Handbook of Metadata, Semantics and Ontologies
edited by Miguel-Angel Sicilia
Reviewed by Claudia Horning,
Director, Metadata Services, University of California, Los Angeles
, Violet B. Fox, Editor
Automated SKOS Vocabulary Design for the Biopharmaceutical Industry
Raphaël Hubain, Max De Wilde & Seth van Hooland
ABSTRACT: Ensuring quick and consistent access to large collections of unstructured documents is one of the biggest challenges facing knowledge-intensive organizations. Designing specific vocabularies to index and retrieve documents is often deemed too expensive, full-text search being preferred despite its known limitations. However, the process of creating controlled vocabularies can be partly automated thanks to natural language processing and machine learning techniques. With a case study from the biopharmaceutical industry, we demonstrate how small organizations can use an automated workflow in order to create a controlled vocabulary to index unstructured documents in a semantically meaningful way.
KEYWORDS: Content management, controlled vocabularies, linked data, machine learning, natural language processing, SKOS
Full Steam Ahead: A Conceptual Analysis of User-Supplied Tags on Steam
Travis W. Windleharth, Jacob Jett, Marc Schmalz & Jin Ha Lee
ABSTRACT: This article describes a conceptual analysis of user-generated tags applied to video games in the Steam video game distribution system. The research team scraped all user-generated tags available on Steam and then conducted a conceptual analysis of the tags, sorting them into categories and comparing them to the current version of the Video Game Metadata Schema. This analysis allowed the team to identify new metadata elements and terms useful to game players. We present a discussion covering the major issues in organizing the terms, as well as the implications for the future work in the area of video game metadata.
KEYWORDS: Video games, user tags, Steam, metadata, video game metadata schema
The Italian Translation of RDA
Carlo Bianchini & Mauro Guerrini
ABSTRACT: The first online version of the Italian translation of RDA, Resource Description and Access, the new standard for metadata and resource discovery in the digital age, was published in November 2015, on the website of ICCU (Technical Working Group for RDA translation 2015). The translation was published on the RDA Toolkit on March 8, 2016. The translation aims to promote the guidelines in Italy and is the result of one and a half years of work. The Italian Translation Working Group (Gruppo di lavoro tecnico per la traduzione dello standard RDA) worked by email and through periodic meetings, and met also with ICCU to check the whole translation and to discuss single difficult questions. The process of organization of the translation and language translation issues is discussed. Italian translation work was also a valuable opportunity to work with the Joint Steering Committee (JSC) for Development of RDA to contribute to updating the online text and to the ongoing debate, including determining some revisions in the text.
KEYWORDS: RDA in translation, RDA in Italian, Resource Description and Access/cite>, ICCU
Managing Bibliographic Data Quality in a Consortial Academic Library: A Case Study
David Van Kleeck, Gerald Langford, Jimmie Lundgren, Hikaru Nakano, Allison Jai O'Dell & Trey Shelton
ABSTRACT: This article presents a case study of quality management for print and electronic resource metadata, summarizing problems and solutions encountered by the Cataloging and Discovery Services Department in the George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida. The authors discuss national, state, and local standards for cataloging, automated and manual record enhancements for data, user feedback, and statewide consortial factors. Findings show that adherence to standards, proactive cleanup of data via manual processes and automated tools, collaboration with vendors and stakeholders, and continual assessment of workflows are key to the management of biblio-graphic data quality in consortial academic libraries.
KEYWORDS: Quality control, quality assurance, data hygiene, cataloging, metadata, college and university libraries
Lessons Learned from the First Year of E-Legal Deposit in Sweden: Ensuring Metadata Quality in an Ever-Changing Environment
Stina Degerstedt & Joakim Philipson
ABSTRACT: The new Swedish Law on legal deposit of electronic documents went into full effect on January 1, 2015. The sheer volume of documents in a wide variety of media types delivered by thousands of publishers (suppliers), such as government agencies, online news media, and publishing houses, poses an exceptional challenge for the National Library of Sweden (NLS). This requires a high level of automation in the data processing, from ingest to validation, transformation, enrichment, and storage, while at the same time attaining metadata of the best possible quality. To meet the challenges encountered the NLS has developed new electronic systems and workflows that will be explained in this article. We will also touch on what we learned from our initial experiences with e-deposit and some of the issues that appear on the horizon.
KEYWORDS: Legal deposit, electronic documents, metadata, e-deposit, Sweden
From Complex Reality to Formal Description: Bibliographic Relationships and Problems of Operationalization in RDA
ABSTRACT: Resource Description and Access (RDA) provides a system of instructions for recording relationships between resources by means of a controlled vocabulary of relationship designators. This article examines the system and a selection of relationship designators, focusing especially on whether the designators are defined in operationally satisfactory ways. The designators are compared to corresponding categories in literary theorist Gárard Genette's taxonomy of intertextual relationships. The analysis shows that although some of the selected designators are satisfactorily operationalized, most are not. A fundamental problem is that the emphasis is on how to record machine-readable data, not on how this data reflects reality.
KEYWORDS: Resource Description and Access (RDA), descriptive cataloging, controlled vocabularies, FRBR (conceptual model), bibliographic relationships, intertextuality
VIOLET B. FOX
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: Violet Fox via email at, phone: 320-363-3032. Following their publication in CCQ, news columns will be freely available from the CCQ website at .
We would appreciate receiving items having to do with:
Research and Opinion
Timeline of "illegal alien" subject heading change petition, January 2014July 2016
Submitted by Jill Baron, Tina Gross, and Óscar Rubén Cornejo Cásares
January 22, 2014: Founding of the Dartmouth College student organization, the Coalition for Immigration Reform, Equality and DREAMERs (CoFIRED), by Eduardo M. Najera Ortega (Class of 2014) and Oscar R. Cornejo Casares (Class of 2017). One of the first outreach efforts of this organization is the "Drop the I-Word" campaign at Dartmouth.
February 2014: Melissa Padilla (Class of 2017) meets with Librarian Jill Baron for research assistance and discovers subject heading "illegal aliens" attached to records for titles of interest as they peruse the library's catalog. Upset by this finding, she shares this information with fellow CoFIRED members.
February 24, 2014: Student activists at Dartmouth release a document called the "Freedom Budget" that lists specific demands of the college administration for a more inclusive campus.1 One provision, included by CoFIRED, is aimed directly at Dartmouth Library: "The library search catalog system shall use 'undocumented' instead of 'illegal' in reference to immigrants." This demand is the result of the discovery of the "illegal aliens" subject heading during Padilla's research.
March 5, 2014: Baron and colleague Amy Witzel meet with CoFIRED students to discuss the subject heading, the larger context of the classification system, and possible action items.
March 18, 2014: After urging from Baron and Witzel, the Dartmouth Library administration responds to the demand, inviting students to join the library in making a formal proposal to the Library of Congress (LC) to change the subject heading.
March 24, 2014: Librarians Baron, Witzel, John DeSantis, and Eliz Kirk meet with CoFIRED students and faculty and administration allies to discuss formulating a subject heading change proposal, including gathering evidence to support the change.
July 2014: DeSantis submits proposals to change five separate Library of Congress subject headings via Dartmouth's participation in the Subject Authority Cooperative Program (SACO). These headings include the following:
|existing term||proposed term|
|Illegal aliens||Undocumented immigrants|
|Illegal aliens in literature||Undocumented immigrants in literature|
|Illegal aliens' children||Undocumented immigrants' children|
|Children of illegal aliens||Children of undocumented immigrants|
|Women illegal aliens||Undocumented women immigrants|
December 15, 2014: The Library of Congress provides its response, rejecting Dartmouth's SACO proposals, saying:
Undocumented immigrants [and five related proposals],
"This proposal was made to change the wording of the existing heading Illegal aliens to Undocumented immigrants. Illegal aliens is an inherently legal heading, and, as such, the preference is to use the legal terminology. The U.S. Code, Title 8, Aliens and Nationality, uses the terminology "illegal aliens." In addition, the 9th edition of Black's Law Dictionary includes the headword "illegal alien" with a cross-reference from "undocumented alien." The Legislative Indexing Vocabulary used by the Congressional Research Service follows suit by authorizing the heading "Illegal aliens," with a reference from "Undocumented aliens." The meeting also notes that in some legal systems, a person may be an undocumented alien without being in a jurisdiction illegally; general works on undocumented legal aliens are covered by the heading Aliens. Finally, Immigrantsthe proposed broader term for the revised heading is not an inherently legal heading. Mixing an inherently legal concept with one that is not inherently legal leads to problems with the structure and maintenance of Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) and makes assignment of headings difficult. All of the above argue against revising the heading. A UF Undocumented aliens was added to the record in 1993 to provide additional access and reflects the fact that the common terminology is fluid. The proposals were not approved."2
June 15, 2015: Tina Gross, member of the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) Cataloging and Metadata Management Section's (CaMMS) Subject Analysis Committee, connects with DeSantis to discuss the rejection of the proposal and possible next steps.
June 29, 2015: At its meeting during the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in San Francisco, California, the Subject Analysis Committee agrees to review the subject heading "Illegal aliens" and consider making a recommendation to LC.
January 8–12, 2016: At the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, Gross submits "Resolution on Replacing the Library of Congress Subject Heading 'Illegal Aliens' with 'Undocumented Immigrants'," written in collaboration with others (and with input from Sandy Berman), to the Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT), which votes to bring the resolution forward for consideration by ALA Council. Members of the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking (REFORMA), the Ethnic and Multicultural Exchange Round Table (EMIERT), and the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM) help spread the word and garner support. The resolution is also supported by ALA's Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC), the Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT), and the Subject Analysis Committee. The Resolution passed ALA Council nearly unanimously.
At the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston, the Subject Analysis Committee discusses the subject heading "illegal aliens," and votes to form a working group to investigate the matter further. Gross is appointed chair of the working group.3
March 22, 2016: The Library of Congress announces that "in response to constituent requests," it will discontinue the subject heading "illegal aliens," replacing it with two headings, noncitizens and unauthorized immigration.
April 2016: Congressman Diane Black (R-TN) introduces the bill HR 4926 "Stopping Partisan Policy at the Library of Congress Act."
April 28, 2016: ALA President Sari Feldman and ALCTS President Norm Medeiros send a letter to members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee, urging them to remove language from the spending bill that would regulate actions of the Library of Congress with this subject heading change.4
May 2016: Republicans on the House Appropriations Subcommittee, seizing upon Black's bill, attach a provision to the annual spending bill for the Legislative Branch: "To the extent practical, the committee instructs the library to maintain certain subject headings that reflect terminology used in Title 8 of the United States code." House Democrats including Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) and Joaquin Castro (D-TX) seek to amend the bill to remove this language, but lose in a 25–24 vote.
May 19, 2016: Letter signed by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), Congressman John Culberson (R-TX), Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), and Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) urging the Library of Congress to "revoke the subject heading cancellations," and referring to the "Orwellian trajectory" of the subject heading revision.
May 20, 2016: The Library of Congress releases Tentative List 06a,5 which details the subject heading changes indicated on March 22, 2016, and invites public feedback about the changes via an online survey.
June 26, 2016: At the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida, the ALA Council passes "Resolution in Support of the Professional Cataloging Processes and Determinations of the Library of Congress" supporting the Library of Congress against interference from Congress.6
The Subject Analysis Committee votes to approve the draft report of the Subject Analysis Committee Working Group on the Library of Congress subject heading "Illegal aliens" in principle (with a few additions/clarifications to be completed by 7/13).7 The report concurs with the Library of Congress decision to change "Aliens" to "Noncitizens," but recommends that "Illegal aliens" be replaced with "Undocumented immigrants" where appropriate, with more specific terms assigned in cases where the subject heading "Illegal aliens" was assigned to works about nonimmigrants.
The Vocabulary Carnival at SEMANTiCS 2016, Leipzig, Germany, September 12–15
The Vocabulary Carnival at SEMANTiCS 2016 is a unique opportunity for vocabulary publishers to showcase and share their work, meet the growing community of vocabulary publishers and users, and build useful semantic, technical, and social links. The Vocabulary Carnival is part of the SEMANTiCS program with the Carnival Minute Madness on September 13.
This event uses a very open definition of what a vocabulary is. Ontologies, classifications, thesauri, concept and metadata schemes, whatever their format, in Resource Description Framework (RDF) or not, are all welcome. At the carnival, you can present your ideas and early stage vocabularies to find the right people to get the discussion going. We require at least a project website. The benefits of submitting include:
Your vocabulary submission will be evaluated in accordance to the following criteria:
At the SEMANTiCS 2016 Conference, present your vocabulary on a poster that includes its description, purpose, history, and link to its publication page. Brace yourself to participate in the Vocabulary Minute Madness, where every vocabulary will have one minute to convince the audience of its usefulness and quality. Sporting your vocabulary colors at this occasion is optional, but will be much appreciated. An independent jury will select the best vocabulary poster and presentation. For more information, contact Monika Solanki () or Ghislain Atemezing .
The standard model "BIBFRAME" (bibliographic framework) for resources description and access in web environment: Applications and challenges, cybrarians, Cairo, Egypt, September 9-10, 2015
Conference report submitted by Dr. Mahmoud Khalifa
President, Cybrarians, the Arabic Portal for Librarianship and Information
Senior Cataloger, Library of Congress Cairo Office
As a part of the effort of Cybrarians, The Arabic Portal for Librarianship and Information organized a conference on BIBFRAME (Bibliographic Framework) that was held in Egypt on September 9–10, 2015. The conference was entitled, "The standard model 'BIBFRAME' for resources description and access in web environment: applications and challenges," was hosted by Maadi Public Library in Cairo.
The Cybrarians organized this event to present the Bibliographic Framework (BIBFRAME) to the Arabic community and to discuss the anticipated effects of changes in cataloging and how the Arab library community can get ready. Ten main topics were identified for discussion:
The conference consisted of six sessions (16 papers), one keynote lecture, and one open discussion session.
Mo'men El Nasharty, Assistant Teacher, Libraries and Information Department, Cairo University
Mo'men is studying for his Ph.D. His thesis is about BIBFRAME, and he is considered to be the first Arab scholar to deal with this topic. His lecture, the keynote address, was entitled, "The Modeling in the Bibliographic Community: Motivations & Challenges."
Ahmed Fathy, Cataloger, Advanced Arabian Systems, Egypt
"The Standard Model BIBFRAME and Access to the Internet"
This paper discussed the BIBFRAME's history and vocabulary and concluded with a demonstrated of BIBFRAME.
Dr. Yara Maher Mohammed Kenawy, Teacher, Library and Information, Minia University
"Migration from MARC 21 Format to BIBFRAME Format in Egyptian Libraries: Study of Reality and the Challenges of the Future"
The MARC standard currently used by the library community has been in use for nearly fifty years to record and exchange bibliographic data. Even though the MARC format has served the library community wonderfully for nearly half a century, the progress of information technology has left the library community isolated. So, the bibliographic framework initiative, BIBFRAME, an initiative of the Library of Congress, began in 2011 to replace MARC with a framework that decentralized data.
Mohamed El Zalabany, Director, Egyptian Prime Vision Company
"The future of Information Library Systems after the New Model BIBFRAME: Koha as a Model"
The paper discussed how the Integrated Library System (ILS), and Koha specifically, will be adopted to fit with the newcomer BIBFRAME, the transition from MARC 21 to BIBFRAME, and how legacy bibliographic data may be affected. The paper presents updates made to Koha for the purpose of BIBFRAME adoption.
Discussion session on the development of cataloging
This open discussion was facilitated by two founders of the library expert community, Dr. Hisham Makki, Vice Director of the Information Technology Section at the Library of Congress Cairo Office; and Ayman El Masry, Vice Director of the Serials Section at the Library of Congress Cairo Office. The session focused on the historical development of catalogs and catalogingfrom card catalogs to MARC recordshow BIBFRAME will be involved, and how Arab libraries will deal with the challenges to be ready for BIBFRAME.
Ossama Mahmoud, Senior Cataloger, Bibliotheca Alexandrina
"Authority File in BIBFRAME: Expectations and Hopes of Arab Libraries"
The authority file is one of the most precious controls in the bibliographic world and offers significant added value in terms of credibility in comparison to information on the web. Thus, the study of the authority file and its importance in BIBFRAME become an important issue. The presentation will discuss BIBFRAME's importance in the Semantic Web and linked data environment, and the Arabic authority filecaught, as it is, between reality and ambition in the world of the Semantic Web.
Rana Kamal Badran, Librarian, The New Central Library of Cairo University
"Virtual International Authority File (VIAF) and Its Relation to BIBFRAME"
This paper discussed the Virtual International Authority File (VIAF) in terms of its origins, objectives, and projects, which facilitate authority control all over the world. It viewed the International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI), one of the standards for identification, which works as a source of global public identities for ordinary people and legal entities. It clarified the link between ISNI and VIAF and what we can contribute in facilitating the process of authority control. Finally, it clarified the relationship and the role of these standards in the implementation of BIBFRAME.
Dr. Nermeen Ibrahim El-Labban, Teacher, Faculty of Arts, Alexandria University, Egypt
"The Bibliographic Ontologies and the Bibliographic Framework Data Model: Comparative Study"
This study seeks to find the most convenient method for libraries to convert the structures of cataloging and descriptive standards to ontological structures or to establish new ontological models. The study highlights differences between the MarcOnt and the Bibliographic Framework Data Model. The goals of this study are to analyze the structures of MarcOnt and the Bibliographic Framework Data Model, to find the differences between them, to define the effects of them on improving the cataloging and descriptions in libraries and information centers, and to decide which one is a better match with the new information environment. This study uses a survey approach to analyze the structures and a comparative approach to find the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Rania Osman, Head of the Bibliographic Access Department, Bibliotheca Alexandrina
"Are We Ready for BIBFRAME? The Future of the New Model in the Arab Region"
This research focuses on the Arab libraries' implementation of BIBFRAME and how they can contribute to the international cataloguing community. The findings aim to provide a better understanding of the implementation requirements, procedures, and problems to expect with Arabic materials. Unlike libraries in the United States and Europe, which had turned from physical to digital collections, Arab libraries still focus almost exclusively on purchasing printed books. Consequently, do we really need to replace MARC 21? How many libraries have adopted RDA in the Arab region? This paper presents the situation of the Arab libraries and how it could affect a decision to implement BIBFRAME. Moreover, this study will shed light on the needs of the Arab libraries that would make the implementation possible and how we could plan for a test and implementation timeline that would include all the tasks and expenses required. The decision will be influenced by several factors, including the library system used, the training required, and the budget required for adoption. Finally, the paper presents perspectives forecasting how many libraries in the Arab region would be able to implement in the coming years.
Rehab Yousry, Quality Assurance Specialist, Digital Library Project, Beni Suief University, Egypt
"Egyptian and Arab Library Catalogs: Between the Reality of the Application of MARC 21 System and the Challenges of the Transition to the Standard Model BIBFRAME"
This research aims to detect the possibility of applying the bibliographic framework in the library community, taking into account the Arab environment. There is a need for a new template for bibliographic description instead of MARC 21 that should enjoy a new flexibility and integration with other sources in the Web environment.
Dr. Ahmed Bassouni, Senior Cataloger, Bibliotheca Alexandrina
"Catalog Environment in Libraries"
This paper discusses cataloguing standards, current applications, and future development beginning with the importance of the Collection of the Libraries and Cataloguing, the reality in libraries, and the shortcomings libraries face in light of the challenges of the web environment. Aspects of excellence in the web environment are covered as are linked data initiatives of integrated knowledge with linked data and the Semantic Web, and the difficulties of the MARC format for the Semantic Web. It reviewed the motivations for and objectives of BIBFRAME, and, finally, the theoretical interrelationships among the Functional Requirements for Authority Data (FRBR) relationships through Quick Views for studies of Barbara Talt and Kamal Nabhan.
Eman Khairy, Arabic Cataloging Specialist, Qatar National Library
"Cataloging of Arabic Classic Books Using MARC 21 and BIBFRAME"
This paper reviews the main features of BIBFRAME and its main differences with MARC 21. It goes on to explain the primary disadvantages of MARC 21 for cataloging Arabic classic books, especially when dealing with manuscripts and early prints. The paper presents a European model for classic book cataloging, which is more detailed than MARC 21and experiments of American libraries to overcome the disadvantages of MARC 21 through modifications for classic book cataloging. The paper explains how BIBFRAME could be used for classic books, and how it deals with the special characteristics of Arabic classic books. The paper concludes with a discussion of the use of linked data and its relation to BIBFRAME.
Fatima Mamdouh Tawfik, Cataloger, Al Manhal, Egypt
"Faceted Application of Subject Terms (FAST) as an Application for the Functional Requirement for Subject Authority Data (FRSAD)"
The paper describes FAST, an OCLC research project which began in 1998 and is based on the Library of Congress Subject Headings, and how Arab libraries could consider it to be a model for developing an Arabic subject authority file.
Mohamed Saber Mostafa, ILS Expert, previously in Advanced Arabian Systems
"Establishing Electronic Authority Files and Application in Arab Libraries"
The study discusses the importance of authority files as a part of library catalogs and the relationship between authority and bibliographic data. Then the paper provides basic instructions for building authority files in integrated library systems and presents models of authority files from Arab libraries and information centers.
Kholoud Mamdouh, Head of Cataloging, Obaikan Publishing House, Egypt
"The British National Library Experience in Implementing Linked Data on the British National Bibliography"
The British National Bibliography (BNB) is a comprehensive database of all books and serials published or distributed in the United Kingdom and Ireland since 1950. It includes over 3.5 million entries describing popular and research level publications. The British National Library developed a version available as linked data to add value to features of the bibliography.
Ahmed Said, Library Director, Nile University
"International Standard Objects Identifiers in the Digital Age"
This paper discusses some of main international standard identifiers (i.e., URI, URL, URN, ISTC, ISNI, OpenURL, and DOI) that are used to identify electronic resources. Each identifier, its history, and its attributes are described with practical examples for each one.
Among shelveslibrarianship for librarians
Submitted by Edgardo Civallero, Bibliotecólogo y documentalista,
"Among Shelves" is an initiative aimed at providing library and information science (LIS) training to those colleagues who, for whatever reason, have not had access to it. The project aims to create digital books and manuals, for free distribution and download, that are easily printable, which compile and synthesize the latest information on the most basic LIS topics: from the design and creation of a library from scratch to bookbinding and repair of documents, and from cataloging and classification and project drafting to the organization of reading programs or library management in indigenous communities. It seeks to respond to the needs of a large number of library workers (school, rural, popular, community, mobile librarians) that do not have the opportunity for professional training but would like to expand their knowledge and to build a solid foundation for their skills.
Initially, the project will be oriented toward Latin America; the texts will be produced in Spanish and Portuguese and, if appropriate, in the indigenous languages most used in the region. Because there is interest in this idea among colleagues from Africa, India, and Southeastern Asia, translation into other languages in the near future will be considered. At this time, contacts are being established with international institutions and programs that would like to support the initiative, while materials are being prepared. Several lines of research have been established in order to evaluate the project. The products will be disseminated through social networks and other professional means, while the preliminary research results will be presented at the next IFLA Meeting in 2017 (Wroclaw, Poland). For the time being, the following blog will be used for publishing news and announcements, in Spanish and with a section in English: . Spread the word!
Online training for LCSH
In cooperation with the Simmons College School of Library and Information Science, the Policy and Standards Division (PSD) is developing free online training in Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH).The training is being developed primarily to meet internal training needs of the Library of Congress, but it is also made freely available through the Cataloger's Learning Workshop (CLW) website as a service to the library community. Training units are divided into two or more modules, each consisting of a lecture and one or more exercises or quizzes. Technology requirements include an Internet connection and the ability to play audio and video files. The initial modules have been mounted on the CLW at
The instructors are Janis L. Young, M.A., M.S.L.S., a senior cataloging policy specialist in PSD, and Daniel N. Joudrey, M.L.I.S., Ph.D., an associate professor at Simmons SLIS. Questions or comments about the training may be directed to Janis L. Young at .
RDA, Resource Description and Access: The metamorphosis of cataloguing
JLIS.it: Italian Journal of Library Science 7(2): 2016, editors, Carlo Bianchini and Mauro Guerrini.
Twenty international and Italian experts discuss the positive and negative aspects of the new metadata standard designed for the digital age in this special issue of JLIS.it. It is available at and also in printed form (and in the form of a printed volume), published on demand by Ledizioni, .
Bibliotheca Alexandrina launches the Arabic Bibliographic Standards website
The Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Egypt) launched the Arabic Bibliographic Standards (ABS) websiteon May 3, 2016. The website is addressing a specialized Arab library community, focusing on standards and standardization in bibliographic and authority control. It includes extensive information about the bibliographic standards and tools being developed by Bibliotheca Alexandrina. It is intended to be a hub for sharing relevant authoritative information and a forum for discussing the latest developments and best practices in the domain of bibliographic and authority control worldwide. The ABS website is in both Arabic and English. It has been designed to provide a user friendly experience, with uncluttered design and simplified navigation, and has been created to be compatible with today's browsers, smart phones, and mobile devices. An online version of MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data in Arabic will be made available on this site shortly.
Ross Atkinson Award given to Janet Swan Hill
The Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) is pleased to name Janet Swan Hill, retired associate director for technical services at the University of Colorado Boulder, as the 2016 recipient of the Ross Atkinson Lifetime Achievement Award. The award honors the memory of Ross Atkinson, a distinguished library leader, author, and scholar whose extraordinary service to ALCTS and the library community-at-large serves as a model for those in the field. The citation and monetary award, sponsored by EBSCO Information Services, was presented at the ALCTS Award Ceremony on June 25, 2016, during the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Orlando.
Hill's notable career spans more than four decades. Her extensive service to ALCTS comprises elected and appointed positions including president of ALCTS in 1997–1998, chair of the Appointments Committee, co-chair of the Organization and Bylaws Committee, member of the Budget and Finance Committee, secretary and member of the Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA), chair of the CC:DA Task Force on the Rule Revision Process, and chair of the CC:DA Task Force on the AACR2 Glossary. Her service on CC:DA resulted in the publication of the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd edition, 1988 revision.
She has been a staunch advocate for ALCTS and its members and the broader library community by serving on ALA Council as a member-at-large, member of the ALA Executive Board and its Finance and Audit Committee, member of the Strategic Plan Task Force, and chair of the President's Task Force on Electronic Member Participation. She has been a well-known, vocal, and respected council member. She has also served on the executive board of the ALA-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA).
Hill's depth of cataloging knowledge and expertise resulted in her being named to the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control in 2006.
Her list of published articles and chapters, editorial work, and presentations is extensive and has educated generations of catalogers. She is a sought-after and valued mentor. She was the recipient of the ALCTS Margaret Mann Citation for outstanding professional achievement in cataloging and classification; the Best of Cataloging & Classification Quarterly Award for "What Else Do You Need to Know? Practical Skills for Catalogers and Managers;" and an ALCTS Honors award.
As her letter of nomination states, "Her commitment and service to ALCTS and to the profession are without parallel. She is the consummate librariana passionate practitioner, an exacting educator, an extraordinary communicator and a leader par excellence."
ALCTS is the national association for information providers who work in collections and technical services such as acquisitions, cataloging, collection development, preservation, and continuing resources in digital and print formats. ALCTS is a division of the American Library Association.
In memory of Alan Hopkinson, 1950–2016
Submitted by Andrew Buxton, Lewes, United Kingdom
Alan was the eldest of a family of four brothersin order, Alan, Brian, Trevor (breaking the pattern) and David—which was perhaps an auspicious start for a cataloguer! I first met Alan when we went to Balliol College Oxford in 1968, and our paths crossed several times thereafter. On graduating, he went as a trainee to Camden public libraries, an early user of computers, and then took a diploma in library and information studies at North London Polytechnic. At that time, libraries and computers belonged to different worlds, and he realized the only way into library computing was to take a job with computers elsewhere. He, therefore, went to the Police National Computer Unit, programming in Algol, and was then able to move to the British Library as an analyst programmer on MERLIN, an innovative use of a relational database for cataloguing. He was the only member of the team with cataloguing training and highlighted the problems of handling catalogue data in a relational structure.
When it looked as though the MERLIN program would be abandoned, he obtained a post in the UNESCO International Centre for Bibliographic Descriptions, UNIBID, under Harold Dierickx, which started his involvement with bibliographic standards. UNIBID was developing the "Reference Manual" format for bibliographic records, mainly for abstracting and indexing services, while libraries used the MARC formats and IFLA was promoting UNIMARC as an international switching format between them. UNESCO convened the International Symposium on Bibliographic Exchange Formats, held in Taormina, Sicily, in 1978 and organized by Harold and Alan, to resolve this division: the result was the setting up of an ad hoc group to develop another format, the Common Communication Format (CCF). This was intended primarily as a bridging format between existing formats, but it went on to be used as the base format for many databases. He became chairman of the Permanent UNIMARC Committee in 2006.
After some time as a consultant based at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, Alan moved to the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex. One of his key tasks was to set up a computerized library system; the chosen system was MINISIS from the International Development Research Centre in Canada. This had been designed for the Reference Manual format, and IDS obtained it on favorable terms in exchange for implementing the UNIMARC format. He soon also became involved with UNESCO's CDS/ISIS software, which, like MINISIS, was related to the ISIS (Integrated Set of Information Systems) software used by UNESCO, and was being promoted to libraries especially in developing countries. He was the distributor of CDS/ISIS for the United Kingdom. Alan's particular interest was in implementing international standard formats such as CCF, and he conducted many training courses and consultancies on implementing such formats on the ISIS family of software. Together with Ellen Gredley, he wrote the book, Exchanging Bibliographic Data: MARC and Other International Formats.
When Alan moved on to become Systems Librarian at the Tate Gallery, I took over his position at IDS. Together we wrote, The CDS/ISIS Handbook (for the DOS version of the software), drawing on our experience of running training courses, and later a handbook for the Windows version, which was translated into French, Russian, and Spanish. I discovered that we were well-known in Zimbabwe as the authors of the "green book." We also developed an application of CDS/ISIS using the CCF for Factual Information. Alan widened his interests there to include archival description.
In 1994, he joined Middlesex University Library Services as Systems Librarian and later Technical Manager. The university was keen to get involved in international programs, and this suited Alan well. He hosted several visiting Commonwealth fellows and went on to lead a number of projects under the European Union's TEMPUS program, which enables higher education institutions in the European Union (EU) to collaborate in projects with other institutions in the area around the EU. The first one, Building Digital Education Services in Yerevan State University Library, involved establishing a Virtual Learning Environment within the library using the open-source software, Moodle. With the director of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences Fundamental Science Library, he then led a project to set up a new master's course in library and information science in Armenia, Georgia, and Uzbekistan. In 2011, he began working on a further project to develop a framework for information literacy in the western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Montenegro).
Alan was involved with standards in classification when he was invited to become Chairman of the Universal Decimal Classification Consortium in 2006. Also more widely, he was Chairman of the British Standards Institute Committee IDT/2/7 (computer applications in information and documentation) for fourteen years.
Although often referred to (especially in developing countries) as "Doctor" or "Professor," Alan was a practitioner rather than an academic and did not take a doctorate until 2014, when he earned a doctorate in professional studies by published works at Middlesex University. He had also been recognized by Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) for an honorary fellowship in 2012.
Outside of work, and, indeed, as part of work, one of Alan's main interests was public transport, especially buses. He used to spend long days out seeing how far he could travel by bus and resorting to the train if he got stranded. When he first moved to London, his ambition was to travel over every red bus route. He had an extensive model railway in his loft, and many of his trips were to model railway exhibitions. He was a regular church member throughout his life and held offices of secretary and church warden. Another interest, after taking an option in philology at Oxford, was in languages and particularly the Gaelic languages of Wales and Western Scotland.
Alan suffered a heart attack on returning from Armenia in March 2013 and then a brain bleed, which required emergency surgery. This left him with permanent brain damage, and he was unable to move or speak muchalthough he still had an obvious sense of humor. He died on April 7, 2016, and left a wife, Marion, and three children. A memorial fund is being set up in his memory to support a librarian to attend the IFLA conference.
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