Karen Coyle wrote:
Jim, it’s hard to know what you are suggesting. LCSH is “out there” (and if you count the months of the lcsh.info effort, has been for well over a year) in a linked data format, but it appears that it hasn’t found its users. MARC in XML has been available for quite a while, but we aren’t seeing uptake for using the library data more broadly. I suspect that there’s an underlying problem that isn’t related to the format of the data, but the content.
I guess I don’t understand what you are saying either. As my previous post tried to demonstrate, the id.loc.gov does *not provide* linked data. All it does is make a single URI into a completely closed system, e.g.: http://id.loc.gov/authorities/sh85120839 (Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616–Authorship–Oxford theory) provides no links to anything at all, not even links where it could provide them automatically, to the main Shakespeare heading and into the question of his authorship, never mind something that someone would actually want, such as into Worldcat and other places. Compare this to http://dbpedia.org/page/Oxfordian_theory, which provides a huge number of links to interesting resources along with links into related information in dbpedia. Which is more useful? If you were a web designer, which one would you want to work with?
While I applaud the id.loc.gov effort, it seems to me little better than “putting up a table in a pdf file” as TBL put it. As he said, at least put the table in a CSV format, if you can’t do anything better. The id.loc.gov is potentially useful, but only potentially. As only one example of a basic improvement is Bernhard’s LCSH Browser:
http://www.biblio.tu-bs.de/db/lcsh/page.php?urG=LCS&urA=18&urS=_shakespeare,+william,+1564-1616+–+authorship+–+collaboration, where you can click on the Oxford theory and then search different databases. Sorry for the self-promotion (but I am just shameless in these things!), you can click on AUR Library, where you will find nothing, but you can extend the search into multiple databases, finding materials in different places. There is a very interesting result in Google Books based on the LCSH jargon, where the searcher must know enough to delete in the heading Shakespeare’s date and the word “Authorship.” But, you will be able to find many things this way. In the Internet archive, you need to also delete “theory” when you retrieve items, and although I have tried to make it as easy as possible to search many other databases and projects, it still doesn’t mean it’s easy. Yet, is this useful to my patrons? They think so and I think so, too. Can it be improved 10,000%? Of course.
I think we need to be concentrating on making something that is practical, useful, and that extends to the full all the possible uses of the information we have at our fingertips *right now.* We also need to get away from the idea that we need to be in full control of what happens in the catalog, which is simply unrealistic now, but that we provide unique “value-added” options for our users. The information in catalogs and their associated records are all truly amazing, but everything should be seen as only a foundation for us and the general public to construct each community’s respective buildings and facades. What those structures will look like, we cannot imagine at this point in time. In any case, we have to first provide the building blocks. Projects such as dbpedia are doing that, but the library community lags behind.