ALCTS, Metadata Interest: ALA Midwinter Report 2015

ALA Midwinter Meeting 2015, Chicago
Report from the Metadata Interest Group, BIBFRAME Update Forum, and Metadata Standards Committee
Submitted by Lisa McFall, Chair, MLA-BCCMetadata Subcommittee

Metadata Interest Group (MIG)

The Metadata Interest Group followed its usual meeting organization and featured two presentations followed by a short business meeting. Slides for both presentations may be viewed at:

The first presentation, given by Jennifer Wright and Matt Carruthers from the University of Michigan Libraries was titled “Breaking the Bottleneck: Automating the Reconciliation of Named Entities to the Library of Congress Name Authority File.” The
presentation highlighted the University of Michigan’s use of OpenRefine to search the Virtual International Authority File (VIAF) for matches to personal and corporate name files that were missed by the Library’s authority vendor. A surprising number of additional matches were found and then integrated into the Library’s records. The scripts that are used for this are available through the University of Michigan’s GitHub repository.

The second presentation was given by Nancy Fallgren and Barbara Bushman from the National Library of Medicine and was titled “Linked Data Initiatives at NLM.” The talk focused on the efforts made to publish NLM’s linked data for MeSH in RDF. Unlike the
other six versions of MeSH that have been published as linked data, the NLM project tackled important issues with regards to the hierarchical relationships that are intrinsic to MeSH.

Following the two presentations, the business meeting of MIG was held. Reports given included those from liaisons external to
MIG, including MLA and CC:DA. It was announced that the programming for ALA Annual that is sponsored by MIG would include the usual two presentation/business meeting format, as well as a virtual preconference to be held June 2-4. The preconference will focus on the future of metadata services, with proposed topics including metadata support for research. The
ALCTS office will be handling the registration process for this, with more information forthcoming.

BIBFRAME Update Forum

The BIBFRAME Update Forum featured presentations by six individuals on the progress of various organizations with regards to BIBFRAME. Sally McCallum, Chief of Network Development and the MARC Standards Office at the Library of Congress provided an introduction and stated that the session would be recorded on video and released as a Library of Congress webcast at a future date.

Beacher Wiggins, Director of Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access at the Library of Congress was the first presenter and focused his discussion on LC’s plans for a pilot of BIBFRAME. He stated that the pilot will be testing inputting records in a variety of languages and would include testing using BIBFRAME for cataloging items in various formats. The plan is also to create the records in both MARC and BIBFRAME to be able to compare encoding bibliographic data in both formats to ensure that all necessary information is present.

Paul Frank, also from the Library of Congress, presented briefly on the BIBFRAME Editor and provided some updates on the
development of the Editor. Nate Trail from the Network Development and MARC Standards Office at the Library of Congress provided further information about the profiles and search and display functionality for the pilot. Smart Software Solutions is working on developing the Editor and Metaproxy will be used to support this. The BIBFRAME search and display functionality is supported by Fedora 4 with an integrated elastic search option. More information can be found on the BIBFRAME GitHub page. Work is also being completed to develop a comparison tool, as well as a MARC to BIBFRAME tool that can handle holdings, a gap that had existed in previous versions.

Phil Schreur, of Stanford University, presented about the work that is happening at Stanford and five other institutions to create BIBFRAME records in a production environment while cataloging natively in BIBFRAME, as opposed to a pilot environment. The institutions, including Harvard University and Cornell University, are collaborating on shared tool development. Work is also being done on retrieving authorities. The decision was made to switch to FAST headings instead of LCSH because of its use of linked data. Stanford is beginning a new project which will include creating certain BIBFRAME profiles, including one focused on music.

Ted Fons from OCLC updated on the collaboration between OCLC and the Library of Congress on the report titled Common Ground: Exploring Compatibilities Between the Linked Data Models of the Library of Congress and OCLC. The reported primarily
focused on comparing and contrasting the compatibility of linked data initiatives at LC and OCLC. A more detailed technical analysis will be released alter in 2015.

Before the floor was opened to questions, the final presentation was given by Eric Miller of Zepheira. His topic involved the integration of schema and BIBFRAME, particularly focusing on the Libhub Initiative ( The purpose of the Libhub Initiative is to increase the visibility of libraries on the web through the use of linked data and BIBFRAME.

Metadata Standards Committee

The Metadata Standards Committee meeting was rather subdued due to approximately half of the committee missing the meeting due to the weather and other commitments. Following the review and approval of the minutes, comments on the Checklist for Evaluating Metadata Standards were presented. The MLA BIBFRAME Task Force was asked to submit comments and Lisa McFall delivered them on behalf of the Task Force. The comments from the MLA Task Force, other solicited groups, and individual members were discussed. Due to the low meeting attendance and the short time window for submitting feedback, the decision was made to continue to solicit comments about the document before declaring a final version.

The MSC blog is up and running and has had various guest editors. The committee announced that they are looking to have others outside of MSC volunteer to guest edit as well. Ideas for soliciting volunteers included reaching out to the communities that were targeted for the comments on the Checklist, as well as possibly reaching out to professors teaching classes on metadata to see if there would be interest in having students work together to edit the blog as part of an assignment or class experience.

Topics for proposals for future programs at ALA were also discussed, with particular interest being expressed in organizing a session around data migration. Additional discussion regarding possible proposals will happen among the committee electronically to further define the focus.