Archive for the ‘library’ Category

As always, the Top Tech Trends discussion was lively, and people contributed a lot of information to the live blog via links. Here is a compilation of links from the live chat in chronological order. In some cases, if it didn’t appear that the link went to the correct place, I tried to track down the site that I thought the user meant. I’ve also supplemented with a few links about the panelists.

 

To view the full live blog and Twitter coverage from top Tech Trends, visit the LITA blog.

 

Amanda Etches-Johnson

Blog without a Library

http://twitter.com/etches

 

Jason Griffey

Jason Griffey dot Net

Pattern Recognition

http://www.twitter.com/griffey

 

Joe Murphy

http://twitter.com/libraryfuture

 

Lauren Pressley

Lauren’s Library Blog

http://twitter.com/laurenpressley

 

David Walker

David Walker’s Website

 

LITA Blog

http://litablog.org/

 

Top Tech Trends Midwinter 2010 on Ustream

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/midwinter-2010-discussion-group

 

Baylor University – Library Resources for Mobile Devices

http://researchguides.baylor.edu/library_resources_mobile_devices

 

Usabilla

http://usabilla.com/

 

CrazyEgg

http://crazyegg.com/

 

Top Tech Trends Twitter Stream

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

 

FourSquare

http://foursquare.com/

 

Horizon Project

http://www.nmc.org/horizon

 

2010 Horizon Report – web

http://wp.nmc.org/horizon2010/

 

2010 Horizon Report – PDF

http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2010-Horizon-Report.pdf

 

Augmented Reality Example for Android

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b64_16K2e08

 

Harper County Public Library Mobile App

http://www.hcplonline.info/hcplmobile/

 

National Library of Medicine Mobile Apps

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mobile/

 

Copia: a social, e-reading experience

http://www.thecopia.com/

 

LibraryThing iPhone App

http://www.librarything.com/blog/2010/01/local-books-iphone-application.php

 

Blio – free eReader software

http://blioreader.com/

 

Article: Singularity Proponent Ray Kurzweil Reinvents the Book, Again

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/12/blio-ray-kurzweil-book/

 

Smell of Books

http://smellofbooks.com/

 

Article: The Strange Case of Academic Libraries and E-Books Nobody Reads

http://www.teleread.org/2010/01/07/the-strange-case-of-academic-libraries-and-e-books-nobody-reads/

 

Article: New Study Documents Epidemic of Online Book Piracy

http://www.publishers.org/main/PressCenter/Archicves/2010_January/EpidemicofOnlineBookPiracy.htm

 

Online Review Form for Top Tech Trends Session

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/F5R7W7V

 

Other Top Tech Trends writeups from around the net.

 

Library Journal: ALA 2010 Midwinter Meeting: Top Tech Trends Panel Focuses on End Users and Ebooks

 

Market Intelligence for Librarians: Top Tech Trends from ALA’s Midwinter Meeting

 

Library Journal: ALA 2010 Midwinter Meeting: LITA Reboots Top Tech Trends Panel

 

Krafty Librarian: LITA Top Technology Trends

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This time around LITA’s Top Tech Trends featured an entirely new set of speakers who had never appeared on this panel before.

 

AMANDA ETCHES-JOHNSON

User Experience Librarian

McMaster University

 

JASON GRIFFEY

Head of Library Information Technology

University of Tennessee, Chattanooga

 

JOE MURPHY

Science Librarian

Yale University

 

LAUREN PRESSLEY

Instructional Design Librarian

Wake Forest University

 

DAVID WALKER

Web Services Librarian

California State University System

 

The discussion was moderated by Top Tech Trends chair, Gregg Silvis.

 

To view the live blog transcript from Top Tech Trends – ALA Midwinter 2010, visit

http://litablog.org/2010/01/alamwttt/.

 

David Walker

We need a mega-search that goes beyond Google Scholar and takes advantage of link resolvers – a sort of next-gen federated search.  – working to craft something that is unique to your library.

How do you give access to hundreds of databases that libraries subscribe to?

As more content is brought together, new systems will provide greater/better access.

Any tool that addresses a fundamental problem for libraries will  have great penetration.

Because data lives in silos, searching means going to silos. RSS feeds means going to silos. How do we get  a unified mobile interface?

Vendors are currently engaged in a numbers race. Who has the most journals? Who has the most content?

We need to be able to pull data out of vendor silos and bring it together in a single service. Once we do that, we can add services on top of a single data stream.

Why aren’t library consortia coming together to build their own discovery systems rather than leaving this to the vendors?

 

Are libraries giving up more control to the cloud?

 

Amanda Etches-Johnson – Some institutions don’t have federated search! What improvements will we see from it?

 

David Walker – Federated searches level the playing field. It creates a better search, allows faceted browsing.

 

Amanda Etches Johnson – 2009 buzzwords: user experience. One of the problems is that no one can agree on what it means.

In the user experience design world, people are talking about how it makes users feel.

Mobile interfaces are stripped down. You don’t have time, bandwidth, or real estate for fancy design.

Users are seeking out mobile interfaces – not just on mobile devices, but also on regular screens.  Need for speed!

What we do for mobile devices is really going to impact web design and what we do for large-screen formatting.

Automated usability testing is up and coming. Subscription-based options for doing usability, but this doesn’t replace usability professionals! Check out http://usabilla.com/.

Who is responsible for developing the user interface experience? Does the vendor do it? Does each institution do it?

 

An interesting thought emerged from discussions around the table and from audience-submitted comments. How exactly do we measure the user experience? User experience quality is hard to measure, but we still need to be having the conversations. It was noted that currently most user experience research is coming from outside libraries.

 

Lauren Pressley – Different types of groups expect different things from us.

 

Jason Griffey – Currently building a new library at UT Chattanooga. They’ve spent a lot of time thinking about physical usability and overall usability of the structure.

 

How do you pair this with online usability and user experience across services? Twitterer memclaughlin notes that website design should connect with physical library design.

 

Amanda – Literature talks about how to develop a more holistic approach. Be cognizant that there are other elements to consider.

 

Joe Murphy – We have recently seen near-universal mobile adoption from all patron groups.

The changes are coming from user expectations. Small downloadable apps for smartphones.

SMS is the oldest, strongest, and most flexible mobile app. It’s more than just a communication tool. It’s also a research tool.

Use of SMS for reference has really taken off, but just because it’s a new environment doesn’t mean that it changes core values of reference and libraries.

For some users, the only reason that print is relevant is when it’s not available electronically.

Mobile technology is changing our opinions about what is acceptable in libraries. Do our libraries even have the cell phone signal strength to support the technology?

Location-based gaming is up and coming. How do we manage it, and how do we leverage it? There can be rewards for using location-based services such as waiving fines or other, less traditional options.

Twitter became a standard in 2009. Now that it’s a standard libraries are reacting to it in a different way. It’s a platform for services. Some user groups may never use Twitter, but that shouldn’t stop us from using it to engage other groups.

The ability to be continually flexible is very demanding!

Mobile technology does not change the soul of libraries.

 

David Walker – What do smaller libraries do? What should they be focusing on?

Joe Murphy – If we spend more time prepping for technologies and services, what suffers? How do we balance serving our multiple constituencies?

We have to figure out the priorities for future relevance. We have to be ready for the next couple of years in addition to maintaining traditional strengths.

 

Lauren Pressley – Augmented reality  – blending virtual data with the real world

Augmented reality combines real and virtual data in a way that happens in real time with a 3d nature.

The extra data helps people gather more meaning from what they’re seeing.

As an example, consider the instant replay of a hockey game. You can see a virtual line that indicates the path that the puck traveled. You don’t actually see the line, but it helps you better understand what happened during play.

 

Greater potential for augmented reality games?

2010 Horizon Report predicts impact of augmented reality in education.

Augmented reality helps organizations/individuals embed contextual information.

Check out WolfWalk from NCSU for an example using historical pictures from digital collections.

 

Library applications? Imagine a tool for the periodicals section – tutorials pop up to help users at point of need. Or how about a pop-up that helps users visualize and maybe even narrow in on call numbers when they’re searching the stacks?

And a suggestion from Twitterer jaimebc: When you walk into the library an augmented reality app could give you information on award winners and best sellers.

 

David W. – Do you see libraries taking ownership of that? Does the public library take ownership of the city?

 

Ideally – an application that allows users to plug their own data into it. Crowdsourcing again.

 

By layering groups of historical photos, users could walk down Main Street and see what it looked like in the 1850s, 1870s, 1900s, 1920s, etc.

 

Jason G. – The unique integration of archival materials. Libraries have an opportunity to use archives as teaching/training tools as well as interesting tools for the community.

 

David W. – As you browse the stacks, people miss part of the collection if it’s back on a server or in archives. Augmented reality could fill in those gaps.

 

Jason Griffey – 2009 was the year of the iPhone App Store.

App store opened in 2008. By January 2009, 500,000,000 apps had been downloaded. App downloads are now into the billions.

The growth has been unlike anything the computer world has ever seen.

Given the popularity of the app store, pretty much every other cell phone manufacture is getting on the bandwagon.

With all of these apps though, there are only a handful that are library-specific.

 

Jason predicts that 2010 will be the year the app dies because of HTML 5 and CSS 3.

HTML5 allows for offline storage. You can store locally using just HTML 5. Native audio and video support can reduce the need for Flash. It supports Canvas – online drawing.

If you’re thinking about writing an app, think about writing it in web standards.

Jason notes that about 95-96 % of what he currently does can be done in a browser.

New standards will bring really rich app-like experiences inside a browser.

 

A couple of Twitterers pointed out the need to develop on platforms besides just the iPhone. Perhaps these new web standards are the way to level the playing field on development.

 

Group topic – The Reinvention of the Book

Moderator Gregg Silvis brought out a 10-year old Rocket e-book and an Amazon Kindle. Form factor is surprisingly similar. In fact, several Twitterers noted that the two devices are "frighteningly" similar.

 

Jason – Thinks that the e-book as a hardware device is dying. Sites like Copia, Blio, and multifunction devices such as the (upcoming) Apple tablet may contribute to this. Copia will allow users to interact in ways such as social annotation. Blio allows instructors to embed quizzes in the text.

 

Lauren – The issue of ownership with e-books is different. For many people, reading is a solitary experience that individuals share with the author.

The concept of ownership with e-books is different.

How much will publishers move to a format that libraries feel comfortable with?

 

Joe – I don’t see e-book devices having a place in a library. The focus should be on content.

I can’t get books from the library on my iPhone. I’m buying it through the Kindle app on my iPhone.

For some of us, our iPhone can be our everything device.

The Twitter world has really changed my expectations of reading.

 

I want to be able to interact with the text.

 

Amanda – Devices are not the future. We have a lot of subscriptions that are read on computer screens.

 

David – Undergrads are going to very specific online journals because it’s easy and convenient. Sometimes they would actually be better served by going to the catalog and finding a book with a more general treatment of the topic.

E-book licensing isn’t friendly to smaller institutions.

If e-books were as accessible as journal articles, would that change undergraduate research behavior?

 

Jason – Publishers should pay attention to the recording industry and learn that DRM only hurt music sales. No consumer likes DRM.

 

Audience  and Twitter comments – A lot of users just don’t have access to laptops and mobile devices. Perhaps they can’t afford them. Perhaps their network infrastructure can’t support them. Where do libraries come into play? Over the years, libraries have been among the first to place technology in the hands of users. Do libraries have a role to play with e-book readers?

 

Another online commenter pointed out that even when people cannot afford some things, they often have cell phones, Playstations, Wiis, etc.

 

Other Top Tech Trends writeups from around the net.

 

Library Journal: ALA 2010 Midwinter Meeting: Top Tech Trends Panel Focuses on End Users and Ebooks

 

Market Intelligence for Librarians: Top Tech Trends from ALA’s Midwinter Meeting

 

Library Journal: ALA 2010 Midwinter Meeting: LITA Reboots Top Tech Trends Panel

 

Krafty Librarian: LITA Top Technology Trends

I am conducting two anonymous surveys to gather information from libraries and library users regarding the use of e-books, e-book readers, and e-book software on portable devices such as smartphones. The information gathered will be used to consider ways in which libraries acquire and support e-books and how library users interact with the library in using e-books. The results of the survey will be presented during the International Conference on the Book at the University of Edinburgh later this year.

I am trying to gather data from as many library employees and users of e-books/e-readers as possible, so please consider completing one of the surveys listed below. If you are a library employee AND a reader of e-books, please consider filling out both surveys.

Survey for users of e-books, e-book hardware, and e-book software:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=EHFSuOFp_2fXK_2f_2bjYZ3SI9ZA_3d_3d

Survey for library employees:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=RNCPWl326UK7Y8oPB2af0A_3d_3d

This study has been reviewed by The University of Mississippi’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB has determined that this study fulfills the human research subject protections obligations required by state and federal law and University policies. If you have any questions, concerns, or reports regarding your rights as a participant of research, please contact the IRB at (662) 915-7482.

Christopher Brown, Elizabeth Meagher, Sandra Macke

Penrose Library, University of Denver

 

This library didn’t do any advance publicity in advance of their Encore deployment. They just turned it on and let it run. There was only one complaint from a single faculty member.

 

With this approach they felt that the system was intuitive enough that patrons would just "get it," and that has proven to be the case.

 

Professors can use community tagging as a way to create virtual reserves.

 

The library selected keyword searching as the starting point for several reasons.

More Google-like

Works quite well for known-item searching

Is much faster than regular catalog

Has no limits to result set (traditional opac maxes out at 32,000 results)

 

During the implementation, they found that serials appear at the top of the results sets. This library considers this an added bonus to Encore.

 

The library hope to make their catalog become the ultimate reference tool for their institution. Along with this, they have a goal to make the searching the OPAC at least as easy as browsing the reference shelves.

 

The library currently has about 250 tags created through the community tagging system.

 

The library rolled out what was a fairly canned implementation of Encore. After rolling out, they began revising the catalog based on input rolling in from students and reference librarians.

 

Encore also helped reveal things relevant to database maintenance. For example, when a feature film showed up with a 3-D object facet, this threw up a red flag that something was wrong. When you’re skimming through records and facets, you can look for the things where only one item appears. Surprisingly, this helps problems bubble to the surface so that they can be found and corrected.

 

An audience question led to a reiteration of the point that the Penrose Library just put this out there. They bought it, turned it on, and let the public have at it. From Christopher: "Customers today understand that. Google does this all the time. They put something out there, and if it breaks, it breaks. We did it that way, and I would do it again."

 

"The first day out of the box it’s pretty good. Then you just tweak it."

 

Encore cannot handle all of the JavaScript enhancements that are possible in the traditional catalog.

Back in February we noticed a small problem on one of our public computers. It was primarily a cosmetic issue. It affected the way our printing software behaved, but the software still worked. Yes, it worked, but it didn’t work completely correctly, and it was annoying to see this problem on 32 brand spankin’ new computers.

After playing around with this issue for a bit, I called our vendor to see if they had a solution. They told me to install hotfix 10. This is the point at which I broke the second law of the universe: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

I installed hotfix 10.

Hotfix 10 did not solve the problem. It gave us a nasty surprise though, when we realized that our print installer no longer worked. After that, things went from bad to worse. Following our vendor’s advice, we installed more updates and made more changes to the server.

Unfortunately, these were not benign updates. They began to undermine the stability of the service. At its worst point we were receiving over a dozen alerts each day about problems with the print system. After another phone call Monday, our vendor took a surprising approach by rolling some of our software back to a previous version. They admitted that there were some “known” problems with our current version.

At this point we remain hopeful but not optimistic. We’ve gone a day-and-a-half without receiving any service requests, and sadly, this feels like a victory after the nightmare of the last three weeks. I can’t think of another time in many, many years where I was so glad for a service to just work for a full day.

So what is the result of all this? Our confidence in this vendor is understandably shaken. Our confidence in the server itself was unnecessarily shaken. The frustration level has been through the roof for both patrons and employees has been through the roof. We’re seriously thinking of rebuilding the server because of this incident.

And – strangely enough – I’m thinking of moving to the next major version of the vendor’s software. When this stuff works , it’s rock solid. And it really does work . . . most of the time. When it doesn’t, it’s very, very, very bad. But the new version brings some new functionality that our patrons need. They’ve been asking for it, and I want to give it to them. But at what cost will it come?

After the obligatory period of speculation, Amazon’s Kindle 2 has arrived. It was announced a couple of weeks ago amid much fanfare and hoopla. Initial reviews give it good marks, but time in the hands of actual end-users will tell the tale. It looks like the design has seen some improvements, and I’m glad to see any type of e-book technology make a little headway. Engadget enjoyed a grand unboxing yesterday, so we’re off to the races.

In thinking about e-books, e-book readers, and how libraries might approach this technology, a number of questions come to mind. One question, however, stands out above all others: How do we free licensed e-books from the tethers of vendor web sites? Most of our e-books are viewed through the Adobe Acrobat reader or through some other proprietary format that depends on having a plug-in installed on a desktop computer. While this is sometimes okay for searching technical manuals in the office, this is completely unacceptable for extended reading. Many vendors who peddle e-books to libraries kind of miss the point that THE REST OF OUR BOOKS ARE PORTABLE. If the e-book is tied to a vendor’s server, then users are also tied to that server. That means that the users must have a computer and a persistent network connection to access the content. Even the tiny netbooks out on the market don’t match the portability of a book.

If we can’t get past that question, then the other questions become even more difficult. I’ve read of a number of libraries asking whether they should offer specific devices for accessing their e-book collections. Assuming that they could work out appropriate licensing with a vendor, do libraries really need to get involved in supporting another exotic technology? Maybe – maybe not. Depends on the library, its resources, collections, and the needs of the patron base. Not all patrons will even want to read electronic books, but for those who do, libraries would probably be better served by letting patrons pick their own reading devices. The Kindle 2 and Sony’s Reader are both viable options, but so is the iPhone. As smartphones become smarter, there will be even more options for both hardware and software.

Libraries have enough to do just trying to make sense of the formats. Take a look at NetLibrary’s Full-Text eContent FAQ. In trying to support NetLibrary, libraries are looking at three different plug-ins: Adode Reader (Windows), Schubert-It PDF Viewer (Mac), and DJvu Reader (Windows/Mac). Go to ebrary, and it doesn’t get any better. They have three different versions of a proprietary book reader. Amazon’s Kindle supports Mobipocket books, plain text files, and – you guessed it – Amazon’s own proprietary format. Sony Reader supports PDF, TXT, RTF, SecurePDF, and ePub. Few organizations have the time, inclination, or resources to support so many competing formats.

In spite of all that though, there is a growing market for e-book content. If the publishers could just get together on standards for formatting and server-free licensing, that could do a lot to really help the market take off.

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