Laura Hibbler, Editor

Here are just a few of the great events coming up for History Librarians at ALA Annual in Orlando!

All Committee Meeting and Open House (RUSA_HS)
Saturday, June 25, 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
HYATT Regency Orlando, Room Celebration 05

Partnering for the Common Good: Libraries, and Genealogical Societies
Saturday, June 25, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Orange County Convention Center, Room W109A

Genealogy and Local History Discussion Group (RUSA HS)
Saturday, June 25, 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Orange County Convention Center, Room W310

History Librarians Discussion Group (RUSA_HS)
Sunday, June 26 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Orange County Convention Center, Room W209C

Executive Committee Meeting (RUSA HISTORY)
Monday, June 27, 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Rosen Centre, Room Salon 06

Also of note, the Genealogy Pre Conference will take place Friday, June 24, from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM, at the Orange County Convention Center, Room W304 A-B. The Genealogy Pre Conference has been full since early April–congratulations to the planning committee for organizing such a popular event! The committee is maintaining a waiting list for lunch, in case people who are already registered drop out. A few may be added to a waiting list for sessions only (no lunch).

To be added to the waiting list, please contact Rhonda L. Clark.

Stay tuned for more information about History Section programming at ALA!

From the History Librarians Discussion Group
During the History Librarians Discussion Group at Midwinter 2016, attendees were interested in learning more about the metadata standards used by different digital scholarship sites. Kara Long, Metadata and Catalog Librarian at Baylor University, has kindly composed an incredibly helpful piece for the History Section. She explains metadata and relates metadata to formats librarians will understand. The introduction to Kara’s piece is provided here, with the full text available on the History Section site.

“An Entirely Too Brief History of Library Metadata and a Peak at the Future, Too”
Even if you feel unfamiliar with metadata, you may have heard the definition, “metadata is data about data.” This is technically true but not very illuminating. The title of a book is metadata. The length of a feature film is metadata. The date of a treaty is metadata. Metadata is information about other data, and in the case of libraries the “other data” is usually an information object – like a book, film, or government document. So, you may feel unfamiliar with metadata, but the truth is that we all rely on metadata all the time in our daily lives. If you work in a library (and you probably do), then you use metadata every time you search for a book or article. In fact, metadata probably plays a big role in a lot of what you do.

A conversation about metadata can get very theoretical very quickly. So, in honor of the History Librarians’ discussion group, I will present an entirely too brief history of library metadata as a way to contextualize our current metadata challenges. In libraries, many of these challenges originate in library data models developed in the nineteenth century and early twentieth centuries. Our choice of data models and standards has proliferated since then, and I hope this brief history makes the sea of library metadata a little less overwhelming.
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