Current Cites

November 2007

Edited by Roy Tennant

Contributors: Frank Cervone, Brian Rosenblum, Roy Tennant

Draft Report of the Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control  Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 30 November 2007.( - I am citing this draft report virtually sight unseen given its likely interest for our readers and the fact that we are publishing this issue the day of its release. Comments on the draft are being solicited through December 15, 2007. Their findings are grouped around five central themes: "1. Increase the efficiency of bibliographic production for all libraries through increased cooperation and increased sharing of bibliographic records, and by maximizing the use of data produced throughout the entire "supply chain" for information resources; 2. Transfer effort into higher-value activity. In particular, expand the possibilities for knowledge creation by "exposing" rare and unique materials held by libraries that are currently hidden from view and, thus, underused; 3. Position our technology for the future by recognizing that the World Wide Web is both our technology platform and the appropriate platform for the delivery of our standards. Recognize that people are not the only users of the data we produce in the name of bibliographic control, but so too are machine applications that interact with those data over the network in a variety of ways; 4. Position our community for the future by facilitating the incorporation of evaluative and other user-supplied information into our resource descriptions. Work to realize the potential of the FRBR framework for revealing and capitalizing on the various relationships that exist among information resources; 5. Strengthen the library profession through education and the development of metrics that will inform decision-making now and in the future." I urge you to read it, digest, and (if so moved) comment on it. - RT

"ARL: A Bimonthly Report: Special Double Issue on University Publishing  (252/253)(June/August 2007)( - The most recent issue of the ARL Bimonthly Report follows up on the Ithaka report "University Publishing in a Digital Age" (issued in July) to focus on the state of university publishing, the evolving role of libraries in delivering publishing services, and the relationship between libraries, university presses and other stakeholders in the scholarly publishing enterprise. In addition to a summary of the original Ithaka report, the issue includes an overview of the "The Changing Environment of University Publishing" by Karla Hahn, and a response to the report by David Shulenberger, who calls for universities to develop research "distribution strategies" and provides a vision for what those strategies might include. A description of the University of Michigan's "commentable" version of the Ithaka report, and three case studies of library-based publishing initiatives (the Californial Digital Library, the Univeristy of Illinois, and Synergies, a multi-institutional Canadian effort) round out this issue. As a whole, the issue makes a compelling case for a more active role for libraries in scholarly publishing. - BR

"Special Section: FolksonomiesBulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology  34(1)(October/November 2007): 7-29. ( - This special section of four articles plus a substantive introduction by the guest editor focus on user tagging and what has been called "folksonomies" -- or user-created taxonomies. The articles are an interesting mix of simple explanations of why users tag, tag usage in Flickr, and others that seek to explain various tagging systems and how they may or may not be useful in retrieval. - RT

"Special Section: Functional Requirements for Bibliographic RecordsBulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology  33(6)(August/September 2007): 6-31. ( - This special section of the Bulletin of the ASIST looks at a number of aspects of the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records, a framework for bibliographic data published by IFLA. Although the paper itself is relatively old (1998), only recently have we seen library catalogs that have begun to implement some of the principles laid out in that report. From a somewhat gentle introduction to FRBR concepts by Pat Riva, to research-based issues and findings by Shawne Miksa (of the MARC Content Designation Utilization (MCDU) Project) and others, there is likely something here for both the FRBR novice as well as the expert. - RT

Beccaria, Mike, and Dan  Scott. "Fac-Back-OPAC: An Open Source Interface to Your Library SystemComputers in Libraries  27(9)(October 2007)( - The advent of the Solr search server has spawned a number of experiments in "next-generation" library catalog systems, not the least of which is the "Fac-Back-OPAC" described here. Designed as a backup catalog (setting aside for a moment why such a thing is needed), it actually provides functionality that most existing ILSs don't, such as faceted browsing (the "Fac" part of the name). This article briefly describes the system's features, the technology building blocks used, and what might be required by any other institution wishing to install and use this free open source system. Recommended for those who are technically inclined and want to try it out for themselves, or decision-makers who supervise such staff. - RT

Greene, Kate. "Searching Video LecturesMIT Technology Review  (26 November 2007)( - This article describes the breakthrough MIT Lecture Browser that provides full-featured searching and browsing of audio and video content. Using automated transcription, indexing, and the ability to drop the user into a particular portion of the digital file, the Lecture Browser can get users directly to the parts that interest them. When a user has navigated to a point of interest, the system follows along in the transcribed text in sync with the audio or video similar to the bouncing ball of a karaoke machine. Users of digital audio and video content have never had it so good. - RT

McDowell, Cat S. "Evaluating Institutional Repository Deployment in American Academe Since Early 2005D-Lib Magazine  13(9/10)(September/October 2007)( - In this article, the author provides a follow-up to the work done by Lynch and Lippincott in documenting the state of institutional repositories. While using a different methodology and a more rigorous definition of institutional repository than Lynch and Lippincott did, the study finds many similar trends in how institutional repositories are being adopted and used. Perhaps not surprisingly, this study found that while new institutional repository deployments are leveling off, the most significant area of growth in deployments has been at smaller institutions. Other interesting findings include the observation that contributions to institutional repositories are still greatest, from both relative and absolute perspectives, at large research universities, but student work products account for the majority of items in these institutional repositories; faculty contributions to institutional repositories still tend to be difficult to acquire. - FC