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Why libraries should embrace Linked Data

The promise of Linked Data is not that it is another way of aggregating data. For too long have library data been trapped within data-silos only accessible through obscure protocols. Why is access to library data still an issue? Letting everyone access and link to library data lets anyone build the next killer app. LIBRIS, the Swedish Union Catalogue is, since the beginning of this year, available as Linked Data. We discuss how and why. -- Martin Malmsten & Anders Söderbäck, National Library of Sweden

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Why libraries should embrace Linked Data

  1. 1. Why libraries should embrace Linked Data Anders Söderbäck National Library of Sweden
  2. 2. Why LIBRIS likes Linked Data Anders Söderbäck National Library of Sweden
  3. 3. LIBRIS • Swedish National Union Catalog • 170 libraries • 6 million bib records • 20 million holdings • 250k authority records • National bibliography
  4. 4. LIBRIS • Library directory • Library infrastructure (”metadata switch”) • Online public access (for humans) since 1997 • Marc21 since 2001 • Linked Data since 2008
  5. 5. What is Linked Data? From Linked Data is a term used to describe a method of exposing, sharing, and connecting data on the Web via dereferenceable URIs.
  6. 6. Four principles of Linked Data (TBL 2006) • Use URIs as names for things • Use HTTP URIs so that people can look up those names. • When someone looks up a URI, provide useful information. • Include links to other URIs, so that they can discover more things.
  7. 7. Why use Linked Data for your library catalog?
  8. 8. New LIBRIS, dec 2007
  9. 9. Design a thing by considering it in its next largest context—a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, environment in a city plan. - Eliel Saarinen
  10. 10. This means...
  11. 11. A library catalog must be designed by considering its context of the Web.
  12. 12. The question is not ”What is a catalog?” but ”What can a catalog become?”
  13. 13. What is the Web? • An infrastructure for moving bits • An environment for communication, information dissemination, etc... • The Web is social • The Web is a network • The Web is made of links • Open system, anyone can join / link
  14. 14. Catalogs in Web context • Need to be open (Get your data out!) • Need to be linkable • Needs to provide links • Must be part of the network • Can not be an end in itself • Allow for hackability
  15. 15. Why APIs suck • Context specific / differ from each other • Too much control in the hands of the producer (too dependant of the producers world view) • Not hackable enough • Not really weaved into the Web • Despite this, we have built some APIs...
  16. 16. Linked Open Data turns the Web into an API. - Corey A. Harper
  17. 17. So what does it look like?
  18. 18. How do I find it? • HTTP URI for every resource, ex:
  19. 19. HTTP content negotiation • HTTP 303 See other • text/html -> • text/rdf+n3 -> 5059456
  20. 20. text/html-view
  21. 21. text/html-view
  22. 22. text/rdf+n3
  23. 23. text/rdf+n3 again
  24. 24. Strategies • Data first • Represent ILS state • Use existing vocabularies if possible (DC, SKOS, FOAF, Bibliontology, Geo) • Make up vocabularies if needed • Learn by doing
  25. 25. Read • ”Making a Library Catalog Part of the Semantic Web”, Martin Malmsten 2008 • ”LIBRIS - Linked Library Data”, Anders Söderbäck and Martin Malmsten 2008, in Nodalities #5,
  26. 26. Coming up next... • Dbpedia links • Open Source project for turning ILS:s into linked data (e-mail • Hope for network effects
  27. 27. Contact • •