All posts by Will Sexton

Grand Metadata Tool Ideas

We’re embarking on a project to adopt or build a metadata tool at Duke University Libraries.  Before we’re immersed in architectures, designs, workflows, schedules, layers, platforms, capacities, etc., I’d like to indulge in some guilt-free big thinking.  I thought I’d just kind of put the question out there:  What are some of the big ideas that could inform the development of a metadata tool?

I invite conversation here and on the web4lib and code4lib lists, to which I’m sending an abridged version of this post.  Other conversations will occur in various venues over the next month or so.  I’ll try to pull together and post on anything I see, hear, read or say.  In the meantime, I’ll share one big idea that I’ve been considering; I’m not saying it’s THE big idea or even implying that we’ll follow through on it at Duke.  It’s just one way to bend our thinking about this project.  I’m interested in other ideas that can help with the bending of the thinking on the project for the tool for the metadata.

The idea that I’m posing follows from a blog post that Lorcan Dempsey wrote in May, mentioning an example of a “shared cataloging environment”.  When I read it, I wondered, what if you take that idea to its logical (illogical?) extreme:  a metadata tool as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform.
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Our Mistitled LITA Presentation

Sean Aery and I presented on Saturday, October 18 at the LITA National Forum on our homemade “Tripod” platform for digital collections.  Here’s an embed of our Google slides:

We proposed this presentation back in February.  The original title, “A Faceted Browsing Approach to Duke’s Digital Collections,” stuck, but by October 18, we had maybe one reference to facets in the presentation.  I’m not sure what we should have called it.  Something about the “three ‘bilities” might have been good, but that slide (#21) didn’t exist until October 16.

CHANGELOG, 2008 Oct. 24

We posted a major build of the digital collections site today.  The focus of the build was a set of five new collections; I know Jill intends to publicize them here, so instead of the prolix titles I’ll deploy their “collectionID” values:  blake, esr, songsheets, strong and vica.  In addition, we returned the asl collection to the internet after a rather lengthy, post-Texis hiatus.  Since we focused on these great collections for this build, there are relatively few upgrades to the system to report, but I’ll list them here. Continue reading CHANGELOG, 2008 Oct. 24