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Library of Congress Announces Modeling Initiative

The Library of Congress is pleased to announce that it has contracted with 
Zepheira to help accelerate the launch of the Bibliographic Framework 
Initiative.  A major focus of the project is to translate the MARC 21 
format to a Linked Data (LD) model while retaining as much as possible the 
robust and beneficial aspects of the historical format.  Zepheira brings to 
the project extensive experience in LD technology for library 
applications.  

Eric Miller, who was a leader in the Semantic Web Initiative in its early 
days for the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and who has also worked in the 
library and information science field, leads the Zepheira team.  The 
company, under Mr. Millerís leadership, has been active in the development 
of Semantic Web and Library standards as well as open source tools to 
support LD technologies and library applications.  These activities 
represent knowledge and experience that are instrumental for constructing a 
core data model and to support prototype services that will serve as a 
basis for a new bibliographic framework and related services.  

The Library of Congress has asked Zepheira to provide a model (or models) 
that can serve as a strong starting point for discussion, and an analysis 
of related initiatives underway that will be useful to this effort.  LC 
expects that the proposed model(s) will change and be further tuned based 
on valuable feedback from the community and a natural progression of 
requirements as they are addressed. The initial model(s) will serve as a 
basis for work focused on a demonstration system/service which will then, 
in turn, be used to further refine the model(s). The expectation is that 
such iterative feedback loops will eventually ensure a flexible 
bibliographic framework, a robust reference code, a supporting 
infrastructure for deployment, and an effective migration plan to support 
the community in making a transition from MARC to a new framework.

The Library of Congress will now proceed to organize various scenarios to 
enable community participation that will be broad and include international 
users and partners, various types of information agencies and libraries, 
and library suppliers.  We will be posting information as it emerges from 
this initial work, especially relating to projected milestones at the 
Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative website 
(www.loc.gov/marc/transition).  

The Library intends to offer its plan of action for discussion and 
community input at the American Library Association Annual Conference in 
Anaheim, California. Eric Miller will join the Library in this update 
session.  (LC Bibliographic Framework Transition Update Forum, Sunday, June 
22, 10:30am-12:00 noon, Anaheim Marriott Grand Salon A-C.)