Introducing the DLF Metadata Support Group

Written by Julie Hardesty , Anna Neatrour, Bria Parker, and Liz Woolcott.

Metadata can be extremely useful and also amazingly confusing. Even minds prone to the tidiest of organizational thinking can walk themselves in confused circles sorting out description needs, conversions, and metadata standards to use while also ensuring the most effective experience for browsing, discovery, and access. For those new to metadata or new to project management, it can be difficult to figure out what you need to know, where to find good information, and how to even ask questions. Metadata work is always accompanied by hard questions and difficult decisions – it’s not just you.

The Metadata Support Group started informally last year as a lunch session at the 2016 DLF Forum and then as a community on Slack. With over 300 Slack members and channels for linked data, python support, conferences, general questions and conversation and more, we’re thinking it’s time to be more official in offering help. DLF has kindly offered use of their communication infrastructure and regular collaboration sessions at the annual DLF Forum so we can put faces to our collective support! There is no DLF affiliation requirement for anyone participating in the Metadata Support Group, this is literally helping us project our group out there more than we’ve been able to so far. So thank you, DLF!

We are also working on a collection of resources that we’re hoping will prove useful and grow in its usefulness over time. We will begin with the basics of understanding metadata and connecting with others working in this area. As we continue discussing and sharing as a community, we expect these resources to grow but not become overwhelming. Seems contradictory, right? That’s metadata! You can have so many details that it’s both super-helpful and super-overwhelming all at the same time!

Ways to participate:

  • Join the community on Slack to help or be helped – this is the main focus of the group at this time.
  • Contribute to editing the Metadata Support Group wiki for metadata resources (possible migration to other platforms TBD).

Please contact Julie Hardesty (, Anna Neatrour (, Bria Parker (, or Liz Woolcott ( if you are interested or have questions.

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A monthly round-up of news, upcoming working group meetings and events, and CLIR program updates from the Digital Library Federation. See all past Digests here. 

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