LITA/ALCTS: ALA Annual Report 2015

Metadata Interest Group (ALCTS), June 27, 2015

Meeting at the American Library Association’s Annual meeting, 2015. Notes prepared for the Music Library Association Cataloging and Metadata Committee by Jim Soe Nyun.

Agenda and description of presentations: ​


The session consisted of three presentations, followed by a business meeting. Notes below on the
presentations and most of the business meeting.

Ivey Glendon, University of Virginia Library: “We’ve gone MAD: launching a Metadata Analysis & Design unit at the University of Virginia Library”

A description of the library’s recent reorganization with a focus on the formation of the Metadata Analysis & Design (MAD) unit within the Acquisitions and Discovery department.

  • MAD consists of 5 metadata librarians from different backgrounds, including MARC, with 1 current vacancy for a person with an archives focus.
  • There is no separation of non-MARC and MARC within the unit.
  • The group is defined to set policies and guidelines for metadata standards and repositories, assess metadata tools and workflows, and consult with faculty on metadata; they are not metadata providers.
  • Shared training for the new unit consisted of 3 sessions over 3 weeks: metadata theory, metadata practice, linked data; followed by 4 sessions over 4 months devoted to Avalon, Shared Shelf and Artstor, ArchivesSpace, and Fedora.
  • Additional training, as appropriate, in supervision and manuscript processing.
  • The organization has a separate operation devoted to managing digital content.
  • The organization also had a working group following the conversations around BIBFRAME, but
    the group is on hiatus.

Lee Richardson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Health Sciences Library: “Using Metadata Skills for a Course Inventory”

A description of the first stages of a project to apply metadata analysis skills and techniques to an atypical project outside libraries or digital collections.

Task was to develop a definitive listing of coursework at UNC devoted to doctors interacting with other health professionals, an area of growing interest.

  • Many details on data gathering, developing the Health Affairs Collaborative spreadsheet, deciding on what to include, deciding on data elements to include.
  • Currently they are using Microsoft Access to store the project data.
  • Question to the audience: Is anyone else doing this?
  • May move the project to a Drupal or other platform.
  • Developed a data dictionary and worked on data modeling.
  • Cataloging skills useful in the project: searching, controlled vocabularies, consistent terminology, awareness of the issues surrounding selecting terminology for field labels, keywording/tagging, use of taxonomies, awareness of issues surrounding using free text versus single values (controlled vocabularies, again).

Eric Hellman, founder of “Metadata for GITenberg”

An announcement of the formation of the Free Ebook Foundation, just three days before this presentation, followed by a description of one of its two main projects, GITenberg.

  • The project attempts to use the power of GitHub and its capability to do rich version control using git.
  • 43,000 Project Gutenberg ebooks are being added to GitHub in an attempt to crowdsource improved metadata for these titles, as well as improve the accuracy of the texts themselves.
  • With 46 million downloads per year, Project Gutenberg is a major player in ebooks. This project could help improve that resource.
  • A demonstration of GitHub and the change process, including the ability to fork new content based on existing material.
  • Brief discussion of metadata used in GITenberg, including some Dublin Core and BIBFRAME elements.
  • Has capability to work with various metadata formats, and can map YAML to MARC formats.
  • Come help! ​

Business meeting

Gave liaison report on MLA CMC, including new committee structure and description of the work fo the BIBFRAME Task Force.

Jessica Hayden gave a CC:DA report, including the passing of two proposals: identifier for manifestations, series statement notes. Also noted ongoing discussion and development of the discussions surrounding pagination versus foliation. Other topics were on their agenda for the following day’s meeting.

Elections: Three new officers were self-nominated and elected

  • Mike Bolam, Vice-Chair/Chair-elect
  • Anna Neatrou, Programming Co-Chair
  • Lee Richardson, Secretary

The Interest Group sponsored a series of virtual pre-conference sessions preceding the meeting. They averaged 65 individuals and 48 groups in attendance. The sessions were highly profitable and broke all records.

Brainstorming for possible topics next year, some ideas: metadata reuse, preservation metadata.

The announcement of, a place to share workflows, stylesheets, etc. A proof of concept page is up.

[Liaison had to leave at this point, but most of the content had been discussed.]