Personal librarians -- do they exist yet?
May 16, 2011 10:27 AM   Subscribe

Hire someone to help organize my digital library metadata?

I've got a huge music library built over years of cd conversion and purchasing from most services that have existed, and the same has started happening with ebooks (lots of gutenberg, baen and o'reilly, pragmatic programmers and the like).

I'd like to get all of this media organized, but I just don't have the time. Has anyone had success hiring someone to do metadata management? I'm not sure where to go to look for someone who would be well suited to such a task.
posted by heliostatic to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This sounds like a good candidate for one of MetaFilter's large librarian contingent. MetaFilter Jobs, perhaps?
posted by booknerd at 10:32 AM on May 16, 2011

You probably want to create a scope of work that explains exactly

- what the state of the content is now [what you have, what metadata you have, what metadata you are looking for, whether you use a tool like itunes to organize it currently]
- what you are looking to get back [files with metadata? the whole shebang sorted into folders? the whole thing organized within a software program or on a device?]

It is the sort of thing you could hire someone with library-type experience [not limited to librarians of course] to do for you though you'd have to decide to do this yourself moving forward.
posted by jessamyn at 10:44 AM on May 16, 2011

Response by poster: @jessamyn excellent points.

The collection today is pretty hairy. A mix of metadata is present on most items. Some things are organized into folders, others are not. There may be duplicates. File formats run the gamut.

For the books, I'd like to have a single Calibre library with author, title, publication year, cover image, and order in series (when applicable). I'd like to get the entire library sorted and returned, sorted into folders, and with the Calibre library file.

As for ongoing work, it's not that the current project is beyond my skill set (otherwise they'll probably want my info-sys master's back), just beyond what my schedule currently allows.

Is MeFi Jobs the best place to post this kind of work item? And what seems like reasonable pay? Many thanks.
posted by heliostatic at 11:10 AM on May 16, 2011

You want to use some online freelancer type thing like oDesk really - why pay librarian rates when this isn't exactly taxing work? Make sure you get them to test with a sample first before hiring someone for the whole job. I've been meaning to do something like this for years too but never worked out how to do it for multi-TiB video/music collections over the internet. Perhaps another option is hiring a local high-school kid over the summer? It would require some training but shouldn't be difficult.
posted by turkeyphant at 3:14 PM on May 16, 2011

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