Starting from a digital list does not usually require enrichment via a master source. Libraries use a standard exchange format, MARC, including WorldCat. All major library management systems can import and export MARC. When a library switches to a new system, they usually just export their existing catalog data in MARC format and import that data into the new system. The tricky part is that most library management systems have unique features and workflows, and stores extra information internally to manage those systems. As an example, there are numerous ways systems might store item location and status. So a transition usually involves cleaning up the original data, translating local system data into MARC fields which can be imported in the new system, massaging incompatible data into forms the new system can store in its own local rules, and filling in data on the new system that could not be exchanged from the old system. But that is only local system stuff. The basic cataloging information follows a standard that can (in principle) be easily exchanged.
As you suspected, systems do not actually store the exchange format MARC as their master catalog (the Source of Truth). Usually it is stored in a database, with most systems using a proprietary internal data design. Most systems can display the data in MARC format for the purposes of cataloging. Maintenance and additions are handled either by manual entry or retrieval of records in MARC format from a vendor or a master source like WorldCat. New and updated MARC records can be imported individually or in batch.
One interesting development in library management systems is the growth of cloud catalog services. WorldCat came out with such a system a few years ago, named WorldShare Discovery, but there are several others. In this system, the cloud service stores the catalog data and serves as the Source of Truth. In WorldShare Discovery, for instance, the library picks which WorldCat records are in its "local" catalog. New records created by one Discovery library are added to WorldCat and can be used by all other libraries using WorldCat. Changes to the WorldCat master record are reflected immediately in all Discovery catalogs. The library can add some local data as well, but for the most part, the WorldCat master record is also the local record.
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From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Frank Guerino
Sent: Monday, March 20, 2017 10:37 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Question About Library Managements Systems and Loading of Data/Artifacts
Thanks for taking the time to answer. This is exactly the type of info I¡¯m looking for.
Your answer describes two scenarios:
1. Starting From Paper: A process that A) turns the Paper Card Index into Digital List, B) requires enriching it via a Master Data Source like WorldCat, and C) loads the list into the library.
2. Starting from a Digital List: Which I assume still requires B and C, from above.
After initial upload, is that Digital List treated as an ongoing Source of Truth (SoT) that is continuously mastered outside the library and incrementally synched with the data loaded into the library? Or, after initial upload, is that list discarded and the library, itself, is used to control master inventory (either through incremental manual entry or scanning)? I¡¯m under the impression that it¡¯s the latter.
Frank Guerino, Managing Partner
The International Foundation for Information Technology (IF4IT) http://www.if4it.com
On 3/19/17, 4:11 PM, "Fitchett, Deborah" <[log in to unmask]>
> Hi Frank,
> That's a fairly broad set of questions. My library currently uses Alma
> but there are heaps of systems out there.
> is a good place to get an idea of who uses what. If you create an
> account you can run an advanced search eg "all libraries in New Zealand using Alma".
> As for launching a new system, it really depends what data you have to
> start with. If you're starting with an old card index, or nothing,
> then you'd probably want to... say scan all the ISBNs/ISSNs into a
> list and try and get records for these all from WorldCat or something,
> but you'd need a lot of manual intervention (especially as you'd need
> to add holdings and local barcodes/RFID/whatever).
> But if you're starting with the records in some electronic form
> already, then you'd want to work with your new vendor to try and
> import those from whatever format you're already using.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
> Frank Guerino
> Sent: Sunday, 19 March 2017 1:46 p.m.
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [CODE4LIB] Question About Library Managements Systems and
> Loading of Data/Artifacts
> Hi All,
> I©öm curious to learn:
> 1. What Library Management Systems (LMSs) system do you use to manage
> your Libraries and all Library Artifacts?
> 2. How do you seed your artifacts (books, journals, etc.) into your LMSs?
> So, for example, when launching a new system for the first time, how
> do you seed it with all your books, journals, etc.? Do you have
> things like CSV seed files or do you enter all artifacts one at a time?
> Thanks for your help,
> Frank Guerino, Managing Partner
> The International Foundation for Information Technology (IF4IT)
> 1.908.294.5191 (M)
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