For the first time in its history, all five BISG committees are chaired by women, and this week, PW, in cooperation with BISG, is shining a spotlight on these exceptional volunteer chairs. The interviews have been conducted by industry consultant Julie Blattberg and edited by PW.

Today's interview is with Claire Holloway, manager of data management and e-book services at Baker & Taylor Publisher Services. For BTPS, Holloway manages all metadata processes for the distributor arm of B&T. She is chair of BISG's metadata committee.

How did you get into the industry?

I’m proud to say that 2021 marks my 20th year in publishing. When I switched my college major from international business to English, my mom asked how I would ever make a living. I naively replied, “Publishing!”

I started as an intern with Glencoe/McGraw-Hill in Columbus, Ohio, managing the last of the paste-ups for the math textbook division. I then took my newfound love of math and worked for Oxford University Press as an editor for a few years in the U.K.

Then, to make a long story short, when I came back to the U.S., I wanted to stay in Ohio instead of a publishing hub. I applied for a freelance proofreader job with an Ohio printer, Bookmasters, which morphed into my career with BTPS. I’m lucky that I can live where I want to live and work in the industry I love.

What compelled you to volunteer for a BISG committee?

Actually, Brian [O’Leary] reached out to BTPS to see if there was interest in joining a few of the committees. We’re unique in that we have printing and distribution services, so we have a different perspective to offer. I was learning everything I could about ONIX and thought the committee would help me understand what was then a “foreign” language. I can’t remember exactly when I joined as a member of the committee, but I think I stayed silent on the calls for at least a year before I spoke.

What’s your committee working on now?

We’ve been working on the transition to ONIX 3.0 for a number of years, but 2020 has been a real turning point. We’ll continue to work on this into 2021, including updating our recommended best practices. Remember: Well-structured, robust metadata powers discoverability and discoverability powers sales.

What’s next in 2021 for your committee?

Also ONIX-related, we’re planning a Metadata Recipients Summit, to get some consensus among recipients about how they’re using the data that’s sent to them. We’re hoping to ease the misunderstandings between a data sender’s intention with their data and a recipient’s use of that data.

And we’ve begun a conversation about how metadata can play a role in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion throughout publishing. That will continue in 2021.

Thinking about your work with BISG, what are you most proud of?

I was part of a metadata committee working group which helped to map ONIX to the Library of Congress’ CIP process. Doing work that strengthened the connection between the publishing industry and the LOC made me proud! It also directly influenced my decision to go back to school and pursue my Master’s of Library and Information Science degree from Kent State University. I’m two semesters from graduation, and I honestly use what I’ve learned in my courses every single day.

Personally and/or professionally, what have you gotten out of volunteering with BISG?

In addition to spurring me to work toward my MLIS degree, being part of BISG has given me a network. Data people are generally working behind the scenes and don’t really travel much. (Well, no one does now...) So, getting to connect with other professionals in my part of the industry has been so validating to where I’m going with my career and how I’m trying to lead within my company.