Birte Christensen-Dalsgaard at Ticer: Intelligent / Next generation / Dynamic catalogue

Birte starts her presentation with the vision that libraries can develop intelligent systems that are able to follow you, knows your different profiles and knows where you are. She is not shy of data mining to achieve this objective.

Federated versus Integrated search
In the definition of Dalsgaard Federated search is something that Metalib does. i.e. Searching different information silos simultaneously and merged the results on a single screen. Federated search was nice solution, but ranking is lously,
With integrated search all content is harvest and indexed within a single system and search by users with any kind of tool. With integrated search you are able to rank in theory much better. However, it will not come easy. You have to balance the relatively “thin” metadata catalogue records and fulltext information. Where will the catalogue record be of a journal like Nature, which is a very important term in the life sciences. It remided me of an article by Tamar Sadeh (2006) which uses different definition than use by Birte.

Federated search is typically associated with:
• Database approach
• Queries
• Based on Z39.50 protocol
• Structured
• “Exact” match

Integrated search is typically associated with:
• Search engine approach
• Natural language
• Large Volume
• Statistical approach

In Denmark they have carried out a data mining experiment with library lending data to develop a recommender system. To their own amazement their privacy policy police did not object, but wherever you are trying to data mine and model data on users, privacy problems might crop up.

Interesting point she argues that we need different search systems for different research questions. A common search is a known item lookup, which is completely different from an explorative search on a new subject. Perhaps we need different search engines for these questions, and not expect one system to handle those very different questions.

Realizing that we actually need different search engines, we need to develop the library system as a modular approach.

Towards the end she gets back to the paradigm of Robin Murray: Synthesize, Specialize, Mobilize.

Sadeh, T. (2006). Google Scholar versus metasearch systems. High Energy Physics Libraries Webzine(12).

Christensen-Dalsgaard, B. (2008) The Intelligent catalogue.

Marshall Breeding at Ticer: Library automation for the next generation

One of the disruptions in the Integrated Library System (ILS) market in the USA is that many libraries are shifting towards open source (OS) ILS. Most of these decisions taken in favor of the adoption of OS systems are religious decisions. Thus without a proper evaluation of the pros and cons of OS. At the end of the day costs of OS and closed systems are probably equal.


Breeding noted that the investment into Open Source ILS was last year about 10% of the market and will be about 25% of investment this year in North America. The installed base of OS ILS is about 2 to 3%


As examples of OS ILS het mentions

Koha – commercial support from LibLime

Evergreen – Commercial support from Equinox

OPALS – commercial support from Media Flex

NewGenLib – Open Source ILS for the developing world.


Next he goes on to explain the different shades of green that can make a system Open Source. In many cases an open API layer allows libraries to configure and manipulate the system to their liking. Breeding pleads for the development of universal API that can applied towards different ILS. Het talks about the Berkeley Accords.


Rethinking the ILS

Traditional ILS model is not suitable for hybrid libraries where print and digital come together. The classical ILS focuses on Cataloging + Circulation + OPAC + Serials + Acquisitions, whereas nowadays integration includes link resolvers, full text, federated search and Electronic resource management. However the foundations of ILS were carved in stone in the 1965 and still stand their time. We should be pushing the standards constantly. The influence that Google has had on our users is that they expect to do full text searches. Libraries are still worrying about Metadata, users want the data.  


The next generation ILS should be based on a Services Oriented Architecture wich consists of many small granular modules that complete the tasks.


Towards the end het makes mention of the Open Library Environment (OLE) project sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation where they are rethinking the next generation of library systems.

Ticer: Digital Libraries à la Carte 2008

It took me some hassles, but I have finally a wi-fi connection in the lecture room at Ticer. Stephen Abram has finished his presentation which was schedulded for 60 minutes, but took some 90+ minutes. I will blog some of his presentation later, but in the mean time some of his planned presentation can be found at his blog. All the time of his presentation was well spent. Right now I am listening to Marshall Breeding on library systems.

The future of the Dutch public library: ten years on

It doesn’t happen very often that I will deal with the situation of the Dutch public library sector on this blog. But exceptions are there to be made. A thorough report on the situation of the public libraries in the Netherlands has been released and made available in English:

From the summary:

The public library is the biggest cultural institution in the Netherlands, with around 4 million members and 130 million items lent each year. Yet despite this, the library is under pressure; membership numbers and borrowings have been falling steadily for several years. In the last six years the public libraries have been working together with local, provincial and national authorities on a ‘library renewal’ programme. From an organisation primarily concerned with lending books, the library is being transformed into a cultural centre which is active in five domains: knowledge and information, development and education, arts and culture, reading and literature, and meeting and debate.
Meanwhile, rapid changes were and are taking place in society and in the world of information and culture. This study describes relevant developments within and outside the Dutch public library sector and relates them to each other. Based on these observations, the report outlines two possible futures for the position of the public library in the Netherlands ten years from now. In the first variant, trends continue at the same rate and the public library gradually loses support. In the second possible future, the present trends accelerate and the threats are greater. These two future projections are followed by an analysis of the deficiencies that could arise from a social perspective in both cases. In conclusion, a number of suggestions are put forward for action by the sector and the public authorities to counter these deficiencies. The central focus is on the substantive renewal of the library service.

author(s) Frank Huysmans, Carlien Hillebrink
publication date 06/09/2008
keywords: libraries, reading, culture
number of pages 210
isbn: 9789037703801

Dowload the complete version:

Future of Dutch public library (PDF 2306 kB)
Future of Dutch public library front cover (PDF 1411 kB)

I hope you find this worthwhile