Metadata in Today’s Digital Libraries

In today’s world of digital technology, even libraries are digitalized. A digital library is a library in where collections are stored in digital formats  and are accessible thru the use of  computers. It is a type of informational retrieval system. To make retirieval easy is to use metadata, which will describe the content and attributes of any particular item in a digital library. 

Metadata is important in digital libraries as it is the key to resource discovery and use of any document. Digital Libraries conforms to the Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard schema.  It is the standard for encoding descriptive, administrative, and structural metadata regarding objects within a digital library, usually expressed using the  XML schema language of the World Wide Web Consortium.

To maintain a library of digital objects would require maintaining metadata of those objects. Metadata is  necessary for effective management and the use of digital objects is both more extensive than and different from the metadata used for managing collections of printed works and other physical materials.  Technology makes cataloguing and access to library materials easier.

Digital libraries provide a search interface to find resources.  They usually use the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) to expose their metadata to other digital libraries, and search engines like Google, MSN or Yahoo.  They use OAI-PMH to collect metadata descriptions of the records in an archive in order to build services using metadata from many archives.  Naming a library item is important in digital library as an ISBN number is important in a traditional library.  Names assigned for digital libraries should be uniquely identify to the digital objects for reasons to include citations, information retrieval, to make links among objects, and for managing copyright.

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