Folksonomies vs. Controlled Vocabularies

teaperson writes "Clay Shirky of NYU writes on Corante about how "folksonomies" (taxonomies created by social networks, like or flickr will often work better (and alongside) controlled vocabularies, because the costs are so much lower -- and non-librarians will use them BECAUSE the costs are lower."

We've run something on this before as well. Be sure to read Louis Rosenfeld's Take as well as Adam Mathes. Do folksonomies mean the end of cataloging as we know it?


WorldCat Searching to Change in Connexion

AshtabulaGuy writes "OCLC posted to the TECHBUL-L list word that a new technical bulletin was issued. Technical Bulletin 251 outlines changes in searching of WorldCat through the Connexion interface. The change will be phased in over time but does modify practices that catalogers might have been trained to follow significant amounts of time ago. Derived searches do not come through this unscathed of any changes."


Illinois Libraries Get Unlimited Access To OCLC Services writes

Illinois libraries have unlimited use of OCLC cataloguing, resource sharing, content management and FirstSearch reference services under terms of a new three-year agreement.

Services will support and be supported by the Statewide Illinois Library Catalog (SILC), a group online union catalogue created by Illinois libraries and OCLC that gives all Illinois citizens access to the more than 55 million items held in libraries throughout the state. That's according to a recent OCLC statement.

Read the rest of this article

Daniel adds, Montana also has a statewide contract for OCLC services. Hopefully some states, at least the small ones, can jump on this bandwagon too! Is there anyone from Montana to comment on how well this arrangement is working out?


Why Dewey's Decimal System is prejudiced

Steven writes "Why Dewey's Decimal System is prejudiced is a short piece that argues The DDC's aging value system shows the pernicious influence of reality. It says This highlights two ways our taxonomies are changing now that we're shaking off the physical and moving to the electronic. First, the physical world is so hard to change that a taxonomy that's offensive in its inherent values — and all taxonomies have values baked into them — may be worth maintaining simply because no taxonomy is worse than an offensive taxonomy. Second, the most important job of the new generation of librarians is to build into information objects sufficient metadata that any organization can create its own taxonomy."


SACO resources great for reference

rteeter writes "If you're not a cataloger (and maybe even if you are), you might not have heard of SACO. Even if you knew that SACO is a cooperative system for proposing new Library of Congress Subject Headings, you'd probably think Web Resources for SACO Proposals would be really dull. But consider this: catalogers proposing new subject headings have to have be sure of their terms. They call it authority work; you might call it reference work.

"So Web Resources for SACO Proposals turns out to be a great place to find all kinds of online topical dictionaries, encyclopedias, and gazetteers."


Libraries and how to classify your own collections

MadTom writes

"Part of a series called "Hacking the Library", this installment further explores what the author, Kendall Grant Clark, calls "dijalog", or "the confluence and intertwingling of the digital and the analog" as it applies to library constructs. His main premise about libraries as both a social and physical space is:

by navigating through, that is, by cleverly inhabiting, a particular, highly regimented social space, you can identify, locate, and interact with objects -- born digital, born physical, or both -- that represent or constitute your very own culture, or cultures far removed in space and time from your own.

The article goes on to discuss ways to use library classifications schemes on your own collections

Read the full article

(, March 17, 2004)


The Library of Congress Error Reporting Form

Did you know the L.O.C. has an Error Reporting Form? Well, catalogablog did. You can usethis form to report catalog and authority record errors found in the Library of Congress Online Catalog.

"Do everybody a favor and use it. The sooner they correct the errors the fewer catalogs contain the error, or have to correct it. I just reported the wrong call number in the record for Sun / by Stephen M. Tomecek ; illustrated by Carla Golembe. They have QE something, a geology number. So don't just complain, report it and help all of us to have better catalogs. "


Latin place names

rteeter writes: "Many of us may be geeks, but you have to be right sort of geek to appreciate this. Latin Place Names, as found in books published before 1801. Rare books geeks? History buffs? Anyway, I thought it was cool."


Free WebDewey trial

Rich writes "OCLC/Forest Press is offering a free 30-day trial
of WebDewey. Registration is required.
Here's The Link."

There's more about WebDewey Here, as well as a Tutorial.


In Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Penn's Library Card Catalog

David P. Dillard writes "The old ways of finding information included much time in drawers of 3 X 5
cards called a library card catalog that indexed library collections by
author title and subject of owned publications and other materials. In
1984, a centennial exhibition was held for the huge card catalog of the
University of Pennsylvania Library. This historical record of the event
may be of interest.

Here Is The Text from the 1984 Exhibit
in Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of
Penn's Library Card Catalog
Text from a speech given by Sue Jacobson, March 1984, at the opening of
the exhibit


Watch WorldCat Grow

Robert Teeter writes "See new records as they are added to OCLC's WorldCat: Right Here, Refreshes every 8 seconds. Kinda mesmerizing.

(Via Gary Price and Library Stuff) "


The ghost of a card catalog

From today's Washington Post:

The catalogues are in the ground-floor lobby of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library at Ninth and G streets NW, row after row of tan wooden chests containing hundreds of steel-handled drawers filled with approximately 4 million typewritten cards . . . ever since computer terminals began providing an online catalogue in 1984 and the library stopped updating the cards in 1991, frequent use has declined . . .

But . . . library officials say the city's flagship library and its outdated catalogues are stuck with each other -- literally. The cabinets are mounted on top of a concrete fill that is 31/2 inches deep and surrounded by granite, and any attempt to remove them would be an expensive proposition for a public library system strapped for cash and struggling to use what money it has to maintain aging branches.

Complete article.


Great Moments in the History of Technical Services

Joe Edelen of the MPLA distributed this link to a fun little pseudohistory by two catalogers at UC Irvine.


One Woman's 'Night' Duty Pays Off

Ruth noticed One Woman's 'Night' Duty Pays Off, a little story about a disagreement about where to shelve Elie Wiesel's autobiographical first book, "Night," about his experiences during the Holocaust.

Researcher Michele Lipson said Fiction, other people thought, she asked the author.

"Twenty minutes later, the flight attendant comes back and hands me the note I wrote. On it, he wrote, 'nonfiction.' I was thrilled. My grandmother said, 'Ah, you see. He didn't even sign it.'"


ISBNs to stretch to 13 digits as early as 2004

A report at BookTech Magazine says that the International Standards Organization (ISO) will likely update the ISBN from 10 to 13 digits:

\"Supporters of the change say the update is needed to avoid running out of ISBN numbers, and to make ISBN compatible with Europe\'s standard. The 13-digit European Article Numbering/Uniform Code Council, or EAN.UCC, is used by 900,000 companies.\"


Do The Dewey

Here\'s a neat little site from The Middletown Thrall Library. Includes a Test, a Bio and a nice Guide, all on the Dewey Decimal System. I couldn\'t seem to dig up anything like this for Library of Congress.


Missouri Botanical Garden launches bid to catalog all world's plant species

Jen Young points us to The St. Louis Dispatch and a story on The Missouri Botanical Garden, and plans to create a catalog of all the plants in the world - a sort of encyclopedia of every green living thing.

Peter Raven, the garden's director, envisions the database as a tool for documenting and protecting the approximately 400,000 plant species in the world, about a quarter to half of which are considered to be threatened by extinction.


Cataloging sex offenders

I was listening to today\'s Justice Talking program on NPR over my lunch hour. The debate was about Megan\'s Law requiring registration of sex offenders. Both participants agreed that information on former offenders should be available to anyone doing background checks, as long as they have a name to search by. The ACLU representative was arguing that it is unconstitutional to make the data public and searchable by address or other fields, and it occurred to me: this is a cataloging issue! It\'s all about access points and availability of data.


Al Qaeda cataloger

Jack Stephens writes \"A story in the New York Times (\"Qaeda Videos Seem to Show Chemical Tests\"; 8/19/02) describes a cache of videos recently recovered from Afghanistan by a CNN reporter as \"a library that was collected, cataloged and stored by unknown individuals, apparently to document the history of Al Qaeda.\"

So what I want to know is, Who does collection development and cataloging for Al Qaeda?!



Berman wins victory - LC to create new subject heading

Steve Fesenmaier writes \"Sanford Berman, using documentation provided by me, wrote the Library of Congress. Mr. Yee has acted quickly and within a few weeks - is this a record?- will create an important new subject heading. Filmmakers, authors, and others around WV and the country also wrote Mr. Yee. Congrats to all - and to Mr. Yee - for acting so quickly. The recent Pa. coal mine disaster may have helped our cause - disasters often cause change in Appalachcia.
Here is Mr. Yee\'s letter -



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