I think there are multiple questions here, all very interesting.  The first is simply how to change the platform on which libraries do their business from one based in MARC to one based in linked data.  There are a couple of very interesting projects going on now to try and help develop this new flow for libraries:

1.) BIBFLOW ( a two year project from UC Davis "investigating the future of library technical services, i.e., cataloging and related workflows, in light of modern technology infrastructure such as the Web and new data models and formats such as Resource Description and Access (RDA) and BIBFRAME, the new encoding and exchange format in development by the Library of Congress. Our hypothesis is that, while these new standards and technologies are sorely needed to help the library community leverage the benefits and efficiencies that the Web has afforded other industries, we cannot adopt them in an environment constrained by complex workflows and interdependencies on a large ecosystem of data, software and service providers that are change resistant and motivated to continue with the current library standards (e.g. Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (or AACR) and MARC. Research is required on how research libraries should adapt our practices, workflows, software systems and partnerships to support our evolution to new standards and technologies"

2.) Linked Data for Libraries ( a project between Cornell, Harvard and Stanford to " create a Scholarly Resource Semantic Information Store (SRSIS) model that works both within individual institutions and through a coordinated, extensible network of Linked Open Data to capture the intellectual value that librarians and other domain experts and scholars add to information resources when they describe, annotate, organize, select, and use those resources, together with the social value evident from patterns of usage."

The second question will be once we have moved our processing to linked data and make our information routinely available, how will our data compare/integrate with other data on the Semantic Web.  To me, we have two obligations.  The first is to be able to answer the needs of our patrons as articulated through legitimate use-case studies.  Our model must be articulate enough for them to derive these answers.  The second is to work with a model based in RDF so that it can be integrated with other web resources.  The strength of the web is that it can support multiple models (, BIBFRAME, etc.) to support different users' needs and yet have them all be able to integrate with each other at some level.  Those that need more complex data can interpret what libraries have done through well articulated models and vocabularies, those that want to use it in a much more simplistic way can automatically map it to a more simplistic model.

To me, the third question is the most interesting.  We need to stop thinking in terms of only bringing metadata about traditional library resources to the web.  This has been done for a while.  But now, how can we think about using linked data as a platform to bring the entire academic discourse, not just its resources, to the web?  Research institutions have so much more to offer than simply the items in their catalogs.  By bringing this discussion to the web, we both greatly enhance the abilities of our institutions to do their work but also enrich the web with data at the cutting edge of many disciplines that has been unavailable until now.


Philip E. Schreur
Head, Metadata Department
Stanford University
650-725-1120 (fax)

On 5/26/14 2:54 AM, Vladimir Skvortsov wrote:
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Thank you very much you found a time to answer my question.

I have no doubt that search on linked data may be organized perfectly with
library-specific software like VTLS for example. I also have no doubt that
library-specific software will keep its importance in Semantic Web
environment as well. The question is how will library segment of Linked Data
space look like from the standard Semantic Web side?

Vladimir Skvortsov,
National Library of Russia