Monday, August 20, 2012

Library Trend: Linked Data

There’s been a lot of talk about Linked Data in libraryland recently.  In response to this growing trend, we’ve gathered the following information for CLIC library staff who are interested in learning more about Linked Data.

A good starting place for basic information is OCLC’s Linked Data Research page which describes Linked Data as “a term which describes an approach to exposing data in a machine-readable form where the data is "de-referenceable" (i.e. URIs are an integral part of the exposed data and external applications can use the URIs to perform various actions such as retrieving data, connecting same/similar/related data from multiple Linked Data stores).”  OCLC has also put together a helpful “Linked Data for Libraries” video on YouTube.  And earlier last week, OCLC provided a downloadable linked data file for the 1 million most widely held works in WorldCat.

Minitex and the Minnesota Library Association are also tackling Linked Data, and they invite Minnesota library staff to join their Linked Data interest group.  If you would like to join the group or learn more about it, please contact either Sarah Weeks at Rolvaag Library, St. Olaf ( or  507-786-3453) or Sara Ring at Minitex ( or 612-625-6088). There will be a Linked Data dinner at the MLA Annual Conference (tentatively Thursday, October 4) as an informal kick-off for the interest group.  Minitex also plans to host a regional informational session which will be announced later this year.

At the national level, ALA LITA/ALCTS has a Linked Data Interest Group and the Digital Library Federation sponsors the LOD-LAM Zotero Group, a shared vehicle for providing links and references to tools and resources about library linked data.

Additional Linked Data Resources
The following Linked Data Projects are from Sara Ring’s and Sarah Weeks’ Linked Data handout from their ARLD presentation earlier this year (thanks Sara and Sarah!).  Google, Bing and Yahoo adoption of the Semantic Web. Use’s vocabulary to tag your data in a way that search engines can understand.

CKAN  An open-source data portal. Lists 52 Library Data Sets (such as the British National Bibliography and Cambridge University)

VIAF  Virtual International name authority file. VIAF is hosted by OCLC, and a joint project of several national libraries.  Names, places and subjects published as URIs with links to other national libraries.

Europeana  An aggregate of cultural heritage object from through- out Europe, containing 15 million items from 1500 libraries, museums, and archives.

COMET: Cambridge Open METadata project  Converted bibliographic records in catalog to RDF triples, and published the data sets on the web. Also link to FAST and VIAF authority services.

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