“Anything that helps people to make more meaningful use of resources is a good thing”
Veronica Adamson and Jane Plenderleith report on recent interviews.
Since March, we’ve carried out a series of interviews with leaders and managers in the library, archive and museum (LAM) community about what open data means for their users and communities. Discussions focused on benefits, issues and challenges for institutions, collections and users in this space. Some interesting and thought-provoking views have emerged, providing much food for thought on the development of the RDTF vision.
Here are some key points emerging from our discussions:
- Supporting open data – the LAM community is keen that resources are available to a wide community of users and contribute as much as possible to the furthering of knowledge
- Simplifying access – there is strong support for systems which help users easily to discover resources and avoid the confusion caused by a multiplicity of disparate datasets
- Communication – to these ends, LAM professionals need accessible language, and clear evidence of the benefit of open data aggregation, aligned with institutional priorities
- Local examples – networks of libraries, museums and archives are already sharing data and developing local solutions to metadata challenges relating to standards, purpose and nomenclature
- High quality aggregation – we need to move beyond small-scale initiatives providing partial answers, which then sit on websites gathering digital dust
- Special Collections as the archives of the future – as more and more published material is available digitally, the role of the library is as custodian of unique collections, so data relating to these collections is an invaluable national resource.
Our thanks to all those who have been involved in this process so far. If you’d like to share your thoughts, aspirations, plans or reservations about these matters in our forthcoming round of interviews, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.