BIBFRAME — time to slough off the non-bibliographic data?

It occurred to me that BIBFRAME is an excellent opportunity for libraries to slough off the non-bibliographic data that exists in the library systems our MARC data inhabits.

What I’m talking about is the format “x” data, where we’re cataloguing stuff that doesn’t belong in a catalogue; things that don’t really fit in…what I’m talking about starts at, say the Amazon Kindle catalogued as a “3D object” and ends, well at anything that ought really to be catalogued in a system better suited to that material.

It’s an excellent opportunity to use RDF and linked data for what it’s actually worth: to take things and describe them appropriately and understandably using state-of-the-art technologies, rather than trying to shoehorn them into a MARC-like schema where they’re never really at home. The simple mechanism of vocabularies in RDF makes this a doddle, and any RDF/linked-data-capable system will be able to handle them.

One might stop to ask what is included here and I’d start the list with the following:

  • music (sheet)
  • audio content
  • video content
  • online documents and databases
  • archives
  • images
  • consumer electronics

This isn’t a comprehensive list, but even here, we can see that there already exist frameworks better suited to describing these content types!

Onwards BIBFRAME! Huzza!


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