Metadata is a vital topic in libraries and librarianship, encompassing structured information used for accessing digital resources. The definition of metadata varies but is essentially data about data. It has evolved beyond simply describing metadata schemas and now focuses on topics like interoperability, non-descriptive metadata (administrative and preservation metadata), and the effective application of metadata schemas for user discovery. Interoperability, the ability to seamlessly exchange metadata between systems, is a major concern. Different levels of interoperability are examined, including schema-level, record-level, and repository-level. Challenges to interoperability include variations in standards, collaboration barriers, and costs.Metadata management is discussed in terms of the holistic management of metadata across an entire library. Steps include analyzing metadata requirements, adopting schema, creating metadata content, delivery/access, evaluation, and maintenance. Administrative metadata, which encompasses ownership and production information, is becoming more critical, particularly for electronic resource licensing. Preservation metadata is also gaining importance in ensuring the long-term viability of digital objects.

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