Linked Data in the library: an introduction

OCLC Research have recently produced an introductory video to linked data for libraries. With a running time of about 15 minutes, it’s a concise introduction all of the key concepts and why these things should matter to libraries (and even uses the BBC Nature website as an example).

Another great introduction to this subject is Owen Stephens’ introduction to Linked Data blog post.

Linked Data is a pretty amorphous term that is sometimes used alongside if not interchangeably with open data, big data, semantic web and other behemoths of the new information order. It’s something that can be (relatively) easy  to accept as a concept without digging too deep into the practical applications.

It wasn’t too long ago that OCLC announced they were adding linked data to WorldCat by applying mark-up to their records. And if you’re interested in other real-world examples, there’s also slides available from the recent IFLA roundtable discussion about Linked Open Data at the British Library.

A current US  project is looking specifically at training for Linked Data in a higher education context but I’m not aware of any formal Linked Data training in the UK and library and information studies programmes haven’t really delved into this area. Admittedly, this is based on a quick perusal of Information Management course curricula so please correct me if I’m wrong.

Let’s face it, there’s a *lot* of data held and managed by libraries and demonstrating the value of this data to our users (and our funders!) is increasingly important. Linked (and open) data adoption is key to publishing data in reusable ways and promoting library data more widely.

Mashed Library events: ‘Liver and Mash’ and OCLC Mashathon 13-14th May 2010

Booking is now open for the Mashed Library UK 2010 event to in Liverpool, Liver and Mash, but be quick as there aren’t many places left. There will also be a WorldCat Mashathon UK held on the 13th. This will focus on the Worldcat Search API and other OCLC Web Services.  Check out the Mashed Library 2010 website for more details of this two day mash-up extravaganza.