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    Newsletter of the Interest Group for Bibliographic Standards              Vol. 3, no. 2
                                                                              (July 2006)

Message from the IGBIS Chair

It is with great pleasure that the IGBIS Committee once again welcome you to the
annual Workshop on Bibliographic Standards. We trust that you will benefit from
this training and networking opportunity.
The LIASA national election is taking place this year and a new national IGBIS
committee has to be elected for the next two years. None of the current
committee members are available for re-election. As stipulated in the IGBIS
constitution and to ensure continuity, I will remain on the new committee as
additional member. Due to the need for the committee to meet on a monthly
basis to effectively plan the annual workshop as well as other training events, the
suggestion is that the new committee be elected from the same region or IGBIS
branch - this time preferably from outside Gauteng. Please keep this in mind
when you nominate experienced and knowledgeable cataloguers for the next
term of office. The IGBIS elections will be conducted electronically and the new
committee will be announced at the IGBIS AGM in September.

IGBIS will not have a pre-conference workshop at this year‟s LIASA Conference.
However an exciting IGBIS event is planned for the 27th of September. Johan
Greeff from Treetops Management & Development Consultants will present a
motivational workshop entitled Cataloguing: In Transition or Transformation?
Some of the aspects that will be addressed during the Workshop include:
the cataloguer of the future; how am I shaping up personally; the true professional
cataloguer; how to be a professional; developing the profession; key
competencies; and how do we project ourselves.

This personal development opportunity will be offered free of charge to IGBIS
members from funds generated by the annual workshops. By doing so the current
IGBIS Committee would like to give something in return to our members in
                         Standards for Quality and Unity                         1
appreciation of their loyal support during our term of office. As only 50
cataloguers can be accommodated, it is essential to book early.
Thank you once again for your support and I sincerely hope you will enjoy reading
this issue of IGBIS-in-Touch.
Madely du Preez



Message from the IBGIS chair       …………………………………………….                           1
From the editor      ……………………………………………………………..                                  2
IGBIS Limpopo and Continuing Professional Education……………………..                   3
KZN IGBIS on the move …..………..……………………………………….                                  3
Carnegie training ……………………………………………………….........                                4
Introduction to metadata standards     …………………………………….                          4
What is LibraryThing?       ……….…………………………………………….                              7

From the Editor

Dear IGBIS member
Welcome to this issue of IGBIS-in-Touch.

With the upcoming elections and call for nominations it is perhaps fitting to reflect
on what it means to be involved in the IGBIS Committee. It calls for commitment
and dedication, an open mind towards learning, a need to acquire knowledge in
the field of bibliographic standards, an awareness of the latest developments and
trends and a willingness to share information with fellow cataloguers.

This is your opportunity to grow on a professional level and to meet and network
with extraordinary people in the library profession. We are eagerly awaiting your
The next issue of IGBIS-in-Touch will be published to coincide with the LIASA
Conference. Please submit any bibliographic news or views for publication.

Best wishes
Martha de Waal


                 IGBIS LIMPOPO and the need for
                 Continuing Professional Education

On the 19th of May, the LIMPOPO IGBIS Branch held a successful meeting on
the topic of: Some perspectives on continuing professional education: prospects
and challenges. Although it is still a problem to communicate with remotely
based librarians, the meeting was well attended. The majority of attendees were
teacher librarians and many of their issues and problems regarding continuing
education were discussed. Many thanks to Van Schaik‟s Bookstore for the
sponsoring of note pads and pens.
-- Submitted by Khomotso Maphopha (IGBIS Chair – Limpopo)

                        KZN IGBIS on the move …

It was very clear at the last IGBIS meeting that the library sector in the province is
a-buzz with SIRSI UNICORN!!

The University of Zululand, Mangosuthu Technikon and Durban University of
Technology, as members of Eastern Seaboard Association of Libraries, joined
hands and databases in the first movement of this unfolding symphony of change.
They had their “go-live” in 15th November 2006. There have been times when it
has all seemed more like a cacophony of discordant notes than a symphony but
progress has been made. The cataloguers have been truly blessed to have Ina
van der Merwe as an honorary citizen of KZN and regard her as one the
province‟s treasured resources!

The University of KwaZulu-Natal with its myriad of recently merged campuses is
also moving onto UNICORN and their cataloguers are currently undergoing
intensive training and have their “go-live” set for the end of July 2006.

News HOT OFF THE PRESS is that Ethekwini Municipality has awarded the
extensive Municipal Library service the necessary budget to also go the
UNICORN route. Their project will commence this month.

So it seems that most of the tertiary and public libraries in KZN will soon be on
UNICORN having previously had the URICA system in common. The Provincial
Library Services is odd man out as they are on the PALS system. But their
cataloguers are obviously wondering if and when they will be next to GO
UNICORN!!! Time will tell………

-- Submitted by Trish Gierke (DIT)
                             Standards for Quality and Unity                        3

Over the past three years cataloguers in South Africa have gained from hands-on
practical cataloguing and classification courses offered free of charge because of
a generous sponsorship from the Carnegie Foundation.

In total 334 participants have attended courses offered in the various regions at a
basic or intermediary level. Course participants have shown great appreciation for
these learning opportunities and feedback in general has been very positive.
Courses have mainly been aimed at new practising cataloguers to teach theme
and emphasise the basics of AARC2, DDC and LCSH in order to support them in
their day–to–day cataloguing activities.
Valuable feedback has been gathered from the course questionnaires which will
enable the co-ordinators to improve on the current course structure and ensure
more value in future.

During 2006 Sabinet, in conjunction with IGBIS, offered 3 basic courses (2 in
Gauteng and 1 in the Western Cape) and 1 intermediary course in Gauteng.

IGBIS wishes to encourage members to use these opportunities for growth when
offered in future, and to provide feedback whenever appropriate. Doing so will
ensure that we grow as a specialist group within the LIS.

-- Submitted by Doreen Rabe (Sabinet Online)



1.     Introduction
Metadata is described as “data about data”. More specifically, it can be defined as
structured information about resources, and as a new term for the type of
information that, in the past, was contained in such records as index cards,
inventories, and bibliographic records.

The creation of metadata is relatively expensive, because it requires subject
knowledge and it is time consuming. Therefore, international standards, best
practices, collaborative initiatives and open access make important contributions
to the re-use, interoperability, and harvest of metadata between institutions at the
international level.

2.      Types of metadata
Metadata markup can be used to describe the content, context and structure of
resources. Natural metadata is found in the source document and can be
created by an editor or by software, while added metadata is created by an
editor and adds value to the resource.

Different types of metadata (that could be natural or added) include the following:
Descriptive metadata, which includes elements such as title, author, format,
date of creation, subject coverage. Examples of descriptive metadata standards
are Dublin Core, MARC, TEI Header, and EAD Header.

Administrative metadata deals with the management information of the object,
for example, reproduction tracking, the version, control, the resolution at which an
image was scanned, the hardware and software used compression, and pixel
Structural metadata are unique identifiers, page numbers, and special features
(i.e. tables of contents, indexes).
Technical/preservation metadata enables the preservation of resources, e.g.
file formats, digitising equipment, file compression format, hardware and
Rights management, which specifies use and copyright, license information,
restrictions on use.

3.     Examples of metadata schemas
Dublin Core
The Dublin Core is the lowest common denominator for the description of digital
resources and consists of 15 elements. It is widely used by the digital library
community. In South Africa, a Dublin Core Generator has been developed by
Disa (Digital Imaging Project of South Africa) and it can be downloaded from their
web page. Its main focuses are interoperability, improved resource discovery and
cross-domain retrieval on the Internet.

TEI Header
The Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) has compiled an extremely flexible set of
Guidelines, including, markup standards, mostly for describing academic
electronic texts, such as literature and reference works.

EAD Header
Encoded Archival Description (EAD) is a standard for electronic archival finding
aids, that is, inventories, registers, indexes and other documents created by
archives, libraries, museums and repositories to support the use of their holdings.
                          Standards for Quality and Unity                         5
Music Encoding Initiative (MEI) is used for music markup.

Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL) is used for streaming
audio, video, text, pictures, and other media assets.

 4.     The role of XML and digital library standards
Encoding plays an important role in the creation of metadata. It differs according
to the type of document being encoded.
Digital objects are more complex than physical objects. The following tools are
applied to manage digital resources more efficiently:

METS (Metadata Encoding & Transmission Standard). This is an XML
schema for the management and exchange of metadata that consists of a
section for descriptive, administrative, and structural metadata, and then there
are the file group and behavioural section which are applied to link the structure
and content of the object.

Metadata Authority Description Standard (MADS) is an XML markup for
selected authority data from MARC21 records, as well as original authority data.

RDF (Resource Description Framework).
Metadata Object Description Standard (MODS).
Examples of an XML schema for encoding technical data elements required to
manage digital image collections include MIX, and NISO Metadata for Images in
An example of a data dictionary and supporting XML schema for the core
preservation metadata needed to support the long-term preservation of digital
images are PREMIS (Preservation Metadata).
The metadata schemas listed in paragraph 3 are nonproprietary standards and
encoded and stored as XML files.

5.     Other standards and best practices
- DISA guidelines for best practice for metadata capture and creation.
- AACR (Anglo-American Cataloging Rules) for description of information
- Controlled vocabularies and thesauri, for example LCSH (Library of Congress
Subject Headings), AAT (Art and Architecture Thesaurus), TGN (Getty
Thesaurus of Geographic Names) as well as free language terms for content

- Interoperability.
- Open source tools and non-proprietary file formats, for example, XML, jpg, gif.

6.       Other related issues
Issues that have to be dealt with in relation to metadata include the evaluation of
open source software tools for content management systems and digital or
institutional repositories (DSpace, Fedora and Greenstone).
Information Resource retrieval protocols:
- OAI protocol for metadata harvesting. The Open Archives Initiative develops
and promotes interoperability standards that aim to facilitate efficient
dissemination on the Internet.
- Z39.50 supports information retrieval among different information systems.
- A Web service for search and retrieval based on Z39.50 semantics.
- A protocol to support exchange between digital reference systems collaborating
in the processing of questions.
- A protocol that ensures formal user-friendly query language for use between
information retrieval systems.

7.     Closure
The application of these standards at the national level will improve discovery,
interoperability, management, digital preservation, rights management, security
and the authentication of South African digital collections and will render them
much more useful globally.

--Submitted by Ansie Watkins (Unisa)

                              What is LibaryThing?

“The next cool Internet Thing!”
LibraryThing is a new site for book lovers. This online utility can help you to
easily create a catalogue of the books you own - without software or any
You can search your books, sort your books, edit book information and apply
LibraryThing knows a lot about books. It cares about books and not about selling
LibraryThing is designed to connect book lovers with each other and act as
waypoint for those who enjoy books, to learn about new books or books that are
new to them.
                            Standards for Quality and Unity                           7
    “I can live out my librarian fantasies and actually enjoy the act of cataloguing!”
                                   – LibraryThing fanatic.

       “I have seen the future of online catalogs and its name is LibraryThing”
             - Steve Cohen. Public libraries magazine (Mar. /Apr. 2006)

    “LibraryThing is indeed the greatest invention since the glorious smell of paper
              and paste melted together in the spine of an old book … “

LibraryThing is a full-powered cataloguing application, searching the Library of
Congress, Amazon sites and more than 45 world libraries. It was created by Tim
Spalding, a 35-year-old software developer and web publisher based in Portland,
Maine. He is not a librarian by trade.

To read more:


                     … bless cataloguing and cataloguers
                                   and all those
     who strive to maintain international descriptive cataloguing standards
                      for the record of human knowledge
                              … it is a noble task …
-The words of Elaine Sanchez, cataloguer from Texas State University-San Marcos. July 2006.


                               Visit the IGBIS Website:

                                   And the IGBIS Blog:

                        Editor: Martha de Waal. Tel.: (012) 401-9719.
                  Fax: (012) 325-5984. E-mail:

                           Next issue to be published Sept. 2006


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