So if you question the future of BIBFRAME development, I suggest you
start reading about RDF and Linked Data use cases first. There are
quite many of them. They do not even have to be library-related -- the
domain of the data is secondary.

Have you found any particularly pithy use cases that convey the potential utility and value of linked data--especially in a library context--that you can share? In my experience, these are harder to find (and write) than one might think. Any pointers to prior art would be much appreciated. 

- Tom

On Apr 7, 2015, at 7:01 AM, Martynas Jusevičius wrote:

Hey all,

it seems to me that this discussion has long lost focus.

I want therefore to repeat one point that I feel is still missed by
many: it is RDF and Linked Data that will make the difference, open
vast new possibilities for flexible data structures, linking, querying

BIBFRAME, are just RDF vocabularies along many, many
others. They may be tailored for library data, but it doesn't mean
they have to be the only ones in use by libraries.

So if you question the future of BIBFRAME development, I suggest you
start reading about RDF and Linked Data use cases first. There are
quite many of them. They do not even have to be library-related -- the
domain of the data is secondary.


On Tue, Apr 7, 2015 at 4:05 PM, Erin Merold
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Thanks Roy – I was already planning on doing some Googling this morning, and
it really took me down the rabbit hole 0.o But in a good way!

I completely agree – whichever data format allows us to be effective,
relevant, and continue to serve our patrons in the best way possible, we
need to jump on. I’ve been very confused and frustrated at the resistance
I’ve seen and heard not just on this list but from other, older colleagues
as well.

For those of you that are in the same boat as me – fresh out of grad school,
just looking for some information, and really not finding it here – here are
some good resources to get started (although I’m sure you’re already well
aware of some of these):,d.cWc
(this is a powerpoint; I wasn’t able to view it at my work computer so I
don’t know how good it is)

There is also a webinar being held on May 13th by the ALCTS entitled From
MARC to BIBFRAME: an introduction that sounds extra helpful. I hope that

Erin Merold


[log in to unmask]

From: Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tennant,Roy
Sent: Monday, April 06, 2015 5:21 PM

To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [BIBFRAME] BIBFRAME implementation

Google "bibframe oclc" for more information. Short answer: as a
bibliographic utility if would be foolish of us to not accept and produce
whichever data formats libraries require to be effective.


From: Erin Merold <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum
<[log in to unmask]>
Date: Monday, April 6, 2015 at 9:59 AM
To: "[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [BIBFRAME] BIBFRAME implementation

Thanks, Charley. That makes sense.

Do you know where I could find information on whether or not OCLC or anyone
else like them is looking into/testing/planning on using BIBFRAME at this
point? I know OCLC is still heavily involved in Schema.

Erin Merold


[log in to unmask]

From: Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Charles Pennell
Sent: Monday, April 06, 2015 10:47 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [BIBFRAME] BIBFRAME implementation

There is no doubt that Bibframe is a real entity and that for many libraries
it will replace MARC.  Even more so, if and when it is implemented by OCLC
and other the other national utilities on which most libraries depend.
However, you need to realize that there are still libraries filing catalog
cards, keeping Windows XP running so they can continue to use outdated
bibliographic software, and using FilemakerPro, MSAccess, and other apps to
run their catalogs.  These libraries will never make the leap, since in many
cases, even MARC was never fully implemented.  The ILSs that we have
entrusted to maintain our data in what we think is the current MARC
standard, really only guarantee MARC ingest and output.  What happens to the
data once it enters their system has more to do with Oracle, Postgres,
MySQL, and other databases on which their system is built than it does on
MARC.  The cataloger sees something that resembles MARC (it has fixed and
variable fields, the latter with numeric tags and indicators, on the
screen), but may or may not be MARC in the background.  Certainly, no
cataloger has ever had to directly code the MARC legend! Even what you see
in OCLC is not really MARC, since they early on adopted mnemonic tags to
address the fixed fields rather than force users to count relative byte
positions to get to the value they wanted to enter.

I guess a good question would be, will the cataloger interface change with
Bibframe or will the systems into which we enter data continue to ask us to
submit the usual elements (author, title, publisher, subjects, etc.) and
then place them in their Bibframe context behind the scenes, as they do now
with MARC?  I'm betting that catalogers will never have to directly interact
with the mark-up required by Bibframe, just as they've never really had to
directly interact with MARC.  Cataloger time is simply too valuable to
expend on the markup overhead associated with any bibliographic system.


On Mon, Apr 6, 2015 at 10:12 AM, Erin Merold
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Hi everyone, I think I’m a little confused.

I’m a fairly new cataloger (about 2 years under my belt) and am fresh out of
grad school (graduated spring 2014). I am currently employed at my first
full-time cataloging position, and I really enjoy cataloging. I subscribed
to this list in an attempt to keep updated with cataloging goings-on now
that I am out of grad school.

When I subscribed to this list, I thought it was understood that BIBFRAME
was most definitely going to be implemented – it was just a matter of time
and working out the bugs: hence the list.  Everything on the LOC website
seems to suggest that BIBFRAME is indeed definitely going to replace MARC at
some point in the future. However, from many of the comments I’ve seen on
here, it seems that perhaps this is just a possible option for libraries in
the future – is that the case? Or is BIBFRAME actually going to happen at
some point in the future?

If it IS a sure thing that BIBFRAME will be implemented, then why are we
spending so much time arguing about it? For example, Robert Sanderson said:

So ... please lets focus on constructive suggestions for how to improve the
current Model T version of the ontology we have now, towards that much
sleeker and better performing Ferrari :)

I would think it would be better to focus on constructive suggestions for
improving BIBFRAME, which would be replacing MARC. Unless, of course, I am
mistaken, and that is not actually the case. (Forgive me, I don’t mean to
call anyone in particular out; I just remember this particular quote).

However, I will say that I really, really hope that something comes along
and replaces MARC…Maybe it’s because I’m younger than most of my fellow
catalogers, but it seems to me that MARC, while innovative when it was first
used, is now incredibly outdated. One of the library world’s main concerns
is staying relevant for current and future users, and we can’t do that if
we’re mired down in outdated technology. I realize that funding is a huge
and appropriate concern, but it’s going to be even more so if the world
views the library as unable to catch up with the modern world in which it
exists. Would you vote to continue funding something you viewed as outdated
and unnecessary? For my part, I find myself wrestling with the fixed fields
when cataloging eBooks, audiobooks on CD or digitally recorded, DVDs, or
Blu-Rays. It’s as though MARC itself doesn’t want to acknowledge that
technology beyond analog tape exists. It’s like it’s literally stuck in the

I was thrilled when I stumbled upon the Webcast from November 2013
discussing BIBFRAME
(, because I
thought that finally the library world was taking one giant, painful step
forward towards modernization. The public service side of librarianship has
been running circles around the cataloging side when it comes to
modernization and changing the way we serve our patrons to better meet their
needs.  It’s really sad to see the other half of the library world get left

So, I guess I’m asking if BIBFRAME is a real thing – is it really going to
be implemented, and replace MARC? Or is that just a possibility that we are
discussing? If it’s just a possibility, are there other possibilities also
being discussed?

Erin Merold


[log in to unmask]


Charley Pennell

Principal Cataloger

NCSU Libraries

North Carolina State University