“Ending the Invisible Library” expounds nicely on the last article I reviewed. The author talks a little bit more about Google’s “Knowledge Graph” panels (the information panels that sometimes pop up next to search results). These are drawn from the Knowledge Graph, which has over 500 million data objects, complete with facts about them and relationships between them. This makes it a great example of a “semantic technology” – Web technologies evolving to be more about data objects and their relationships than a series of pages connected by links. This evolution presents a problem for libraries, as it makes already outdated MARC records even less able to make library holdings visible through web searches.
Fortunately, alternate solutions are being developed. BIBFRAME, developed by Zepheira, is meant to “translate” MARC to the new linked data model. To further this goal, Zepheira announced the Libhub Initiative as a “proof of concept project.” This project will link library systems together with linked data, making library holdings easily visible in searches (and possibly even in Knowledge Panels). It would also give libraries control over their own data, a welcome change from having to rely on vendors.
I found linked data and BIBFRAME very confusing topics when first introduced, but fortunately every article makes them a little clearer. This did a good job of giving me an overview of how linked data works, and what BIBFRAME’s concrete benefits would be. It also made me realize what a fundamental change in thinking the Knowledge Graph panels represent – I had thought they were just a slightly helpful extra perk for searchers.