Digital librarie


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  • Digital libraries – a wide range of services are digital-library-like. The involve selection, curation and disclosure of digital materials for particular audiences. Depending on your definition some of these are in, some out. Wherever you draw the line there is significant activity. ‘ Business’ – many organizations do digital-library-like activities to support their business needs. For example, think what will happen with historical collections of media materials in the ‘media’ business; collections of business documents (insurance, cheques) and so on in financial services companies; e-learning repositories; developing research collections. Digital library research reaches into many disciplines. Although there is a somewhat diffuse community of ‘digital library researchers’ in computer science, library and information science, and related issues, those who are building digital libraries are potentially interested in a wider research hinterland. This means that ‘digital library’ relates to a very diffuse set of interests.
  • I will focus on libraries!
  • Not clear how extensive the survey was or what the population was.
  • Amazoogle – from a policy and funding point of view libraries are increasingly working in an environment shaped by expectations created by Google and Amazon. The library has to create the value case in such an environment. User behaviors are changing in a network environment. Research and learning behaviors are co-evolving with general network activity. People create and consume information in new ways. There are no patterns for digital directions.
  • This may slightly overstate the case, but it is clear that we are some way from being able to routinely create viable digital information environments.
  • It is difficult to measure the impact of digital library research. It is clear that there have been local successes and one can point to certain outcomes which benefited from programmatic research funding. The ROI on user studies seems low. Many are tied to particular systems or services. Some commercial metasearch products have been assisted by being part of the EU technical research and development investment. OCLC Pica’s iPort grew out of the EU project Decomate. Fretwell Downing participated in EU and JISC funded activities which contributed to their current suite. IndexData did nice work in several EU projects also. Cheshire assisted by NSF funding. OpenURL and OAI – Herbert Van de Sompel.
  • Increasingly the library needs to provide services into the user environment – it needs to be visible in course management systems, in university portals, and so on. Not everybody will come to the library or to the library portal.
  • “economy of presence” – a phrase of Bill Mitchell’s. Users have heterogeneous requirements. What is an effective network presence.
  • ‘ below-the-line’ – i.e. below the line in the collections grid. These tend to be unique materials – special collections and research and learning materials (e-prints, data sets, courseware, …)
  • JISC has its Information Architecture and now the E-Learning Framework. These help us have conversations, create shared understanding, help us partition problems, and so on. The library community seems resistant to such shared architectures, which may be a good or a bad thing depending on your point of view.
  • Marchitecture – an architecture produced by a vendor for marketing purposes. May not be the best guide to the applications space. (do a search on google for more) Techeology – a mixture of technology and ideology. Discussion where ideological beliefs cloud technical discussion. I find this a useful word to describe quite a bit of the conversation one comes across. Portal envy – we must have a portal, everybody else does Beauty contests – discussion starts with which of the commonly known repository frameworks one wants rather than with requirements etc
  • Continued health of standards and OSS depends on intellectual and other contributions and sustaining frameworks. Mackenzie Smith spoke about difficulties with OSS at this conference. Neil McLean spoke about common services and the need for such infrastructural services. Again we are not sure how to secure and sustain these.
  • Digital librarie

    1. 1. Libraries, digital libraries anddigital library research Lorcan Dempsey OCLC Keynote presentation at European Conference on Digital Libraries 2004 University of Bath September 12 – 17 2004
    2. 2. Overview
    3. 3. Holes‘There was once a man who aspired to be the author of thegeneral theory of holes.When asked “What kind of hole – holes dug by children in thesand for amusement, holes dug by gardeners to plant lettuceseedlings, tank traps, holes made by roadmakers?” he wouldreply indignantly that he wished for a general theory thatwould explain all of these.This man’s achievement haspassed totally unnoticed except by me.’
    4. 4. Digital libraries and holes … ‘Digital library’ has no precise or agreed referent Different communities of practice  Compare ‘archive’ Different incentives • Archival institution • Serve • Archival materials • Build • OAI • Research • A promise of preservation?
    5. 5. Digital library Research Digital library DigitalLibrary libraries
    6. 6. Anthropology/ethnography/ Grid W3C social science Computer science Digital Library and Information science library Economics Research Industrial R&D HCI Semantic web Digital Artstor Entertainment library Jorum Libraries … Library AmazonE-research Digital ‘Business’ Inst RepE-learning libraries Banks arXiv Cultural heritage Internet archive BBC archive
    7. 7. Emphasis: Digital library Library Research Digital library DigitalLibrary libraries
    8. 8. A library as institution
    9. 9. Libraries ‘So why have I written this? I can’t show it if it’s going to contradict or undermine my case. There are a number of reasons. First and foremost, I am a librarian. I live for records and documents.’
    10. 10. A library as institutionBecause the purpose and result of absorbing informationis always finally to produce further information, i.e., tocontinue the conversation,the function of the library must be understood as onethat assists members of the community both in takingparticular positions and in recognizing and assessing thepositions taken by others. Ross Atkinson. Contingency and contradiction: The place(s) of the Ross Atkinson. Contingency and contradiction: The place(s) of the library at the dawn of the new millennium library at the dawn of the new millennium Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Volume 52, Issue 1, Pages 3-11. Published Online: Technology, Volume 52, Issue 1, Pages 3-11. Published Online: 2001. 2001.
    11. 11. A library as institutionWe often hear it said that libraries (and librarians) select,organize, retrieve, and transmit information or knowledge. Thatis true.But those are the activities, not the mission, of the library.… the important question is: "To what purpose?" We do not dothose things by and for themselves.We do them in order to address an important and continuingneed of the society we seek to serve. In short, we do it tosupport learning. Robert Martin. Libraries and Learners in the Twenty-first Century. Robert Martin. Libraries and Learners in the Twenty-first Century.
    12. 12. Libraries and digital libraries Support research and learning. Discover position of others and form one’s own position. In order to uphold their mission and values… … they must renovate their practices.
    13. 13. “Search engine mindshare” John Regazzi “In a survey for this lecture, Scientists: librarians and scientists were • Google asked to name the top scientific • Yahoo and medical search resources • PubMed that they use or are aware of. Librarians: The difference is startling.” • Science Direct • ISI Web of Science • MedLine Source: John Regazzi, The Battle for Mindshare: A battle beyond access and retrieval
    14. 14. Pattern recognition – libraries now The ‘Amazoogle’ effect Value  User behavior opaque  Uncertainty about digital directions ‘The future is here. Its just not evenly distributed yet’ William Gibson
    15. 15. The difficulty in creating a digital management strategy stemsin part from the bewildering convergence of technologicaldevelopments.Developing a digital management strategy is furthercomplicated by the fact that there are no recognized patterns ormodels for managing digital assets.Some managers seek to develop fully distributed institutionalrepositories but still must choose between open-sourcesolutions or commercial providers. Others prefer to place theirmaterial in one of a limited number of dedicated storageinstitutions. While best practices may exist for given technicalprocesses, library managers do not have a single paradigm touse as the basis for developing operational plans and policies tocapture, store, index, preserve, and redistribute the intellectualoutput in digital formats. Managing Digital Assets, CLIR primer Managing Digital Assets, CLIR primer program, 2005 program, 2005
    16. 16. Impact of digital library research? User studies • How much do we know about changing patterns of research, learning and engagement? Federation and metasearch • FDI, IndexData, Cheshire, iPort, … • OAI/OpenURL Local • NISO metasearch – issues still to be addressed successes … Repositories/digital library systems • Multiple communities • Dspace, Fedora, CONTENTdm, DLXS, .. … but we Metadata have many • Growing acronymic density • Collections, rights, policies, services, … open • Complex objects, relations questions. Identifiers/citation Preservation
    17. 17. Collections grid Stewardship high lowBooks Freely-accessibleJournals web resources Uniqueness•Newspapers low•Gov. docs•CD, DVD•Maps•Scores Research and learning materials highSpecial •ePrints/tech reports collections •Learning objectsArchives •Courseware•Rare books •E-portfolios•Local history materials •Research data•Archives & Manuscripts Untransferred records•Theses & dissertations
    18. 18. Collections grid high low disclosurePublishing Amazoogle D2D lowReformatting high E-learning E-researchCultural Digital assetheritage management
    19. 19. lab books PDAs campus portallearning management systems course material exhibitions text bookpersonal collections reading listsuser environmentsresource environment library Virtual reference Institutional repository Aggregations Digital collections Licensed Catalog E-reserve collections Cataloging ILL
    20. 20. The world is changing … Why is it difficult?
    21. 21. Scope, scale, diversity Systemic issues • No single system is the sole focus of a user’s attention • How do systems and services work across the four quadrants of the collections grid • How do they fit into wider enterprise systems Structure of costs does not reflect users’ value perception • Reallocation of resources difficult • Little substitution – ‘and’ not ‘or’
    22. 22. A new world Co-evolution with research and learning behaviors which are themselves changing Unsure about appropriate “economy of presence” • Place, network hub, channel, … • Web services, portlets, channels, … • Ambience, diffusion, ubiquity, recombinance, … E.g. Trajectory of search • Search system • Search system, machine interface, metasearch • Provide data, externalize search • Google, OAI
    23. 23. Webulation … Monolithic applications resistant to • Webulation • Service oriented architectures Massive legacy investment in knowledge structure unconnected to the web • How to release its value in a network environment Content does not easily flow into user space for manipulation, packaging, aggregation
    24. 24. Vendor environment Many libraries have outsourced development effort Library vendors do not have large R&D budgets Poor out-of-the-box support for ‘below-the-line’ materials in digital form Interesting tension between commodity (standards) and added value OSS environment very unsophisticated Limited support for logistics/supply chain/integration services
    25. 25. Limited application platforms Consider  Library world • Google • Fragmented systems and • Amazon development effort • E-bay • Does not benefit from • MapQuest scale • Unsustainable local Massively central applications development agendas platforms working in loosely coupled webby world  Organizational rearticulation Software as a service difficult. • APIs  Application platforms? • CDL • GMAIL • JISC • Paypal • DEF • search • OCLC/RLG
    26. 26. Architecture? Theory? Do we need a big picture? Allows the articulation of technical and business discussion? An unnecessary constraint?
    27. 27. Without it we are susceptible to …. Marchitecture Techeology Portal envy Gratuitous acronym requests in RFPs Beauty contests • Dspace, Fedora, ….
    28. 28. A history of consumption means that we areunprepared for contribution Standards Open source software Common services Limited structures to capture contribution and support.
    29. 29. And finally .. Libraries need to think about libraries not digital libraries And they need help from wherever they can get it!