Keynote Speakers


Darling, we need to talk


Keynote Abstract:

Gildas Illien

Gildas Illien, Bibliothèque nationale de France

  Like the occupants of a household keeping busy in the kitchen, the laundry room or the garage according to their respective talents and roles, bibliographic experts and digital preservationists have been taking care of the digital house for many years now. Side by side—but not together really. Time has flown since these two decided to move in together to take care of the digital collection. One is convinced that only on the web will today's legacy bibliographic records meet today's and tomorrow's users. From the window, he keeps looking at the cloud and because he smashes the old bibliographic records in smaller elements, he talks about data. The other wants to save the world's digital heritage. In the basement, the safest place he believes, he stores digital files which he also calls data. They've been really busy, each in their field, each in their room, because there was a lot to do and they needed to focus. They were busy sketching new data models, exploring new standards, building repositories, challenging information systems, writing specifications, assessing risks, computing and ingesting their first files, modeling and converting their first records.

But now, or so it seems in many places, the digital collection is no longer expected, as one expects the future. It's actually knocking at the door, massive, manifold, inevitable, with all these users expecting to use it in the library like they do in real life, that is, on the web and in their palm. At the same time, the household has been experiencing serious reductions in its budget. Resources get scarce at this very moment when the guests are coming and the house needs to be robust, staffed and welcoming. Because they love the same things, only from different angles, metadata and preservation experts are doomed to unify their forces to make the reception successful. For what's the point of preserving documents you can't access, of describing documents which risk vanishing tomorrow?

This talk is based on the true story of a librarian who entered the digital house of the National Library of France from the side door of web archiving seven years ago and is now struggling in the basement of the French National Bibliographic Agency where he tries to change the catalogues into linked open data.


Gildas Illien is director of the bibliographical and digital information department at the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF). After 6 years devoted to the implementation of web archiving and digital legal deposit at the BnF, he is now in charge of pushing the Library's metadata and catalogues towards the Linked Open Data environment using the discovery service (winner of the 2013 Stanford Prize for Innovation in Research Libraries). As vice chair of the European Interest Group on RDA (EURIG), he's helping with the promotion and federation of European initiatives to implement the FRBR model and RDA rules in European countries. He has also served as Program Officer and Treasurer of the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC) and promoted international cooperation for software development, advocacy and collection building in the field of web archiving among 40 heritage and research institutions on three continents. A digital curator and qualified librarian (Enssib, Villeurbanne, 2003) with academic background in communications (McGill University, Montreal, 1996) and political science (Sciences Po, Paris, 1993), he has published several articles and book chapters about web archiving, digital heritage and Linked Open Data.

DCMI logo DCMI's work is supported, promoted and improved by « Member organizations » around the world:

The National Library of Finland The National Library of Korea The National Library Board Singapore
Shanghai Library Simmons College GSLIS (US) Information School of the University of Washington
SUB Goettingen Research Center for Knowledge Communities, Tsukuba University Infocom Corporation (Japan)
UNESP (Brazil) Universisty of Edinburgh ZBW (Germany)

DCMI logo DCMI's annual meeting and conference addresses models, technologies and applications of metadata

Join logo
Become a DCMI