Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative

Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative

The original announcement for this project lists its requirements but the requirements are not listed on the homepage.

The requirements are found at: The Library of Congress issues its initial plan for its Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative for dissemination, sharing, and feedback (October 31, 2011) . Nothing in the link text says “requirements here” to me.

To effectively participate in discussions about this transition you need to know the requirements.

Requirements as of the original announcement:

Requirements for a New Bibliographic Framework Environment

Although the MARC-based infrastructure is extensive, and MARC has been adapted to changing technologies, a major effort to create a comparable exchange vehicle that is grounded in the current and expected future shape of data interchange is needed. To assure a new environment will allow reuse of valuable data and remain supportive of the current one, in addition to advancing it, the following requirements provide a basis for this work. Discussion with colleagues in the community has informed these requirements for beginning the transition to a "new bibliographic framework". Bibliographic framework is intended to indicate an environment rather than a "format".

  • Broad accommodation of content rules and data models. The new environment should be agnostic to cataloging rules, in recognition that different rules are used by different communities, for different aspects of a description, and for descriptions created in different eras, and that some metadata are not rule based. The accommodation of RDA (Resource Description and Access) will be a key factor in the development of elements, as will other mainstream library, archive, and cultural community rules such as Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd edition (AACR2) and its predecessors, as well as DACS (Describing Archives, a Content Standard), VRA (Visual Resources Association) Core, CCO (Cataloging Cultural Objects).
  • Provision for types of data that logically accompany or support bibliographic description, such as holdings, authority, classification, preservation, technical, rights, and archival metadata. These may be accommodated through linking technological components in a modular way, standard extensions, and other techniques.
  • Accommodation of textual data, linked data with URIs instead of text, and both. It is recognized that a variety of environments and systems will exist with different capabilities for communicating and receiving and using textual data and links.
  • Consideration of the relationships between and recommendations for communications format tagging, record input conventions, and system storage/manipulation. While these environments tend to blur with today’s technology, a future bibliographic framework is likely to be seen less by catalogers than the current MARC format. Internal storage, displays from communicated data, and input screens are unlikely to have the close relationship to a communication format that they have had in the past.
  • Consideration of the needs of all sizes and types of libraries, from small public to large research. The library community is not homogeneous in the functionality needed to support its users in spite of the central role of bibliographic description of resources within cultural institutions. Although the MARC format became a key factor in the development of systems and services, libraries implement services according to the needs of their users and their available resources. The new bibliographic framework will continue to support simpler needs in addition to those of large research libraries.
  • Continuation of maintenance of MARC until no longer necessary. It is recognized that systems and services based on the MARC 21 communications record will be an important part of the infrastructure for many years. With library budgets already stretched to cover resource purchases, large system changes are difficult to implement because of the associated costs. With the migration in the near term of a large segment of the library community from AACR to RDA, we will need to have RDA-adapted MARC available. While that need is already being addressed, it is recognized that RDA is still evolving and additional changes may be required. Changes to MARC not associated with RDA should be minimal as the energy of the community focuses on the implementation of RDA and on this initiative.
  • Compatibility with MARC-based records. While a new schema for communications could be radically different, it will need to enable use of data currently found in MARC, since redescribing resources will not be feasible. Ideally there would be an option to preserve all data from a MARC record.
  • Provision of transformation from MARC 21 to a new bibliographic environment. A key requirement will be software that converts data to be moved from MARC to the new bibliographic framework and back, if possible, in order to enable experimentation, testing, and other activities related to evolution of the environment.

The Library of Congress (LC) and its MARC partners are interested in a deliberate change that allows the community to move into the future with a more robust, open, and extensible carrier for our rich bibliographic data, and one that better accommodates the library community’s new cataloging rules, RDA. The effort will take place in parallel with the maintenance of MARC 21 as new models are tested. It is expected that new systems and services will be developed to help libraries and provide the same cost savings they do today. Sensitivity to the effect of rapid change enables gradual implementation by systems and infrastructures, and preserves compatibility with existing data.

Ongoing discussion at: Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum, BIBFRAME@LISTSERV.LOC.GOV.

The requirements recognize a future of semantic and technological heterogeneity.

Similar to the semantic and technological heterogeneity we have now and have had in the past.

A warning to those expecting a semantic and technological rapture of homogeneity.

(I first saw this initiative at: NoSQL Bibliographic Records: Implementing a Native FRBR Datastore with Redis.)

Comments are closed.