Content and Context

How to Cite

Li, M., Seneca, T., & Keller Young, M. (2022). Content and Context: A Case Study of Cross-departmental Metadata Collaboration. International Journal of Librarianship, 7(1), 127–148.
Received 2022-03-01
Accepted 2022-07-01
Published 2022-07-18


This paper demonstrates how taking differences in end user behavior and differing interdepartmental perspectives on metadata into account can strengthen the digital object workflow to serve a greater variety of users. The University of Illinois Chicago University Library has successfully collaborated on metadata initiatives since establishing a cross-departmental Metadata Working Group. The article examines the perspectives of archivists, digital librarians, and catalogers on digital object metadata. It outlines the workflow established to enable each of these stakeholders to contribute their unique strengths to metadata and considers how bringing those strengths together serves different end user groups. It presents two examples of this workflow in action and considers the next steps for improving that workflow. Future efforts to strengthen the content/context balance of metadata are discussed in three areas: aggregated digitization and description, technology enhancements, and moving from a linear to a circular workflow model.


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