integrating metadata creation into catalog workflow
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Integrating Metadata Creation intoCatalog WorkflowMaura L. Valentino aa University of Oklahoma , Norman, Oklahoma, USAPublished online: 23 Aug 2010.
To cite this article: Maura L. Valentino (2010) Integrating Metadata Creation into Catalog Workflow,Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, 48:6-7, 541-550, DOI: 10.1080/01639374.2010.496304
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Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, 48:541550, 2010Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLCISSN: 0163-9374 print / 1544-4554 onlineDOI: 10.1080/01639374.2010.496304
Integrating Metadata Creationinto Catalog Workflow
MAURA L. VALENTINOUniversity of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, USA
The University of Oklahoma Libraries recently undertook a projectdesigned to integrate digital library metadata creation into theworkflow of the Cataloging Department. This article examines theconditions and factors that led to the projects genesis, the proposedand revised workflows that were developed, the staff training effortsthat accompanied implementation of the project, and the resultsand benefits obtained through the projects implementation. Theproject presented several challenges but resulted in an improvedworkflow, greater use of Cataloging Department resources, andmore accurate and useful metadata while increasing the Libraryscapacity to support digitization efforts in a timely fashion.
KEYWORDS metadata, cataloging, library training, library work-flow
During the summer of 2009 the University of Oklahoma Libraries initiated aproject aimed at integrating digital library metadata creation into the work-flow of the Librarys Cataloging Department. After a thorough review of theoverall management of metadata creation relating to existing and in-processdigital libraries, it was determined that the centralization of metadata cre-ation in the Cataloging Department would result in increased consistencyand accuracy in the resulting metadata, and that such a centralization wouldalso improve the ability of library staff to efficiently and effectively managesuch projects.
While library catalogers possess a detailed understanding of metadatacreation as it relates to traditional library operations, such as the creation
Received April 2010; revised May 2010; accepted May 2010.Address correspondence to Maura L. Valentino, Coordinator of Digital Initiatives Librarian,
University of Oklahoma, 401 West Brooks, Norman, OK 73019, USA. E-mail: email@example.com
542 M. L. Valentino
of Machine Readable Cataloging (MARC) records, it was determined thatin order to effectively function as a key core component of the digital li-brary metadata workflow, members of the Cataloging Department wouldrequire additional training in digital metadata standards and implementa-tion. In support of this goal, the University of Oklahoma Libraries DigitalInitiatives Department developed and conducted a digital library metadatatraining program specifically tailored to the needs of catalog librarians. Basedon the results of this training, the recommended workflow was modified toreflect the needs and skills of the catalog librarians. This redesigned man-agement and workflow infrastructure was subsequently implemented in anactual digital library project to assess its efficacy.
REVIEW OF EXISTING WORKFLOWS AND STANDARDS
The University of Oklahoma Libraries maintains numerous digital librariesacross a wide range of academic disciplines with additional projects cur-rently in progress or under development. A review of these efforts revealedno standardization of digital library project metadata creation workflows.Metadata creation workflow for each digital library project was developedand implemented on an ad hoc basis by individual academic departmentsor on a project-by-project basis by individual academic departments in con-sultation with the Digital Initiatives Department. As a result, no significantefforts aimed at centralizing and standardizing digital library metadata cre-ation workflows had been implemented.
A review of existing and in-progress digital library projects also deter-mined that no single standard or set of standards existed for the creationof digital library metadata objects. While Dublin Core was used for manyprojects, the fields were interpreted differently for each project and no stan-dards were developed. As individual departments managed the implemen-tation of digital libraries related to their specific fields of study, metadatastandards for each project were developed independently of other digitallibrary efforts. As a result, digital library metadata workflows and standardsvaried widely from project to project with no overall workflow managementor metadata standardization.
Prior to the design and implementation of the revised digital library workflowand metadata standards, a thorough review of relevant literature was con-ducted. The majority of the literature concludes that Cataloging Departmentstaff members already possess a wide variety of knowledge and experiencethat can be effectively transferred to the generation of digital library metadata.For example, catalogers are experienced in applying metadata standards
Integrating Metadata Creation into Catalog Workflow 543
designed to enable the efficient retrieval of objects, such as MARC, and increating metadata, such as catalog records. As Jeanne Boydston and JaneLeyson state, Metadata creation is an extension of the catalogers existingskills, abilities, and knowledge. As such, it should be supported. Boydsonand Leyson also add, Catalogers recognize the importance of controlled vo-cabulary and its relationship to keyword searching and information retrieval.They have experience with subject analysis, multiple thesauri, and issues ofhierarchy and granularity.1 Kevin Butterfield agrees that the catalogers skillset including the ability to create standards, vocabularies and classificationsystems is one that can be transferred to metadata creation.2
For such skills to be successfully transferred to digital library metadatacreation, additional training for catalogers is required. Boydston and Leysennote that while catalogers possess a basic skill set that is easily adaptedto digital metadata, training is needed to ensure that catalogers have thetechnical expertise needed to succeed in a digital library environment.3
Some researchers argue, however, that catalogers trained in the useof a rigidly structured set of standards and policies may be uncomfortablewith the more freeform style of metadata that is often used in support ofdigital libraries. Christine DeZelar-Tiedman notes that catalogers are usedto a controlled workflow, and may not be comfortable in one that is lesscontrolled.4
A review of the literature also revealed the following additional rele-vant factors. Jean Hudgins and Lisa Macklin note that catalog staff must beincluded at all phases of the project and their expertise evaluated for whenand how it can be most effectively used.5 DeZelar-Tiedman adds that cata-logers are not seen as metadata experts and encourages them to self promotetheir unique skills.6 Boydston and Leysen recommend that documentationon the process of adding catalogers into the workflow of a digital projectbe developed.7 Ingrid Hsieh-Yee also discusses the challenge of teachingcatalogers to create metadata in an ever-changing technical wo