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Taxonomy Change Management in Chicago

August 14, 2012

Last month I paid a whirlwind visit to Chicago — swam in Lake Michigan, toured the Roy Lichtenstein retrospective at the Art Institute, had a couple pints of Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale with a friend I hadn’t seen in sixteen years, and presented at a session on taxonomy change management at SLA’s 2012 Annual Meeting.

This presentation is actually one I’ve wanted to do since I was still in my taxonomy salad days.  So much of professional development in the field is focused on the run-up to taxonomy initiatives — choosing platforms, tools, and vendors — as well as the theoretical underpinnings of structured information.  While this is all very nice, my old team and I were perpetually frustrated by sitting through webinars which didn’t reflect or enhance our own day-to-day experience of maintaining and managing taxonomies already in flight.  Our team lead challenged us to stop bitching and do our own webinar, so I finally got around to that.  And to think it only took four years.

Thanks to my copresenter, Fran Alexander, whose case study of managing controlled vocabularies for the BBC Archives was mind-blowing by virtue of the extent of the work she and her team have taken on.  Thanks, too, to all the taxonomy peeps at SLA who chatted up and live-tweeted our session.  Despite being held at 8 am on the last day of the conference, the program got good advance buzz and we had a full house.  Clearly, people care about change management!



If you missed the session, fear not — you may have another chance.  Plans are in the works to present an abbreviated session to groups in both New York and Boston this fall, so stay tuned!

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