Planning for the Evolving Role of Metadata Services

Tuesday, 6/2/2015
  • 2:00 PM-3:30 PM (Eastern)
  • 1:00 PM-2:30 PM (Central)
  • 12:00 PM-1:30 PM (Mountain)
  • 11:00 AM-12:30 PM (Pacific)
Wednesday, 6/3/2015
  • 2:00 PM-3:30 PM (Eastern)
  • 1:00 PM-2:30 PM (Central)
  • 12:00 PM-1:30 PM (Mountain)
  • 11:00 AM-12:30 PM (Pacific)
Thursday, 6/4/2015
  • 2:00 PM-3:30 PM (Eastern)
  • 1:00 PM-2:30 PM (Central)
  • 12:00 PM-1:30 PM (Mountain)
  • 11:00 AM-12:30 PM (Pacific)

an ALCTS Virtual Preconference, June 2–4, 2015

Three 90 minute sessions over three days.  Sessions begin at 2 p.m. Eastern | 1 p.m. Central  | 12 noon Mountain | 11 a.m. Pacific

Although relatively new to the library scene, expectations for metadata services within and outside the library are changing. This preconference explores some of the emerging responsibilities for metadata specialists by focusing on the need for metadata consultation within the data management lifecycle, the assessment of metadata workflows situated in traditional cataloging departments, and the movement to standardize and share local vocabularies.

This virtual preconference was organized by the Metadata Interest Group.

Session 1: Metadata Services for Research Data Management (June 2)

Librarians continue to engage in active partnerships with researchers who seek assistance in describing and organizing their data to meet federal mandates and to promote the discoverability and preservation of their work. This session will examine different ways that librarians collaborate with researchers to manage metadata workflows for research data. It includes two presentations:

  • Research Data Support at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG): a Metadata Perspective

Anna Craft, Metadata Cataloger at the UNCG, will discuss the integration of support for data set sharing and management in an established institutional repository system, within the larger framework of an academic library that is working to expand its research support services in a climate of budget cuts and decreased resources. UNCG enhances the discoverability of institutional research data and provides a local option to assist researchers in fulfilling requirements set by funding agencies and data management plans through a partnership between the Odum Institute at UNC Chapel Hill and NC DOCKS, UNCG’s institutional repository. The expansion of research support and data set services at UNCG has brought increased needs for metadata support, both in the electronic systems associated with the project, and in providing training and support to researchers and liaison librarians. The presenter will give an overview of project roles, workflows, challenges, and lessons learned, with a focus on metadata-related issues.

  • Using DDI Metadata to Support Research Data Management

The Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), a social and behavioral science data repository founded in 1962, partners with researchers to describe, archive, and distribute their research. Researchers transfer their data collections to ICPSR using an online deposit form, where they may provide study-level descriptions and upload files with variable-level details. ICPSR uses this information to generate metadata at the collection and variable levels using the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) XML metadata specification. The DDI metadata are then leveraged to populate search results, generate Web content across multiple sites, share records with partnering archives, create documentation files (e.g., codebooks), serve as the basis of a Social Science Variables Database, and integrate with online analytical tools. Jared Lyle, Director of Curation Services, will describe how ICPSR generates DDI metadata and the lessons learned from this process.

Session 2: Assessing Metadata Staffing and Workflows (June 3)

Many metadata programs have moved beyond the beginning stages of developing workflows for digital library content.  Planning for future development requires analyzing current costs and workflows.  This program will discuss ways in which metadata creators and coordinators gather, assess, and report metrics in order to evaluate staffing and workflows. It includes two presentations:

  • Evolving Workflows for Metadata Ingest at The UC San Diego Library

Arwen Hutt, Metadata Librarian at UC San Diego, will discuss the UC San Diego Library's approach to digital object metadata creation.  Historically they followed a process of: 1) using collection curators or subject experts to do the primary description, followed by 2) using digital object metadata specialists to normalize and map that source metadata into our shared Digital Asset Management System (DAMS) and finally 3) using developers to implement the mappings, transform the metadata and build the objects. This approach is focused on the creation of metadata that is customized and responsive to the individual collections, and along with our system and data model, accommodates a high degree of hierarchical complexity and relationships between objects. The drawback to this approach is it's costliness in time and man hours. In the last year we have been working on shifting to a more streamlined workflow, implementing what we are calling Standard Input Streams to expedite the ingest of metadata created according to predetermined formats and standards while maintaining our ability to create and deliver rich objects and description. We are also working on improving our tracking of the ingest workflow as well as what metrics we can use for reporting on productivity, using our workflow management system JIRA. This presentation will give an overview of our shift to a more automated workflow, the Standard Input Streams we have developed and how we are using JIRA to manage and track our workflow.

  • Integrating New Services into Existing Metadata Workflows

The Metadata Services Department (MSD) at the University of Maryland Libraries is currently shifting from single item, traditional cataloging, to large scale metadata repurposing and manipulation. Due to an increase in non-MARC metadata projects for digital collections, MSD hired a dedicated Metadata Librarian to re-envision the metadata workflows within the department. Working closely with the MSD department head and several units within the Libraries’ Systems Division, the Metadata Librarian has completed several projects in a short time period and revamped the way in which the metadata for digital projects is handled. MSD is now positioning itself to take on more projects that require metadata cleanup and manipulation as the libraries continue to openly share our digital collections through repositories such as the Internet Archive and HathiTrust. Nathan B. Putnam and Bria L. Parker will discuss issues of having a single dedicated metadata librarian in a department of traditional catalogers, including reconciling traditional cataloging assessment metrics for metadata librarians, the positive impact of having MSD work on these project with people from other divisions, and future plans for having additional staff and librarians work on non-MARC metadata projects.

Session 3: Techniques and Technologies for Developing Local Controlled Vocabularies (June 4)

Best practices for managing local controlled vocabularies have grown rapidly in recent years with the development of standards such as the Encoded Archival Context-Corporate Bodies, Person and Families (EAC-CPF). These guidelines have influenced not only the development of special collections practices, but also metadata standards for localized controlled vocabularies. How should institutions handle these changes to stay up to date with new and emerging standards? This program will look at two cases studies from the University of Miami Libraries and the George Washington University Libraries that demonstrate technology and techniques for managing local controlled vocabularies and implementing EAC-CPF.  Case studies to be discussed:

  • Special Collections, Special Thesauri: Managing and Publishing Local Vocabularies with TemaTres

Special collections have many reasons for local vocabulary control. Because of niche foci and rare content, index terminology may be unique to the institution. Given the array of new schemas and tools to publish thesauri, there is no reason to keep local vocabularies local. When exposed to the Web, local vocabularies allow browsing and discovery of special collections. Thus, the University of Miami Libraries implemented a test of the TemaTres vocabulary server to manage and publish local vocabularies for subject indexing. TemaTres provides a centralized platform for multiple contributors to build a thesaurus. Allison Jai O'Dell, Special Collections Cataloging & Metadata Librarian, will provide an introduction to TemaTres and a discussion of thesaurus development in library workflows. Opportunities and challenges encountered in this test will be explained alongside solutions developed to streamline vocabulary control in a special collections setting.

  • Encoded Archival Context-Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families and Washingtoniana Collections: A Pilot Project at the George Washington University Libraries

In 2013, the George Washington University Libraries began experimenting with Encoded Archival Context-Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families (EAC-CPF). A working group consisting of both metadata and special collections personnel was formed to solidify local best practices, identify priority names, and begin generating records in EAC-CPF. Dan Tam Do, Metadata Services Manager, will focus on the integration of the EAC-CPF project with other identity-related work done by metadata staff and librarians, such as the creation of name authority records for NACO review and the use of identifiers; the tools and techniques for generating records as explored by the working group, including direct coding in XML and transformation from MARCXML; and ways the working group envisions harnessing EAC-CPF’s properties to display contextual information about names associated with archival collections of local significance.

Learning Outcomes

In the first session, participants will gain awareness of the current issues surrounding metadata services for research data management and identify different methods and approaches for working with researchers and the metadata they generate.

In the second session, participants will be able to find practical ways to assess staffing needs, to learn about alternative staffing and workflow models, and to track and measure workflows.

In the third session, participants will be exposed to alternative tools and standards used to manage localized controlled vocabulary names and terms.

Who Should Attend

Metadata librarians, institutional repository librarians, data librarians, data management specialists, research support librarians, research data management librarians, digital initiatives librarians, data curation librarians or specialists, special collections librarians, archivists


Anna Craft, Metadata Cataloger at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG)

Jared Lyle, Director of Curation Services, Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan

Arwen Hutt, Metadata Librarian, The UC San Diego Library

Nathan B. Putnam, Head, Metadata Services at the University of Maryland

Bria L. Parker, Metadata Librarian at the University of Maryland

Allison Jai O’Dell, Special Collections Cataloging & Metadata Librarian at the University of Miami Libraries

Dan Tam Do, Metadata Services Manager at The George Washington University Libraries.



  Fee ($USD)
Participant Each Series of
  3 sessions

ALCTS Member (individual) 43 109
Nonmember (individual) 59 149
International (individual) 43 109
Student Member (individual), Retired Member (individual) 20 50
Groups. Applies to group of people that will watch the webinar together from one access point.    
Member group 99 249
Nonmember group 129 319

All webinars are recorded and the one-time fee includes unlimited access to the webinar recording. All registered attendees will receive the link to the recorded session so if you are unable to attend the webinar at the time it is presented, you will have the opportunity to listen to the recording at your convenience.

How to Register

To register, complete the online registration form or complete the mail in form for the entire series or individual session(s) you would like to attend.




For questions about registration, contact ALA Registration by calling 1 (800) 545-2433 and press 5 or email

For all other questions or comments related to the webinars, contact Julie Reese, ALCTS Continuing Education and Meetings at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext. 5034, or


Sponsored by the Metadata Interest Group

Cosponsored by:

  • ALCTS Creative Ideas in Technical Services Interest Group
  • ALCTS Technical Services Workflow Efficiency Interest Group
  • ALCTS PARS Preservation Metadata Interest Group
  • ALCTS Continuing Education Committee
  • ALCTS Technical Services Librarians in Academic Libraries Interest Group
  • Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS)
  • ALCTS Technical Services Directors of Large Research Libraries Interest Group
  • ACRL Scholarly Communication Discussion Group
  • RBMS Bibliographic Standards Committee
  • ASCLA Collaborative Digitization Interest Group