January 17, 2019

Fascinating ISBNs

After 3 years of successfully overlaying MARC records using a match on field 020 ISBN in Koha I found a file that persistently refused to overlay despite that there was nothing apparently wrong in the raw data. Having an aggressive ISBN and ISSN matching enabled, which allows for these identifiers to be matched regardless of the presence of hyphens in them, or any other typographical symbols, also means that invalid ISBNs and ISSNs are disregarded in the process of matching. Read more

November 11, 2018

Not all quotation marks are made equal

As part of moving special collections stock we needed to identify item records containing a non-public note (MARC field 852 $x or MARC field 952 $x in Koha). Historically, this free text field has been used to input details about the precise location of each item, such as section, folder, etc. The initial report drawn up by the systems librarian, however, showed only a fraction of the items housed in the special collection location. Read more

March 2, 2018

ISBD punctuation in MARC21

Inconsistent or wrong punctuation is an eyesore for caloguers. Originally designed to fascilitate metadata display in card catalogues, it is currently used in parallel to MARC subfield coding to designate different parts of the bibliographic description. The International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD) is widely used amond cataloguing agencies and libraries as it provides rules for punctuation between and within the individual fields of the MARC record. ISBD compliance is arguably time-consuming and redundant. Read more

September 11, 2017

Summer at Harvard LIL

This summer I did a research fellowship at the Library Innovation Lab, or LIL for short, and I enjoyed it immensely! Part of the Harvard Law School Library, LIL is a mixture between a start-up and design studio, staffed with a bunch of multi-talented developers, lawyers and librarians, working on a range of projects, from building a public API for the Caselaw Access Project, creating, mixing and sharing open source educational content with H2O, and preventing link rot with Perma, among other fun things. Read more

© 2019 Miglena Minkova