Bibframe – – Chocolate Teapots

Do you ever regret saying something? I’m sure we all do, especially when that something is shared without accompanying context.

Yesterday I presented in a session at the IFLA WLIC in Kuala Lumpur – my core theme being that there is a need to use two [linked data] vocabularies when describing library resources — Bibframe for cataloguing and [linked] metadata interchange — for sharing on the web for discovery.

To emphasise the applicability, or lack of, for each vocabulary to these broad use cases I said something like “As my mother would have said: for aiding discovery on the web Bibframe is about as much use as a chocolate teapot ”.

This was picked up in a tweet by Tina Thomas (@yegtinat):
Useful tidbit about choices #libraries have for discoverability of library catalog content on the web. Bibframe is “about as useful as a chocolate teapot” #wlic2018

Although Tina does reference some context I’m sure her quote (from me) Bibframe is “about as useful as a chocolate teapot” is going to follow me around for some while!

In the presentation I explored the linked data vocabulary options for libraries and, by implication, their system suppliers. The conclusion being that the two key best options were Bibframe 2.0 and — the former for cataloguing support, the latter for providing data on the web (for search engines to consume) to aid discovery beyond library interfaces. The conclusion also being the need to adopt both vocabularies as the pros & cons of each cover the breadth of library linked data use cases, and the mutual limitations of each:

Data Exchange
Web Sharing

As a fallback, for those currently without systems that can support linked data, there is another option I call Linky MARC. This an enhancement to MARC, recommended by the PCC Task Group on URIs in MARC, for a consistent approach for storing http URIs in MARC subfields $0 & $1. This is not Linked Data, but a standardised way of storing links, without corrupting them, for future use.

I have loaded the presentation on SlideShare for those of you that want explore further.