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Christopher Case's picture

Midwinter 2013 - Kevin Ford to Speak on the topic "When URIs become authority: Benefits and challenges of library Linked Data"

Monday, January 28, 2013
1:00 pm to 2:00 pm, US/Pacific




The ALCTS CaMMS Subject Analysis Committee (SAC) is pleased to announce that Kevin Ford, Network Development and MARC Standards Office, Library of Congress, will be a guest speaker at its Monday, January 28 meeting at 1:00-2:00 p.m. in the Westin Seattle, Elliott Bay.  The title of his presentation is "When URIs become authority: Benefits and challenges of library Linked Data."




The Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) file has been available as linked data since 2009 from the Library of Congress’s (LC) Linked Data Service, ID.LOC.GOV.  The publication of LCSH as linked data (and subsequent datasets, such as the LC/NACO Name file) has provided LC with invaluable experience implementing and using linked data in a library environment.  The knowledge gained from this activity is especially beneficial in light of LC’s Bibliographic Framework Initiative, which strives to re-imagine the bibliographic ecosystem with an eye to embracing Linked Data methods and practices.  Moving toward a Linked Data approach to managing library data results in a number of benefits, but such changes also reveal a few significant issues that require, minimally, thoughtful solutions and some issues that, maximally, potentially upend our thinking.  For example, in the realm of Linked Data, where the a unique identifier is a type of authoritative collocation point, LCSH, in particular, poses a number of problems largely because pre-coordination enables an infinite system of subject headings.  Although the benefits of moving toward a more Linked Data approach to library data management will be enumerated, this presentation will focus on the issues revealed by such a move.  Given the audience, but also the importance of LCSH to libraries, special attention will be paid to LCSH, though other well-known datasets will also be discussed.  In some cases, the challenges may be technologically addressable, but other solutions point to policy amendments and changes to current practice and thinking.  As LC is very actively exploring a new Bibliographic Framework that embraces Linked Data principles and methods, this is a particularly opportune moment to be exploring issues surrounding the representation of library authority data as Linked Data.





Kevin Ford works in the Network Development and MARC Standards Office (NDMSO) at the Library of Congress where he is the current project manager for the Library of Congress's Linked Data Service, http://id.loc.gov.  Among many other authority files and value lists, LC’s Linked Data Service publishes the LC/NACO Name Authority File; LC Subject Headings; LC Classification; Thesaurus of Graphic Materials; and a number of MARC lists and ISO languages.  He spends a significant amount of time modeling traditional library data in RDF for publication at ID and consulting within the Library on other vocabulary-related issues.  Kevin also belongs to the six-member internal LC group shepherding the Library’s Bibliographic Framework Initiative, which will ultimately replace the MARC Communication Formats.  Kevin regularly follows Linked Data and Semantic Web developments for LC; he participated in the W3C's Library Linked Data Incubator Group. 

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