Finding a Balance for Creative Cataloging

I really appreciated and enjoyed the discussion of how to be creative in metadata creation in the Diao and Hernandez Journal of Library Metadata piece. It drove home the notion that the purpose behind metadata is really aimed at enhancing access to an item, not simply describing it. This is something that was running through my mind earlier today but in relation to archival finding aids. Finding aids shouldn’t just document the archive but should also serve as an access tool for the user. In addressing metadata creation Diao and Hernandez state that “creative cataloging means doing users’ work for users, in advance.” While I agree and support this idea, it also leaves me wondering where exactly is the line drawn? There is no way to predict all the different meanings or uses any individual might extract from an item. Furthermore, getting overly creative and being too detailed could easily lead to bias. It seems to me that how much of the users’ work is done in advance really rides on the philosophy of the particular institution, especially in regards to description vs. access. As with everything, finding a balance is key.


3 thoughts on “Finding a Balance for Creative Cataloging

  1. Pingback: Drawing the line in Creative Cataloging | MetaDamen

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