Aldis Book Club
A curated selection of great books, hand-picked by our master librarians. Click the titles in the description to view the book on Amazon.
Auerbach Publications (2022)
Respected DAM consultant and regular speaker with Henry Stewart Events John Horodyski recently published this primer on metadata, and it might be one of the easiest to engage with on the market. It’s written in a wonderfully conversational way yet makes even some of the more complex topics a breeze to understand. Going beyond the basics, the author also delves into how metadata intersects with the user experience, the realistic capabilities of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning services, building a metadata strategy for maintaining and growing your system in the long run. The cherry on top? Besides being an informative book, the number of anecdotal examples, stories taken from his own life (being reconnected with a misplaced suitcase byway of the metadata on his luggage tag, for instance), and witty asides make it a legitimately fun read.
MIT Press (2015)
A true pocket-sized resource, this book can be a useful primer on all the metadata basics if you’re new to working with the concept. Though half the side of an iPad, with this accessibly written text you’ll still gain a workable understanding of three main categories of metadata (descriptive, administrative, and use/rights). Following the basics, the author then delves into some interesting examples of how metadata can be functional between systems with a peek at the RDF and DCMI Abstract data models, the Semantic Web, and the future of metadata.
Digital and Marketing Asset Management
Digital Reality Checks (2016)
Written by DAM rockstar and regular speaker at Henry Stewart Events Theresa Regli, this book is THE primer for Digital Asset Management. Whether you’re new to DAM, have a role in your organization to be champion—or at least understand—the DAM program without necessarily being involved in the day-to-day, to those managing the systems in play, there’s at least one chapter in this book for you. Besides covering the basics of what DAM is, the author also covers the business case aspect, comparing DAM technologies, and strategic considerations when choosing your platforms and deploying/renovating your DAM systems. It might feel a little denser a read than others on this list, but the amount of information to be mined is great.
The Accidental Taxonomist
Information Today, inc. (2016)
Did you get hired to manage a DAM program without a library, archives, or metadata background and feel stuck trying to navigate building quality metadata and controlled vocabularies? This book was written exactly for people like you. The author starts off with a solid primer on the topics, then dive deeper into the school of taxonomy than other books on this list provide, covering subjects like human vs machine taxonomies, displays for taxonomies, and what it’s like working as a taxonomist. Not tired of the “T” word yet? Then consider this book something for your reading list.
Metadata for Digital Collections
Steven Jack Miller
ALA Neal-Schurman (2022)
This isn’t a metadata book for the faint of heart because it’s an outright textbook on the subject—as in used in Master of Library and Information Sciences programs. The layout is wonderfully technical (if that’s your jam), but the text itself is written very easy to understand with tons of tables and snippets of XML as examples. Its geared more at those planning on working in a more traditional library environment, but there’s still a lot that can be put to work in other types of organizations: the basics of describing a resource/asset/file, the Dublin Core framework, controlled vocabularies and the relationships between, and XML-encoded metadata. If you didn’t go to school for DAM work but suddenly have a metadata-central role, this is a deep-dive book, but well worth making it through.
Metadata for Content Management
CreateSpace Independent Publishing (2016)
If you’re new to working with taxonomies but need a functional primer, this would be a great book to start with. In its modest 180 pages, the author does an excellent job of defining the practice of taxonomy (organizing terms), provides a range of examples, and walks through both creating controlled vocabularies from scratch, editing existing ones for local needs, thinking through synonyms and localization challenges, and the workflow of eventually tagging content. While the topic is more niche than others on this book list, it’s still easy to pick out without—and in fact written for—people without an existing and deep understanding of taxonomy and metadata work and provides an accessibly formal but not textbook-style read.