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James Weinheimer is right that we "can do *anything* we want with the
data".

So where is the advantage of creating linked data services?

"Linked data" is not limited to schema.org (where I locate the interests of
giant commercial search engines) and to web apps that can connect ebay with
item availability. Linked data for catalogs means a different structure for
catalog data and a whole new dimension of sharing data by the cataloger.

The sharing can be implemented on a giant global graph, which is the Web
(not the Web we know today, but the Semantic Web, the vision of Tim
Berners-Lee). It is not restricted to global companies. It is also up to
the libraries to reclaim the Web for cultural, sustainable, public
information.

A story which goes hand in hand is freeing the catalog data by using open
licensing. This means, library catalog data can be shared and processed by
people that libraries and vendors do not control. But it still means the
items and the access to online resources are controlled by the library. In
particular, requests for usage of the items are still under strict control
of the library. And the library must update the item availability
information in realtime to the public.

Many libraries have given all their knowledge about information technology
to vendor companies. They got used to follow all the strategies of a
specific vendor. They listened to stories like "you must have an OPAC",
"you must have a discovery module", "you must go web-scale", "you must
xyz". Now, the vendor must follow the library if the library decides to
lift all the cataloging machinery to the Web. This is the end of the "local
integrated library system" as we know it for over 40 years, the tight lock
between a vendor-controlled local computer and a local library. It's not
the end of MARC if there is no decent successor with a negligible
<http://www.dict.cc/englisch-deutsch/negligible.html> cost of format
transformation.

And this is where it all begins and the hipsters can help - in creating
free, open, and cooperative catalog processing services for all of us using
Semantic Web technology.

Jörg


On Thu, Mar 5, 2015 at 6:22 PM, J. McRee Elrod <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> 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]
>