And more

So I know I’ve done posts on microformats before where I mentioned, but I’ve gotten excited it about it again and had to do another post. I read this post, which rather than waxing poetical about and how it works just shows it in context with a little example. By using a schema, search engines can find the blog’s cocktail recipe and know that it is a recipe because of the coding.

I have a lot of friends who write creative fiction and one who is using her blog to build backgrounds for the world of her book, introduce characters, and generally flesh out her universe. has a schema for creative works and specifically for blogs. My friend could start incorporating this schema and build a hierarchy for her characters that is visible to search engines as well as naming herself as the creator for each piece and establishing authorship.

Blog Questions Response

One of my classmates posted a very interesting blog on technological skills in Library and Information Science work. I won’t answer all of them as I don’t have opinions on all of the questions, but here are some of my thoughts. Here is his original post.

1. What do you define as “tech skills”?

I think the broad definition is being able to use the tools at your given library to serve the population. I would think “tech skills” encompasses everything from troubleshooting computers to using XML and HTML to update the library webpage.

2. Which types of “tech skills” (broadly defined) have you found to be particularly useful in your work environments?

A few common ones spring to mind like being comfortable with Microsoft Office, but right now I am seeing the importance of reference skills such as being familiar and comfortable with the databases my library supports and knowing how to sift through results for good information.

5. How important do you think “soft skills” (communication, interpersonal skills, etc.) are for LIS professionals?

Personally I think they are some of the most important skills in a librarians’ tool kit. Being able to find the right information or fix the problem doesn’t mean much if the patron feels like an idiot by the end of the process. Being able to present information, assistance, and even teaching information literacy skills in a friendly and non-threatening manner is a skill I think all librarians need to know. Even if the librarian doesn’t work with the public a great deal being able to understand the patrons’ concerns and work with the other librarians to serve them is a must.

Facial Recognition

Image Retrieval: Benchmarking Visual Information Indexing and Retrieval Systems. This article was published in 2007 and it  has made me curious as to what advancements have been made to image retrieval since that time. It also makes me curious if situations like tagging friends in Facebook photos would be an example of a combination of content and concept indexing. When humans select and tag friends faces Facebook then, I assume, uses that information to compare other photos against the tagged photos and prompts the user to select if the identified person matches the original entered name. I wonder if that software is proprietary or if it simply requires too much human input to be useful.

Controlled Vocabularies

Controlled vocabularies make my day. They help streamline processes and assist catalogers by providing a set list of terms from which to select to describe a given item or document. The entire premise of controlled vocabularies, as I understand them, is that by describing items in the same way information organizations make organizing, retrieving, and selecting information much easier for everyone.

This article goes into depth about the how and somewhat of the why of creating a controlled vocabulary. I really enjoyed it as the article follows a logical progression of how to create a CV. The first step of the processes is to define the scope of the CV. Everything that follows hinges on that scope, how big, to what depth, who will the CV serve all these questions are involved in the question of scope. I often wish we had a CV for say the internet, but the scope of that project would be so large as to be useless even if people would follow it. I was glad to see that later in the article, there was a discussion of crosswalks and how to transfer information from one system using a CV to another system. For as much as I love CV having a ton of silo CV’s can’t be the best answer.

Building Controlled Vocabularies for Metadata Harmonization