All day Wednesday and Thursday, I took a course along with several colleagues from my place of work at NELINET in Southborough, MA entitled “Metadata & Digital Library Development,” (part of the Cataloging for the 21st Century series). I was a bit nervous going in as the course was geared to catalogers and I have no cataloging experience. Working in Information Lifecycle Management, I hope to learn more about metadata and digital libraries from a records management and archives perspective. Turns out I was a little behind the curve, but not too much as I benefited from being four colleagues from my library who all have cataloging experience. The affable instructor Tony Chirakos, Sr. Project Manager at the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) also made the class fun with his goofy presentation style.
Here are some of Tony’s bon mots:
- Semantics is leadership – build a vocabulary you can use to make other people understand.
- Volunteer to take minutes. If you can write history, you can control history.
- What people say, what people do, and what people say they do are different things.
- Prioritize using the Muscow Method. MUst. Should. COuld. Wont.
Much of the course involved practical hands on exercises in mapping for metadata conversion, metadata workflows, and an exercise in developing a digital library. Again, working with my colleagues on these was a big plus. While I don’t think I’ll be able to set up a digital library tomorrow, I do think I gained a broader understanding of metadata and the concerns that go into digital libraries. The trainee’s manual is also well-designed and organized so I have something to look back at for future reference.