Academic journal article Library Resources & Technical Services

Making Metadata Maker: A Web Application for Metadata Production

Academic journal article Library Resources & Technical Services

Making Metadata Maker: A Web Application for Metadata Production

Article excerpt

As more resources purchased by libraries come with vendor provided cataloging records or via other libraries through cooperative cataloging initiatives, cataloging and metadata operations in academic libraries are focusing on processing more unique materials and hidden collections that have not been available to users because of a lack of metadata. To provide metadata, libraries generally employ professional catalogers with subject knowledge and appropriate cataloging experience to make these hidden and possibly valuable library collections searchable and discoverable in a timely manner. Recent budgetary issues and a shift in library priorities led to these positions being downsized or eliminated, and libraries must find alternatives to facilitate metadata creation. (1) At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Library, the loss of professional cataloging positions due to retirements and the increasing volume of resources that need catalog records has imposed a change in cataloging workflows that rely on temporary staff with little to no experience in metadata creation. While the UIUC Library has worked to train these staff to create metadata in MARC format and to use appropriate cataloging software, such as integrated library systems and shared cataloging systems (e.g., OCLC's Connexion), this training is an intensive and time-consuming process. Because of the temporary nature of many of these staff members, the professional catalogers are in a constant state of training new employees, monitoring their work, and providing appropriate feedback to protect metadata quality. Another option that libraries may consider is the outsourcing of cataloging work to vendors, but that also incurs a substantial cost to accomplish the task.

To improve the productivity of their cataloging and metadata creation workflow, the UIUC Library sought to develop a web application, Metadata Maker, that would allow anyone to create metadata in various formats, regardless of their familiarity with metadata standards or systems that utilize the metadata. (2) With information that is readily available from the item in hand, a user can create quality metadata that ensures the discoverability of resources in the library's various asset management systems including the online public access catalog (OPAC). This paper discusses the emerging need for libraries to have a metadata creation tool that enables metadata creation in different formats, and shares a detailed description of the project development process and the initial user testing results.

Literature Review

The need for an efficient metadata creation tool for backlogs of library materials is steadily increasing as library budgets and experienced cataloging positions are being reduced, and libraries are shifting priorities to electronic resources and digitization efforts. Boydston and Leysen studied the changing nature of the roles and responsibilities of the cataloging librarian by examining thirty-two responses to their survey on the topic. (3) While the study discusses in depth the shift in priorities and skills toward electronic resources and new descriptive standards including non-MARC metadata, it also reports that 60.71 percent of responders indicated that cataloging positions had been eliminated. They cite "budget, reorganization, and retirements" as top reasons for the elimination of these positions. (4) Ithaka S+R Library Survey 2013 results, with responses from 499 academic libraries, indicate that many library directors are experiencing constraints because of limited budgets, while their focus is shifting toward digital preservation and special collections, leaving the purchase and processing of print materials on the back burner. (5) The survey also shows that almost 30 percent of respondents predict a reduction of staff in "technical services, metadata, and cataloging." (6) Of the sixteen categories of "staff resources," the metadata and cataloging staff category was predicted to see the largest decrease. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.