indices created from full text
Is metadata still needed?
Does metadata have to be a human production
or can it be emerged by computers
thru statistical analysis?
or a mix of the two?
unit of information goes from book of pages,
to journals of articles,
to webs of hyperlinked pages,
to networks of relational assertions
Can library technologies and
skill set still be useful across all such
networks of relational assertions
(a.k.a. a web of data)
small pieces of information
related to one another
can be mixed and queried symbolically
~ Act III ~
where we save the day by applying the
wisdom of the past to an uncertain future
despite the obvious advantages, and
immediate shortcomings, electronic
publishing retains many long term
storing bits is not the same
as preserving information
lossy format conversions
Librarians have unique skills
and afﬁnity for such problems.
Low marginal cost is not the same as low cost
Accessibility is not the same as access
Libraries, by deﬁnition, remain
a key institution in bridging these gaps
Library metadata is just another form of
low granular relational data.
Librarians naturally understand
the value of modeling data.
Statistical emergence of metadata can
only go so far without human common sense,
help will be needed.
Different data models for similar data
will emerge and will evolve.
Integration between different schemas
requires speciﬁc skills and abilities, very close
to the current set of librarians skills.
Vandalism, defacing, spamming or general abuse
are all negative sides of the low marginal
cost ecology of information.
Fighting the degradation of signal/noise
ratio in such ecology is another area where
librarians’ expertise will be highly valued.
How do we distinguish between
high quality data vs. low quality data?
How do we increase quality without
reducing diversity of opinion or
capacity of adaptation?
How do we distinguish truth
from opinion and from deception?
How do we construct the new information
ecology so that people are allowed to disagree
yet without exploding in another tower of Babel?