OAI-PMH: Basics and Resources

Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) is a set of specifications for making structured open repository metadata accessible to other service providers issuing requests.

Why learn about OAI-PMH?

Taking advantage of repositories (data providers) and services (service providers) that offer metadata using OAI-PMH will allow your resources better visibility and access.  For example, many discovery services (the “harvester”) use OAI-PMH metadata for indexing open access institutional repository articles.

The Basics

Open Archives InitiativeOpen Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) specifies how metadata is structured and presented for ingestion by external services, usually on the Internet.  OAI-PMH metadata is encoded in extensible markup language (XML) format.  OAI-PMH records are harvested using HTTP requests.

OAI-PMH is a project of the Open Archives Initiative.

Continue reading “OAI-PMH: Basics and Resources”

Basics and Resources Series 2016

Last year we created a Basics and Resources series to introduce some common library technology topics.  As you can guess from the name, in each article we introduced the basic concepts and listed resources where you could learn more.  Based on feedback, these articles proved very popular and we will be posting more in the coming year.

The Basics and Resources articles from 2016 were:

Linked Data

Linked Data mugLinked Data is a set of practices which involves the publishing, sharing, and connecting of related data across the Web in a structured format, preferably using an open access license.

Read Linked Data: Basics and Resources.

BIBFRAME

BIBFRAMEBIBFRAME is a bibliographic framework for the description of physical and online objects to make them accessible on the Web by using a standard Linked Data model. It is a replacement for MARC.

Read BIBFRAME: Basics and Resources.

Altmetrics

Altmetric ScoreAltmetrics are “alternative metrics” to measure the influence and reach of scholarly output on the Web through peer-review counts, influential news sites and blog posts, citation manager bookmarks such as Mendeley, Wikipedia citations, and social media mentions on sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Read Altmetrics: Basics and Resources.

API

API GraphicAPI stands for Application Programming Interface which allows external applications to access software or Web services data, in the latter case by using HTTP request messages, for recombination (mashup) or custom presentation by the external application.

Read API: Basics and Resources.

We will keep a current list on the Basics and Resources Series page.

API: Basics and Resources

API stands for Application Programming Interface which allows external applications to access software or Web services data, in the latter case by using HTTP request messages, for recombination (mashup) or custom presentation by the external application.

Why use APIs?

Application programming interfaces essentially allow programs and online services to talk to each other.  APIs provide a set of definitions and protocols for services to request and exchange data.  Many library vendors provide public and key-based APIs to their services in order to allow customers to pull bibliographic and other data into local systems and websites.

The Basics

For our purposes, we’ll only look at Web APIs.

Web services and applications exchange data through APIs using a request and response system.  The exchange uses HTTP and HTTPS (secure HTTP) like regular Web requests, however the data isn’t formatted for people to read but rather for other services.  The data format is usually expressed in JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) or Extensible Markup Language (XML).

API Graphic

Continue reading “API: Basics and Resources”

ALA 2016 Annual Conference Follow-up

ALA 2016 Annual Conference

The American Library Association has added the audio and presentation files from many of the conference sessions to its ALA 2016 Annual Conference website.  For librarians interested in library technology, there were four must-attend sessions and fortunately ALA has the audio for these four sessions.  You’ll need to log in to the conference website to access them.

Linked Data – Globally Connecting Libraries, Archives, and Museums

Saturday, June 25, 2016 • 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM

Gordon Dunsire – RDA Steering Committee
Reinhold Heuvelmann – German National Library
Richard J. Urban – Florida State University

In the past years, libraries have embraced their role as global participants in the Semantic Web. Developments in library metadata frameworks such as BIBFRAME and RDA built on standard data models and ontologies including RDF, SKOS and OWL highlight the importance of linking data in an increasingly global environment. What is the status of linked data projects in libraries and other memory institutions internationally? Come hear our speakers address current projects, opportunities and challenges. Sponsored by the ALCTS International Relations Committee. Co-Sponsored by ALCTS/LITA Linked Library Data Interest Group.

The implementation of BIBFRAME and Linked Data is poised to revolutionize the access of scholarly articles and research data.  This session covered some projects including an open database of Linked Data from the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (German National Library), the Open Metadata Registry (OMR), and r-balls which contain “packages of data”—Linked Data and semantic Web representations of cultural heritage resources described using RDA.

Download the audio and presentation.

Executive Perspectives: A Strategic View of the Library Technology Industry

Saturday, June 25, 2016 • 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Marshall Breeding – Library Technology Guides
Sam Brooks – EBSCO
Matti Shem-Tov – Ex Libris
Skip Pritchard – OCLC
Jim Tallman – Innovative Interfaces
Sebastian Hammer – Index Data

Marshall Breeding, author of the annual Library Systems Report published in American Libraries, will assemble and moderate a panel of CEO or other senior executives representing organizations that produce software or services for libraries. Breeding will give a brief introduction and will then lead a lively discussion to probe at the technology and business trends currently in play, including industry consolidation, differing approaches to opening software to library programmers, and the shift toward cloud-based technologies. Panelists will be expected to candidly reflect the perspectives of their organizations, but not promote their products. The select panel will include representatives of organizations that produce commercial products, open source software, and will reflect for-profit and non-profit perspectives.

In this session, Marshall Breeding gathered executives from major library vendor companies and questioned them on topics including library vendor consolidation, comparative openness of their platforms, and more.  The three ILS vendors took subtle jabs at each other, while OCLC emphasized their nonprofit model.  Hammer took the opportunity to introduce an open library services platform (LSP) called FOLIO (of which we’ll have more soon).

Download the audio and presentation.

Library I.T.: Information Technologists or Information Thought-leaders?

Sunday, June 26, 2016 • 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Craig Boman – University of Dayton Libraries
Whitni Watkins – Analog Devices, Inc.

Library staff employed in information technology (I.T.) departments are often seen as support staff, only providing services when something breaks. But what more can library IT staff do to support the mission of their libraries? In this presentation we will explore why library IT staff should maximize their ability to work across various library departments to collaboratively design new library services rather than being relegated to support staff. We will also explore how library IT staff may challenge traditional bureaucratic organization structures to lead change efforts.

The speakers discussed the relationship of the library with its information technology staff (who may or may not be librarians).  They recommended that library IT staff be should be proactive.  “Don’t just wait around for problems to solve.”  Library IT staff should seek out opportunities to learn what other library staff do and join teams to get more involved.

Download the audio and presentation.

LITA Top Tech Trends

Sunday, June 26, 2016 • 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Maurice Coleman – Harford County (MD) Public Library
Blake Carver – LYRASIS
Carolyn K. Coulter – PrairieCat Library Consortium, Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS)
Nick Grove – Meridian Library District – unBound
Laura Costello, MLIS – Stony Brook University
Lauren Comito, MLS – Queens Library

This program features our ongoing roundtable discussion about trends and advances in library technology by a panel of LITA technology experts. The panelists will describe changes and advances in technology that they see having an impact on the library world, and suggest what libraries might do to take advantage of these trends. More information on Top Tech Trends: http://ala.org/lita/ttt

This was a huge session in one of the largest conference rooms.  Panelists were asked to state their top tech trends in a word: concepts, real time, virtual reality, balance (security vs. access), and super-easy application development.  “Library technology staff need to read vendor contracts to ensure privacy and security.”  Tools libraries can use to encourage open everything include promotion, shifting academic attitudes, and institutional repositories.  Panelists were asked about the Internet of Things: Useful or useless technology trend?  “Security is key.”  American Libraries posted a session summary on their blog.

Download the audio and presentation.

For more session audio and presentations, see our Library Technology at the ALA 2016 Annual Conference post and the official conference Full Schedule page.

Linked Data and Library Vendors

In February we wrote about Linked Data basics and resources but only briefly mentioned its application by library vendors.  In this post we’ll look deeper into existing and future library applications and services from major library vendors that implement Linked Data.

OCLC

OCLC WorldCatBefore the BIBFRAME model began development, OCLC was already experimenting with Linked Data using the Schema.org model and worked toward expanding its vocabularies to include bibliographic data.

Right now all WorldCat entries include Linked Data.  At the bottom of an item record, there is an expandable section headed “Linked Data” which will display the Linked Data schema:

OCLC WorldCat Record Linked Data Example

WorldCat displays the Primary Entry and any Related Entries in several standard formats:

SirsiDynix

BLUEcloudBLUEcloud Visibility was announced in a press release on January 7, 2015.  SirsiDynix partnered with Zepheira to create this add-in product to work with SirsiDynix’s existing products.  They created a pilot program with Douglas County Libraries.

BLUEcloud Visibility transforms MARC21 records to Linked Data.  Some features:

  • Service to extract your MARC records and transform them into BIBFRAME resources
  • Records are enhanced with library location data making them geographically relevant to patrons in your area
  • Creates linked data for your library resources, so search engines can index, link them to other resources, and make them discoverable

Currently only library catalog data is included, but the company plans to extend to electronic resources.  Currently there is no real-time item availability.  Records will be updated twice a month.

BLUEcloud Visibility Graphic
Graphic from: BLUEcloud Visibility: The Future of Library Data webinar at http://go.sirsidynix.com/BLUEcloud-Visibility-The-Future-of-Library-Data-On-Demand.html

Read more on SirsiDynix’s BLUEcloud Visibility page.

Innovative Interfaces

Innovative InterfacesInnovative Interfaces is an active sponsor of the Libhub Initiative.  In August 2015 they published The ILS and Linked Data: A White Paper to explain why the company was adopting Linked Data and answers some questions about it.

On March 16, 2016, Innovative Interfaces and Zepheira announced a partnership to use Zepheira’s Linked Data technology in Innovative’s new Innovative Linked Data service.

Innovative Linked Data
Graphic from: Innovative Linked Data FAQ at https://www.iii.com/sites/default/files/Innovative Linked Data FAQ.pdf

“Innovative Linked Data is available immediately as a subscription service for Polaris, Sierra, Millennium, and Virtua library systems” according to the press release.

Ex Libris

Putting Linked Data at the Service of LibrariesIn January, Ex Libris announced that the company launched a program to “harness linked data technology in its resource management and discovery solutions” and published the paper Putting Linked Data at the Service of Libraries. The paper details how Ex Libris will enrich products such as their Alma resource management service and Primo discovery service with Linked Data both as a source and a consumer.

Future versions of Alma will ingest BIBFRAME records and enable cataloging librarians to utilize global online authority files such as VIAF for author/creator authority records, Library of Congress Linked Data Subject Headings, and GeoNames geographical place names database.

Ex Libris Primo

The next Primo user interface will include Linked Data features to enhance search results.  Linked Data will, of course, increase the exposure of the library’s resources to third-party applications and the Web at-large.

Ex Libris is working with its user groups to form Linked Open Data Special Interest Working Groups to help develop and test Linked Data features in the products mentioned.  Collaborating libraries include those at Boston College, University of Oklahoma, and University of Amsterdam.