BDS sponsored the first virtual MDG conference which took place between September 7 -11 last year.
Since the call for papers went out before the first national lockdown in March 2020, and the inevitable decision to cancel the traditional conference, the decision was made to hold an online conference. This proved very popular, with nearly 300 registering. It also allowed the Metadata Discovery Group (MDG, formerly CIG, the Cataloguing and Index Group) to hold its conference over 5 days instead of the traditional shorter, real-world format.
The event drew very positive feedback from attendees who found the virtual online framework easy to access and readily open to people from diverse geographical locations.
All the sessions were recorded and remain available on the MDG’s YouTube channel, CILIP Metadata & Discovery Group which states as its aim: “With this channel we want to share our activities and show fellow enthusiasts the wonderful world of metadata and discovery.”
Jenny Wright, Chief Metadata Officer at BDS gave a short talk on metadata standards (https://youtu.be/-5dz9LwEYqk) and she also chaired a session on RDA, (https://youtu.be/SUXn0k4fTE0) the second iteration of which was recently launched. Both events were well attended.
Key issues arising from the sessions were the standard of metadata provided for e-book resources, how best to secure quality metadata provision, and ways in which metadata can be improved using technological rather than manual methods. Speakers over the five days included Gordon Dunsire, RDA Technical Team Liaison Officer, who gave an RDA Update (https://youtu.be/Ad2fZg0wGTM), Alan Danskin of the British Library who outlined British Library plans for the implementation of RDA (https://youtu.be/7O-6pq55euA), while the reclassification of non-Western art at UCL Library was covered by Thomas Meehan (https://youtu.be/Pukdl7NNJkA). The keynote address was given by Violet Fox (https://youtu.be/aZVDj9LV5x8).
The fourth day of the conference concluded with the MDG Group AGM while day 5 was given over to RDA issues.
“The annual MDG conference highlights issues affecting and developing within the field of metadata that are important to BDS as a supplier of metadata, an innovator in the development and application of metadata standards, and as a business that works with metadata every day,” says Lesley Whyte, Managing Director of BDS, “so, we are not only delighted to sponsor the annual MDG conference but we are also deeply engaged with its concerns and the active presence of our Chief Metadata Officer, Jenny Wright, is evidence of this.”
The virtual conference was such a success that next year it is planned to maintain a virtual element to the conference even if, at that point, a physical conference is possible.