The bleeding edge of thinking on bibliographic metadata in the library world is the FRBR. The basic premise of the recommendations is that it is useful to distinguish between different levels of abstractions attached to content. I won’t go into detail on a complex subject which I don’t perfectly understand myself, but in a nutshell, the principles laid out in the recommendations are comprehensive and based on current thinking about how to model metadata that goes far beyond MARC. For this reason it is also seen, at least by me, as rather abstract, and difficult to see the immediate concrete relevance to my needs. This is rather the same complaint many have about RDF.
Well, the new LibDB project seeks to change that. The announcement release describes LibDB as:
An open-sourced Perl/MySQL library and asset management system based on and inspired by the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records, triples from the semantic web, and “the end-user doesn’t, and shouldn’t, need to know this stuff”. In English, this means that you’ll be able to smartly and easily catalog your movies, books, magazines, comics, etc. into your own computerized “personal library.”
The immediate impetus is a movie database, but the project is designed to be much broader from the beginning. This could be really interesting. It will support MODS, so in theory it could interact with a citation formatting engine such as Bibliofile.
Here’s my attempt to come to grips with the FRBR, representing a speech, later published as a text in a book. I’m not really sure I have this right, but I suspect I have it more-or-less close.