On 6/25/14, 1:12 PM, Benjamin A Abrahamse wrote:
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I would love to see a future where the network over which catalogers share information is more of a true network. Instead of going to large, shared databases like OCLC to search for records, we could use identifying information like ISBN, author-title-publication, etc., to go out and find the metadata that is most current and relevant to our libraries' particular needs, wherever it happens to be, and collect that. I could see libraries of various sorts having individualized profiles for the type of metadata they need, or even being able to set and rank which sources of metadata they consider trustworthy and useful (for example: accept PCC metadata, but if that's not available, accept non-PCC contributed metadata, and if that's not available, accept publisher-supplied metadata.)

Ben --

This is an interesting vision from the cataloger perspective. If I read you correctly, in a distributed network, for the same item there could be "records" (profiles or graphs of data) that are suitable for public libraries, ones that are suitable to specialized libraries, others suitable to national libraries, or archives, etc. All of these could pull from the same pool of data elements, just that they would be pulling different groupings or graphs of data. In other words, there isn't just one record, there are many profiles of data.

This fits nicely with the "profile" concept, as you mention. Perhaps we can take that one step further and not only have profiles for libraries and catalogers but also for library users. The simple picture of this is that a library user selects to have the interface provide information in a particular language (which, as Simon Spero has mentioned, is exactly what the linked data technology supports). A user could also profile to only retrieve items in a particular language or languages. But going beyond the obvious, a user interested in rare books could profile to receive detailed item information, whereas a graduate student embarking on a doctoral study in history of technology could profile to always follow "previous version" links for resources that have changed over time.

I'm not sure these are the best examples for user profiles, so I toss this out there for others to improve upon.


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Ultimately we could move away from the paradigm of having large central databases like OCLC and toward more of a peer-to-peer model, where libraries can share metadata in real-time across a network of partner organizations.


Is this future a possibility or just a pipe dream? I don't really know but it does seem like BibFrame is currently the closest thing to a realistic way of achieving it.





Benjamin Abrahamse

Cataloging Coordinator

Acquisitions and Discovery Enhancement

MIT Libraries



From: Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Meehan, Thomas
Sent: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 8:56 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [BIBFRAME] Thoughts about Bibframe


Dear all,


Hello. I am preparing a presentation on Bibframe for the autumn and am particularly interested in getting a general sense of what the community thinks of the Bibframe initiative and, in particular, how people see it developing and being implemented in the future. I would love to hear any views on this, especially from a wide section of the community (cataloguers, systems people, vendors, those working with linked data already, etc.). If you prefer, please feel free to contact me off-list or point me at write-ups (e.g. blog posts) that express your views. I would be very happy to receive even a brief indication of your thoughts.


I will treat any personal communications as confidential and will not quote from them without permission.


Many thanks,





Thomas Meehan

Head of Current Cataloguing

Library Services

University College London

Gower Street

London WC1E 6BT


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Karen Coyle
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