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Miscellaneous Metadata

The Bibliographic Framework Initiative, language and training

October 4th, 2012 by Sarah Theimer

Many metadataists have a very deep interest in language.  We consider what words are best used to search something and to how to convey a fact about a resource.   I recently published article in the Journal of Library Metadata on what we can learn about MARCs death by studying the death of languages. This includes suggestions of how the new MARC should learn from language planning.

I gave a few examples of differing meaning in an ALCTS blog.    But what does this mean here at Syracuse?  Why should we care?

When people do not share a common understanding of what words mean then communication gets garbled.    If I think soon is in five minutes and you think soon is in two weeks, someone is going to be extremely disappointed (not to mention fired). When the new MARC emerges in whatever form it comes, the vocabulary it contains will seem ordinary, but proper understanding and future staff training will require examination of terms and understanding the new 21st century definition of words like “Annotation” and “Instance”

When a person hears a word they do not understand, they immediately realize they need to pay closer attention to track the conversation.  This happens when training. People are very bad self assessors. They frequently over estimate their abilities. So when we train, we consciously redefine familiar terms with concrete examples to solidify the concepts.


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