“Most people don't realize how important librarians are. I ran across a book recently which suggested that the peace and prosperity of a culture was solely related to how many librarians it contained. Possibly a slight overstatement. But a culture that doesn't value its librarians doesn't value ideas and without ideas, well, where are we?”
Neil Gaiman

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Week 4 Readings -- Metadata, Dublin Core, and Databases

I have to say, databases have never been an area that I've been enthralled with, nor bothered to learn much about other than the big names like Oracle and dBase. I had no idea that they had moved on to bigger and better things in the area of databases until reading this article. I'm still not sure what the bigger and better new databases do that the older versions didn't do, but assume we'll learn more about that in the lecture. My basic view of databases is that they are kind of like my external hard drive for my Mac where I store all of the big stuff I don't need right away. Clearly a necessity in our profession with the amount of digital information we are dealing with on a regular basis.

The next article on metadata was all new territory for me. As I understand it, metadata basically forms the backbone of digital information systems and search engines. Gilliland's article covered many different examples of metadata and different ways that people are interpreting it, but ultimately that is my understanding. Both Gilliland and Miller, who wrote about the Dublin Core Data Model, argue for moving towards some form of standards in order for systems to work properly. This obviously makes sense, but the question arises as to which system? I suppose there is a debate going on somewhere about which model is best...


jean said...

Like you, I didn't know much about databases before now. These readings (most of them) have been easy enough to comprehend (not just using tech-y speak), so that has really boosted my understanding about things. The reading I liked best this week was the information about 'Metadata' -- being explained as data about data. I like having a better understanding of this term, especially since it is coming into such frequent use recently.

jas292 said...

The Metadata was unique reading to me, I feel the same it is also new territory for me. It is interesting though.