Monday, December 19, 2005

Out of the loop

Wow! I've been buried in deadlines recently, and am just starting to get caught up on email lists and the biblioblogsphere. Have I been missing out!

On Web4Lib, there was a ruckus recently about activism, copyright, and free expression. It at times descended into obscenities and name-calling, but also raised a number of thought-provoking questions about the information landscape and the maintenance of relevant and professional forums for discussion about issues that librarians should care about.

The Shifted Librarian, Jenny Levine, with a reasonable concern about the lack of comping registration fees for invited speakers at library conferences, sparked a rousing debate about conference economics, the value of institutional support for professional development, and a librarian's responsibility to give back to the profession.

I'm taking all of this as a reminder to step back from the inevitible daily emergencies and petty disagreements to think about the larger issues: why I'm a librarian in the first place, how I can contribute to our shared mission, and what our users really need in this day and age. I'm going to take some time over the next few weeks, as I have some time off (in between all the writing I have been putting off!), to reflect on these issues and re-focus my work. I hope everyone out there has a similar opportunity.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

DLF MODS Implementation Guidelines available for public comment and review

The Digital Library Federation's Aquifer Initiative is pleased to invite public review and comment on the DLF MODS Implementation Guidelines for Cultural Heritage Materials.

The primary goal of the Digital Library Federation's Aquifer Initiative is to enable distributed content to be used effectively by libraries and scholars for teaching, learning, and research. The provision of rich, shareable metadata for this distributed content is an important step towards this goal. To this end, the Metadata Working Group of the DLF Aquifer Initiative has developed a set of implementation guidelines for the Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS). These guidelines are meant specifically for metadata records that are to be shared (whether by the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI PMH) or other means) and that describe digital cultural heritage and humanities-based scholarly resources. The Guidelines are available at (pdf document about 470 kb).

In order to ensure the Implementation Guidelines are useful and coherent, we are collecting comments and feedback from the wider digital library community. We appreciate any and all comments, feedback, and questions. These may be sent to DLF-MODS-GUIDELINES-COMMENTS-L@LISTSERV.INDIANA.EDU. The deadline for comments and review is January 20, 2006.

DLF Aquifer Metadata Working Group:

Sarah Shreeves (Chair) - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign John Chapman - University of Minnesota Bill Landis - California Digital Library Liz Milewicz - Emory University David Reynolds - Johns Hopkins University Jenn Riley - Indiana University Gary Shawver - New York University