Wednesday, August 04, 2010
It's a time like this when I wish I was more involved in the cataloging community. As a student who barely has the time at work to download and mod a couple of PCC JSTOR records, but who is continually filled with new ideas, I wish I had a realistic perspective of how the field is moving and changing. The same report also noted the speed at which cataloging is evolving and I wonder if that speed is part of the problem - we're in the middle so everything in either direction is a blur. Also cataloging is not as cohesive a concept as I tend to imagine it to be. My background in academic libraries who have the time and the funding to keep up with changes and innovations means that I sometimes forget that people just can't have the most outstanding records or need to buy vendor records because, in reality, they're much better than no records at all. As there is a digital divide, is there a cataloging divide as well? The Cataloging Chasm? And if so, how do we fix it?
Friday, July 02, 2010
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
My real question is, can I begin my testing timeline countdown now?
Monday, June 21, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
The mission of the Library Linked Data Incubator Group is to help increase global interoperability of library data on the Web, by bringing together people involved in Semantic Web activities—focusing on Linked Data—in the library community and beyond, building on existing initiatives, and identifying collaboration tracks for the future.
The group will explore how existing building blocks of librarianship, such as metadata models, metadata schemas, standards and protocols for building interoperability and library systems and networked environments, encourage libraries to bring their content, and generally re-orient their approaches to data interoperability towards the Web, also reaching to other communities. It will also envision these communities as a potential major provider of authoritative datasets (persons, topics...) for the Linked Data Web. As these evolutions raise a need for a shared standardization effort within the library community around (Semantic) Web standards, the group will refine the knowledge of this need, express requirements for standards and guidelines, and propose a way forward for the library community to contribute to further Web standardization actions.
The incubator group has been initiated by actors from national libraries, university libraries and research units, library vendors companies and other interested stakeholders. Its scope is however not limited to libraries as institutions, but is meant to involve other cultural heritage institutions, partners from the publishing industry, and other relevant domains.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Sunday, May 02, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
This is not to say that the quarter is a waste - the very opposite in fact. Working on blind authority headings yesterday, I was struck by how much I now understand when looking at an authority or bib record. Searching makes more sense because I now really get what the system is looking at, what the fields in the record actually mean. I keep feeling that a quarter of this program involves relearning stuff I already knew, a fair amount of learning things I never knew or considered, and a fair amount of learning the rhyme and reason behind things I thought I knew. It's all very enlightening, but it often feels like I'm re-indexing my head on a weekly or even daily basis when new information or new links between old ideas are forged. Exhilarating, but exhausting.
Group chat time...
*...shining at the Epcot Center.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
The other day I sat down to decide what to take next quarter. I am nearly done with my last core class, so everything is electives and "culminating experience". I realized that after next quarter, I'll only have 17 credits left. A little over two quarters. I just really hope that there are jobs starting up when I'm done with this program. I am willing to move and work at whatever professional level, but I think I would lose all momentum if I had to wait a few years before a job opened. And now I'm going to stop thinking about it, lest I freak out.
Other than falling into a rhythm with classwork, this quarter is running smoothly because I'm so interested in the material. My cataloging class guarantees me at least "Ooh, so that's why we do X" moments a week. It's interesting, after all this time working with bib records and MARC, to finally understand why it works the way it does - why the author name in the 245 doesn't match the name in the 100, for example. Incredibly simple moves, but it feels earth shattering to me. We're working on LCSH this week, the part of cataloging that made my friends' heads explode, so we'll see how optimistic and enthusiastic I feel after that...
Tomorrow morning I'm up early to do a plyometric work out with the boy, so to bed for me...
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
I came into the idea in passing. An aside comment by my mother made me realize it's been literally years since I picked up the instrument, let alone took a lesson or played for an ensemble or even made a reed. My final year of college, though difficult, really brought me to the pinnacle of what I could do musically. I played a fabulous repertoire with brilliant musicians. I had the chance to solo on English horn. I played for two years on my own reeds (with the occasional tweaks). At the end of it all, over a decade of playing, I really felt I had done what I needed to do. Music has given me so much. I will never regret playing. I will always think of the positive influence of Joel, Cheryl, and Mr. Newton. But I'm done.
It seems final and it's really not. I'm not done with music forever, but rather my time as a participant, a performer is past. I had my chance, ran with it, and then necessarily moved on to different things. I know people who have managed to keep music as a part of their life, who have careers and are musicians, but I don't feel that's where I'm at or where I'll ever be. This sounds somewhat apologetic and I don't mean it to be. I'm happy with my choice. I'm glad there is now an affordable used Rigoutat on the market for some young player who needs more than a crappy plastic Selmer.
It's time to be someone else now or, rather, to be the person who is already here.
And worse case scenario, there's always an alto sax in the closet. At least I can get those reeds from the store.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
"We are living in an era experiencing tremendous acceleration in many fields. Ours is a society that demands rapid access to large bodies of information. How can we proceed to satisfy the needs of the student, the scholar, the researcher during the period in which both intellectual and technical difficulties prohibit the development of a utopian library?" - From The MARC Pilot Project, Library of Congress, 1968.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Though I'm in school and the federal government gives me student level tax breaks, I sometimes forget I'm actually a student. The residencies up in Seattle drove that point home at the start of every quarter, when I was fighting with untold thousands of other students to get coffee before a morning lecture. In London I was a little more detached from that kind of student life. I road the morning and evening train with commuters. But after dropping off my coat in a coin-operated locker, carefully placing my work for the day into a clear plastic bag (better visibility for the security guards), and flashing my pass as I walked into Humanities 1, I was part of the world of scholarship, the people who could sit seemingly motionless for hours in front of a stack of paper, only jumping up with great energy and excitement when the little green light on my desk went off.
Judging by the newly moving groups of students behind me in the reference room and the growing crowds outside, it's passing time again. Time to pack up and go.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
My history with cataloging is complex and piecemeal. While I had managed to develop and understanding of library catalog records from playing around in OPACs as a patron and a page, I didn't actually get into the meat of things until my first summer at the Music Library. The cataloging librarian, who is utterly amazing at her job, had severe problems with her wrists and hands. I believe the damage was done during some crazy retro-con project. In order to protect her wrists from further damage, and to allow her to continue to play oboe (and she is a very talented player), students were assigned all of the heavy typing work. I got a crash course in MARC and heading searching and was sent on my way. I would search for all appropriate subjects/performers (I did a ton of scores and CDs, as most of the books we bought were copy cataloged) and print them. She would work her magic and order them into a MARC template, which I would then type up and upload. I knew enough to pay attention to exactly what was written, but that's it. I knew enough to do the job and to do it well, but obviously when you have a ridiculous backlog of scores to retro-con, you're not going to take the time to make sure your student has a strong conceptual grasp of the fundamentals of cataloging. Especially when she'll be gone in three months.
This "sorta understanding" of the catalog followed me through the rest of my library jobs, but didn't really call upon them until my current position (in the Archives I worked primarily with finding aids). Again, I relied on my understanding of the bibliographic record as an advanced catalog searcher to get the work done. This was expanded when I trained to produce LHRs for our collection, but I was still working under the notion of "it has to be like this to validate", not 'it has to be like this because of X principle". It wasn't until I was assigned authority work that I finally sat down to learn what my coworker meant when she said "245 field". I read a few LC pubs and essentially threw myself into the work, asking innumerable questions and leaving things for others to look at when I could. Eventually things started to slide into place.
A cataloging exercise this past week finally helped to cement together my day to day notions and the larger picture of cataloging. I find it thrilling to finally look at something that you know has to work a particular way and to finally grasp WHY it works that way and to see how that rationale stretches all the way back to the nineteenth century (okay, maybe I'm the only one who is excited by Victorian era cataloging writing). I still have miles to go before I can sit down and catalog something from scratch, but I feel that the potential is there, that it's no longer as mystical and obscure a process as I once thought.
Right now a paper on this very subject is calling, so more later.