Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Library linked data

I've found an interesting new blog, Managing Metadata,  via one of my old standbys, Catalogablog. In it, Laura Smart, the manager of Metadata Services at Caltech Libraries, muses about what things like Linked Open Data mean to us as Technical Services librarians. Her most recent post, "Should academic libraries expose bib data as linked open data" discusses exactly that. That seems to be the point of things like RDA -- to eventually get all our data out of the catalog and into the semantic web, where other people (and machines) can make use of it. Smart's conclusion, however, is that it might make sense to get your bib data out as open data if you have a lot of unique information in your catalog -- but if your catalog is pretty much represented by the master records on World Cat, then you might as well wait for them to do it. It seems to her to make more sense to work on your list of faculty and their publications -- data that's not represented elsewhere:
I just don’t think it’s realistic for the academic institutions sans lots of unique stuff in Worldcat to heed the call.  I’d rather that the calls for academic libraries to participate in the linked data movement get broader.   It’s not about freeing the ILS.  It’s about pushing out metadata that exposes the work of the people in your organization, not the metadata that exposes the library materials available to the people in your organization.

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