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Diane I. Hillmann 
Metadata Management Associates LLC 
Presentation at the University of Hawaii 
Wednesday, December 3, 20...
After we empty the 
card catalog … 
We hear that there’s 
a crisis in libraries, 
but we still haven’t 
realized how 
perv...
“As librarians, we pride ourselves on operating outside of the 
commercial marketplace. However, whether we like it or not...
“We must look with cold and hard-headed rationality at our 
current practices and ask ourselves not what value they offer,...
“Wikipedia is founded on the belief (largely correct, as it 
turns out) that crowds both can and will provide high-quality...
“In the big picture, very little will change: libraries 
will need to be in the data business to help people 
find things....
“Today, we face another significant time of change that is 
being prompted by today’s library user. This user no 
longer v...
If all of this sounds otherworldly and vague, it is 
because there is no specific vision of where these 
changes will lead...
Questionable Assumptions? 
 We’re going to continue to build records for library catalogs 
 We’ve always shared ‘records...
Questioning Our 
Data Models 
Today’s metadata is not 
about choices of formats, it’s 
about ensuring 
interoperability an...
Model of ‘the World’ /XML 
 XML assumes a 'closed' world (domain), 
usually defined by a schema: 
 "We know all of the d...
Model of ‘the World’ /RDF 
 RDF assumes an 'open' world: 
 "There's an infinite amount of unknown data 
describing this ...
RDF? Huh? 
 The current Web is primarily a Web of DOCUMENTS, where 
URLs embedded in documents link to other documents. T...
Semantic Web Building Blocks 
 Each component of an RDF statement (triple) is a 
“resource” 
 RDF is about making machin...
Subject Predicate Object 
Austen, Jane 
Bath, UK 
Pride and 
prejudice 
“1813” 
is author of 
has place of residence, etc....
Subject Predicate Object 
http://lccn.loc. 
gov/n79032879 
http://sws.geona 
mes.org/2656173/ 
http://worldcat. 
org/entit...
What is 
Linked Open 
Data? 
”… a term used to 
describe a recommended 
best practice for exposing, 
sharing, and connecti...
Five Linked Data 
 Make your stuff available on the Web (whatever format) 
under an open license 
 Make it available as ...
Linked Data is Inherently 
Chaotic 
 Requires creating and aggregating data in a broader context 
 There is no one ‘corr...
Delving 
Deeper Into 
Data 
Where do we find sources of data 
that might be useful to us in the 
short and long term? 
How...
Subject Predicate Object 
http://lccn.loc. 
gov/n79032879 
http://sws.geona 
mes.org/2656173/ 
http://worldcat. 
org/entit...
Where do the Identifiers come 
from? 
 LC NAF (Jane Austen) 
 RDA Registry (isAuthorOf) 
 Worldcat (Work identifier) 
...
Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 23
Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 24
Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 25
Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 26
Jane Austen identifier 
information from VIAF 
“Pride and prejudice” 
work identifier 
Note that the ‘person’ portion is e...
[Schema.org example for person] 
Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 28
Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 29
RDA Registry For Property Details 
Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 30
Map of Bath from Geonames 
Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 31
Alternative 
names 
Place 
identifier in 
Geonames 
Latitude & 
longitude Geonames Map Key 
Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec....
Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 33
Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 34
Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 35
New Data Management? 
 Managing data at the statement level rather than record 
level 
 Emphasis on evaluation coming in...
Big Challenges/Big Ideas 
 Records are still important but not as we’ve used them in the 
past 
 We might want to think ...
Mapping Our 
Way Around 
-There’s not just one way to 
align bibliographic data: we 
don’t have to agree on one 
‘authorit...
What We Mean by ‘Mapping’ 
rdam:extent 
bibo:numVolumes bibo:numPages 
dct:extent 
m21:M300 
isbd:”has extent” 
rdam:exten...
Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 40
Linked Data Cloud, April 2014 
Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 41
Will This Shift Cost Too Much? 
 We need to support efforts to invest in more distributed 
innovation and focused collabo...
How Does Quality Happen? 
 Lessons from the library community 
 Quality is quantifiable and measurable 
 To be effectiv...
The Bottom Line 
 Our big investment is (and has always been) in our data, not 
our systems 
 Over many changes in forma...
Additional Resources 
 Introducing Linked Data and The Semantic Web 
(http://www.linkeddatatools.com/semantic-web-basics)...
Contact Information 
Diane Hillmann 
metadata.maven@gmail.com 
Links: 
http://RDARegistry.info 
http://marc21rdf.info 
htt...
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Presentation given on Dec. 4, 2014 at the University of Hawaii Library, on the topic of changes in the library metadata world, with a focus on Linked Open Data.

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  1. 1. Diane I. Hillmann Metadata Management Associates LLC Presentation at the University of Hawaii Wednesday, December 3, 2014
  2. 2. After we empty the card catalog … We hear that there’s a crisis in libraries, but we still haven’t realized how pervasive it is Reality: we’ve gotten rid of the cards, now we need to get rid of the catalog. If we don’t, we may lose our institutional support, our mission, and our way … Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 2
  3. 3. “As librarians, we pride ourselves on operating outside of the commercial marketplace. However, whether we like it or not, we are working in an information environment the dynamics of which are very much like those of a free market, except the the currency spent by our “customers” is not money, but time and attention. … We may believe, for example, that our carefully-crafted catalog records provide excellent value in return for the time and energy required to use them—and we may be right. But if our patrons doubt that the catalog will return good value in exchange for the time and energy required to use it, then whatever value the catalog may actually contain becomes irrelevant.” Rick Anderson, The Crisis in Research Librarianship, Journal of Academic Librarianship, July 2011 Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 3
  4. 4. “We must look with cold and hard-headed rationality at our current practices and ask ourselves not what value they offer, but rather what value our patrons believe they offer. If what we offer our patrons is not perceived as valuable by them, then we have two choices: change their minds, or redirect our resources. The former is virtually impossible; the latter is enormously painful. But the latter is possible, and if we do not undertake such a redirection ourselves, it will almost certainly be undertaken for us.” Rick Anderson, The Crisis in Research Librarianship, Journal of Academic Librarianship, July 2011 Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 4
  5. 5. “Wikipedia is founded on the belief (largely correct, as it turns out) that crowds both can and will provide high-quality content and metadata to the world at no charge. For our part, in research libraries we still tend to treat books as if they are primarily tools for linear reading, and metadata records as artisanal products. We still build collections that are fenced off from the larger information world and encourage our patrons, against all reason, to begin their information searches within the confines of our artificially limited collections.” Rick Anderson, The Crisis in Research Librarianship, Journal of Academic Librarianship, July 2011 Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 5
  6. 6. “In the big picture, very little will change: libraries will need to be in the data business to help people find things. In the close-up view, everything is changing-- the materials and players are different, the machines are different, and the technologies can do things that were hard to imagine even 20 years ago.” Eric Hellman http://go-to-hellman.blogspot.com/2011/07/library-data-why-bother.html Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 6
  7. 7. “Today, we face another significant time of change that is being prompted by today’s library user. This user no longer visits the physical library as his primary source of information, but seeks and creates information while connected to the global computer network. The change that libraries will need to make in response must include the transformation of the library’s public catalog from a stand-alone database of bibliographic records to a highly hyperlinked data set that can interact with information resources on the World Wide Web. The library data can then be integrated into the virtual working spaces of the users served by the library.” --Karen Coyle, Understanding the Semantic Web: Bibliographic Data and Metadata, Jan. 2010 Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 7
  8. 8. If all of this sounds otherworldly and vague, it is because there is no specific vision of where these changes will lead us. The crystal ball is unfortunately shortsighted, in no small part because this is a time of rapid change in many aspects of the information ecology. The few things that are certain, however, point to the Web, and its eventual successors, as the place to be. For libraries, this means yet another evolutionary step in the library of our catalog: from metadata to metaDATA.” --Karen Coyle, Understanding the Semantic Web: Bibliographic Data and Metadata, Jan. 2010 Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 8
  9. 9. Questionable Assumptions?  We’re going to continue to build records for library catalogs  We’ve always shared ‘records’ in cataloging, and that’s still the right way to share data  The choice of the ‘right metadata format’ (e.g., DC, MODS, RDA, etc.) is critically important  The proliferation of metadata formats is a bad thing  The ‘old’ way of cataloging materials one-at-a-time always produces better quality data than any other method Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 9
  10. 10. Questioning Our Data Models Today’s metadata is not about choices of formats, it’s about ensuring interoperability and harmonization for our data in the world Our old model is based on catalog cards, regardless of the methods of storage and delivery through our online catalogs The new metadata environment provides better ways to express relationships—both content to content and concept to concept Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 10
  11. 11. Model of ‘the World’ /XML  XML assumes a 'closed' world (domain), usually defined by a schema:  "We know all of the data describing this resource. The single description must be a valid document according to our schema. The data must be valid.”  XML's document model provides a neat equivalence to a metadata 'record’ Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 11
  12. 12. Model of ‘the World’ /RDF  RDF assumes an 'open' world:  "There's an infinite amount of unknown data describing this resource yet to be discovered. It will come from an infinite number of providers. There will be an infinite number of descriptions. Those descriptions must be consistent."  RDF's statement-oriented data model has no notion of 'record’ (rather, statements can be aggregated for a fuller description of a resource) Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 12
  13. 13. RDF? Huh?  The current Web is primarily a Web of DOCUMENTS, where URLs embedded in documents link to other documents. The Semantic Web is a Web of DATA that exists outside of documents, and focuses on meaning or semantics  RDF is a general-purpose frame work that provides structured, machine-understandable metadata for the Web  RDF Schemas (RDFS) describe the meaning of each property name, Web Ontology Language (OWL) is also used  Metadata vocabularies can be developed without central coordination Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 13
  14. 14. Semantic Web Building Blocks  Each component of an RDF statement (triple) is a “resource”  RDF is about making machine-processable statements, requiring  A machine-processable language for representing RDF statements  A system of machine-processable identifiers for resources (subjects, predicates, objects)  Uniform Resource Identifier (URI)  For full machine-processing potential, an RDF statement is a set of three URIs Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 14
  15. 15. Subject Predicate Object Austen, Jane Bath, UK Pride and prejudice “1813” is author of has place of residence, etc. has date of publication [Object] [Subject] [Object] [Subject] Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 15
  16. 16. Subject Predicate Object http://lccn.loc. gov/n79032879 http://sws.geona mes.org/2656173/ http://worldcat. org/entity/work/ id/3535 “1813” http://rdaregi stry.info/Ele ments/a/P501 95 http://rdaregistry.info/Elements/a/P50109 http://rdaregistry.info/Elements/m/P30011 [Object] [Subject] [Object] [Subject] Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 16
  17. 17. What is Linked Open Data? ”… a term used to describe a recommended best practice for exposing, sharing, and connecting pieces of data, information, and knowledge on the Semantic Web using URIs and RDF." Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 17
  18. 18. Five Linked Data  Make your stuff available on the Web (whatever format) under an open license  Make it available as structured data (e.g. Excel instead of an image scan of a table)  Use non-proprietary formats (e.g. CSV instead of Excel)  Use URIs to denote things, so that people can point at your stuff  Link your data to other data to provide context Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 18
  19. 19. Linked Data is Inherently Chaotic  Requires creating and aggregating data in a broader context  There is no one ‘correct’ record to be made from this data, no objective ‘truth’  This approach is different from the cataloging tradition  BUT, the focus on vocabularies is familiar  Linked data relies on the RDF model (although XML can be used to express RDF, it’s not always a happy marriage)  The bottom-up chaos and uncertainty of the linked data world is possibly the hardest thing for catalogers to get their heads around Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 19
  20. 20. Delving Deeper Into Data Where do we find sources of data that might be useful to us in the short and long term? How do we assess this data for quality and stability? Are we sure this data will work better for us than what we use now? Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 20
  21. 21. Subject Predicate Object http://lccn.loc. gov/n79032879 http://sws.geona mes.org/2656173/ http://worldcat. org/entity/work/ id/3535 “1813” http://rdaregi stry.info/Ele ments/a/P501 95 http://rdaregistry.info/Elements/a/P50109 http://rdaregistry.info/Elements/m/P30011 [Object] [Subject] [Object] [Subject] Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 21
  22. 22. Where do the Identifiers come from?  LC NAF (Jane Austen)  RDA Registry (isAuthorOf)  Worldcat (Work identifier)  Bath, UK (Geonames)  Date is a ‘literal’, with no identifier (but could be ‘typed’) Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 22
  23. 23. Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 23
  24. 24. Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 24
  25. 25. Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 25
  26. 26. Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 26
  27. 27. Jane Austen identifier information from VIAF “Pride and prejudice” work identifier Note that the ‘person’ portion is embedded from the VIAF files, But the record is about “Pride and prejudice” and the display is created by OCLC. Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 27
  28. 28. [Schema.org example for person] Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 28
  29. 29. Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 29
  30. 30. RDA Registry For Property Details Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 30
  31. 31. Map of Bath from Geonames Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 31
  32. 32. Alternative names Place identifier in Geonames Latitude & longitude Geonames Map Key Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 32
  33. 33. Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 33
  34. 34. Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 34
  35. 35. Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 35
  36. 36. New Data Management?  Managing data at the statement level rather than record level  Emphasis on evaluation coming in and provenance going out  Shift in human effort from creating standard cataloging records to knowledgeable human intervention in machine-based processes  Extensive use of data created outside libraries  Intelligent re-use of our legacy data and redistribution of our data more widely Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 36
  37. 37. Big Challenges/Big Ideas  Records are still important but not as we’ve used them in the past  We might want to think about records as the instantiation of a point of view [News: traditional library data has a point of view]  In this world, records are ‘packages’ for pickup and delivery  MARC required consensus because of limitations built into the technology  For any data in statements destined for the Semantic Web, we need provenance, so we know “Who sez?”  Being able to assign quality and trust markers for statements based on who, what, when is critical Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 37
  38. 38. Mapping Our Way Around -There’s not just one way to align bibliographic data: we don’t have to agree on one ‘authoritative’ mapping -‘Crosswalking’ strategies, aimed at use by particular applications, see that activity as primarily accomplished by networks -Crosswalks only recognize one relationship: sameAs— a very blunt instrument! Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 38
  39. 39. What We Mean by ‘Mapping’ rdam:extent bibo:numVolumes bibo:numPages dct:extent m21:M300 isbd:”has extent” rdam:extentOfText dct:format rdau:extent rdau:extentOfText dc:format rdau:duration rdae:duration m21:M306__a unim:U127__a unim:U215__a Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 39
  40. 40. Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 40
  41. 41. Linked Data Cloud, April 2014 Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 41
  42. 42. Will This Shift Cost Too Much?  We need to support efforts to invest in more distributed innovation and focused collaboration  It’s the human effort that costs us  Cost of traditional cataloging is far too high, for increasingly dubious value  Our current investments have reached the end of their usefulness  All the possible efficiencies for traditional cataloging have already been accomplished  Waiting for leadership from the big players costs valuable time with no guarantees of results Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 42
  43. 43. How Does Quality Happen?  Lessons from the library community  Quality is quantifiable and measurable  To be effective, enforcement of standards of quality must take place at the community level  Looking more broadly:  Data problems are not unique to particular communities  General strategies can improve interoperability  Quality is not tied to any particular creation strategy  Human created metadata can be extremely variable  Machine-created metadata is far more consistent, but that consistency may not be correct Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 43
  44. 44. The Bottom Line  Our big investment is (and has always been) in our data, not our systems  Over many changes in format of materials, we’ve always struggled to keep our focus on the data content that endures, regardless of structure or presentation format  We are in a great position to have influence on how the future develops, but we can’t be afraid to change, or afraid to fail Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 44
  45. 45. Additional Resources  Introducing Linked Data and The Semantic Web (http://www.linkeddatatools.com/semantic-web-basics)  Free Your Metadata (http://freeyourmetadata.org/)  Linked Open Data Laundromat (http://lodlaundromat.org)  Van Hooland, Seth and Ruben Verborgh. Linked data for libraries, archives and museums : how to clean link and publish your metadata. Chicago : Neal-Schuman, 2014 Linked Open Data, Hawaii (Dec. 2014) 45
  46. 46. Contact Information Diane Hillmann metadata.maven@gmail.com Links: http://RDARegistry.info http://marc21rdf.info http://managemetadata.com/blog/ The First MetadataMobile

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