncover Smoking Gun Evidence in Historic “Happy Birthday” Song Lawsuit.
  5. All about the Library of Congress opening day.

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November 12, 2015 01:05 PM

November 11, 2015

mashcat « mashcat

Registration open for the 13 January 2016 Mashcat event in Boston

We are excited to announce that the first face-to-face Mashcat event in North America will be held on January 13th, 2016, at Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. We invite you to view the schedule for the day as well as register at We have a strict limit on the number of participants we can accept for this inaugural North America Mashcat face to face event, so register early! If you run into any issues with registering, you can email signup AT

by Galen Charlton at November 11, 2015 03:14 PM

November 10, 2015

025.431: The Dewey blog

WebDewey Number Building Tool: History Numbers Built with Table 2 plus Notation for Historical Period

Are you having problems using the WebDewey number building tool for history numbers built with Table 2 Geographic Areas notation plus notation for historical period? If yes, let’s try building numbers for two similar works.

First example. Let’s start by building a number for London in the Victorian period: Victorian London: The Life of a City, 1840-1870. The first LCSH is "London (England)—History—19th century."

Step 1. Go to 930-990 History of specific continents, countries, localities; extraterrestrial world to find the add notes that you need. Click Start to get the initial add note displayed in the Create built number box:


As the add note indicates, the base number for the history number is 9, and 9 appears in the title bar of the Create built number box.

Step 2. Find the Table 2 notation for London (England): T2—421 Greater London. With that full record displayed, click Add in the Create built number box. The Table 2 notation appears in the Create built number box, and the title bar shows that the number built so far is 942.1:


The number building tool takes us back to 930-990.

Step 3. In the add table at 930-990 History of specific continents, countries, localities; extraterrestrial worlds, click 01-09 Historical periods. That displays the full record for 930-990:01-09 Historical periods, with its Notes box:


Click Add to get the add note displayed in the Create built number box:


As the title bar shows, the number built thus far is 942.10.

Step 4. Find the record that has these Relative Index entries:

England—19th century
Victoria, Queen of Great Britain—English history

One easy approach is to browse for "England" in the Relative Index. What we find is a number marked with an orange puzzle piece to signal that it is a built number (942.081):


For best results, we should not use that built number to build our new number. Records for built numbers do not have add notes. Records for spans that are not centered entries commonly do have add notes.  We look up in the hierarchy to find the record with the add note used to build 942.081: 942.06-942.08 House of Stuart and Commonwealth periods to present, 1603- .  Click to display that record. Then click Add to get the add note displayed in the Create built number box:


Step 5. Find the record that has these Relative Index entries:

Great Britain—19th century
Great Britain—1837-1901
Victoria, Queen of Great Britain—British history

The number for Queen Victoria in British history (941.081 Reign of Victoria, 1837-1901) is not marked as a built number. Click Add to get that number displayed in the Create built number box:


Step 6. Click Save. The newly built number will be displayed in the Hierarchy box:


We have an opportunity to change the user term and add other user terms to the built number.  A summary of the pieces used to build the number remains with the record:


Second example. Now let’s try a book that is similar: Elizabeth's London: Everyday Life in Elizabethan London. For this work, the subject headings are as follows:

Elizabeth I, Queen of England, 1533-1603—Homes and haunts—England—London
London (England)—Social life and customs—16th century
London (England)—History—16th century

Even though the first heading gives emphasis to Queen Elizabeth, this work is similar to the other work in giving broad historical treatment to life in London during a specific historical period. The DDC number will be the same except for the different time period.

Steps 1-3 are the same as for the first example. Before we start on step 4, the Create built number box looks like this:


Step 4. Find the record that has these Relative Index entries:

Armada, 1588
Elizabeth I, Queen of England—English history
Spanish Armada, 1588

What we find is a number not marked with an orange puzzle piece (942.055 Reign of Elizabeth I, 1558-1603):


Click Add to get 942.055 displayed in the Create built number box:


Step 6. Click Save. The newly built number, 942.1055, will be displayed in the Hierarchy box:


We have an opportunity to change the user term and add other user terms to the built number.

Unfortunately, although the number 942.1055 was correctly built, the summary that remains with the record is incorrect. Somehow, between creating the user term that serves as a caption and creating the summary, the number building tool forgets where the "055" came from:


The MARC 765 fields associated with that summary are correspondingly incorrect. This problem occurs whenever there are no local add instructions involved in building a number; that is, the key difference between the results of the first example and the second example is the add note at 942.06-942.08—the add note that we made sure was displayed in the Create built number box.

The good news is that until we are able to fix this problem, you can still use the number building tool to create correct history numbers and give them good user terms.

Additional resources
• Posts on using the number building tool with standard subdivisions (post 1, post 2, post 3, post 4)
• Posts on using the number building tool in music (part 1, part 2)
• Post on using the number building tool in literature
• Post on using the number building tool for works on natural resources
WebDewey training modules for the WebDewey number building tool
Note: The general approach to building numbers described in posts about a specific discipline can be applied in other disciplines.

by Juli at November 10, 2015 10:14 PM