Archive for January, 2009

Interesting questions and answers from the LITA Town Hall. A few dissenting opinions, and that always makes a discussion lively.

Twitter – #litath09

http://tinyurl.com/d7mdyx

What makes LITA unique inside ALA and the greater library community?

The ability to get actively involved very quickly.
The structure if interest groups is more flexible than other divisions.
We get a lot of practical information that we can apply in our workplace unlike other organizations.
LITA gives us a chance to connect with others doing similar work.
LITA is profoundly affected by what’s happening in the outside world. We have to interpret and apply information on behalf of our organizations.
We tend to generate good, imaginative ideas that get adopted by others.
LITA has a flat and flexible organizational structure.
We tend to be doers and not pontificators.
We tend to be entrepreneurs within ALA.
Many members have an opportunity to get involved.
We are focused on applications/practice rather than theory.
We take delight on not requiring an MLS for everything that we do.

Who else is filling the same role as LITA?

The role – keep people aware of the latest technology and how to use it. Best practices. Provides a community for a wide spectrum of librarians with a technology interest.
NASIG
Code4Lib
OITP
DLF
Digital Humanities
State Library groups – technology section
CNI
Technology vendors and user groups
Smaller groups – Distance learning section – ACRL – DLIG
Technology sections in other ALA divisions
Blogs and websites
OCLC regional institutes and affiliates
There is a lot of overlap between ALA divisions. How does this affect us? How are we reaching out to these other groups?
People come to LITA for mentoring. What are we doing to provide support to people who are new to the IT world?
Moderator question – Going forward, do you think there will be more or fewer groups doing the same thing as LITA? Audience response was unanimously more.

What areas of IT are not being addressed in the library community?

Digital preservations
Creating reusable educational objects
Change/adaptation of traditional tech types
Dealing wit front-end users
Mentoring newer IT people, giving project advice.
Assessment, stewardship of open source projects.
Model and push virtual options for the rest of ALA.
Set skill standards for ILS students.
The library IT department should be providing good project management for other departments.
Where are other libraries in terms of infrastructure? Publics? Rural libraries?
What technologies should we skip at this time?
Green technology initiatives

How do other organizations see LITA?

WebJunction – There is a perception that LITA is more cutting edge.
Opposing view: LITA is stodgy and behind the curve.
Overlapping interests.
LITA is more nimble – can focus on immediacy in programming.
Opposing view – LITA is hampered by ALA rules and can’t always present timely programming.
DLF thinks of LITA as informally allied.
At what point to distinctions between all of these organizations no longer make sense?
Leaders to other ALA divisions.
Some people find LITA a good place to learn things directly related to their jobs.
Others are turning to other organizations like Code4Lib, ASIS&T, and DLF for their training needs.
Other divisions look to LITA members as leaders, but there is a sense that LITA doesn’t always share what they know.
Some people feel that LITA presentations are above the heads of audience members and don’t necessarily give them the nuts-and-bolts tools they need to perform better in their jobs.

How can LITA work with other organizations?

Seek out similar groups within ALA and outside ALA to form partnerships.
LITA should serve as consultants to other divisions.
The economic model of membership encourages competition with other organizations.
Leverage division overlaps.
We live in an age where we like to tell people what we’re doing every minute of the day.

What can LITA learn from peer organizations?

Who? ASIST, ACM
Other organization have do more to encourage virtual participation and learning outside the meeting structure.
Other make better use of virtual committee members.
More virtual outreach to people who can’t attend every meeting.
ACRL has an initiative to reach out to nontraditional members.
Other organizations provide better opportunities for student involvement.
Cooperation across organizations.
Improve and expand marketing. More targeted advertising.
Learn from other organizations how to “work” ALA.
There is a perception that LITA knows all the cool stuff but doesn’t share well with others.
Encourage more transparency of what all divisions do, and point members to the resources that they need.
Divisions should never be in competition with each other.
LITA is often seen as an agent of change.

This is a compilation of links that were posted in the Top Technology Trends live blog during the discussion held Sunday, January 25, 2009.

 

Information on the Trendsters

 

Clifford Lynch

http://www.cni.org/staff/clifford_index.html

 

Karen Coombs

http://www.librarywebchic.net/wordpress/

 

Karen Coyle

http://kcoyle.blogspot.com/index.html

 

Karen Schneider

http://freerangelibrarian.com/

 

Marshall Breeding

http://lib1a.library.vanderbilt.edu/breeding/

 

Roy Tennant

http://roytennant.com/

 

LITA BIGWIG Friendfeed

http://friendfeed.com/rooms/lita-bigwig

 


 

Library of Congress Flickr Commons Final Report

http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/flickr_report_final.pdf

 

Open Street Map

http://openstreetmap.org

 

National Science Digital Library Metadata Registry

http://metadataregistry.org/

 

Photos of Brisbane City Library by Karen Schneider

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kgs/sets/72157609222728130/

 

Top Tech Trends Twitter stream

http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23ttt09

 

Lulu Self-Publishing

http://www.lulu.com/

 

Top Tech Trends on Flickr

http://www.flickr.com/photos/janieh/3225857118/

 

Discussion of the partnership between LibraryThing and Cambridge Information Group

http://www.librarything.com/blog/2009/01/librarything-and-cigthe-deal.php

 

Library Journal article about LibraryThing and Bowker

http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6631420.html?rssid=191

 

Top Tech Trends on TwitPic

http://twitpic.com/1732n

As I listen to people talk in various sessions, it’s clear that many librarians are feeling overwhelmed by the exploding number of Web 2.0 (and other) applications out there. Which ones will “stick”? Which ones will patrons actually use? How steep is the learning curve for staff? Which ones can the library’s budget support? Which ones can the library’s personnel support?

 

Many libraries are still struggling with these questions and just trying to figure out how to get started. While there are a few libraries fortunate enough to have an employee charged with investigating these new technologies, most are not. So where do we start?

 

It strikes me that a good approach is to look for people who already have those skills. Many employees, student employees, or even patrons may already have a good handle on using a certain tool. Find them. Harness their knowledge. Use it to give yourselves a jump start.

 

No one can jump onto and follow every new trend that comes along, but you can find out what your patrons are using. If no one on staff is using it, how about asking the patron for help? Most people really enjoy sharing knowledge, especially when they feel that they are the expert. If we try to tap into patrons’ knowledge, students’ skills, and staff interests, I think we’ll be surprised at the number of services where we already have a built-in knowledgebase.

ALA Midwinter 2009 Trendsters: Marshall Breeding, Karen Coombs, Roy Tennant, Clifford Lynch, Karen Schneider, Karen Coyle

 

Karen Coyle – A lot of what’s happening is not new technology but issues around management of technology

 

Karen Schneider – Recapturing tools creation. 80s-90s – dark ages where other people were creating the tools for us.

 

Clifford Lynch – Flickr commons. Library of Congress and New York Public putting photos online. Some people are looking at ways to re-import this information into their own databases.

 

Question – Is there anything that has been the proof of the pudding that librarians can build and maintain our own tools?

 

Karen Schneider – The test for open-source software seems to be whether it can move past the founding library or founding community. The verdict is still out on whether it can be successful in the long run.

 

Karen Coyle – If software is not allowed to fork in different directions, we’re locked into the same old model where everyone is doing exactly the same thing.

 

Forking (def.) – when a project divides significantly enough so that there is no one thing that people refer to as the core code.

 

Roy Tennant – Flickr Commons – We need to find ways to feed that information back into our systems more easily. Catalogers trying to feed that information back into our systems is not going to scale.

 

Clifford Lynch – People went to Flickr because it was there and it had a user base. What is significant is that it builds bridges between existing stores of knowledge.

 

Clifford Lynch – Widespread markup of biographical and historical narratives.

 

Karen Coyle – With the ubiquity of global positioning, information is going to be more location contextual.

 

Marshall Breeding – It’s going to take a while to get there.

 

Karen Coombs – There is a point at which GPS just isn’t good enough. Users need help finding items even within the building.

 

Clifford Lynch – GPS has largely been used for driving directions or missile strikes. There is a whole set of technologies that can be used to narrow this down much more. Now that GPS is moving ubiquitously into cell phones, we’ll see a second generation of spatial applications.

 

Marshall Breeding – We’re already getting location-targeted information. When we surf the web in a new city, we get location-targeted ads.

 

Karen Coombs – Geographical-based services. Too many locations are looking at IP address or asking users to input a zip code. Systems need to consider that where you are physically doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with your affiliation.

 

Karen Coombs – Google Scholar lets you set institutions with which you are affiliated.

 

Karen Coyle – Open street map for libraries. People are walking around with GPS units and replicating Google street view with an open

 

Roy Tennant – People putting data on the web through stable URIs. We’re looking at putting data out. It will be interesting to see what kind of linkages people make with that data.

 

Marshall Breeding – What are some examples?

 

Roy Tennant – We don’t know yet, and that’s the interesting part. What will people find to do with it?

 

Clifford Lynch – In scientific communities people

 

Roy Tennant – Small slice of a particular discipline.

 

Question from audience – Does the new ORE standard have implications for this?

 

Karen Coyle – Data elements have to be on the web.

 

Clifford Lynch – ORE is really intended to allow to you work with objects or groups of objects rather than the metadata about those objects. It’s built to be consistent with semantic web standards.

 

Karen Coombs – ORE is a good for moving the objects themselves.

 

Karen Coyle – We have the amoeba form of linked data in hypertext. But all we have is a link that doesn’t tell you anything about what it means, and it’s only one-way. How do we get the links to be meaningful?

 

Karen Coombs – We code HTML in the simplest way possible and don’t use it to its full potential.

 

Karen Schneider – I think I’m seeing some controlled burn in libraries due to economic pressures. They’re having to make hard decisions that they would not otherwise have had to make. Public libraries have never had higher traffic but they’ve never had such economic pressures.

 

Karen Coyle – Public libraries circulating 3-4 times their collection every year can make a good argument for RFID. Maybe more difficult for academics.

 

Karen Schneider – If you were opening a new library tomorrow, you’d have to think about RFID and self-checkout.

 

Karen Coyle – Most libraries in study made the switch to RFID when opening a new branch or doing renovation.

 

Karen Coombs – How many ILL requests do people cancel because you have it already or because you don’t loan textbooks. We have to work smarter so we’re

 

Karen Schneider – How about RFID for item location in the stacks.

 

Karen Schneider – One vendor using advanced shipping notices for acquisitions. ASN is used ubiquitously in the commercial book world. Almost unknown in libraries.

 

Marshall Breeding – We’re concerned about processes and our control of material – not just how to fulfill user needs. We need to find a way to get that one-click user satisfaction.

 

Karen Coombs – Books have to go to cataloging and then to shelves or reserve. It would make patrons much happier if it went directly to faculty.

 

Karen Coyle -RFID in public libraries for self-check – much faster. Libraries that have a high level of self-check also circulate a high-level of self-help materials since they don’t have to pass those materials through a staff member. More privacy.

 

Audience comment – No lines for check-out, but longer lines for check-in because the automated technology can’t keep up.

 

Karen Schneider – Brisbane, Australia – Amazing city library that is completely self-check. You can also watch robots check in materials. It takes something mundane and makes it fun and entertaining. Humans are used intelligently for error handling, and let automation do what it does well.

 

Karen Schneider – You don’t want to tie people to routine, mundane tasks when they could be roaming around helping users.

 

Karen Schneider – There is one library that uses a biometric station for patrons who have forgotten their library cards.

 

Karen Coombs – We have think carefully about our processes and apply cost effective solutions. How many times does someone from systems have to work on a malfunctioning piece of hardware before we just replace it.

 

Karen Schneider – Total neglect of getting good bandwidth to the extreme ends of rural areas. Very forward thinking rural libraries that are hampered by limited bandwidth. It’s not a money problem, it’s an end-of-the-road problem.

 

Karen Coombs – Utility companies (cable, cell, etc.) think it’s not cost effective to provide services in some areas.

 

Clifford Lynch – this is a public policy problem.

 

Marshall Breeding – The lack of bandwidth to rural libraries has an impact on how they automate. Can they do resource sharing? Can they participate in consortia?

 

Audience comment – Large new Gates program addressing rural telecommunications.

 

Karen Schneider – That’s wonderful, but it’s going to be a drop in the bucket.

 

Karen Coombs – Technology is like a ravenous puppy running around eating the whole house. If libraries can’t get funding to continuously replace equipment, it quickly goes back to being bad.

 

Marshall Breeding – WiMax is supposed to solve some of the bandwidth problems. It just hasn’t solved the problems.

 

Karen Coombs – Some rural success stories come from municipalities that have partnered to provide higher bandwidth to residents.

 

Karen Coyle – Open and closed models of sharing data. Closed models are easy to understand. Open allows innovation, but it’s harder to understand the business model. I hope we’re beginning to understand the difference in databases and the web as our data platform.

There are a number of people trying to use technology to solve rights questions.

 

Karen Schneider – The death of print publishing. It’s on life support. We’re seeing the death of paper with newspapers and magazines. For those of us who have been publishing in the traditional paper world, this is very serious.

We’re starting to see sensible measurements of the carbon footprint in data centers.

 

Marshall Breeding – I fly only on plug-in hybrid planes!

 

Clifford Lynch – Newspapers seem to be melting down economically

Newspapers have ramifications for community building and community definition. If these move only to the web the question of how they’re archived changes in a radical way. The way people interact with displays is beginning to change. New generations of technology – e-ink, desktops with multiple monitors is commonplace.

Libraries are still locked into single-screen setups.

Recent study about higher ed costs have changed. Argues that all of the cost increases have gone into administration and overhead rather than teaching. The data looks strange because technology is lumped under overhead.

Evidence based studies about how technology enhances teaching and learning.

 

Roy Tennant – I don’t see the book publishing industry melting down.

There are new ways to publish that were not available before.

 

Clifford Lynch – Books – Distribution of what’s being published is changing. Authors are getting different options.

If libraries want to collect books, it’s no longer adequate to just look at what’s coming out of traditional publishing.

 

Karen Schneider – Book publishing is in serious trouble.

 

Roy Tennant – More important to focus on making good technology decisions.

How do we decide when to jump in? How do we decide when to get out?

 

Karen Coombs – What it takes to do true digital preservation – It’s very scary. Collections we rely on that other people curate. I don’t have a lot of confidence.

 

Clifford Lynch – The stuff that is already digital is probably in better shape than other things.

 

Karen Coombs – Some of the smaller journals – if they can’t get their content on the web, then I don’t trust their preservation.

 

Marshall Breeding – I worry about libraries not doing long-term digital preservation. Local libraries don’t necessarily have the resources to do that.

This is not something that every library needs to reinvent. There are a lot of local installations.

Discovery interfaces. Much work is being done on these be-all, end-all solutions. Looking for better ways to expose library collections and services.

An urgency to libraries to prevent a better front end to our users, but we are sluggish about doing it. We’re taking our usual slow-and-cautious, wait until it’s perfect approach.

Taking user-supplied content and improving it through web 2.0 features.

LibraryThing for Libraries being distributed through Bowker.

Open source companies – Open source is getting good, but not great reviews. Maybe some growing pains as software matures.

 

Clifford Lynch – If you’re a smaller scale library (smaller than national or major research)

We need to do a better job on collaborative arrangements, external services that smaller institutions can acquire.

Smaller libraries often simply cannot afford substantial preservation programs on their own. This is an incredibly hard problem because nobody wants to fund this stuff.

 

Marshall Breeding – Is has to be done as a collaborative effort. It’s simply too big and too expensive to be done library by library.

Top Technology Trends just wrapped up a few minutes ago, and this session rocked! The technology worked for us this time, and it really enhanced the session. Live streaming, upcoming podcast, live blogging through Coveritlive, and Twitter input in the blog. Oh, and t he WiFi was happening as well. 😉 As usual, there were are lot of interesting ideas from the trendsters. Check out the live blog from the session at http://tinyurl.com/aoe55u.

 

Part 2 is posted here.

 

Links posted in the blog discussion are posted here.

 

And check out the info from the LITA blog!

Excerpts from OCLC’s presentation. Their full presentation will be posted online after the conference.

 

CONTENTdm 5 will use Webalyzer for reports.

 

CONTENTdm will be added to the FirstSearch Base Package and will include

Full-function CONTENTdm hosted by OCLC

3 Project Clients for collection building (items also may be added with the simple web add form or Connexion digital import)

3,000 item limit and 10 GB storage

Available May 1, 2009

 

Digital Collection Gateway

Improve access and presence for digital collections

Synchronize non-MARC metadata with WorldCat

 

CONTENTdm 5

 

1. Unicode

Full support of Unicode for importing, storing, displaying and searching Unicode languages

OCR support expanded – 184 languages

Supports the creation of ditial collections in any language

 

2. Find Search Engine (used for WorldCat)

Find search engine integrated into CONTENTdm software

More robust capability and the ability to offer additional search features

Relevancy

Faceted searching

Spelling suggestions

Unicode searching

Search in any language

 

3. Controlled Vocabularies

Adds efficiency to colleciton building by providing pre-loaded thesaurifor cataloging

Integration with OCLC Terminologies Service

Providing nine new thesauri for CONTENTdm users

 

4. Reports

More robust, scalable reporting module integrated into software

Provides expanded reports

Views by collection and item

 

5. Flexible workflows

Added more options for approving and indexing items

New batch and subset handling of pending items

One-click approve and index on demand

Scheduling options for approve and index

Background processing

 

6. Registration

New registration process added during installation

One-click sends server information to OCLC

Registered servers called once a month to gather data on usage

 

7. Project Client

New client application replaces old version

New programming language

New, more intuitive interface

Unicode support

More robust

Project Settings Manager – Metadata Templates

Different templates for different file types

Images, JPEG, JPEG2000, TIF

PDF, compound objects, URL, audio, video

Options for generating data from different file types

Images – Colorspace, Bits per sample

PDF – Extracts content from embedded fields (application, author, date modified, date created, etc.)

 

8. File Transfer

Replaced FTP with custom HTTP transfer protocol

Uploading items occurs in the background

Continue working while items are uploaded

Pause process and resume later

 

9. EAD

New import process and display options

Custom metadata mapping

Full text searching

Search term highlighting within EAD

Multiple display veiws

XML web service

Users control metadata mapping and display

 

10. Capacity

Increased capacity throughout application

Supports more collections, items for batch processing, and metadata fields.

Expand metadata schemas to incorporate preservation metadata or more custom fields

Faster batch processing and conversion from existing databases

Genie Powell – Atlas wants to show what is happening with ILLiad 8.0 while it is under development rather than completely finishing the product and then unveiling it to a lot of surprise and disappointment.

http://prometheus.atlas-sys.com/display/illiad8

The current Atlas plan is to have no additional updates between 7.4 and 8. This upgrade is primarily dealing with the ILLiad staff client.

The ILLiad client doesn’t really look like everything on staff computers because it’s running on code that was written twelve years ago. ILLiad 8 will be a complete code rewrite. Atlas is planning the design so that users can run the 7.4 and 8.0 clients side-by-side.

The new code rewrite will give new plug-ins for scanning and database connectivity. The rewrite will also help streamline the amount of time that you have to spend talking to the database. Many of the changes are under-the-hood and not immediately apparent. However, there will be a new look to the client. There will be no database changes in the 8.0 release.

Under ILLiad 8.0 the status list is in alphabetical order at first use. Users can rearrange the list and put it in the order that is meaningful to them. Users can also create their own categories and move certain statuses under that category. This can be done for the entire department or for a single user.

Under the new user interface, the barometer can be removed if a particular user doesn’t want to see that report. There will also be an option for fast user switching: staff can switch between multiple users without having to completely close the client and re-login.

ILLiad 8 is using the ribbon concept adapted from Office 2007. Anything users want to do on a form is available from a ribbon. Search forms will search multiple data fields from a single search box. Search results open in tabs so that users can see multiple search results within a single client.

Staff users can move, rearrange, and rename the layout of elements on the screen. There is also an option to restore the layout to the default settings.

In ILLiad 8 the print option uses the selected Word file, an Excel spreadsheet instead of a DBF file, and it will print directly to the default printer without ever actually opening Word. With the change the chances of you losing the data source in the Word file are practically nil.

Under ILLiad 8 the plan is to put e-mail templates in the database rather than have them exist as separate text files.

Atlas plans to release the ILLiad 8.0 preview in spring 2009.

With the move from 7.3 to 7.4 there will be some small database changes. The new client will run under Windows XP or Vista. Current problems in web reports will be resolved with the 7.4 upgrade.