Metadata Lightning Talks at the Metadata Interest Group Meeting, ALA Midwinter 2017

Attending the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta, GA?  Are you interested all things metadata?  Mark your calendars and attend our lightning talk session during the Metadata Interest Group Meeting on Sunday, January 22 from 8:30-10:00 in Georgia World Congress Center, room B204.  Following the lightning talks, a business meeting of the Metadata Interest Group will be held.  Presenters include:

Presentation Title: Automating XML remediation with Python’s lxml package and schematron

Presenter: Jeremy Bartczak – Metadata Librarian
Affiliation: University of Virginia

Abstract: The University of Virginia (UVa.) contributes thousands of digitized photographs to the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). Plans are underway to submit additional objects from multiple legacy digital conversion projects. These projects were implemented in MODS over the course of several years. As local policies evolved, descriptive metadata practices differed across collections. The UVa. Library’s Metadata Analysis and Design team is now in the midst of a large-scale project to remediate this data. Thanks to detailed documentation online about the DPLA’s metadata application profile, and helpful analysis from DPLA staff, a strategy has been implemented to ensure consistent metadata display for UVa. content. Remediation is accomplished using the Python programming language’s lxml package and validated with a custom schematron file. This lightning talk will present some of the changes required for the remediation and review how lxml and schematron automated the process.

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

Presenter: Sai Deng – Metadata Librarian
Affiliation: University of Central Florida

Abstract: While implementing standards in cataloging digital collections is often a Metadata Librarian’s conscience or inner desire, sometimes it’s a challenge to do so if a system is not built to accommodate such standardized practices. This kind of dilemma is not uncommon in the metadata and digital repository arena. This presentation will address the various challenges in working with metadata in Digital Commons such as, name authority control for authors, departments and colleges, type values selection, keywords and subject choices, whether to add linked data uri’s to various fields in the records and data discrepancies in harvesting data into the OCLC’s Digital Collection Gateway. Sometimes trying to follow controlled vocabularies or standardized metadata practices seems to be at odds with what the system can accommodate or what many non-catalogers prefer. This presentation will discuss how the Metadata Librarian, Digital Initiatives people and other librarians work together to make careful, practical and conscientious choices.

Presentation Title: Using MarcEdit to retool existing MARC records of paper maps for use in an online geoportal

Presenter: Tim Kiser – Special Materials Catalog Librarian
Presenter: Nicole Smeltekop – Special Materials Catalog Librarian
Affiliation: Michigan State University

Abstract: The Michigan State University Libraries recently joined the Big Ten Academic Alliance Geoportal, a consortial online discovery tool for maps and geographic data. Contributing our scanned paper maps to the geoportal required submission of metadata suitable for the generation of ISO 19115-compliant records. To accomplish this, we devised a workflow using MarcEdit to convert our existing MARC records for paper maps to MARC records for digital maps — which could then be delivered to the geoportal as MARCXML records. This lightning talk will outline our considerations for the project and the steps taken to accomplish it.

Presentation Title: Metadata Migration to Leverage Linked Data in an Institutional Repository

Presenter: Brian Luna Lucero – Digital Repository Coordinator
Affiliation: Columbia University

Abstract: This talk will present the project of migrating records to a new cataloging tool for Academic Commons, Columbia’s institutional repository, with an emphasis on metadata modeling for the new application and transformation of the subjects for all records from the ProQuest vocabulary to FAST.

Over the last year, Columbia University Libraries has supported development of a new cataloging tool, codenamed Hyacinth, for digital collections in order to unify the workflows of several departments and ease the demands for maintenance of multiple platforms. Hyacinth also provides an upgrade over older tools by operating on Hydra architecture and incorporating linked data at its core. Creating one tool that suits the cataloging needs of different departments and projects presented its own technical challenges, however.

Hyacinth serializes records in MODS XML, but was designed to be scheme-agnostic. Achieving this aim required input from metadata experts familiar with the various projects and materials that would be handled by Hyacinth. Normalizing labels for names, genres, academic units, and subjects across numerous projects and departments also presented a challenge. This led to the creation of a URI service that is integral to Hyacinth. The URI service can pull information from external authorities as well as mint local URIs for entities not identified elsewhere.

The migration of Academic Commons records also required a transformation of subjects for approximately 20,000 records to the FAST vocabulary in order to capitalize on Hyacinth’s linked data architecture. We used OpenRefine and a mapping table to replace ProQuest subjects with equivalent FAST terms and add FAST URIs to the records. We also piloted text matching processes to see if any can automatically suggest FAST subjects that match keywords in abstracts. These experiments have produced mixed results.

Presentation Title: Metadata Librarian’s Little Helper: OpenRefine Reconciliation Services

Presenter: Greer Martin – Discovery & Metadata Librarian
Affiliation: Illinois Institute of Technology

Abstract: OpenRefine has many vocabulary reconciliation options, not only with Library of Congress Authorities and VIAF, but also with homegrown data such as a local authority file. With unruly legacy metadata, reconciliation was a major chapter in the story of our records migration to ArchivesSpace. Taking a systematic approach to our vocabulary reconciliation and using OpenRefine’s reconciliation services allowed non-catalogers to assist in this crucial stage of metadata cleanup. This lightning talk will explain how two OpenRefine reconciliation services were incorporated into our migration workflow, with special attention paid to Reconcile-csv, which resolves to a CSV file.

Presentation Title: Git a Grip: Using GitHub to Manage your Metadata Application Profile

Presenter: Anne WashingtonMetadata Librarian
Affiliation: University of Houston

Abstract: Local Metadata Application Profiles and input guidelines are always evolving. GitHub provides a simple way to manage metadata documentation with the added benefit of versioning. This allows metadata specialists to see changes in practice over time. Learn how University of Houston Libraries is using GitHub to create and manage their Metadata Application Profile.

About the Metadata Interest Group

The ALCTS Metadata Interest Group provides a broad framework for information exchange on current research developments, tools, and activities affecting networked information resources and metadata; coordinates and actively participate in the development and review of standards concerning networked resources and metadata in conjunction with the divisions’ committees and sections, other units within ALA, and relevant outside agencies; and develops programs and fosters and sponsors education and training opportunities that contribute to and enhance an understanding of networked resources and metadata, their identity, content, technology, access, control, and use; and to plan and monitor activities using the association’s strategic and tactical plan as a framework.

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Call for Interest Group Officers

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

  • Vice-Chair/Chair Elect (Vice-Chair 2016-2017, Chair 2017-2018)
  • Program Co-Chair
  • Blog Coordinator
  • Secretary – Effective immediately to finish out current secretary’s term (through ALA Annual 2017)

Terms are two years and begin following ALA Annual 2016. 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 26th, 8:30 am to 10:00 am, Orange County Convention Center, Room W102A.

Anyone interested in standing for election to one of these offices is invited to get in touch with Ayla Stein ( and/or Mike Bolam ( prior to ALA if you have any questions or wish to announce your intent to run in advance. Anyone can be added to the ballot at the meeting itself also.


Ayla Stein
Chair, ALCTS Metadata Interest Group
Assistant Professor, Metadata Librarian
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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ALCTS Virtual Pre-Conference Announced

June 7 and 8, the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) will host a virtual preconference that will bring the conference experience to you.  We Can Do It, You Can Too! Metadata Automation For Everyone is a two-day virtual preconference that consists of two 90-minute sessions on automating descriptive metadata creation and automating legacy data cleanup projects. Registration is open, so sign up early to make sure you get a spot.  Sponsored by : Metadata Interest Group.  Co-sponsored by: ALCTS Technical Services Managers in Academic Libraries Interest Group, ALCTS Creative Ideas in Technical Services Interest Group, and the ALCTS Technical Services Workflow Efficiency Interest Group.

As the pressure mounts to “digitize all the things!,” the need to upload new digital material quickly, efficiently and accurately while maintaining established standards for discovery and interoperability becomes essential.   This virtual preconference, which takes place June 7-8, will explore methods for meeting these expectations including leveraging existing archival data, batch processing, vocabulary reconciliation and other techniques.

Session 1

Automating Descriptive Metadata Creation: Tools and Workflows

Tuesday, June 7, 1 – 2:30 p.m. Central, 2 – 3:30 p.m. Eastern, noon – 1:30 p.m. Mountain, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Pacific

Topics and Presenters:

  • (New) Migrating ETDs from Dublin Core to MODS: Automated Processes for Metadata Enhancement
    • Presented by Annie Glerum, Head of Complex Cataloging, Florida State University Libraries and Dominique Bortmas, Metadata Librarian, University of Southern Florida Libraries
  • Finding a New Metadata M.O. : Metadata Automation on a Budget at a Medium-Sized Institution
    • Presented by Joseph R. Nicholson, Metadata Librarian at University of North Carolina-Charlotte

Session 2

Automating Legacy Data Cleanup Projects

Wednesday, June 8, 1 – 2:30 p.m. Central, 2 – 3:30 p.m. Eastern, noon – 1:30 p.m. Mountain, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Pacific

Topics and Presenters:

  • Editing Legacy Metadata for ETDs: Description of a Best Practice Using the MARCEdit Plug-In Tool
    • Presented by Marielle Veve, Metadata Librarian at University of North Florida
  • Looking Back, Moving Forward: A Large-Scale Metadata Remediation Effort
    • Presented by Maggie Dickson, Metadata Architect at Duke University

For more information about what will be presented, visit the ALCTS Conference web site.

Registration Fees

Individual Registration
ALCTS member or international member: $69 entire pre-conference; $43 for one session
Non-member: $95 entire pre-conference; $59 for one session
Group Registration (Group of people that will watch the webinar together from one access point)
ALCTS member (group leader): $159 entire pre-conference; $99 for one session
Non-member (group leader): $206 entire pre-conference; $129 for one session
The sessions are recorded and the one-time registration fee includes unlimited access to the session recording.

How to Register

To register for the entire virtual preconference or one session, complete the online registration form.
For questions about registration, contact ALA Registration at 1-800-545-2433 and press 5 or email
For all other questions or comments related to this virtual preconference and other ALCTS webinars, contact Julie Reese, ALCTS Continuing Education and Program Manager, at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5034 or

ALCTS is the national association for information providers who work in collections and technical services, such as acquisitions, cataloging, collection development, preservation and continuing resources in digital and print formats. ALCTS is a division of the American Library Association.

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Join the discussion @ ALA Annual: ‘Diverse and inclusive metadata: Developing cultural competencies in descriptive practices’

The ALCTS Metadata Interest Group (MIG) will be hosting two programs on “Diverse and inclusive metadata: Developing cultural competencies in descriptive practices” during the 2016 ALA Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida in June.

This event will include two sessions on diversity in metadata-related topics, one to take place on Saturday, June 25th from 10:30 to 11:30 and another to take place during the regular business meeting of the ALCTS Metadata Interest Group, on Sunday, June 26th at 8:30 am.

More information about each presentation, including the presenter and specific presentation topics, can be found below.


Program Details:

Saturday, June 25, 10:30am

ALCTS sponsored program

  1. Presentation Title: Impacts and Limitations of Culturally Responsive Subject Headings in Tribal College Libraries

Presenter: Hannah Buckland, Leech Lake Tribal College

Abstract: At tribal college libraries, prejudice embedded in controlled subject vocabularies impedes students’ access to library materials.  The Eurocentric terminology and viewpoint underpinning Library of Congress Subject Headings, for example, often exclude tribes which have not been federally recognized, favor anglicized generalization over local precision, and treat concepts as mutually exclusive entities rather than overlapping, interrelated pieces, as is more consistent with Native worldview.  Culture directly molds classification; while no classification system is free of cultural bias, mass-adopted classification systems like LCSH are troubling in that they fail to reflect the full spectrum of diversity, both of the collection and of library users.

At the Bezhigoogahbow Library—a joint-use academic/community library serving both students of Leech Lake Tribal College LLTC and residents of the Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota—locally assigned, culturally responsive subject headings improve access to LLTC-owned materials.  Strategies for developing this metadata will be discussed.  Despite local successes, however, library staff have observed students familiar with the specialized vocabulary of the Bezhigoogahbow Library’s online catalog struggle when conducting subject searches in the consortial catalog and databases where LCSH remain the norm.  While inclusive metadata may originate on a local level, implementation on a larger scale remains necessary.

  1. PresentationTitle: Hidden Stories, Inclusive Perspectives: Describing Photographs of Jewish Refugees in Shanghai

Presenter(s): Rachel Wen-Paloutzian, Loyola Marymount University

Abstract: When a collection of over 600 photographs and negatives was discovered in the backlog of Loyola Marymount University LMU Library’s Department of Archives and Special Collections, there were moments of surprise, intrigue, and fascination. While information about the collection is limited, the pictures have presumably been taken by Werner von Bolternstern, a photographer and avid postcard collector, who donated the collection among many others to LMU. The Werner von Bolternstern Shanghai Photograph and negative Collection offers rare visual records and remarkable documentation of life in Shanghai, China, from 1937 to 1949. Besides Shanghai urban landscapes, historical architecture, and street scenes, the photographs offer a unique glimpse into the community of Jewish refugees living in Shanghai at the time, including social life, businesses, community events, and government documents of Jewish refugees who fled the Holocaust.

Through contemplating various strategies for developing accurate and inclusive metadata, this presentation will discuss the research and creation process of descriptive metadata for the Werner von Bolternstern Shanghai Photograph and Negative Collection. It will highlight ethical and political questions in terms of how to appropriately describe the photographs and how to create sensible description out of uncertainty. As the presentation will evaluate controlled vocabularies and subject headings, especially for images of people who might or might not be Jewish refugees, it illustrates the importance of metadata in historical identification and narratives. Part of the research for metadata creation is to understand the historical and social context of these images, not making a conclusion but opening the door to more meaningful conversation on this topic. Further, this presentation will explore two strategies to ensure inclusiveness and enhance description: the strategy of crowdsourcing with the community of Jewish refugees who lived in Shanghai during the 1930s and 1940s, as well as the strategy of maintaining a balance between description and interpretation in order to sensitively represent diverse communities from different perspectives. Perhaps the most important strategy for increasing cultural inclusiveness of metadata is to be open and flexible, as we treat metadata as dynamic living narration of stories and perspectives.

Sunday, June 26th, 8:30am

ALCTS Metadata Interest Group Business Meeting

  1. Presentation Title: Digital Library North: Engaging with communities to develop culturally appropriate-and-aware metadata

Presenter: Sharon Farnel, University of Alberta

Abstract: Digital Library North a four year collaboration between researchers at the University of Alberta Edmonton, Canada), staff at the Inuvialuit Cultural Resource Centre Inuvik, Canada), and communities within the Inuvialuit Settlement Region ISRNorthwest Territories, Canadato develop a digital library infrastructure to support access to cultural resources. A key objective of the project is to work with the communities to develop a culturally appropriate metadata framework for resource description and discovery.

We are seeking to define and develop a culturally appropriate metadata framework through multiple parallel processes: a) investigation and critical examination of the scholarly literature around cultural approaches to metadata, b) examination and assessment of the characteristics of the proposed content of the digital library, c) close collaboration with community members to understand the metadata elements important to meeting their information needs, and d) design of metadata based on information seeking behaviours of community members.

In this session, we will a report on early investigations into the literature of culturally relevant metadata, b) discuss the results of early engagement – interviews, surveys, information audits – with the communities and assessment of sample digital library content, c) describe how this influenced the initial metadata design and application to sample materials, d) and discuss the processes for taking the design and application to the communities for testing and feedback.

  1. Presentation Title: Creating Inclusive and Discoverable Metadata: Practices at Fresno State

Presenter: Tiewei Liu, California State University, Fresno

Abstract: Today, it is very important that academic libraries make efforts to increase cultural inclusiveness and cross-cultural discoverability in their metadata services. This presentation introduces such efforts to be made in the new institutional repository services at the Henry Madden Library of the California State University, Fresno, a highly diverse campus with a lot of faculty and students with international background.

In this presentation, the speaker will share the experiences and best practices in creating inclusive and discoverable metadata in Fresno State’s institutional repository hosted by DSpace. This collaborative project involves faculty and students to join in metadata creation and implementing authority control. The presenter will also share the conceptualization for this process. Attendees will learn concepts and methods applicable to metadata creation and management in other settings as well.

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ALCTS Metadata Interest Group Meeting at ALA Midwinter 2016

Join the ALCTS Metadata Interest Group in Boston for the Midwinter Meeting for the following program at in the Boston Convention Center, room 107AB, on Sunday, January 10th. We will have a business meeting at 8:30, followed by these exciting programs at 9:00:

Principles for Evaluating Metadata Standards
Presenters: Jennifer Liss and Kevin Clair
Program Description:
Jennifer Liss and Kevin Clair of the ALCTS/LITA Metadata Standards Committee (MSC) will be presenting the draft document, Principles for Evaluating Metadata Standards.The document is intended for use by libraries, archives, and museum (LAM) communities for the development, maintenance, governance, selection, use, and assessment of metadata standards. The MSC welcomes feedback on the draft Principles document at the Metadata Interest Group meeting, the Metadata Standards Committee meeting, or at An International Framework for Standardized Rights Statements for Cultural Heritage
Presenters: Emily Gore
Program Description:
An international committee with representatives from the Digital Public Library of America, Europeana and Creative Commons have developed a set of standardized rights statements for digital cultural heritage materials to be available as URIs along with additional technical requirements for implementation.  The work of the committee, the recommended statements and the upcoming launch of will be discussed.  It is anticipated that a first-look preview of the site will be demonstrated for the audience. is expected to launch in early 2016.

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Call for Proposals for the ALCTS Metadata Interest Group Virtual Pre-conference

The ALCTS Metadata Interest Group seeks presentation proposals for the two-day ALCTS Virtual Pre-conference “Faster, Accurate, and More Reflective: Assessment and Automation of Descriptive Metadata” prior to the 2016 ALA Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL. This pre-conference is scheduled to take place online during late May or early June (specific days will be determined at a later date in consultation with speaker availability).

This virtual pre-conference will feature two programs:

Program Topic 1: We can do it, you can too! Metadata Automation for Everyone

Descriptive metadata creation is the most time consuming task, yet it provides the greatest access to digital content.  Automating aspects of this work can lead to greater efficiency and accuracy. This program will feature brief presentations on metadata format transformation, repurposing formats like EAD or MARC, reconciliation through Open Refine, or clean-up of legacy data to be followed by breakout group sessions led by the presenters to help attendees work through potential scenarios at their institutions.

Potential topics could include:

– Creation of metadata workflows or tools for discipline-based metadata schema and repositories (internal and external)-Demonstration of home grown tools, workflows, procedures
-Demonstration of open source tools

Participants will gain awareness of data conversion tools and processes (such as XSLT, OpenRefine, MarcEdit, and others) and be able to translate that information into their own institutions and workflows.

Program topic 2: Assessing the Impact of Metadata Reuse

The case has been made for opening metadata for reuse.  But what is being done with metadata?  What are the methods for assessing the reuse of metadata?  How is it being used?  Has it impacted research and discoverability?  This program will look at case studies and meta studies about the impact of metadata reuse and what that means for the future of metadata creation.

Potential topics could include:

– Case studies measuring metadata reuse
– Tools and techniques for measuring metadata reuse
– Impact of metadata creation on discoverability
– Metrics for assessing discoverability

Participants in this program will be able to identify ways to assess the impact and reuse of their metadata and maximize their metadata creation efforts in the futures.

Presentation details:

There will be two presentations for each program.  Presentations will be 30 minutes in total — 20 minutes for the presentation, 10 minutes for questions. The deadline for proposals is January 6, 2016.  Proposals may be submitted through this form :

If you have any difficulties with this form, please feel free to submit your proposals directly by email to or .

Thank you!

ALCTS Metadata Interest Group Programming Chairs:

Liz Woolcott, Utah State University
Anna Neatrour, University of Utah

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Call For Presentations, ALA Annual 2016: “Diverse and inclusive metadata: Developing cultural competencies in descriptive practices”

The ALCTS Metadata Interest Group seeks presentation proposals for the program “Diverse and inclusive metadata: Developing cultural competencies in descriptive practices” during the 2016 ALA Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida. This program is scheduled to take place on Sunday, June 26, at 4:30pm.  Presentations are 30 minutes in total — 20 minutes for the presentation, 10 minutes for questions.

Program details:

Digital items can be misrepresented when the people cataloging them don’t have a background in the cultural contexts from which they originate. 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? This program provides a discussion venue for 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

Participants will be able to identify ways to increase cultural inclusiveness of their metadata, leading to enhanced description and better representation.

Thinking of presenting but have questions about the process? Join Anna and Liz at Google Hangouts on November 13th from 12:00-1:00 MT: on November 20th from 12:00-1:00 MT:

The deadline for proposals is Nov. 21, 2015.  Proposals may be submitted through this form :

If you have any difficulties with this form, please feel free to submit your proposals directly by email to or .

Thank you!
ALCTS Metadata Interest Group Programming Chairs:
Liz Woolcott, Utah State University
Anna Neatrour, University of Utah

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ALCTS Virtual Preconference

Planning for the Evolving Role of Metadata Services

June 2–4, 2015. Three 90 minute sessions over three days

The ALCTS Metadata Interest Group invites you to join us for the ALCTS ALA Annual Virtual Preconference “Planning for the Evolving Role of Metadata Services.” The preconference will feature three days of exploring the expansion of metadata services, including:

Session 1: Metadata Services for Research Data Management (June 2)

Librarians continue to engage in active partnerships with researchers who seek assistance in describing and organizing their data to meet federal mandates and to promote the discoverability and preservation of their work. This session will examine different ways that librarians collaborate with researchers to manage metadata workflows for research data.

Research Data Support at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG): a Metadata Perspective
Presented by Anna Craft, Metadata Cataloger at UNCG

Using DDI Metadata to Support Research Data Management
Presented by Jared Lyle, Director of Curation Services, ICPSRMetadata Services for Research Data Management

Session 2: Assessing Metadata Staffing and Workflows (June 3)

Many metadata programs have moved beyond the beginning stages of developing workflows for digital library content. Planning for future development requires analyzing current costs and workflows. This program will discuss ways in which metadata creators and coordinators gather, assess, and report metrics in order to evaluate staffing and workflows.

Evolving Workflows for Metadata Ingest at The UC San Diego Library
Presented by Arwen Hutt, Metadata Librarian, UC San Diego

Integrating New Services into Existing Metadata Workflows
Presented by Nathan B. Putnam and Bria L. Parker, Metadata Services, University of Maryland

Session 3: Techniques and Technologies for Developing Local Controlled Vocabularies (June 4)

Best practices for managing local controlled vocabularies have grown rapidly in recent years with the development of standards such as the Encoded Archival Context-Corporate Bodies, Person and Families (EAC-CPF). These guidelines have influenced not only the development of special collections practices, but also metadata standards for localized controlled vocabularies. How should institutions handle these changes to stay up to date with new and emerging standards? This program will look at two cases studies from the University of Miami Libraries and the George Washington University Libraries that demonstrate technology and techniques for managing local controlled vocabularies and implementing EAC-CPF.

Special Collections, Special Thesauri: Managing and Publishing Local Vocabularies with TemaTres
Presented by Allison Jai O’Dell, Special Collections Cataloging & Metadata Librarian, University of Miami Libraries

Encoded Archival Context-Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families and Washingtoniana Collections: A Pilot Project at the George Washington University Libraries
Presented by Dan Tam Do, Metadata Services Managers, George Washington University Libraries

Registration Fees (series of 3 sessions)
$109 for ALCTS members
$149 for nonmembers
$ 50 for retired members and student members

Single session registration is also available. See Web site for more information.

Follow the conversation on Twitter: #alctsac15

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ALA Midwinter Meeting 2015: Part II

“Linked Data Initiatives at NLM.” Nancy Fallgren and Barbara Bushman from the National Library of Medicine.

In January 2014, following an environmental scan of linked data at peer institutions and a survey of NLM’s “datascape”, NLM formed the Linked Data Infrastructure Working Group to investigate the potential for publishing NLM linked data, determine best practices for publishing NLM linked data, and prioritize linked data projects. The Working Group was charged to develop and build an infrastructure for transforming, storing and publishing NLM linked data beginning with transforming MeSH as a linked data pilot. This presentation will review the progress of our pilot project to convert MeSH XML to MeSH RDF. We will discuss our collaborative process, the technical and organizational issues we tackled, and the future of linked data at NLM.

The presentation slides are available through ALA Connect.

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ALA Midwinter Meeting 2015: Part I

“Breaking the Bottleneck: Automating the Reconciliation of Named Entities to the Library of Congress Name Authority File.” Jennifer Wright and Matt Carruthers from the University of Michigan Libraries

At the University of Michigan Libraries, we have developed an intuitive, straight-forward process for automating the reconciliation of named entities against the Library of Congress Name Authority File. Using OpenRefine and stable, publicly available APIs, the process automatically searches the Virtual International Authority File (VIAF) for matches to personal and corporate names, looks for a Library of Congress source authority record in the matching VIAF cluster, and extracts the authorized heading. The end result is a dataset, exportable from OpenRefine, with the corresponding authorized LCNAF heading paired with the original name heading, along with a link to the authority record on This process is automated and requires no programming knowledge or support from developers. Using this process, we have been able to reduce the time taken to reconcile name headings drastically.

In this presentation, we will lead attendees through the quick and easily generalizable process, and explain what is happening behind the scenes. We will also discuss the impact it has had on our local workflows, the limitations of the process, and detail how attendees can use this process themselves to aid in their authority control processes.

The slides for this presentation are available through ALA Connect.


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