MarcEdit to offer Direct Koha ILS Integration


MarcEdit, a free MARC editor/manipulator is going to offer Koha integration in its next release!

At this point, the program is primarily supporting search and update/creation of records. Essentially, users will select their ILS system from the list of supported ILS’s (at this point, just Koha) and MarcEdit will add a new option to the MarcEditor window. I’ve been working hard over Thanksgiving so that a first version of this function can be made available in the next update.

I’m pretty excited about this and can’t wait to play with it! Learn more from Terry Reese.

RDA Helper added to MarcEdit


The latest release of MarcEdit (version 5.8) includes an RDA Helper:

The RDA Helper is an in development tool that provides the ability to RDA’ize AACR2 records. The function allows users to select from a broad range of RDA field options. RDA Helper includes automatic GMD generation

Terry Reese (the genius behind MarcEdit) has done a video to show you this new feature:

Check out the latest version of MarcEdit for this and other new/improved features.

Dewey Training Courses from OCLC

Dewey Call Numbers

I found this via Catalogablog:

We have completed development of an online set of training modules (available at no charge) for the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC). The modules are based on DDC 23, and each consists of a slide presentation and a set of exercises. Several of the modules treat general principles governing the operation of the DDC; others treat the structure and use of specific tables and main classes. The presentations and exercises assume the availability of the latest version of the DDC database (i.e., WebDewey), and a professor, trainer, and/or experienced Dewey user for offering explanations and fielding questions.

The availability of many of the modules has been announced previously. What’s new now is that (1) the set of modules covers all of the DDC schedules and tables (modules for the 500s and 600s are newly provided), and (2) all modules have been updated to match DDC 23.

Import Free Ebook Records to your Catalog


A couple years ago I brought a private project that shared Project Gutenberg records to your attention. Well, yesterday I thought I would go out and see if they had any more records to share so I could put them in to my Koha ILS demo site and found something awesome! Project Gutenberg has their own MARC exports (and other formats as well) that you can grab with over 40,000 records!!

If you’re using Koha, and want item records associated with these free MARC records take the file provided by Project Gutenberg and load it in to MarcEdit. Add a 942$c with your ebook type and then add a 952 with your branch and item type info. I did a tutorial video on this a while back that might help you. That’s what I did and now I have these titles in my catalog and searchable!

Learn more about the Koha item record in the 3.8 manual and get your own batch of free ebook MARC records at the Project Gutenberg wiki.

Add Free Ebooks to your Catalog

This came across a few lists I’m on today and I thought it would be beneficial to some of you. Using the file that some Colorado Libraries have created you can import a batch of freely available ebook classics to your system. More info here:

The Colorado Library Consortium created a project to clean up the most popular MARC records from Project Gutenberg called eDiscover the Classics. We identified the top 500 or so downloads and cleaned up those records and made them available to other libraries. We launched the website a few weeks at:

Since that time the records have been further enhancements by Douglas County Libraries and University of Denver. If you have already downloaded the MARC records we encourage you to get the new set of records and reload them into your catalog. Here is a link explaining our clean-up efforts:

Please consider these MARC records a gift to the library community! The more patrons think of libraries as a source for content for their Kindles, Nooks, IPads, MP3 players, etc – the better!

Valerie Horton

No more “Cookery”

Oh no! What example will I use when I talk about tagging? This came across AUTOCAT yesterday:

Subject Headings for Cooking and Cookbooks
June 22, 2010

The Library of Congress issued the list of the new and revised subject headings for materials on cooking and cookbooks on June 22, 2010 ( These new and revised headings will be distributed beginning with the CDS distribution file vol. 25, issue 24 dated June 14 and will continue until completed. The revision of Subject Headings Manual (SHM) H 1475, “Cooking and Cookbooks,” is forthcoming and will be posted as a PDF file on the public Cataloging and Acquisitions Web site ( ). It will also be included in SHM Update Number 2 of 2010, which will be distributed in the fall.

The word “cookery” has been changed to “cooking” in approximately 800 subject headings (e.g., Cooking, Cooking (Butter), Cooking for the sick, Aztec cooking, Cooking, American–Southwestern style).

A topical subject heading for Cookbooks and a genre/form heading for Cookbooks have also been approved, and are available for use.

Most of the Children’s Subject Headings in the form Cookery–[Ingredient] have been cancelled in favor of the adult heading Cooking ([Ingredient]). However, three of those headings have been retained and revised: Cooking (Buffets), Cooking (Garnishes), and Cooking (Natural foods).

In cases where reference structure for a heading has been changed but the heading itself has not, the heading was omitted from the list. For example, the headings Brunches, Comfort food, and Tortillas had the broader term Cookery, which has been changed to Cooking. None of these three headings appear on the Weekly List. The references on approximately 500 headings have been changed.

Every effort will be taken to expeditiously change the old form of subject headings in bibliographic records to the new form during the next few months.

Questions or concerns may be directed to:
Libby Dechman
Senior Cataloging Policy Specialist

How cool is that? Well probably not that cool to non-catalogers, but it’s cool to me :) I love seeing changes like this.

Bib records as perpetual betas

Christine Schwartz pointed me to a post Dodie Gaudet titled Perpetual Beta & Bibliographic Records. Dodie makes some interesting points about how we should think of our bibliographic records, but I think she’s missing one step. First, let’s look at what Dodie says:

So rather than thinking in terms of one person completing the perfect bib record, perhaps we begin with CIP or publishers data or something else and build on that. The first person with the book in hand adds details like paging. Someone who has studied a specific field can add more precise subject headings. The responsibility doesn’t have to fall to just one person. This doesn’t excuse anyone for doing a sloppy job, but sometimes the information one has to work with is limited. I’ve created bib records from “surrogates” (i.e. photocopies of titles pages) and for books in totally foreign (to me) languages like Hungarian. I expect I missed more than a few things in those cases, but I did the best I could with what I had.

We could think of bib records like a wiki. They evolve; people keep adding to them. Even though a published book is a static object and doesn’t change, the information we have about the book, the author, publisher, etc. would and given the Semantic Web, that information could be incorporated into or linked to the bib record.

This is awesome!! And I agree that we as catalogers can only do so much with the information we have and the background knowledge we have. The problem here – is a wiki is open to the public or at least to all in a specific field and with bib records we save them to our system and maybe send them to a cooperative of some sort – but then that’s our record, we don’t get to benefit from the others that edit the record after us because it’s in their system – not accessible to us.

So I’d add to this idea that we need an open access shared record database – ‡ was a step in that direction, but it seems to have been abandoned … and it never had the kind of user base you’d need to really benefit from a collaborative cataloging model.

I don’t have the answer here – but if we’re really going to benefit from the knowledge and expertise of our colleagues worldwide, we need to have access to each other’s data and we need to be able to share that information freely.

MARC not living up to the times

Stuart Yeates is awesome :) Okay – so I don’t know him – but this post makes me think he’s awesome:

Card catalogs have a long tradition in librarianship, dating back, I’m told, to the book stock-take in the French revolution. Librarians understand card catalogs in a deep way that comes from generations of librarians having used them as a core professional tool all their professional lives.

It is natural, when faced with something new, to understand it in terms of what we already know and already understand. Unfortunately, understanding the new by analogy to the old can lead to form of the old being assumed in the new. It was true that when libraries digitized their card catalogs in the 1970s and 1980s, they were more or less exactly digital versions of the card catalog predecessors, because their content was limited to old data from the cards and new data from cataloging processes (which were unchanged from the card catalog era) and because librarians and users had come to equate a library catalog with a card catalog—it was what they expected.

MARC is a perfect example of this kind of thing. As a data format to directly replace a card catalog of printed books, it can hardly be faulted.

Unfortunately, digital metadata has capabilities undreamt of at the time of the French revolution, and card catalogs and MARC do a poor job of handling these capabilities.

The real question is why we’re still expecting an approach that didn’t solve the problems two hundred years ago to solve our problems now? Computers are not magic in this area they just seem to be helping us do the wrong things faster, more reliably and for larger collections.

Read the entire post at Open Source Exile.

Cataloging Marketplace Study

The Library of Congress has retained R2 Consulting, LLC to research and describe the US and Canadian “marketplace” for cataloging records and they have just posted a couple of surveys that need our input:

If you are a librarian: Click here to take the library survey Once you have begun this survey, you can easily move forward and backward through the survey using the [Prev] and [Next] buttons on the bottom of each page. Once you click the [Done] button on the last page, your responses will be finalized and recorded.

If you represent a MARC system, distributor, cataloging cooperative, or other MARC service provider: Click here to take the vendor survey With regard to this survey, participants will have continuing access so that if necessary, survey questions can be completed over the course of multiple days. If you wish to re-enter, just click again on the link and your responses will be presented for editing.

Join the Ning group to keep up with news about the research.