Discussion: All About Metadata

This week’s post is a continuation of the one I wrote a couple of Sundays ago about creating your own art librarianship track when your program does not offer one.  I thought it would be useful in this post and the next to follow to delve a little deeper into the core courses I had previously mentioned.  Today’s post is all about metadata- why it’s an important skill, what courses kinds of courses to look for and other useful resources for learning about metadata.

So, why metadata? Looking through recent job postings on both the ARLIS/NA and VRA websites there is a noticeable demand for knowledge of and experience with digital resource management and data standards.  I think it is safe to argue that having a deep understanding of metadata is important to meeting these demands.  Additionally, metadata application and standards are listed as one of the core competencies for visual resource management on the VRA website.  Also, while looking at the ARLIS/NA website I found that metadata was often the focus of past publications and various conference programs.

Taking courses on metadata is key to gaining a better understanding of its applications and functions.  Right now, I’m halfway through a course titled Metadata in Theory and Practice; the course has allowed me to become more familiar with applying metadata to cultural objects and using standards such as Dublin Core.  While this and similar courses are an obvious choice for those interested in the subject, what might be some other useful classes to take?  Classes in digital imaging and digital curation might prove useful as you will most likely be applying metadata to digital objects as part of the course requirements.  What other kinds of courses might you seek out to learn more about metadata?

There are also opportunities and resources for learning about metadata outside of the classroom.   Both of the websites for the Dublin Core and the VRA Core data standards provide a wealth of information that would prove useful to anyone wanting to learn more about best practices for the application of metadata.  As mentioned in my previous post MOOCs are also great and while there are no upcoming sessions posted I’d keep an eye on Jeffrey Pomerantz’s Metadata: Organizing and Discovering Information available via Coursera.  Lastly, I’d like to mention the ALRIS/NA-VRAF Summer Educational Institute.  I attended SEI 2013 in Ann Arbor and learned a great deal about metadata and visual resource management-it was very worthwhile!

Please join in on the discussion! Any advice or thoughts on metadata?


5 Comments on “Discussion: All About Metadata”

  1. Courtney Baron says:

    This is a great post! I’m definitely going to check out the SEI – it sounds amazing! I am taking upper level cataloging and metadata courses in my program, which cover DublinCore, but I also signed up for the NEDCC VRACore and PBCore classes. My school doesn’t teach these metadata schemes and they are only $45. NEDCC also has metadata and DublinCore classes as well, I believe.


  2. I am also very interested in SEI. Sounds like it would be an intensive experience but worth the time and effort!


  3. […] discussed what to do if your program doesn’t offer an art librarianship track before, as well as learning metadata on your own, but I thought it would be fun to share some of the specific things I’ve done to learn more about […]


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