4M: Cataloging unchained

Posted by laura on March 4, 2013 under Admin | Be the First to Comment

Time again for the Monday metadata movie. No muffins this week. Gluten sensitivity has put the breaks on that.

This one made me chuckle.  Well played Roy Tennant, well played.

Cataloging Unchained: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQRHNdw2_yw

4M: Library Linked Data videos

Posted by laura on July 2, 2012 under Semantic web | Be the First to Comment

It’s Monday.  It’s time for a metadata movie.   There’s been a lot going on lately re: Library LOD.  I’d have been posting on it but, well, you know how it goes.  I’m excited about the developments.  I’m itching to resume work on our own faculty linked names pilot project.  I’m almost caught up with my post-leave  in-box and should be returning to that soon.  Meanwhile, grab some popcorn and enjoy.

DLF Linked Data Hands-on Session & 4M

Posted by laura on December 5, 2011 under Semantic web | 2 Comments to Read

As promised, I’m finally getting around to posting about the sessions at DLF Forum which were particularly awesome.   The Linked Data: Hands on How-To workshop afforded the opportunity to bring your own data and learn how to link-if-y it.  It held the promise of helping me get the Caltech faculty names linked data pilot a bit further along.   I didn’t get much further in the process due to some technical glitches.  Yet the session was still successful in a couple of ways.

First, I had another “a-ha!!” moment in terms of how Linked Data works.  All this time I’ve been preparing our faculty names data with an eye towards exposing it as Linked Data.  I realize that this build-it-and-they-will come approach is somewhat naive, but it’s a baby step in terms of getting ourselves up-to-speed on the process.  What I didn’t fully grasp was that a data exposed in this fashion is just an endpoint,  an object or subject others can point at but not really do much with.  If it’s just an endpoint, one can’t follow their nose and link on to more information on other servers. Our data will only be truly useful once it can be used to complete the full subject-predicate-object “sentence” of a triple.

In practical terms it means rather than just putting out a URI associated with a faculty name,  we should expose the faculty name URI along with other identity links and relationship links.  Let’s use our favorite Caltech faculty name as an example.  We mint a URI for Richard Feynman, let’s say http://library.caltech.edu/authorities/feynman.  We ensure the URI is  “dereferencable” by HTTP clients which means the client receives an HTML or RDF/XML URI in response to its query.  Since we only have the name identifiers in our data set, that’s all the client will receive in the returned HTML or RDF/XML document.   In this case we know Feynman has a NAF identifier http://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/n50002729.htm.

The entity working with this exposed data would have to do all the work to create links if all we exposed was was the NAF URI (and really, why wouldn’t somebody just go directly to the NAF?).  Our data on this end would be much  richer if we could make a few statements about it.  We need to expose triples.   As an example, we could create a simple triple related our URI with the NAF URI.   We connect the URIs with the OWL web ontology “same as” concept.    The triple would look like this:

<http://library.caltech.edu/authorities/feynman.html>  <http://www.w3.org/2002/07/owl#sameAs> <http://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/n50002729.htm>

The data we’re exposing is now looking much more like Linked Data.  We could go even further and start writing triples like Feynman is the creator of “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman” using a URI for the Dublin Core vocabulary term creator and a URI for the bibliographic work.   The more triples we garner, the more the machines can glean about Feynman.      It was a breakthrough for me to figure out that we need  full triples in our project rather than simply exposing a name URI.

The second way the hands-on workshop was a success for me was that  I had the opportunity to play with Google Refine.  Google Refine is spreadsheets on steroids.  It allows you to manipulate delimited data in more ways than Excel.  Free Your Metadata has some videos which explain the process for using Refine with a RDF extension to prepare subject heading linked data (yes, I’m sneaking a Monday Morning Metadata Movie into this post).   I was hoping to take my spreadsheet data of names and LCCN and get either VIAF or NAF URIs.  That would get our faculty names linked data project to the point of having 1/3rd of a triple.

Unfortunately, the I could not get the RDF plug-in installed on my laptop.  Some of my colleagues in the hands-on did manage to get it to work.  We pulled in some very knowledgeable programmers to troubleshoot and their conclusion after about an hour of tinkering was that the plug-in was buggy.    Back to the drawing board it seems.

There will be another Linked Data hands-on session at CODE4LIB 2012.  I anticipate that it will be as useful as the DLF hands-on.  I do plan on attending and I am keeping my fingers crossed that I can make some progress with our project.   There is a great list of resources on the web page for the DLF session.  There are other tools there besides Google Refine that I hope to play with before CODE4LIB.  Plus there are links to other hands-on tutorials.  Slowly but surely I’ll get my head wrapped around how to do Linked Data.  I’m grateful the DLF forum furthered my understanding.


MarcEdit how-to videos

Posted by laura on April 11, 2011 under Metadata | Be the First to Comment

I had the pleasure of attending an advanced MarcEdit workshop this past Friday taught by none other than Mr. MarcEdit himself, Terry Reese.  I learned quite a few tips and tricks.  Most important for me was learning how the regular expression engine functions and the extensions Terry included (not too many, yay for sticking to the .NET framework!).  The portion on programming MarcEdit from the command line was a bit beyond my ken but it was cool to see it and file under must-learn-someday.

Terry has a quite a few YouTube videos demonstrating how to make the most of the program.  They have been available for a couple of years but they’re worth reminding folks about.  And hey, it’s Monday, it’s a movie, and it’s metadata related.

4M: Monday Morning Metadata Movies (& Muffins!)

Posted by laura on March 25, 2011 under Metadata | Read the First Comment

When I was a newbie manager I experimented with more regular staff meetings for the people in the Metadata Services Group.  I wanted to incorporate shared learning and group discussion into our meetings to make training more fun and relevant.  So I added metadata videos to our Monday morning agenda.  I would bring homemade vegan muffins to encourage attendance and participation since we met early and it was Monday after all (pix available via Flickr!).  We called it the 4M: Monday morning metadata movies & muffins.  You can pronounce that Mmmm.

We eventually abandoned that experiment.  Folks liked the videos, but wanted to watch them on their own time.  Since then, my periodic sharing of links for metadata-related videos with the folks on my team has dwindled. I was reminded of this practice when a dear friend recently asked me for the links to the videos.  I was also reminded of this when Mod Librarian started posting a Metadata Monday  series on her blog.  Great minds and all that.  I’ve finally managed to post the link to the YouTube play list for the late-lamented (at least by me) experiment.  Drum roll please…for your viewing pleasure:

The  4M: Monday Morning Metadata Movies play list.

Caveat: the  movies we watched were not always strictly about metadata, but they were on topics relevant to metadata management within academic libraries. They were  intended for an audience of paraprofessionals & professionals.  And sometimes they were more fun than educational.

Some past 4M videos which weren’t on the YouTube play list:

I’m inspired now to resume my quest for videos relevant to metadata workers in academic libraries.  Perhaps I’ll even post them each Monday.  Or at least on some Mondays.  And I don’t promise to bake vegan muffins on Sunday nights.