Laura Akerman

active 5 years, 8 months ago



Laura Akerman

Twitter handle

Short Bio

My "data life" started when I began working for the Emory University Library in 1987. Much of my early career there has been leading or playing a major role in projects for transforming MARC metadata, automating and enhancing metadata function for our users, such as retrospective conversion, authority control, batch record cleanup, conversion of Chinese language records to Pinyin romanization; system migration; new processes for storage transfer.

Since 2005, my role as Technology and Metadata Librarian has given me a wider perspective, as consultant on metadata schema profiles for our NDIIPP MetaArchive project, electronic theses and dissertations, and other repository developments; as project manager to develop a new digital repository staff interface; consulting with faculty on individual digital projects; normalizing metadata for use in our discovery layer. My work with the DLF Aquifer project's metadata group reinforced my understanding of the importance of grounding metadata planning in deep understand of the user services it is to support, and the necessity of continuously expanding our thinking on what those services can be. For the past year, I have been leading the Connections study group and pilot project at Emory Libraries to introduce concepts and skills needed for incorporating linked data into our planning and metadata processes.

Interest in LODLAM

I've been personally interested in linked data for many years but had not had much opportunity in my job to do anything with it. I think there are likely many librarians, particularly cataloger types, who could say the same thing, and I know some folks in museums and archives in the same position. My impression from a recent presentation about our project at the Georgia Library Association-COMO conference is that there are a lot of libraries who have heard of linked data but have not invested any time or resources in learning more about it or incorporating it into technology planning. They want to know what their peer institutions are doing, or are waiting for the big players and vendors to show them the way, and are unlikely to get involved unless there are compelling models or the "how to" gets a whole lot easier. Recent moves by the national libraries, government, and other big players are exciting, but "scenarios" for smaller institutions and individual researchers may ultimately be even more important. I see linked data as not just a "sea change" in how to do metadata, but a door into a different future, redefining what "library" and "information service" can become, and something that should be of vital interest to all of us. What I can contribute to the "LODLAM" movement at this point is a perspective and ideas for tools, learning, networking, "continuous nudging", and getting the word out to players that are just starting (or "thinking about starting") to work with linked data.



Linked Open Data Projects

The Connections project, is my major hands-on linked data involvement to date. The main focus this year has been educating people and getting our feet wet with the technology, but there is great interest at Emory in going further. I led a group formed at the first ALA Linked Library Data Interested Group to create a shared "webliography" of resources related to linked data, to help librarians getting started with learning or projects; this morphed into the DLF LODLAM Zotero Group bibliography, which I continue to be a major contributor to. I also started, with Doug Goans of Georgia Tech, the GLAMLOD linked data interest group in Georgia.


Emory University Libraries