Sunday, May 21, 2006

Exploiting the Value of Structured Metadata

Lorcan Dempsey, from OCLC, spoke at Computers in Libraries on "Exploiting the Value of Structured Metadata." I've heard Lorcan's name more than a few times recently, so I was pleased to be able to hear his presentation on the CIL CD. Thankfully, his PowerPoint slides are online here.

Lorcan's presentation is about releasing or using the value of our metadata. One of the examples that he discusses is using information about "library type" to create an audience level for each holding in WorldCat. (If you look at his slides, you'll see this beginning on slide #7.) The premise is that if public libraries hold a book, for example, it is aimed at a different audience than if many academic libraries hold a book. So if a book "scores" as being held by academic libraries, it is not likely a book that someone would read for fun.

After listening to Lorcan, I wonder now what intelligence is hidden in the metadata being created for digitized materials and which is waiting to be released? This is something we need to be thinking about. And likely we need to not be thinking about it by ourselves, but pulling other people into the conversation in order to gain a different perspective.

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