Bilingual (English/Spanish) Metadata Working Group


  • Martha Kapelewski – Special & Area Studies Collection
  • Beatriz Lugo – Resource Description Services
  • Melissa Jerome – Latin American & Caribbean Collection
  • Xiaoli Ma (Advisor) – Resource Description Services


To analyze and discuss Spanish-language authorities, select appropriate preferred terms, and provide a more extensive, current, and broadly applicable Spanish-language authority file that robustly describes UFDC’s Latin American and Caribbean archives.


UFDC and DLOC serve the University of Florida, local communities, and global users. The Latin American and Caribbean Collections hold millions of pages in Spanish that are especially sought after by Spanish speaking users from many nations around the world. To better serve our diverse users and improve accessibility, Digital Support Services has implemented Spanish-language metadata. While doing this work, standardization issues in regards to Spanish-language authorities became evident. Standardization of terminology and metadata creation workflows is vital to ensure discoverability of resources and especially in digital libraries where linkable subject authorities provide a better user experience.  

The bilingual working group proposes: 

  1. Improving standardization to reduce discrepancies with Spanish-language authorities in UFDC and provide a better user experience.   
  1. Expansion: providing up-to-date subject authorities that fully describe UFDC’s Latin American and Caribbean archives.  
  1. Collaboration: both cross departmental and multi-institutional for better examination and richer selection of the vast amount of subject authorities 
  1. Centralization: As of now, the bilingual metadata specialist oftentimes has to search at least four resources to assign Spanish-language topical authorities. When assigning English-language topical authorities, most often LIS specialists only have to search one resource (FAST). Centralization is essential for encouraging librarianship to embrace bilingual (English/Spanish) metadata work because libraries often work with limited human resources so efficiency is essential. 
  1. Automaton: Another component of efficiency is automation. Searching a database of subject authorities is much more efficient than searching a book. Machine-assisted indexing could provide a more automatic method of assigning Spanish-language authorities, once an authority list is created 


The bilingual working group will meet monthly to address methodologies, progress, solutions, and/or any concerns in researching Spanish language authorities.

Description of Responsibilities

  • Researching and ranking resources for selecting preferred Spanish-language authorities 
  • Creating Spanish-language authorities when none are available in and armarc   
  • Selecting preferred terms from the heterogeneity of those listed in and armarc 
  • Creating best practices outlining the best ways for selecting and choosing Spanish-language authorities more efficiently and conveniently 
  • Creating workflows, flow charts, and/or decision trees to implement the most efficient and accurate way to do this in mass 

More Information

Contact Xiaoli Ma at

Strategic Directions

Obtained from UF Libraries Strategic Goals