Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Link Rot, Content Drift, and Reference Rot

The Internet is a fluid machine and the pages that make up the Web are only representative of the present. Links to web pages from last year, and sometimes even last month, are frequently obsolete. As these references become more common in published works, from law review articles to Supreme Court decisions this breakdown evidence supporting arguments progressively becomes more problematic.

To take a look at the challenges we face and some of the solutions that are available (or being developed), The New Yorker’s Jill Lepore takes a look at the work of Brewster Kahle’s Internet Archive in her article “Can the Internet be archived?

Friday, January 9, 2015

RIMMF 3 now available from The MARC of Quality

Some of you may be familiar with the original "RIMMF," which stands for "RDA in Many Metadata Formats." RIMMF was developed by Deborah and Richard Fritz of The MARC of Quality (TMQ), a library training and consulting firm, as a visualization and training tool for learning RDA. RIMMF 3 was released in early January, and it has come a long way since its first version! It encourages ("forces" is such a harsh word) the cataloger to "think in RDA;" in other words, think about bibliographic data in terms of entities, attributes, and relationships. I have just begun to experiment with RIMMF 3 ( and its 18 online tutorials (, created in support of the upcoming "Jane-athon" ( taking place at ALA Midwinter. TMQ is offering a free RIMMF 3 training webinar on January 20 (register at as preparation for the Jane-athon, but there is no reason why those not attending the Jane-athon cannot also take advantage of this training opportunity. I find that working through the RIMMF 3 tutorials gives me a real, hands-on taste of what cataloging might look like as we transition from MARC to a linked data-based cataloging environment.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Expensing e-books: how much should patron habit influence collection development?

This article by Terrance L. Cottress and Brigitte Bell explores the difficulties in managing print and ebook expenditures in today's libraries.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Paul Frank, along with the PCC Secretariat, have created a new webpage, BIBFRAME and the PCC, to help librarians learn about the BIBFRAME initiative and understand development of a future bibliographic ecosystem. The creators hope that this page will function as a central source for information, documentation and updates on the PCC's involvement with BIBFRAME.

Of particular interest is a short paper, authored by Paul Frank, entitled BIBFRAME: Why? What? Who? describing the basics of BIBFRAME and why it is being developed.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

John Attig blogs from this week's meetings of the Joint Steering Committee

In case you have been waiting with bated breath for a resolution to the issues raised in 6JSC/TechnicalWG/4, "Court and Jurisdiction in RDA" (; see also my previous TechScans post on this topic, dated October 7, 2014)), it appears as though you will have to wait a while longer. As John Attig reports in his blog of this week's meetings of the Joint Steering Committee, "[t]he [Technical Working Group's] paper represents an attempt to disambiguate the uses of the term “Jurisdiction” in RDA in order to distinguish between the place governed and the governing body. The paper proposed to limit the term “Jurisdiction” to the place and to find other terms for referring to various types of corporate bodies. There was no consensus on the recommendations presented, and several JSC constituencies agreed to work together to investigate the problem further." Attig's blog is a great way to get "fly-on-the-wall" observations about the JSC's deliberations as they unfold:

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Website Archivability

With the recent Symposium: 404/File Not Found: Link Rot, Legal Citation and Projects to Preserve Precedent at Georgetown Law School, it’s important to take into consideration the future archivability of the webpages you and your institution create. We all take for granted the fluidity of the web and frequently forget that content on websites changes, and is lost, constantly. This is not just restricted to news sites, but impacts everything from our institutional sites to government and court sites. Many organizations are working to preserve the content on the internet, from individual websites, to the documents, videos, and images that they includes. And they seek to do this in as authentic a way as possible as well as to give future users the ability to access and interact with the sites in the way it was originally intended.

To assist in the creation of websites that promote archiving, Stanford University Libraries recently published a set of Recommendations for Web Builders to Improve the Archivability of Their Content, with archivability referring to “the ease with which the content, structure, and front-end presentation(s) of a website can be preserved and later re-presented, using contemporary web archiving tools.” This documentation builds on other resources relating to web archiving and seeks to improve collective web preservation efforts. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Library of Congress BIBFRAME update

On September 4th a presentation entitled Bibliographic Framework Initiative (BIBFRAME): Update & Practical Applications was given to Library of Congress staff. Beacher Wiggins, Kevin Ford and Paul Frank deliver an explanation of the current state of BIBFRAME and its implications for library metadata. The target audience for the presentation is experienced catalogers; BIBFRAME structure and concepts are explicated in an understandable way. Paul Frank attempts to assess the impact of BIBFRAME implementation on the work of a typical cataloger.

The presentation is available for viewing via the Library of Congress' BIBFRAME media portal at