The Rainbow Bookshelf

Over time Freshome has pointed to many bookshelves. But what they found today is really impressive. They was browsing Flickr and found this beautiful example of organizing books by color and the smart guy that managed to do it, is user chotda. This is a very good way of changing the whole aspect of a bookshelf with a little bit of creativity.

To Genre Label or Not to Genre Label...

That is the library patrons want their fiction choices to be categorized by genre? Carol Petrowski, a reference librarian at the Onalaska Public Library (a part of the LaCrosse County Library) asks readers their preferences and points out that although all fiction is shelved alphabetically by author, "Genre labeling is only an additional tool to help you identify the type of material you might want."

Of course, on the other hand, "it is not necessary, it is not infallible and it may cause consternation or outrage to patrons who disagree with the genre assigned." Egad.

IgNoble Prize in Literature

As the Nobel Prizes were given out, this year the IgNoble Prizes also went out. One went to a researcher over the use ofthe word "the", and how it affects alphabetization.

"LITERATURE: Glenda Browne of Blaxland, Blue Mountains, Australia, for her study of the word "the" -- and of the many ways it causes problems for anyone who tries to put things into alphabetical order.
REFERENCE: "The Definite Article: Acknowledging 'The' in Index Entries," Glenda Browne, The Indexer, vol. 22, no. 3 April 2001, pp. 119-22.

Read more about the IgNoble Prizes, and this particular one, at:

Library of Congress Working Group report

I know there's something here to report, but I'm too busy...maybe you can read and report...

The Library of Congress and the Future of Bibliographic Control: Working Group Report

"Last November, the Library of Congress (LC) established a Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control ( It’s staffed by leading research librarians as well as executives from key private sector players, such as OCLC, Google, and Microsoft."

There's a pdf of the report and they welcome comments at Snail-mail or fax written submissions to Olivia M. A. Madison, Dean of the Library, 302 Parks Library, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-2140, 515 294-2112 (fax).

Interesting notes: "The 19 recommendations in this theme focus on eliminating MARC," and finding some standard for catalog metadata or tagging ("Library data must be usable outside of the catalog").

The Genius of Library Cataloging and its Possible Future

Cataloging Futures Pointed The Way to "The Genius of Library Cataloging and its Possible Future [RAM File] Christine Schwartz calls it "truly essential listening if you think there's more to cataloging that mindlessly accepting copy and "marking and parking." While the whole lecture is well worth the full 1 1/2 hours, the last 40 minutes or so deal with Dr. Miksa's vision for a cataloging future."

How are your books arranged at home?

"The Catalog's Last Stand"

Norm Medeiros, Associate Librarian at Haverford College pens a piece [PDF Link] that lays down some provocative questions about the future of local catalogs and discovery tools. Given the power of the ever-growing mega-databases of library metadata (OCLC) and data (Google), is it a matter of time before the usefulness and depth of those tools and resources make irrelevant smaller tools and catalogs? In their place Medeiros notes the growing importance of workflow management and institutional repositories as new frontiers for the library.

Local cataloguing "a waste of money"

Anonymous Patron writes "Tim Coates of the Good Library Blog says 'Within most of the 200 public library authorities in the UK there is a cataloguing operation which makes sure that the catalogue data sent with books conforms to the cataloguing procedures of that authority.' 'There is no need to do this work.' 'It is all a waste of money — but jolly good fun.' August 15, 2007Fifteen million pounds each year to re-catalogue books that have already been catalogued /08/fifteen_million.html September 7, 2007Carry on Cataloguing /09/carry_on_catalo.html September 9, 2007How many cataloguers are there in Essex Public Libraries? /09/how_many_catalo_1.html September 10, 2007Bibliographic Data /09/bibliographic_d.html September 13, 2007Cataloguing a go-go /09/cataloguing_a_g.html"

On Cataloging...More About the BISAC System

Since our current poll about subject classification includes the BISAC system, I thought I'd post a blog entry on the subject from Catalogablog librarian David Bigwood of the Universities Space Research Association. He directs us to the website of BISAC Subject Headings information on line.

A library catalog built using the MyLibrary software

Eric Lease Morgan has created a simple and traditional library catalog of about 300,000 items using the MyLibrary software. From the about page:

This is an index of just less than 300,000 MARC records -- a
traditional library catalog. MARC records were downloaded from
the Library of Congress. MARC data was cross-walked to MyLibrary
(Dublin Core) fields and imported. The content of the MyLibrary
database was indexed with Kinosearch and made accessible via an
SRU interface. Search results sport cover art from If
reviews exist, then they can be read. Users can to view the full
MARC records in tagged, MARCXML, and MODS formats. Users can
create accounts for themselves and have items (virtually)
delivered to them.

The implementation is not necessarily intended to be a production service but rather exists to demonstrate what can be done with MyLibrary -- an open source digital library framework & toolbox.

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