Re: [CODE4LIB] Programmer Orientation to Library/Lib Sci

2011-08-03 Thread Jonathan Rochkind

  I'm especially interested in anything which
  gave you an ah-ha! moment when you were working with library data --
  the implicit things which didn't make sense until you knew why those
  crazy librarians did things the way they did.



I'd add that you should be open to accepting that some of those things 
STILL won't make sense once you know why librarians do things the way 
they do.


Much of what we do indeed simply doesn't make sense -- I mean, we got 
here somehow for certain reasons, and understanding the history can help 
understand how we got to where we are, but often where we are is really 
really unfortunate.  (And even many of us librarians don't entirely 
understand how we got here, if we're under a certain age!)


But anyway, you've probably already seen it, but Jason Thomale's 
Code4Lib Journal article might be useful for providing some of that 
background for Marc (although I don't neccesarily think his 
explanation/analysis/solutions are airtight, they're an introduction).


Re: [CODE4LIB] Programmer Orientation to Library/Lib Sci

2011-08-02 Thread P Williams
Introduction to this community and related conferences really helped my
introduction to libraryland and its vernacular.

Regards,
Tricia

On Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 10:04 AM, Laura Smart laura.j.sm...@gmail.comwrote:

 Hi folks -

 What do you include in orientation when you hire a programmer
 (excellent, experienced, of course), who isn't familiar with
 library-land?  MARC is a given, ditto the ILS, plus e-resource
 management back end (OpenURL parsers, proxies and the like).  From
 those of you who came into libraries for other industries:  what do
 you wish you knew about libraries, library/info science, and library
 operations when you began? I'm especially interested in anything which
 gave you an ah-ha! moment when you were working with library data --
 the implicit things which didn't make sense until you knew why those
 crazy librarians did things the way they did.   Also - which resources
 were particularly valuable to you as you gained familiarity with your
 new environment?

 Your insight is deeply appreciated,

 Laura J. Smart
 Metadata Services Manager, Caltech Library
 la...@library.caltech.edu/laura.j.sm...@gmail.com



Re: [CODE4LIB] Programmer Orientation to Library/Lib Sci

2011-08-02 Thread Mike Smorul
Some lessons from my own introduction coming from an IT/Comp-Sci
background years ago.

Focus more on the why and use-cases rather than the technology. From a
programming perspective much of the technology isn't terribly
difficult and is well known at a basic level. How it's used, why
certain choices were made is the most important information to convey.
If you hired a programmer for a specific task, don't focus on
dictating technology, they should tell you what is current, but rather
what you need and want from the application. Helping them understand
how the data is accessed by your end-users if probably the most
valuable information you can convey.

Be prepared to answer questions and frustrations with library
standards that aren't really machine actionable. One older example is
METS, while it is XML, there is very little you can do to infer higher
a higher level of organization without extensive best practice
description or profiles.

-Mike

On Tue, Aug 2, 2011 at 9:57 PM, P Williams
williams.tricia.l...@gmail.com wrote:
 Introduction to this community and related conferences really helped my
 introduction to libraryland and its vernacular.

 Regards,
 Tricia

 On Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 10:04 AM, Laura Smart laura.j.sm...@gmail.comwrote:

 Hi folks -

 What do you include in orientation when you hire a programmer
 (excellent, experienced, of course), who isn't familiar with
 library-land?  MARC is a given, ditto the ILS, plus e-resource
 management back end (OpenURL parsers, proxies and the like).  From
 those of you who came into libraries for other industries:  what do
 you wish you knew about libraries, library/info science, and library
 operations when you began? I'm especially interested in anything which
 gave you an ah-ha! moment when you were working with library data --
 the implicit things which didn't make sense until you knew why those
 crazy librarians did things the way they did.   Also - which resources
 were particularly valuable to you as you gained familiarity with your
 new environment?

 Your insight is deeply appreciated,

 Laura J. Smart
 Metadata Services Manager, Caltech Library
 la...@library.caltech.edu/laura.j.sm...@gmail.com




Re: [CODE4LIB] Programmer Orientation to Library/Lib Sci

2011-07-22 Thread Bigwood, David
The extended ASCII character set, Latin-1, used in the old MARC systems was 
always something that was neglected to get mentioned and not at all obvious. 
Now that more systems are using UNICODE it should be less of a problem, all 
depends on your system and if you still have legacy data.

Sincerely,
David Bigwood
dbigw...@gmail.com
Lunar and Planetary Institute


-Original Message-
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:CODE4LIB@LISTSERV.ND.EDU] On Behalf Of Laura 
Smart
Sent: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 11:04 AM
To: CODE4LIB@LISTSERV.ND.EDU
Subject: [CODE4LIB] Programmer Orientation to Library/Lib Sci

Hi folks -

What do you include in orientation when you hire a programmer (excellent, 
experienced, of course), who isn't familiar with library-land?  MARC is a 
given, ditto the ILS, plus e-resource management back end (OpenURL parsers, 
proxies and the like).  From those of you who came into libraries for other 
industries:  what do you wish you knew about libraries, library/info science, 
and library operations when you began? I'm especially interested in anything 
which gave you an ah-ha! moment when you were working with library data -- 
the implicit things which didn't make sense until you knew why those
crazy librarians did things the way they did.   Also - which resources
were particularly valuable to you as you gained familiarity with your new 
environment?

Your insight is deeply appreciated,

Laura J. Smart
Metadata Services Manager, Caltech Library 
la...@library.caltech.edu/laura.j.sm...@gmail.com


Re: [CODE4LIB] Programmer Orientation to Library/Lib Sci

2011-07-22 Thread Walter Lewis
On 22 July 2011, at 1:07 PM, Bigwood, David wrote:

 The extended ASCII character set, Latin-1, used in the old MARC systems was 
 always something that was neglected to get mentioned and not at all obvious. 
 Now that more systems are using UNICODE it should be less of a problem, all 
 depends on your system and if you still have legacy data.

Isn't Marc-8 different than Latin-1 in how it handles accents?

At least that's how I read
  http://rocky.uta.edu/doran/charsets/marc.html
... and I'd never argue with Michael about this. :)

Walter Lewis
   who never met a character set he didn't wish he hadn't *had* to meet


Re: [CODE4LIB] Programmer Orientation to Library/Lib Sci

2011-07-22 Thread Bigwood, David
Walter,

Yes, it is different. All the different character sets someone could
bump into in the library, some not used elsewhere, should be mentioned. 

I love and agree with that sig :-)

Dave

-Original Message-
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:CODE4LIB@LISTSERV.ND.EDU] On Behalf Of
Walter Lewis
Sent: Friday, July 22, 2011 4:12 PM
To: CODE4LIB@LISTSERV.ND.EDU
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Programmer Orientation to Library/Lib Sci

On 22 July 2011, at 1:07 PM, Bigwood, David wrote:

 The extended ASCII character set, Latin-1, used in the old MARC
systems was always something that was neglected to get mentioned and not
at all obvious. Now that more systems are using UNICODE it should be
less of a problem, all depends on your system and if you still have
legacy data.

Isn't Marc-8 different than Latin-1 in how it handles accents?

At least that's how I read
  http://rocky.uta.edu/doran/charsets/marc.html
... and I'd never argue with Michael about this. :)

Walter Lewis
   who never met a character set he didn't wish he hadn't *had* to meet


Re: [CODE4LIB] Programmer Orientation to Library/Lib Sci

2011-07-21 Thread Cowles, Esme
Laura-

Yes, that diagram is awesome! It does a great job of dividing up the standards 
by several different axes. I think the Function section in particular is what I 
didn't figure out on my own, mostly because I always assumed those functions 
were all contained in a single standard instead of split across several.

-Esme
--
Esme Cowles escow...@ucsd.edu

...the ridiculous mix of the grand and pathetic, the painfully self-aware
 and the mockworthy clueless spiritual state that has gotten us so far
 ahead and so sadly behind the rest of the world. -- Joey Sweeney, Salon

On 07 20, 2011, at 5:47 PM, Laura Smart wrote:

 Esme (and all)
 
 Would Jenn Riley  Devin Becker's metadata standards visualization
 have been helpful to you if it had been available back in the day?
 http://www.dlib.indiana.edu/~jenlrile/metadatamap/
 
 Perhaps a detailed sub-set thereof?
 
 Perhaps at minimum a glossary of acronyms commonly tossed about by
 catalogers?  I'd write one but I think I'd be tempted to be snarky
 when trying to explain RDA in brief...
 
 Laura
 
 PS re: SAGE, I'd heard.  That it was useful/used for so long is a
 testament to the your development and programming skills and those of
 Chris Fryman and Brian Tingle. I raise my glass!   For the peanut
 gallery - SAGE was UCSD Lib's home-grown database of web resources
 that pub services librarians used to create subject-guides on the fly
 and was a thing of beauty to behold.  Would that all software
 developers do use cases, functional requirements, rapid
 prototyping/agile development, and usability testing so well!
 
 PPS: sorry to all for the somewhat personal communications couched in
 a public list discussion. The opportunity to publicly sing the praises
 of the excellent programmers I've been privileged to work with was too
 tempting to pass up.
 
 On Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 9:52 AM, Cowles, Esme escow...@ucsd.edu wrote:
 Laura-
 
 One of the things I wish someone had explained to me at the beginning is all 
 the different metadata standards we use and how they fit together.  I'd been 
 working with MARC metadata for years before anyone explained what AACR2 was, 
 or various other controlled vocabulary content standards.  In fact, I think 
 it wasn't until I was in a meeting with librarians explaining our metadata 
 to non-library people that I heard a lot of things spelled out.
 
 
 BTW, you might be interested to know that, after many years of faithful 
 service, Sage is going to be decommissioned this Fall.
 


Re: [CODE4LIB] Programmer Orientation to Library/Lib Sci

2011-07-20 Thread Cowles, Esme
Laura-

One of the things I wish someone had explained to me at the beginning is all 
the different metadata standards we use and how they fit together.  I'd been 
working with MARC metadata for years before anyone explained what AACR2 was, or 
various other controlled vocabulary content standards.  In fact, I think it 
wasn't until I was in a meeting with librarians explaining our metadata to 
non-library people that I heard a lot of things spelled out.


BTW, you might be interested to know that, after many years of faithful 
service, Sage is going to be decommissioned this Fall.

-Esme
--
Esme Cowles escow...@ucsd.edu

I went down to my old neighborhood ... and the pool hall I loved as a kid
 is now a 7-Eleven. -- Social Distortion, Story of My Life


From: Code for Libraries [CODE4LIB@LISTSERV.ND.EDU] On Behalf Of Laura Smart 
[laura.j.sm...@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 12:04 PM
To: CODE4LIB@LISTSERV.ND.EDU
Subject: [CODE4LIB] Programmer Orientation to Library/Lib Sci

Hi folks -

What do you include in orientation when you hire a programmer
(excellent, experienced, of course), who isn't familiar with
library-land?  MARC is a given, ditto the ILS, plus e-resource
management back end (OpenURL parsers, proxies and the like).  From
those of you who came into libraries for other industries:  what do
you wish you knew about libraries, library/info science, and library
operations when you began? I'm especially interested in anything which
gave you an ah-ha! moment when you were working with library data --
the implicit things which didn't make sense until you knew why those
crazy librarians did things the way they did.   Also - which resources
were particularly valuable to you as you gained familiarity with your
new environment?

Your insight is deeply appreciated,

Laura J. Smart
Metadata Services Manager, Caltech Library
la...@library.caltech.edu/laura.j.sm...@gmail.com


Re: [CODE4LIB] Programmer Orientation to Library/Lib Sci

2011-07-20 Thread Michael J. Giarlo
Somewhat related is the developing Guide for the Perplexed on the code4lib wiki:

 http://wiki.code4lib.org/index.php/A_Guide_for_the_Perplexed

Feel free to add to it!

-Mike


On Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 12:04, Laura Smart laura.j.sm...@gmail.com wrote:
 Hi folks -

 What do you include in orientation when you hire a programmer
 (excellent, experienced, of course), who isn't familiar with
 library-land?  MARC is a given, ditto the ILS, plus e-resource
 management back end (OpenURL parsers, proxies and the like).  From
 those of you who came into libraries for other industries:  what do
 you wish you knew about libraries, library/info science, and library
 operations when you began? I'm especially interested in anything which
 gave you an ah-ha! moment when you were working with library data --
 the implicit things which didn't make sense until you knew why those
 crazy librarians did things the way they did.   Also - which resources
 were particularly valuable to you as you gained familiarity with your
 new environment?

 Your insight is deeply appreciated,

 Laura J. Smart
 Metadata Services Manager, Caltech Library
 la...@library.caltech.edu/laura.j.sm...@gmail.com



Re: [CODE4LIB] Programmer Orientation to Library/Lib Sci

2011-07-20 Thread Bess Sadler
Hi, Laura.

Great question, and one that I have asked myself many times. It is sparsely 
populated, but there is a wiki page about this here: 
http://wiki.code4lib.org/index.php/A_Guide_for_the_Perplexed

It would be a service to the community if you added any answers you find there. 

Bess

On Jul 20, 2011, at 9:04 AM, Laura Smart wrote:

 Hi folks -
 
 What do you include in orientation when you hire a programmer
 (excellent, experienced, of course), who isn't familiar with
 library-land?  MARC is a given, ditto the ILS, plus e-resource
 management back end (OpenURL parsers, proxies and the like).  From
 those of you who came into libraries for other industries:  what do
 you wish you knew about libraries, library/info science, and library
 operations when you began? I'm especially interested in anything which
 gave you an ah-ha! moment when you were working with library data --
 the implicit things which didn't make sense until you knew why those
 crazy librarians did things the way they did.   Also - which resources
 were particularly valuable to you as you gained familiarity with your
 new environment?
 
 Your insight is deeply appreciated,
 
 Laura J. Smart
 Metadata Services Manager, Caltech Library
 la...@library.caltech.edu/laura.j.sm...@gmail.com


Re: [CODE4LIB] Programmer Orientation to Library/Lib Sci

2011-07-20 Thread Peter Schlumpf
Laura,  This is a great question, but a very difficult one for me to answer in 
a clear way.  The no-brainers you list make sense to me.

For me, libraries and programming developed almost inseperably.  I saw the one 
as the context in which to do the other.  I graduated from the University of 
Illinois with a computer science degree in 1989 and also took some graduate 
courses in library science.  I worked in and around libraries for most of my 
working life, and much has changed in both fields since then.

You might want to turn the question around and ask yourself what new ideas can 
this person bring into libraryland?  My impression has been that libraryland 
is very insular and self-absorbed to the point that it courts the danger of 
making itself irrelevant to the rest of the world.  For one, the fact that the 
MARC record format has persisted as it has to this day is mind-boggling. MARC 
is like a set of blinders that keep people looking library metadata in one 
particular way long after it has outlived its usefulness.

The past few years I have spent in the corporate world doing completely 
different things, and now I am returning back to the library world with what 
have I learned out there.

AS for an ah-ha moment, my experience in working in a small town library long 
ago and immersing myself in its every day cycle through its manual circulation 
system gave me an understanding of how that system works.  And I used that as a 
context for my studies in computer science and work thereafter which turned 
into a positive cycle.  For me, the one gives a reason to do the other.

Peter Schlumpf


-Original Message-
From: Laura Smart laura.j.sm...@gmail.com
Sent: Jul 20, 2011 11:04 AM
To: CODE4LIB@LISTSERV.ND.EDU
Subject: [CODE4LIB] Programmer Orientation to Library/Lib Sci

Hi folks -

What do you include in orientation when you hire a programmer
(excellent, experienced, of course), who isn't familiar with
library-land?  MARC is a given, ditto the ILS, plus e-resource
management back end (OpenURL parsers, proxies and the like).  From
those of you who came into libraries for other industries:  what do
you wish you knew about libraries, library/info science, and library
operations when you began? I'm especially interested in anything which
gave you an ah-ha! moment when you were working with library data --
the implicit things which didn't make sense until you knew why those
crazy librarians did things the way they did.   Also - which resources
were particularly valuable to you as you gained familiarity with your
new environment?

Your insight is deeply appreciated,

Laura J. Smart
Metadata Services Manager, Caltech Library
la...@library.caltech.edu/laura.j.sm...@gmail.com


Re: [CODE4LIB] Programmer Orientation to Library/Lib Sci

2011-07-20 Thread Roy Zimmer

Hi Laura:

I started working with/for Library stuff in 1994. Been working on it 
more or less full-time now for nearly half that time. I moved from the 
IT department and became a library employee several years back. So...CS 
degree, no library education, but have picked a lot up over the years.


One thing that's still not 100% clear to me is the relationship between 
the types of records. I sort of know how bib, authority, holdings, and 
item records relate to each other. What I would have found helpful a 
long time ago would be something like an entity-relationship diagram for 
these records, with decent text explanations. I could use that even today.


Hmm. Perhaps also such a diagram+text for all the workflows in a library.

Roy Zimmer
Waldo Library
Western Michigan University


On 7/20/2011 12:04 PM, Laura Smart wrote:

Hi folks -

What do you include in orientation when you hire a programmer
(excellent, experienced, of course), who isn't familiar with
library-land?  MARC is a given, ditto the ILS, plus e-resource
management back end (OpenURL parsers, proxies and the like).  From
those of you who came into libraries for other industries:  what do
you wish you knew about libraries, library/info science, and library
operations when you began? I'm especially interested in anything which
gave you an ah-ha! moment when you were working with library data --
the implicit things which didn't make sense until you knew why those
crazy librarians did things the way they did.   Also - which resources
were particularly valuable to you as you gained familiarity with your
new environment?

Your insight is deeply appreciated,

Laura J. Smart
Metadata Services Manager, Caltech Library
la...@library.caltech.edu/laura.j.sm...@gmail.com


Re: [CODE4LIB] Programmer Orientation to Library/Lib Sci

2011-07-20 Thread Laura Smart
Esme (and all)

Would Jenn Riley  Devin Becker's metadata standards visualization
have been helpful to you if it had been available back in the day?
http://www.dlib.indiana.edu/~jenlrile/metadatamap/

Perhaps a detailed sub-set thereof?

Perhaps at minimum a glossary of acronyms commonly tossed about by
catalogers?  I'd write one but I think I'd be tempted to be snarky
when trying to explain RDA in brief...

Laura

PS re: SAGE, I'd heard.  That it was useful/used for so long is a
testament to the your development and programming skills and those of
Chris Fryman and Brian Tingle. I raise my glass!   For the peanut
gallery - SAGE was UCSD Lib's home-grown database of web resources
that pub services librarians used to create subject-guides on the fly
and was a thing of beauty to behold.  Would that all software
developers do use cases, functional requirements, rapid
prototyping/agile development, and usability testing so well!

PPS: sorry to all for the somewhat personal communications couched in
a public list discussion. The opportunity to publicly sing the praises
of the excellent programmers I've been privileged to work with was too
tempting to pass up.

On Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 9:52 AM, Cowles, Esme escow...@ucsd.edu wrote:
 Laura-

 One of the things I wish someone had explained to me at the beginning is all 
 the different metadata standards we use and how they fit together.  I'd been 
 working with MARC metadata for years before anyone explained what AACR2 was, 
 or various other controlled vocabulary content standards.  In fact, I think 
 it wasn't until I was in a meeting with librarians explaining our metadata to 
 non-library people that I heard a lot of things spelled out.


 BTW, you might be interested to know that, after many years of faithful 
 service, Sage is going to be decommissioned this Fall.



Re: [CODE4LIB] Programmer Orientation to Library/Lib Sci

2011-07-20 Thread Mike Taylor
On 20 July 2011 22:47, Laura Smart laura.j.sm...@gmail.com wrote:
 Esme (and all)

 Would Jenn Riley  Devin Becker's metadata standards visualization
 have been helpful to you if it had been available back in the day?
 http://www.dlib.indiana.edu/~jenlrile/metadatamap/

 Perhaps a detailed sub-set thereof?

 Perhaps at minimum a glossary of acronyms commonly tossed about by
 catalogers?  I'd write one but I think I'd be tempted to be snarky
 when trying to explain RDA in brief...

This reminded me of one more resource that might be useful for
newcomers -- a very short list that I wrote entitled All You Need to
Know about XML in One Page.
http://www.miketaylor.org.uk/tech/xml.html

And while I am self-publicising, I may as well mention a longer, but
easy-to-read article that several people have liked: One Man's
Ceiling is Another Man's Floor --- or --- Why your data may not be as
meta as you think it is.
http://www.miketaylor.org.uk/tech/metadata.html

Some of the specific technologies that it mentions are a bit dates,
but the concepts are pretty timeless.

Hope this is useful to someone.
-- Mike.




 Laura

 PS re: SAGE, I'd heard.  That it was useful/used for so long is a
 testament to the your development and programming skills and those of
 Chris Fryman and Brian Tingle. I raise my glass!   For the peanut
 gallery - SAGE was UCSD Lib's home-grown database of web resources
 that pub services librarians used to create subject-guides on the fly
 and was a thing of beauty to behold.  Would that all software
 developers do use cases, functional requirements, rapid
 prototyping/agile development, and usability testing so well!

 PPS: sorry to all for the somewhat personal communications couched in
 a public list discussion. The opportunity to publicly sing the praises
 of the excellent programmers I've been privileged to work with was too
 tempting to pass up.

 On Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 9:52 AM, Cowles, Esme escow...@ucsd.edu wrote:
 Laura-

 One of the things I wish someone had explained to me at the beginning is all 
 the different metadata standards we use and how they fit together.  I'd been 
 working with MARC metadata for years before anyone explained what AACR2 was, 
 or various other controlled vocabulary content standards.  In fact, I think 
 it wasn't until I was in a meeting with librarians explaining our metadata 
 to non-library people that I heard a lot of things spelled out.


 BTW, you might be interested to know that, after many years of faithful 
 service, Sage is going to be decommissioned this Fall.





Re: [CODE4LIB] Programmer Orientation to Library/Lib Sci

2011-07-20 Thread Genny Engel
Reminds me of a joke about someone new to libraries, whose ideas kept getting 
shot down because that doesn't work with the way LC does it.  Finally the 
exasperated new person asks, Who is this Elsie and how come everybody does 
what SHE wants?

Genny Engel
Internet Librarian
Sonoma County Library
gen...@sonoma.lib.ca.us
www.sonomalibrary.org
707 545-0831 x581

-Original Message-
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:CODE4LIB@LISTSERV.ND.EDU] On Behalf Of Laura 
Smart
Sent: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 2:48 PM
To: CODE4LIB@LISTSERV.ND.EDU
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Programmer Orientation to Library/Lib Sci

Perhaps at minimum a glossary of acronyms commonly tossed about by
catalogers?