Newsflash! Subject Headings not boring!

Newsflash! Subject Headings not boring!: Cataloguing… just try dropping that word in a conversation and watch people’s eyes glaze over with boredom, or even worse, complete and utter indifference. But just because John Q. Public may not appreciate the beauty of Library of Congress Subject Headings doesn’t mean we should fret too much. After all, if no one is watching the librarians we can do whatever we want.

Although the vast majority of headings in the LCSH are painfully boring and uniform, clearly someone at the Library of Congress has a sense of humour, and is taking advantage of the fact that no one is watching... hence this list of weird and wacky subject headings submitted by the students of GLIS.
Want to add your heading to the list?


AUTOCAT: UNT SLIS Embarks on MARC21 Research

AshtabulaGuy writes "In a message posted to AUTOCAT yesterday University of North Texas-Texas Center for Digital Knowledge Fellow Dr. Shawne Miksa noted that the Institute for Museum and Library Services gave funding to assist with financing a two year project researching MARC21 that began in December 2004. The project is intended to look into the multiplicity of tags available for use in coding records and attempt to ascertain how many of such tags are actually normally used by a cataloger in daily work. OCLC released to the research team the WorldCat database to look at records in their instances of initial creation to determine what were the most common tags used and what was rarely, if ever, used. More information is available about the MARC Content Designation Utilization project at its website. The project's plan is availabe in Adobe Acrobat format as well. This project appears to have implications for core record and minimal-level cataloging efforts by showing what are minimum tags used on a day-to-day basis in "full records" as it is. The release on AUTOCAT noted that in an earlier effort by Dr. Miksa's fellow principal investigator, Dr. William Moen, found that only 36 of the over 2000 possible MARC21 tags were actually used in records 80% of the time. The project appears to further earlier work led by Dr. Moen."


Newsweek Talks Tagging

Library Stuff points to a
response by Gary Price about a
Newsweek article
on folksonomies, as used by Flickr,, and

Are these the next big thing in indexing the Internet? First cataloging gets renamed metadata, and now keywords are folksonomies. What's next for librarians, er, information scientists?


New guide on correcting OCLC master records

Daniel writes "BCR Guide to Altering OCLC WorldCat Master Records ldcat.html"


AMeGA Final Report Released

The AMeGA Final Report was released yesterday. Here is a description of the project from its executive summary:

The Automatic Metadata Generation Applications (AMeGA) project, which was
conducted in conjunction with the Bibliographic Control of Web Resources: A Library of
Congress Action Plan
, addresses the
challenge of metadata generation for digital resources. The work underlying the AMeGA project
was guided by the following three goals:

  • To evaluate current automatic metadata generation functionalities supported by
    content creation software and automatic metadata generation applications; and review
    automatic metadata generation functionalities supported by integrated library systems
  • To survey metadata experts to determine which aspects of metadata generation are
    most amenable to automation.
  • To compile a final report of recommended functionalities for automatic metadata
    generation applications.

Brooklyn Museum to catalog costume collection

The New York Times is reporting (free registration required) that the Brooklyn Museum has recieved a Mellon grant to catalog its huge (70,000+ pieces) costume collection.

For the first time in the collection's history, a detailed record of all its pieces will be created, with a digital image of each dress, purse, scarf, shoe, hat, earring and brooch. Four thousand of the most important pieces will be photographed at high resolution and at some point made available for viewing online by scholars, the Mellon Foundation said.

The Berman Catalog

Madeline Douglass writes "
Check out David Bigwood's Catalogablog for
an interesting discussion on the Berman Catalog.

"Thursday, January 20, 2005

Hennepin County Library Authority Files

As the files are currently presented they are only searchable by record number. Surely, such an important resource for historic, practical
and educational purposes deserves better."

Read the full blog entry and proposed solutions on Catalogablog


Do We Have Errors in Dewey?

Anonymous Patron writes "The Ohio Library Council’s Technical Services Division would like to announce their sponsorship of the DEWEYERROR list, a new electronic distribution list that will alert members to suspected errors in Dewey numbers in LC records.

Do you, or does your library, routinely accept Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) numbers from Library of Congress (LC) catalog records without checking them first? Or, do you not only check them, but also take the trouble to advise LC when you suspect a number is in error? If you answered yes to either of these questions, the DEWEYERROR list is available for your use.

The Ohio Library Council's Technical Services Division is sponsoring this list based upon the support of several of our members. It supersedes a privately maintained list dedicated to the same purpose. Fianna Holt, Technical Services Librarian at Albright College (Reading, PA) has commented: "This list is worthwhile for the mistakes that I can catch or can alert the staff when it is an ordered item. … just today, your message on the book Now, discover your strengths by Marcus Buckingham was valuable as we had accepted the number as is. It's clearly misclassified and I am going to change to your suggestion!"

To subscribe to the list, send an e-mail to [email protected] with the text SUBSCRIBE DEWEYERROR plus your name. This is not a discussion list - only notification takes place - so postings should not be excessive. All postings are verified for appropriateness (but not for accuracy) so you will be spared irrelevant material. The list has no official connection with the Library of Congress, nor with OCLC, owners and publishers of the Dewey Decimal Classification(TM) system."


New 13-digit ISBN has been approved

The Reader's Shop writes "Plans are underway to transition to the new 13-digit ISBN number industry-wide, world-wide by January 1, 2007. The page includes information for publishers and librarians plus links to more information.

Related Links:
The Standard, and
The L.O.C."


Run your very own library from your home or office?

Geckomlis writes "Wired News has an interesting article: Monster Fueled by CaffeineDelicious Library is now a cataloging program, appealing to those with an obsessive, Nick Hornby-esque desire to catalog every song, book and movie on their living room shelves.But from the start, the software was planned to be social, allowing friends, neighbors and colleagues to see what's in each others' media libraries, and turn collections into personal lending libraries.Version two, due later this year, will allow users to browse each other's libraries. It will be location-aware, letting users know who has what in their neighborhood or city.It will also work on local networks (using Apple Computer's Rendezvous), so people can browse their colleagues' or fellow students' collections, just as Apple's iTunes exposes other users' playlists.The current version already has a checkout manager for keeping track of loans."



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