That could perhaps seem a strange description, but it really is true. I hadn’t assigned the term “metadata” to it before the readings, as I’m sure most people don’t, but I use it in its basest internet forms daily.
I am the kind of person who insists on tagging posts on my personal blog, on my tumblr, and so-on in the most detailed and thorough fashion possible. Let’s say I was saving this blog entry in a Word document on my laptop. The folder structure would look something like this:
[My documents] -> [College] -> [2011-2012] -> [Lib406] -> [blog entries] -> /metadata/
And that’s a tame example of my subfoldering habit.
Of course, those are silly, personal attempts at metadata, but reading about its uses in libraries makes me beyond happy. I’m sure there’s no one MLS job that is just organizing metadata, but if there was, I would be happy to take it. I’m always happy to learn more about metadata; already I’m finding myself interested in learning about things like MODS and the Dublin Core.
Metadata is practical, it’s useful, it’s applicable. It can be found just about everywhere, in and out of library sciences; it can be used in many different ways. It helps libraries provide information to their patrons, it helps patrons find the information they’re looking for. It’s a meeting of technology and library sciences, not where one has to override the other, but so they can work together.
“Remember that metadata has a purpose,” Karen Coyle writes. “And the purpose of library cataloging is different to that of MODS or METS or Dublin Core, and very different to the purpose of CreativeCommons, ONIX, or PRISM. Just as the library catalog is no longer the only source of information, library metadata is no the only way to describe resources.”
This, more than any of the things written in library blogs that I’ve found so far, this gives me hope.