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.

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... <p> <a href="">The Library of Congress and the Future of Bibliographic Control: Working Group Report</a> <p> "Last November, the Library of Congress (LC) established a Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control (

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?

Total votes: 0
Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

"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, 2007
Fifteen million pounds each year to re-catalogue books that have already been catalogued /08/fifteen_million.html

September 7, 2007
Carry on Cataloguing /09/carry_on_catalo.html

September 9, 2007
How many cataloguers are there in Essex Public Libraries? /09/how_many_catalo_1.html

September 10, 2007
Bibliographic Data /09/bibliographic_d.html

September 13, 2007
Cataloguing 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.


SC library awaits nation change to abandon Dewey Decimal

The Charleston Daily Mail takes a look at that "new movement could change the face of libraries across the country as they start to organize their books more like bookstores."

"We're following these libraries that have made this change, and we are trying to listen and learn from them before we make a decision of our own," said Toni Blessing, the library's adult collection coordinator.

"It certainly is appealing, especially for our smaller locations," she said. "I think it would be difficult for the main library."

LibraryThing: A Social Cataloging Web Site

Video of presentation by Tim Spalding, the founder of LibraryThing.

Here is the overview of the program at the Library of Congress site.

The Library of Congress presents a program in its "Digital Future & You" series featuring LibraryThing, a social cataloging and social networking Web site.

Speaker Biography: Tim Spalding is the founder of the social cataloging website, LibraryThing. Before starting LibraryThing, he was a graduate student in Greek and Latin at the University of Michigan, worked for Houghton-Mifflin publishers in Boston, and as a freelance web developer and web publisher. He lives in Portland, Maine, with his wife, HarperCollins author Lisa Carey.

Above was the direct link to the video. This link goes to the LOC page and has the synopsis and also has a link to the video.


Doing Without Dewey

At ALA TechSource, Karen Schneider gives more details about the two Arizona libraries who aren't using the Dewey Decimal System, and about what they are using in its place.

Discord Over Dewey

The Wall Street Journal takes a look at the Perry Branch Library in Gilbert, Arizona.

"But the debate, say many librarians, is about more than one branch's organizational system. It feeds into a broader, increasingly urgent discussion about libraries, where a growing number of patrons, used to Google and Yahoo, simply don't look for books and information the way they used to. Some are drawing on cues from the Internet in proposals for overhauls of cataloging systems, but others are more hesitant, saying that the Web's tendency to provide thousands of somewhat-relevant results flies in the face of the carefully tailored research libraries pride themselves on."

County libraries defend Dewey Decimal System

A library in Arizona may have plans to drop the Dewey Decimal System, but Carroll County Public Library Director Lynn Wheeler says it would be chaos without the widely used classification system.

"I can't imagine the inefficiency of trying to run a library of this size without Dewey," said Wheeler. "It makes it much more manageable."


Arizona library to be first to drop Dewey Decimal System

Interesting News From AZ where the new Gilbert library will be the first public library in the nation whose entire collection will be categorized without the Dewey Decimal Classification System, Maricopa County librarians say.

Instead, tens of thousands of books in the Perry Branch library will be shelved by topic, similar to the way bookstores arrange books. The demise of the century-old Dewey Decimal system is overdue, county librarians say: It's just too confusing for people to hunt down books using those long strings of numbers and letters. Dewey essentially arranges books by topic and assigns call numbers for each book.

Spotted @ The Stuff.

On this day, Dewey first classified

teaperson writes "May 8, 1873. Amherst College. A junior named Melville Dewey approaches the faculty about reorganizing the library collection. Mass Moments has details, including this letter written a decade later: "Sum day, dear Amherst, may it be my happy lot tu pruv how great iz the love I bear yu. Proud, always, everwher to be counted among yur sonz, I am Very truly, Melvil Dui.""


"File Under Other"--Cataloging Zines

The Boston Globe offers an interesting story that looks at the problems of collecting non-standard materials. Zine librarian Jenna Freedman is featured.

There is no preexisting librarians' code pertaining to how one should handle a document that includes a free prophylactic; Freedman stows the entire zine, ephemera and all, along with a rigid, acid-free cardboard backing in a plastic sleeve designed for comic books.

Cory Doctorow: taxonomies/metadata: it's all crap

madcow writes ""Now that the digital age has blown apart traditional ways of organizing information, what's next? Suddenly, everything is miscellaneous."

"David and Cory discuss the advantages and pitfalls of explicit and implicit metadata, tags and the rules governing the use and re-use of content in commerce and culture.""

New homes for Typo of the Day and its creators

Terry Ballard writes "The blog Typo of the Day, formerly at has moved to a new home at . The Libtypos crew, known to the world as Database Protectors also maintains a wiki at, which lists the 100+ typos featured on the blog since its creation, and provides links to that day's posting.
A listserv from the group, that was created in 2000 on Yahoo groups was recently adopted by NELINET, thanks to a generous offer by NELINET's director Arnold Hirshon. You can subscribe by going to:

The List Page

This group provides frequent updates to information about errors in online catalogs, and its members volunteer to work the blog and wiki. Further information about this project can be obtained from Terry Ballard, Automation Librarian, the Arnold Bernhard Library, Quinnipiac University, Hamden CT, 06518. His email is terry.ballard at"


Library Connection Submits OCLC #100,000,000

Anonymous Patron writes "OCLC record number 100,000,000 was contributed on March 29, 2007 with the addition of "It's a horse's life! : advice and observations for the humans who choose to share it" by Joanne M. Friedman.
This milestone was breached by Library Connection Inc.(CKE) of Windsor Connecticut.

Here is the MARC from their catalog


LOC Continues Cataloging Overhaul

Anonymous Patron writes "Greetings from Baltimore, where the 13th National Conference of the Association of College & Research Libraries is drawing to a close. To coincide with the conference, some sweeping changes have been announced by none other than the Library of Congress regarding how they handing the cataloging of materials."



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