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Welcome to 23 Linked Data Things! This is a resource designed for those in libraries who want to learn more about linked data principles and explore how linked data can transform the way we think about metadata. This self-paced online learning program provides a structure for investigating linked data projects and getting hands-on experience in creating linked data.

Based on the 23 Things educational project created by Helene Blowers in 2006, each "thing" is a unit that is intended to take less than one hour to complete. A "thing" might include readings, videos, and/or tools to explore, along with an activity designed to encourage critical thinking about lessons learned. This content is oriented toward all library workers who are curious about what linked data means for describing and linking resources in libraries. We expect that solo librarians, LIS students, and paraprofessional staff will find this program especially valuable.

How to Participate

As this is a self-paced program, it is up to you how you wish to participate. You can go in numeric order, or select specific Things that are of most interest to you. Each Thing contains activities, reflective questions, and the option to comment so everyone can learn from each other. Look for the Comments section at the bottom of the page for each Thing. Please note: You will need to sign up with a My Minitex account to use the commenting feature. When registering, if you are not affiliated with an organization, enter in "no organization" or "n/a."

At the end of each Thing, there is an option to claim credit for your participation and receive a certificate. Answer the required questions, enter your name and email, and you will receive an automated email to claim your certificate. Once you complete all 23 Things, you can contact Sara Ring at Minitex to request your completion badge so you can share it with the world. 

If you would like to receive announcements with updates about the program or connect with other participants, register with your name and email address and we’ll add you to the 23 Linked Data Things discussion list. Though we wrapped up publishing the Things in November 2023, we may send occasional announcements as we update the Things. 

About the Program

23 Linked Data Things grew out of Wikidata Book Club, a group of interested staff from several libraries in the Upper Midwest who started meeting monthly to learn more about that resource and how libraries were utilizing it as an on-ramp to linked data creation and experimentation. We author the Things, though we occasionally seek out colleagues who are actively working in a particular area to edit or co-author a Thing. If you need to reach us, contact us at Regular authors include:

  • Greta Bahnemann, Metadata Librarian, Minitex
  • Lizzy Baus, Metadata Librarian, Macalester College
  • Violet Fox, Cataloging and Metadata Librarian, Northwestern University
  • Hsianghui Liu-Spencer, Cataloging & Digital Services Librarian, Carleton College
  • Sara Ring, Continuing Education Librarian, Minitex

Guest authors include:

  • Claudia Berger, Sarah Lawrence College
  • Joe Cera, Berkeley Law Library, University of California, Berkeley
  • Annie Larson, College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University
  • Jackie Rubashkin, Berkeley Law Library, University of California, Berkeley