Today I participated in a Linked Data Unconference at ALA 2010 in Washington DC, which was remarkably successful. Organized by Corey Harper from NYU and ably moderated by Karen Coyle, about 50 of us held two sets of three hour-long, highly engaging breakout discussions with reports back to the larger group. I participated in a discussion of some of the practical difficulties encountered trying to implement Application Profiles in a far from perfect Linked Data environment (I strongly recommended creating a local mirror of inadequately expressed in RDFS/OWL, but otherwise useful, data models) and a discussion of scholarly Linked Data use cases and data reuse (we looked hard at VIVO and VIAF and discussed metering data usage). It was fun! I was surprised.

Afterwards a few of us had a fine lunch together, discussing the nuts and bolts of RDA and the future of cataloging, a lively and fascinating discussion in the best possible sense of ‘lively’ and ‘fascinating’. It strikes me in retrospect that we formed a kind of curmudgeon’s table — Diane Hillmann, Corey Harper, Eric Hellman, Ed Summers, Karen Coyle, and me. All of us sharing strong opinions, agreeing and disagreeing whole-heartedly and with considerable good humor and affection. A table of warm and engaged people, knowing that it’s too late to save the world, maybe too late to save cataloging, but it would still be really interesting to try. It was great fun. I wasn’t the least bit surprised.

By Jon, June 25, 2010, 6:03 pm (UTC-5)

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