The RLG Partners Social Metadata Working Group
Who Are We?

The RLG Partners Social Metadata Working Group consisted of 21 staff from RLG Partner institutions and was led by OCLC Research program officer Karen Smith-Yoshimura. Together, the group reviewed dozens of social media sites and analyzed success metrics, content, policy, and vocabulary issues as well as issues that will need to be resolved to take full advantage of the array of potential user contributions by sharing them on the network level. The working group also conducted a survey of site managers to identify the factors that contribute to successful—and not so successful—use of social metadata. The group's findings and recommendations will be issued in a series of three reports. See the Sharing and Aggregating Social Metadata activity page for more information about the group's work. See below for more information about the group's members.

Members (September 2010)

Drew Bourn

Drew Bourn

I oversee the Stanford Medical History Center, and facilitate the Stanford Archivists working group. My previous work in rare books and archives has included Phillips Academy in Andover and the Center for the History of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. I am currently writing my doctoral dissertation in San Francisco history, and serve as a pro-bono consultant for the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco.

Douglas Campbell

Douglas Campbell

I have been the technical development lead for the National Library of New Zealand's online services such as Find, Timeframes, and Matapihi. My work particularly involves usability, information architecture, metadata and identifiers; I am a member of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative's Advisory Board.

Kevin Clair

Kevin Clair

I am the Metadata Librarian at the Penn State University Libraries, a position I have held since 2007. I serve as faculty support for digital projects cataloging and non-MARC metadata formats in the Cataloging and Metadata Services department, where I provide metadata creation and management support for the Libraries' digital projects. My professional interests include linked data and the Semantic Web, the economics of digital library management, and the role of digital collections in public history practice. I hold an M.S. in Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Chris Cronin

Chris Cronin

I have been Director of Metadata and Cataloging Services at the University of Chicago Library since 2008. Previously, I was Assistant Professor and Head of Digital Resources Cataloging at the University of Colorado at Boulder. I have a B.A. (Hons) in English Literature from the University of British Columbia, and an MIS from the University of Toronto. I have been active in the American Library Association, in the Collaborative Digitization Program, and as a metadata consultant both nationally and internationally.

Christine DeZelar-Tiedman

Christine DeZelar-Tiedman

I am Interim Director of Technical Services, and Archives and Special Collections Catalog Librarian at the University of Minnesota Libraries. Much of my work life has involved the integration of descriptive practice across many different traditions, standards, and platforms. My research interests involve exploring the potential of social networking applications to enhance access to academic library resources, particularly special collections materials and literary works. In 2008, I presented the poster session "Doing the LibraryThing in an Academic Library Catalog" at the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative Conference in Berlin, Germany. My recently completed research paper "Social tagging in Academic Library Catalogs: exploring user-contributed metadata's potential to enhance access to literary works" will soon be submitted for publication.

Mary Elings

Mary Elings

I am the Archivist for Digital Collections at The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley. I head the Digital Collections Unit which supports digital initiatives and curation activities for the library including creation, description, access, management, storage, and preservation of research and scholarly material in digital form. I am also responsible for implementing emerging web technologies and external online outreach initiatives. I participate in various working groups and professional organizations within the cultural heritage community and serve as an adjunct faculty member, both at Syracuse University (2004-2009) and Catholic University (2010), teaching a graduate course on Digital Collections in Libraries, Archives, and Museums.

Steven Galbraith

Steven Galbraith

I am the Curator of Books at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. I joined the RLG Partners Social Metadata Working Group following my interest in creating opportunities for our users to enhance our catalog records and online content by adding their own notes and tags. As an independent research library we have a focused and knowledgeable community that we should be actively tapping for contributions. Beyond this, I am generally interested in the uses of social media applications in cultural institutions.

Cheryl Gowing

Cheryl Gowing

I am the Director of Information Management & Systems for the University of Miami Libraries. My previous positions at the University include Music Cataloger, Head of Cataloging, Integrated Library Systems Coordinator, and Director of Technical & Access Services. As a former cataloger, I am intrigued by the potential to utilize user tags and other user contributed content to enrich library metadata. From a system administration viewpoint, I am very interested in learning more about the policy issues surrounding user contributed metadata and the technical infrastructure needed to aggregate and share social metadata between disparate systems.

Rose Holley

Rose Holley

I have worked in libraries and archives in the UK, New Zealand and Australia. I am a digital library specialist and have managed a number of significant collaborative digitisation projects over the last 10 years, including most recently the Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program. I am Manager of Trove at the National Library of Australia, and focus on delivery of digital content to users, creating systems that enable social interaction and engagement with content.

Rebekah Irwin

Rebekah Irwin

I am the Head of Digital Projects and Metadata at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University. I am responsible for a wide range of activities including digital curation and exhibition of digital collections, and the development of emerged and emerging technologies like blogs, podcasts, mobile phone services, and social networking tools.

Lesley Kadish

Lesley Kadish

I work as a Digital Content Specialist in the Collections department at the Minnesota Historical Society. In my current role, I manage web-based projects that explore innovative ways for users to connect meaningfully with digital historic archives. My background is in Anthropology and Geographic Information Systems (GIS); as such I am interested in "place" as an entry point for accessing and connecting content.

Helice Koffler

Helice Koffler

I have been the Manuscripts and Special Collections Materials Cataloging Librarian with the University of Washington Libraries since 2008. Having worked at a variety of archives and libraries, as well as dabbled with social media in a special collections environment, I was particularly excited about joining this working group. I began with a blog post about cows and my issues with authority. Over the course of my time with the group, I have shifted gears from cows to "LAMS" and resolved a few of these control issues. It has been a privilege to have been given this opportunity to explore the rapidly evolving landscape of user generated contributions with such a diverse and committed set of colleagues. I look forward to putting some of the innovations and emerging best practices we have studied and observed into action on future projects.

Daniel Lovins

Daniel Lovins

I have been serving as Metadata & Emerging Technologies Librarian at Yale's Sterling Memorial Library since March 2009. I was the initial project manager for Yale's Solr/Lucene-powered discovery tool "Yufind" (based on Villanova University's open-source VuFind software). A working group on which I serve recently completed a six-month study, funded by the Arcadia Foundation, on Lucene/Solr non-Latin script functionality for libraries. I have presented my recent work in multiple Yale venues, the New England Technical Services Librarians conference, the Harvard Librarians Assembly, and the Connecticut Library Consortium. From 1998 to 2008, I served as Yale's Team Leader for Hebraica Cataloging, and from 2006-2008 I chaired the Research & Special Collections Cataloging Committee of the Association of Jewish Libraries.

John Lowery

John Lowery

I am Online Systems Analyst in the Metadata Services section of the British Library based at Boston Spa near York. My work is concentrated around researching into Web 2.0 technologies and how these can be exploited for library services. I have also spent a substantial amount of time investigating the development of e-books and how this technology will affect the traditional printed book. On a routine daily basis I am also responsible for the development and support of Z39.50 access to British Library databases and for moderating user tagging of the BL's beta PRIMO catalogue, this latter activity leading to a professional interest in exploring the use of social metadata by LAMs.

Marja Musson

Marja Musson

Since 2001 I have been the assistant archivist at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam. Previously I worked at the library of the Dutch Maritime Museum (Amsterdam) and at the documentation department of Amnesty International (Dutch section). I am involved in various projects dealing with Encoded Archival Description (EAD), MARC 21 and open source ILS Evergreen, and digitization and redesigning work processes. From December 1, 2010 I am one of four managers in the newly created department, Collection Processing & Services.

Henry Raine

Henry Raine

I am currently Head of Library Technical Services at the New-York Historical Society, where I manage large-scale grant-funded cataloging projects and digital initiatives. From 1997 to 2006, I worked for New York University as Director of its multi-year project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to improve access to the New-York Historical Society's collections. I worked as Head of Technical Services at the Folger Shakespeare Library from 1993 to 1997, and previously worked there as Senior Cataloger. I earned my MA in the History of Design from the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in 2006, and my MLS from Catholic University of America in 1986. I am presently Chair of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and serve on the Board of the Ephemera Society of America.

Cyndi Shein

Cyndi Shein

I am the Assistant Archivist for the J. Paul Getty Trust, caring for the institutional records and archives of the Trust and the Getty's programs: the Museum, Research Institute, Conservation Institute, and Foundation. In addition to accessioning, processing, and collection management, I am responsible for creating metadata and other descriptive outputs for collection materials. I previously held positions at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) Libraries; the National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum Library and Archives; and the University of California, Irvine (UCI) Libraries Special Collections and Archives, where I promoted the use of social media in building relationships with patrons. I co-edited the UCSB Libraries News blog during its early years and co-created the UCI Special Collections and Archives blog, Anteater Antics .

Ken Varnum

Ken Varnum

I'm the Web Systems Manager at the University of Michigan Library. Beyond my interest and involvement as a participant in all the usual aspects of social networking tools, I am deeply interested in developing mechanisms through which academic researchers at all levels can effectively save, manage, and effectively share their information with their peers. To this end, we built a social bookmarking tool, MTagger, for the U-M Library. Through this system, we have learned a great deal about real-world uses of tagging in the confines of an academic environment. A librarian working in the online sphere for more than 15 years, I have my MLS from the University of Michigan and a BA from Grinnell College.

Melanie Wacker

Melanie Wacker

I am Metadata Coordinator at Columbia University Libraries and Information Services. I work with my colleagues across divisions to ensure the integration of digital metadata with local and national systems to enable information discovery. I previously worked for several years as a cataloger at Columbia University Libraries and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Kayla Willey

Kayla Willey

I have been the Metadata Librarian at Brigham Young University for the past ten years and have just recently taken the assignment of Americana Cataloger, although retaining some responsibilities for metadata. In addition to coordinating metadata for the BYU campus community, I also participate in coordinating metadata for the Mountain West Digital Library of the Utah Academic Library Consortium and for a consortium of church and college libraries and archives associated with the LDS Church. I have worked at the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University for the past thirty-three years holding positions in acquisitions, cataloging, and library automation where, as the Automation Coordinator, I was intimately involved with integrated library systems implementation and operation. I worked on the development of the BCR/CDP (Collaborative Digitization Project) Western States Dublin Core Metadata Best Practices and am very interested in searching interoperability between various metadata standards from multiple communities and what social tagging can do to enhance more traditional metadata. I am a member of the American Library Association and actively participate in ALCTS, LITA and ACRL.

Beth Yakel

Beth Yakel

I am an associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Information where I teach in the Archives and Records Management and Preservation specializations. My major research area concerns access to digital materials and I have been involved in several Web 2.0 projects including the Polar Bear Expedition Digital Collections and have written widely on this topic with recent pieces appearing in the American Archivist journal and Controlling the Past: Documenting Society and Institutions. My work has been supported by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. I am active in the Society of American Archivists (SAA) and served on its governing council. I became an SAA Fellow in 1999.

OCLC Research Staff

Jean Godby

Jean Godby

I am a Research Scientist in the OCLC Research division. My primary responsibility at OCLC is to develop formal models of metadata processing, including translation, normalization, and enhancement. I have also led projects on automatic classification and terminology identification. I earned a Ph.D. in computational linguistics from Ohio State University.

John MacColl

John MacColl

I am European Director, RLG Partnership, OCLC Research, working specifically with RLG European Partners and other library and memory organizations across Europe. My research focus is in research information management, research assessment, and scholarly communications. I have been excited by the possibilities of social metadata since joining OCLC Research and hearing colleagues describe some of the pioneering work that went into the Flickr Commons. The recruitment of users of digital collections to assist the work of the stewards of those collections seems to me both a logical use of network technologies and an indication of a fascinating shift in our profession, supporting user-driven collections enhancement and development.

Karen Smith-Yoshimura

Karen Smith-Yoshimura

I am a program officer, and have been working with research institutions affiliated with the trans-national RLG Partnership for over twenty years. My focus is on the metadata needed to describe and provide access to the resources managed by libraries, archives, and museums. I convened this group at the request of AULs of some of our largest RLG Partners, who hoped to tap the expertise in their communities to augment their own metadata descriptions. Of the many working groups I have facilitated over the years, this one is the largest, and one of the most engaged and engaging!

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