This Title is Metadata

This week I spoke at an OCLC Member Services event called “Good Practices for Great Outcomes: Cataloging Efficiencies that Make a Difference.” It was held at The Huntington, one of our Research Library Partnership partner institutions, and is one of a series of such events.

In putting the talk together, I shamelessly stole from Karen Calhoun’s slidedecks, as she gives high-level talks about cataloging and metadata issues all the time, and her insights are always interesting, useful, and informative. To that I added other issues, largely from some of the recent work we have done in Research. Chief among these was the work headed up by my colleague behind my cubical wall, Karen Smith-Yoshimura. Her working group to “gather evidence to inform changes needed in MARC metadata practices” produced a report, “Implications of MARC Tag Usage on Library Metadata Practices” that I commend to your attention.

I also drew upon some ongoing work we are doing to try to detect and unambiguously mark items that are online in full — particularly open access content. In doing this work, we are delving into such esoterica as exactly how 856 fields are coded and to what the URLs in those fields lead. We’re finding some messes along the way, which in the cases that appear to be amenable to bulk clean-up we are forwarding to the WorldCat quality control team to fix.

The next event in this series is next week, on March 29 in San José, which is unfortunately full at this point. But if you’re interested, keep your eyes peeled for the next one. Or, better yet, contact RJ Pettersen if you’d like to host it.

Roy Tennant works on projects related to improving the technological infrastructure of libraries, museums, and archives.

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