Metadata format pluralism
Libraries must embrace metadata format pluralism or die. This seems to be Roy Tennant’s current theme, whose latest manifestation is his article Metadata leadership, published in the August issue of the Library Journal. He discusses three important players: cataloguers, their bosses and appropriate tools. At least in the UK, it will take a considerable mental u-turn for many library chiefs to realise the importance of metadata, having reduced and downgraded cataloguing staff for many years. On the other hand, one can hope that library schools are recognising the need and are devoting more time and effort to cataloguing, in its new forms, after long neglect. And there seems to be plenty of cataloguing training going, judging from email announcements that I see, not only the Allegro / Ian Ledsham courses but also in the area of educational metadata, which I suspect is often involving people who are not initially cataloguers and where there is also an initiative to address quality concerns, which echo issues that have been addressed over many years in MARC & AACR cataloguing.