State Library Catalogs Relevant Wikipedia Articles…07.02.09

2 07 2009


Catalog 2.0: Your Library Catalog in a Global Environment is an interesting postfrom the Kansas State Library blog:

“…We have cataloged about 1,000 Wikipedia articles analytically at the State Library providing links via the Kansas Library Catalog, WorldCat/OCLC and the State Library’s consortium OPAC, ATLAS. Most all of the Wikipedia articles we’ve cataloged are concerned with Kansas, Kansans or current topics with few resources initially available via standard library resources. We had one of the first records in WorldCat/OCLC linking to information on then-Supreme-Court-nominee, John G. Roberts, as well as an early record on Hurricane Katrina. We followed these entries with other cataloging records accessing more substantive resources, but yes, the initial records were for Wikipedia articles.

Within each Wikipedia cataloging record we’ve included a warning statement in a note stating, ‘Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia that is being written collaboratively by the readers of the web site. The site is a WikiWiki, meaning that anyone can edit any article right now by clicking on the edit this page link that appears in every article in Wikipedia. All of the articles are covered by the GNU Free Documentation License, toensure that they can remain freely available forever.’…”

Lone Wolf Librarian Cataloging Project Status Report…07.02.09

2 07 2009


This post is mainly for posterity to help record the progress I have made on the cataloging front.. The content below was taken from the homepage of our special library’s Atriuum OPAC and explains to our staff/patrons the status, condition, and use of our library resources. 


Any staff member with permission can access this online catalog via a web browser from any location in the world with a computer and an internet connection.

Using the catalog “search” feature at the top of this page, you can perform a “simple” SEARCH for any of the library resources for which bibliographic records have been entered into the Atriuum database software. The pull-down menus to the right of the search box above, can also be used to LIMIT a search by 1) author, title, subject heading, call number, ISBN or series title or 2) by one of 41 material format types [complete list available upon request], i.e., HB (hardback book), PB (paperback book), BKL (booklet), CAS (audio cassette), VHS (VHS video cassette), DVD (digital video disk), 3/4″ V (3/4″ video), MAS (master), etc.

The “combo” and “expert” links can also be used for more complex searches. The combo search option is a simple form of the expert search. You are given search fields for Title, Author, and Subject. Search terms can be entered in any or all of these fields. Expert search allows you to enter search criteria for up to three different types of data and ALSO to limit the search by joining that data to “BOOLEAN” search operators (search limiting words “and”, “or”, & “and not”—SEE A “BOOLEAN” SEARCH:

Note that the “my items” link on the left is currently not operational. Using the “my items” link, “patrons” will be able to log in to view their checked out items, reserve shelf, and items reserved.

Using the “bibliography” link on the left, patrons can save favorite or interesting item records for future reference.

The actual process of descriptive and subject CATALOGING of the library materials (using Dewey decimal classification and Library of Congress subject headings) at the main library and the main library off-Site location began August 25, 2006. In April 2007, cataloging began at 2 of the 4 out of state, long-term, storage facility units.

As more bibliographic records are entered into the system, the online catalog will become an increasingly valuable and useful tool for searching for and accessing the library and archive resources. As of July 2, 2009, library holding records for 17,069 physical items have been entered into the catalog database. Cataloging continues and our collections grow daily.

Contact the librarian if you are looking for ELECTRONIC files, such as MS Word or PDF documents of  program, meeting, conference or product TRANSCRIPTS, which are organized in sub-folders in the “TRANSCRIPTS” folder (6,027 files to date) on the department server and CANNOT be searched using this catalog.

There are various relevant links in the left column, including many to the online catalogs of relevant college/university libraries as well as the online catalogs of a few archival centers which may augment your research activities.

Library Classification – The Free Decimal Correspondence…06.10.09

10 06 2009


In case you are like me and haven’t heard about it, here is information about the relatively new Free Decimal Correspondence classification from the Everybody’s Libraries blog from John Mark Okerboom, “digital library architect and planner at the University of Pennsylvania”:

“…The Free Decimal Correspondence, or FDC for short, is a set of decimal numbers ranging from 000 to 999[.9999...], each associated with a particular subject, discipline, or group of subjects and disciplines.  It’s intended to be  reasonably compatible with existing and commonly used library decimal classifications and subject headings, but also as freely usable and adaptable as possible.

You can view or download it from this page

Among other things, the FDC is considerably briefer than the DDC, with less detail and almost no editorial apparatus. It doesn’t include many of the subjects that DDC does.  It associates different terminology in many cases with the numbers than the DDC, and is not guaranteed to be compatible with present-day DDC.  (In particular, we have not consulted the DDC itself when preparing the FDC, except to identify unassigned numbers to skip over in the FDC.) We have made some attempt to be compatible with DDC, however…

I released the first version (0.01) on Public Domain Day, January 1, 2009, and have made some other releases since, the latest (0.05) on on May 16, 2009. As noted above, this version gives complete coverage down to the unit level.  There’s still some room for augmentation, though; for example, to include specific subjects that might be common in present-day libraries and institutional repositories but that aren’t defined at the unit level.

I don’t plan to provide long-term maintenance or support for FDC, however.  But since it’s public domain, anyone else is welcome to further revise, adapt, and support it…”

First Library System to Drop Dewey…06.05.09

5 06 2009


Library Journal reported today:

“The six-branch (plus bookmobile) Rangeview Library District, Adams County, CO, will be the first library system in the country to fully drop the Dewey Decimal Classification in favor of a system adapted from that used in the book industry.  

While Dewey has been dropped in some smaller branches, Rangeview’s biggest building will have 85,000 items.

Rangeview’s WordThink system, like that in the Perry branch of Maricopa County Library District, outside Phoenix, draws on BISAC (Book Industry Standards and Communications)…

Some other libraries, according to Rangeview, are experimenting with BISAC: Frankfort Public Library District, IL; Richmond Public Library, BC; and Arapahoe Library District, CO.”

OCLC Concedes to Library Community–Ends Potential Records Reign of Terror…05.20.09

20 05 2009


The Panlibus blog post today OCLC Dumps New Record Reuse Policy reports on the demise of the library records “Death Star”:

“Jennifer Younger, Chair of the OCLC Review Board of Shared Data Creation & Stewardshipannounced in a presentation on May 18th [video stream and presentation slides here] that they are to ‘Formally withdraw the proposed policy

From her presentation:

  • We affirm that a policy is needed, but not this policy
  • Formally withdraw the proposed policy
  • Until a new policy is in place, reaffirm the existence and applicability of the Nov. 16, 1987 ‘Guidelines for the Use and Transfer of OCLC-Derived Records’

She goes on to explain how they are to move on to ‘Discuss the role and value of WorldCat in the information ecosystem, and ways in which it can be leveraged’ – ‘Devise a process for drafting and maintaining a new policy’ [quotes from slides]

In her speech [from 16 minutes in] she indicated that the process for drawing up a new policy ‘must involve the governance structure of OCLC – the proposed policy is fundamental to the functioning of OCLC’…”

Z39.50 Client eZcat from Book Systems, Inc…04.14.09

14 04 2009


ezcat2 from Book Systems, Inc. is the Z39.50 software I use in conjunction with our ILS software Atriuum which has adequately met my needs to date.

Online you can see a video tour of eZcat titled What is eZcat? (RT: 16:42).

eZcat is a dynamic software package that makes cataloging and editing MARC records virtually effortless. It lets you download MARC records across the Internet from the Library of Congress, university libraries, and large public libraries that have Z39.50 servers. This video will assist you in configuring eZcat and loading your records into Atriuum.”

“LibraryThing for Libraries”…03.25.09

25 03 2009


LibraryThing has been around for quite a while though I haven’t heard much about the “LibraryThing for Libraries” addition that can be added to your ILS OPAC so I thought I would include here some information about it from the source.

Here are some basics from the LibraryThing for Libraries FAQ page:

“…What’s the difference between LibraryThing and LibraryThing for Libraries?

LibraryThing is the main site, meant for all people to come and share their books. Learn more about LibraryThing here.

LibraryThing for Libraries is a product, built by us at LibraryThing, for public, academic and special libraries with existing library systems (ILS/OPACs).

What does LibraryThing for Libraries do:

LTFL has two awesome OPAC-boosting products:

Catalog Enhancements package

This provides more valuable data for each book, and more points for searching. All of the search information – recommended titles, similar editions, tag search results – relate back to what can be found in your OPAC.

  • Book recommendations. High-quality “recommended” or “similar” books, like reader’s advisory that points to books available in your library.
  • Tag-based discovery. Tag clouds for books, and tag-based search and discovery, drawn from the 41 million tags added by LibraryThing members.
  • Other editions and translations. Provides links to bib pages of other editions and translations of a work that can be found an your library. (This works much like the FRBR model.)

Reviews Enhancement package

  • Patron reviews. Let your patrons rate and review right in your catalog.
  • Already full. Comes with over 200,000 high-quality reviews from
  • Widgets. Patrons can show off reviews and their library with library-branded “blog widgets” and a Facebook application.

You can choose to moderate reviews, and create multiple moderator accounts for other staff…

How does LibraryThing for Libraries work with my OPAC?

LibraryThing for Libraries adds information to your catalog with a few lines of HTML. Installation is extremely easy to add to your OPAC/ILS. Read more in the technical FAQ.

Will LTFL work with my OPAC?

LTFL will work with every major OPAC/ILS, and most of the minor ones too. See the list of libraries using LTFL here...

Can I see a live example of LibraryThing for Libraries in an OPAC?

The Danbury library in Danbury CT has become the first library in the world to put LibraryThing for Libraries on its live catalog. Play with their catalog(complete with LibraryThing for Libraries’s other editions and translations, similar books, and tags and tag browser), and read our blog post.

Other libraries that have gone live with LibraryThing for Libraries:

The Bedford Public Library (catalog) in Bedford TX (blog post).

Waterford Institute of Technology (catalog) in Waterford in south east Ireland (blog post).

Deschutes Public Library (catalog) of Deschutes County in Oregon (blog post).

Is there a list of all libraries participating in the LibraryThing for Libraries?

Yes! Go check it out...”

Cataloging With ‡biblios…02.24.09

24 02 2009

This is from Nicole on the What I Learned Today blog:

“I have uploaded some video tutorials that I put together for ‡ to YouTube – check them out and learn how to catalog with ‡”

I’m going to try and embed the entire playlist here – so feel free to browse through the videos:

Here is the actual CATALOGING with ‡biblios video:

LibraryThing Responds to OCLC’s Questioning of Motives…02.02.09

2 02 2009

Here is an excerpt of LibraryThing‘s response [Thingology (LibraryThing's ideas blog): The evil 3.26%] to OCLC claim of self-interest in attacking their proposed monopolistic policy change which I found to be a rather enlightening and insightful perspective:

“The question has arisen of why I advocate against OCLC’s attempt to monopolize library data. Roy Tennant of OCLC, an intelligent, likeable man whom, although we disagree on some issues, has done more for libraries than most, accused me of writing and talking about the issue because:

‘… your entire business model is built on the fact that you can use catalog records for free that others created and not contribute anything back unless they pay (yes, there is a limited set of data available via an API, but then they need the chops to do something with it).’

Fair enough. Let’s look at the numbers, and the argument.

I did a comprehensive analysis, available here as a text file, with both output and PHP code. If anyone doubts it, send me an email and I’ll let run the SQL queries yourself…

Stop killing the messenger. It’s time for OCLC to recognize they made this mess, not others. They have perpetrated some astouding missteps—from attempting to sneak through a major rewrite of the core member policy in a few days without consultation, to a comic series of rewrites and policy reversals, culminating in withdrawing the policy entirely for discussion. (It now seems clear they did so on the heels of a member revolt, whether general or just of some key libraries.)

It’s also important to see that, before OCLC started threatening companies and non-profits doing interesting but non-competing things with book data—notably LibLimeOpen Library and LibraryThing—they had none of the problems they have now. Now, by attempting to control all book data, they’ve spurred the creation of LibLime’s ‡Biblios system, a free, free-data alternative to OCLC and, well, sent me, Aaron Swartz of Open Library and dozens of prominent library bloggers into orbit

Being caught so flat-footed can’t feel nice. It must be hard feeling like royalty and discovering your subjects think themselves a confederacy. But this is no time for OCLC to start attacking the credibility of its opponents. Surely LibraryThing is an unusual case—a company that has an opinionated, crusading—okay, loud—president. But the thousands of librarians and other individuals who supported our calls, or raised other objections to the OCLC policy are not less well-motivated than OCLC and its employees. They do not love libraries less. They are, rather, concerned that OCLC’s urge to control library metadata threatens longstanding library traditions of sharing, and sets libraries on a path of narrowness and restriction that will surely prove no benefit in this increasingly open, connected world.”

OCLC Policy Change Controversy Appears in International Media…01.22.09

22 01 2009


(LibraryThing Tee)

Although I don’t have direct dealings with OCLC, I found this excerpt from an interesting post today [The Guardian asks "Why you can't find a library book in your search engine?"] on LibraryThing [] interesting about a an article in the Guardian from the UK about the OCLC policy changes:

The OCLC data-grab has hit the ‘real’ media…The article asks the simple question, ‘Why you can’t find a library book in your search engine?’  

It’s an obvious question. The answer isn’t quite as simple as they put it. Libraries would be in Google if their library catalogs could be spidered. But they’d still be hampered by OCLC in various ways. Anyway the coverage of OCLC, Open Library, and LibraryThing are spot-on…” 

“Perceptions 2008: An International Survey of Library Automation” Released…01.20.09

20 01 2009

Because I had to select and implement our ILS software and may have to do so again in the future,  Marshall Breeding‘s the annual survey of ILS software from Library Technology Guides [] is of great interest to me. “Perceptions 2008: An International Survey of Library Automation” [] is excerpted here but I would suggest reading the article in its entirety.

“…This year, I received 1,450 responses from libraries in 51 different countries. The countries most strongly represented include the United States (1,150 responses), United Kingdom (49), Canada (99), Australia (44). As with the general demographics of the lib-web-cats database, the respondents of the library primarily come from libraries in English-speaking countries. Survey results were gathered between October 31, 2008 and January 16, 2009.

The survey attracted more responses from libraries using Millennium (293), Unicorn/Symphony (233), and Horizon (206). There were fewer than 100 responses for each of the other ILS products represented in the survey. Systems with less than 20 responses did not appear in the main statistical tables. These responses can be seen through the individual ILS Product Reports available…

The number of negative comments provided on the survey forms overwhelmingly exceeded positive ones

Polaris ranked as the product that received the highest score in response to the question probing satisfaction with the library’s Integrated Library System with a median rating of 7.73. Fifty-one libraries using Polaris responded to this question. Last year a total of 59 responders rated Polaris 7.78, reflecting remarkable consistency across the two years. AGent VERSO earned second highest marks in this category (7.26), with Library.Solution from The Library Corporation only a fraction lower (7.20). Millennium from Innovative Interfaces, Inc. also attracted highly positive ratings (7.09)…

One of the major movements in the library automation industry in the last few years involves the entrance of open source ILS products as a mainstream option. That libraries using these products now appear in this survey reflects that this approach has made inroads among the long-established proprietary systems. The three open source ILS products represented in the survey results include OPALS, Evergreen, and Koha, though only Koha received sufficient responses for inclusion in the primary tables…”

Maintained by Marshall Breeding

Jean and Alexander Heard LibraryVanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

Copyright 2007

Sign Up for New “Biblios” Cataloging Tool…01.20.09

20 01 2009

Nicole Engard in her post Calling all Catalogers [] today about her work in creating a new cataloging tool called ‡ writes:

“… ‡ is a web-based original and copy cataloging tool with built in federated search of any Z39.50 target (via an integrated search registry with over 2000 targets – or by adding your own) and a large (30 million strong) shared database of catalog records. This means that you can visit ‡ and benefit from the work of other catalogers who have gone before you. You can also edit and contribute to the database without any restrictions.

I have also worked on creating some macros (others can be written by users) to help streamline some of our cataloging processes and templates for common item types to make original cataloging a little bit easier…”

I am signing up and will take a closer look!  I currently use a cataloging feature in our ILS software package which includes a Z39.50 feature.

Open Shelves Classification Project Update…01.20.09

20 01 2009

Here is an excerpt from the Planet Catalog blog from the Thingology (LibraryThing’s ideas blog): Open Shelves Classification: First draft live and at ALA Midwinter post on the status of the Open Shelves Classification project

“…Back in July I blogged to start something called the Open Shelves Classification, a free, crowdsourced alternative to the Dewey Decimal System, and created a Group for it. Soon afterward two librarians, Laena M. McCarthy of the Pratt Institute and David Conners of Haverford took over leadership of the project. For the past six months they and a growing contingent of LibraryThing members, some librarians, some not, have been working to come up with basic principles and working on pieces and on the numbering system. They’ve also done some interesting work testing the proposed top level against real library records. Much of their work is collected on the Open Shelves Classification Wiki. Laena did a nice post on the OSC on the Public Libary Association blog.
The OSC team has reached some agreement on a first drag of the ‘top level categories,’ some fifty categories that, it is hoped, all books fit into somewhere. And you are invited to help classify works in LibraryThing!…”

“Open Shelves Classification”…01.19.09

19 01 2009

This is an excerpt from a LISNews posting today “LibraryThing Calls for New Cataloguing Scheme” [] in which LibraryThing is again pushing for the creation and use of a new classification system-particulary at public libraries-because they seem to believe DDC is no longer relevant:

“…Anyway, with all the talk of whether or not libraries should use DDC, LCCN, BISAC, or something else for their collections and then the possibility of using open databases instead of OCLC, it seems like cataloguing is on everybody’s mind.

It is over at LibraryThing too, where they’ve issued a call for the creation of OSC, or the Open Shelves Classification. They’re looking for a few librarians who are of a mind to create a system…”

Although I’m no fan of OCLC, there are issues with DDC in some applications, and I think the Open Shelves Classification project can be interesting and useful, I don’t agree with the project’s initiators that “it’s time to throw Dewey under the train” and sends the wrong message to the library community and public.

OCLC Says It Will Listen Regarding Policy Changes…01.14.09

14 01 2009

LISNews reports “OCLC to convene Review Board of Shared Data” []:

Good News! OCLC Board of Trustees and Members Council to convene Review Board of Shared Data Creation and Stewardship…

OCLC Members Council and the OCLC Board of Trustees will jointly convene a Review Board of Shared Data Creation and Stewardship to represent the membership and inform OCLC on the principles and best practices for sharing library data. The group will discuss the Policy for Use and Transfer of WorldCat Records with the OCLC membership and library community.

The purpose of this Review Board is to engage the membership and solicit feedback and questions before the new policy is implemented. In order to allow sufficient time for feedback and discussion, implementation of the Policy will be delayed until the third quarter of the 2009 calendar year.”

A Blast from the Past…01.09.09

9 01 2009

I guess if you remember these like me, you’re definitely not a “Digial Native”:


Source on Flickr:

Of course, I also remember these:


Please do not bend, fold, spindle or mutilate.”

Source on Flickr:

LibraryThing “uClassify Mashup” Contest…12.22.08

22 12 2008

Here is an interesting idea regardless of your position on classification schemes and/or changes therewith from LibraryThing this past  Sunday [] which will be at least interesting to follow:
“I keep up with the Museum of Modern Betas* and today it found something wonderful: uClassify.

uClassify is a place where you can build, train and use automatic classification systems. It’s free, and can be handled either on the website or via an API. Of course, this sort of thing was possible before uClassify, but you needed specialized tools. Now anyone can do it—on a whim.

Their examples are geared toward the simple:

  • Text language. What language is some text in?
  • Gender. Did or a man or a woman write the blog? It was made for (It’s right only 63% of the time.)
  • Mood.
  • What classical author your text is most alike? Used on (this blog is Edgar Allen Poe).

Where did I lose the librarians—mood? But wait, come back! The language classifier works very well. It managed to suss-out NorwegianSwedish and Dutch reviews of the Hobbit.** So what if the others are trivial? The idea is solid. Create a classification. Feed it data and the right answer. Watch it get better and better

Now, I’m a sceptic of automatic classification in the library world. There’s a big difference between spam/not-spam and, say, giving a book Library of Congress Subject Headings. But it’s worth testing. And, even if ‘real’classification is not amenable to automatic processes, there must be other interesting book- and library-related projects. 

The Prize! So, LibraryThing calls on the book and library worlds to create something cool with uClassify byFebruary 1, 2009 and post it here. The winner gets Toby Segaran’s Programming Collective Intelligence and a $100 gift certificate to Amazon or IndieBound. You can do it by hand or programmatically. If you use a lot of LibraryThing data, and it’s not one of the sets we release openly, shoot me an email about what you’re doing and I’ll give you green light.

Some ideas. My idea list…

  • Fiction vs. Non-Fiction. Feed it Amazon data, Common Knowledge or LT tags.***
  • DDC. Train it with Amazon’s DDC numbers and book descriptions. Do ten thousand books and see how well it’s guessing the rest.
  • Do a crosswalk, eg., DDC to LCC, BISAC to DDC, DDC to Cutter, etc…”

OCLC and Google Policy Discussion Continues…11.19.08

19 11 2008

As the discussion about CHANGE in policies at 2 major library institutions garners rants, raves, and speculation, here [] is commentary worth reviewing from “The Library 2.0 Gang”:

“This month’s Library 2.0 Gang conversation is stimulated by recent announcements from two significant organisations in their spheres of influence.

Gang regulars Tim Spalding and Marshall Breeding chew the fat on OCLC’s policy change announcement(s) which has set the library blogosphere alight over the last couple of weeks and was the subject of a Talking with Talis podcast with OCLC’s Karen Calhoun & Roy Tennant..   What are the motivations behind it – is OCLC a good thing – what could the ramifications for the wider community – does the wider library community care enough about it?

Google Book Search and their provisional settlement with the Authors Guild and Association of American Publishers (AAP) around copyright issues.  One of the spin offs from the settlement being the setting up of Book Rights Registry, managed by authors and publishers, that will work to locate and represent copyright holders Book Rights Registry, managed by authors and publishers, that will work to locate and represent copyright holders.  Is this the beginnings of a change in the publishing industry to take on some of the attributes of the music industry?

As always another lively and entertaining conversation.”

Insight About Library Catalog “Discovery Tools”…11.18.08

18 11 2008

Below is an interesting post by Laurie Tarulli, “The Cataloguing Librarian” [] on “discovery tools” which I know little about but have also been curious about at various times, especially when considering changes to our ILS software and OPAC. Mmmmmm….”Cataloguing”–Laurie must be a librarian friend from the “Great White North“–north of the border, Eh?  :-)


“Last week, I attended a presentation for the discovery tool Encore. Encore is one of many up and coming discovery tools being overlaid onto library catalogues. Other examples of discovery tools include AquaBrower and Primo.

This is the first opportunity I’ve had to sit through a full presentation pitch on discovery tools. In the past, there have been brief visits with vendors at conferences or short presentations to wet my appetite, but never the full opportunity to sit back and analyze the potential of these products and exactly how they work.

As most (or all) of you know, discovery platforms overlay a library’s existing catalogue. They read our MARC records and extrapolate that information for use in the discovery tool overlay. Therefore, a discovery tool is only as good as your MARC records. Without full, descriptive records and appropriate subject headings, your tag clouds and refined search parameters are sloppy and inaccurate. Without uniformity, your tag cloud will assist in retrieving some items but not others with different.

This is quite interesting with the amount of records currently being supplied by vendors. Will these records provide the level of quality and accuracy necessary to make discovery tools successful? If records lack descriptive elements or the ‘local’ touch, will they be as effective in this setting? In Encore, the tag cloud depends upon the subject headings and I find it hard to believe that records that have not been edited or reviewed by in-house cataloguers are able to provide the same quality needed to properly sustain these new platforms.

From my understanding, all of the discovery tool platforms rely on the information in MARC and convert it to a more user-friendly format. Given the growing popularity of platforms, it appears as if there is a growing need for quality cataloguing. As a selling feature, these platforms sell themselves as user friendly as well as ‘automated reference librarians’, allowing patrons to be guided through their discovery by the catalogue, rather than by an individual. With this type of reliance on a tool, it is imperative that the information created for these tools is of the highest quality, as emphasized by the vendors themselves.”

Into the Belly of the Beast–OCLC Issues Revision of New Policy…11.05.08

5 11 2008

You can review the complete and “final” version of the much-discussed new “Policy for Use and Transfer of WorldCat Record” at OCLC here:

© 2008 OCLC

Finding DDC Numbers “Quick and Dirty”…09.25.08

25 09 2008

Badan Barman posted “Classify Your Document with DDC by Using the Web” [] describing one fast method of finding DDC classification numbers which is quoted below.  There are other quick methods as well some of which I describe in detail in our departmental documentation for library resources management.  Anyway, here is the post:

“Yes, forget about Web Dewey, now you can find the DDC numbers over the web by other means also. I don’t think any of our LIS professional is following this procedure. It’s really interesting… Here is a simple way
1. Go to:
2. Enter the title that is in your library and search.
3. Click on the most relevant title under the heading of “Books Matching (‘your enter title’)”.
4. Consult the ‘Dewey Class:’ or ‘LCC Number:’ under ‘Classification:’ Heading. This is your classification number you are looking for.
If you don’t find the Heading ‘Classification:’ or You find the Heading
‘Classification:’ but don’t find the ‘Dewey Class:’ or ‘LCC Number:’ then again
5. Click on any appropriate title under ‘Libraries this book has an entry in:’.
5. Now under the ‘MARC Record’ see against: 092: $a: or 082. This is your classification number you are looking for.”

WorldCat Becomes More Social–Now Allows Tagging…09.23.08

23 09 2008

Catablog reports [] today:

“Tagging is now available in WorldCat. It will be interesting to see how extensive, and so useful, tagging becomes here.   

You and your users can now keep track of your favorite items in WorldCat through tags—keywords that help you classify or describe an item. Tags are displayed in search results lists and may help you find similar items or organize items in a way that makes sense to you. You can add as many tags as you would like to an unlimited set of items. You can view and maintain all of your personalized tags from your WorldCat profile page. Plus, you can also browse items using the tags other people have contributed.”

Should DDC (Dewey) Rest in Peace?…09.19.08

22 09 2008

An article [,092108ditchingdewey.article] about the reported impending demise of the Dewey decimal classification system appeared in yesterday’s Sun Times Group papers which follows below.  

Although I am certainly aware of the changes in users and promote the positive changes, I’m not ready to throw out the proverbial “baby with the bathwater.”  I currently support changes like the Ann Arbor Public Library [] has made by its installation of John Blyberg’s SOPAC [] combining the use of DDC with social input.  In some places, DDC may be “archaic” but I don’t find that is the norm based upon any of the the word’s definitions.

In the sober, settled atmosphere of a library there is a radical movement afoot that is knocking books off their long established shelves and throwing Dewey out the window.

At 6 a.m. on a Sunday morning, when most library patrons are pulling the covers over their heads, refusing to acknowledge the rising sun, two bold and daring librarians are stirring at the Frankfort Public Library, shuffling books and tearing off those time-honored Dewey Decimal System numbers that no one really understood anyway.

‘We know it’s a little radical, but that’s OK,’ said Melissa Rice, head of adult services, who along with reference librarian Joanna Kolendo is leading this revolution. Frankfort is the first library in the United States to retrofit its collection and go ‘Dewey-free,’ eliminating numbers and categorizing nonfiction books by topic, she said.

It’s an idea so new, the Illinois Library Association was not even up to speed on it.

‘You’re telling me they are throwing out the Dewey Decimal System? What are they doing? Organizing books by size?” said Bob Doyle, the association’s executive director. “This is the first I heard of it. Melvil Dewey might be spinning in his grave, but these ladies said they can still put their fingers on any and every book a patron wants. ‘After all, we are librarians,’ Kolendo said. Learning the code established by fellow librarian Dewey in 1876 and embraced by public libraries everywhere, is ‘archaic,’ she said.

What? If news of Dewey’s demise is causing cardiac arrest, check out a 612.12 or a 616.123 or peruse the books under ‘health and fitness’ in Frankfort’s new system. By the time you track down the Dewey number, (assuming you didn’t know that the 600s were technology and applied sciences) and locate the book on the shelf, it may be too late.

That’s the point.

‘People spend 10 or 15 minutes in the library. They are frustrated if they have to go to a card catalog and get the number. They are embarrassed to ask for help. This Dewey-free system takes out the middle man,’ Kolendo said.

‘I love coding. I read Dewey’s biography,’ she said. ‘As librarians, we have a hard time changing things. But it’s not about me. It’s about the patrons.’

When Frankfort’s patrons walk into their library, they can look for colored signs directing them to books on gardening, cooking, auto repair, health and fitness, travel, computers or whatever.

Cooking and gardening collections already have been retrofitted and broken down into subcategories, all clearly marked and alphabetized on the shelves. Within each subcategory, books are further alphabetized by author.

So if a patron wants Rachael Ray’s ‘Thirty Minute Meals,’ they find ‘cooking,’ ‘quick and easy,’ and find Ray’s name, instead of looking up the 641.555 RAY. (Ironically, this places ‘cooking’ and ‘heart attacks’ in the same 600 category, according to Dewey’s system.) If this is confusing, think: bookstore.

The gardening category now combines botany from the 500s, gardening from the 635s and landscaping from 717s.

This dynamic duo pores over one collection at a time and decides what to name each new category and subcategory based on what patrons are asking for and using words they can identify with.

It’s all designed to make the collection ‘intuitive, browseable and accessible,’ Rice and Kolendo said.

‘What’s the point of having a collection if no one checks it out?’ Kolendo said.

They want to get people ‘back into the stacks,’ have them check out more books and make the library a place where people feel comfortable.

They eventually would like to create’nooks’ among the shelves with comfy chairs or couches and a computer for additional research.

Rice said she is figuring it will take one year to complete the project, which started this summer, but she hopes it will be sooner. It’s a process that has been ‘evolving,’ they said. Fiction, biographies and compact discs are already organized by topic. In the meantime, they have a map to guide patrons through this major move. The hardest part is figuring out which collection to put where.

The books that circulate the most have been moved up front. Biographies will become neighbors with history books. Foreign language will mingle with travel tomes.

Dewey has not been the only game in town, but it was believed to be simpler than the Library of Congress classification system, widely used in academic libraries, and the Universal Decimal Classification, which incorporates punctuation marks with decimals. The Dewey-free revolution grew out of Europe, and word of it is slowly spreading here. It’s already proven to be successful in Maricopa County Library District in Arizona, which ditched Dewey when it opened a new library last June.

In Frankfort, this radical notion grew out of talks about building a new, larger library. ‘We were talking about new concepts and what we would want in a new library,’ Rice said. What transpired is the reorganization of 36,070 nonfiction books.

Rice acknowledged that Frankfort has generated a ‘lot of buzz’ in the library community. She welcomes other librarians to tour their building. It will have no impact on the interlibrary loan system. When a patron looks up a book on the computer, they simply will see Frankfort’s new classification.

‘I see other libraries moving in this direction,’ Rice said.

As a library science student, Kolendo said she learned that the purpose of being a librarian is to make access to information easy, to eliminate the hoops.

‘The Dewey Decimal System was easy. But when does easy become difficult? What is the purpose of classification?’ she asked.

May Melvil Dewey rest in peace.”

RDA…The Future of Cataloging…Bye, Bye ACRR2?…09.04.08

4 09 2008

A cursory review on the upcoming release of RDA was posted on the Cilip site entitled “RDA: a cataloguing code for the 21st century” which can be found at the link below.  

The post begins: “…Resource Description and Access is the new cataloguing code due to be published next year. The development process has generated (sometimes heated) discussion. It’s designed as an online resource. So, asks Ann Chapman, is it the tool we need?

Since its publication in 1978, the second edition of the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR2) has been extensively used world-wide to create millions of bibliographic records. But, in the last decade, new resources and publication practices in the digital age have required many changes to parts of AACR2, making it ever more complex. International consultation and consensus are key features of its revision process. Reaction to early drafts of ‘AACR3’ identified fundamental problems with the structure and evidence that the code needed a critical rethink rather than a new edition; it was not enough to shoehorn new thinking into an existing code.     A new cataloguing landscape 
AACR2’s basis, on common practice and consistency, has worked well, but new conceptual models such as Functional Requirements of Bibliographic Records (FRBR) and Functional Requirements of Authority Data (FRAD) and the International Cataloguing Principles developed by IFLA’s International Meetings of Experts challenge us to think about resources in a different way…”


Browse LCSH Database…08.28.08

28 08 2008

Planet Catalog posted [] the following today which is worthy of checking out:

“The Browse LCSH database (6.5m records) now includes the complete file of 266.857 terms that was made available by the project. That means you find links from our database to the record in to view their innovative display. The notes contained in the records have been included too. LC classes are indexed as well and can be browsed, to find LCSH terms. 

LC has improved the findability of authority records recently. They have added a keyword search to the database.”

Although I have the 29th edition of the LCSH, I frequently use “the database” for cataloging work.

Video Archive Cataloging at a Stand Still…08.21.08

21 08 2008

I have noted here before that I have been trying unsuccessfully to resume shipment of materials to me from our off-site and out-of-state video archives for cataloging.  Thousands of video masters in various formats are awaiting cataloging and proper storage.  I will persist in requesting the shipments until it happens and wait patiently (OK–relatively patiently) until then. 

As a cataloging update, I have cataloged 16,457 physical items using the Atriuum ILS software since August of 2006.  Cataloging our video archive materials was halted at the end of 2007 although other non-archive items are regularly added to our collections.

ISEN Unfolds as the future ISBN for Catalogs & Databases…07.30.08

30 07 2008

The Catablog blog posted the following today about the upcoming intention of creating ISBN-like numbers for catalogs and databases:

“The Internet Search Environment Number (ISEN) intends to catalog catalogs and other databases.

You know how the ISBN is assigned to books. Over 1 million books are assigned ISBNs each year. What ISEN plans to do is emulate that system for databases. We would assign over 1 million databases ISEN or Internet Search Environment Numbers once the system is in place in its first year. There may be as many as 5 million in the backlog for cataloging by a social nework of librarians. Life Science databases would be cataloged by life science librarians, law resources by law librarians, etc… 

Then we would create a database of databases or search engine only for databases. Your hit list would only be databases instead of PDF files, blog postings and random HTML files. We pull out the databases. The hits you get would be the interface to databases which provides access to upwards of 500 to 650 times the amount of information available on the ‘surface web’ indexed by the major search engines. ISEN reveals the what is called the ‘deep web’.

They have a weblog and mailing list.”

Video Archive Cataloging Postponed Indefinitely…07.21.08

21 07 2008

It is a little more than disheartening to learn today that it appears that the fall cataloging preparation trip to our off-site video archives is now completely off the radar for undisclosed reasons–even for discussion– according to management . The subject was put off for months with an August 1 meeting scheduled to review the matter. I can speculate why but will not do so here.  Speculation doesn’t help the situation or anyone.

I’ll have to wait until a future appropriate opportunity arises to try to receive permission to arrange for several pallets of materials to be sent to me for cataloging.  Unfortunately, I’m afraid that if this is done any time soon it will be done indiscriminately without regard to the work that has been done or the planning that went into previous organizational efforts–not a great way to start the week.

Of course, this new development does not bode well for championing any attempts at starting any conservation or preservation efforts which are greatly needed and, incidentally, part of my initial job description.


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