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Information Technology and Libraries: President's Column: Making an Impact in the Time That is Given to Us

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-06-15 04:00
Presiden't Column: Making an Impact in the Time That is Given to Us

Information Technology and Libraries: Exploratory Subject Searching in Library Catalogs: Reclaiming the Vision

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-06-15 04:00
Librarians have had innovative ideas for ways to use subject and classification data to provide an improved online search experience for decades, and yet, after thirty-plus years of improvements in online catalogs, users continue to struggle with narrowing down their subject searches to produce manageable lists containing only relevant results. This article reports on one attempt to rectify that situation by radically re-envisioning the library catalog interface, enabling users to interact with and explore their search results in a profoundly different way. This new interface gives users the option of viewing a graphical overview of their results, grouped by discipline and subject. Results are depicted as a two-level treemap, which gives users a visual representation of the disciplinary perspectives (as represented by the main classes of the Library of Congress Classification) and topics (as represented by elements of the Library of Congress Subject Headings) included in the results.

Information Technology and Libraries: User Authentication in the Public Areas of Academic Libraries in North Carolina

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-06-15 04:00

The clash of principles between protecting privacy and protecting security can create an impasse between libraries, campus IT departments, and academic administration over authentication issues with the public area PCs in the library. This research takes an in-depth look at the state of authentication practices within a specific region (i.e. all the academic libraries in North Carolina) in an attempt to create a profile of those libraries that choose to authenticate or not.  The researchers reviewed an extensive amount of data to identify the factors involved with this decision.

Information Technology and Libraries: Evaluating Web-Scale Discovery Services: A Step-by-Step Guide

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-06-15 04:00
Selecting a web-scale discovery service is a large and important undertaking that involves a significant investment of time, staff, and resources. Finding the right match begins with a thorough and carefully planned evaluation process. In order to be successful, this process should be inclusive, goal-oriented, data-driven, user-centered, and transparent. The following article offers a step-by-step guide for developing a web-scale discovery evaluation plan rooted in these five key principles based on best practices synthesized from the literature as well as the author’s own experiences coordinating the evaluation process at Rutgers University. The goal is to offer academic libraries that are considering acquiring a web-scale discovery service a blueprint for planning a structured and comprehensive evaluation process.

Information Technology and Libraries: Engine Of Innovation: Building the High Performance Catalog

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-06-15 04:00
Numerous studies have indicated the sophisticated web-based search engines have eclipsed the primary importance of the library catalog as the premier tool for researchers in Higher education.  We submit that the catalog remains central to the research process.  Through a series of strategic enhancements, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in partnership with the other members of the Triangle Research Libraries Network, has made the catalog a carrier of services in addition to bibliographic data, facilitating not simply discovery but also delivery of the information researchers seek.

Information Technology and Libraries: A Library in the Palm of Your Hand: Mobile Services in Top 100 University Libraries

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-06-15 04:00
What is the current state of mobile services among academic libraries of the country’s top 100 universities, and what are the best practices for librarians implementing mobile services at the university level? Through in-depth website visits and survey questionnaires, the authors studied each of the top 100 universities’ libraries’ experiences with mobile services. Results showed that all of these libraries offered at least one mobile service, and the majority offered multiple services. The most common mobile services offered were mobile sites, text messaging services, e-books, and mobile access to databases and the catalog. In addition, chat/IM services, social media accounts and apps were very popular.  Survey responses also indicated a trend towards responsive design for websites so that patrons can access the library’s full site on any mobile device. Respondents recommend that libraries considering offering mobile services begin as soon as possible as patron demand for these services is expected to increase.

Information Technology and Libraries: What’s in a word? : Rethinking facet headings in a discovery service

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-06-15 04:00

The emergence of Discovery systems has been well received by libraries who have long been concerned with offering a smorgasbord of databases that require either individual searching of databases or the problematic use of federated searching.  The ability to search across a wide array of subscribed and open-access information resources via a centralized index has opened up access for users to a library’s wealth of information resources.  This capability has been particularly praised for its ‘google like’ search interface, thereby conforming to user expectations for information searching.  Yet, all discovery services also include facets as a search capability and thus provide faceted navigation which is a search feature that Google is not particularly well suited for.  Discovery services thus provide a hybrid search interface.  An examination of e-commerce sites clearly shows that faceted navigation is an integral part of their discovery systems.  Many library OPACs also now are being developed with faceted navigation capabilities.  However, the discovery services faceted structures suffer from a number of problems which inhibit their usefulness and their potential.  This article examines a number of these issues and it offers suggestions for improving the discovery search interface.  It also argues that vendors and libraries need to work together to more closely analyze the user experience of the discovery system.

 

DuraSpace News: The DSpace Technology Roadmap at OR2015

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-06-15 00:00

Winchester, MA  At last week's Open Repositories Conference Tim Donohue, DSpace Technical Lead, presented the DSpace Technology Roadmap for 2015-2016 on behalf of Roadmap Working Group members:

• Tim Donohue, DuraSpace

• Stuart Lewis, University of Edinburgh

• Lievan Droogmans, @mire

• Jonathan Markow, DuraSpace

• Michele Mennielli, CINECA

• Richard Rodgers, Massachusettes Institute of Technology

Open Library Data Additions: Amazon Crawl: part dd

planet code4lib - Sun, 2015-06-14 18:56

Part dd of Amazon crawl..

This item belongs to: data/ol_data.

This item has files of the following types: Data, Data, Metadata, Text

William Denton: Spectacles and standards

planet code4lib - Sun, 2015-06-14 13:15

Two or three years ago I bought “vintage” (i.e. “used”) eyeglasses from Gadabout way out east on Queen here in Toronto. I took them to Josephson Opticians and had my new prescription put in and everything worked very well … until the left temple began to get wiggly in the middle and eventually broke in two.

A problem in the temple.

I tried tape and glue, but nothing held it together, so I took the glasses back into Josephson to see what they could do. They said they couldn’t weld it—the metal was too thin and that never worked for temples—but they could just order in new temples. The glasses were old, so they used standard parts, and those parts were still available.

It turns out that eyeglasses all used to use standard parts—the frames and design would be different, but the temples and nose pads and hinges and such all had common sizes and screws and could be swapped in or replaced. In Canada today the place to get those parts is McCray Optical Supply, which sells cable temples coloured gold and silver in the common 105 mm length.

New eyeglasses all have different parts. Each manufacturer makes their own hinges and nose pads and you can’t move a piece from one pair over to another’s. When you get glasses now, you’re buying into a closed, proprietary system. The user freedom that came from open standards and open hardware is gone.

I’m happy my eyeglasses are part of the older open spectacle world. The new temples fitted and the glasses are back in action.

Fixed!

Galen Charlton: Desiderata for the next Librarian of Congress

planet code4lib - Sat, 2015-06-13 20:52

The current Librarian of Congress, James Billington, has announced that he will retire on 1 January 2016.  I wish him well – but I also think it’s past time for a change at LC.  Here are my thoughts on how that change should be embodied by Billington’s successor.

The next Librarian of Congress should embrace a vision of LC as the general national library of the United States and advocate for it being funded accordingly.  At present LC’s mission is expressed as:

The Library’s mission is to support the Congress in fulfilling its constitutional duties and to further the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people.

Of course, Congress should continue to have access to the best research resources available, and I think it important that LC qua research library remain grounded by serving that unique patron population – but LC’s mission should emphasize its services to everybody who find themselves in the U.S.:

The Library’s mission is to further the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people, present and future, and to support the Congress in fulfilling its constitutional duties.

Having LC be unapologetically and completely committed to being a national library first is risky.  For one thing, it means asking for more funding in a political climate that does not encourage such requests. By removing the fallback excuse of “LC is ultimately just Congress’ research library”, it also means that LC perforce cannot not evade its leadership responsibilities in the national and international library communities.

However, there are opportunities for a Library of Congress that sees its patron base as consisting of all who find themselves on U.S soil: even broader support than it enjoys now and the ability to act as a library of last resort when other institutions fail our memory.

The next Librarian of Congress should be willing and able to put LC’s technology programs back on track. This does not require that the next Librarian be a technologist. It certainly doesn’t require that they be uncritically enthusiastic about technology – but they must be informed, able to pick a good CIO, and able to see past puffery to envision where and how technology can support LC’s mission.

In particular, research and development in library and information technology is an area where the Library of Congress is uniquely able to marshal federal government resources, both to support its own collections and to provide tools that other libraries can use and build upon.

I wonder what the past 20 years or so would have been like if LC had considered technology and R&D worthy of strong leadership and investment. Would Linked Open Data – or even something better – have taken off ten years ago? Would there be more clarity in library software? What would have things been like had LC technologists been more free to experiment and take risks?

I hope that LC under Billington’s successor will give us a taste of what could have been, then surpass it.

The next Librarian of Congress should be a trained librarian or archivist. This isn’t about credentials per se – see Daniel Ransom piece on the “Real Librarians” of Congress – although possession of an MLS or an archivists’ certificate wouldn’t hurt.  Rather, I’d like to see candidates who are already participating in the professional discourse and who have informed opinions on library technology and libraries as community nuclei (and let’s shoot for the moon: who can speak intelligently on metadata issues!).

Of possibly more import: I hope to see candidates who embody library values, and who will help LC to resist the enclosure of the information commons.

What I would prefer not to see is the appointment of somebody whose sole professional credential is an MBA: the Library of Congress is not just another business to be run by a creature of the cult of the gormless general-purpose manager.  I think it would also be a mistake to appoint somebody who is only a scholar, no matter how distinguished: unlike the Poet Laureate, the Librarian of Congress has to see to the running of a large organization.

Finally, the next Librarian of Congress should not attain that position via the glass elevator.  There are plenty of folks who are not white men who can meet all of my desiderata – or any other reasonable set of desiderata short of walking on water – and I hope that the President will keep the demographics of the library profession (and those we serve!) in mind when making a choice.

Galen Charlton: Desiderata for the next Librarian of Congress

planet code4lib - Sat, 2015-06-13 20:52

The current Librarian of Congress, James Billington, has announced that he will retire on 1 January 2016.  I wish him well – but I also think it’s past time for a change at LC.  Here are my thoughts on how that change should be embodied by Billington’s successor.

The next Librarian of Congress should embrace a vision of LC as the general national library of the United States and advocate for it being funded accordingly.  At present LC’s mission is expressed as:

The Library’s mission is to support the Congress in fulfilling its constitutional duties and to further the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people.

Of course, Congress should continue to have access to the best research resources available, and I think it important that LC qua research library remain grounded by serving that unique patron population – but LC’s mission should emphasize its services to everybody who find themselves in the U.S.:

The Library’s mission is to further the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people, present and future, and to support the Congress in fulfilling its constitutional duties.

Having LC be unapologetically and completely committed to being a national library first is risky.  For one thing, it means asking for more funding in a political climate that does not encourage such requests. By removing the fallback excuse of “LC is ultimately just Congress’ research library”, it also means that LC perforce cannot not evade its leadership responsibilities in the national and international library communities.

However, there are opportunities for a Library of Congress that sees its patron base as consisting of all who find themselves on U.S soil: even broader support than it enjoys now and the ability to act as a library of last resort when other institutions fail our memory.

The next Librarian of Congress should be willing and able to put LC’s technology programs back on track. This does not require that the next Librarian be a technologist. It certainly doesn’t require that they be uncritically enthusiastic about technology – but they must be informed, able to pick a good CIO, and able to see past puffery to envision where and how technology can support LC’s mission.

In particular, research and development in library and information technology is an area where the Library of Congress is uniquely able to marshal federal government resources, both to support its own collections and to provide tools that other libraries can use and build upon.

I wonder what the past 20 years or so would have been like if LC had considered technology and R&D worthy of strong leadership and investment. Would Linked Open Data – or even something better – have taken off ten years ago? Would there be more clarity in library software? What would have things been like had LC technologists been more free to experiment and take risks?

I hope that LC under Billington’s successor will give us a taste of what could have been, then surpass it.

The next Librarian of Congress should be a trained librarian or archivist. This isn’t about credentials per se – see Daniel Ransom piece on the “Real Librarians” of Congress – although possession of an MLS or an archivists’ certificate wouldn’t hurt.  Rather, I’d like to see candidates who are already participating in the professional discourse and who have informed opinions on library technology and libraries as community nuclei (and let’s shoot for the moon: who can speak intelligently on metadata issues!).

Of possibly more import: I hope to see candidates who embody library values, and who will help LC to resist the enclosure of the information commons.

What I would prefer not to see is the appointment of somebody whose sole professional credential is an MBA: the Library of Congress is not just another business to be run by a creature of the cult of the gormless general-purpose manager.  I think it would also be a mistake to appoint somebody who is only a scholar, no matter how distinguished: unlike the Poet Laureate, the Librarian of Congress has to see to the running of a large organization.

Finally, the next Librarian of Congress should not attain that position via the glass elevator.  There are plenty of folks who are not white men who can meet all of my desiderata – or any other reasonable set of desiderata short of walking on water – and I hope that the President will keep the demographics of the library profession (and those we serve!) in mind when making a choice.

Nicole Engard: Bookmarks for June 13, 2015

planet code4lib - Sat, 2015-06-13 20:30

Today I found the following resources and bookmarked them on Delicious.

Digest powered by RSS Digest

The post Bookmarks for June 13, 2015 appeared first on What I Learned Today....

Related posts:

  1. Not a Librarian
  2. Library Science Journals w/ RSS
  3. Tracking in house use in Koha 3.4

Nicole Engard: Bookmarks for June 13, 2015

planet code4lib - Sat, 2015-06-13 20:30

Today I found the following resources and bookmarked them on Delicious.

Digest powered by RSS Digest

The post Bookmarks for June 13, 2015 appeared first on What I Learned Today....

Related posts:

  1. Not a Librarian
  2. Library Science Journals w/ RSS
  3. Tracking in house use in Koha 3.4

Open Library Data Additions: Amazon Crawl: part em

planet code4lib - Sat, 2015-06-13 15:25

Part em of Amazon crawl..

This item belongs to: data/ol_data.

This item has files of the following types: Data, Data, Metadata, Text

Open Library Data Additions: Amazon Crawl: part em

planet code4lib - Sat, 2015-06-13 15:25

Part em of Amazon crawl..

This item belongs to: data/ol_data.

This item has files of the following types: Data, Data, Metadata, Text

Ranti Junus: The Story of the Chinese Farmer

planet code4lib - Sat, 2015-06-13 15:16

“You’ll never know what would be the consequences of misfortune. Or, you’ll never know what would be the consequences of good fortune.” — Alan Watts

Patrick Hochstenbach: Homework assignment #4 Sketchbookskool #BootKamp

planet code4lib - Sat, 2015-06-13 12:29
Filed under: Sketchbook Tagged: art, cartoon, comic, history, personalhistory, sketch, sketchbook, sketchbookskool, urbansketching

Patrick Hochstenbach: Homework assignment #3 Sketchbookskool #BootKamp

planet code4lib - Sat, 2015-06-13 12:27
Filed under: Sketchbook Tagged: brushpen, calvinandhobbes, cartoon, comic, doodle, sketch, sketchbook, sketchbookskool, watterson

Patrick Hochstenbach: Homework assignment #2 Sketchbookskool #BootKamp

planet code4lib - Sat, 2015-06-13 12:25
Filed under: Sketchbook Tagged: brushpen, copic, money, sketch, sketchbook, sketchbookskool, watercolor

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