In April I had an exchange with a couple of colleagues Sue @suelibrarian and Molly @madradish about a conference we have here in Melbourne, Australia, on a biannual basis: VALA (legacy acronym: Victorian Association of Library Automation). VALA is a digital library and increasingly GLAM conference in Australia where we get to hear about some of the digital development work done.
I’m not sure what the equivalent of an ear worm is, when it comes to ideas, but Molly’s question strikes me as a good session topic and this thought has been niggling away in my mind for quite — some — time. When I first started tinkering with the idea of what linked open data was going to DO and why any data collecting institutions (such as a GLAM) might DO linked open data – I wrote a paper to get some thoughts down. Are the GLAMs going to bring a steampunk/neo-Victorian sensibility and aesthetic to Linked Open Data.
More recently I have had the chance to talk to another colleague Rowan @usyd_dpa about what could be done with some of the “special” collections at University of Sydney Library.
So… I’d like to propose a session on curation and linked data. A kind of “why are we doing this and who for?” type session. Many professionals are going to need to make the case to funders and decision-makers to commit resources to transforming data into linked open data – and ideally there are useful principles or methods we can talk through to help make those arguments for support, and outcomes that are going to spin people’s wheels.
- What linked open data project to do and why?
- What ontologies to use and why?
- What datasets to integrate and why?
- Who will benefit from this and why?
I’ve another conundrum to share with brighter minds than mine – and it involves the role of large library catalogues, e.g. national union or national bibliographies, and smaller special or research library catalogues. Without going into too much detail I am happy to take the punt and say there are roles for both (of course!), but… that may morph into a broader discussion about linked open data ecosystems (is there such a thing and is this another session?).