Let Us Do the Hard Stuff for You!
by Kathy Dempsey
When we decided to name this
month's theme Making Standards Understandable, the irony was not lost on us.
The words "standard" and "understandable" may share a root word (stand), but
that's about all they have in common. At least, that's what I used to think.
When I started trying to get a better handle on standards, the first thing
I learned was that there aren't many sites/groups/texts that describe a standard
simply, up front. OK, I admit, I was hoping to find some nice Web pages that
I could just skim. Pages that would each cover one standard, with a clear definition
up top and more details below, for those brave enough to continue. "Why," I
wondered, "hasn't anyone condensed all this information and gathered it into
one spot so I could get a quick definition when I need one? Surely there are
others like me who seek only peripheral information and basic understanding.
Where are the cheat sheets on these things? Where are the primers?"
I realized I had only one choice: Create my own.
Now that goal has been realized. Starting on page 18, you'll find a set of
a dozen primers. Each is a single-page explanation of one of today's important
standards. Each primer defines a standard, tells you where it started and when
to use it, and points you to further information (in case you're one of those
brave ones). I was fortunate to find writers who really understand the topicsin
many cases, they were involved in the working committees. And now, I'm happy
to share this value-added information with you.
We also have two features this month: One will give you a deeper understanding
of OpenURL and the other will elicit a deeper appreciation of bibliographic
Finally, you'll want to know about the special section we have planned for
the March issue. We'll be comparing RFID products from a number of vendors,
again bringing together a lot of information from numerous sources.
The underlying idea is the same as always: Let CIL do the hard work,
so you don't have to!
Kathy Dempsey, Editor in Chief
Kathleen L. Dempsey is the Editor
of Computers in Libraries. Her email address