This study aims to examine the current state and needs of continuing education among cataloging and metadata professionals regarding metadata creation and management. Using nationwide survey data, the study finds an active interest in pursuing training and education opportunities on a wide variety of metadata-related topics. The survey results indicate, however, that some professional education needs are not being met by the type of training the respondents have received. In particular, there is strong interest in receiving training in topics relating to planning and management for metadata application, such as metadata quality control mechanisms and documentation, as well as training materials providing hands-on, practical solutions and guidance in an implementation environment. The survey also indicates a strong interest in short courses, including online programs, that are affordable, flexible, and practical for professionals in the field.
Keywords: metadata, metadata quality control, catalogers, metadata professionals, continuing education, needs assessment
The ever-growing universe of digital library projects demands a broad community of information professionals with the up-to-date knowledge, skills and competencies needed to address new challenges in metadata creation and management. The rapid growth of digital repositories has led to an acute awareness of metadata as the principal building block in facilitating effective resource description, access, and sharing. New metadata standards and digital library technologies are being developed at a rapid pace as diverse communities of practice seek new ways to organize massive quantities of digital resources. The pace of change in the metadata environment creates an increased demand for continuing education programs that are designed to allow cataloging and metadata professionals to stay up-to-date with current and emerging standards and technologies for describing networked and digital resources.
The need for ongoing professional education is made even stronger by the collaborative, decentralized nature of bibliographic control in the twenty-first century. As evidenced in On the record: Report of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control (2008), the evolving digital information and technology environment will likely require more active collaboration of the library and information communities as data are increasingly mined and shared from multiple information providers for resource discovery and sharing. Such data sharing and access across ever-growing distributed digital repositories and collections are derived from the creation of interoperable metadata based on accurate, complete and consistent resource description. In turn, factors hindering shared notions of metadata quality are also in part derived from resource constraints related to staff expertise, educational tools, and opportunities among institutions and communities implementing metadata projects. Research on continuing education needs is therefore needed to build a network of competent information professionals with the requisite knowledge, skills, and competencies to create, manage, and exchange quality metadata in a digital environment.
This study aims to examine the prevailing perspectives and interests of cataloging and metadata professionals regarding continuing education in metadata creation and management. While traditional library cataloging remains the principal responsibility expected from cataloging professionals, emerging knowledge and skill sets are increasingly being integrated into the core technical aspects of cataloging (Park, Lu, & Marion, 2009). Therefore, it is essential for this study to evaluate the continuing education needs of cataloging professionals and metadata professionals inasmuch as they play a major role in metadata creation and digital library projects within their own institutions (Park and Lu, 2009). …