By Elliot Williams, TDL DPLA Service Coordinator
Last month, TDL hosted our first Metadata Office Hours event in the TDL Community Slack. A great group of metadata specialists, catalogers, archivists, and students gathered online to talk about all things metadata.
The office hour was part networking, part show-and-tell, and part resource sharing. Because it was the end of the year, I asked folks to share projects or accomplishments they were proud of, and it was wonderful to hear about all of the great things being done. We heard about professional milestones including graduations and new jobs, digitization projects for audiovisual materials and scientific drawings, creation of online learning modules, new metadata documentation (like the Metadata Best Practices for Trans and Gender Diverse Resources), and more.
One of the most exciting things to me was seeing members of the TDL community connect with each other around similar interests. Whether it was discovering a shared interest in multilingual metadata, showing appreciation for the Georgia Library Association’s webinar series, or exchanging stories of grad school experiences, attendees found lots of ways to relate to each other. That’s a big part of what we want these office hours to be – an opportunity for people who work with metadata to connect and build relationships with each other.
This event followed on the heels of the Metadata Support Gathering webinar that I hosted in November. If you want to revisit that event, the slides and a recording are available. In my role supporting TDL’s DPLA aggregation service, I work really intensively with metadata, utilizing the TDL DPLA Metadata Guidelines, and I love having the chance to learn about folks’ challenges and accomplishments in this area. TDL is excited to continue providing opportunities to learn and share all about metadata.
This was our first time hosting a chat like this in the TDL Community Slack. As always, I appreciate our community’s willingness to try something new! Having the discussion in Slack made it feel a little more informal and relaxed than a Zoom meeting, and allowed there to be more simultaneous conversations happening at once. To me, it felt more like a fun reception at a conference – mingling, talking to different people, stepping aside for a quick conversation with someone, then rejoining the main discussion. Only with more emoji reactions. 🙌🎉💯
Another advantage of having office hours in Slack is that the discussion is still accessible after the fact. So if you missed it, you can login to the TDL Community Slack, join the #metadata-office-hours channel, and read the whole conversation. (Messages in the TDL Community Slack are available for 90 days after they are posted.) The TDL Community Slack is open to anyone to join. For more information and a link to join, please see the TDL wiki.
TDL plans on hosting more Metadata Office Hours in the future. If you have ideas for what you would like to see in future office hours, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and sign up for our emails to find out about upcoming events. I also invite you to learn more about Texas Digital Library’s DPLA metadata aggregation service and explore our members’ collections in the Digital Public Library of America. I hope to see you in Slack for our next metadata discussion!