International Yearbook of Library and Information Management 2003‐2004: Metadata Applications and Management

Ina Fourie (Department of Information Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 1 August 2004




Fourie, I. (2004), "International Yearbook of Library and Information Management 2003‐2004: Metadata Applications and Management", The Electronic Library, Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 362-363.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Under the capable editorship of G.E. Gorman and the associate editorship of Daniel G. Dorner a team of international experts contributed to another excellent edition in the International Yearbook of Library and Information Management series. The 2003‐2004 edition focuses on metadata applications and management. The contributors are from Canada, USA, the UK, China, and Australia. Through their expertise they contributed to a scholarly publication capturing the latest developments and trends in metadata, best practices, likely future developments, and educational trends and needs. Many challenging questions are set for example on the future of music metadata and the scope of metadata education in library and information science (LIS) programs.

Metadata Applications and Management consists of six parts divided into 15 chapters. Part 1 includes chapters on the importance of metadata for memory institutions and the future of metadata. Part 2 deals with the use of metadata in the humanities, including an excellent contribution on music metadata and metadata in the arts. Metadata and taxonomy integration in government portals and the use of metadata in the UK archives network is covered in part 3. Metadata in the education sector and an Australian case study of educational metadata is dealt with in part 4. Part 5 includes three chapters, namely: metadata‐bibliographic organisation, cataloguing and metadata education, and developments in cataloguing and metadata. Preservation metadata, metadata and spatial data, international initiatives in the implementation of metadata standards and metadata applications in developing countries (China) is included in part 6.

Most chapters are very well researched with extensive lists of references. They are well‐structured and written in a clear and easy to follow‐style that makes the publication accessible to scholars, researchers, practitioners and LIS students at both under‐graduate and post‐graduate level. I will only highlight two of these chapters, which I found particularly interesting.

In Sherry Vellucci's chapter on music metadata she faces practical as well as conceptual issues. She deals with the problems faced in making music information accessible as well as the scope of issues to be covered in metadata presentations (e.g. identifying instruments and voices needed for performance, scores (e.g. miniature, full), and considering the different uses of music such as listening, studying, rehearsal, and viewing):

Understanding the various ways in which music resources are used will allow the metadata creator to resolve the practical problems when determining the type of metadata information required to meet the search and retrieval needs of musicians (p. 39).

She addresses both the creation of metadata and the use of metadata in detail with extensive coverage of music metadata projects and schemes.

As an educator, another chapter of particular interest to me was Ingrid Hsieh‐Yee's excellent review of education in cataloguing and metadata. In spite of the obvious importance of metadata in organising a growing wealth of information, and the unique opportunity this allows for LIS educators, the question arises whether there is room in the LIS curriculum to adequately address metadata issues. Hsieh‐Yee concludes that it seems as if metadata in LIS curricula is mostly dealt with at the introductory level, and that metadata education still remains a work in progress. Reasons for this include the difficulty for LIS educators to keep track of metadata developments, and the fact that the LIS profession is still struggling to find its niche market in the digital environment.

The excellently edited publication is also well bounded with an extremely detailed index, which can certainly serve as example for other text and reference books.

International Yearbook of Library and Information Management 2003‐2004: Metadata Applications and Management is highly recommended as essential reading for all interested in metadata applications and should certainly appear on the shelves of LIS educators specialising in this field.

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