A day at Ticer: lessons learned

It was a well packed day at Ticer yesterday. 4 presenters making five presentations. I have tried to blog the first impressions live, but network difficulties –had to install VPN and more difficult things- prevented to post the first presentation immediately.

Stephen Abram, as could be expected, urged us librarians to wake up. After he started to speak he seemed unstoppable. So now and then he posed a rhetoric question, but hurried on without awaiting any responses. Stephen used quite a bit of exaggeration but I think that was valid approach. He was quite sincere in warning us that it is really five to twelve, or perhaps already four. If we don’t want to become redundant in the future we have focus on our user’s needs rather than our librarian’s needs and adopt Web 2.0 tools in our roster. His list of 25 technologies is a good starting point. These we should master and preferably on a mobile device.

Marshall Breeding was perhaps the biggest contrast in presentation style to the Stephen Abram that you could imagine. Small and shy, but with a clear voice. He asked us first to complete his library web cats survey. The most important trend from his presentation was the increasing popularity of Open Source Systems. He presented very clearly the different shades of openness that exist. Open source is by no means a cheaper alternative than regular integrated library systems. The place to keep an eye on in the near future is the workgroup of OLE

Birte Christensen-Dalsgaard radiated library enthusiasm in her presentation. At first she she broke down the fallacy of library knowledge of our users, since most library users are perhaps the Drive in users, that really want to spend the least of time in the library or with the library systems. And this systems needs to be broken down and rebuild from the ground to offer more relevant and better information to meet users needs. That we have to datamine and model our user’s behaviour as closely as possible is not a problem to her. Privacy laws might be prohibitive, though. In her list of examples is Summa of course. Towards the end she pleads for standards, stands and standards of course, since libraries can’t go on this alone, standards will help to cooperate more fully.

The remainder of the afternoon was reserved for Herbert van de Sompel. Perhaps the most interesting presentations of the day, but about applications that are only at the horizon of practical digital libraries today. It is good however that somebody from the digital library research world came to share some of their research with library practitioners. It was Cliford Lynch who once wrote “Digital libraries”: this oxymoronic phrase has attracted dreamers and engineers, visionaries and entrepreneurs, a diversity of social scientists, lawyers, scientists and technicians. And even, ironically, librarians – though some would argue that digital libraries have very little to do with libraries as institutions or the practice of librarianship.“. His point was really to watch the pages of his research groups since a lots will be coming out the coming months.

This year the time keeping and discussion rounds were less strict than last year. A bit of a pity since I really enjoyed those last year. Sylvia van Peteghem did a beautiful round up of the presentations at the end of the day though.

Lynch, C. (2005). Where do we go from here? The next decade for digital libraries. D-Lib Magazine 11(7/8). http://www.dlib.org/dlib/july05/lynch/07lynch.html.

Stephen Abram at Ticer: Twenty five technologies to watch and how

Stephen Abram had the honour to quick off the second day at Ticer. During the introduction he put successfully the finger on the areas where (Academic) libraries are failing when they don’t cooperate and provide services that are geared towards the needs of users.

An important point he makes is the classical opposition of librarians, who are text based learners to graphical user interfaces. Libraries are equipped for documentary information whereas the whole world is changing towards a multimedia information world. Libraries are on most occasions not yet equipped or prepared for this change in information formats. Where they are shy of graphical user interfaces they are also shy of multimedia.

The point he makes in his extensive introduction is that libraries should interoperate on a global basis, and immerse people in content. All because

“The world is going to change with or without you….
Get ready”

He goes on to explain the importance of the generation y, the younger generation who can multitask, cooperate and are trained at problem solving rather than learning facts. Those are our future users with needs completely different needs. “Who is archiving computer games?” he asks the audience. Simulations are the most important way of teaching in military and defense industries. YouTube movies and Podcasts for research and learning are on many occasions much more effective for learning than textbooks. “Whose study collections include podscasts or vodcasts?” He challenges his audience.

A prediction from Stephen is that an iPod like device will contain all content ever created by 2020, i.e. the complete Web in your pocket. The future is mobile and we better prepare ourselves for this fact. The real question that we should be discussing therefore is what a Web 2.0 or Library 2.0 application should look like in a mobile environment.

Only after about 90 minutes het gets down to his 25 technologies that will transform Academic Libraries in the near future:

  1. Mobile
  2. Presence management – Twitter
  3. Tagging – Delicious
  4. Scrapbooking – Zotero, Connotea
  5. Personal Homepages
  6. Microblogging – Twitter (again)
  7. Social content – Wikipedia, Knol
  8. Public Social Networking – Orkut, Facebook, MySpace
  9. Private Social Networking – Plaxo, LinkedIn, Ning
  10. Social Network Integration – f8, opensocial
  11. e-Books and devices
  12. eLearning – Blackboard, Sakai, AngelLearning
  13. XML
  14. Cloud Software – Yahoo, Google, Bebo
  15. RSS groups and readers – Bloglines, Google Reader
  16. iTunes, MP3
  17. Podcasts & Screencasts
  18. Streaming Media
  19. SEO and GIS
  20. Federated Search
  21. Custom Search
  22. Next Generation content
  23. DRM
  24. up to you
  25. Humans as the Competitive Edge

An intended powerpoint, which is actually different from the one presented can be found at Stephens Lighthouse.

Herbert van de Sompel at Ticer: OAI object reuse and exchange: Support

van de Sompel describes his project simply as doing Web 2.0 type of things with scholarly communication with additional stuff to add to the value chain of scholarly communication. It is geared towards the machine readable web.

The ORE project brings together URI, RDF and Vocabularies. It has all to do with the semantic Web. The beta version of ORE was published June 2008. Best part of that document is the primer to understand what the project is really about. The primer though, will be completely rewritten by the end of September to make it less technical.

More info at:
Van de Sompel, H. and C. Lagoze (2007). Interoperability for the Discovery, Use, and Re-Use of Units of Scholarly Communication CTWatch Quarterly 3(3): 32-40. http://www.ctwatch.org/quarterly/articles/2007/08/interoperability-for-the-discovery-use-and-re-use-of-units-of-scholarly-communication/

Herbert van de Sompel at Ticer: Scholarly communication in the digital age

Van de Sompel is an enthusiastic talker and really does his best to take the audience in the world of scientometrics. I am a fan. Have a look at the subjects of this blog. The Mesur project is about a totally new set of data analysis of scholarly communication moving partly away citation data to actual downloading and clicking behaviour and perhaps reading habits. Their goal is to develop new metrics.

Really interesting stuff. But still really a little bit beyond most libraries.

Bollen, J., H. van de Sompel, et al. (2008). Towards Usage-based Impact Metrics. Proceedings of the 8th ACM/IEEE-CS joint conference on Digital libraries: 231-240. http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1378889.1378928