Cataloging

James is in town (Java MARC events that is)

Thanks to the ever interesting Internet Scout Weblog, details of James (Java MARC events):
\"a Java package that provides an event model for MARC records through Java callbacks [...] Using James you can write programs that involve MARC records without knowing the details of the MARC record structure\"
It\'s a bit beyond my technical understanding but sounds intriguing. Find out more.

God and Bibliographic Control

An interesting article from the always valuable First Monday tracing the history of the bibliographic control of printed sermons and its role in the development of the art generally:

This essay will focus on the field of homiletics in America, especially within the mainline Protestant tradition, which can trace its beginnings to the New England settlers in the 17th century. The invention of the printing press two centuries before had increased the need for bibliographic control across Europe, and when printing arrived with the settlers in America, that same need followed. The first homiletical textbooks came from the printing of sermons, and young ministers \"turned to these ordination sermons to supplement their apprenticeships with working pastors.\" The first libraries in America were theological libraries, stemming from the work in England of an Anglican minister named Thomas Bray and his Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. By the early 19th century, homiletics was transformed into a formal academic discipline with the establishment of seminaries and divinity schools across America.

This issue also contains the article Positioning the Public Library in the Modern State: The Opportunity of the Children\'s Internet Protection Act (CIPA).

The automated cataloger is here

The \"digital librarian\" referred to in this story from the Jerusalem Post is actually Gammasite, automated cataloging software which apparently learns to \"work like the human mind\". The notion is a little misleading as it \"catalogs\" only digital material (word-processed documents, intranet pages, web pages etc.), but it has a number of major clients who use it as a knowledge management tool.

Cataloging Newspapers: A Journey into the Past

Chris Mulder, State Agency Cataloger at State Library of North Carolina has written a nice Article about cataloging newspapers in an older edition of Mississippi Libraries. It almost makes me want to go back and do some cataloging.


\"Do you like mysteries? How about puzzles, riddles or mazes? Well, if you can answer \"yes\" to any of the above, you may be a natural-born newspaper cataloger. For me, newspapers offer the most fun a serials cataloger can have, even though they can also be very challenging.\"

Precursors of Search Engines

Always Helpful Brian from Librarism.com writes \" Knowledge Management magazine has an Article which discusses DDC as a paper filing system and makes suggestions for the indexing of e-docs. \"


They close with an interesting thought:

\"One lesson from the past, however, is still an important one. We should be reluctant to accept any sort of closed classification system in a world as full of change as ours is. We should use technology not as an excuse to create a single new system but as a way to gain access under as many systems as possible.\"

Library shelves interfiling

Sunspot.net has a Story on how The North Carroll library had been experimenting with shelving adult and children\'s nonfiction books together, but now the county library board of trustees has voted to stop interfiling the books. They had consolidated 31,581 adult and childrens nonfiction books into the adult section in June, to make more room for children\'s fiction books in the children\'s section, and to allow patrons to find information in a single place.

\"\"It exposed children to adult materials, We were incredulous that this was being done - it was just so inappropriate.\" said Donna Schott of Manchester, an active library patron.

Cyborgs, catalogs et. al.

There attempts to catalog the net using the Dublin Core and the Warwick Framework. (References below). The catalogers worry that search engines that can’t possibly keep up with fast growing and chaotic web resources are indexing the net.. They seek semantic interoperability -tell me that\'s not an eight-bit concept!

They worry that on the web there is no controlled vocabulary such as one finds in cataloging rules. The word means one thing to an engineer, quite another thing to a orthodontist, still another to a card player. A rose by any other name may smell as sweet but a bridge by the same name should smell different to a proper search engine. Search engines will never catch the nuances without the help of catalogers for the web. Enter the Dublin Core, the OCLC CORC project and the Warwick framework, to try to catch, rather than reap, the whirlwind. -- Read More

The Height-Shelving Threat to the Nation\'s Libraries

Here\'s a rather unusual story on the Librarian of Congress James Billington, and his plans to shelve books by height. The author\'s name on this is Thomas Mann, though I didn\'t do any checking to enuse it is real, so take it with a grain of salt, unless you know otherwise. It still is rather interesting.

\"Librarian of Congress James Billington is moving towards shelving books at the Library of Congress by height rather than by subject. Such a move by LC would directly undercut the ability of scholars everywhere to search book collections below the superficial levels of access provided by computerized catalog records, because any example set by the national library is likely to be imitated by others.\" -- Read More

Out with the old in NSW

Rob Brian sent this in from The Sydney Morning Herald The library of the NSW Parliament is getting rid of more than half of its old and rare book collection. They need to sell some, to pay for cataloging what they keep. Sales so far have brought in $110,000, enough to employ staff to continue cataloguing the remaining finds. The ex-parliamentary librarian Mr Russell Cope, had wanted the collection kept intact.

\"The fact that parts of [library] holdings are not \'used\' is advanced, especially by uninformed parliamentarians, as an argument for getting rid of \'unused\' items. If they happen to be valuable as well, the monetary attraction becomes hard to resist.\" -- Read More

Search by Color

Janet Forde writes:


The New England School of Law\'s Library has had so many people come in
asking for a book only knowing it\'s color they have done an index of their
reference room by color...Here\'s the link.

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