CILIP Linked Data Executive Briefing

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Tue, 24th Nov 2015 - 9:00am to 5:00pm

This brand new Executive Briefing on Linked Data brings together experts from across the sector to provide an overview of the issues that library managers and decision-makers should take into account when considering linked data applications.

Topics covered include:

  • The problems of legacy data
  • Publishing local data as linked data
  • Using linked data to improve services
  • The current state of international developments in library linked data

Follow the event on twitter #CILIPLinkedData

The computer technologies behind linked data allow structured information to be published in a way that allows it to be connected to similar data from many other sources. This extends the coverage and depth of the information and makes it easier to share and re-use in a wider range of applications. The development of linked data tools and services started nearly 10 years ago with the idea of the Semantic Web, using linked data to store context and meaning along with the data itself, and exploiting the infrastructure of the World Wide Web to process it at global scale.

Libraries have been creating and using structured data since the early days of the card catalogue, and have a long history of sharing and re-using catalogue data. Libraries are therefore in an excellent position to take advantage of linked data to improve services and reduce costs by using data from external sources. The library sector has been involved in many linked data initiatives, and is now beginning to see the results appear in operational services.

This event is sponsored by:

Bibliographic Data Services logo

BDS supplies linked metadata on English language publications, addressing all modern-day platforms and media. BDS clients include the British Library, UK public libraries, academic and trade bodies. Created to demanding library standards, BDS metadata is accessible through flexible delivery options, including its flagship, web-based resource BDSLive and its z39.50 client, BDZ. Backed by an easy-access multimedia extended content resource that includes images, film, sound clips, biographies, descriptions, internal scans and screen grabs, BDS offers the highest quality, the best value and the richest resource to inform and enhance the library catalogue.


09.15   Registration and refreshments

10.00   Chair's welcome

  • Gordon Dunsire, Independent Consultant & Chair of the Joint Steering Group for Development of RDA

10.10   Key issues in publishing and consuming linked data for libraries

  • This presentation will start with a brief introduction to the basics of linked data. It will identify key issues in the management of identifiers, identities, and change in library linked data and discuss their impact on service quality and authority. It will examine the dichotomies of smart/dumb semantic data, local/global information retrieval systems, and closed/open application worlds, and examine the value proposition that you can have your cake and eat if you think global and act local.
  • Gordon Dunsire, Independent Consultant & Chair of the Joint Steering Group for Development of RDA

10.40   Developing and publishing library linked data: A British Library Perspective

  • The BL was one of the first national libraries to create and offer linked data in 2011 as part of its wider open data strategy. Since that point the organisation has gained considerable experience of the issues involved in the development and maintenance of a sustained linked data service. This presentation describes the background to the BL’s linked data initiative together with the approach taken, techniques used and some lessons learned.
  • Neil Wilson, Head of Collection Metadata Collections, British Library

11.10   Refreshments

11.40   Reality of linked data in libraries

  • Through her experiments at National Library of Scotland, Gill has learned of the opportunities that a linked data approach can offer libraries and how it may address and resolve the challenges of working with legacy formats, out-dated standards, outmoded systems and “un-interoperable” metadata. Gill will outline the challenges as she sees them and share some of the findings from her work in this area. She will also offer practical tips to help libraries prepare for the linked data environment.
  • Gill Hamilton, Digital Access Manager, National Library of Scotland

12.10   Panel discussion

12.30   Lunch and networking

13.30   Pop Band or Historic Fort? How linked open data knows the difference between Bastille and The Bastille 

  • Together with our partners in Jisc and the BUFVC, the BBC is building a Linked Open Data platform which aims to revolutionise the use of digital cultural assets in education. The Research and Education Space indexes and organises collections published as LOD and this session will explain how the platform can both organise your own collection and open it up for outsider collaboration.
  • Richard Leeming, External Relationships Manager, Research and Education Space, BBC

14.00   BIBFRAME as a library linked data standard

  • BIBFRAME is widely seen as a replacement for MARC although it aims to be the foundation for bibliographic description on the web. The talk will look at what BIBFRAME is, what it aspires to be, progress so far, and what BIBFRAME might mean for the future of library cataloguing and metadata.
  • Thomas Meehan, Head of Current Cataloguing, University College London

14.30   Refreshments

15.00   RDA for linked data

  • This presentation will discuss the proposition that RDA is a package of data elements, guidelines, and instructions for creating library and cultural heritage resource metadata that are well-formed according to international models for user-focussed linked data applications. It will describe current plans for developing the RDA Registry and RDA Toolkit for a linked data environment, including support for multiple languages, version control, local vocabularies, and interoperability between FRBR and non-FRBR applications.
  • Gordon Dunsire, Independent Consultant & Chair of the Joint Steering Group for Development of RDA

15.30   Panel discussion

15.50   Chair’s close

  • Gordon Dunsire, Independent Consultant & Chair of the Joint Steering Group for Development of RDA

16.00   Event closes


  • Gordon Dunsire

    Chair of the Joint Steering Group for Development of RDA

    Gordon has 30 years’ experience in academic libraries and 10 years’ in a digital library research unit. He is a member of several IFLA bibliographic standards groups and contributed to the W3C Library Linked Data group. He was the CILIP representative to the JSC before becoming Chair in 2014.

  • Gill Hamilton

    Digital Access Manager

    National Library of Scotland

    Gill Hamilton is Digital Access Manager at National Library of Scotland where she leads on access to the Library’s extensive digitised, licensed, born digital and legal deposit digital collections. Her background and interests are in library systems development, resource discovery, metadata development and open knowledge. Gill is a Europeana Council Member and a Trustee of Wikimedia UK

  • Richard Leeming

    External Relationships Manager

    Research and Education Space, BBC

    Richard is the External Relationship Manager at the Research and Education Space, a partnership between the BBC, Jisc and the BUFVC. RES is an open platform which uses Linked Open Data to index and organise assets from the world's cultural collections including Libraries, Museums, Art galleries and more. RES will provide the foundation for a series of apps, websites and digital products to deliver those assets into schools, universities and any institution where people come to learn - including libraries?

  • Thomas Meehan

    Head of Current Cataloguing

    University College London

    Thomas Meehan has been Head of Current Cataloguing at UCL (University College London) since 2002 and has worked there in various library roles since 1997. He has spoken about linked data, MARC, and BIBFRAME at various events aimed at cataloguers in the UK and Ireland, and he has contributed articles to the CILIP Cataloguing and Indexing Group's journal. He helped to put together the “Linked Data: What Cataloguers Need to Know” events in 2013 and 2015, and the Mashcat cataloguing and technology event in 2012.

  • Neil Wilson

    Head of Collection Metadata Collections

    British Library

    Neil has an MA in Library and Information Studies from University College London and has worked as a cataloguer, systems developer and library manager for over 30 years. Currently he is Head of Collection Metadata at the British Library where he is responsible for the institution’s open metadata strategy. He represents the BL and IFLA on several library standards and book trade supply chain bodies including: BIC, EDItEUR, the RDA Committee of Principals and the ISBN Agency Board


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