Back in September 2016 I wrote about creating a bibliographic record because there was no existing record in either WorldCat or Libraries Australia for the Australian edition of a book. This post looks at what has happened six months on.

The most obvious change is that libraries have added their holdings to this title in Libraries Australia, and this is then reflected in Trove, for details see


As seen in the following screen shot there are already five records for what is effect the same thing (or in library speak, the same manifestation). While it is kind of flattering that the majority of Australian libraries are attaching their holdings to the record created by an  independent Victorian school library, it does raise the question of how libraries can do a better job of ensuring pre-publication CiP records are loaded into Libraries Australia so school librarians don’t have to effectively do the work of a legal deposit library’s cataloguing department. But more importantly, the multiple records for the same manifestation in Libraries Australia also raises other issues in and around data integrity, and the ability of libraries to meaningfully integrate into the wider web.

As we move from siloed stand alone systems to cloud bases integrated systems, and work in a more semantic linked data world, shouldn’t we take more care of our data and be more consistent? After all, garbage in equals garbage out.

While Trove and WorldCat have systems in place to bring together the different manifestations of the same work (book), there are library projects such as the  OCLC / British Library VIAF project that are working towards integrating author identities and / or library holdings with Wikipedia as well as other parts of the web. See Klein, M. & Kyrios, A. (2013) ‘VIAFbot and the Integration of Library Data on Wikipedia‘, Code{4}lib Journal, Issue 22, 2013-10-14 . This is important because most people go to Google and / or Wikipedia before they go to a library catalogue. The whole point of authorities, be they VIAF within the library environment or WikiData outside of the library environment, is that they make information explicit rather than implicit as well as consistent, and this makes search and discovery more accurate.

If librarians want to see themselves as information professionals, and if the web relies on more and more linked data, do the seventeen library services who have attached their holdings to alternative records in the following screen shot need to rethink their workflows and processes?


Title image source: