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OCLC sent out an email to their customers today informing them of new features added to WorldCat. Namely, users can now add reviews, notes and tables of contents to WorldCat records. No word yet on when users will be able to post pictures of themselves reading the books or Google maps of book locations.
User-contributed content helps extend the OCLC cooperative to include record-enhancing information from non-cataloging library professionals as well as library users. For example, family members may add notes to records for genealogical materials about their families, or community members may comment on historical photographs or documents from digital collections about their communities that reside in the WorldCat database.
LibrErica writes: "Last fall, people from all 50 states contributed more than 22,000 smart, creative ideas for strengthening the economy and improving life for working men and women and their families during the SEIU's idea contest for the best idea since sliced bread. Three winners were selected, but the contest administrators don't want all those other ideas to go to waste. Sinceslicedbread.com is seeking volunteer taggers so that the ideas can be easily accessed by subject, allowing policy makers, government officials and citizens to find ideas about education or the environment, for instance. Classifying information into subject headings is something that librarians are uniquely qualified to do. Librarians to the rescue! If you have a spare moment, won't you visit and tag an idea or two ?"
Greg Hill, director of Fairbanks North Star Borough libraries, has A Column in yesterday's Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on Melvil Dewey. He says even with all his shortcomings, Dewey's legacy, an elegant scheme for organizing knowledge logically, remains and overshadows his frailties.
stevenj writes "A poem by Lord Byron has been discovered in a 19th-century book within the archives of University College London. It is the only known manuscript of the untitled poem that appeared in print four years later, in 1816. It was assumed that the original had been lost, but a librarian stumbled across it during a routine cataloguing. Dated April 19, 1812, the poet signed his name in Greek characters. The story appears at: timesonline.co.uk"
kathleen writes "Library of Congress says NO to cataloging Italian books.
Saw this on H-Net, but can't find anything at the LOC page to confirm Dr.Connell's notice. Comments welcome.
Libraries throughout the United States that have programs to acquire Italian
books now face a major funding crisis because of an arbitrary decision by the
Library of Congress.
The Library of Congress, which is in many respects the world's most important
library, has decided to stop cataloging Italian books.
Meanwhile, books that come in from other countries around the world continue
to be routinely cataloged in Washington at taxpayers' expense.
Cataloging information is made available at no extra charge to smaller
libraries throughout the United States under existing programs, but this will
no longer be the case for Italian language books. It is anticipated that
each library will have to pay an exorbitant fee of almost $15.00 to access
the cataloging information for each new Italian book that it acquires.
All members of the educated public who want American libraries to continue to
acquire Italian books should contact Dr. James H. Billington, who is the
Librarian of Congress (firstname.lastname@example.org), and especially their Congressmen--to
whom the Librarian reports.
William J. Connell
Professor of History and La Motta Chair in Italian Studies
Director, Alberto Italian Studies Institute
Seton Hall University
South Orange, NJ 07079
Computer World Australia Reports he National Archives of Australia (NAA) in Canberra is set to launch its digital archiving service on new infrastructure.
Lola McKinnon, acting director of the National Archives' digital records projects and operations, said the rate of creation of digital information has spurred a set of "e-permanence" products and guidelines, which is the framework for developing the e-records management system and maintaining it.
"Digital records are subject to the same constraint as paper, which may be made available to the public," McKinnon told Computerworld. "But most records are kept 'private' for 30 years, which makes managing the two types of information a challenge."
LibrErica writes "Dewey Decimal is the best idea since sliced bread? Just maybe. While conducting a contest for "The Best Idea Since..." the SEIU is soliciting entries for any common sense idea from any willing contributor about any topic under the sun. One submission suggests using the Dewey Decimal Classification system to make relevant web pages easier to find. Could the submission be a stealth attempt by a librarian? Could it be from an avid library patron? Check it out for yourself here: sinceslicedbread.com"
AshtabulaGuy writes "OCLC just announced a new OpenWorldCat pilot sub-project through FIRSTSEARCH-L. The pilot will involve allowing users to contribute "details" (which would include tables of contents that would otherwise be encoded using "505" formatted content tags in MARC21 by ctalogers) and "reviews" by users in the style of Amazon.com. The press release also noted that these features that are presently in testing may eventually make their way into the subscription-based WorldCat database. It is uncertain whether or not this will run into quality control issues like Wikipedia has had mentioned recently, though."