sMash your library: A DiY Catalog

Learn how to construct your own library cataloging system for your home using IBM® WebSphere® sMash to create a dynamic user interface and REpresentational State Transfer (RESTful) interface to a Derby database of books. You'll be able to do the usual list, create, retrieve, update, and delete (LCRUD) operations, but most of all you'll have fun exploring this fantastic new software.

There are at least two ways you can build a sMash application. One is to use the Eclipse plug-in for sMash. Another is to use the nifty Web-based Application Builder (AppBuilder) that comes with sMash. Both of these environments have merit and value, so it is really a matter preference. This exercise uses the Web-based AppBuilder that is included with sMash.

Do library catalogs violate copyright and intellectual property rights?

Here is an article which discusses whether it's a copyright violation to display a book cover on library web sites.

Here is the.effing.librarian's opinion of the broader issue:

For years, librarians have been looking at books and telling people what the book is about: Gettysburg, Battle of, Gettysburg, Pa., 1863 -- Fiction.

And for years, people, including competing authors, have been able to riffle through these collections of book records, or "card catalogs," to see what other authors are publishing. Visiting the stacks to examine these texts is time-consuming, but librarians have been bypassing the originals materials to make this very valuable and useful information freely available to competitors for years.

You can argue that the nature of cataloging is necessary to libraries; but is it, really?

Do libraries really need to decide in which subject category to classify a book for someone to find it? Can't people just browse through all the books to find what they want?

And worse yet, libraries have been uploading these catalogs onto the Internet, thus making all of this copyrighted material available to anyone with Internet access. Shouldn't authors and publishers be protected from this blatant disregard for their intellectual property rights?

Is this legal?
Sure, you can argue fair use, but really, what is fair?

WorldCat tagging debuts

OCLC Abstracts Says 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.
(Via iLibrarian)

Dewey overdue for a makeover, librarians say

Southtown Star - Chicago,IL, Dewey overdue for a makeover, librarians say
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.


Browsing LCSH

This database contains about 5.2 million Library of Congress Subject Headings, set up for browsing by the authority headings themselves but also by phrases and even words contained in the headings. The large majority of the records are for personal names and name/title combinations. This is in a very early stage! Little time and no funding was available for it, so please don't expect perfection.


The Rosetta Project's Rosetta Disk: The 10,000-Year Library

Slashdot posted a link to The Rosetta Disk, the physical companion of the Rosetta Digital Language Archive, and a prototype of one facet of The Long Now Foundation's 10,000-Year Library. The Rosetta Disk is intended to be a durable archive of human languages, as well as an aesthetic object that suggests a journey of the imagination across culture and history. We have attempted to create a unique physical artifact which evokes the great diversity of human experience as well as the incredible variety of symbolic systems we have constructed to understand and communicate that experience. The Rosetta Project "Working to develop a contemporary version of the historic Rosetta Stone, a meaningful survey and near permanent archive of 1000 languages."

Sandy Berman Appreciation Month

Jenna Freedman declares the six weeks or so from now until his birthday on October 6, Sandy Berman appreciation month. She's asking for participatiion by sending him cards, flowers, subject heading suggestions, and low fat schnitzel.

Sanford Berman
Room 615 - Bed 2
Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital
6500 Excelsior Blvd.
St. Louis Park, MN 55426

He'll probably be at the above address for at least a month. While his condition isn't life threatening, it is very serious. He has two broken vertebrae in his neck and secondary injuries from the surgery and will be in a series of body, back and neck braces for some time. But don't feel that you have to know him to write to him. Sandy has long been a friend and mentor to librarians, LIS students, and activists that he's never met.

Further reading:

BiblioCommons Emerges: “Revolutionary” Social Discovery System for Libraries

Over at Library Journal Norman Oder Covers The Launch of BilbioCommons, a new social discovery system for libraries that replaces all user-facing OPAC functionality, allowing for faceted searching and easier user commenting and tagging, has gone live in Oakville, ON, a city of 160,000 outside Toronto. It is expected to be used by public libraries serving more than half of Canada’s population—and some libraries in the United States, too. “This is revolutionary, as far as I’m concerned,” Gail Richardson, Oakville PL’s acting director of online services, told LJ. “People don’t want a library that acts like just a glorified card catalog online. They want a catalog that’s as good as Google and Amazon.”

Class numbers on works

Lorcan Dempsey's weblog: Classify is a protoype service which provides a snapshot of what class numbers (DDC, LCC, NLM) have been assigned to works in Worldcat.

The records are grouped using the OCLC FRBR Work-Set algorithm resulting in a work-level summary of the class numbers assigned a title. You can retrieve a classification summary by ISBN, ISSN, UPC, OCLC number, or author/title. [About Classify [OCLC]]

He points out the LCC numbers assigned to The Consequences of Modernity by Anthony Giddens



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