As a brand new graduate student in the vibrant world of information management, there is one very specific thing I have learned so far without a shadow of a doubt.
There is a lot of change going on in in this field.
Across all departments within a library, in every class of a library program — from reference services to cataloging to library management — it’s all about change, change, change. There are a dizzying array of new frameworks, technologies, and methodologies that librarians have been, still are, and will continue to be implementing and adjusting to in every corner of the library universe.
Among all of these changes, there is one change I recently stumbled across that intrigues me the most, nestled away within the acronym and technical jargon-rich cataloging world. This is the expected move from MARC to a new type of cataloging that allow the library’s information and holdings to becoming recognized, understood, and shared with the larger web of data on the internet. The new cataloging framework currently being created and tested by the Library of Congress and it’s partners is called Bibframe.
You may be thinking to yourself, well that sure sounds boring!
Rest assured, my friend. It is quite the opposite.
Imagine if libraries could represent themselves together in a way the internet world could see and understand! It is through this transition that the library world will be able to emerge from behind its looming intellectual walls, able to participate and share information on its resources and holdings with web searches done by the masses. (Haider, 2015)
Libraries will finally be truly saying hello to the internet, and the world!
The three most important terms to understand at the core of this transition is web of data, linked data, and Bibframe. So what do these terms mean?
The web of data is just the internet, right? Sorta. “The Web” as we know it currently represents separate pages or documents that are linked together. (Library of Congress, page 6) The web of data is a more expansive view, linking information on “The Web” to non-computer based resources that could be either tangible or abstract. This forms the basis for “linked data.”
Linked data is basically using the Web to connect related data that wasn’t previously linked, or using the Web to lower the barriers to linking data currently linked using other methods. (linkeddata.org)
And finally, Bibframe. Bibframe is short for Bibliographic Framework, the model being proposed by the Library of Congress to not only replace MARC as the way information will be cataloged, but also to lay the foundation for the future of bibliographic description. (Library of Congress, 21)
Basically, to break it down, Bibframe will be the means by which libraries will use their internal data to create linked data, and then share it with the larger web of data.
So, fellow LIS students, keep your eyes open and your ears to the ground.
The Bibframe world is just around the corner, and we will be the one’s introducing, implementing, and supporting this new paradigm of information storage and retrieval.
Haider, Salman. “Resource Description & Access (RDA): Libhub Initiative.” June 10, 2015. Accessed October 17, 2015. http://resourcedescriptionandaccess.blogspot.com/2015/06/libhub-initiative.html#.Vif-3KJAF9Z.
Library of Congress. “Bibliographic Framework as a Web of Data: Linked Data Model and Supporting Services — Marcld-Report-11–21–2012.pdf.” November 21, 2012. Accessed October 20, 2015. https://www.loc.gov/bibframe/pdf/marcld-report-11-21-2012.pdf.
Linkeddata.org. “Linked Data — Connect Distributed Data across the Web.” 2015. Accessed October 19, 2015. http://linkeddata.org/.