"This article introduces the library, archive and museum workshops held by RLG Programs at the University of Edinburgh, Princeton University, the Smithsonian Institution, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and Yale University, and presents the lessons abstracted from these day-long events."
Waibel and Erway argue for creating deep collaboration among LAMs at the network level to reach users. They report on "five LAM workshops, conducted in late 2007 and early 2008 by RLG Programs staff Günter Waibel, Ricky Erway and consulting facilitator Diane Zorich, [that] aimed to surface information about existing collaborative activities and be a catalyst for deeper collaborations. ... The University of Edinburgh, Princeton University, the Smithsonian Institution, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and Yale University participated in the workshops."
Brief and nicely done, this gives a good overview of goals, challenges and strategies for LAM collaborations.
This search tool brings together over 2 million searchable records with 265,900 images, video and sound files, electronic journals and other resources from the Smithsonian's museums, archives & libraries.
The work was done by Quotient. Quotient is a systems integrator and IT services solution company for commercial, government organizations and federal agencies.
Quotient redesigned the existing Collections Search Center with a focus on improving the visual aesthetic, usability, and appeal for students, teachers, scholars, researchers, and the general public. Quotient's design and development team worked out several design directions and partnered with the Smithsonian to increase accessibility and compliance as well as to enhance the site with an interactive slideshow framework.
It is nicely done. In some respects Yale University is like SI--a broad-based research institution with fast-growing research collections and a mission to advance knowledge and educate.
I saw these in a post on hangingtogether, the OCLC RLG Programs blog. Both are worth a look.
1. A comparison of repository types and the affect on scholarly communication
Comparing Repository Types: Challenges and Barriers for Subject-Based Repositories, Research Repositories, National Repository Systems and Institutional Repositories in Serving Scholarly Communication by Chris Armbruster Research Network 1989 Laurent Romary INRIA November 23, 2009 http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1506905
Four kinds of publication repository are described: subject-based, research, national system and institutional. Two shifts in the role of repositories may be noted. For content, a well-defined and high quality corpus is essential. For service, high value to specific scholarly communities is essential.
Challenges and barriers to repository development are laid out in three dimensions: a) identification and deposit of content b) access and use of services c) preservation of content and sustainability of service
2. A case-study-based look at how researchers work and how they relate to policies and services from information service providers and employers.
Library Thing is hosting an anti-conference (unconference) the Friday of ALA's MW meeting in Boston, Jan. 15. 2009. This is a great idea and could be a really rich opportunity for librarians, Library Thing users, publishers, etc. to meet and talk and think about the future of books, readers, libraries, authors and publishers.
Very thoughtful and appropriate to Yale University Library, too. The library there and here needs to align its resources to support access to scholarly resources rather than to amass and store collections.
New funding and operating models are needed to focus the library on services in an age of digital tools.
Its 5 recommendations (for "Harvard" read "Yale"):
1. Establish and implement a shared administrative infrastructure
The fragmented organization of the Harvard libraries represents the fossilization of contingent historical decisions, based on past circumstances and actors. This structure now impedes nimble, effective, and fiscally responsible responses to twenty-first century challenges. We recommend reforms focused on administrative services that, when unified, will provide better and more cost-effective service to faculty and students.
2. Rationalize and enhance information and technology systems
This focus on systems improvement will not succeed, however, unless paired with changes in the model for decision making and funding. A widely distributed “veto” and excesses of local customization have impeded the effective development of technology infrastructure both within and outside Harvard’s libraries. The Task Force believes that Harvard must develop a robust, shared information architecture to guide future development and to orient investments in innovative projects. Core systems must be standardized across Harvard libraries to enable the University to collaborate internally and externally more effectively than we do today.
3. Revamp the financial model for the Harvard libraries
The current system of financing library materials and services impedes efforts to collaborate across the different parts of Harvard University, and often establishes incentives for actions that aid one part of the library at the expense of the whole. This phenomenon is most clearly reflected when content costs are shifted from one unit to another.
4. Rationalize the system for acquiring, accessing and developing a “single university” collection.
The Harvard University Library system needs to rationalize the manner in which all parts of the University collect and provide access to materials, and orient its focus more clearly toward ensuring access, as opposed to the current default model of building collections by acquisition. This shift is already in prominent view in many disciplines of the natural and social sciences, where ownership of materials has given way to providing access to materials that may be housed on a publisher’s server, at other institutions, or in other countries. Many fields, including the humanities, will continue to depend on physical materials, but the emphasis on ensuring access in perpetuity to materials should nonetheless increasingly supplant acquisition in the case of widely available resources. The University’s efforts to build a single, shared collection must also be coordinated more effectively. A centralized purchasing and licensing office that negotiates with vendors should be empowered to speak to vendors with a single voice whenever possible. Longer-term efforts to reform the scholarly communications and publishing system, such as the University’s leadership in the open access movement, should continue to be emphasized and supported from within the library system.
5. Collaborate more ambitiously with peer institutions
Harvard should enhance its efforts to work with other libraries and cultural institutions to build a sustainable information ecosystem for the 21st century. In some cases, this collaboration will mean building upon existing efforts to work directly with partner institutions.
As described above, Harvard’s information technology systems must be improved to become more interoperable, internally and externally, in order to facilitate external collaborations with the goal of maximizing access to scholarly materials for our faculty and students. Throughout the library system, Harvard must be more ambitious in its efforts to work with external partners to share costs and resources to improve library collections and services to current and future users.
These are born digital works of art. Hockney makes the pictures on his iPhone and sends them to several friends; they send them on to their friends. Weschler notes that none of these images are "copies." Each is the "original." There is no difference between one or another of these images. Hockney has not made a series (an unlimited series?) No one has applied a process to make copies that introduces any difference between the "original" and the "copy." Although Hockney only made one "copy" of any of his digital paintings, there are simply multiple originals. One and many at once. Original and copy at once. The cognitive dissoance is stimulating and revealing.
I find this interesting in how thoroughly this shows the concepts of "original" and "copy" that we use all the time with art objects and books and such are overthrown by digital production and distribution tools and processes. What new ideas and new words will come to replace "original" and "copy"? What new mental models and thus operational models will we construct to live with multiple originals? What new social arrangements will we make to accomodate ourselves to this radical abundance of information, of art, and of originals?
Lewis develops a strategy for the next 20 years (more or less) of academic libraries.
Good assumptions and reasonable strategies. However, Lewis doesn't see consolidation of academic libraries as a primary factor in the next couple of decades and continues to think of libraries primarily as physical locations or spaces. Thus he misses the importance of consolidation to libraries as providers of networked information services for teaching, learning & research (and I'd add publication, too.)
As providers of networked information services, there is little reason to be tied to or sub-ordinate to a particular college or university. Individual researchers, students, teachers and writers could draw upon a global information service for their specific needs as a researcher, student, teacher or writer. Of course, campus learning environments would have to be open to such networked information services--but they will have to be to take advantage of the Internet or cloud or world wide computer.
In general, the consequence of consolidation for libraries as providers of networked information services is one big library (probably a for profit advertising supported operation with some non-profit players on the edges) for the Internet. Locally, the academic library would become a museum of the book (and the serial, the map, the manuscript, the archive, the sound recording, the film, etc.); in short, a special collections library with collections that are tied to the library's parent institution.
As I see it, libraries will split into highly consolidated providers of networked information services and local, institution-specific special collections libraries/archives/museums/.
Saw today in the NY Times that Google now has a free GPS service for smart phones. That made me wonder about other services becoming free apps on smart phones. Why not libraries?
The app is just the service delivery point, the organization behind that service point can be (and in the case of Google's GPS service) is a huge complex enterprise.
One consequence of library as app, though, would be that we don't need tens of thousands of local (town, company, college, etc.) library apps. We just need a handful for the world and one of those may dominate the whole field the way Google dominates searching now.
Interesting consequences to such a move from many libraries each tied to a parent organization toward a few libraries providing individualized services. All those services needn't be online, but the contact would be. Delivery of tangible materials to home or office could be part of the app service, for example.
The whole library sector of the economy would be transformed.
Lorcan Dempsey has commented before on library systems environment. Here he updates his earlier comments, links to the recent NISO presentations, and provides incomplete but insightful notes on the presentations. http://orweblog.oclc.org/archives/002015.html#
Recently at Yale, we interviewed three candidates for an E-Collections job. Each of the three gave a talk with the title (more or less) trends in e-collections. Not one of them cited Dempsey. Is that the fault of each speaker or a sign of a larger disconnect within the library profession? The E-Coll. candidates were all thinking (sensibly so) only about licensed (purchased or rented, but licensed just the same) e-resources. Perhaps Lorcan is seen as a cataloging guy or an OCLC guy or a systems guy and not paid attention to by those in related but distinct activities like using an ERM to manage a collection of licensed resources.
I've been noticing that many discussions of ebooks, cloud computing, omnipresent cell phones, etc. speak of totality of information available online as "a library" or, frequently, "the library." The idea seems to be that by calling whatever font of online information one is promoting a "library" makes it sound good. All apple pie and motherhood. Apparently, people think well of libraries, and this use of "the library" as a metaphor for accessibility and trustworthiness for online information is mostly a good thing for libraries and librarians.
But sometimes, and often, librarians and those working closing with librarians on digital information projects, berate libraries for not keeping up on the latest online technologies or not adapting to the online environment fast enough or thoroughly enough to satisfy these commentators. When I see this happening, it is never or amost never one particular library that gets the drubbing, but a sort of generalized, universal library as if all libraries were part of the same organization or worked in concert like a corporation. The formula sometimes goes something like this: "Google is digitizing books on a massive scale and creating a universal library, but libraries are still stuck circulating books and doing serials check in." Or, "Libraries need to compete with Google and Apple and Amazon for people's attention."
The problem that jumps out at me is the equivalence between Google, et al. and libraries. Libraries are about as like Google as the world's population of independent booksellers are. Even less so. The booksellers are independent. Almost every library is a dependent, sub-unit of another organization. Each is defined less by being a peer of any other library than it is by being the child of its parent organization--a city, state or national government, a for profit company, a non-profit organization, a school, a research university. Google, et al. are rich, single, independent organizations with global mission and reach. No library is like this, and libraries taken together are nothing like this either.
As a metaphor, libraries are one. In real life, there is no such thing as "the library." Analyses that confuse "the library" with real libraries miss the mark in their criticisms, their expectations, and their solutions. Bringing libraries actively and successfully into the networked information environment--the linked up, social cloud of all knowledge--will require commenters and doers to close their eyes to the illusion of "the library" and see the reality of many small libraries that serve specific, particular and local masters.
A brief and readable note on linked data from TBL. From 2006, but this makes a nice primer on linked data.
Four rules for linked data:
1. Use URIs as names for things 2. Use HTTP URIs so that people can look up those names. 3. When someone looks up a URI, provide useful information, using the standards (RDF, SPARQL) 4. Include links to other URIs. so that they can discover more things.
Carr's thesis is that information services (hardware and software) are now and increasingly operating on the scale of the electrical power utilities. Just as companies don't generally create their own power, they now no longer need their own IT depts. As network access speeds and reliability approach that available on one's own computer, the network itself becomes one big machine. He's look at and past things like Amazon's EC2 "elastic computing cloud" that allows companies to use Amazon's computers (H&S) as if they were their own. Another example is 3Tera's AppLogic, a cloud computing platform.The customer pays for the computing power consumed when they consume it--just like we pay for electricity. Wow!
Carr briefly highlight large-scale consequences of the electrical gridon society and suggests that similarly large-scale effects will follow from the utilitization of computing. I think he's right. Consider the consequences of large-scale, utility-style cloud computing on digital preservation. If say higher education institutions outsource their computing utility-style to global third-party providers, then preservation of the digital content (an oxymoron; what we mean is curation of digital content over time via migrations) also moves to the third party. There the scale is much larger, part of the ongoing access to content, and costs to individual institutions is amortized across the aggregate of all the institutions using the third party computing utility. In short, indiviual institutions (here colleges and universities) need not themselves directly work to preserve their digital content. They have out-sourced it to their computing utility. It (digital curation--my prefered phrase for digital preservation) still has to be done but not repeatedly at a local (say we call it--retail) level. There are many trust issues here, but then most of us trust our utilities now for water and power.
Mike Bergman at AI3 blogs about the Law of Linked Data. "The Linked Data Law: the value of a linked data network is proportional to the square of the number of links between data objects."
He argues that linking (meaningfully) the existing nodes on the 'net produces network effects for the semantic web. He makes a nice analogy with Metcalfe’s law, which "states that the value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of users of the system.
Bergman thinks a good marshal would deliver law and order to linked data and the semantic enterprise. What would the good marshal do? Well, he doesn't say beyond "deliver law and order." What the hell does that mean? OK, aside from that the piece is worth reading and it links to more good reading, too. Are footnotes the original linked data?
Extending the Reach of Southern Sources Proceeding to Large-Scale Digitization of Manuscript Collections: Final Grant Report / Prepared by the Southern Historical Collection University Library The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
I like the questionnaire/decision matrix and though it here applies to questions of what should be prioritized for digitization, it could be modified to capture metadata relevant to what should be prioritized for digital preservation. See Appendix G, page 57 for the questionnaire.
Sergey Brin wrote in the NYTimes today about the Google book deal in an op-ed piece called "A Library to Last Forever. " He makes a good case for a deal of some sort and gently addresses a few of the concerns that have been raised. His argument for the deal has two aspects: one, implied by the title, that the deal will protect books forever in a new kind of library that is disaster proof and, apparently, Google has solved the digital preservation problems (forever is a long time.) The other aspect is access. The book deal will make a century's printed output easily avaiable to all. Sounds good, but I don't know much about most of what he was talking about. The one thing I know something about--access to library collections--was mentioned in one sentence that is just completely wrong.
"Today, if you want to access a typical out-of-print book, you have only one choice — fly to one of a handful of leading libraries in the country and hope to find it in the stacks."
What the hell is he talking about? There is no need to fly and hope. He must know that you have at least one other choice: use your computer to 1. look up the book in WorldCat to see what libraries have copies 2. email your local library to use its inter-library loan service to get the book for you. He can't be ignorant of this--Google has a deal with OCLC that joins Google Book Search and WorldCat--so why did he say "fly" and "hope"? One effect of this: it makes me wonder if the other things he says are just as fishy as this. I don't know anything about those other things, but seeing what he said about the one piece I do know about makes me doubt everything else he says.
"Citing the Scottish philosopher Andy Clark, Weinberger explained that the internet becomes almost a sort of extension of our mind (scaffolding, he called it) so that we think with our brains and store information elsewhere."
Information abundance (for the affluent or for affluent societies, anyway) does seem to be a primary characteristic of our information economy. Our institutions though are shaped by the past environment that was characterized by information scarcity. Libraries seem a prime example. When information is scarce, then collecting it creates pockets of abundance for specific sets of users in particular places--a city, a university, etc. But when information is abundant, then creating local collections of information (to overcome information's "natural" scarcity) is a waste of time. The environment libraries (and the host institutions of libraries: cities, nations, universities, etc.) thrived within is gone. Libraries and other institutions built for an information economy characterized by scarcity must re-make themselves so they fit an information abundance economy. Libraries--as we have known them--are moot.
One model for libraries that seems to be working in the abundant information economy is the library as museum. The library becomes less information-centric and more artifact-centric. Artifacts may remain scarce, so the scarcity-based model of a library as museum could work for collections of rare, unique or otherwise special materials. But libraries as information-centric institutions are ill-suited for an abundant information economy. Perhaps the most obvious characteristic of this ill-fit is that libraries are primarily _local_ institutions that serve a host organization (city, state, university, etc.) The new organizations that have grown up in the abundant information economy are global: Amazon, Google, etc., and one can see a similar pattern of movement from many small local entities to a few large global entities in other information-centric activities like banking and stock brokerage.
In an age of abundant information, the information-centric organizations we need help us find what we are looking for (search tools like Google,) share what we have found (like blogs and social tools), and use or re-use what we have found (productivity tools designed with the "cloud" in mind.) The traditional infrastructure libraries and similar collection-oriented institutions provide doesn't address the needs of users in an economy of information abundance. It seems likely that the information-centric organizations that emerge to help users navigate and manage and use abundant information will be global organizations that are not subordinate to local host institutions like Sioux City, Iowa, the US Dept. of Labor, Yale University, etc. Its a big change.
Tim Spaulding has a nice piece on ebook pricing for libraries. A lot of doom and gloom, but the gist is on target publishers/bundlers will rent ebooks to libraries as e-journals are now and thus price increases for ebooks on the scale and model of e-journals is likely.
The whole concept of collection development is altered when the library is a renter and not an owner of books and journals. If a library is rooted in its possession of a collection, then a library that rents is not a library.
International Conference on Preservation of Digital Objects (iPRES 2009) at Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco, October 5th and 6th, 2009, explores the latest trends, innovations, and practices in preserving our scientific and cultural digital heritage. http://www.cdlib.org/iPres/
The problem: No standard date/time format meets the needs of XML metadata schemas. W3C XML Schema built-in types xs:date, xs:time, and xs:dateTime are inadequate, as is W3CDTF, and TEMPER. ISO 8601 and the W3C schema are incompatible. The LC proposal addresses that and adds BCE dates, open date ranges, and useful/necessary concepts like "uncertain" and "approximate" to the definition and the format.
The proposal could be incorporated into schemas such as MODS and METS. (Note: it is already in use within the PREMIS schema.) It may be proposed for standardization in ISO 8601 or it might be proposed to W3C for adoption as an XML schema type – the benefits of this are clear, among them: strict validation would be supported.
There are some 9.5 million personae described in VIAF and have established more than 4 million links between the files. To us linked data means: URIs for everything HTTP 303 redirects for URIs representing the personae our metadata is about HTTP content negotiation for different data formats An RDF view of the data A rich a set of internal and external links in our data
EDItEUR and the International ISTC Agency(IIA) have developed an ONIX format to be used by ISTC registrants and Registration Agencies for two-way communication related to the processes of registering a new ISTC work or amending the metadata associated with an existing ISTC work record. A draft version of the format (the IIA recently approved the publication of Version 1.0) can now be found on the EDItEUR website as ONIX ISTC Registration Format <http://www.editeur.org/106/ONIX-ISTC-Registration-Format/>
This is an important milestone for practical work identifiers.
I have two questions.
1. I have not been following ISTC closely for some time, and as I look at its web pages I wonder What relation the ISTC concept of work has to FRBR?
I recall there was considerable difference from FRBR in how the ISTC effort conceptualized a work. Is that still true. The ISTC about web page says the ISTC reference works not manifestations, but I didn’t find any definition of work nor any reference to a concept like expression.
2. How might ISTCs be used in WorldCat to collocate records for the same works?
Today I had my first physical therapy session for the carpal tunnel symptoms I have in my hands and arms. It went well. The therapist, Nancy, is nice and effective. I'll see her again next week and until then I'm to work on my posture at my workstation and do some stretches for my neck and shoulders.
Today is the autumnal equinox. The sun crosses the celestial equator heading south for winter. Day and night are balanced. I've got nothing to say about work, but I just wanted to note this reminder of earth's tilted tie to the sun and the seasons that result.
I've just started reading Nicholas Carr's new book, The Big Switch. He claims information is the new electricity--a utility-based commodity that powers the economy. The sub-title, Rewiring the world, from Edison to Google gives one a sense of its scope.
In trying to find a way to think about my work--my job and my profession, I look for metaphors that might explain or frame the experience. My latest thought on this--following last year's crash in asset valuations, deep cuts in work budgets, and layoffs, is "work is weather." No one controls the weather, but we all experience it. We adapt to it; we might anticipate it; we talk about it; and we might screw up the whole thing (unwittingly change the climate), but we can't control it. And it struck me that work is like weather. And I thought that I could use this page to talk about the weather that work is as I experence it. Thus it is local. The local may or may not be part of a larger system, a global trend, an overall climate, and I may sometimes connect the local with the larger scales, but my attention is on what affects me directly and what I can or can't do about it. Work is weather. This blog is about my local weather.
I just figured out I could use this blog as my new home page. Doh. So the lists of blogs I like and links to libraries and magazine and such do a lot of what my web page did. And the posting thing gives me a chance to do a work diary. OK. I think that makes sense. Hey, it's Friday afternoon. I'm going to go have a weekend that has nothing to do with work.