Document (#32134)

Editor
Smiraglia, R.P.
Title
a cataloger's primer : Metadata
Imprint
Binghampton, NY : Haworth
Year
2005
Pages
303 S
Isbn
0-7890-2801-3
Series
Cataloging and classifcation quarterly; Vol. 40(2005), nos. 3/4
Content
Vgl. für die einzelnen Beiträge: Cataloging and classifcation quarterly; Vol. 40(2005), nos. 3/4.
Footnote
Rez. in: KO 33(2006) no.1, S.58-60 (S.J. Miller): "Metadata: A Cataloger's Primer is a welcome addition to the field of introductory books about metadata intended for librarians and students. The book consists of a collection of papers co-published simultaneously as Cataloging and Classification Quarterly, Volume 40, Numbers 3/4 2005. In the Introduction, the book's editor, Richard P Smiraglia, states that "The purpose of this volume is to provide a learning resource about metadata for catalog librarians and students ... The point of the volume, overall, is that in library and information science there is an ongoing convergence of cataloging and metadata, such that the community will benefit from instructional material that demonstrates this convergence" (p. 1). The collection is divided into two major sections. Part I, "Intellectual Foundations," includes papers with an introductory and theoretical focus, while Part II, "How to Create, Apply, and Use Metadata," contains material with a relatively more practical, instructive focus. In "Understanding Metadata and Metadata Schemes," Jane Greenberg defines metadata and its functions and provides a useful framework for analyzing and comparing diverse metadata schemes based on their objectives and principles, domains, and architectural layout. In her paper "Metadata and Bibliographic Control: Soul-mates or Two Solitudes?" Lynne Howarth directly addresses the central theme of this collection by examining the historical development of, and growing convergence between, the two fields, and concludes that they are more soulmates than solitudes. In "Metadata, Metaphor, and Metonymy," D. Grant Campbell outlines the development of metadata among different stakeholder communities and employs structuralist literary theory to illuminate a perspective on metadata and information representation as special uses of human language in the form of metaphor and metonymy. Part I continues with three papers that present the results of original applied research. Leatrice Ferraioli explores the ways in which individual workers use their own personal metadata for organizing documents in the workplace in "An Exploratory Study of Metadata Creation in a Health Care Agency." In her paper "The Defining Element-A Discussion of the Creator Element within Metadata Schemas," Jennifer Cwiok analyses divergent uses of the "Creator" or equivalent elements in seven different metadata schemes and compares those with the AACR2 approach to representing authorship and intellectual responsibility. The relevance of the bibliographic concept of "the work" to metadata creation for museum artifacts is the focus of "Content Metadata-An Analysis of Etruscan Artifacts in a Museum of Archeology" by Richard P Smiraglia.
Part II consists of five papers on specific metadata standards and applications. Anita Coleman presents an element-by-element description of how to create Dublin Core metadata for Web resources to be included in a library catalog, using principles inspired by cataloging practice, in her paper "From Cataloging to Metadata: Dublin Core Records for the Library Catalog." The next three papers provide especially excellent introductory overviews of three diverse types of metadata-related standards: "Metadata Standards for Archival Control: An Introduction to EAD and EAC" by Alexander C. Thurman, "Introduction to XML" by Patrick Yott, and "METS: the Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard" by Linda Cantara. Finally, Michael Chopey offers a superb and most useful overview of "Planning and Implementing a Metadata-Driven Digital Repository." Although all of the articles in this book contain interesting, often illuminating, and potentially useful information, not all serve equally well as introductory material for working catalogers not already familiar with metadata. It would be difficult to consider this volume, taken as a whole, as truly a "primer" for catalog librarians, as the subtitle implies. The content of the articles is too much a mix of introductory essays and original research, some of it at a relatively more advanced level. The collection does not approach the topic in the kind of coherent, systematic, or comprehensive way that would be necessary for a true "primer" or introductory textbook. While several of the papers would be quite appropriate for a primer, such a text would need to include, among other things, coverage of other metadata schemes and protocols such as TEI, VRA, and OAI, which are missing here. That having been said, however, Dr. Smiraglia's excellent introduction to the volume itself serves as a kind of concise, well-written "mini-primer" for catalogers new to metadata. It succinctly covers definitions of metadata, basic concepts, content designation and markup languages, metadata for resource description, including short overviews of TEI, DC, EAD, and AACR2/MARC21, and introduces the papers included in the book. In the conclusion to this essay, Dr. Smiraglia says about the book: "In the end the contents go beyond the definition of primer as `introductory textbook.' But the authors have collectively compiled a thought-provoking volume about the uses of metadata" (p. 15). This is a fair assessment of the work taken as a whole. In this reviewer's opinion, there is to date no single introductory textbook on metadata that is fully satisfactory for both working catalogers and for library and information science (LIS) students who may or may not have had exposure to cataloging. But there are a handful of excellent books that serve different aspects of that function. These include the following recent publications:
- Caplan, Priscilla. 2003. Metadata fundamentals for all librarians. Chicago: ALA Editions. - Gorman, G.E. and Daniel G. Dorner, eds. 2004. Metadata applications and management. International yearbook of library and information management 2003/2004. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press. - Intner, Sheila S., Susan S. Lazinger and Jean Weihs. 2006. Metadata and its impact on libraries. Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited. - Haynes, David. 2004. Metadata for information management and retrieval. London: Facet. - Hillmann, Diane I. and Elaine L. Westbrooks, eds. 2004. Metadata in practice. Chicago: American Library Association. Metadata: A Cataloger's Primer compares favorably with these texts, and like them has its own special focus and contribution to make to the introductorylevel literature on metadata. Although the focus, purpose, and nature of the contents are different, this volume bears a similarity to the Hillmann and Westbrooks text insofar as it consists of a collection of papers written by various authors tied together by a general, common theme. In conclusion, this volume makes a significant contribution to the handful of books that attempt to present introductory level information about metadata to catalog librarians and students. Although it does not serve fully satisfactorily as a stand-alone textbook for an LIS course nor as a single unified and comprehensive introduction for catalogers, it, like the others mentioned above, could serve as an excellent supplementary LIS course text, and it is highly worthwhile reading for working catalogers who want to learn more about metadata, as well as librarians and instructors already well-versed in metadata topics."
Theme
Metadaten
LCSH
Metadata
Information organization
DDC
025.3 / dc22
LCC
Z666.7.M48 2005

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