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The future of cataloguing: a CIGS World Cafe Workshop

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Alan Danskin from the British Library gives a scene setting presentation, including the history of cataloguing, the longevity of good metadata, and the British Library's Metadata Strategy (2019-23). This put everyone in the right frame of mind before the interactive discussion workshop on the Future of Cataloguing.

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The future of cataloguing: a CIGS World Cafe Workshop

  1. 1. The Future of cataloguing: a world café workshop Alan Danskin British Library CIG Scotland. 7th June 2019 @ National Library of Scotland
  2. 2. www.bl.uk anyone who has never before attended an event called: 2 Hands-Up
  3. 3. www.bl.uk 3
  4. 4. www.bl.uk It’s a continuing existential crisis …but cataloguing has evolved… 4 …and its product is metadata
  5. 5. The British Library Collection Metadata? Collection metadata is structured data used to manage, access & preserve our collection Collection metadata captures: • Key properties • Relationships • Location & availability
  6. 6. The British Library Collection Metadata – Strategic Asset • Metadata’s value in a web environment transformed it into a key asset • Like other assets metadata requires effective management to maximise return on investment • If metadata isn’t adequate or available via appropriate channels content is invisible to users
  7. 7. www.bl.uk 7 “metadata ages like a fine wine… …software ages like fish”
  8. 8. Good metadata…British Museum title slip, May, 1842
  9. 9. Good metadata… Author: William Shakespeare, 1564-1616, author. Uniform Title: Works Title: Comedies, histories, tragedies, and poems of William Shakspere / edited by Charles Knight. Edition: Second edition. Publication Details: London : Charles Knight & Co., 1842-1844. Physical Description: 12 v. ; 23 cm. (8º) Contributor: Charles Knight 1791-1873, editor. Language: English (eng) Country of Publication: England (enk) Shelfmark(s): General Reference Collection 11763.cc.20. Explore the British Library, May 2019
  10. 10. …doesn’t just endure… Author: William Shakespeare, 1564-1616, author. Uniform Title: Works Title: Comedies, histories, tragedies, and poems of William Shakspere / edited by Charles Knight. Edition: Second edition. Publication Details: London : Charles Knight & Co., 1842-1844. Physical Description: 12 v. ; 23 cm. (8º) Contributor: Charles Knight 1791-1873, editor. Language: English (eng) Country of Publication: England (enk) Shelfmark(s): General Reference Collection 11763.cc.20. Explore the British Library, May 2019 Information in blue has never been amended
  11. 11. …it evolves to meet changing needs Author: William Shakespeare, 1564-1616, author. Uniform Title: Works Title: Comedies, histories, tragedies, and poems of William Shakspere / edited by Charles Knight. Edition: Second edition. Publication Details: London : Charles Knight & Co., 1842-1844. Physical Description: 12 v. ; 23 cm. (8º) Contributor: Charles Knight 1791-1873, editor. Language: English (eng) Country of Publication: England (enk) Content Type: text; Media Type: unmediated; Carrier type: volume Shelfmark(s): General Reference Collection 11763.cc.20. Information in red is evidence of metadata stewardship
  12. 12. …it evolves to meet changing needs Author: William Shakespeare, 1564-1616, author. Uniform Title: Works Title: Comedies, histories, tragedies, and poems of William Shakspere / edited by Charles Knight. Edition: Second edition. Publication Details: London : Charles Knight & Co., 1842-1844. Physical Description: 12 v. ; 23 cm. (8º) Contributor: Charles Knight 1791-1873, editor. Language: English (eng) Country of Publication: England (enk) Content Type: text; Media Type: unmediated; Carrier type: volume Shelfmark(s): General Reference Collection 11763.cc.20. Collection management/ visualization Collection management/ discovery Fulfilment Collection management
  13. 13. 13 Collection metadata is a key asset representing centuries of effort but: • Uncoordinated development means it can appear inflexible & confusing • Inadequacies are apparent as we migrate to online/digital services • Despite strategic importance its potential is largely untapped Collection Metadata Challenges Delivering processing efficiencies Legacy metadata unfit for current needs Skills maintenance & development Improving access to metadata Supporting strategic partnerships Opening up ‘hidden’ metadata Complex, incompatible standards & systems Creating standard solutions for complex issues
  14. 14. The Collection Metadata Strategy Addresses these challenges & aims to: • Enhance our ability to exploit metadata assets to deliver our strategic priorities, portfolios & programmes • Ensure the value of our metadata investment is maintained by effective stewardship • Enable open access to metadata to improve discovery & promote wider community re-use
  15. 15. The Collection Metadata Strategy 2019-23 Objectives: • Reduce complexity of collection metadata infrastructure • Develop a target metadata model for use in next generation systems • Create sustainable workflows matching the growing scale & complexity of content • Support key strategic metadata collaborations e.g. National Bibliographic Knowledgebase
  16. 16. www.bl.uk Reduce complexity of collection metadata infrastructure • Metadata is only part of the solution • Systems and metadata have to work in partnership • Business processes have to change • Standards and skill sets have to evolve
  17. 17. www.bl.uk Develop a target metadata model for use in next generation systems The target metadata model will: • Focus on commonalities (& NOT obsess about differences) • Library Reference Model • RDA: Resource Description & Access 17
  18. 18. www.bl.uk Develop a target metadata model for use in next generation systems The target metadata model will: • Break down silos • Enable integration of different workflows • Enable re-use of metadata by different workflows 18
  19. 19. www.bl.uk Develop a target metadata model for use in next generation systems The target metadata model will: • Put the added value on the screen • Facilitate reuse of metadata • Encourage development of more generic skill sets 19
  20. 20. www.bl.uk Create sustainable workflows matching the growing scale & complexity of content Identification Matching and merging Clustering Transforming Exception handling 20 2257… 84581, 21% 212230, 52% 57937, 14% 31895, 8% eBooks Records Upgraded 14/05/2019 Upgraded manually Upgraded via eCIP auto merge Upgraded by CM batch upgrade Un-upgraded no longer in BUP workflow Un-upgraded still in BUP workflow 72.5% of 409,219 received
  21. 21. www.bl.uk Support key strategic metadata collaborations Open Metadata National Bibliographic Knowledgebase Aggregation/enhancement of trade metadata Living with machines (Turing Institute) ISNI RDA: Resource Description & Access FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology) 21
  22. 22. Links - The British Library Collection Metadata http://www.bl.uk/bibliographic/main.html Email: metadata@bl.uk Foundations for the future http://www.bl.uk/bibliographic/pdfs/british-library-collection-metadata-strategy-2019-2023.pdf British Library Open Metadata http://www.bl.uk/bibliographic/datafree.html BNB Linked Open Data http://bnb.data.bl.uk/faqs http://bnb.data.bl.uk/getting-started http://bnb.data.bl.uk/docs https://data.gov.uk/dataset/the-linked-open-british-national-bibliography Papers http://www.bl.uk/bibliographic/pdfs/publishing_bnb_as_lod.pdf http://research.microsoft.com/pubs/193076/Whitepaper%20on%20Linking%20Structured%20Data.pdf
  23. 23. Thanks for listening 23

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