As most of you will know by now I am enrolled in the MLIS program at Western University. What you might not know is that MLIS stands for “Master of Library and Information Science.” So far in this program we have been focusing a lot on the library part. The information sciences bit get’s lost in the mix. I think that a large part of this is that information science and the careers involved in it are not easily defined.
This post is aiming at providing relevant resources to take the first step in talking more about information science by talking about working with METADATA.
First it’s important to understand what metadata is. Metadata, simply put, is the data about the data. A more concrete example of this would be the cards in the old card catalogues explaining what the item is about and how to find it on the shelf. For more information with a library context Jeff Good from Berkeley has a “Gentle Introduction to Metadata” or for a bit more detail you can check out the Australian National Data Service website.
Metadata is not unique to library theory. This is what makes the opportunities for an expertise in metadata as an MLIS grad pretty exciting.
There are some awesome blogs that outline why metadata is important. Like this one connected to Metadata Management Associates. It’s a blog that goes back to 2008 with relevant posts all about metadata, the discussion and ideology of it.
Next up is a blog from Info Librarian Corporation. This one has to be taken with a grain of salt as they are a company and have products to be advertised. However, with an archive going back to 2012 there are many resources to understand metadata and the librarian as well as putting it into various contexts such as with big data and management of metadata.
Finally, I would like to leave some resources to understand and prepare for metadata in libraries specifically. Once metadata is understood in a context it is easier to shift it to other fields.
The Information Professionals website profiles different jobs in the field. This post is specifically about the metadata librarian and outlines skills, average salary and the outlook.
Taking it back to the library first, is a link to a PDF from the San Jose State University called “Preparing LIS students for a career in metadata librarianship.” This is a literature review and study on job postings, the language used and the skills that these postings use.
The last resource I’m going to share is an interview done with Jason Dean who is Head of the Special Formats Cataloging Unit at the University of Arkansas Libraries in Fayetteville and Elliot Williams who is the Metadata Librarian at St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens, FL. This is an interesting read that highlights their journeys to where they are now and how they got there.
I hope some of these resources are helpful in discerning if persuing more about metadata is for you!