Professional Development

In the '2008 ASIS&T' Category...

Funnest archive ever

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 5:52 pm

Today after general sessions ended I headed north to Ohio State University to the Cartoon Research Library where a group of ASIS&T visitors was given a tour by the library’s founding curator Lucy Caswell.

Lucy Caswell

The archive contains over 250,000 original cartoons and focuses primarily on printed cartoon art. Lucy was kind enough to take our group into the stacks and show us drawer after drawer of original cartoons, talked at length about their collections, and told the group all about their collection of Japanese Comics (manga).

Two things that she spoke about really connected with me. . ..First – she talked about the value that their biographical database and specialized metadata brings for their researchers. Second, when comparing her library against more traditional archives she said “we approach things a bit differently – we keep it all.” The picture below shows just how much they keep. There were rows of compact shelving, banks of vertical cabinets, and boxes upon boxes of newly acquired materials. . . If nothing else, this library gets the credit for most colorful stacks ever.

Institutional repositories, Second life , tagging, & social networks

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 1:40 pm

My apologies for posting a stream of consciousness list of topics but for the moment I have a good wifi signal :)

The second day of ASIS&T included a number of interesting presentations taht talked in broad strokes about many of the issues of current interest to lis realms. There was an interesting discussion on the approaches of using user-generated tags to create ontologies by inferring relationships in the morning session on tagging. It seems that hopes of ‘real-world’ applications in this are not quite grounded enough for traditional use but I did wonder how we could open our DF facets & use the resulting tags as enhancements to our ontological relationships.

On monday afternoon I attended a session which occured in both Second Life and in person. After a few minutes of technical difficulties, we listened to various speakers (both originating in person and in second life). I was struck with the extent to which the graphical experience of viewing slides and other participants in a MUVE enhanced a distributed session in the way that a simple teleconference or even real-world video feed would not have. My takeaway – still complicated & fraught with challenges and a possible time suck but every interesting.

Tuesday afternoon included a series of talks on the use of Institutional Repsitory implementations at various instutions. No action items from this talk were apparent but the discussion of the use of IRs to replace shared server space made me wonder to what extent we could use our own Dspace implementation to serve a collaborative file sharing space.

Perhaps the most interesting discussion at this conference occured for me in the Tuesday morning session on social networks and conference attendance. Given my experience with the SecondLife presentation yesterday I was curious to hear about other’s views regarding the persistent value in real-world conferences. As can be imagined there were a number of perspectives and the questions really centered more on how virtual social networks enahnce conference experiences rather than replace them. In any case, it was refreshing to attend a session that was run as a series of small focus groups rather than a long, multi-person lecture.

ASIS&T 2008 – Ohio bound

Monday, October 27, 2008 5:43 am

I found myself back in Ohio on Sunday, attending the American Society for Information Science & Technology 2008 conference. Columbus shares some interesting features with Cincinnatti including pro sports arenas, a winding river, impressive 20th century american architecture, and wide one-way streets.

Following the opening session, I went to a panel discussion on e-research and the provision of libary services. The panel surveyed some large scale projects in the UK and US and talked about issues of preservation, reseracher engagement, re-use of stored data, and the value that multi-instutitional funding brings to these large data repository projects. Not suprisingly, these are the same issues libraries have been disucssing in relation to building institutional repositories and I was interested to hear about a project at Purdue that works directly with Liaisons to connect with faculty and their research data.