Letter to the Editor
Maja Žumer & Edward T. O'Neill
Indexing and Retrieval of Non-Text Information edited by Diane Rasmussen Neal
Reviewed by Hermine Vermeij
, Robert L. Bothmann, News Editor
The Use of RDA Elements in Support of FRBR User Tasks
Philip Hider & Ying-Hsang Liu
ABSTRACT: Resource Description and Access (RDA) stipulates that certain "core" elements should always be included, where applicable, in bibliographic and authority records, due to their importance in supporting the user tasks defined in Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records. However, the elements' relative importance has not been empirically tested. This study investigates which elements in bibliographic records are currently most used in a university library catalog, by means of think-aloud sessions conducted by expert and non-expert users, who were assigned sets of typical bibliographic tasks. The results indicate that, in this context at least, the most utilized elements are not all core.
KEYWORDS: RDA, FRBR, core elements, catalog use
The Road to BIBFRAME: The Evolution of the Idea of Bibliographic Transition into a Post-MARC Future
ABSTRACT: This article provides a representative overview of literature related to the idea of replacing MARC with a linked-data metadata structure, covering the period from 2002 through the 2012 release of the draft of the proposed bibliographic framework, BIBFRAME. Works proposing the replacement of MARC or exploring linked data in a library context are examined. In particular, key documents leading to the creation of the Library of Congress Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative are examined, along with some of the critical responses they received, to better understand the chain of ideas shaping BIBFRAME.
KEYWORDS: BIBFRAME, MARC standards, bibliographic framework, transition
Tracing the Conceptions and Treatment of Genre in Anglo-American Cataloging
Hur-Li Lee & Lei Zhang
ABSTRACT: This study examines the conceptions and treatment of genre in four sets of modern Anglo-American cataloging rules spanning 171 years. Genre-related rules are first identified through "genre(s)," "form(s)," and "type(s)" keyword searches, and manual examination of the contents, then analyzed by level of treatment genre receives and by user tasks, as defined in the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records. While genre is found to be sporadically addressed across the rules, its significance has increased over time. In conclusion, the authors call for a rigorous and functional definition of genre and an integrated approach to genre in cataloging.
KEYWORDS: genre, Anthony Panizzi, Charles Ammi Cutter, Anglo-American Cataloging Rules , Resource Description & Access, FRBR user tasks
Using Linked Open Data to Enhance Subject Access in Online Primary Sources
Thea Lindquist, Michael Dulock, Juha Törnroos, Eero Hyvönen & Eetu Mäkelä
ABSTRACT: Using online primary sources is both rewarding and challenging for users. Improving subject access is essential as these sources become increasingly important in educational curricula. A user needs assessment with humanities users showed improving findability and context for historical subjects were major needs. Linked Data can help by linking related concepts in the sources using specialized vocabularies, enriching them with outside resources, and enabling semantic services that empower users. This article discusses a project to enhance subject access in an online World War I collection by deep linking historical data on the civilian experience in occupied Belgium and France.
KEYWORDS: digital collections, linked open data, semantic web, RDF, metadata conversion, historical primary sources
Theory versus Practice in Cataloging Education in Oman: Students' Perspectives
Khalfan Zahran Al Hijji & Omar Sulaiman Fadlallah
ABSTRACT: This study investigates theory versus practice in cataloging education in Oman. In-depth interviews were conducted for data collection. Important findings of the study indicate big variations in the students' views on the balance between theory and practice in different cataloging courses. Although the dominant opinions denote a big gap between theoretical and practical aspects of some courses, the practice of others seems sufficient. Positive practical results emerged for subject analysis and classification as a result of the online availability of their tools in the university, and there was consistency of teaching methods in the training process at the libraries.
KEYWORDS: cataloging education, library and information science education, theory versus practice in cataloging, bibliographic control courses, descriptive cataloging, subject cataloging, classification
Robert L. Bothmann, News Editor
Welcome to the news column. Its purpose is to disseminate information on any aspect of cataloging and classification that may be of interest to the cataloging community. This column is not just intended for news items, but serves to document discussions of interest as well as news concerning you, your research efforts, and your organization. Please send any pertinent materials, notes, minutes, or reports to: Robert L. Bothmann, Memorial Library, Minnesota State University, Mankato, ML 3097, PO Box 8419, Mankato, MN 56002-8419 (email:, phone: 507-389-2010. News columns will typically be available prior to publication in print from the CCQ website at .
We would appreciate receiving items having to do with:
Research and Opinion
An International Conference, Rome, Italy, 27–28 February 2014
The development and growth of electronic publications and significant advances in the field of digital libraries are changing the scenarios in which traditional libraries are acting today. All these issues bring into question the goals of the catalogue and its services. This international conference aims to bring together researchers, professionals, users, content providers, and developers in Library and Information Science to create a scientific forum on the value of cataloguing and "real" library data.
For centuries the catalogue has been considered the library's most powerful tool. Its organization was finely tuned in order to facilitate access to printed heritage and to allow content retrieval. This international conference aims to address issues connected to the creation of catalogues and information storage, cooperation among libraries in dealing with content management, partnerships among libraries and other cultural agencies, handling of traditional heritage materials such as rare books, cartographic, and music material as well as digital resources such as e-books, blogs, and videoconferences.
By bringing together researchers, developers, content providers and users in the field of bibliographic data, this conference provides an opportunity to rethink the role of libraries and their traditional and new users. The conference is organized and supported by the Italian Library Association (AIB) and its National committee on cataloguing and classification.
General areas of interests include, but are not limited to, the following topics:
The deadline for paper and poster submission is 15 Nov. 2013. The notification of acceptance for papers and posters will be sent by 10 Dec. 2013. Final, camera-ready deadline for accepted papers and posters is 20 Jan. 2014. The language should be English (an abstract in Italian is optional). Proposals should be 400–500 words with a maximum of three keywords and five lines of biography (or a link to the author's website) or ten lines for co-authored papers (or a link to the group's website). Submissions should be sent to. Requests for information should be sent to .
The Faster, Smarter and Richer: Reshaping the Library Catalogue Doctoral Consortium aims to bring together Ph.D. students working on topics related to the field of Library and Information Science and offers them an opportunity to present and discuss their research to an audience of peers and senior professionals. Students will receive feedback from their peers, and will enjoy discussing their research and career objectives with senior members of the community. The topics of the Doctoral Consortium are the ones of the main conference.
The Doctoral Consortium welcomes contributions from doctoral students who are currently registered in a Ph.D. program. Ideal candidates should have been at work on their dissertation for at least six months, have chosen a research topic, and possibly also selected theoretical and methodological approaches. Selection of participants will be based on the quality of the submission and its relevance to libray and information science and the conference themes.
Submissions for the Doctoral Consortium must be single-author, but the name of the supervisor should also be mentioned within the paper. The language of the consortium is English, and all materials submitted must be in English.
Each paper will be reviewed by the members of the Doctoral Consortium Program Committee. A PDF version of the paper is due 30 Nov. 2013, and must be sent by email to. Authors will be notificated by 20 Dec. 2013. Final, camera-ready copy is due by 30 Jan. 2014.
Reported by Julie Renee Moore, Catalog Librarian, California State University, Fresno
Speakers: John Wenzler, Associate Dean of Digital Futures, Technical Services, and Information Technology at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library of San Jose State University; Elaine Franco, Principal Cataloger, Cataloging and Metadata Services Department, University of California, Davis; Terry Reese, Head of Digital Initiatives, The Ohio State University; Sarah Houghton, Director, San Rafael Public Library.
The Northern California Technical Processes Group (NCTPG) annual program was stellar, with a wide range of excellent speakers. There were several common themes that came out of this program.
John Wenzler drew from his experience working at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. This is a joint library serving as both an academic library for San Jose State University (SJSU), and a public library, San Jose Public Library (SJPL). He has access to fascinating statistics with regard to differing priorities for SJSU and SJPL patrons. Wenzler's presentation focused on how the "invisible walls" pertain much more to economic (pay walls), technical (data silos), and cultural (Web 2.0 vs. library standards) aspects—rather than physical walls. Wenzler emphasized the importance for librarians to consider library users as producers (rather than merely consumers) of information. He provided the example of subject access of Library Thing (using Folksonomy Web 2.0) versus a standard Library catalog (using Library of Congress Subject Headings that are created and applied by experts). This led to a discussion about the two trends in next generation catalogs: (1) using a catalog overlay with the same catalog content as the legacy catalog with updated interfaces, providing Web 2.0 characteristics such as writing reviews and (2) discovery systems that include most library content in one index and search box—books, e-books, e-journal articles, and digital image collections.
"Exposing Hidden Collections" was the conference title provided by an Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Special Collections Task Force in 2003. This heightened awareness of hidden collections and the masses of uncataloged materials, and especially of the need to provide access to these distinct and unique collections languishing in our libraries. Elaine Franco is a product of Rare Book School (), so she took the program participants down the path of rare book cataloging and provided excellent examples of some of the interesting challenges found in special collections cataloging. Franco provided a number of resources to assist catalogers of these materials, including resources and information found on the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Web site. By creating original bibliographic records for special collections on OCLC's WorldCat, catalogers help make hidden collections accessible to researchers worldwide—well beyond the library's physical walls.
Terry Reese, well-known to catalogers as the creator of MarcEdit, spoke to the positive impacts of shared metadata, highlighting the example of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). Reese shared his enthusiasm for the aggregation of metadata and the ability to pull together digital exhibits in new ways. It is an exciting time in librarianship. Reese noted that he sees the library's role changing from merely a provider to a full partner in the entire research process. There is a greater reliance on webs of data, and--as standards are taking hold that provide for better information sharing—the end of "boutique" digital collections with their library-specific metadata schemas is at hand. Reese reminded participants that since metadata are being used by others, we (as metadata creators) need to keep in mind that we are not only providing metadata for our own community, but also for the larger global citizen. Libraries are increasingly becoming virtual spaces. Lines are blurring between library types. Reese threw down the gauntlet, exclaiming, "Libraries LIKE silos! Let's own it and come to terms with it!"
Reese talked about a number of trends that he sees as continuing, in particular: (1) Partnerships like the DPLA will redefine metadata licensing ... and for the better; (2) crowd-sourcing will continue to be adopted by libraries; and (3) the library will become more transparent as Linked Data evolves, enabling the creation of digital exhibits and collections from many different sources.
Sarah Houghton, a.k.a., "Librarian in Black," was a wildly entertaining and provocative speaker with hilarious visuals. She spoke to the realities that most librarians currently face with budget crises. The legacy library system is burning down all around us—what will emerge from the ashes? She hilariously responded, "Put a bird on it" (referencing Portlandia). She stresses that there is no magic pill, and what works for her may or may not work for others in making it through this time of change. Librarians need to garner the attention of their governing agencies. A few trends that she has engaged in and watches include actions that do not have to be expensive: partnerships; social media interactions; LiveCast streams of events in the library; providing technology classes at the library. Ask people in the community that you serve how you can make their lives easier. Above all, Houghton reminds us that it is important to remember that we are the library ... we continue to work toward democratizing information and expertise. She also encouraged participants to be the solution.
Submitted by Sylvie Davies, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK
The third biennial conference of the U.K. chapter of ISKO (International Society of Knowledge Organisation) was hosted by the Department of Information Studies at University College London (UCL) on July 8–9, 2013. UCL is a familiar setting to the ISKO U.K. community as it has hosted many of its smaller events. The department can also pride itself for being one of the few university departments in the United Kingdom to teach and research on topics of knowledge organization. The audience was truly international with over 140 delegates, coming as far as China, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Canada, and the United States.
The conference was chaired by Stella Dextre Clarke, supported by an eight-member conference committee. The program included over 30 presentations by speakers from different specialisms, but who all had a stake in matters of knowledge organization, be it in the context of research or practice. Presentations were tightly scheduled over the course of two full days, inevitably resorting to the running of parallel sessions. Two afternoon sessions had been programmed in association with other "sister" organizations: LIRG, the Library and Information Research Group of CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals), and the UK e-Information Group. The program included also demonstrations by sponsors (the thesaurus management consultants PoolParty and Smartlogic, "the content intelligence company"). Five posters were presented in the first session and subsequently displayed throughout the conference.
In response to the challenge of "pushing boundaries," and as announced on its Web site (), this conference focused on closer collaboration between researchers and practitioners; challenges of a linguistic nature in the development and use of knowledge organization tools; the potential for ontologies to be used in combination with other semantic tools and the role of metadata in bringing networked resources together.
Given the number of presentations and the diversity of topics treated, it is beyond the scope of this review to provide an exhaustive account of the event but early results from a feedback questionnaire reveal some agreement over the most "interesting" presentations. These are presented below, starting with the two key note addresses.
Patrick Lambe, from Straits Knowledge in Singapore, inaugurated the conference by challenging our assumptions about the efficacy of conventional knowledge organization systems in supporting scientific research and development. Not only do these systems show limitations in dealing with the overlapping of scientific concepts and the fluidity and ambiguity of language, as well as interdisciplinarity, they certainly have not been designed to deal with uncertainty, a state of affairs that is an integral part of cutting edge science and a necessary condition for scientific discovery. In developing their tools, knowledge organizers should aim to accommodate levels of uncertainty present in the current and future states of knowing. Interestingly, the theme of uncertainty was mentioned again by Rebecca Greene of OCLC later in the day, in the quest to achieve stability in the organization of digital content, digital media, and different types of electronic devices, using the Dewey Decimal Classification as a case study.
The second keynote speaker, Martin White, from Intranet Focus Ltd, UK, started the second day by exposing the lack of awareness by enterprise search developers of the rich potential of academic research in the field of Information Retrieval, particularly active in the United Kingdom over the last two decades. This is damaging when implementations of information systems are becoming increasingly difficult due to the interactions between complex business operations, diversity and modularity of IT systems, the usage of social and mobile media, and the perceived advance of big data. Lack of formation at undergraduate level in universities, lack of professional development courses in enterprise search, lack of enterprise test collections, and difficulties in accessing academic papers are contributing factors to the difficulties experienced by enterprise search developers and managers. Martin White urged universities, enterprises, and publishers to work together to bridge the gap between researchers, educators, and practitioners, for instance by creating a journal dedicated to issues of Search Enterprise and by making IR and ES conferences more accessible to the two communities.
The theme of bringing together research and practice was further explored by members of LIRG via presentations on evidence-based library and information practice (Alison Brettle of the University of Salford, UK); the role of the research practitioner (Graham Walton of Loughborough University, UK); and the management of research data (Marieke Guy of UKOLN, University of Bath, UK). This session ended with a discussion on the needs of practitioners from research.
In addition to the above key addresses, it is worth noting presentations discussing the implementation of linked data in varied contexts. These included news dissemination and interactions with journalists and users by Jeremy Tarling and Matt Shearer of the BBC, UK and Helen Lippell and Liz Perreau of the Press Association, UK; sharing of cultural heritage by Daniel Evans and Ailsa Jenkins from the Science Museum, London; and management of vocabularies by Christine Laaboudi of the Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg and Christian Mader of the Semantic Web Company, Vienna.
Language, as an expression of culture, presents challenges in many areas of knowledge organization, particularly in the field of multilingual search (Paul Clough) and in achieving interoperability across controlled vocabularies as these tend to be created in well-defined cultural contexts (Christine Laaboudi). According to Paul Clough of the Information School of Sheffield University, developers of Multilingual and Cross-Lingual Information Retrieval (CLIR/MLIR) systems are pushing several boundaries by (1) going beyond the translation of words by taking into consideration the cultural background of searchers; (2) ensuring sustainability in the acquisition and maintenance of translations tools; (3) allowing effective user interaction by adapting interfaces to different levels of language proficiency; and (4) by looking beyond test labs into the wider world of practice, for instance by providing guidelines for developing CLIR/MLIR applications in the delivery of large-scale information services, such as Amazon. Still on the topic of language, Ricardo Eito-Brun of the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, advocated for the implementation of vocabulary control and semantic modeling in the three major stages of software development (in this case SaTerm for Satellite Control and Navigation software) to address problems of language inconsistency and ambiguity.
Although not mentioned in the questionnaire feedback, one of the parallel sessions was devoted to metadata mash-up in the context of social tagging and for the purpose of describing registries of knowledge organization systems by Marcia Lei Zeng of Kent State University, USA and Maja Žumer of University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Toward the end of the conference, the audience was given the opportunity to reflect on the fundamental principles underlying knowledge organization practices, whether these are influenced by different epistemological positions such as positivism, empiricism, pragmatism, and hermeneutics (Fidelia Ibekwe-SanJuan of the University of Lyon 3 in France), or whether certain knowledge organization methodologies such as facet analysis can be considered theories (e.g., grounded theory) because this type of classification approach can take the form of content analysis which helps to understand theories in other scientific domains. In highlighting the relationship between faceted classification and grounded theory, Vanda Broughton of UCL suggested that, because of the merging of boundaries between methodology and theory, it would make sense to engage in classification research in its own right.
The conference concluded with a short speech by Stella Dextre Clarke, who thanked all those who had contributed to the success of the conference, including speakers, presenters, posters, sponsors, and of course the delegates. She thanked the conference co-hosts UkeiG and LIRG for being instrumental in bringing different communities together, and UCL, and the student helpers.
Recalling that the core theme of the conference was "Pushing the Boundaries," Stella suggested that the conference had in fact made a full-bodied assault on many of those boundaries, in particular those such as language and the practitioner versus academic divide, which seem to have endured for so long.
This was supported by some of the responses to the feedback questionnaire, which suggest that participants had attended because of the widespread interests brought together by the program and the opportunities for "bridge-building" between different communities that the conference facilitated. Even if, on some occasions, the author of this review felt a little disorientated for lack of focus and continuity in the treatment of topics, it is fair to say that such events are increasingly necessary as very few experts, whether in research or practice, can operate in isolation. The evening reception at the end of the first day provided a good opportunity to socialize as well. It is interesting to note that the reception was funded by Google. Another evidence of boundaries having been crossed?
Slides and in many cases full write-ups and audio-recordings are available on the conference Web site at
The following is a list of publications that have been received for book reviews to be published in future issues of the journal.
The English version of FRAD--Functional Requirements for Authority Data: A Conceptual Model--published in print in 2009 by K.G. Saur as volume 34 of the IFLA Series on Bibliographic Control has been posted online and is freely available at
This version of the document incorporates the amendments and errata file published in 2011 as well as a small number of additional errata identified in 2013. FRAD has been translated into Catalan, German, Spanish, French, Croatian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Swedish and Chinese, all of which may be accessed at
1. Bernard Vatant, "LOV stories, Part 1: The Commons," The wheel and the hub blog, March 15, 2012.-->