As a profession, librarians are already seeing the ways in which automation is challenging traditional methods of cataloging and raising questions about the future of manual cataloging work. Workflows for metadata creation—from the most basic to those involving data scraping, harvesting from APIs, and data migration and manipulation—indicate a shift from a cataloger’s traditional role of metadata creation to technologically-oriented metadata harvesting and management. Additional new technologies, like deep learning computation, are beginning to address the call for automated metadata creation for visual resources, reinforcing this shift and creating new opportunities for innovative workflows and description. New technologies have the potential to profoundly impact the ways that libraries ready themselves and their data for the semantic-web environment and redefine cataloging work moving forward. Will these further automation advances really change the role of the metadata librarian? This article argues that the continued escalation of automation and linked data in the semantic web will only be a continuation of metadata librarians’ current technological skills and commitment to data quality control.

Peer Reviewed