Mashcat at ALA Annual 2015

The 2015 annual conference of the American Library Association starts today (25 June) in San Francisco.  Particularly given the explosion of recent work applying Linked Open Data to libraries, there are a number of sessions that are of interest to Mashcat folks.  Here are some of them:

For folks tweeting at the conference, if you attend or present on something that is related to the intersection between library code and library metadata – or just see something that might be interesting – please consider using the #mashcat hashtag.

Also, #mashcat badge ribbons (but sorry, not the kitten) will be available at the conference! If you want one, follow the #mashcat hashtag for word on availability.

Photo by Galen Charlton / CC-BY-SA

Photo by Galen Charlton / CC-BY-SA

April 2015 #mashcat Twitter chat: how catalogers and library technologists can build better relationships

Update 2015-04-24: the Storify of the chat is now available.

On Thursday, 23 April 2015, we’ll be holding the second Twitter chat on the #mashcat hashtag at 20:00 UTC (i.e., 21:00 BST / 22:00 CET / 4 p.m. EDT / 3 p.m. CDT / 1 p.m. PDT).

The moderator will be Erin Leach (@erinaleach), assisted by Galen Charlton (@gmcharlt). We’ll talk about how catalogers and library technologists can build better relationships. Topics might include: establishing better communication, being change agents, and coming together on areas of mutual concern — and of course, whatever YOU want to talk about.

The chat will be run like other library Twitter chats such as #libchat and #critlib:

  • Before and during the chat, tweet questions to the moderator (@erinaleach).
  • The chat moderator will tweet the questions out on the #mashcat hashtag. For example: “Q1: What RDF triple store do you recommend? #mashcat.
  • Participants can respond to the question on the hashtag, For example: “A1: We use Sesame. #mashcat.
  • Two services that can be useful in participating in Twitter chats are Twitterfall and TweetCat.

Inaugural #mashcat Twitter chat

Update 2015-03-26: the Storify of the Twitter chat is now available

Last week, a library data munger’s thoughts on wrapping bad data in new discovery systems spawned a conversation on Twitter among several library data and systems people about issues with with library data — and how systems and data folk can work together.

Here’s a Storify of the conversation:

As a result of this conversation, a bunch of us are planning and plotting in the Mashcat Slack to organize another event to put library data and systems people in the same room, following up on the success of the 2012 Mashcat event.

But first things first — this Thursday, 26 March 2015, we’ll be holding a Twitter chat on the #mashcat hashtag at 17:00 UTC (i.e., 1 p.m. EDT / 10 a.m. PDT).

The general topic will be library data and how library data and systems people can work together to improve it and make the best use of it, while the particular focus of the inaugural chat will be what folks would like to see in a face-to-face Mashcat event.

The chat will be run like other library Twitter chats such as #libchat and #critlib:

  • Before and during the chat, tweet questions to the moderator (me, @gmcharlt).
  • The chat moderator will tweet the questions out on the #mashcat hashtag. For example: “Q1: What RDF triple store do you recommend? #mashcat.
  • Participants can respond to the question on the hashtag, For example: “Q1: We use Sesame. #mashcat.

A Storify will be created after the chat is finished. If the first chat goes well, we do further ones on a regular basis.

We look forward to the conversation! Join us!

By the way, to get an invite to the Slack, leave your email address in the comments below or send a tweet to @gmcharlt.

Presentations from Mashcat 2012

Below are slides, blog posts, and a Yahoo Pipe from the presentations at Mashcat 2012. Many thanks to all who came along, spoke, tweeted, helped organise, and wrote up the event, and especially to DevCSI (@devsci) who supported and fed us. Please let me know if I’ve missed something or if you have further material to add to the list below.

The Cultural Linked Data Backbone by Richard Wallis (@rjw)

Text to Data by Ed Chamberlain (@edchamberlain)

CLOCK Project by Paul Stainthorp (@pstainthorp), Andrew Beeken (@abeeken), Trevor Jones

British Subject Index Map in Yahoo Pipes by Gary Green (@ggnewed)

How Big Is My Book? by Thomas Meehan (@orangeaurochs)

Come & Sniff My Old Books by Helen Harrop (@iamcreative)

Relic: Resource List Item Checker by Richard Cross (@llrrichardcross)

Making the most of MARC by Owen Stephens (@ostephens)

 

Mashcat programme for tomorrow

Mashcat is tomorrow (5 July). It is being held at the Clinical School in Cambridge. Mashcat is  supported by DevCSI (@devsci). There may still be places free: check our Eventbrite page or contact us if you would still like to come.

Below is the current planned outline of the day:

0930-1000 Coffee and welcome.
1000-1225 Morning sessions, including talks from Richard Wallis, Ed Chamberlain, and Paul Stainthorp on linked data, OCLC, and the COMET and CLOCK projects.
1225-1315 Lunch.
1315-1500 Afternoon unconference sessions 1.
1500-1530 Coffee.
1530-1700 Afternoon unconference sessions 2.

The afternoon at Mashcat will consist of unconference-style sessions, pitched for and decided upon on the day. Please do consider delivering a session! It could be hands-on mashing, speaking about something you have done with bibliographic data, or something else. Below are some of the ideas that attendees have had already. Please do let us know by email at info@mashcat.info, Twitter (@orangeaurochs) or by leaving a comment if you would to add your idea to the list.

Gary Green (@ggnewed)
Using Yahoo Pipes, Google docs & hackable URLs, this session will explain how to make a mashup that plots subject headings covering UK locations onto a map and links back to/runs a search on the library catalogue – providing a different way to browse the library catalogue. An example of this mashup can be found at: http://pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/pipe.info?_id=c664966d63afb02a23dd074b3da1f11e

Thomas Meehan (@orangeaurochs)
How Big Is My Book? AACR2/MARC records store much quantitative information as text, e.g. “31 cm.” or “xi, 300 p”. This is not easy for computers to deal with. This session will look at using Javascript and regular expressions (wildcards turned up to eleven) to get instead a size in mm that computers can use and compare (e.g. “310” or “311”) in a computer programme or spreadsheet. The main focus will be on regular expressions and the format of cataloguing data. I intend to look first at the 300$a, and at least pose the question “How high is my book?” using the 300$c. No prior knowledge of Javascript is assumed although it would be useful, and I plan to include a brief introduction to regular expressions, where the main focus will lie.

Richard Cross (@llrrichardcross)
Relic (the Resource List Item Checker) is a simple mash-up which checks for the existence of an ISBN, ISSN, DOI or LCN on a resource list (Talis Aspire) and augments the result with metadata drawn from OpenLibrary, CrossRef, LibraryThing, and the library’s discovery systems (Primo, SFX and Aleph). Relic is used as a look-up tool by library staff at Nottingham Trent University working on acquisitions and stock management processes. This session will provide a brief demonstration of Relic, describe the key request/responses it uses, and describe some of the future enhancements currently being worked on.

Tim Hodson (@timhodson)
There is a lot of interest in re-modelling library data from its current record centric form to graph based Linked Data models. There is already a lot of best practice around Linked Data that the cataloguing community can benefit from. Tim Hodson from Talis Systems will give a brief overview of the key thoughts underpinning the British Library’s Bibliographic Data Model for Linked Data, and how you can extend it to meet your own use cases. He will also give you practical pointers to running a Linked Data project in your own organisation and how to make the most of the Links in Linked Data. This session is designed to be interactive and responsive, so if you have specific questions about how to model some aspect of a Marc record as Linked Data, or indeed any other related questions then we can use this time to explore the answers.

Owen Stephens (@ostephens)
Making the most of MARC. While there is much talk (often by me) of how “MARC must die”, there is a huge amount of data in a MARC record much of it not exploited in traditional OPACs or indeed so-called ‘next generation’ discovery solutions. Many of the current wave of discovery products are based on a search technology called Solr (http://lucene.apache.org/solr/tutorial.html). In this session I want to use an Open Source discovery product (Blacklight http://projectblacklight.org/) to demonstrate how it can be configured to exploit MARC more fully than traditional OPACs.

While using a specific product, since the underlying technology is shared with other systems, the ideas will apply to other systems as well – and will, I hope, increase understanding of what these systems are truly capable of, as well as almost inevitably highlighting some of the problems with current cataloguing practice in terms of creating data that can be fully exploited by computers.

This session is squarely aimed at cataloguers who want to understand the capabilities of discovery products – whether to help with library workflows, or to deliver services to users. While I’ll show some code, and those who want to can dive into the relevant configuration files and code, there is no requirement to understand or write code to appreciate the session. Developers who want to find out more about MARC and Blacklight/Solr are also welcome of course.

If you’ve got some MARC records you’d like to use in the session as test cases or to see what we can do with them, bring them along with you and we can give it a go. I’m especially interested in how we might adapt the software to deal with specialist materials – music, rare books, manuscripts, etc.

Ten days to Mashcat

It is now only ten days until Mashcat in Cambridge on 5 July. To help us make some final arrangements, please let us know as soon as possible if you are unable to come. If you haven’t registered and would still like to come, there may still be places left, so please register or sign up to the waiting list at Eventbrite,

Thank you to those who have already submitted ideas for the afternoon unconference sessions! Mashed Library events thrive on what the delegates bring with them, so please do consider speaking about something, even if only for a few minutes, or letting us know if there is a session you would like to see. Leave a comment here or email us.

Mashcat Programme

Thank you to everyone who has registered for Mashcat on 5 July! If you haven’t already registered and would still like to come, please do add your name to the waiting list on our Eventbrite page.

Below is the current planned outline of the day:

0930-1000 Coffee and welcome.
1000-1225 Morning sessions, including talks from Richard Wallis, Ed Chamberlain, and Paul Stainthorp on linked data, and the COMET and CLOCK projects.
1225-1315 Lunch.
1315-1500 Afternoon unconference sessions 1.
1500-1530 Coffee.
1530-1700 Afternoon unconference sessions 2.

The afternoon will consist of unconference-style sessions, pitched for and decided upon on the day. Please do consider delivering a session! It could be hands-on mashing, speaking about something you have done with bibliographic data, or something else. If you would like to deliver a session you can if you wish submit a brief description in advance and I will put it on the website for others to look at before the event. Also, if you have files that attendees may find useful, I can make these available via the website too.

Please do contact us by email at info@mashcat.info, Twitter (@orangeaurochs) or leave a comment.

Mashcat 2012 Now Full

It took less than a day, but the extra ten tickets have all been taken so Mashcat 2012 is now full. However, you can still add your name to the waiting list on our Eventbrite page in case any places become available.

If you have registered but find that you are no longer able to attend, please do let us know as soon as possible so we can re-allocate your place to someone else.

Ten More Tickets Available

The first forty tickets for Mashcat 2012 were all taken within exactly a week. However, there are now ten more tickets up for grabs! If you would like to come along, go to our Eventbrite page to sign up.

Mashcat is a free mashed library event, supported by DevCSI, which will take place at the Clinical School in Cambridge, 5 July 2012. It will start at 10am with refreshments available from 9:30am. Cataloguers, developers and anyone else with an interest in how library catalogue data can be created, manipulated, used and re-used by computers and software are all welcome.

For more information, see the About page, email us at info@mashcat.info or contact @orangeaurochs on Twitter. Follow the hashtag #mashcat for more news.

Register for Mashcat 2012

Registration is now open for Mashcat 2012! Go to our Eventbrite page to sign up now. Attendance is free.

Mashcat will start at 10am with refreshments available from 9:30am.