I am currently the Sally W. Kalin Early Career Librarian for Technological Innovations (functionally the Cataloging Systems and Linked Data Strategist) at the Penn State University Libraries. My role spans traditional and emerging technologies from launching a new version of the Libraries' catalog, to exploring opportunities in linked data, supporting projects of the Cataloging and Metadata services department, and helping others reuse our data for their work. I have previously worked with library repositories, as the Digital Collections Librarian at the University of Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Libraries and as the Metadata Librarian at NASA Goddard. I’ve been working in libraries, part- and fulltime since 2001.
My MLS specialization is in archives, with a personal concentration on metadata and accessibility. I’ve self-described as a “platypus” because my career has spanned and split the worlds of librarianship and archives without being a traditional form of either and always involving various forms of metadata.
While still in school, I created EADiva.com, a beginner-friendly version of the EAD 2002 tag library. I have created an EAD3 version of the site while continuing support of the previous version. In my time as co-chair of the EAD Roundtable, I led the creation of an official FAQ.
More recently, I’ve developed workshops and led documentation projects which bridge library/archival description practices and Wikidata. I believe in lowering barriers to understanding metadata/descriptive practices. Many people who are intimidated by something sounding technical can learn if it’s presented in the proper fashion and with an assumption of their competence in other areas.
Master's Degree in Library Science, 2013
University of Maryland iSchool
Engaging with the libraries discovery, cataloging, and metadata systems to promote interoperability and identify opportunities for linked data. Research interests include: maintenance of cataloging and discovery systems, contingent labor, ethics in practical cataloging and linked data work.
Implemented working digital collections infrastructure in CurateND, the library’s institutional repository.
Over 30 years after such systems were first developed, the Integrated Library System underlies most operations of an academic library. Yet in the literature, its day-to-day maintenance is often reduced to a list of tasks. Through interviews with 16 system maintainers, this study attempts to develop an experiential understanding of its maintenance. Findings suggest that most maintainers find such work meaningful but face barriers when colleagues and administrators don’t understand what they do well enough to support it. The article proposes steps toward building a workplace where core maintenance tasks are recognized and supported.
Where does linked data fit in archival description? How do we get from promise to implementation? This article evaluates the benefits and limitations of current approaches to linked data in archival work. It proposes four pragmatic principles for the archival community to follow when determining how to pursue linked data. This approach engages with communities (both inside and outside cultural heritage institutions) already publishing linked data, accounts for institutional resource limitations, and recognizes the need for technological, educational, and social support for institutions and workers. Through an examination of the work of the Archives and Linked Data Interest Group with Schema.org and Wikidata, the article provides case studies which explore how these pragmatic principles for archival linked data create inclusive, rather than exclusive, communities.
This paper proposes the use of Wikidata in archival description workflows to create linked data that can improve discovery of our collections and expand contextual information around the entities they represent. Wikidata offers an opportunity for opening up archival description to a public forum. We suggest that, rather than approach it as a means to drive traffic to our individual finding aids, archivists use it as a platform to transform information about entities already represented in our archival description into open data. In turn, other communities can engage with these contributions to enhance, redescribe, or replace oppressive or harmful language—with all of the potential for collaboration, as well as conflict, that this can entail. Community description is a fundamental departure from traditional descriptive practice. It may significantly shift descriptive work for archivists, and it requires engaging with the Wikidata community to understand the methods and purpose of the infrastructure. With so much to consider when assessing whether an archives should use Wikidata, the paper is supplemented by an actionable list of 50 items that archivists can consider to get started.
Regular expression cartoon under Creative Commons NonCommercial 2.5 Generic license, original image at XKCD.com.