Fundamentals of Metadata

Description: This 6-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.

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.

2023 Sessions

Click on a date range to register for that session.

Weekly Chat Schedule:  There will be a 1-hour text-based chat session each week.

The following times are tentative and may change according to instructor availability.

  • Week 1: Wednesday at 11:00 am CT
  • Week 2: Wednesday at 12:00 pm CT
  • Week 3: Monday at 12:00 pm CT
  • Week 4: Wednesday at 2:00 pm CT
  • Week 5: Wednesday at 12:00 pm CT
  • Week 6: Thursday at 1:00 pm CT

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.


  • Heather Campbell is the Metadata Management Librarian at Iowa State University.
  • Maggie Dull is the Head of Metadata Strategies at the University of Rochester’s River Campus Libraries.
  • Leanne Finnigan is the Database Management Librarian at Temple University Libraries.
  • Karen Majewicz is the Geospatial Project Manager and Metadata Coordinator at University of Minnesota.
  • Leigh Ann Martin is the Resource Description Associate at Boatwright Memorial Library.
  • Amelia Mowry is the Metadata and Discovery Services Librarian at Wayne State University.
  • Jennifer Roper is the Director, Digital Strategies at the University of Virginia Library.
  • Yukari Sugiyama is the Metadata Librarian at Yale University.



  • $196.71 Core members;
  • $224.10 ALA members;
  • $249 nonmembers.

How to Register

Register for session 1 online.

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 to speak to our customer service representatives.

Registration Deadline

Registration for each course is limited to 25 people. For courses that are not sold out, online and fax registration ends at 12 noon CDT on the Monday before the course begins. Mailed registration forms must be postmarked by two Mondays prior to the course start date.

Core Code of Conduct

Please review the 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 1 week prior to the start date for students to have access to Moodle instructions and set their browser correctly. It will remain open 1 week after the end date for students to complete any sections and submit the course evaluation survey.


Contact Hours - 24 hours

Core 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 or email

For all other questions or comments related to the webinars, please contact


Casalini Libri s.p.a.