- There are surprisingly few standard data structures in play in public libraries
- Different management systems hold data in different ways
- Even if the data has the same structure a different suite of descriptive labels may be in use
- An organisation might not feel the need to record the data at all
- The quality — or not — of the data may not be a priority so elements may be missing
- Naming conventions, etc. may change over time without retroactive conversion, leading to internal inconsistency
- The data may still be on bits of paper
Having said that there are some key data that are generally common to all, though variable in detail. I'll have a look at those over the next few posts.