Cataloging the blogosphereJune 15th, 2005 by infomancy
I have this idea that has been going through my head for a while. It started when one of my staff and I were talking about my starting my MLS with cataloging as my first course; I am enjoying the class, but it does rather start the ride already in high gear. We were talking about how a certain very large company bought Web Feet, previously a small company that provided library catalog records for quality, educationally appropriate websites. The idea is that when a student searches for “dogs” in the catalog, it shows a link to the American Kennel Club website in addition to books on dogs. Alas, the small company was bought up, and the price more than doubled.
So, in talking about creative alternatives we could offer our member libraries, I had this crazy idea. LII has an RSS feed for their New This Week updates. Note: 1) RSS feeds are written in XML. 2) DublinCore is a very well known XML library cataloging schema. 3) As such, there exist many tools to transfer XML records into MARC (the standard schema used in most library automation systems). Somehow, in less time than it took you to read this – and much less time than it took to type this – I had this flash of brillance. Edit: Umm…with less caffeine and more sleep this doesn’t sound so good. What I meant to say is, as I begin to learn more about cataloging, I find I like the subject even if I am not very good at it. I just had an interesting idea, that, to my newly attained cataloging knowledge base seemed pretty cool. We could create an automated script that would process an RSS feed and convert it into a MARC record to upload into our catalog! (Hopefully more to follow if I can find the time to open a conversation with LII about the possiblity of doing this.) And thanks, KGS, for pointing out my bass ackwards approach here, sorry.
The more I think about this, the more I like the idea. In sharing it with my cataloging professor, she found it a fascinating concept that she hadn’t previously heard of. What better way to help continue to promote the legitmacy of blogs than by having them included in library catalogs…
Edited: June 20, 2005