Libraries - systems and technologies

  • Big data .. big trendFebruary 04, 2012 – [I spoke at the Lita Top Technology Trends at Dallas. I had a trend in reserve - big data - but did not use it. Here is something along the lines of what I might have said ...] Big Data is a big trend, but as with expressions for other...read full entry...
  • The ILS, the digital library and the research libraryAugust 17, 2011 – Job adverts are interesting for a variety of reasons. They give a sense of skills and attributes in demand. They say something about how the hiring institution wants to present itself. And they can indicate trends. I have been interested to see three research libraries look for senior digital library...read full entry...
  • Effective web presence ...May 31, 2011 – We are growing used to the idea that simply making things available on the web does not necessarily make them widely discovered or discoverable. I have used the phrase 'search engine interoperability' in these pages already. This is a play on 'search engine optimization', which some do not like (although...read full entry...
  • The network reconfigures library space ... mobile reduxAugust 31, 2010 – So taken was I by William J Mitchell's comments on the impact of the network and mobile communications on space that I have quoted it here a couple of times already ;-) Here it is ... The fact that people are no longer tied to specific places for functions such...read full entry...
  • Sorting out demand ... Top tech trend 3August 08, 2010 – [This is 3. Here is 1 and 2.] I was pleased to participate in LITA’s Top Tech Trends panel at ALA this year (see the video and live coverage). We were each asked to talk about three trends: current, a bit further out, and a bit further out again. In...read full entry...
  • In the Twitter flow ..July 17, 2010 – One of the recurrent themes of this blog has been the work done by libraries to put more of their services in the flow of their users' working, learning and research behaviors. In this context, I was pleased to see the work by my colleagues on implementing Worldcat searches in...read full entry...
  • Discovery layers - Top Tech Trends 2July 04, 2010 – [No 2 of 3. No 1 here.] I was pleased to participate in LITA's Top Tech Trends panel at ALA this year (see the video and live coverage). We were each asked to talk about three trends: current, a bit further out, and a bit further out again. In thinking...read full entry...
  • Mobile .. Top Tech Trends 1June 29, 2010 – I was pleased to participate in LITA's Top Tech Trends panel at ALA this year (see the video and live coverage). We were each asked to talk about three trends: current, a bit further out, and a bit further out again. In thinking about the exercise, it seemed to me...read full entry...
  • The cloud is currently a question, not an answerJune 23, 2010 – I will be on the LITA Top Technology Trends panel on Sunday. I have yet to finalize my thoughts, but I am sure that mobile and cloud will figure. We are increasingly familiar with the twin discussions about mobilization and the cloud, and about how each trend supports the other....read full entry...
  • Indirect discoveryJune 13, 2010 – I have found that the phrase Discovery happens elsewhere has quite a bit of resonance in discussion. Increasingly people discover websites, or encounter content from them, in a variety of places. Most clearly, this happens through network-level services like Google or Twitter, but also happens in personal services (my RSS...read full entry...
  • Reading lists, citation management and bibliographic tissueMay 22, 2010 – Here is something I wrote a couple of years ago under the title Personal reference collections as digital libraries. A little updating of examples and I think it still holds: We will see much more activity connecting user environments and bibliographic resources. I am thinking of citation managers, reading lists,...read full entry...
  • QR codes again ...May 02, 2010 – Andy Walsh of the University of Huddersfield gave a very nice presentation on QR Codes at the recent EMTACL10 conference at NTNU in Trondheim. I particularly liked his introduction in which he provided some motivating context for his work. He noted that as library spaces became places for social activity,...read full entry...
  • Data wells: one big indexMarch 14, 2010 – I was interested to hear the concept of a 'data well' discussed when I was in Sweden the other week. It seems to be used in the sense of an infrastructure to ingest, normalise and provide integrated access to multiple streams of data. In this way, library services can be...read full entry...
  • QOTD: a new AlexandriaMarch 14, 2010 – An interesting article - Toward a new Alexandria: imagining the future of libraries - by Lisbet Rausing has just appeared in The New Republic. It discusses the continuity of the scholarly record in a richly allusive text. I sensed three strands. First, the scholarly record is evermore diffused through media...read full entry...
  • Ting: collaboratively sourced library infrastructureMarch 07, 2010 – Ting is an initiative which is creating a shared systems and data infrastructure for Danish public libraries - and potentially others. At its heart is a 'data well', an enriched aggregate of data (see a list of data sources here). Another important component is Ding, a Drupal-based content management system...read full entry...
  • Bruges Public Library catalogueFebruary 09, 2010 – Prompted by a recent entry, I got a note from Koen Calis, Librarian Bruges Public Library, about their catalogue, Cabrio. Here is quite a full presentation which covers a range of interesting feature: Cabriology The Bruges Aquabrowser ExperienceView more presentations from Koen Calis. I was interested in their adaptation of...read full entry...
  • Community bibliographyNovember 01, 2009 – I prefer 'crowdsourced' to 'user contributed' but neither works very well for me. In particular 'user contributed' does not seem a good term at all for a variety of reasons. Anyway, I was looking at the new catalogue at Ottawa Public Library powered by Bibliocommons earlier (following a mention by...read full entry...
  • Untangling the library systems environmentOctober 25, 2009 – NISO organized a meeting on library resource management a couple of weeks ago: I notice that the presentations are now available on the web. They make an interesting collection, and I return to them in a moment. I have written about the library systems environment in these pages from time...read full entry...
  • Discoverability .. a report that's worth a lookOctober 07, 2009 – We are awash in assisted thinking, as I may have remarked. One document that is worth a look is Discoverability produced earlier this year by a team at the University of Minnesota. In October 2008, the Web Services Steering Committee at the University of Minnesota Libraries created the Discoverability exploratory...read full entry...
  • The library website: a unified service?September 13, 2009 – I mentioned the reworked University of Michigan Libraries website a while ago. Although it is still a layer over various other resources, I liked the way that the site aimed to project the library on the web as a unified service not as a set of unrelated opportunities. This extended...read full entry...
  • Shifting the sourcing model July 19, 2009 – A recurrent theme of this blog has been that networking changes the way we think about organizational boundaries. So, we have seen a major shift to webscale which has reconfigured whole industries as well as individual organizations. Some obvious examples are the influence of Expedia/Orbitz/Travelocity on travel, Amazon on retail,...read full entry...
  • Augmenting June 29, 2009 – Layar created a ripple of interest a while ago. It is yet to be released. It is an application for Android based phones which will allow data from various partner resources to be 'layered' over the view through a camera phone. Partners discussed include banks (for ATMs), realtors, and a...read full entry...
  • Apple, netbooks and barcodesJune 26, 2009 – I traveled home from the 2nd M-Libraries Conference in UBC, Vancouver, yesterday. I was interested to come across several relevant news stories in the reading materials I had bought en route: The Globe and Mail, The Economist (last week's, as it turns out), and The Financial Times. This underlined the...read full entry...
  • SearchingMay 31, 2009 – I got a note from Debbie Campbell, Director, Collaborative Services, at the National Library of Australia the other week about their new prototype discovery service. The service is available at http://sbdsproto.nla.gov.au/ and provides integrated access to over 42 million metadata and text resources from a range of the National Library's...read full entry...
  • A single business system environment reduxMay 30, 2009 – The new prototype discovery service from the National Library of Australia caused a ripple of interest the other week when it was released. One reason for the interest is that it brings together access to a range of NLA resources (Picture Australia, Libraries Australia, and Pandora, among others) as well...read full entry...
  • Entrepreneurial skills are not given out with grant lettersMay 03, 2009 – Ithaka produced a report last year - Sustainability and revenue models for online academic resources PDF - for the Strategic Content Alliance (SCA), a UK collaboration of cultural and educational organizations. They followed up with a series of case studies (scroll down the list of SCA publications to the sustainability...read full entry...
  • Metasearch reduxApril 28, 2009 – Here is something I said about metasearch in these pages some time ago .... The issue is that libraries have to manage a range of database resources whose legacy technical and business boundaries do not very well map user preferences or behaviors. The approach has been to try to move...read full entry...
  • Web scale library management servicesApril 23, 2009 – OCLC has just released a press-release about its Web scale library management services. For some context see Andrew's note: OCLC is extending the WorldCat Local platform to include circulation and delivery, print and electronic acquisitions, and license management components. A quick start version of WorldCat Local--available at no additional charge...read full entry...
  • Snap and go catalogueApril 10, 2009 – Several things about catalogs, mobile apps, and pictures .... Just after doing the entry on the photo feature in the Amazon Blackberry app, I was looking at the catalogue at the University of Bath (where I worked for many years) and saw that they were using QR codes. From a...read full entry...
  • Tile and organizational evolutionMarch 04, 2009 – A set of documents from the TILE project has appeared. TILE continues the work that was done by this group on the ILS last year. It extends this work by looking at library systems and services in broader contexts. In particular it looks at the library in the context of...read full entry...
  • M-libraries in VancouverFebruary 15, 2009 – I am looking forward to attending the second M-Libraries Conference in Vancouver in June. The programme has now appeared and the conference is open for registration. Although mobile communications raise specific questions, more generally it represents the further diffusion of computational and networking capacity through our lives. I have quoted...read full entry...
  • The centrality of the catalog?February 13, 2009 – In listening to discussions about the library catalog, I am surprised not to hear more about how the type of library affects our assessment of how central the catalog is to library services or user behaviors. For simplicity sake, think reductively of three categories of library material: bought, licensed and...read full entry...
  • Collective collection policiesJanuary 23, 2009 – One of the more interesting library developments in recent years has been the growing interest in cooperative approaches to the storage and management of collections. This has been made more real by pressures on space, and the opportunity cost of using that space to house print collections. Such collaborative sourcing...read full entry...
  • Affinity strings, personalization and recommendationJanuary 11, 2009 – I heard about 'affinity strings' on a visit to Minnesota some time ago. I was pleased to see that they have written up what they are doing in the recent issue of The Code4Lib Journal: The University of Minnesota Libraries have created a MyLibrary portal, with databases and e-journals targeted...read full entry...
  • Always on: libraries in a world of permanent connectivityJanuary 07, 2009 – The January issue of First Monday has appeared and I am pleased to have an article in it about libraries and mobile communications. Here is the abstract: Mobile communication has been more widely adopted more quickly than any other technology ever (Castells, et al., 2007). It represents a diffusion of...read full entry...
  • M-librariesNovember 12, 2008 – I have a contribution in Mohamed Ally and Gill Needham. M-Libraries: Libraries on the Move to Provide Virtual Access. London: Facet, 2008. [Worldcat][Table of contents PDF on Facet] That said, I notice that I am not listed among the contributors on the publisher's page ;-) This collects the proceedings of...read full entry...
  • Data at the network levelAugust 20, 2008 – The impact of networking on organizational evolution is interesting: how does networking impact how libraries coordinate their resources to get their work done effectively? In the 'network age' there have been several major shifts in how libraries coordinate resources (and by resources, I am thinking about their budgets, staff, and...read full entry...
  • Texting shelf informationAugust 04, 2008 – I have heard of people photographing catalog results with their cell phones and heading off to the shelves. And now I have just come across the Tripod library catalog. You can text yourself the bibliographic details - see the icon on the entry above. Here is what happens when you...read full entry...
  • AeonJuly 13, 2008 – Atlas Systems is one of those smaller companies in the libraries marketplace who provides niche solutions. The are probably best known for the Illiad resource sharing software. However, they also provide an interesting system in a new application area ... Aeon offers a circulation management system that enables special collections...read full entry...
  • Encore at GlasgowJune 29, 2008 – I was interested to come across the Encore implementation at the University of Glasgow. This is still in development, but here is a description of current features ... Encore is a new way of searching the Library catalogue offering: single search box relevance ranked results location & availability details links...read full entry...
  • Academic EvergreenJune 09, 2008 – From a news item on the library website at Prince Edward Island University announcing the introduction of the Evergreen library system .... The only permanent change arising from this transition will be a positive one: a brand-new Library catalogue! We’ll be making lots of improvements to the catalogue search and...read full entry...
  • MlabsJune 07, 2008 – Check out the labs page at the University of Michigan Library: MLibrary Labs is where the University of Michigan Library shows off some tools that are not quite ready for prime time. [UM Library: MLibrary Labs] There is some nice stuff here. I found this via [BLT] the Blog for...read full entry...
  • Institutional discovery systemsJune 06, 2008 – The University of Wisconsin - Madison has made available its report about institutional discovery services [pdf]. Compare Google searching to the many steps and decisions one must make in order to locate a scholarly article on the UW-Madison Libraries Web site and you get a sense of the problem. [Resource...read full entry...
  • Google and virtual bookshelfJune 05, 2008 – SEO by the Sea wonders about Google's plans for what it calls a 'virtual bookshelf site'. It presents a list of 13 such sites, from GoodReads to BookJetty. It then reviews a pretty interesting patent application from Google. A patent application for a virtual bookshelf program from Google was published...read full entry...
  • Analytics: mind the gapMay 23, 2008 – In a digital environment our actions shed data which can be collected and mined. We leave traces. In this context it is not surprising that 'analytics' has emerged as a central interest. 'Analytics' is often used to refer to how organizations analyse the data they collect to improve decisions or...read full entry...
  • Some readingMay 07, 2008 – Here are links to several unrelated publications ..... Reconfiguring the Library Systems Environment portal: Libraries and the Academy, Vol. 8, No. 2, April 2008. http://www.oclc.org/research/publications/archive/2008/dempsey-portal.pdf (.pdf: 195K/18 pp.) [Lorcan Dempsey: Selected publications [OCLC]] This is a short piece adapted from an earlier blog entry. Lavoie, Brian, and Günter Waibel. An...read full entry...
  • The Integrated Library System: status and futureApril 15, 2008 – Library Management Systems Study: An Evaluation and horizon scan of the current library management systems and related systems landscape for UK higher education [pdf] is a report commissioned by JISC and SCONUL which has just appeared. It is quite long, including an environmental scan, interviews with library system vendors, reports...read full entry...
  • The network levelApril 07, 2008 – Jeremy Frumkin of Oregon State University talks to Merrilee Proffitt about library services and moving to the network level in the second Parcast [file is here]. This is in response to the question "what keeps you awake at night?". What is a Parcast? Welcome to the OCLC Programs and Research...read full entry...
  • The big switchApril 01, 2008 – I have just finished Nicholas Carr's The Big Switch. Here is a sample: The complexity and inefficiency of the client-server model have fed on themselves over the last quarter century. As companies continue to add more applications, they have to expand their data centers, install new machines, reprogram old ones,...read full entry...
  • ILSMarch 25, 2008 – I did a search on ILS in Google earlier. The top result was for a website called ILSMart.com where the ILS stands for Inventory Locator Service. It is a supply chain company for the aviation and allied businesses. Inventory Locator Service is not a bad name for what we call...read full entry...
  • Library labsMarch 20, 2008 – The National Library of Australia has set up Library Labs: The aim of this wiki space, which we are calling Library Labs, is to let our friends and colleagues know what we are doing, to invite comments, questions and feedback and to provide a space for discussion and collaboration.We are...read full entry...
  • An effective web presence?March 18, 2008 – The Library at University College Dublin (UCD) invited expressions of interest in a "website and online environment consultancy" a while ago. I thought that the document they prepared as background was nicely done, and that although specific in many ways to UCD it represented a general statement of common issues...read full entry...
  • Evergreen and PinesFebruary 05, 2008 – There is a lot of buzz around Evergreen: there is excitement about an open source integrated library system. There is another aspect of it that is interesting, which I haven't seen so much discussion about. Evergreen was developed to support PINES in Georgia. It was designed to support consortial working....read full entry...
  • Personal reference collections as digital librariesJanuary 31, 2008 – We will see much more activity connecting user environments and bibliographic resources. I am thinking of citation managers, reading lists, social bookmarking sites (see citulike and unalog) and RSS feeds. Some of these may be specifically supported by the library (e.g. a citation manager service), some may be developed within...read full entry...
  • Library process automation: the ecology of providersJanuary 20, 2008 – Just as I began to see messages about the publication of Marshall Breeding's report on his survey of library perceptions of their system vendor I was reading The new economics of the BI market by Jerry Held on The Database Column blog. He talks about consolidation within the BI (Business...read full entry...
  • To 'extract, transform and load' or to federateJanuary 10, 2008 – One of the major questions for library systems is the role of metasearch or federation. I have written about this here (Metasearch: a boundary case) and here (Metasearch, Google and the rest). The issue is that libraries have to manage a range of database resources whose legacy technical and business...read full entry...
  • Library website analyticsNovember 01, 2007 – Our activities in the network world leave traces. The analysis of these traces is now a major undertaking as organizations mine this data to understand behaviors, to improve their systems, and to refine their offer. Tony Hirst has a series of posts about 'course analytics': In contrast to the academic...read full entry...
  • CISTI labOctober 31, 2007 – I was in CISTI in Ottawa yesterday and saw an interesting and regrettably brief presentation from Glen Newton about the work of their research group They are doing some nice things to layer useful functionality across large data sets (e.g. clustering, mapping citation patterns, recommendation, ...). Some examples of their...read full entry...
  • Processes and repositoriesOctober 16, 2007 – I find it convenient to think about current library systems activities in terms of support for three materials workflows: bought/print materials, licensed/electronic materials, and digital/digitized materials. This is being pragmatic rather than pure, and is open to challenge on many grounds. I have discussed these at more length here, and...read full entry...
  • The network reconfigures the library systems environmentJuly 06, 2007 – One of the main issues facing libraries as they work to create richer user services is the complexity of their systems environment. Consider these pictures which I have been using in presentations for a while now. Reductively, we can think of three classes of systems - (1) the classic ILS...read full entry...
  • The integrated library systemJune 18, 2007 – A couple of notes on the Integrated Library System. A discussion document on the ILS, prepared at the University of Windsor, has been made available. [Future of the Integrated Library System] This pulls together some commentary on the current state and preferred directions for the ILS. Thanks to the authors...read full entry...
  • QOTD: Libraries and learning management systemsApril 06, 2007 – I have just acquired Virtual learning environments: using choosing and developing your VLE by Martin Weller. VLE is a term popular in the UK for Course or Learning Management System. Weller is Professor of Educational Technology at the Open University where he directed their VLE project. The Open University is...read full entry...
  • Moving to a 'single business' systems environmentMarch 26, 2007 – The National Library of Australia has made an interesting report available, National Library of Australia IT Architecture Project Report, March 2007. [pdf] Here is the declared purpose:The aim of this report is to define the IT architecture that will be needed to support the management, discovery and delivery of the...read full entry...
  • ERAMSJanuary 23, 2007 – One of the more interesting discussions I had at ALA was with Martha Whittaker of Serials Solutions. She was talking about their use of the expression ERAMS (Electronic Resource Access and Management Services). Here is some blurb from Serials Solutions leaflet describing ERAMS:Now that the nature of library collections has...read full entry...
  • Standards for D2DJanuary 15, 2007 – JISC, ALPSP, Crossref, and The Publishers' Association sponsored a conference - Discovery and access - standards and the information chain - in December. The proceedings are now available, as is a summary. This is really an excellent set of presentations from knowledgeable presenters, and they all repay reading. I was...read full entry...
  • Open source interconnectionsJanuary 11, 2007 – I was interested to come across Equinox Systems this morning:Created by the same team who planted the seed of Evergreen and grew it into a full-featured library automation system, Equinox Software is the only choice for the experience and expertise you need from your Evergreen development, support and integration team....read full entry...
  • Emergent knowledge and intentional dataDecember 31, 2006 – I have written about 'intentional' data on and off, data recording user preferences or choices. Such data has a variety of uses in our domain: we are all familiar with Amazon's 'people who bought this also bought this' feature. One of the major lessons of Google is to show how...read full entry...
  • Library systems marketDecember 18, 2006 – Prompted by Andrew Pace's comments on the ILS a while ago, I noted that there was less discussion in the library community about the industry that supports it than one might expect. Given the various announcements since then, this is of even more interest (Coutts/Ingrams, Endeavor/Ex Libris, Blackwells/Wiley). Anyway, in...read full entry...
  • The book as platformDecember 04, 2006 – I was reading Benedict Anderson's Imagined Communities on a flight home the other day. A major part of his argument is that publishing - of books, newspapers, and so on - played an important role in creating a shared identity across geographically distributed communities, which in turn was important in...read full entry...
  • Library systems worldNovember 13, 2006 – It is surprising to me that there is not more discussion in the library community about the structure of the industry which supports it. Sure, there are complaints about ILS vendors, and some discussion about publishers, but very little about broader structural issues, especially as see change all around. Andrew...read full entry...
  • The Browne Issue System and the reordering of experienceNovember 11, 2006 – I was looking for a description of the Browne Issue System because I wanted to do an entry about it and avoid having to describe it. The State Library of Queensland provides a description. Briefly, a reader has several tickets, each with a pocket. Each book has an associated card,...read full entry...
  • How quickly they forgetNovember 05, 2006 – Wikipedia has let me down, I fear. I was looking for a brief description of the Brown Issue System. Nope. Not there. Indeed, a search on Google produces remarkably few results. Here is a brief description from one document found:With the very widely used Brown issue system, for instance, when...read full entry...
  • Search protocolsOctober 31, 2006 – Ralph Levan has a succinct article in the current Information Technology and Libraries explicating the current profusion of search protocols by placing them on a continuum of complexity. Here is the e-print. LeVan, Ralph. 2006. "OpenSearch and SRU: A Continuum of Searching." Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL), 25,3 (September): 151-153....read full entry...
  • Collaborative Sourcing? Open sourcing?September 23, 2006 – Paul Courant and Rebecca Griffiths published a paper on open source software recently. It was called Software and collaboration in higher education: a study of open source software and was funded by several institutions, including the Andrew W Mellon Foundation. The final report is available [pdf] and there is a...read full entry...
  • Library waySeptember 05, 2006 – E41ST uses Flex 2, Amazon web services, and 'your public library' to connect an Amazon browsing experience with a look up in a local public library. E41ST is an attempt at making a corner of the web look the way I like to see it! Named after New York's East...read full entry...
  • Synthesize, specialize, mobilizeAugust 25, 2006 – I have used the synthesize, specialize, mobilize triple as a way of organizing some recent presentations and have found it very useful. Unfortunately, I cannot claim credit for coining this. This is a formulation of my colleague Robin Murray of Fretwell Downing, now part of OCLC Pica. It is presented...read full entry...
  • Registries: the intelligence in the networkAugust 20, 2006 – Interaction between systems and services on the network requires intelligence. Intelligence about what is in the environment (search or resolution targets, for example), about how to interact with found entities (addresses or interface specifications, for example), about who is authorized to do what, and so on. Think of two parallels....read full entry...
  • JISC/CNI presentationsJuly 29, 2006 – As I have remarked a couple of times in these pages, conference agendas are often an interesting manifestation of current thinking. Presentations from the JISC/CNI conference are now appearing. Topics of interest in this case include a mix of policy, practice and research: changing patterns of information use in research...read full entry...
  • Resolution and transaction costsJuly 24, 2006 – Andrew Pace has a note emphasising the importance of OpenURL and resolution, placing it in the context of overall management of the supply chain that connects libraries and their partners. This is the right emphasis. A major challenge for libraries is removing transaction costs (the effort required to perform the...read full entry...
  • Libraries, research and learningJune 23, 2006 – Academic library services will co-evolve with changing learning and research practices in network environments. So much is clear, even if the picture is still a little blurry. We have come through a period - a decade and more - where the main emphasis has been on putting materials on the...read full entry...
  • The owl of MinervaJune 01, 2006 – The home page of the Rush Rhees library at the University of Rochester displays a picture of a statue of Minerva. I sat through an interesting presentation this morning from Jennifer Bowen and David Lindahl about the Extensible Catalog project at Rochester. Their powerpoint template prominently featured a picture of...read full entry...
  • A great radio voiceMay 25, 2006 – A nice interview with Thom. Thom Hickey discusses OCLC Research, projects, technology, and licensing with Educause's Matt Pasiewicz In a 23-minute interview, OCLC's chief scientist covers such topics as OCLC's Open Source Software offerings and licenses, FRBR and other projects, grid computing and Ajax. [Research [OCLC]]...read full entry...
  • Lifting out the catalog discovery experienceMay 14, 2006 – I have been talking to a variety of groups in recent weeks, and the future of the catalog has risen to the top of the list in discussion and questions. The catalog is a topic of major debate. However, this discussion is really raising a set of broader issues about...read full entry...
  • InnovationApril 13, 2006 – In the continuing discussion about the place of the catalog in the evolving set of library services and the wider network world, a couple of interesting links. First, a talk given a few days ago at OCLC:Birte Christensen-Dalsgaard (State and University Library, Aarhus (Denmark)) Developing Denmark's Next Generation Digital Library:...read full entry...
  • Flickr and the library picturesJanuary 10, 2006 – More interesting work from the National Library of Australia.Now FlickR and the National Library of Australia are embarking on an exciting initiative to offer individuals the opportunity to include their images of contemporary Australia in the PictureAustralia service through FlickR. By adding images to this group, individuals are able to,...read full entry...
  • A book on institutional repositories, no less ...January 07, 2006 – I notice with interest that the Institutional Repository is a sufficiently mature topic for a publisher to publish a book on it and for authors (Richard Jones, Theo Andrew and John MacColl) to write one. Incidentally, this was the first time that I noticed that Amazon.co.uk includes sponsored links. Speaking...read full entry...
  • A catalog with serviceDecember 23, 2005 – Dave Pattern left a comment below noting that the 'people who borrowed this also borrowed ...' feature on the University of Huddersfield catalogue is now live. I had mentioned it in the context of greater use of 'intentional' data in our services, that is data which records choices or intentions....read full entry...
  • Systemwide discovery and deliveryDecember 22, 2005 – Judith Pearce of the National Library of Australia has written a really good paper on the emerging shape of resource discovery and delivery, with some contribution from my OCLC Pica colleague Janifer Gatenby. It takes a systemwide perspective: so the focus is on what we somtimes call resource sharing. I...read full entry...
  • On demand services ..December 18, 2005 – I wonder will we see on-demand library systems emerge. I am thinking of services like salesforce.com (the poster child of the on-demand software phenomenon, it provides Customer Relationship Management services) or webex.com (a conferencing and online meeting provider). The idea here is that rather than installing local instances of an...read full entry...
  • Cool searchDecember 10, 2005 – Thom has a note about some really nice search systems on his blog. Check there for the details of how these work. The search systems are based on an index of phrases, and suggest results as you type. These, combined with speed of response, give a very good serach experience....read full entry...
  • Project ArrowSeptember 07, 2005 – I have mentioned Arrow a couple of times: Arrow is an Australian project looking at national Institutional Repository infrastructure. Geoff Payne, the Arrow project manager was in OCLC recently discussing how they might integrate some of our schema transformation work. He gave a well received presentatation to OCLC staff and...read full entry...
  • New model library system vendorsSeptember 05, 2005 – The formation of SirsiDynix prompted a couple of interesting posts. Kenton Good predicted that there would be another coming together this year and wondered would it be Innovative Interfaces and Endeavor Information Systems. He speculated that:Ex Libris feeling isolated will radically shift their business model. Leveraging their plans to modularize...read full entry...
  • BL LabsAugust 28, 2005 – I note that the British Library ('the world's knowledge') has a labs page at labs.bl.uk to report on pilot activities. There is some information here about in-progress work with SRU/W, selective disclosure to search engines, research repository services, and others. Welcome to British Library eIS Architecture Pilot Services. This site...read full entry...
  • Open sourcingAugust 10, 2005 – Spotted a while ago on a vendor t-shirt at a conference: 'we help make open source affordable' ;-) Whatever about using other people's code, we have not found it as straightforward as we had expected making our own code available to others. Which license to chose? How to reduce the...read full entry...
  • Groningen thoughtsJuly 24, 2005 – The LIBER 34th Annual Conference in Groningen was a congenial event in an engaging city. LIBER, for those unfamiliar with it, is an organization which brings together European research libraries. I left thinking about three things, based on the presentations I saw and the conversations I had:Managing the collective book...read full entry...
  • Open Source and OpenURL 1.0July 18, 2005 – OCLC Research publishes a range of open source software, some of it quite widely used. The latest addition to this range provides resolution capability for OpenURL 1.0; see the announcement here and some description of OpenURL support here. OR open source software now includes support for SRU, OAI-PMH and OpenURL...read full entry...
  • Library system consolidationJune 25, 2005 – Some discussion about the SirsiDynyix merger from a UK and a French perspective. Each notes the commentary in Peter Evans' useful resource Biblio Tech Review....read full entry...
  • StandardsMay 25, 2005 – NISO commissioned a Blue Ribbon Panel, chaired by Cliff Lynch, to advise on its strategic planning process. [Full disclosure: I was a member of the panel.] The report of the Panel [pdf] is now available and makes compelling reading for anybody interested in how standards work is organized - or...read full entry...
  • Recombinance all the way up ... remixing all the way downMay 06, 2005 – I have been using recombinance quite a lot in the last year or two to talk about how network flow affects structures. You can tell that I am generationally challenged: I should be saying remixing, which is cropping up in places in the same sense. This is happening to structures...read full entry...
  • The integrated library system that isn't February 22, 2005 – One can read the phrase Integrated Library System (ILS) in two ways: as a system for the integrated library, or as an integrated system for the library. Although the latter is what was probably meant by the term, neither is an accurate description of what the ILS has become. In...read full entry...
  • WorldCat in your pocketJanuary 19, 2005 – We have been looking at things recently which have made my colleagues interested in hardware again, and which also show how far we have come in being able to manipulate and move large amounts of data. WorldCat is our union catalogue of about 56 million bibliographic records, which represent approximately...read full entry...
  • Talis blogJanuary 18, 2005 – Talis is a UK library systems vendor. A group of Talis staff are running a blog called panlibus, which provides some interesting perspectives....read full entry...
  • Standards and high acronymic densityDecember 12, 2004 – As more activity enters a network space, the need for well-understood approaches to data and service interchange increases. This has led to a high, and growing, acronymic density in discussion. It also leads to some confusion for practitioners, as many standards (or specifications) discussions are 'techeological' in nature: technology is...read full entry...
  • The people's networkDecember 01, 2004 – An evaluation of the UK People's Network has been published. The People's Network, a €120 million lottery-funded project to connect all 4200 libraries to the internet, represents the biggest single investment in the 150-year history of the public library service and a significant supplement to local authorities' existing annual library...read full entry...
  • Web services and library systemsNovember 04, 2004 – The VIEWS website is now available. VIEWS (Vendor Initiative for Enabling Web Services) is looking to advance the development of web services based approaches by organizations which supply sytems and services to libraries. OCLC is a member. VIEWS is an initiative by vendors and library service organizations launched in June...read full entry...
  • AriadneOctober 31, 2004 – A particularly rich issue of Ariadne has just appeared, with a strong international flavor. It includes significant articles on a theses plugin for Dspace, the Dutch institutional repository initiative, Dare, portal frameworks, recent developments at the National Library of Australia, ISBN-13, and learning object metadata. And there is a strong...read full entry...
  • Preparedness for digital futuresSeptember 22, 2004 – CLIR is organizating a 'primer' on 'managing digital assets'. The text below is from the description of the event. I think it overstates the case, but it is an appropriate reminder that we are really in the early stages of constructing viable digital information environments. Aside from the largest research...read full entry...
  • VirtualizationSeptember 21, 2004 – Virtualization, outsourcing, ASP, ... Jonathan Schwartz signals a Sun announcement about 'computing utility' services. He provides some nice ways of talking about this phenomenon which could be applied to what we have historically known as 'bibliographic utilities', and also to current initiatives which look at providing shared infrastructure in the...read full entry...
  • MG retrieval systemSeptember 19, 2004 – The MG retrieval system is used by Greenstone. MG is an open-source indexing and retrieval system for text, images, and textual images. MG is covered by a GNU public licence. [About MG]...read full entry...
  • ECDL - European conference on digital librariesSeptember 19, 2004 – I gave a keynote at this event at the University of Bath last week. Some observations and presentations:There was quite a bit of discussion about 'community' and to what extent the conference participants represented a community of interest and to what extent they represented rather different communities of interest given...read full entry...
  • Institutional portalsJuly 18, 2004 – Several case studies of institutional and library portals are available. The institutional cases are especially interesting as the library increasingly has to be visible in these spaces. To support these aims, the JISC has funded a number of case studies in the assessment and implementation of portal solutions within an...read full entry...
  • European Conference on Digital LibrariesJuly 14, 2004 – The program for ECDL 2004 is now available. ECDL 2004 is the 8th in the series of European Digital Library Conferences. ECDL has become the major European forum focusing on digital libraries and associated technical, organisational and social issues. [ECDL 2004]...read full entry...
  • Physical and virtual union catalogsJune 22, 2004 – CC-Interop is a UK project looking at aspects of the interplay between what it calls 'physical' union catalogs and 'virtual' union catalogs. The latter are z39.50 enabled 'clumps' of catalogs. It has produced several reports, the most recent of which looks at the use of Collection Level Descriptions to 'landscape'...read full entry...
  • ECDL at University of BathJune 11, 2004 – Registration for ECDL 2004 is now open. I will be keynoting, as will Neil McClean and Tony Hey (Director of the UK e-science program). Diane, Stu and I are on the strong Programme Committee: ECDL 2004 Organisation.It will be nice to visit Bath again, where of course I worked for...read full entry...
  • Guidelines for use of identifiers in DC and LOM metadataMay 16, 2004 – This document provides guidelines for encoding a number of commonly used identifiers in Dublin Core (DC) metadata [DCMI] and IEEE Learning Object Metadata (LOM) [LOM] records. [Guidelines for encoding identifiers in Dublin Core and IEEE LOM metadata]...read full entry...
  • Campus IT issuesMay 15, 2004 – The top IT issues for universities are listed in an article in the current EDUCAUSE REVIEW | May/June 2004, Volume 39, Number 3. Not many surprises. Finance a major issue:Accelerating demands for IT services and rising costs for IT infrastructure renewal and support, coupled with institutional budget cuts at many...read full entry...
  • Vendor integration - libraries and learningApril 04, 2004 – A major recent issue for libraries has been the relationship of library services to emerging instructional technology environments. Increasingly, on many campuses, the course management system facilitates the relationship between learners and between learner and teacher. Interestingly, there is now a systems vendor who povides integrating solutions between the worlds...read full entry...
  • YakpacMarch 31, 2004 – Yakpak is a children't user interface for OPAC data. It sits on top of a Z39.50 client. Produced by IndexData it is worth a look. It will be launched at ALA in Orlando....read full entry...
  • IndexDataMarch 31, 2004 – Some colleagues will be familiar with IndexData the small Danish company set up by Sebastian Hammer which provides the open source Yaz 339.50 toolkit which is widely used. Sebastian Hammer is moving to the US shortly, and David Dorman is now promoting IndexData products in the US. They have an...read full entry...
  • Bielefeld proceedingsMarch 10, 2004 – The 7th International Bielefeld Conference: Proceedings have just been announced. Jay highlights the work of OR in his presentation. Roswitha Poll has an overview of a survey of users with some interesting results; the powerpoint gets in the way a little on this one. I thought that Hans Geleijnse's concluding...read full entry...
  • Inside California Digital LibraryMarch 10, 2004 – The California Digital Library has a web page [Inside CDL] linking to its working documents. This provides an interesting insight into the shared collection development and technical issues facing a large group of research libraries working to build future infrastructure. Check out its project page for example:In partnership with the...read full entry...
  • Infomotion's booksJanuary 19, 2004 – Check out Infomotions' library of books. This is a catalog of Eric Lease Morgan's personal collection. He is taking a book, pulling a record from LC via Z39.50, and indexing it in Swish-e. Each entry has the MARC record associated with it....read full entry...
  • VTLS and FedoraJanuary 12, 2004 – Eric drew my attention to a press release noting that VTLS is going to support the open source digital asset management system, Fedora, as part of their product range.Blacksburg, VA - VTLS announced today the debut of a new era in library automation with the company becoming the first major...read full entry...
  • SAKAI - significant open source initiativeNovember 25, 2003 – The University of Michigan, Indiana University, MIT, Stanford, and the uPortal consortium are joining forces to integrate and synchronize their considerable educational software into a pre-integrated collection of open source tools. This will yield three big wins for sustainable economics and innovation in higher education: 1) A framework that builds...read full entry...
  • Wils reviewNovember 20, 2003 – Tom Zillner has written a review of Lorcan Dempsey's The Recombinant Library: Portals and People (28 pp.). See Tom's review (three-page PDF). [WiLS News]...read full entry...
  • Open source vs buyNovember 19, 2003 – Interesting article by the CIO of UW Madison. They like to buy, but uncertainty in the vendor space is prompting them to look at open source again despite the maintenance gaps.So why, given the challenges of maintenance and support, did I opt in to a collaborative open-source project last July?...read full entry...
  • Unplug and playNovember 11, 2003 – I think this is a very nice phrase to describe some of what is happening as we look at service oriented approaches.Implementing an SOA leads to agile application assembly, which is a new approach to application development, maintenance and integration that I like to call 'Unplug and play': "... achieved...read full entry...
  • Dynix and web servicesOctober 26, 2003 – We use Web Services with our new Vendor Integration Protocol (VIP), through which acquisitions librarians can check book pricing and availability within a matter of seconds with their book jobber. Baker & Taylor, Ingram, Book Wholesalers, Inc., and Brodart all support the VIP protocol. This is just the tip of...read full entry...
  • A guide to institutional repository softwareOctober 24, 2003 – There has been quite a bit of discussion about the Budapest Open Access Initiative Guide to Institutional Repository Software in various places. One question to emerge is whether there is a place for software specialised to the needs of eprints or other classes of material, or whether general digital library...read full entry...