Linked Data Workshop

Not Just for Data Geeks: A Practical Approach to Linked Data for Digital Library Managers
Instructors: Silvia Southwick and Cory Lampert, UNLV University Libraries
Date: Wed., October 9, 2013, 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Location: J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City

Printable flyer (PDF)

As digital library managers, we know our collections contain rich metadata, but data (or metadata) are encapsulated in these records and are accessible to users only when records containing them are retrieved in a search. This approach for managing data, although a common practice that extends far beyond digital collections, creates silos of data. Data associated with records is isolated and does not directly link to related data existing in other records. These silos hide valuable relationships among data, leaving to users the task of discovering these hidden connections.

Join other digital library managers at this workshop designed to provide you with key concepts to understand Linked Data and a selection of hands-on activities and demonstrations that will show step-by-step exactly how CONTENTdm metadata can be transformed into linked data. The workshop will also provide a forum for us to discuss how Linked Data will impact our guiding principles, best practices, and local workflows. This workshop is geared toward beginners – not just data geeks – and is designed for curious exploration and active learning in a welcoming environment.

The Linked Data movement has gained momentum and it is not too early for us to start thinking about how this paradigm shift, akin to the transition from card catalogs to online catalogs, will affect discovery of our collections and our future workflows. How will we contribute our resources to the Linked Data Cloud where digital library data can be created locally and linked to existing data accessible globally? The movement is already being embraced by key organizations in the library field and the resources already exist to help us experiment with transitioning our collections.


The workshop was filled by September 30 with MWDL partners' registrations.

Travel and hotel information is also available.

Workshop Outline

  • Overview of Linked Data and benefits
  • Linked Data building blocks
  • Vocabularies
  • Data Model
  • Mapping Activity
  • Overview of UNLV Linked Data Project
  • Working with technologies to transform records into Linked Data
  • Discussions


-8:30 Refreshments and introductions, Faculty Center, Level 1
-9:00 Morning training session begins, Room 1705F, Level 1
-12:00 Lunch, Faculty Center, Level 1
-1:00 Afternoon hands-on training session begins, Staff Training Lab, Level 5
-4:00 Adjourn

Workshop Preparations

What to Bring

Please print out and bring with you, two or three printed metadata records from your collections. Just navigate to one of your online collections, select a record (preferably a single item not compound object) and print the screen.
Here is an example of a record from UNLV's collections and from the Arizona Memory Project.

Background Videos to Watch

Other Resources

Post Workshop Survey

Workshop participants' comments were very positive about the first in-person workshop offered my MWDL. Comments include:

"Well done, UNLV!"
"Thank you. It was awesome!"
"I was very impressed with the knowledge, experience, and initiative of the instructors."
"Presenters were very prepared, did a good job with a difficult topic." "Good job by everyone. This is a great introduction."
"Thank you, Silvia and Cory! This was a very practical workshop!" "Presenters and workshop were great -- I hope this is done again." "Thanks for a great opportunity!"

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