Book Review: Coding with XML for Efficiencies in Cataloging and Metadata

Lisa Lorenzo


Written as a follow-up to an Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) pre-conference held during the 2015 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference, Coding with XML for Efficiencies in Cataloging and Metadata is an excellent introduction to the potential of Extensible Markup Language (XML) and related technologies in creating efficiencies in library cataloging and metadata work. As stated in the volume’s introduction, this guide will be most useful to those with some familiarity with XML or Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). However, this is not a requirement as the first chapter introduces XML in a way that will bring most newcomers up to speed. Catalogers will likely benefit most from this volume given that the majority of examples involve MARC 21 bibliographic data. However, metadata managers more broadly will also find value here, particularly in sections on XML Schema Definition Language (XSD), Extensible Stylesheet Language for Transformation (XSLT), XPath, and XQuery. Coding with XML does not purport to be a comprehensive reference for all XML work in libraries, but more of “a tutorial on its subject” (3). This is certainly true—each section provides an approachable and thorough introduction to a particular technology rather than an exhaustive list of features. There is also a useful list of resources at the end of the book for readers who want more information and more in-depth examples.

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