From the Finnish National Union Catalogue to the National Metadata Repository: The development of MELINDA, the National Metadata Repository for Finnish libraries
The National Metadata Repository will offer a new environment for the production of library metadata and provide a major boost to the bibliographic description process. The joint use of metadata will make it easier to take full advantage of the work carried out by other libraries and will mitigate the need for multiple bibliographic descriptions. The National Metadata Repository will function as a central information resource at the heart of the library system.
The National Metadata Repository will be a joint database for all library sectors in Finland. It will be based on LINDA, the Union Catalogue of Finnish University Libraries, which is maintained by the National Library of Finland. The expansion to cover public libraries and the libraries of universities of applied sciences as well will increase the number of records and diversify the content. The National Metadata Repository for Finnish libraries is not just a technical project, but will substantially change the cataloguing processes in libraries.
The National Metadata Repository contributes to various upcoming changes in cataloguing and description rules and practices, for example, ISBD, FRBR, RDA, vocabularies and ontologies, user-generated metadata and linked open data. It offers the opportunity to develop entirely new web services with new partners by using Web 2.0 technologies and making the most of metadata.
In the near future, the National Metadata Repository's authority file will link Finnish authority records to the Virtual International Authority File (VIAF), which builds on the authority work of national bibliographic agencies.
Currently, the LINDA database contains approximately 5.6 million records. The development of LINDA dates back to the 1970s. Online searching in LINDA was enabled in 1993–1994. The project to expand LINDA into MELINDA started in 2009. The work will require plenty of joint planning, compromises, ideas, inspiration and motivation. The years 2012–2013 are reserved for piloting. In 2015 the National Metadata Repository should be fully functional.
The National Metadata Repository will offer a new working environment for the production of bibliographic data. The National Metadata Repository will rationalise the description process significantly: sharing the metadata makes it easier to utilise work done by other libraries and minimises the need for multiple bibliographic descriptions. Thanks to this cooperation, cataloguing will be faster and the quality of data enhanced.
As a centralised data pool, the National Metadata Repository will be at the core of the next generation library system, which is also being advanced in Finland. The metadata contained in the National Metadata Repository can be presented to users via various public interfaces.
The National Metadata Repository will be administrated and is being developed by the National Library of Finland in close cooperation with participating organisations. This centralised solution brings both cost efficiency and effectiveness in the form of joint server solutions and enhanced data security. The project is funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The organisation responsible for maintaining the technical environment is CSC – IT Center for Science.
The National Archives has recently launched a metadata project called AHAA, and the National Board of Antiquities, together with major museums in Finland, has also started a metadata project, Museum 2015. These new projects indicate the increased importance of metadata.
Information Systems Manager