Issue 6, 2009-03-30

Editorial Introduction – Issue 6

Christine Schwartz

The intelligent use of technology in libraries continues to be one of our most crucial challenges. For those of us who became librarians because we loved to explore the book stacks, we are now finding new ways to explore both old and new content in digital form. With issue 6 of the Code4Lib Journal we hope you will find new ways to explore, experiment, and bring to your library users what they want and need.

Using OAI-ORE to Transform Digital Repositories into Interoperable Storage and Services Applications

David Tarrant, Ben O'Steen, Tim Brody, Steve Hitchcock, Neil Jefferies and Leslie Carr

In the digital age libraries are required to manage large numbers of diverse objects. One advantage of digital objects over fixed physical objects is the flexibility of ‘binding’ them into publications or other useful aggregated intellectual entities while retaining the ability to reuse them independently in other contexts. An emerging framework for managing flexible aggregations of digital objects is provided by the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) with its work on Object Reuse and Exchange (ORE). This paper will show how OAI-ORE is being used to manage content in digital repositories, in particular institutional repositories, and has the potential ultimately to transform the conception of digital repositories.

Semi-automatic Citation Correction with Lemon8-XML

MJ Suhonos

The Lemon8-XML software application, developed by the Public Knowledge Project (PKP), provides an open-source, computer-assisted interface for reliable citation structuring and validation. Lemon8-XML combines citation parsing algorithms with freely-available online indexes such as PubMed, WorldCat, and OAIster. Fully-automated markup of entire bibliographies may be a genuine possibility using this approach. Automated markup of citations would increase bibliographic accuracy while reducing copyediting demands.

The Wise Use of Statistics in a Library-Oriented Environment

Mathias Weyland

As with most businesses, libraries use statistics to justify expenses, to monitor the library’s expansion and to predict prospective developments. This article describes SQL and shell techniques for data retrieval as well as further processing of the data using the open source statistical environment R. The article emphasizes some of the pitfalls and reasoning errors librarians could easily slip into. Having an academic background on statistics, the author is appointed to projects and tasks which need mathematical and statistical methods to be successfully accomplished.

Tree Representations: Graphics Libraries for Displaying Hierarchical Data

Mark Wilhelm

Tree representations can be useful for presenting hierarchical data on the screen. In this article I’ll briefly describe building trees using the Dojo, Yahoo User Interface, Java Server Faces, and Google Web Toolkit libraries.

Visualizing Media Archives: A Case Study

Chris Beer, Courtney Michael, and Mayo Todorovic

The WGBH Media Library and Archives is piloting an online media archive for scholarly research. In conversation with users, we have discovered they want to quickly pinpoint items relevant to their work and get an overview of collections and their relationships to other materials. To demonstrate the size and complexity of our collection to users in a meaningful way, WGBH is employing data visualization techniques to provide an interactive, graphical representation of the various relationships between items. This article discusses the techniques employed in implementing our relationship map, emphasizes the cataloging techniques required for this effort, and offers code and examples to spark discussion about ways to improve or extend this effort.

Course Views: A Scalable Approach to Providing Course-Based Access to Library Resources

Jason Casden, Kim Duckett, Tito Sierra and Joseph Ryan

The NCSU Libraries’ Course Views project, along with a locally developed widget web service, improves course-based access to library collections and services by dynamically generating library course pages for all 6000+ courses at NCSU. By automatically generating custom content when possible and showcasing authored content when available, Course Views is able to achieve full course coverage without significantly increasing staff time to create and manage content. This paper will describe the system and the use of web services to achieve scalable and sustainable delivery of course-related library content.

Integrating Process Management with Archival Management Systems: Lessons Learned

J. Gordon Daines, III and Cory L. Nimer

The Integrated Digital Special Collections (INDI) system is a prototype of a database-driven, Web application designed to automate and manage archival workflow for large institutions and consortia. This article discusses the how the INDI project enabled the successful implementation of a process to manage large technology projects in the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University. It highlights how the scope of these technology projects is set and how the major deliverables for each project are defined. The article also talks about how the INDI system followed the process and still failed to be completed. It examines why the process itself is successful and why the INDI project failed. It further underscores the importance of process management in archival management systems.

How to Build an XML Web Client for the Gold Rush Link Resolver’s XML Gateway Web Services Layer

Brian Kysela

The Gold Rush link resolver (GRLR) is part of a suite of programs developed by the Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries (CARL) which help manage a library’s electronic resources. It contains the essential features required to perform link resolution, and comes at a substantial discount compared to other commercial Link Resolvers. After a comprehensive review of the available options, the library at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) chose to implement Gold Rush over the summer of 2008. The UTC library also decided to take advantage of the release of the Gold Rush XML Gateway Web Services Layer by the Colorado Alliance in the spring of 2008. This article is a case study of how the UTC XML Web client was built and the steps necessary to successfully deploy such a client.

Using Book Data Providers to Improve Services to Patrons

Mike Beccaria

At Paul Smith’s College, I recently implemented a “New Books” display using open APIs and an image scroller. In this article I’ll give a brief overview of Google Book Search, OpenLibrary and Worldcat, explain how I created this New Books Widget using book cover data, and provide readers with some practical and simple code to show how to collect this data. This article will be of interest to anyone who wants to read about a brief overview of current state of free book data service providers. Additionally, beginner programmers will likely find the examples at the end of the article helpful when getting started with projects of their own.

CONFERENCE REPORT: Code4Lib 2009

Jie Chen, Joanna DiPasquale, Lauren Ko, and Andreas Orphanides.

Conference reports from the 4th Code4Lib conference, held in Providence, RI from February 23 to 26, 2009. The Code4Lib conference is a collective volunteer effort of the informal Code4Lib community of library technologists. Included are four brief reports on the conference from the recipients of conference scholarships.

BOOK REVIEW: Semantic Web for the Working Ontologist

Tom Keays

Written by two of the leading authorities on the semantic web, the “Semantic Web for the Working Ontologist” is a timely and thorough introduction to the topic. Covering RDF, RDFS, and OWL, the book takes a logical, trainerly approach, with practical and illuminating examples. Well worth a read.