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In the '2009 LAUNC-CH Conference' Category...

MB @LAUNC-CH March 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 11:20 am

Erik Mitchell, Kevin Gilbertson, Cristina Yu, Mary Scanlon, Ellen Daugman, Steve Kelley and I all attended the LAUNC-CH conference at Chapel Hill on March 9, 2009.
I attended the Next Generation Library Systems session from 12:45 to 2:15. That presentation, not surprisingly, focused on the
OLE Project, (Jean Ferguson and John Little were presenters) and had a presentation about Endeca, with Derek Rodriguez.

John Little, From Duke, began to discuss OLE (which stands for Open Library Environment) by asking the conference attendees the following questions to frame the logic for the development of OLE, and to wake us up since his presentation was right after lunch:

Do you believe that business processes at libraries are more similar than they are different?

Do you agree that in 10 years anything that is not digital will be invisible?

Do you agree that in 5 years your consortial arrangements will be just as important as work at your home institution?

Do you believe that any backlog longer than 6 months is irrelevant?

Do you believe that in 5 years all library work will be done on the network?

Among the attendees, the first question was resoundingly agreed to. The second, third and fourth questions much less so. The last question was pretty much 50/50 with many people responding to the “I don’t know” third option. He challenged librarians who believed his questions were false. One challenge to the “backlog” question came from a librarian who worked in special collections who maintained that when handling rare and special collections, no backlog is irrelevant. Another librarian maintained that “to the serious researcher, whether or not something is digitized is not important, so nothing is invisible” and John conceded that point.

He then moved onto an overview of the OLE project and described how the SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) would define the project’s development.The first part of the project is to be completed by July, per the terms of the grant from the Mellon Foundation.The second phase of the project, the “writing” the software phase, will then presumably be funded, and completed over the next few years.

The next speaker was Derek Rodriguez from TRLN, Triangle Research Library Network whose job is to assess metadata fitness for next generation library systems.He spoke about and then demonstrated Endeca.Endeca is a discovery and request layer that works with an ILS to allow a user to search and request from several library systems at one time.The request, if not being fulfilled through the user’s home library automatically creates an ILL request.It allows for easy sharing of materials among all of the libraries of the TRLN which includes UNC, Duke, NC State, and NCCU.


Monday, March 16, 2009 11:17 am

On Monday, March 9th a whole group of ZSR librarians traveled down to Chapel Hill for the Launc-ch conference. It was my first time going and I was very impressed with how well run the conference was. While Kevin and I did a presentation on digital forsyth, I would much rather spend my time commenting on the opening keynote presented by Richard Luce, University Librarian from Emory University. Richard talked about the changing responsibility of librarians and how external factors are pushing the profession. While he spoke about a number of examples, on quote in particular really described his position. Towards the end of his talk he said that “Libraries are where our social networks and technological networks overlap.” Intriguing if only because there is no mention of many of our traditional roles of resource stewardship, or research advisor.

In other Launc-CH news, the lunch was fabu & I can’t wait to hear about the sessions that I did not have a chance to attend. .

2009 LAUNC-CH Conference

Monday, March 16, 2009 11:07 am

Mary Beth drove us to Chapel Hilll for the Conference on March 9. We arrived in time to sample a nice breakfast and met up with several colleagues from ZSR.

Rethink, Redefine, Reinvent: the Research Library in the Digital Age was this year’s theme for the LAUNC-CH Conference. It was just as well planned and organized as I had remembered. The conference is packed with exciting topics, including our own Kevin and Erik’s Digital Projects panel discussion. The one I will report on is “Outreach and Personalization.”

First Jacqueline Solis and Kim Vassiliadis presented their Course pages, which includes seventy-five courses ranging from American History to Biology to French. Each course page includes databases, reference resources, newspaper or media resources whenever appropriate, and of course, the contact information. They want to give students easy access and help them complete their assignments. They work closely with faculty to identify course goals and create a course page specific to that course. They will then have a library session to introduce the course page. They found out they are not able to do all of the classes and that not all classes need a course page. The pages that were not introduced were not used much. I was impressed, but then I heard our own Reference department is already doing it. Not being biased or anything, I liked our pages better, it is not as cluttered and it has links to all the important pages, including the Interlibrary Loan department! Thank You

After UNC library’s presentation, Richard Cox and Lynda Kellam from UNCG presented their even more aggressive approach that targets each student. They download information from Banner at the beginning of each semester to find out what each student takes and push relevant pages to them that way. It is integrated into Blackboard, so there is no reauthentisization when using databases off campus. They believe by spending less time on teaching them how to find the appropriate databes for their research, they can spend more time teaching them higher level thinking, like how to conduct a research paper. However, there is a slight problem with pulling information from Banner, since it may not be 100% accurate.

Megan von Isenburg, an Associate Director of Information Services at Duke Medical School talked about the use of Kindle for reading E-books. Kindle is an e-reader developed by Over 90,000 books were available for download in 2007 and that list is growing. Megan was charged to explore and exploit new technologies to benefit their students. She got a grant to buy six Kindle E-book readers. Their text books are expensive and heavy. She likes the fact the Kindle is light weight, with no monthly fee and wireless connection, and it can also hold personal information. She gives those six Kindles to three rotation sites, so they can bring it with them to record information they gather onsite. One of the questions was raised about the possible damage or loss of the reader. She said they circulate IPod and the Kindle is about the same price. Her conclusion was that the project was successful and that getting faculty invovement is an important element.

This was a very informational session and I encourage people to experience it at least one time. The LAUNC-CH conference is always on the cutting edge. Friday Cener is easy to get to with ample parking and it is very affordable. Oh, and I can’t say enough about the food! I will stop right now before I start drooling!


2009 LAUNC-CH Conference

Friday, March 13, 2009 4:15 pm

Rethink, Redefine, Reinvent: the Research Library in the Digital Age was the theme of this year’s Launch conference. Since so many of us attended this conference, each of will blog one presentation to avoid repetition.

In the afternoon I attended the break-out session “Changing Workforce” which I thought from the title would be about diversity in the workplace.Instead, I heard three presentations about changes in the types of work librarian perform.The first two presentations were about creating digital collections while the third was about evaluating and introducing new technology to the library.All three represented roles for librarians never contemplated by Melvil Dewey.

The first talk was jointly presented by two metadata librarians from the Duke Digital Collection.Rich Murray is the Spanish/Portuguese Cataloguer for whom metadata was added to his responsibilities.The other, Noah Huffman, joined Duke last year as Archivist for Metadata and Encoding with metadata management as a primary responsibility in his job description.They are part of a larger digital collections team that works on a distributed model; there is no digital collections department.

Together, they act in two ways: first, they establish the metadata format for a collection before the digitizing begins.They determine which elements to capture such as types of information to be catalogued and the metadata scheme to be used (Dublin Core, other). Then, they catalog the pieces by entering the appropriate information in the designated fields.

Their work differs from traditional cataloguing in that they establish a metadata template for each collection rather than following an established standard, such as AACR2.Next, they have several different digital metadata schemes on which to model their template, rather than one.Lastly, they apply tags to the images rather than the LC subject headings.Still, there are some similarities to print cataloguing: they use LC to standardize place names and they try to standardize the language in captions and tags. This process applies whether they’re beginning to digitize a new collection or migrating an existing digital collection to a new platform.

John Blyth also works to create digital collections, but he deals with the scanning, processing and saving of items born digital; these may include images, e-mails, documents or other items. He works with the Southern Historical Collection at the Wilson Library at UNC and has processed more than a hundred CDs worth of items.

Chad Haefele is the Reference Librarian for Emerging Technologies at UNC Davis Library; he evaluates new technologies to determine their appropriateness for use in the library.When he deems that they might be useful and are sufficiently well developed to be stable, he introduces them to the library staff through technology classes.In addition, he serves on a campus-wide committee that’s developed a suite of iPhone applications for Duke. One of the most interesting projects on which he has been working is to create a “my library” page for patrons.It resembles an iGoogle page with boxes that include RSS feeds for new books or films in certain subject areas, hours of operation and other items.He’s hoping to add a box that would show the patron’s account of checked out items.

These three presentations highlighted the role of technology in our work as librarians.Computer-based tools allow us to work in new ways, but at a conceptual level the work is remarkably similar to what it was in Dewey’s day.

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