In effort to make data a linked reality, the Library of Congress has a new service up and running: The Authorities & Vocabularies page at: http://id.loc.gov/authorities
According to the Library of Congress:
The Library of Congress Authorities and Vocabularies service enables both humans and machines to programmatically access authority data at the Library of Congress. This service is influenced by — and implements — the Linked Data Offsite link movement’s approach of exposing and inter-connecting data on the Web via dereferenceable URIs.
What can this mean for digital librarianship? Instead of just referencing the Library of Congress number for that subject heading, now URI’s can be added to metadata records as well. These URI’s, just as the quote above suggests, will help inter-connect information about subjects on the Web. Instead of just viewing the authorized heading for a subject, all the information about perhaps the country, dates, or other forms of the heading related to that subject can be acquired. This opens up news avenues for research as well as the discovery of information.