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Shelby Harken's picture

CCS Forum presentations - Turning Catalogers into Semantic Web Engineers, or, Out of the Catalog Drawer and onto the Internet Highway

Turning Catalogers into Semantic Web Engineers, or, Out of the Catalog Drawer and onto the Internet Highway.

The Semantic Web often enters into discussions about the future of cataloging and the purpose of RDA. To meet users’ expectations catalogers must become Semantic Web engineers so the library catalog will get out of the drawer and onto the Internet highway. Speakers addressed issues to consider as we approach the entrance ramp.

First Session:

Encoding bibliographic data - The Things and Strings of the Semantic Web

Karen Coyle

She discussed moving bibliographic data toward linked data on the semantic web.   In “Understanding the Semantic Web: Bibliographic Data and Metadata” she noted libraries’ future “must include the transformation of the library’s public catalog from a stand-alone database of bibliographic records to a highly hyperlinked data set that can interact with information resources on the World Wide Web.” In RDA Vocabularies for a Twenty-First-Century Data Environment, she noted “With Web-based data, we can use the vast information resources there to enhance our data by creating relationships between library data and information resources. This will increase not only opportunities for users to discover the library and its resources, but also the value of the data by allowing its use in a wide variety of contexts”


Second session:

Bibliographic data in the Semantic Web – what issues do we face in getting it there?

Gordon Dunsire

Library catalogues use the bibliographic record as the unit of metadata, while the Semantic Web focuses on the metadata statement of a single bibliographic attribute. The presentation discussed some of the issues arising from this paradigm shift, as well as the technical, legal, and economic barriers likely to be encountered in transforming legacy records into library linked data.

Third session:

RDA and the Semantic Web

Ed Jones

Does RDA play nice with the Semantic Web? If so, how? What RDA elements should be linked, and at what level of granularity? Some MARC fields might not lose information if they were treated as single elements, while others might benefit from greater analysis and control at a more granular level. If something can't be controlled, is it necessary to identify it separately?