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From The CriticsReviewer: Rob Behary, MLS, MBA (Duquesne University)
Description: This is a collection of essays derived from presentations given at the 2001-2002 ALCTS Regional Institute on the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, 2nd Edition, 2002 Revision and Metadata. The book was published simultaneously as Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, v. 36 n. 3-4 2003.
Purpose: The editors strive to "explain, describe and illustrate the brave new world librarians are creating through the use of metadata." This is neither a how-to method for cataloging electronic resources, nor is it a summary of individual metadata standards. Instead, the focus is on the implications of using metadata to describe materials.
Audience: The book is of interest to technical services librarians as well as those seeking a general overview of the possibilities of metadata.
Features: Part one of the book, Fundamentals, gives a general treatment of metadata as it relates to libraries. Michael Gormon's article at the beginning of this section reminds us of the similarities between ISBD, MARC, and the new or emerging standards. Part two, How Librarians Can Employ Metadata, provides guidance in very practical terms about issues librarians should consider when creating metadata repositories. Particularly useful are the five considerations for metadata given in an essay by Yuan-liang Ma and Wei Liu, which highlight some of the elements needed for implementing a description system. The third section of the book, AACR2 and Metadata, focuses on the future of AACR2 in the metadata environment. Eric Jul's "MARC and Mark-Up" reminds readers that standards for metadata are no longer being driven solely by librarians, but also by the organizations like the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Illustrations are provided to help readers with some of the more technical aspects of the book. The index and bibliographies accompanying nearly every article are also helpful.
Assessment: The book is accessible even to those without a background in library technical services, and because of its conceptual approach, it is a worthy addition to the burgeoning body of metadata literature.