As a metadata manager, much of my career has been focused on catalog management and authority control. Or, to put it another way, on the connections and commonalities that records share. I’ve observed the slow emergence of standards for describing authority control entities—topics, places, persons, bodies, works, etc.—as entities in their own right, with their own descriptions and their own connections to other entities.
Part of what makes my job interesting—and challenging—is that it’s not something I can do in a vacuum, on my own. Metadata without good standards is almost useless. And standards require cooperation.
That’s what I love about the Metadata Managers Focus Group of OCLC’s Research Library Partnership. I get a chance to meet with others excited by metadata challenges and really dive deep into the issues that are at the forefront of our daily working lives.
For example, while one problem that we often face is a lack of good metadata, sometimes—just like with holiday eggnog or Halloween candy—we can get too much of a good thing. So how much is “too much” when it comes to metadata?