Earlier this fall, I taught a 3-week online course titled Metadata Management Tools for LITA. The course was designed for library staff who regularly work manipulating MARC and metadata sets or library school students interested in the subject of metadata management. My goal was for students to finish the course with an understanding of the tools available to them for metadata management, example use cases for each tool, and the resources available to them if they would like to further their knowledge or have any questions regarding any of these tools. A big “Thank you!” to LITA for giving me the opportunity to teach this online course.
What is “metadata management”?
According to Margaret Rouse of WhatIs.com, [m]etadata management is the administration of data that describes other data.
It involves establishing policies and processes that ensure information across the organization can be
- and maintained to best effect.
Why “Metadata Management Tools”?
The concept of “Metadata Management Tools” was not developed in a vacuum. It came about as I began working full-time with cataloging, metadata, and database maintenance. After leaving library school, I realized that I knew about metadata but was ignorant of the tools and workflows other library workers were using at their institutions.
Continuing education and participation in conferences helped to bridge this gap for me, but not every library worker has the freedom to learn new tools on the job that don’t directly relate to a project their working on, have the time to experiment with new workflows, or the ability to travel to learn new things.
I am grateful to be a part of a community of amazing library workers who share their experiences and tools widely and abundantly. One of my goals of this course was to try and gather freely available tools/resources that are available for cataloging and metadata work in one place.
Below is a list of common metadata management tools/resources:
Common Metadata Management Tools/Resources
|Resource Name||Resource Type||Description|
|MarcEdit||Software/Tools||MarcEdit is a software developed to work with MARC data and perform database maintenance tasks for library catalogs.|
|MarcEdit YouTube Channel||Tutorial||Series of tutorials for MarcEdit developed and produced by Terry Reese, creator of MarcEdit.|
|Python||Programming Language||Programming language|
|Pymarc||Programming Language||Python library specifically geared towards working with data formatted in MARC.|
|Pymarc Google Group||Online Community||An online community that allows users to troubleshoot and collaborate around using Pymarc.|
|Online guide for using pymarc||Tutorial||ROW2 COL3 CONTENT|
|OpenRefine||Software/Tools||“OpenRefine (formerly Google Refine) is a powerful tool for working with messy data: cleaning it; transforming it from one format into another and extending it with web services and external data.”|
|OpenRefine Google Group||Online Community||An online community that allows users to troubleshoot and collaborate around using OpenRefine.|
|Library Carpentry: OpenRefine||Tutorial||Library Carpentry tutorial for working with OpenRefine.|
|RegEx Tutorial — A quick cheatsheet||Tutorial||Tutorial for using Regular Expressions.|
|Git||Version Control System||ROW3 COL3 CONTENT|
|UCSD Library’s Git Novice Tutorial||Tutorial||A fork of the Software Carpentry‘s Git lesson, this tutorial is a metadata-focused tutorial aimed specifically at beginners.|
|FITS (File Information Tool Set)||Software/Tools||The File Information Tool Set (FITS) identifies, validates and extracts technical metadata for a wide range of file formats.|
|DataAccessioner||Software/Tools||The Data Accessioner is a simple tool, with an easy-to-use graphic interface, for migrating content between media while also creating and validating checksums, gathering metadata (via FITs), and compiling an XML metadata file (with the option to include Dublin Core metadata as of v 1.0) for future reference.|
|DataAccessioner Metadata Transformer||Software/Tools||The Data Accessioner-Metadata Transformer is a simple tool for creating new reports based on the metadata files generated by the Data Accessioner.|
|Library Carpentry||Online Community/
|Series of online/in-person workshops on library technology tools.|
|Digital POWRR Tool Grid||Online Guide||Tool grid developed by Digital POWRR team members detailing digital preservation tools available in Early 2013.|
|Community Owned digital Preservation Tool Registry||Online Community/
|COPTR describes tools useful for long-term digital preservation. It primarily acts as a finding and evaluation tool to help practitioners discover the tools they need to perform particular preservation tasks. COPTR is collating the knowledge of the digital preservation community on preservation tools in one place.|
|Apache Jena||Software/Tools||A free and open source Java framework for building Semantic Web and Linked Data applications.|
|Free Your Metadata||Online Community/
|Free Your Metadata is a scientific collaboration between Multimedia Lab (ELIS — Ghent University / iMinds) and MasTIC (Université Libre de Bruxelles) / Information School (University of Washington) which shows users how to make their metadata ready for the Linked Data Cloud.|
|Library Workflow Exchange||Online Community/
Workflow Sharing Platform
|Site designed to help librarians to share workflows and best practices across institutions. There is a wide range of workflows available–from Exhibit Creation to Metadata to Scholarly Communications–and users can contribute their own workflows as well.|
There are many tools and resources still missing from this list. For example, there are no XSLT resources and only one resource about linked data!
Looking forward, this is an opportunity for metadata professionals to collaborate on developing a more comprehensive resource for metadata management tools–similar to COPTR.
What metadata management tools do you use in your workflows? What tools would you like to learn more about?