As a public services librarian who never took a cataloging course, this session was both interesting and a little intimidating. Fortunately, the speakers explained linked data in a way I could understand and even get excited about. Linked data is information that standardized in such a way that computers can connect bits of information that are distributed across a variety of databases. Linked data can be reused in ways other than for which the information was originally collected. With linked data, librarians could pull in additional information to augment catalog records and, since the data is standardized, search across more databases.
To make this possible, the Bibliographic Framework Initiative (BIBFRAME
) is working develop a new model for catalog data so that the information in library catalogs can be used as linked data. This will require changes for catalogers and integrated library systems. The only shortcoming of this otherwise great session was that it appears BIBFRAME is not yet fully developed or supported by most ILSs. I think librarians should learn more about linked data and watch for future developments so they are prepared when it is time to take more concrete steps to realize linked data's potential.