[open-bibliography] Cologne-based Libraries publish their data under CC0

Adrian Pohl pohl at hbz-nrw.de
Fri Mar 12 19:45:41 GMT 2010

Dear open data friends,

we did it! (Partially, the second round will come on monday but the news
is already going around.)

You'll find the joint statement below or on

The link mentioned at the bottom of the statement won't work until
monday. But you already can have a look at the data dump the Cologne
University Library made from their local data:
http://opendata.ub.uni-koeln.de/ (There you get access to more than 3
Million records.)

So, the first step is taken. We now need more open bibliographic data
and an open-data-practice similar to that Nat Torkington is envisioning
in this post: http://radar.oreilly.com/2010/03/truly-open-data.html

And we did this in only 9 days with just on meeting between the
libraries and the hbz!


Joint statement of the North Rhine-Westphalian Library ServiceCenter,
the University and Public Library of Cologne, the UniversityLibrary of
the University of Applied Science of Cologne, the Library ofthe Academy
of Media Arts Cologne and Library Centre
ofRhineland-Palatinate.Releasing catalogue data: Cologne-based libraries
to pioneer Open Data practicesCologne-based libraries and the Library
Centre ofRhineland-Palatinate (LBZ) in cooperation with the
NorthRhine-Westphalian Library Service Center (hbz) are the first
Germanlibraries to adopt the idea of Open Access for bibliographic data
bypublishing their catalog data for free public use. The University
andPublic Library of Cologne (USB), the Library of the Academy of
MediaArts Cologne, the University Library of the University of
AppliedScience of Cologne and the LBZ are taking the lead by releasing
theirdata. The Public Library of Cologne has announced to follow
shortly.The release of bibliographic data forms a basis for linking that
datawith data from other domains in the Semantic Web.
Libraries have been involved with the Open Access movement for along
time. The objective of this movement is to provide free access
toknowledge to everybody via the internet. Until now, only few
librarieshave done so with their own data. Rolf Thiele, deputy director
of theUSB Cologne, states: "Libraries appreciate the Open Access
movementbecause they themselves feel obliged to provide access to
knowledgewithout barriers. Providing this kind of access for
bibliographic data,thus applying the idea of Open Access to their own
products, has beendisregarded until now. Up to this point, it was not
possible todownload library catalogues as a whole. This will now be
possible. Weare taking a first step towards a worldwide visibility of
libraryholdings on the internet." The library of the European
Organization forNuclear Research (CERN) has already published its data
under a publicdomain license in January.
Public data is placed in the public domainThe publication of the data
enables anybody to download, modify anduse it for any purpose. "In times
in which publishers and some libraryorganisations see data primarily as
a source of capital, it isimportant to stick up for the traditional duty
of libraries andlibrarians. Libraries have always strived to make large
amounts ofknowledge accessible to as many people as possible, with the
lowestrestrictions possible," said Silke Schomburg, deputy director of
thehbz. "Furthermore libraries are funded by the public. And what
ispublicly financed should be made available to the public
withoutrestrictions," she continued.
Cooperation and data exchangie between libraries have been
firmlyestablished in the library world for more than 100 years.
Freelysupplying bibliographic data should not only further
enhancecooperation among libraries but enable subsequent use by
non-libraryinstitutions. "In the course of the internet's development it
becameclear that many services can be greatly enhanced by catalog data.
TheGerman Wikipedia for example has been enriched with German
NationalLibrary data for a long time. Such enrichment is often hindered
andconstricted by the data's half open characterData for the Semantic WebThe North Rhine-Westphalian Library Service
Center has recentlybegun evaluating the possibilities to transform data
from librarycatalogs in such a way that it can become a part of the
emergingSemantic Web. The liberalization of bibliographic data provides
thelegal background to perform this transformation in a cooperative,
open,and transparent way. Currently there are discussions with other
memberlibraries of the hbz library network to publish their data.
Moreover,"Open Data" and "Semantic Web" are topics that are gaining
perceptionin the international library world.
Further information and links to the published datasets are available at

Besuchen Sie das hbz auf dem 4. Leipziger Kongress für Information und
Bibliothek an Stand +11 auf Ebene 1!

More information about the open-bibliography mailing list