Author Archives: nlspyg

BIBFRAME update forum at ALA June 2014

BIBFRAME update forum at ALA June 2014 – 5 Minutes Reading

The recorded video of the update session is now available at:

1. Library of Congress website:

2. YouTube:

TITLE: Bibliographic Framework Initiative (BIBFRAME) Update Forum, June 2014

SPEAKER: Beacher J.E. Wiggins, Sally Hart McCallum, Kevin Ford, Phil E. Schreur, Andrea Leigh
EVENT DATE: 2014/06/29
RUNNING TIME: 78 minutes
TRANSCRIPT: View Transcript (link will open in a new window)

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Highlight of BIBFRAME update forum June 2014 (1)

Mr Kevin Ford tells the story of BIBFRAME: Why and How in this 8 minutes video clip:


I wanted to begin with a very, very quick recap of where, what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and what we hope to achieve with the BIBFRAME initiative in general and wanted scenarios to reimagine the entire bibliographical and eco system for a post-MARC world. If we were to look at our systems now it looks a little bit like this in a very rough schematic drawing. You have your OPAC, you have your ILS database, you have our OPAC, you might have a Z39.50 service sitting on top of that, you might have an SRU service sitting on top of that. There is a separate cataloging interface, the cataloging interface, of course, is what the cataloger works with. A developer works with Z39.50 and SRU. A patron has to go to your OPAC, and the patron understands your OPAC mostly, but when a machine goes to your OPAC it basically gets nothing out of it. The data is not described very well, the text is unclear. Semantically what a machine sees, and by machine I mean Google and Yahoo and the search engines, is a bunch of nothing. And so one of the things we hope to do with BIBFRAME in the long term is greatly simplify this scenario. There will always be a database of some kind or another in the

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Reordering Ranganathan: Shifting User Behaviors, Shifting Priorities

A new research report was released by OCLC:

Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, and Ixchel M. Faniel. 2014.Reordering Ranganathan: Shifting User Behaviors, Shifting Priorities. Dublin, OH: OCLC Research.

The authors believe “Ranganathan’s five laws are still relevant today, their intent is to help evolve both the work done by librarians and the perceptions of libraries and librarians. By changing how we think about the five laws in terms of interpretation and order of importance, Lynn and Ixchel hope to reflect the current resources and services available for use and the behaviors that people demonstrate when engaging with them.”

The report is worth reading.  It provides a lot of insights in helping us to re-position libraries and librarianship in the changing world.

Some highlights:

  • Today’s library users challenge librarians to move from the simple declaration of “save the time of the reader”; meeting today’s users’ needs requires embedding library systems and services into their existing workflows
  • Our modern-day rephrasing of “every person his or her book” is know your community and its needs
  • The core meaning of “books are for use” is still about access; however, our interpretation focuses on developing the physical and technical infrastructure needed to deliver materials
  • Our interpretation of “every book its reader” focuses on increasing the discoverability, access and use of resources within users’ existing workflows
  • We agree that “a library is a growing organism” and propose growing users’ share of attention


Data Sharing and Data Management

People are really to share data, but sometimes it is not as easy as said.  We probably do not want to have the situation as it is in this video.

Library can play a role in helping our parent organisation in managing and sharing data, especially research data.  What do you think?

Presentation on metadata to La Sapienza

Metadata sometimes means different things to different communities.

Mr James Weinheimer has kindly shared his presentation he gave to a seminar at La Sapienza (the main university in Rome).  The presentation has two parts: First is about the basic idea of metadata.  The second part is to illustrate how librarians and IT folks think different about the data and metadata.

You can view the slides from Mr Weinheimer’s blog:

New course on Semantic Web

For those who want to learn about Semantic Web and Linked Data.  There is a new course “Knowledge Engineering with Semantic Web Technologies” organised by openHPI starting on May, 26 2014

Below is the official announcement:

We are happy to announce that openHPI’s new course, “Knowledge Engineering with Semantic Web Technologies”, will start on May 26th. As with our previous course “Semantic Web Technologies” we are offering this course in English, and we are addressing an advanced but popular topic of Information Technology. Because the new course is almost self contained, there will be a significant overlap with the syllabus of “Semantic Web Technologies”. Nevertheless, in this course we try to put an emphasis on the application of Semantic Web Technologies in the Knowledge Engineering domain.

You can enroll to the course at The course will be taught by Dr. Harald Sack, head of the semantic technologies research group here at HPI, and will explain the fundamentals of Knowledge Engineering based on Semantic Web technologies. You will learn how to represent knowledge explicitly as well as how to access and benefit from semantically annotated data on the Web. We are looking forward to seeing you in the class.

Best regards,
the openHPI Team

Challenges with Linked Data in Libraries

There has been a movement of applying Linked Data in libraries since few years ago.  Many presentations have been done in various library conferences such as IFLA and ALA Annual Conference.  There is a special annual conference called Semantic Web in Libraries hosted since 2009 providing a platform for libraries and cultural institutions to share their experiences of various Linked Data/Semantic Web initiatives.  You can visited their website here for more detail.

ALCTS of ALA has hosted a webinar titled “Challenges with Linked Data in Libraries” on 22 May 2013.  Here is the synopsis:

This hour-long webinar takes the discussion of linked data in libraries a step further. The benefits that linked data represents are incontestable: making relationships in metadata explicit, using web–friendly markup, and liberating libraries from their current data silos are all part of the appeal. Integrating library data onto the semantic web is imminent, but what are some of the obstacles that libraries will have to overcome? Linked data standards, multiple URIs, sophisticated query language issues, and the challenge of navigating a different set of data silos all will require libraries to re-think their approach as we move toward linked data.

The recorded video and presentation slides are made available here:

Recording (YouTube)

Slides (.pdf)

Those who are following the Linked Data movement should not miss this webinar.

More on Hummingbird

What type of “new” search activity does Hummingbird help?

“Conversational search” is one of the biggest examples Google gave. People, when speaking searches, may find it more useful to have a conversation.

“What’s the closest place to buy the iPhone 5s to my home?” A traditional search engine might focus on finding matches for words — finding a page that says “buy” and “iPhone 5s,” for example.

Hummingbird should better focus on the meaning behind the words. It may better understand the actual location of your home, if you’ve shared that with Google. It might understand that “place” means you want a brick-and-mortar store. It might get that “iPhone 5s” is a particular type of electronic device carried by certain stores. Knowing all these meanings may help Google go beyond just finding pages with matching words.

In particular, Google said that Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query, ensuring that the whole query — the whole sentence or conversation or meaning — is taken into account, rather than particular words. The goal is that pages matching the meaning do better, rather than pages matching just a few words.


A search for “acid reflux prescription” used to list a lot of drugs (such as this, Google said), which might not be necessarily be the best way to treat the disease. Now, Google says results have information about treatment in general, including whether you even need drugs, such asthis as one of the listings.

A search for “pay your bills through citizens bank and trust bank” used to bring up the homepage for Citizens Bank but now should return the specific page about paying bills

A search for “pizza hut calories per slice” used to list an answer like this, Google said, but not one from Pizza Hut. Now, it lists this answer directly from Pizza Hut itself, Google says.

Charles Cutter

Charles Ammi Cutter (1837-1903) is a famous nineteenth-cnetury American librarian.  He is best known as the creator of Cutter numbers, which form unique call numbers assigned to books with same subject.   In 1876 he published the “Rules for a Dictionary Catalgoue”.  In it, Cutter outlined the objects and means of library cataloguing:


1. To enable a person to find a book of which either
A. the author
B. the title
C. the subject is known

2. To show what the library has
D. by a given author
E. on a given subject
F. in a given kind of literature

3. To assist in the choice of a book
G. as to its edition (bibliographically)
H. as to its character (literary or topical)

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