Making the Most of Your Descriptive Metadata: Planning, Transforming, and Re-using

An ALCTS Webcast.

Metadata is essential for organizing, searching, and managing information resources, particularly as libraries expand their efforts in making their collections available on the web. Libraries are populating institutional repositories with a myriad of resources, including digitized special collections materials, finding aids, electronic theses, peer-reviewed faculty work and other research, scholarship and creative outputs. But what are libraries doing about the descriptive metadata that allows users to search, find, and select these resources in their repositories? What redundancies are created when libraries engage in collecting, enhancing, or redistributing metadata in siloed systems? Can redundant metadata generation efforts be streamlined? We will discuss some current descriptive metadata practices in institutional repositories, identify areas where redundant efforts may occur, and discuss strategies to improve management, collection, and re-use of descriptive metadata.

This webinar requires a basic understanding of metadata and XML.


Marisa Ramirez is Digital Repository Librarian, California Polytechnic State University is primarily responsible for the development and implementation of the DigitalCommons@CalPoly, a digital repository that provides online open access to scholarship and research produced by Cal Poly faculty and students. She is collaborating with library and academic departments across campus to bring new visibility to Cal Poly scholarly work. Her current research interests include digital preservation and curation, the role of technology in social networking exchanges, and the adoption and use cycles of new information technologies.

Prior to joining Cal Poly, she was the digital repository coordinator for the Arizona Memory Project (, a digital library initiative based out of the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records Department. In this position, she led the initiative in developing, implementing, monitoring and promoting the library’s institutional repository. She has also been active with digital library projects at University of North Carolina –Chapel Hill and Smithsonian Institution Libraries.

Nancy Fallgren is the Metadata Specialist Librarian at the National Library of Medicine. Disclaimer: This webinar was prepared in part by Nancy Fallgren in her private capacity. The views expressed do not represent the view of or endorsement by the United States Government or the National Library of Medicine.


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ALCTS thanks Berkeley Electronic Press for their generous support of this webinar.