The new issue of Catalogue and Index (205) has been published.
Welcome to C&I 205,
And welcome to 2022! Hopefully it will be a happier and healthier year for
all of us than 2021. Or 2020.
We covered issues with the still continuing COVID19 epidemic last issue
however, which demonstrated the adaptability and innovation undertaken
by many in the face of one of the most significant crisis of the age,
however, and this issue looks hopefully into the future into how the kind
of innovations that many of us have been practising for years can be
surfaced, publicised and realised.
The topic for this issue is advocacy.
In many ways, the work of the metadata librarian has always been a
backroom job. Many of us experience the situation whereupon telling
someone our profession, if they use the library or institution we work for,
(or have done), that they admit to never having seen us working there,
no matter how well they feel they know the staff. This isn’t surprising,
since metadata work is often undertaken in the back room, and doesn’t
involve working at any of the customer facing desks in the library.
Now perhaps, many of us are often working even more backroom, in the
backroom of our houses, at least some of the time, as in an increasingly
normalised and common practice in the modern workforce than was the
case 2 years ago.
However low profile we may be in our terms of our customers, however,
there is an increasing need to increase our profile professionally.
As the use of union catalogues have been proven to be a valuable and
efficient approach to sharing data, so the sharing of practices, standards
and support between ourselves and with other stakeholders is increasingly of value in ensuring and improving the quality and consequent value of that data. Furthermore, to develop the kind of higher profile that facilitates greater engagement with stakeholders and higher profile that facilitates greater engagement with stakeholders and the ability to serve the purposes of our customers, there is a need to advocate for the value of the services we provide.
In order to gain the kind of support and empowerment that will empower us to fulfil the mighty role that data management is to take, as not only libraries but the information world in general slowly moves towards the next great leap in networking. This next great leap is into the much heralded semantic web, the full realisation of the
potential of linked data, and to be empowered to do that, we need a voice, or perhaps many voices, and in many ways, perhaps those voices need to be our own.
In short, we need to employ the art of advocacy.
There are 3 papers featured in this issue, covering the various aspects of advocacy.
Jenny Wright’s article directly addresses the value of metadata and defines it’s value and sets a strong
argument for why it’s something that requires and deserves advocacy in the first place.
Emma Booth’s article applies to fulfilling this need and demonstrates the effective application of advocacy by
herself and others to increase the recognition of metadata as a valuable resource, and the resultant positive
impacts upon standards and practices in the library and library supply industries
Finally, Anne Welsh reasserts the value of publication-in-hand cataloguing, and advocates for the recognition of the same as an important and vital part of the modern metadata landscape, demonstrating it’s importance through historical reference and contemporary demonstration of need and value of it’s application.
Altogether, these 3 papers work together to provide a well rounded argument, which, if applied effectively (and certainly these papers already demonstrate how such advocacy is already being used effectively) provide a sound footing for the demonstration of the value of metadata.
Hopefully, they will inspire and educate all of us who read them to advocate more effectively for the value of metadata which can only be a good thing for those who use the services we provide.