August 2, 2021

Roy Tennant About Roy Tennant

Roy Tennant is a Senior Program Officer for OCLC Research. He is the owner of the Web4Lib and XML4Lib electronic discussions, and the creator and editor of Current Cites, a current awareness newsletter published every month since 1990. His books include "Technology in Libraries: Essays in Honor of Anne Grodzins Lipow" (2008), "Managing the Digital Library" (2004), "XML in Libraries" (2002), "Practical HTML: A Self-Paced Tutorial" (1996), and "Crossing the Internet Threshold: An Instructional Handbook" (1993). Roy wrote a monthly column on digital libraries for Library Journal for a decade and has written numerous articles in other professional journals. In 2003, he received the American Library Association's LITA/Library Hi Tech Award for Excellence in Communication for Continuing Education. Follow him on Twitter @rtennant.


  1. This, of course, is what we could have expected when the WWW burst on us with all the abundance of enthusiasm and dearth of critical planning that we have lived with ever since. Of course, format doesn’t matter. Neither, apparently, does consistent metadata, not with Google Scholar being the search engine of choice for academics. We are giving away the kingdom of academic knowledge to tools that have a vested interest in promoting their algorithms over the costly task of doing real metadata work. Sure, is trying to imitate what libraries have done all along, but we now have so many competing voices trying to help us make sense of the mess the information world is in, that there is, indeed, no certainty as to how to proceed.

    All of this would have been fixed by now (yes, even issues with searching using Google Scholar) if the powers that be (whoever they are) really cared a whit about metadata. Instead, we’ve turned our own library systems into the (utterly misnamed) discovery tools that make a mockery of data records. Until we start caring about the power of metadata again, we will continue moving down the path of turning all our valuable information into vast seas of mush.