At 09:14 AM 3/26/2002 -0500, you wrote:

>I think we're working on parallel courses. At MATRIX, we've been
>investigating and implementing OAIS for about a year now. We're certainly
>planning on using METS in various Information Package roles, so we'd be very
>interested in participating in the development of a METS Best Practices. Our
>projects tend to be distributed across several countries, with partners of
>various backgrounds and training, and we would be both eager and pleased to
>share practices as they develop. We have a pressing need for such a guide as
>well as an interest in helping to develop it.
>So I find myself echoing Nancy - I'll volunteer us to work with the
>community on developing a guide, but how do we go about coordinating a
>working group?

I'm somewhat concerned that we don't get too far ahead of ourselves here.
I definitely agree that it would be a good thing for people in the community
to start exchanging information on local practices with regards to implementing
METS, but we are still in a phase which I can only characterize as
and R&D with regards to using METS for practical work.  I think we don't really
have enough experience with METS at this point to define what 'Best'
practices with
a capital 'B' might be.

This is not to say that I think such a document is a bad idea; I just don't see
us as quite ready to declare definitively what best practices are.  As a step
towards getting there, I think it would be an excellent idea for
institutions which
are using METS in their local systems and who are willing to provide some
documentation regarding local METS practices to write up a document describing
their local practices and send it to Morgan for including on the METS website.
When those documents are available for the community to review, I think
we can start looking at what people are doing similarly/differently and start
making more informed recommendations about best practices.

It might help if we're all documenting the same thing, however, so at the
risk of shamelessly abusing whatever miniscule amount of authority I
possess, I volunteer Guenter, Nancy, Scott, Bartek and Morgan to confer
together off-list on the question of 'What do you really want to know about
what other people are doing with METS?' and come back to the listserv
with suggestions for people drafting local practice guidelines for posting on
the METS website.

Does this sound like a reasonable plan?  Or should I have had that
second cup of coffee this morning?

Jerome McDonough
Digital Library Development Team Leader
Elmer Bobst Library, New York University
70 Washington Square South, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10012
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(212) 998-2425