Conversations That Count: Connecting The Dots


Metadata Services for an Uncertain World

This blog post comes from Nannette Naught, Senior Consultant at Innovative

Life has a way of making what is old, new again. When we least expect it, life refreshes our present with moments of opportunity related to events from our past. And when we’re lucky, affords us the chance to experience them anew, from where we stand today — educated, equipped, and experienced enough to not just handle them, but enjoy the ride. Thankfully, that’s just where I find myself today, here at Innovative, at this moment in library time. [1]

And, if you’d have asked me a year ago where I would be today, here wasn’t even on my radar. I was all about metadata, linked metadata to be specific. And I was frustrated that “linked data” seemed to be more about linked to other MARCish library catalog data, than linked to:

  • The content users want to discover and access.
  • The content relationships — people, places, parts, versions, rights, subjects, and availability —
    • Users want to navigate as part of their discovery and delivery experiences.
    • Libraries want to manage as part of their learning and research facilitation activities.
    • Libraries’ parent institutions want to control as part of their governance and academic activities.

Which is, of course, why I’m smiling at the “full circleness” of life and the realization that all the dots connect! In the pursuit of life, liberty, and knowledge [2]:

  • Content, experiences, and activities count! They are the things
    • Of which engagement is made.
    • By which engagement is measured.

    Better discovery experiences and improved accessibility are why everyone started experimenting with linked data in the first place. Higher levels of engagement with library programs, resources, and services are why such experiments were funded.

  • Metadata matters! It links the things in ways that:
    • Make navigation, management, and control possible.
    • Allow a diversity of navigation, management, and control approaches.

    Navigation, management, and control are the most compelling reasons to create metadata. Reducing the cost of metadata creation and increasing its usability justifies the expense of converting from text strings to numbered things (arguably the biggest difference between MARC and linked data).

Which is why this moment in time, at this place, is so special:

  • It’s half-time. The buzzer has sounded in libraryland and we’re heading into the locker room after the first half, tied. We’ve proven we can hold our own against our opponent, the web. And we’ve learned a thing or two on the field of play that we didn’t anticipate from the tapes. Now’s the time to huddle in the locker room with our teammates and coaches. Take stock of where we are and strategize how to best win the second half.
  • I’m in the right locker room. The right players and coaches are here. The right attitude is present. The necessary skills and equipment are in place. From top to bottom of the roster, Innovative is the organization committed to open platforms and the cost effective metadata that supports them.
  • Our playbook is up to date. It contains a few surprises and lots of new plays to help you take charge of your library’s destiny and start winning with modern, engagement-centered metadata. Innovative is the place to find the coaching and consulting staff committed to your library’s success.

Take a look at our Fall metadata lineup and invite us into your locker room today!

September 2017

October 2017

  • LRM Lessons Learned: A Metadata Conversation that Counts with Pat Riva
  • Digital Literacy Basics: FREE, Two-Session Skills Drills with Expert Practitioner, Bernd Becker of SJSU. Remember to register for both Session 1 and Session 2.
  • NEW Service: Strategic Consulting

November 2017

  • Knowledge Economy Bootcamp: Business Skills Development for Practicing Professionals
  • Project Management Basics: FREE, Two-Session Skills Drills with Expert Practitioner, Robin Hastings of North East Kansas Library System. Remember to register for both Session 1 and Session 2.

December 2017

  • RDA Lessons Learned: A Metadata Conversation that Counts with Christine Oliver
  • Authority Control: Metadata Skills Training for Innovative Users

January 2018

  • Content Bootcamp: Technical Skills Training for Practicing Professionals
  • Metadata Management Basics: FREE, Two-Session Skills Drills with Expert Practitioners. Remember to register for both Session 1 and Session 2.

And while you’re at it don’t forget to check out our full line of training opportunities!

[1] See the first blog in this series, Facing Our Fears, for a bit more about the ride library is on at this moment in time.
[2] See the January 2017 guest blog series I wrote with Laura Dawson, Metadata Bootcamp’s Guest Expert, for a deeper glimpse into just how full circle things are. Posts in this linked metadata series include Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Knowledge; Mastering and Math; and Beyond Simple Math & 5th Grade Semantics.