A weblog following developments around the world in FRBR: Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records.

Maintained by William Denton, Web Librarian at York University. Suggestions and comments welcome at wtd@pobox.com.


Confused? Try What Is FRBR? (2.8 MB PDF) by Barbara Tillett, or Jenn Riley's introduction. For more, see the basic reading list.

Books: FRBR: A Guide for the Perplexed by Robert Maxwell (ISBN 9780838909508) and Understanding FRBR: What It Is and How It Will Affect Our Retrieval Tools edited by Arlene Taylor (ISBN 9781591585091) (read my chapter FRBR and the History of Cataloging).

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Last Week in FRBR #11

Posted by: William Denton, 20 December 2009 1:11 pm
Categories: Last Week

A couple of days late this week. My Internet access is apparently broken in three different ways, and the phone company can’t even explain how it could have been working last week.

Zhang and Salaba, Implementing FRBR in Libraries: Key Issues and Future Directions

There’s a new FRBR book! Implementing FRBR in Libraries: Key Issues and Future Directions by Yin Zhang and Athena Salaba, published by Neal Schumann. Here’s the publisher’s description:

This book is ideal for anyone who aims to obtain an overview of the current status of Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) development. It helps identify the key FRBR issues that need to be addressed and investigates the future directions of FRBR development.

Implementing FRBR in Libraries: Key Issues and Future Directions is the first book to address the theory and implementation of FRBR in a unified discussion. Authors Yin Zhang and Athena Salaba, winners of the 2009 ALISE/Bohdan S. Wynar Research Paper Competition Award, give readers a clear framework for understanding FRBR’s current and potential implications on library catalogs. They provide a thorough introduction to the history of FRBR and its possible benefits, a detailed description of the FRBR model and its components, and a discussion of its practical influence in transforming description standards, cataloging and metadata practices. The book includes examples of how professionals are successfully applying FRBR in real-life library settings, and explores various methods for effectively implementing the FRBR model. Each chapter includes illustrations to help reinforce fundamental concepts. The book contains a comprehensive appendix of key terms and acronyms to aid readers new to the field and a list of projects and software to showcase practical FRBR applications.

Library catalogers, indexers, metadata creators, reference librarians, researchers, and LIS educators and students who need to know, or know more about, FRBR will find this refreshingly straightforward book invaluable.

I’ll post any links I see about this. I’m looking forward to reading it. Nice to see more books about FRBR out there!

Massart, Information for Learning Object Exchange

David Massart‘s talk Information for Learning Object Exchange, which looks at how FRBR can be applied to learning objects, is up on Slideshare. You can also download the PowerPoint slides (2.7 MB PPT). I think the talk was given on 2 November 2009, but I’m not sure where.

Vocabulary Mapping Framework

The Vocabulary Mapping Framework issued some updates. What is it? The Vocabulary Mapping Framework (VMF): An Introduction says:

1.1 Purpose of the VMF

The initial aim of VMF is to provide a freely available tool which can be used to automatically compute the “best fit” mappings between terms in controlled vocabularies in different metadata schemes and messages (both standard and, in principle, proprietary) which are of interest to the educational, bibliographic and content publishing sectors. This tool is known as the VMF matrix. The ontology is likely to have other uses but this is the start point where there appears to be immediate practical benefit.

1.2 Scope of first release

The first release of the VMF matrix (the “alpha” release, as it is usable for experimentation but requires thorough practical testing, error-fixing and refinement) includes selected controlled vocabularies and parts of vocabularies from CIDOC CRM, DCMI, DDEX, FRAD, FRBR, IDF, LOM (IEEE), MARC21, MPEG21 RDD, ONIX and RDA as well as the complete RDA-ONIX Framework from which VMF is in part derived. URLs for the above can be found at the project website. The scope of VMF is not limited to these schemes and standards, but these are the initial focus, and many of them have representatives in the VMF project.

The documents page has files of RDF triples that map elements from one ontology to another. They’re at an alpha stage right now, with datestamped filenames, so I won’t link to them, but have a look. This will be very useful in the linked data world.

FRBR and Linked Data in O’Reilly’s Catalogue

Ed Summers tweeted to point out Ivan Herman’s blog post RDFa usage spreading…, which says in part:

This morning I found out that O’Reilly has begun to systemically add RDFa to their catalog pages. Eg, the page on the “Switching to the Mac” book can produce the RDF information using the RDFa distiller. Note the code uses well established vocabularies: Core FRBR, GoodRelations, Foaf, Dublin Core… ie, using this data with other mashup sites become much easier!

OCLC’s Classify

This isn’t new but I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before, and I always forget where it is: Classify, from OCLC: “Classify is a FRBR-based prototype designed to support the assignment of classification numbers and subject headings for books, DVDs, CDs, and other types of materials.” If you need a call number for a book and it doesn’t have the cataloguing-in-publication data inside, this is the fastest place to get it.

WorldCat Basic API

OCLC announced A New WorldCat API Available to All. The new WorldCat Basic API will let anyone query WorldCat and get back various kinds of bibliographic metadata, up to 1,000 queries per day, for noncommercial use. Peter Murray explains more about it, with examples, in OCLC Introduces an API for Anyone to Access Book Data. Very useful, and when mixed in with xISBN and the other xID services offered, you can get an awful lot of useful information quickly and easily.

ALCTS FRBR Interest Group Meeting at ALA Midwinter

Announcement about the ALCTS FRBR Interest Group meeting at the ALA Midwinter. If you’re at the conference in Boston on 15 January 2010 then you can go. Post something about it online if you do!

Shelly Couvrette Doodle

Staff Meeting Doodle has a nice drawing by Shelly Couvrette, done perhaps while she was in a meeting and talking about FRBR.

We’ve begun cataloging e-books from print copy records, instead of from the item itself, something that will make a lot of catalogers’ brains explodiate. But with the move toward FRBR, wherein multiple item types will be nested under one uber-bib record, this makes a whole lotta sense. Under the provider neutral model, individual variances (e.g. one manifestation has 155 pages and another has 146) are not important. Under FRBR (which is a long way from being implemented yet), format itself will cease to matter at the bibliographic record level (e.g. a book and a DVD of a movie made from the book will fall under the same master bib record). So I see the provider neutral model as a step toward FRBR.

Interesting stuff, if you’re a cataloger, but probably not so much otherwise.

Resource Description and Access Happy Fun Time Companion

Resource Description and Access Happy Fun Time Companion gets more and more interesting.


1 Comment »

  1. [...] FRBR Blog: Last Week in FRBR #11 [web link]Planet Cataloging (20/Dec/2009)“…and linked data in o’reilly’s catalogue ed [...]

    Pingback by HotStuff 2.0 » Blog Archive » Word of the Day: “o’reilly’s” — 23 December 2009 @ 1:05 am

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