Metadata – Its Role in the Quest for a Perfectly Functional Digital Library

Information Technology has definitely brought about a huge impact in people’s everyday life, making things a little less complicated. Advancement in technology has made manual systems of doing transactions very prehistoric, therefore a lot of institutions nowadays have gone from paper and pencil to computers and printers. And yes, even traditional libraries have joined the bandwagon to meet the needs of their patrons.

Libraries nowadays have truly evolved, implementing sophisticated library cataloguing schemes and principles to help find information from a variety of sources. As a result, librarians face and address a host of metadata-related issues every single day. As work on digital libraries progresses, new metadata needs are arising on how it can be shared to make it possible for users to cross the boundaries from one library to another, to organize online contents into complex structures and develop tools to accomplish such objectives.

Three categories of metadata are frequently used to describe objects in a digital library and these are: (a) descriptive – describes the intellectual content of the object such as cataloguing records or similar schemes and is typically used for search and retrieval and bibliographic purposes; (b) structural – ties each object to others to make up logical units; and (c) administrative – being used to manage the object or control access to it, which may include its storage format, and copyright and licensing information.

Indeed, the quest for a perfectly functional digital library is still ongoing. With a lot of researches and studies that are currently being performed, a digital library that supports activities such as indexing, document summarization, format conversion, copyright clearance and bibliography maintenance is never too far from possibility.

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