Saturday, September 17, 2005

OAI

This week's exploration took me into the world of OAI-PMH (Open Archive Initiative-Protocol for Metadata Harvesting). What a powerful tool for librarians! I was exploring this topic because I am facilitating the transfer of our metadata to a service provider on Monday. I found a great tutorial that explained the entire concept from the beginning to how to use it. My only question is why didn't any of my teachers in library school mention it? Actually, I think someone mentioned it once, but didn't go into any detail. Maybe they didn't teach it because it's hard to understand theoretically (as with most of technology). It's much easier for me to understand this type of thing if I have hands on practice. Maybe library schools should provide computer-based services for their students to play with, so that we can see how concepts relate to each other, and how they are used, like MARC records, METS, integrated library systems, webpages, databases, OAI files. . . .

The week's effort paid off when I learned about Google Site Maps. They accept OAI files. I can submit the URL to our oai file so that Google can learn about the structure of our website. They say it won't increase the ranking of our site, but it will let them know more about it.

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