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Library Linked Data: From Proof of Concept to Action

This presentation gives the senior author's perspective on Library Linked Data in the Cloud, a monograph written with OCLC colleagues Shenghui Wang and Jeff Mixter and published by Morgan and Claypool in 2015.

This book describes OCLC's contributions to the transformation of the Internet from a web of documents to a Web of Data. As many in the library community have acknowledged, the new Web is a growing 'cloud' of interconnected resources that identify the things people want to know about when they approach the Internet with an information need. The linked data paradigm is a promising framework for delivering on this promise that is achieving critical mass just as it has become clear that library standards for resource description are nearing obsolescence. In 2015, the authors of the book reported on the technical details underlying the publication of RDF datasets extracted from MARC bibliographic and authority records in WorldCat, VIAF, FAST, and the Dewey Decimal Classification. Taken together, these resources represent some of the oldest, largest, and most widely used RDF datasets published to date by the library sector. But these projects are only a start, a technical proof of concept. Going forward, the transformation to linked data will encourage librarians extend their focus from legacy conversion to original description, and to create better models of resources not described well in MARC This is an opportunity as well as a challenge.

This presentation gives an update on OCLC's linked data experiments since the book was published nearly two years ago.


Carol Jean Godby is a Senior Research Scientist at OCLC, where she has been responsible for directing projects with a focus on automated content analysis that produce research prototypes, open source software, improvements to national and international standards, and enhancements to OCLC's data architecture. She has a Ph.D. in Linguistics from The Ohio State University. Since 2010, she has been a member of a research and development team at OCLC whose charter is to develop a next-generation data architecture based on the principles of Linked Data.