Program Announcement: ALCTS Metadata Interest Group Meeting at ALA Midwinter 2019

Join the ALCTS Metadata Interest Group during ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle for a panel presentation on crowdsourcing metadata on Sunday, January 27, 2019, 8:30-10:00AM, Washington State Convention Center, Room 3A during our regular scheduled meeting. Speakers Samuel T. Barber, from California State University, Fullerton, and Becky Skeen & Andrea Payant, from Utah State University, will present on approaches to crowdsourcing metadata, followed by Q&A. Looking forward to seeing you all in Seattle. Be sure to add this event to your ALA Conference Scheduler.

Presenters and abstracts:

Samuel T. Barber

Cataloging & Metadata Librarian

California State University, Fullerton


Crowdsourcing metadata: the revolutionary cataloging interface and how it can help your library expose and promote hidden collections

This presentation draws on recently completed original research (in press, to be published in the Journal of Library Metadata, vol. 18, issue 2) to analyze and explain the automated quality control features of Zooniverse’s crowdsourcing metadata platform. The results, it is argued, are truly revolutionary. Case studies are cited to demonstrate successful use of the platform by major institutions including the University of Oxford, the Folger, the Imperial War Museum and the Huntington. Similar initiatives based on proprietary platforms designed by the Smithsonian and the National Archives are also noted. Clearly, therefore, crowdsourcing of metadata to expose and promote hidden collections is a significant and rapidly growing development in libraries, archives and museums. We conclude with a description of an experimental project at Cal State Fullerton designed to ascertain whether such developments can succeed at a local institutional level. Finally, an invitation is extended for attendees to consider whether such initiatives may also be implemented for the benefit of their own respective institutions and users.


Becky Skeen

Special Collections Cataloging Librarian

Utah State University


Andrea Payant

Metadata Librarian

Utah State University


Wisdom of the Crowd: Successful ways to engage the public in metadata creation

Utah State University Libraries’ Cataloging and Metadata Unit has successfully used several methods to engage the public in metadata creation for USU’s Digital History Collections. Most, if not all the techniques we have tested, have yielded positive results and have improved the relevancy and accuracy of our descriptive metadata. During this presentation we will discuss different tools and techniques we have used to foster communication between our metadata specialists and the communities they serve, as well as approaches that were tried and did not yield the results we were hoping for. Attendees will be able to see what has been done at Utah State University and take those ideas and create new innovative approaches to collect crowdsourcing metadata at their own institutions.


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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