XML in Libraries

This institute will cover the structure and utility of Extensible Markup Language (XML) with an emphasis on the relevance of XML to libraries. We will discuss the role XML plays in diverse applications such as web design, content management, descriptive metadata; how to use XML to achieve the separation of content and presentation on a web site; and how to use stylesheets to tie together XML-based components for building web-based applications.

Topics Covered

  • History of XML
  • Why librarians should care about XML
  • Using XML on the Web (including stylesheets)
  • Using XML for data interchange
  • Using XML for metadata
  • Using XML for building and augmenting library applications


This workshop is especially productive for library webmasters and systems librarians, but would be useful to anyone who is interested in web technology, data representation, or who wants to know what XML is all about. A basic familiarity with HTML is assumed.


Ron Gilmour is the Science and Technology Coordinator at the John C. Hodges Library at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. He received his MLS from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he also earned an MS in biology. His recent work includes experimenting with methods of serving XML-encoded data and ways to use XML to represent biological systematic information. He is also the author of "XML: A Guide for Librarians," No. 11 in the LITA Guide series (2003)