Making future-proof library content for the Web: metadata-driven workflows & doing things the “right” way


Rurik Thomas Greenall

Slides available at SlideShare


Here, we present an up-to-date model for providing library content that ensures longevity and accessibility through application of standards and best-practices without breaking your back or bank.

The role of libraries as a content provider has changed over time; while the rise of the Web as the major delivery platform has changed the way we acquire and provide content, our working has typically been limited by workflows and thinking from the traditional paper-based world. We argue that traditional systems — designed for content provision via physical media — aren’t players on the Web, backed up by the idea that current criticisms of library “silos” are simple criticism of non-Web-friendly approaches.

We believe that a transition to a web-based world means that several important aspects of the library and the library workflows must be addressed in order to provide means of finding and acquiring content that will work now and in the future. The core of this is learning from current trends in Web programming, including, but not limited to Semantic Web and HTML5, and  also techniques derived from print and graphical industry.

Here, we also present a simple, workable implementation from our institution, which shows how these techniques can be integrated into all layers of the process. Including, but not limited to: data-driven acquisition, metadata-driven processing, content delivery via content negotiation with distributed RDF database architectures to provide data and content just in time in a way that everyone can use (RDFa,, RDF, HTML5).

Rurik Thomas Greenall works at NTNU university library with semantic technologies.


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