Marc Export

  • Hi, my name to Brian Andle from Willington Public Schools in Connecticut. I would first like to thank everyone that has made OpenBiblio possiable. We have been using OpenBiblio for approximitly 6 months now. It is now the end of our fiscal year and the library has been set aside money to purchess a Library System. We now have over 3,000 books in OpenBiblio. I now need to get the MARC and Barcode info out of OpenBiblio. Is there anyone that can help me get that info out. I used PHPMyAdmin and was able to get some info out, but i'm not a librarian and don't really know what i'm looking at.


    • Micah Stetson
      Micah Stetson

      There's no proper MARC export yet, but I know there are some people on this forum capable of turning an OpenBiblio database into a set of MARC records.  The records will probably need some tweaking to import cleanly into your new system, though.

      Something like this is probably best done as a contract job.  If you post contact info, people could make proposals privately.

      On a different note: I'm not trying to talk you out of switching -- there are many valid reasons to do so.  But so that we know where we stand, what would have to change in OpenBiblio in order for it to be your permanent library system, instead of just a holdover.  This question is really directed at everybody.


      • I feel exactly the same as Micah.
        Instead of worrying about MARC export, why don´t you use the funds available to you in a consulting contract which improves OpenBiblio to fit exactly your needs.  In my opinion OpenBiblio is not only good because it is ´open´, but also because it is a great piece of software for its ease of use and functionality.

        Antonio Páez
        antonio at pentaedro dot com

    • I completely agree with you, unfortunately I’m not the librarian and they are the ones that are deciding to go to a closed source system. I think the one thing there are looking at is that the systems being looked at support State/National Curriculum Standards. Between the Stocktake/OPEC2/Lookup patches I’ve been able to do 90% of what the pay system does. However I’m not sure how it would ever be possible for OpenBiblio to keep up with State/National Curriculum Standards. With No Child Left Behind curriculum based searches might as well be mandatory.

      Brian Andle

      • Micah Stetson
        Micah Stetson

        I support a number of county schools' media centers in California where teachers check out videos and instructional materials.  We were able to do standards search with our customized OpenBiblio (and other software) using a service from Tulare County Office of Education.

        They maintain a mapping from the California standards to grade levels and Library of Congress Children's subject headings.  Then when a teacher selects a standard, it runs a subject/grade level search in OpenBiblio (or whatever) to find appropriate items.  All the library staff have to do is make sure items are cataloged with appropriate grade levels and LC Children's subject headings.  Perhaps there's a similar service available in Connecticut.

        Stock OpenBiblio doesn't currently support limiting searches by grade level, but it's a trivial customization, and it's all that's needed to make a service like this work.

        If you'd like to take a look, go here:

        I don't know what the service cost, but I believe it was significantly cheaper than the commercial standards-alignment services the counties were considering.


      • 1) I think it is a good thing that the librarians can decide, I wish my library staff had this position.

        2) State/National Curriculum Standards: Interesting, but I'm not familiar with those as I'm not from the United States. Do you have a URL?

        3) Able to do 90% percent of what the pay system does:
        a) Did you use a checklist to compare products, can this be shared publicly?
        b) Using patches is not something everyone is enthousiastic about. At least it turns out the IT department in my school is not, after they discovered what was going on with OpenBiblio they introduced a very strict policy on installing patched software. Seems a valid argument to release the block on the budget for purchasing software licenses with support included. But that has not happened yet.

        4) Nice to read about a library using OPAC2. Though responsible for starting development, I'm not even using it in my own library. Did not want to ask the IT guys...

        • Micah Stetson
          Micah Stetson

          Would IT be happier if I applied the patch for you and called it an official customization? ;-)  What if you called it an "extension" a la Firefox instead of a "patch"?  I don't see much difference.  It's all a question of trust, and that policy seems to say that they would rather trust somebody they don't know (me) than somebody they do know (you).  I don't see the logic.

          Still, most of the patches should be in the main distribution -- at least stocktake and lookup.  I haven't looked too closely at OPAC2.

          As to standards, here's a link to California's education standards web site:

          It's meant to ensure that a 5th-grade education actually means you know certain things.  This is good, but I've heard rumors of some districts taking the standardization thing too far and requiring that all 5th-grade teachers teach the same lessons on the same day by reading the same words from the same book.

          In any case, libary companies are now selling services that let the teachers find books and media suitable for teaching each of the standards.  An example is Follett's Curriculum TITLEWAVE:


          • Trust ... [sigh].

            OK, there is some logic:
            Part of the policy is to discuss bug reports and feature requests with open source projects and let the project decide what to do. This prevents reinventing the wheel, better guarantee for quality including prevention of upgrade problems.

            But I don't think an organization can expect better functionality if there is no clear policy on supporting open source projects (either financial, in code, or in other ways).

            OPAC2: For the sake of trust this is an add on and not a patch. Also it is quick and dirty. The !readme.txt states: Opac2 does not offer advanced search. Had to abandon it after publishing, but Jack E. picked it up and took the functionality a little further. He published patch  1238779
            Still I don't think it really is advanced search.

            Education standards links: Thanks. As I see it (but I'm not an expert on education) we are moving in the opposite direction in The Netherlands. Sometimes I think students are expected to Google their own education in the library.

            • Micah Stetson
              Micah Stetson

              You're right about there being some logic.  I can see not reinventing the wheel, and I can see avoiding upgrade problems.  It does seem to over-limit, though.