The Library Uncovered: Behind the Scenes with Collections Services

Metadata & Discovery Strategy

The Metadata & Discovery Strategy department works at scale to transform, create and maintain library collections metadata to power discovery and facilitate access for Duke’s faculty, students, and staff. Metadata is the life’s blood of Duke University Libraries’ operations. It “dictates how information circulates—it has the power to name, broadcast, normalize, oppress, and exclude. It does more than describe—it is knowledge.” (Metadata as Knowledge).

It is particularly critical for many of the core systems that provide programs and services for our patron community.  However, “library metadata rarely remains static. We need to clean up data for many reasons: changing metadata schemes, practices, or purchasing vendors, system migrations, incorrect or missing data, physical moves of resources, “cataloging anomalies”, etc.” (Core eForum). Bibliographic data cleanup is an essential activity to ensure data integrity and operational efficiencies. When these activities are done at scale, Metadata & Discovery Strategy is there to collaborate in the planning, undertake the steps of the project, and contribute to the maintenance of library data.

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