In this post, we introduce W&M Libraries' new metadata specialist, Emory LaPrade
Name: Emory LaPrade (they/them)
Title: Metadata Specialist
What does your job entail?
I make things findable in the library via the catalog. I look at the aspects about a book that make it distinct from-- or similar to-- other books in the collection. Metadata includes things like the title and the author, but also bigger picture details like what a book, overall, is about. Sometimes what was put in the catalog several years ago is not as useful now, or more information needs to be added to a catalog record. That’s where I come in!
What interests you most about this job?
I love being able to provide access to information - a mountain of books is only useful if we can find what we need in the middle of it! I like to think that I help people find things that are relevant to their pursuits, be they fun, academic, or otherwise. I also love labeling things and talking about why we use the labels that we do, and how that can change with time and context.
What do you hope to accomplish in your first year?
I hope I can make access more equitable to folks who may not see themselves represented as often in the catalog. I want to supplement the influx of diverse materials we are getting with information that will help library users find those materials.
Tell us a little about your work background:
I hail from public libraries-- I started out working the circulation desk as a clerk and a branch manager, then jumped to technical services to do cataloging and acquisitions work. I also played flute in the pit orchestra for a live theater once, which was very fun.
What attracted you to W&M?
So many things! It is beautiful here, and I have lots of family who went here for their undergraduate degrees. I’ve always been attracted to academic settings, because I love to learn, and it was really heartening to see a student body that is ready and willing to dive into difficult, necessary conversations about our diverse experiences as people.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Too much, probably-- I collect shiny rocks, read tarot, go hiking, make clothes, learn about historical construction of said clothes, watch wuxia TV shows and films, read fantasy and sci-fi, and cuddle my three cats.