Issue 11, 2010-09-21

Editorial Introduction – A Cataloger’s Perspective on the Code4Lib Journal

Kelley McGrath

On the Code4Lib Journal, technology, and the universe of library cataloging and metadata.

Interpreting MARC: Where’s the Bibliographic Data?

Jason Thomale

The MARC data format was created early in the history of digital computers. In this article, the author entertains the notion that viewing MARC from a modern technological perspective leads to interpretive problems such as a confusion of “bibliographic data” with “catalog records.” He explores this idea through examining a specific MARC interpretation task that he undertook early in his career and then revisited nearly four years later. Revising the code that performed the task confronted him with his own misconceptions about MARC that were rooted in his worldview about what he thought “structured data” should be and helped him to place MARC in a more appropriate context.

XForms for Libraries, An Introduction

Ethan Gruber, Chris Fitzpatrick, Bill Parod, and Scott Prater

XForms applications can be used to create XML metadata that is well-formed and valid according to the schema, and then saved to (or loaded from) a datastore that communicates via REST or SOAP. XForms applications provide a powerful set of tools for data creation and manipulation, as demonstrated by some projects related to library workflows that are described in this paper.

Why Purchase When You Can Repurpose? Using Crosswalks to Enhance User Access

Teressa M. Keenan

The Mansfield Library subscribes to the Readex database U.S. Congressional Serial Set, 1817-1994 (full-text historic reports of Congress and federal agencies). Given the option of purchasing MARC records for all 262,000 publications in the Serial Set or making use of free access to simple Dublin Core records provided by Readex, the library opted to repurpose the free metadata. The process that the Mansfield Library used to obtain the Dublin Core records is described, including the procedures for crosswalking the metadata to MARC and batch loading the bibliographic records complete with holdings information to the local catalog. This report shows that we successfully achieved our goals of dramatically increasing access to Serial Set material by exposing metadata in the local catalog and discusses the challenges we faced along the way. We hope that others tasked with the manipulation of metadata will be able to use what we learned from this project.

Hacking Summon

Michael Klein

When the Oregon State University Libraries selected Serials Solutions’ Summon as its discovery tool, the implementation team realized that they had an opportunity to implement a set of “hacks” that would improve the overall user experience. This article will explore the space between Summon’s out-of-the-box user interface and full developer API, providing practical advice on tweaking configuration information and catalog exports to take full advantage of Summon’s indexing and faceting features. The article then describes the creation of OSUL’s home-grown open source availability service which replaced and enhanced the availability information that Summon would normally pull directly from the catalog.

Automatic Aggregation of Faculty Publications from Personal Web Pages

Najko Jahn, Mathias Lösch, and Wolfram Horstmann

Many researchers make their publications available on personal web pages. In this paper, we propose a simple method for the automatic aggregation of these documents. We search faculty web pages for archived publications and present their full text links together with the author’s name and short content excerpts on a comprehensive web page. The excerpts are generated simply by querying a standard web search engine.

Managing Library IT Workflow with Bugzilla

Nina McHale

Prior to September 2008, all technology issues at the University of Colorado Denver’s Auraria Library were reported to a dedicated departmental phone line. A variety of staff changes necessitated a more formal means of tracking, delegating, and resolving reported issues, and the department turned to Bugzilla, an open source bug tracking application designed by Mozilla.org developers. While designed with software development bug tracking in mind, Bugzilla can be easily customized and modified to serve as an IT ticketing system. Twenty-three months and over 2300 trouble tickets later, Auraria’s IT department workflow is much smoother and more efficient. This article includes two Perl Template Toolkit code samples for customized Bugzilla screens for its use in a library environment; readers will be able to easily replicate the project in their own environments.