Fundamentals of Metadata

Monday, 2/10/2020 - Friday, 3/20/2020
Monday, 4/6/2020 - Friday, 5/15/2020
Monday, 6/15/2020 - Friday, 7/24/2020
Monday, 8/17/2020 - Friday, 9/25/2020
Monday, 10/26/2020 - Friday, 12/18/2020

Description: This six-week course is an introduction to fundamental concepts of metadata, including:

  • Similarities and differences between cataloging and metadata
  • Descriptive, technical, and administrative metadata schema
  • Content standards and controlled vocabularies
  • Approaches to metadata creation and transformation
  • Metadata project design

2020 Sessions

  • Session 1: February 10 - March 20 - SOLD OUT 
  • Session 2: April 6 - May 15 - SOLD OUT
  • Session 3: June 15 - July 24
  • Session 4: August 17 – September 25
  • Session 5: October 26 – December 18

Format: Students receive login instructions one week prior to the course start date. Students have 24/7 access to the course site for the six-week period, and aside from assignment and quiz deadlines, the course may be completed at their own pace. Instructors provide guidance and feedback as students work their way through the course material. Weekly, instructor-moderated chat sessions are the only live course events that students are asked to attend.

Weekly Chat Schedule:  There will be a one-hour text-based chat session each week.
The following times are tentative and may change according to instructor availability.

Week One: Wednesday at 11:00 am CDT
Week Two: Wednesday at 12:00 pm CDT
Week Three: Monday at 12:00 pm CDT
Week Four: Wednesday at 2:00 pm CDT
Week Five: Wednesday at 12:00 pm CDT
Week Six: Thursday at 1:00 pm CDT

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, attendees will be able to:

  • Understand different types of metadata, content standards, and controlled vocabularies and their fit for purpose
  • Describe content using a metadata schema, content standard, and controlled vocabulary of their choice
  • Understand reasons and methods for metadata transformation
  • Design a metadata project based on real-world scenarios that are provided in the course materials

Who Should Attend

This is a fundamentals course that will appeal to anyone interested in the topic with no previous experience.

Taking a web course is different than taking a traditional course in a classroom. Read Are You Ready for Online Learning to make sure the web course structure is right for you.


Gretchen Gueguen is Digital Projects and Communications Manager at PALCI (Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium, Inc.)
Jennifer Roper is Director, Digital Strategies at the University of Virginia Library
Marcia Barrett is Cataloging and Metadata Strategies Librarian at University of California, Santa Cruz
Maggie Dull is Head of Metadata Strategies at the University of Rochester’s River Campus Libraries



$139 ALCTS members; $169 nonmembers

NOTE: Any requests for cancelation or changes to registration must be received in writing by ALCTS or the ALA registration department (MACS) no later than 7 days prior to the start of the course and are subject to a $40 processing fee.

How to Register


Register online using the online learning registration site.  Courses are listed by session date.  Click on the “register link” located to the right of the session you are interested in.   You will be prompted to login with your ALA member ID or create a guest account, to begin the registration process.

By Mail

Register by mail (purchase order or check) by completing this print registration form. Tip: If you’re unable to open this “register by mail” link, right-click the link and save the form to your computer.


For registration related questions, call 1-800-545-2433 and press 5 and speak to our customer service representatives.

ALCTS Code of Conduct

Please review the ALCTS Statement of Conduct before registering.

Tech Requirements

A Moodle-developed site is composed of self-paced modules with facilitated interaction led by the instructors. There are predetermined start and end dates and a suggested pace which include interaction with the instructors and your classmates. Students regularly use the forum and chat room functions to facilitate their class participation. Section quizzes are offered and feedback given, but there is no final class grade.

The course website will be open for one week prior to the start date for students to have access to Moodle instructions and set their browser correctly. The course site will remain open one week after the end date for students to complete any sections and submit the course evaluation survey.


Contact Hours - 24 hours

ALCTS defines contact hours in line with the IACET standards on Continuing Education Units.

Certificates of completion are sent upon successful completion (passing score of 70% or higher) of the course.


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, please contact


Casalini Libri s.p.a.