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: 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.

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.