Adventures in a Linked Data world


Ever since I began working for Innovative 2 ½ years ago, I have been learning about linked data – what it is and how it is used on the open web and inside libraries. I’ve been learning what it takes to transform metadata stored in the MARC format into linked data within BIBFRAME and other linked data environments. I started approaching linked data with caution – I’d attended some conference sessions about it while still working in libraries and ‘hoped’ I would retire along with MARC. Well, that didn’t happen!

By watching webinars, reading articles, and taking workshops, I came to understand and appreciate how linked data allows our user communities to find more and better resources successfully. This happens through better organizing of the different pieces of bibliographic metadata (authors, titles, subjects, etc.) as well as linking it to outside authoritative sources available for linking such as the Library of Congress authority records, ORCID, ISNI, VIAF, and many others.

I began this journey with the misconception that using linked data would make doing authority work, which I love, obsolete. Happily, I have come to understand, from my researches, this is untrue, that identity management extends and enhances traditional authority control rather than replaces it.

Currently, I focus on what libraries can do in the MARC environment to smooth their path to transforming it into linked data. How do subfields with relationship codes help? What about URI’s in subfields 0 and 1? Related to that, I am now consulting with several libraries which are starting authority control with a vendor, helping them get the most out of their projects. I also wrote Solution ID 190326183159368 in Supportal that you may read here.

I’ve incorporated what I learned into the workshops and boot camps I teach – Authority Control in Sierra/Millennium in May/June, Metadata Essentials in July, and Cataloging Essentials (AKA help for the Accidental Cataloger) in August. Bootcamps are “system-agnostic.” We have an upcoming workshop on June 12 on Managing Polaris Cataloging as well as a free Hot Topic on Polaris Authority Control Basics on June 5. Sign up for the Hot Topic here. You may  You will find all the educational opportunities we provide listed here. I will also be doing abbreviated versions of Cataloging Essentials and Metadata Essentials as pre-conferences at IUG. If none of these work for your library, we at Innovative are always happy to schedule custom sessions of our workshops.

Questions? Comments? Drop me a line. I’d love to hear about your journey.