Metadata Interest Group Meeting at ALA Annual 2017

Join the ALCTS Metadata Interest Group in Orlando for our meeting at ALA Annual 2017 at McComick Place, Room W102A, 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM. We will have a presentation by the ALCTS/LITA Metadata Standards Committee on evaluating metadata standards, followed by our business meeting and election. Please join us!

Evaluating Metadata Standards – Principles into Practice

Jenn Riley, Lauren Corbett, and Erik Mitchell will present on their work in the Metadata Standards Committee in applying the principles ( to an example standard (the NISO Sample Tag Suite).  The principles for evaluation were developed in 2016 to give metadata communities a common tool to explore standards design.  The team will discuss the process for identifying standards to evaluate and approach to reviewing standards as well as the outcomes, lessons learned and next steps for the metadata principles.


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Metadata Migrations: Managing Methods and Mayhem

Are you preparing to migrate out of a legacy system?  Do you have questions about metadata remediation, repurposing, or enhancement?  Of course, you do and we are here to help.  During ALA Annual in Chicago, The ALCTS Metadata Interest Group will be sponsoring Metadata Migrations: Managing Methods and Mayhem on Sunday June 25th from 3-4 pm in Room W185bc.  During this time, come hear experiences from the front lines with presentations from Maggie Dickson-Metadata Architect from Duke University Libraries; and Gretchen Gueguen-Data Services Coordinator from DPLA.  Looking forward in seeing you all in Chicago.  Do not forget to add this event to your ALA Conference Scheduler.

Title: Looking Back, Moving Forward: Remediating 20+ Years of Digital Collections Metadata

Presenter: Maggie Dickson, Metadata Architect, Duke University Libraries

Abstract: In 2015, DUL began the process of migrating its digital collections to the Duke Digital Repository, a Fedora/Hydra/Blacklight-based platform. In preparation for this migration, we undertook a large-scale analysis and remediation of metadata describing approximately 112,000 items, created over the course of twenty years, by many different people, and using many different schemas and standards (or not). We formed a task group to make decisions, identify and engage stakeholders, and guide the workflow. This involved reviewing existing properties and values and evaluating the adoption of standards and vocabularies, with an eye toward linked open data and sharing our resources with the DPLA and beyond. The remediation itself (which at the time of this proposal is ongoing) is being completed using OpenRefine, scripting, and many good old spreadsheets. This presentation will describe the process, its challenges and successes, and future directions.

Title: The Never-Ending Migration

Presenter: Gretchen Gueguen, Data Services Coordinator, Digital Public Library of America

Abstract: What if all you did was migrate metadata from one system to another? In a sense, that is what metadata mapping at DPLA is like. The first 2.5 million records were harvested and mapped in 2013 from 500 initial partners. Since then DPLA’s collection has grown to nearly 15 million records from more than 2000 contributing institutions. Since the project relies on metadata harvesting and synchronization, metadata is continually being harvested and mapped. This presentation will explore the tools and techniques that DPLA uses to analyze and map metadata from a variety of standard and bespoke metadata formats into a normalized application profile. Recently DPLA has been developing a new open source tool that can be used by anyone to harvest and map and analyze metadata from common data sources such as OAI feeds. Work on the creation of these tools as well as data quality efforts at DPLA will be reviewed.

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Metadata Interest Group: Call for Nominations 2017

The ALCTS Metadata Interest Group has the following offices open for election:

  • Vice-Chair/Chair Elect (Vice-Chair 2017-2018, Chair 2018-2019)
  • Program Co-Chair (2017-2019)
  • Secretary (2017-2019)

Terms are two years and begin following ALA Annual 2017. Officers must be able to commit to attending both ALA Midwinter and ALA Annual during their terms.

Elections will be held during the Metadata Interest Group meeting on Sunday, June 25th, 8:30 am to 10:00 am, McCormick Place W179b.

Anyone interested in standing for election to one of these offices is invited to get in touch with Mike Bolam ( and/or Liz Woolcott ( prior to ALA. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or wish to announce your intent to run in advance. Additional nominations will be taken prior to the election at the meeting.

For more information on the roles and responsibilities of the positions, see our announcement on ALA Connect:


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Using MarcEdit to Retool Existing MARC Records of Paper Maps for Use in an Online Geoportal

This is the second in our series of follow-up posts by Midwinter Lightning Talk presenters.

The Michigan State University Libraries recently joined the Big Ten Academic Alliance Geoportal, a consortial online discovery tool for maps and geographic data. While the principal focus of the geoportal’s map-based interface is access to geospatial data for use in GIS applications, the geoportal also accommodates map-based discovery of digital scans of paper maps. Contributing our scanned paper maps to the geoportal requires submission of records suitable for the generation of ISO 19115-compliant metadata. To accomplish this, we devised a MarcEdit workflow using our existing MARC records for paper maps to create new MARC records for digital maps — which could then be delivered as MARCXML records to the geoportal staff, who used them to generate the ISO 19115 metadata for display in the geoportal. An additional benefit of the workflow was the creation of new MARC records for the digital scans, for use in our own library catalog.

We opted to start with MARC records for paper maps that have already been cataloged and scanned. The first step in our workflow was deciding which MARC fields could be programmatically edited using the paper-based record as a starting point, and which fields would require human review with manual entry.

Examples of programmatic changes included:

  • changing the 300$a field to “1 online resource”
  • changing some coding in the fixed fields
  • changing the 338 field’s carrier type to “online resource”
  • adding 655_7 “Digital Maps.”

Examples of manual edits applied after new records were generated in MarcEdit included:

  • conversion to RDA standards, including spelling out abbreviations and removing brackets in titles
  • removal of FAST headings so as to trigger OCLC’s process for automated re-analysis and re-application of FAST headings
  • miscellaneous punctuation and formatting issues.

Some fields, such as a 776 linking back to the original paper-based record, could be created programmatically for the new scan-based record, but required human review afterward. Our complete spreadsheet of changes can be viewed here.

As a result of this project, MSU Libraries now has 44 maps represented in the geoportal. An example geoportal record may be viewed here, and its corresponding record in the MSU Libraries catalog may be viewed here. We are happy with our initial results, although in hindsight we would have adhered to the PCC Provider Neutral Guidelines, and we have modified our procedure to do so in the future. The MSU Map Library staff are also pleased with our results, and we are excited to apply our workflow to additional records.

Tim Kiser, Special Materials Catalog Librarian
Nicole Smeltekop, Special Materials Catalog Librarian

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Overcoming the Challenges of Implementing Standardized Metadata Practices in a Digital Repository

This is the first in our series of follow-up posts by Midwinter Lightning Talk presenters.

Many of you probably are or have worked with Metadata Librarians. So, what is it that a Metadata Librarian normally can do? (1) A Metadata Librarian normally can perform Authority control of entities, including personal and corporate names. (2) She or he can freely use controlled terms from the thesaurus and subject lists including FAST terms, as well as keywords. (3) She or he can freely add a field, delete a field, change a field label and adjust its mapping. (4) She or he can adopt Standard Controlled Vocabularies including Library of Congress linked data values. (5) She or he will follow certain cataloging or metadata guidelines such as those of Dublin Core, DACS, RDA or MODS. Ideally, she or he can add linked data URIs such as for personal and corporate names, places, or, can verify the linked data URIs added by the system.

However, in working with some repositories, trying to implement normal or standardized practices can be a challenge. For example, some repositories don’t provide the authority control option. Some use the name that the author enters for his/her account; they allow controlled names to be added as additional fields, but not indexed, not display under “browse by names.” Some repositories prefer keywords or their own taxonomy to subjects; they don’t display thesaurus terms or subjects as a facet, nor as a “browse by” option. Furthermore, catalogers may lose control of the fields; in some hosting solutions, a cataloger needs to make a request for any field changes to the vendor rep through a repository administrator. Another issue is that the harvesting, for example, to OCLC Digital Gateway can be inadequate.

You may wonder why all these changes. It looks like one reason is that the focus has switched from librarians to users; some repositories promote researchers’ assigning keywords to their own materials more than catalogers’ assigning subjects. Some repositories and libraries replaced traditional methods with other ways, for example, they have their own taxonomies; they also adopt research identifiers such as Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID); some libraries prefer institutional knowledge management names to LC authorized names. Essentially, some are designed more for authors, rather than catalogers or librarians. Also, we may have heard some folks say something like: Users don’t like library of congress subject terms, especially those with subdivisions. Authors don’t like controlled names etc. Are these more myth or fact? It’s worth considering. Today we will not address the various endeavors going on in the library community such as Bibframe led by the LC, but rather on the digital repository arena in general. Will metadata librarians and catalogers remain a strong stakeholder in the field of information description and access along with users, authors, vendors, information service or subject librarians?

For a Metadata Librarian, what are some of the responses to these challenges? The most important of all is probably working with other librarians including those from Digital Initiatives and Special Collections, and also subject librarians and authors. Some of the practical practices include: Establishing templates for different types of collections in the digital repository; Adding additional fields for controlled terms such as names besides the fields with uncontrolled or local values; Adding additional fields for linked data URIs; Duplicating or tweaking values for certain fields to get them harvested; Accepting author metadata, and keeping the option of metadata review open; and, making more requests to the vendor representative.

My final reflection would be the definition for “standardized Metadata Practices” changes over time and in the landscape of many systems and stakeholders; it is not quite clear whether a blend of more traditional practices and changed practices is a very good approach; are we gaining or losing anything by moving away from the traditional methods; and finally, it is beneficial when librarians work together and also with the vendors to make careful, practical and conscientious choices.

Slides are available at:

Sai Deng, Metadata Librarian, University of Central Florida Libraries

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Coming Soon: More on Metadata Lightning Talks

Beginning next week, watch for posts written by our very own Metadata Lightning Talk presenters at ALA Midwinter.  They promise to be both interesting and informational!

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RDA Steering Committee Announces Special RDA Event

For those of you in the Chicago area, the RDA Steering Committee (RSC) is inviting catalogers and metadata librarians to a special one-day event “Reconstructing RDA in the LRM: Aggregations, Authorities, and Appellations” on Tuesday, May 16.  Visit for details, which the RSC expects to release soon.

“The impact of the IFLA LRM (Library Resource Model) and the ‘4-fold path’ on RDA will be discussed. In addition, latest news will be shared about the 3R Project (RDA Toolkit Restructure and Redesign Project) and NARDAC (North American RDA Community), the organization being developed as part of the new RDA governance structure.”  Additionally, the RSC will be seeking  input from catalogers about “(1) the treatment of aggregates, and (2) authority control in the world of linked data.”

For more information about the IFLA Library Reference Model, see this related RSC post at

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Have You Survived a Metadata Migration? Consider Speaking at the ALCTS Metadata Interest Group Program at ALA Annual 2017, “Metadata Migration: Managing Methods and Mayhem”!

System migrations are inevitable.  Migration can come in the form of moving data from one content management system to another, upgrading software, or switching from vendor-based solutions to open source. Since it is not a question of “if” a migration happens, but “when,” more training and skill development is needed to help library staff manage these changes.   Metadata migration can be made easier with project planning, developing workflows, and using specific tools and techniques. This program will explore best practices, tools, and case studies in metadata migration, with an emphasis on practical knowledge that can be applied for librarians dealing with their own metadata migration projects.

Please fill out the submission form by January 31st for full consideration:

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Anna Neatrour ( or Darnelle Melvin (, ALCTS MIG Programming Co-Chairs.

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ALCTS Virtual Preconference 2017: Call for Proposals on the Topic of Diverse, Inclusive, and Equitable Metadata!

How are metadata creators developing methods to encourage the creation of metadata that represents diverse points of view? How does using sources of authority control such as LCSH contribute to misrepresentation of cultural heritage materials? Are our digital libraries equitable? This virtual program provides a venue for sharing ideas to promote cultural competencies and inclusivity in the metadata process.

Potential topics could include:

  • Strategies for evaluating inclusivity or exclusivity of metadata
  • Tools and educational resources for developing inclusive metadata
  • Strategies for working with diverse communities

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Anna Neatrour ( or Darnelle Melvin (, ALCTS MIG Programming Co-Chairs.

Please fill out the submission form with your proposal abstract by Tuesday, January 31, 2017:

The Virtual Preconference will take place the week of June 5th, with each session starting at 1:00 PM Central Time.

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LITA/ALCTS Linked Library Data Interest Group Meeting, ALA Midwinter 2017

Linked Data for Real

Please join us on Saturday, January 21, 2017, 8:30-10:00 AM, in the Georgia World Congress Center, B207 for three exciting presentations describing the use of linked data in current library projects. After the speaker presentations, the group will have an opportunity for questions and discussion.

Presentation Title: Linked Metadata for 3D-models: From Dublin Core to Europeana Data Model

Presenter: Xiying Mi, Metadata Librarian, University of South Florida Libraries
Presenter: Bonita Pollock, Metadata Librarian, University of South Florida Libraries

Abstract: The University of South Florida Libraries in conjunction with Lori Collins and Travis Doering, Co-Directors of the USF Libraries Digital Heritage and Humanities Collections, represent cultural heritage projects with embedded 3D-models harvested from Sketchfab. This talk discusses how the library stores, curates, and provides access to cultural heritage 3D-model collections. Our goals are to provide greater access to the digital collections by enhancing the metadata fields, to better facilitate the 3D visualization models for display and viewing, and to increase the ability to share our collections online through the use of a metadata schema compatible with linked data. We employ Dublin Core as our descriptive metadata schema and use the Europeana Data Model as the linked data structure. We chose the Europeana Data Model because it has a semantic web-based framework designed for cultural heritage objects, which supports linked data enabling our metadata to be more easily shared with other institutions. This project explores the possible ways of supporting 3D-model collections in a library context as well as providing the groundwork for linked open data. These efforts are supporting work being done by a new research unit in our library that works with 3D and digital heritage data collections, research, and dissemination.

Presentation Title: A Linked Data Metadata Scheme for Clothing Collections

Presenter: Maura Valentino, Metadata Librarian, Oregon State University Libraries and Press

Abstract: Digitization offers magnified views, and the history and stories that an object has to tell. Clothing has an important story to tell. In 2015, the OSU College of Business embarked on a project with OSU Libraries & Press to digitize and make available online an historic clothing collection. This collection focuses on design motifs and patterns, and also Euro-American apparel from the beginning of the 19th century to the late 20th century, and non-Western apparel from the 15th, 17th, and 18th centuries. As there was no metadata scheme for clothing within an existing namespace, Maura Valentino created a metadata scheme using elements from other schemes with existing namespaces, as well as original elements that were added to the Oregon Digital Opaque Namespace. These elements were combined to create a new linked data historic clothing metadata scheme.  This scheme is now available to other institutions to describe their clothing collections.

Presentation Title: Collaborative Linked Data Project for BIBFRAME 2.0 for Library Information Spotlight

Presenter: Amanda Xu, Metadata Analyst Librarian, University of Iowa Libraries

Abstract: Library linked data promises to meet libraries’ need for agility in content delivery and user engagement. This project chose BIBFRAME 2.0 to enable libraries to publish bibliographic resources in a way that Web understands, consume linked data to enrich the resources relevant to the libraries’ user communities, and visualize networks across collections.  Through collaboration with two project teams, consisting students and faculty from Indiana University and University of Iowa since April 2016, the project built proof-of-concept demo of BIBFRAME 2.0 modeling for work, instance, item, agent, topic, etc. from the local bibliographic records in Alma and external data sources, representing library Info spotlight of operas in Opera Planet, a linked list of opera books, videos, sound recordings, streaming media, etc. interwoven into user’s online experience using BIBFRAME 2.0, conversion tools, and novel visualization techniques. The presentation will cover what it takes to build the teams to develop the linked library data applications for content enhancement and visualization.

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