Thursday, May 08, 2008

Metadata Advocates

I had an Ah-Ha moment while listening to John Udell's show Interviews with Innovators. The episode was Working with Data Sources with Raymond Yee.
Raymond Yee is a lecturer at the UC Berkeley School of Information and the author of Pro Web 2.0 Mashups: Remixing Data and Web Services. In this conversation he talks about teaching students how to work with existing data sources, and speculates with Jon Udell on ways to expand the supply of available sources.
What struck me was that we should be advocates for metadata standards. If the local geneology society puts up a calendar on their website, help them get it into iCal or hCal format. Then we could drop their info into a pathfinder. Or geocoding the local bird-watchers sightings, or school district's lunch menu, or .... We could offer our understanding of the importance of standards and data reuse to our community. The library benefits by becoming the go-to-place for information management. The community benefits because they get the word out more effectively. It would be a very different job description for a cataloger to become the community data standard outreach person. But, not a bad place to be.

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