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Preview: Comments on Coyle's InFormation: Users and Uses - Karen's Summary

Comments on Coyle's InFormation: Users and Uses - Karen's Summary

Updated: 2017-11-20T12:52:03.455-08:00


(Hiya Karen, it's Avi Rappoport, it's been ages......


(Hiya Karen, it's Avi Rappoport, it's been ages...)

Sounds like an amazing day!

I think Uniform Title is one of those things that fits into the back-office / end-user divide. Users want and deserve to know that a journal changed it's name or a piece of music is the same as another, with just title variation. But the way librarians have noted this is a user-hostile! The solution is not to do away with UT, it's to convey the information more effectively.

(I'm also quite pleased about NCSU, I did a talk at Internet Librarian in 2004 about using faceted metadata in library catalogs: and feel quite vindicated :-)

Karen, thanks for blogging all this. It's wonderfu...


Karen, thanks for blogging all this. It's wonderful, to sit virtually on your lap, and take note of all these presentations. It sure sounds as a really interesting day we witnessed through your posts.

As someone who has been a music cataloger outside ...


As someone who has been a music cataloger outside of a traditional library (i.e. a radio station), the application of a lot of aspects of uniform titles is especially good at specific identification/collocation.

Having the possible of a primary key for each composition is important (under an individual name heading). It was challenging because announcers aren't going to say "Concertos, violin, no. 1, op. 34, DSH 156" on the air, even though those elements put items in the correct order in the catalog.
(Another case of the library fulfilling its own needs rather than that of its users).

I had to fudge and apply aspects of uniform titles to collocate titles, but still have a title which announcers could read intelligently from a printed playlist.

Ideally, I'd want a database that looked something like the All Music Guide for scores and recordings. The pop side of AMG is very confusing [their strength is describing albums or artists], but the classical side has a very attractive description of each uniform title (i.e. work or musical composition), that is highly clickable. While they could improve their search capabilities, that format is where a music-only catalog should look like, in my opinion. How it would integrate with a larger bibliographic universe, I don't know.

Replacing -- or supplementing -- uniform titles in...


Replacing -- or supplementing -- uniform titles in music catalogs could be done by linking to a couple sound clips per bib record: the required link would be to a recording of the first few bars of sound; then, if there is a distinctive (or 'most memorable') theme that appears later in the piece, there would be an optional link to a recording of that few bars.

All done within the copyright limits of fair use, of course, and stored in a central location (yes, with off-site back-ups), any library catalog could link to the same sound clips. This could serve as a somewhat uniform clue to users about what the cataloging catalogs in a way somewhat analogous to the way images of dustjackets/covers tell folks about the recently-published paper books in the catalog (LibraryThing, Amazon, etc.).

Yes, a lot of music hasn't been digitally sampled; and a lot of books (e.g., most of my rare book collection) have nondescript covers. But some is better than none, and there would be years of employment for musicians hired to record those opening sound clips.


Hmmm... maybe it's because I've been a music catal...


Hmmm... maybe it's because I've been a music cataloger for so many years that I find UT's very natural and logical. Now, I do agree completely that what happens to UT's in most systems is a bit of a crime. I guess the onus on me is to learn/explore just what "faceted" navigation would look like...

In my opinion the basic structure of the music UT works well for generic works:
[Type of composition / medium / serial number / key] those are the things you really do need to identify a work. Now, granted, Selections and some of the collective titles are not as useful, but I'm a huge fan of analytical entries when ever possible to flesh those out.

I've been working on a project to use iTunes as a delivery system for audio reserves, and I make extensive use of UT's to help make up for the deficiencies of iTunes as a database-- we'd be lost without them.

To be fair, I oversimplified what I heard, and I p...


To be fair, I oversimplified what I heard, and I probably didn't type what he actually said. My notes say:
"- Uniform titles (240, 130) the practice is problematic; doesn't help grouping." I'm sure Oren could say something (and maybe did say something) more coherent than that.

Music really is a special case, and one that I find fascinating. I would love to see a "prettier" solution than the current uniform titles, which are very unnatural and hard to read. It would be interesting to use the main facets of the music uniform title in a faceted navigation... Maybe someone with a music library background could suggest what elements would work for that kind of searching. Yes?

Uniform titles aren't necessary? That fellow is o...


Uniform titles aren't necessary? That fellow is obviously not a music library user.