I’m Will Sexton, Metadata Analyst / Programmer here at Duke University Libraries. My job focuses on technical support for the metadata-heavy stuff: finding aids, finding databases (like this one) and digital collections. I’m part of a great team that includes Sean Aery, who designed the front end for our digital collections platform. Sean and I will present on that project next week at the LITA National Forum.
Anyway, the first time I told a friend of mine outside of the library field about my job, she said, “Huh? Megadata? What’s megadata?” This particular friend was in law school at the time, so now when people ask her, “What do you do?” she says “I’m a lawyer.” I gave up answering that question directly; now I just say I’m a computer programmer (partially true) or a librarian (nominally untrue, though true in the sense of “a person who works in a library on library stuff”).
But at least now I have to explain my job less when I’m IN the library than I did six years ago.
Anyway, this Word Press thingie for digital collections has been sitting up on cinder blocks on the side of the house for a while, and I thought I’d take it for a spin. Wheeee! Before I move on to a subject other than “me me me” I’ll add that I contribute 6-to-8 hundred words of topical observation to the Chapel Hill News‘ “My View” feature every 7 weeks or so. My most recent column attempts to make issues relating to “megadata” and library technology seem like the kind of thing you talk about in a newspaper.
Coming soon … a post about metadata.
3 thoughts on “Megadata, an Introduction”
Excellent post, Will. The library’s focus on metadata certainly has changed in the past 6 years — lucky for us! Would you do a post on the basic architecture of the Tripod system?