Just a quick post here on what I think is a major announcement/step forward for both the linked data/semantic web/web of data community and the field of library and info science. LOC recently announced that it will be replacing the 40-year-old MARC format for cataloging and data management structures with a framework based on RDF and linked data principles. Although this is, in some ways, not surprising, it is most-certainly a welcome development. As I mentioned in a previous post where I reviewed a book entitled Facilitating Access to the Web of Data: A guide for librarians, librarians and information professionals are in a unique position to facilitate much of so-called Web 3.0, which encompasses linked data and web of data developments.
The announcement states that:
Embracing common exchange techniques (the Web and Linked Data) and broadly adopted data models (RDF) will move the current library-technological environment away from being a niche market unto itself to one more readily understandable by present and future data creators, data modelers, and software developers."
And, specifically, they mention that:
Triplestores, which are databases designed specifically for storing and querying RDF data, are widely and readily available, and promise to provide the library community with more options about how to store and retrieve its data in the future."
Added to this are LOC's initiatives to make LC vocabularies available as linked data including a service that exposes rich MARC data as RDF. I highly recommend reading the announcement in full as it describes the scoping and requirements exercises undertaken and the approach that lead to this critical decision to embrace linked data principles. This is also a huge step forward for linked data. As the LOD cloud grows, integration of data stores and descriptive metadata stored in MARC will be a key addition. Couple this announcement with the one early this year from CrossRef regarding DOIs and RDF and the need for librarians and information professionals to become proficient in RDF and linked data principles is now mandatory.