Output from the RLG Metadata Tools Forum

I previously blogged about how the May 8, 2008 RLG Programs Metadata Tools Forum all came together, with some photos. We had already added the “summary sheets” created by each of the nine tool developers who showcased their work to the RLG Programs Metadata Tools Forum Web page. Now if you go to that page you’ll also see:

  • Short videos created by David Williamson (LC) demonstrating the WebCat Assistant

To complete the feedback loop, we also conducted a survey of all who attended the forum, and about half responded. The feedback was indeed positive: 97% thought the forum was worth or well worth their time. Most of what people liked best fell into these two categories:

  • The opportunity to talk directly with the tool developers and ask questions of practitioners
  • Exposure to such a variety of tools and to see the tools in action

Attendees were also asked to rank each of the tools they saw in order of “potential utility in your own shop”: “Not useful to me”, “Potentially useful to me but I’m unable to use it or adapt it for my environment”, and “I’m interested in using it or adapting it to our environment”. It was indeed gratifying to us as forum organizers to see that every tool garnered interest in using or adapting it in the attendees’ own environments. Terry Reese’s MARCEdit garnered the highest use/adapt it interest. Roughly half of the respondents were also interested in using/adapting Brad Westbrook’s Archivists’ Toolkit, Michael Park’s MODS Editor, Wan Wong’s Subject Selector, and David Williamson’s WebCat Assistant or Raphael Villena’s UCLA adaption of the WebCat Assistant. A third or so expressed interest in using/adapting Scott Schwartz’s Archon and Mark Phillips’ Metadata Analysis Tool. Several noted interest in Jim LeBlanc’s LS Tools.

During the recent RLG Partners Annual Meeting, staff who attended the breakout session on Renovating Description Practices I facilitated identified “sharing best practices and tools for streamlining metadata creation workflows in and from diverse environments” as one of the areas for collective action. The tools forum provided an example of how we can do that.