reviews

Linked Data for Cultural Heritage. Eds. Ed Jones and Michele Seikel for the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services. Chicago: American Library Association, 2016. 134p. $75.00 (ISBN 978-0-8389-1439-7).

Linked data has been a hot topic in the library world, and this book provides a good overview of the topic. The contributors present theoretical and practical information to help readers understand linked data concepts and its purpose.

The first chapter, by Thorson and Pattuelli, presents institutional projects experimenting with linked data, including Europeana, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), the Social Networks and Archival Context Project (SNAC), and more. They also present a detailed description of the Linked Jazz project. In the second chapter, Stahmer presents the migration process of the English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC) from MARC to linked data and potential benefits that migration presents. The author provides a great explanation of the triplestore data model, a discussion of tagging and controlled vocabularies, and social cataloging.

O’Dell gives a great explanation of why we need controlled vocabularies and their purpose. For people who work in the library field, this is not new. However, it is good to have a reminder concerning why we use certain things, such as authority files, and how such things can fit into future projects. The author also discusses best practices regarding creating library thesauri, metadata element sets and best practices, and data retrieval and information discovery with associated best practices.

Huerga and Lauruhn take a look at linked data and authority control through the lens of science, medical, and technical (STM) publishing. They discuss authority control, identifiers, and vocabularies; use of Web Ontology Language (OWL) to enhance metadata semantics, and using SPARQL for crosswalking controlled vocabulary mappings. Their explanation of each is done clearly and concisely. Huerga and Lauruhn also present a great discussion of authority control using URIs and why they are a “natural fit to represent resources in authority control vocabularies” (62). The authors also mention creating URIs using RDF and OWL, DCMI Metadata Terms and the Bibliographic Ontology Specification indicating they are complementary, and provide a great discussion of linking author identifiers, specifically the ISO standard International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI).

Godby provides a lot of needed details in her chapter on OCLC’s experiments with Schema.org. She discusses two significant reasons for libraries taking a serious look at Schema.org: first, the vocabulary is “endorsed by the world’s major search engines at a time when a user’s quest for information is more likely to begin in the broader web than in a library of even a library website” (73) and Schema.org opens the potential for third parties to focus on next-generation standards for libraries. There is a lot of valuable and informative data for libraries to move forward with linked data experiments and initiatives in this chapter, including a detailed history of OCLC’s research into the potential of linked data as a replacement for MARC, the British Library Data Model, and more. Godby mentions OCLC’s skepticism of Schema.org and how it was overcome. Other topics included are about publishing and enhancing Schema.org, a discussion of extension vocabularies, next steps, and more. The reader may find this to be the most valuable chapter out of the book because of the history of the research, the findings, and the possibilities that Schema.org offers libraries. For those most apprehensive about Schema.org, they should take a close look at this particular chapter. It may not wholly change your mind, but it does make one ponder the opportunities this service can open up for our institutions.

McCallum focuses on BIBFRAME and Linked Data for libraries, specifically the development of the BIBFRAME data model. The author describes the differences between MARC and BIBFRAME. Other topics covered are how Library of Congress has or is working on developing a system that makes library information more web-friendly and the goals of BIBFRAME. Overall, this book presents some much needed information on linked data in terms of libraries, BIBFRAME, and how these have the potential to open library data to the Web. Each chapter includes references that provide more information of the topic at hand.

The editors for this book, Ed Jones and Michele Seikel, are both extremely qualified to have spearheaded this endeavor. Jones is the associate director for library assessment and technical services at National University in San Diego. He is the author of RDA and Serials Cataloging (2013), as well as numerous journal articles, book chapters, and technical reports. He has spoken on library linked data and is a member of the Standing Committee on Standards of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging. Seikel is a tenured professor on the library faculty at Oklahoma State University, and her primary focus is in cataloging. She published several research papers in technical services journals and cochaired the Cataloging Norms Interest Group as well as the Cataloging and Metadata Management Section’s Policy and Planning Committee. She currently chairs the ALCTS Planning Committee and is a member of the editorial board of the journal Library Resources and Technical Services.—Lizzy Walker, Wichita State University

Copyright Lizzy Walker


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