Check out Alexander Johannesen's post: On identity. Johannesen is a technologist who has experience working in a library. Here he shares his vision of how library cataloging could be done in the future:
Let me exemplify with how I would like to see future library cataloging being done ;
I have a resource of sorts at hand, it could be a book or a link or a CD or something. Doesn't matter, but for the example it's written by Frank Herbert, apparently, and is called "Dune Genesis." It's an eBook. I pop "Frank Herbert" into a textbox of sorts, the system automatically does some searching, and finds 5 URIs that match that name. One of those URIs are WikiPedia and another is The Library of Congress. That means LoC has verified that whatever explain the subject of "Frank Herbert" is at the URI at WikiPedia, and that there is a reasonable equality between the two; one WikiPedia page, one authority record at LoC. The other URIs more or less confirm it (and this speaks to trust and government) I choose to accept the LoC URI as a author subject URI. Nothing more needs to be entered, no dates, no names, no nothing. Just one URI.
Now I pop the name "Dune Genesis" into by tool, and it does its magic, but it return only a WikiPedia URI, and because it's tradition not to "trust" WikiPedia it means I have a "new" record I need to catalog. However, the WikiPedia URI contains RDFa, so my tool asks if I want to try and auto-populate meta data, and I choose yes. Fields gets populated, and I go over them, controlling that they are good, add some, edit some, delete some, and hit save.
Two things now happen; the system automatically create an URI for me, a subject identity URI that if resolve will point to a page somewhere on our webserver with our meta data. That URI is fed back into whatever loop that tool uses for federated URIs, it could be library custom-made (see EATS below, or look to the brilliantwww.subj3ct.com website for federated identity management) or something as simple as Google (for example, I use Ontopedia a lot, so if I do do "Alexander Johannesen Ontopedia", I will get as a first result a page representing an URI I can use for talking about me). This creates a dual system of identity, one for the subject, one for the meta data about the book, both using the same URI.
Do you dig it? Can you see it? Can you see the library world slowly using such a simple mechanism for totally ruling the meta data and identity management boulevard, or what? I pointed to Conal Tuohy's EATS system. Make him give it to you, collaborate to make this just work, open-source and make make it a tool for librarians to automatically create, use, harvest and share identities and resources using the same URIs, and you've got what you need.