SPEC Kit 298: Metadata (July 2007)

This SPEC Kit investigates how metadata is implemented in ARL member libraries: which staff are creating metadata and for what kinds of digital objects, what schemas and tools they use to create and manage metadata, what skills metadata staff need and how they acquire them, and the organizational changes and challenges that metadata has brought to libraries.

The survey was distributed to the 123 ARL member libraries in February 2007. Sixty-eight libraries (55%) responded to the survey, of which 67 (99%) reported creating metadata for digital objects at their institutions. The primary factor driving the creation of metadata is the responding libraries’ involvement in digitization projects (66 of 67 responses or 99%). Metadata also plays an important role in institutional repositories (54%). Other initiatives and projects that have promoted the use of metadata are: Web content management, datasets, subject-based and educational repositories, metadata registries, digital media labs, EAD-finding aids, and online journal publishing. Metadata is being created to describe and provide access to a wide variety of digital resources, including images, text, collections, audio, maps, video, datasets, EAD finding aids, theses, and Web pages.

This SPEC Kit includes documentation from respondents in the form of mission statements, organization charts, job descriptions, and policies.