UNLV is part of the Mountain West Digital Library and attends regular meetings of Utah Academic Library Consortium's Digitization Committee. Over the years we have greatly benefited from the support, expertise, and inspiration of our colleagues from MWDL organizations and so we were very pleased to give back in recent months with two presentations to this group. Last October we presented, Not Just for Data Geeks: A Practical Approach to Linked Data for Digital Library Managers, a day-long, hands-on workshop on how to transform CONTENTdm metadata into linked data. It was very well received and we followed up with a shorter presentation called, Linked Data for Digital Library Managers at the MWDL Hubs Meeting in March. One of the great outcomes of these two presentations is that we can feel the linked data enthusiasm grow. An isolated idea at UNLV is now connected with a larger group with common interests and linked data is being embraced by the energetic and talented MWDL group, representing several states in the region.
This momentum has resulted in tremendous interest in discussing linked data as a consortium. MWDL members decided to form the Linked Data Interest Group which has a large representative membership and an active agenda of goals and investigations. Another encouraging development has been the interest and engagement of two key digital library leaders. Both OCLC and Digital Public Library of America have been participating in meetings and sharing what their organizations are doing to lead efforts in linked data on a national/international scale.
This truly is a community movement and we are very excited to have more voices to share in the discussions. There are very many interesting questions to consider when looking at linked data in a regional or national digital library context and we are looking forward to exploring these challenges and opportunities as the conversations continue.