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A Metadata Future, Beyond Libraries

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In libraries, not on project teams! Perfecting ... Where to Start (in libraries) ... Find internship opportunities in digital library projects for students ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: A Metadata Future, Beyond Libraries


1
A Metadata Future, Beyond Libraries
  • Diane I. Hillmann
  • National Science Digital Library
  • Cornell University

2
First, some background
  • NSDL is an NSF-funded project to improve science
    math, engineering technology education in the
    U.S.
  • At this stage functions primarily as a metadata
    aggregator, bringing together metadata from other
    NSDL projects as well as data from projects
    outside NSDL

3
My World
  • Largely uninhabited by librarians
  • Too many technologists rediscovering the wheel
  • How hard can it be?
  • Lots of views from 50,000 feet, but whats on the
    ground is very muddy

4
A Current View of Metadata Aggregation
  • Rarely created by librarians (sometimes by
    machines)
  • Often created in isolation
  • Presents a broad range of quality issues
  • Spotty infrastructure for sharing
  • Little training or documentation available for
    creators of metadata

5
Where are the Librarians?
  • In libraries, not on project teams!
  • Perfecting cataloging practice in a very bounded
    space
  • Still worrying about who catalogs what and
    fretting over the demise of professional
    cataloging?
  • Ignoring the larger world of metadata, which is
    in desperate need of their skills

6
Horror stories
  • The digital photo collection
  • Projects in space
  • Not our problem
  • Evaluation hell

7
The Disconnect
  • Digital libraries are not the same as traditional
    libraries
  • Broad issues are the same, but play out
    differently in a digital environment
  • Differences are poorly understood by most
    librarians
  • Traditional cataloging training does not prepare
    librarians to operate in the world of metadata

8
What the heck do you do all day, Diane?
  • Work with programmers to design applications and
    processes for managing metadata
  • Test and re-test applications
  • Review metadata records created by others
    (individually and in files)
  • Consult with projects and partners (XML schemas,
    crosswalks, data display, etc.)

9
What the heck ? (cont.)
  • Documentation (and more documentation)
  • Project and service management
  • DCMI activities
  • Research and writing
  • Training and evangelism

10
What We Offer as Librarians
  • Sound understanding of organizing principles and
    over a century of practice
  • Experience in a production environment
  • Cultural predisposition towards service to users,
    investment in long-term solutions, and
    collaboration with others

11
What I Wish I Knew
  • Formal data modeling
  • More XML
  • Cascading stylesheets (and other basic scripting)
  • XHTML

12
Where to Start (in libraries)
  • Establish metadata services units within library
    catalog departments
  • Market project based consultations
  • Work proactively with grant managers to encourage
    metadata planning and adequate funding in ALL
    grant proposals
  • Fund more participation in standards efforts and
    metadata conferences
  • Organize and fund local workshops

13
Where to Start (in library schools)
  • Partner established faculty with adjuncts in the
    field to develop appropriate curriculum
  • Look for research collaboration opportunities
    with digital library projects
  • Find internship opportunities in digital library
    projects for students
  • Explore funding opportunities for students to
    participate in conferences and standards
    activities

14
And
  • If we dont accept the challenge that this new
    world presents, we risk significant
    marginalization
  • If we do recognize that this new world presents
    an enormous and wonderful opportunity to show
    what we know and what we can do, we can prove yet
    again that

15
Librarians Rule!
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