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BIBFRAME  March 2015

BIBFRAME March 2015

Subject:

Re: Linked data

From:

"Meehan, Thomas" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 6 Mar 2015 10:34:21 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (130 lines)

If anything, I think Bibframe itself represents too much reluctance to lose control. I would love for us to share our data with others and take advantage of the same willingness of others to share their data (and models and ways of thinking). I don't see that as a threat. I would also like to see an end to the them-and-us situation of librarians/cataloguers vs non-librarians/non-cataloguers that James seems to hint at. There is already enough bibliographic data not using AARC/RDA/MARC: I see linked data (and certainly not just Bibframe/schema.org) as a wonderful opportunity to join up cataloguing data with other library and non-library data. As a former user of UKMARC and AACR2 (not to mention VHS, Webcrawler and Spectrum BASIC), I hope I am not too frightened by the idea that things might change and even disappear. Getting used to a less monolithic and constantly changing system will be more healthy in the long run.

Yes, there are lots of things you can do with MARC, but it's also an utter pain to do lots of things with too. I've found linked data, in my limited ability to play with code, a very exciting idea to work with, especially in its assumptions of openness and grounding in the web.

Thanks,

Tom

---

Thomas Meehan
Head of Current Cataloguing
Library Services
University College London
Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT

[log in to unmask]

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of J. McRee Elrod
> Sent: 05 March 2015 17:23
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [BIBFRAME] Linked data
> 
> Forwarded by permission of James Weinheimer:
> 
> 
> 
>   There are some points to keep in mind when considering linked
>   data/semantic web. The new formats (schema.org, Bibframe) are *not*
>   there for libraries to be able to do new and wonderful things with their
>   own data. Why? Because libraries already understand and control all of
>   that data. Right now, so long as we have XML formats (and we have that
>   now with MARCXML) we can do *anything* we want with the data.
> MARCXML is
>   not perfect, but it is still XML and that means: librarians can search
>   that data however we want, manipulate it however we want, transform it
>   however we want, sort it however we want and display it however we want.
>   If we want to search by the fiction code in the fixed fields and sort by
>   number of pages or by 100/700$q we can. We can print out reams of entire
>   records, or any bits and pieces of them we could want, collate them in
>   any number of ways (or not), and print them out on 3D printers in
>   day-glow colors, display them with laser beams on the moon or work with
>   them in the virtual reality "wearable technology". We can do all of that
>   and more *right now* if we wanted. We've been able to do it for a long
>   time. We don't need schema.org or Bibframe to enhance our own
>   capabilities because we can do anything with our own data now.
> 
>   So, who is schema.org and Bibframe for? Non-librarians, i.e. for people
>   who neither understand nor control our data. Libraries will allow others
>   to work with our data in ways that they can understand a bit more than
>   MARC. Non-librarians cannot be expected to understand 240$k or 700$q,
>   but with schema.org or Bibframe, it is supposed to be easier for
>   them--although it still won't be easy. Nevertheless, they will be able
>   to take our data and do with it as they will as they cannot do now with
>   our MARC/ISO2709 records.
> 
>   With Bibframe and schema.org people will be able to merge it with other
>   parts of the linked data universe (oops! Not Freebase or dbpedia.
>   They'll have to go to Wikidata! Wonder how long that will last!) or with
>   all kinds of web APIs (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_API) that
>   can create mashups. (I still think this video gives the best description
>   of a mashup: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRcP2CZ8DS8. Here too is
> a
>   list of some of the web apis
>   http://www.programmableweb.com/apis/directory) Web programmers can
> then
>   put these things together to create something absolutely new, e.g. bring
>   together library data with ebay so that people can see if something on
>   ebay is available in the library or vice versa. But remember that those
>   web programmers will also be able to manipulate our data as much as we
>   can, so the final product they create may look and work completely
>   differently than we would imagine, or that we would like. As a result,
>   libraries and catalogers will lose the control of their data that they
>   have always enjoyed. For better or worse, that is a necessary
>   consequence of sharing your data.
> 
>   Then comes what are--I think--the two major questions of linked data for
>   libraries. First is: OK. We add the links, but what do we link *to*?
>   Will linking into id.loc.gov appeal to the public? I personally don't
>   think so since there is so little there, other than the traditional
>   syndetic structures found in our traditional catalogs (i.e. the UF, BT,
>   NT, RT for subjects, the earlier/later names of corporate bodies and
>   series, the other names of people). This is not what people think of
>   when they think of the advantages of linked data. While those things may
>   be nice for us, I don't know if that will be so appealing to the public.
>   If it is to become appealing to the public, somebody somewhere will have
>   to do a lot of work to make them appealing.
> 
>   Concerning VIAF, it's nice to know the authorized forms in Hebrew,
>   French, Italian, and so on, but again, is that so appealing to the
>   *public*? It may be, but that remains to be proven.
> 
>   Second, there is no guarantee at all that anyone will actually do
>   anything with our data. While I certainly hope so, there are no
>   guarantees that anybody will do anything with our data. It could just
>   sit and go unused.
> 
>   It's interesting to note that the LC book
>   catalog in this format has been in the Internet Archive for awhile now
>   (https://archive.org/details/marc_records_scriblio_net) but I haven't
>   heard that any developers have used it.
> 
>   I want again to emphasize that libraries should go into linked data, but
>   when we do so, there will probably be more question marks than
>   exclamation points. Just as when a couple is expecting a baby and they
>   experience pregnancy: at least when I experienced it, I imagined that
>   the birth of my son would be an end of the pregnancy. But suddenly, I
>   had a crying baby on my hands! Linked data will be similar: it will be a
>   beginning and not an end.
> 
>   James Weinheimer [log in to unmask] First Thus
>   http://blog.jweinheimer.net First Thus Facebook Page
>   https://www.facebook.com/FirstThus Cooperative Cataloging Rules
>   http://sites.google.com/site/opencatalogingrules/ Cataloging Matters
>   Podcasts http://blog.jweinheimer.net/cataloging-matters-podcasts [delay
>   +30 days]
> 
>   --
> 
> --
> James Weinheimer [log in to unmask] First Thus
> http://blog.jweinheimer.net First Thus Facebook Page
> https://www.facebook.com/FirstThus Cooperative Cataloging Rules
> http://sites.google.com/site/opencatalogingrules/ Cataloging Matters
> Podcasts http://blog.jweinheimer.net/cataloging-matters-podcasts [delay
> +30 days]

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