DUBLIN, Ohio -- June 19, 2015. OCLC's work to help increase the visibility of library collections on the Web through the creation of library linked data—moving from a web of documents to a web of data—is described in a new book, Library Linked Data in the Cloud: OCLC's Experiments with New Models of Resource Description.
Written by OCLC Research staff members Carol Jean Godby, Shenghui Wang and Jeffrey K. Mixter, the book focuses on the conceptual and technical challenges involved in publishing linked data derived from traditional library metadata. This transformation is urgent, the book maintains, because it is common knowledge that most searches for information start not in a library, or even in a Web-accessible library catalog, but elsewhere on the Internet. Modeling data in a form that the broader Web understands may help keep libraries relevant in the network environment.
In the book, the authors explain how the new Web is a growing "cloud" of interconnected resources that identify the people, places, things and concepts that people want to know about when they approach the Internet with an information need. They also explain why linked data is an appropriate architecture for the description of library resources.
"This work represents significant contributions OCLC is making with library linked data," said Lorcan Dempsey, OCLC Vice President, Research and Chief Strategist. "Our researchers are participating in the development of Web standards for machine-understandable data, contributing to the debate on how the key values of librarianship are represented in linked data techniques, and publishing some of the most widely used linked data enabled authoritative hubs in the library community."
"Linked data has achieved a critical mass in the library community coincident with its growing importance in the wider Web. The evolutionary path from traditional library metadata standards toward a global web of linked library resources is becoming clear," said Carol Jean Godby, OCLC Senior Research Scientist and lead author of the book. "Our goal with this book is to explain how this new architecture promises to simplify and promote the quest for knowledge."
The publication aims to achieve a balanced treatment of theory, technical detail and practical application for librarians, archivists, computer scientists and other professionals interested in modeling bibliographic descriptions as linked data. It is available in libraries, in print from Amazon and a variety of other retailers, and also as an e-book from Morgan and Claypool Publishers.
Founded in 1967, OCLC is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world's information and reducing library costs. More than 74,000 libraries in 170 countries have used OCLC services to locate, acquire, catalog, lend, preserve and manage library materials. Researchers, students, faculty, scholars, professional librarians and other information seekers use OCLC services to obtain bibliographic, abstract and full-text information when and where they need it. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the world's largest online database for discovery of library resources. Search WorldCat on the Web at www.worldcat.org. For more information, visit www.oclc.org.
OCLC Research is one of the world's leading centers devoted exclusively to the challenges facing libraries in a rapidly changing information technology environment. OCLC Research works with the community to collaboratively identify problems and opportunities, prototype and test solutions, and shares findings through publications, presentations and professional interactions. For more information, visit www.oclc.org/research.