Putting XML to Work in the Library: Tools for Improving Access and Management / Edition 1

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Optimize information access across platforms, vendors, andthroughout your library! Offering the advantages of both control and flexibility, the authors show how librarians using XML can begin to selectively impose control in the haphazard digital environment.

XML, the language of the Web, is becoming the tool of choice to modernize the technical infrastructure in the information profession. XML champions Miller and Clarke argue that for dealing with content, metadata, and access issues, XML provides an elegant and useful solution. Offering a universal format for data and document exchange, XML addresses many shortcomings of Web access, but how and where should you start?

Putting XML to Work in the Library offers complete answers to these questions, as the authors outline small proactive steps for libraries, illustrated with specific examples. This user-friendly roadmap outlines basic, practical applications of XML——Extensible Markup Language, derived from SGML.

It addresses such technical questions as:
  • What is XML and why is it important?
  • How can XML address libraries' technical challenges?
  • When and how are style sheets and schemas used?
  • Where does XML come into play to strategically integrate with MARC and AACR data?
  • What makes for a "well-formed" XML document that conforms to XML rules of syntax?
Embrace XML standards and extend bibliographic control into new areas.

For librarians working in systems, technical services, cataloging, and as webmasters, these are the tools you need to create more integrated solutions to organize and create access to information.

About the Authors
Dick R. Miller is the head of technical services at the Lane Medical Library at the Stanford University Medical Center. His extensive information systems experience led to his early promotion of using XML in libraries, notably in "XML: Libraries' Strategic Opportunity," published in the summer 2000 issue of Library Journal NetConnect. In addition he led in the development of XOBIS, an experimental schema for bibliographic and authority information and has advocated an XML replacement for MARC. Formerly, Miller was associate librarian at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine. He has made a number of presentations on XML for groups such as ALA's MARBI/CC:DA, the Medical Library Association, and most recently the FRBR Working Group of IFLA. He earned his MLS from the University of Oklahoma.

Kevin S. Clarke is a digital information systems developer at Lane Medical Library at the Stanford University Medical Center. He was formerly a digital information systems programmer at Lane and a cataloging assistant at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was a co-presenter on "XML for Librarians," a continuing education course at the Medical Library Association meeting in Florida in 2001 and wrote "Updating MARC records with XMLMARC" in XML in Libraries. He received an MSIS from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The authors, who are from the Lane Medical Library at the Stanford University Medical Center, argue that XML (eXtensible Markup Language) is a solution to many of the digital access and management challenges facing libraries today. In the first two chapters, they present an overview of XML, explaining why it was created and its important differences with HTML, and then trace the development of XML-related technologies. Since XML deals not with the display of information like HTML but with the use of information itself, an XML project can become quite complex. The narrative descriptions of XML syntax and technologies and how they interrelate are rather intricate and can be a tough read. However, the authors gallantly try to make library-related XML projects understandable, and they excel in placing XML in a library context. In Chapter 3, Miller and Clarke introduce the concept of XML schemas that can be used as blueprints to build workable structures made up of XML building blocks that can stand on their own or interconnect with other schemas. As an example a detailed critique of MARC and AACR is presented in contrast to the flexibility of XML, and the authors describe their own experimental XORBIS project as an XML alternative to MARC and other traditional cataloging practices when dealing with digital information. In Chapter 4 they outline open source tools available for creating and validating XML documents, and they conclude their book with a presentation of some XML standards in the development stage and several other XML solutions used at the Lane Medical Library. As Miller and Clarke are at the forefront for the use of XML in libraries, all catalogers, systems librarians, and other programming-oriented librarians dealing with the challenges of providing access to and managing digital information should read their book. [For a more detailed look at other XML library projects, see Roy Tennant's XML in Libraries.]-Robert Battenfeld, Long Island Univ.-Southampton Coll. Lib., NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780838908631
  • Publisher: American Library Association
  • Publication date: 10/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Table of Contents

1 It's Elemental, My Dear Watson 1
2 "The Nice Thing about Standards ..." 44
3 In the Scheme of Things 91
4 XML Tools: What Do You Want to Do Today? 145
5 The Future is Now: Trends and Possibilities 173
References 191
Index 195
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