Over the past 1/2 year, Oregon State University (OSU) Libraries have been actively developing a hybrid federated search service called LibraryFind. We believe that our approach is unique in a number of ways (knowledge-base management, caching, OpenURL integration). OSU believes LibraryFind has something to contribute to the library community, and I’d like to show attendees what LibraryFind is, some things we learned through usability studies and how they can get the software and start playing.
In August, Georgia Tech launched 'the Ümlaut', an OpenURL middleware layer intended to bridge the gap between vendor supplied databases, our SFX link resolver, our catalog and freely available gray literature. There were many breakdowns with our link resolver, most notably with conference proceedings, that merely left users frustrated. Librarians pointed at the vendors' crappy data, vendors blamed the librarians, but this did nothing to help the users.
By indexing the opac data a little differently, utilizing the search engine APIs, OAI-PMH providers and various other web services, we were able to enhance the functionality of our link resolver to eliminate majority of our most problematic use cases. When new issues arise, it is trivial to add new logic to handle them.
Various (discrete and disparate) library systems have experimented with incorporating community-contributed content. Yet, as we are seeing, few systems, if any can gather a sufficient volume of contributed data to achieve critical mass and have a meaningfully presence in the OPAC.
However, if this content was aggregated across jurisdictions (using a small footprint web-service model and centralized database), libraries could play a central role in the evolution of "social search" on the web. Specifically, if libraries put more emphasis on gathering structured data from patrons, this data could be integrated not only into the display of bibliographic records, but into the algorithms which guide the patron's searches and discovery processes. This includes natural language thesauri that link user tags to library classifications, user ratings factored into relevancy rankings, user-generated "bibliographies" (Pick Lists) linked to search terms, and the filtering of results by trusted groups of users - as selected by the Patron.
At PINES we have the luxury of a very supportive administrative team. Through trial and error over the last three years we have had the chance to glean a set of do's and don'ts for the building of a successful in-house development team and environment. We would like to share our experience in the hope that others may be able to duplicate our successes and avoid our missteps at all levels, from developers on up to management.
What if we could share our libraries like we can share music in iTunes? Maybe we can. Maybe a little ZeroConf and OpenSearch added to existing library systems like metasearch and service resolvers can help make it happen faster, easier, and cheaper than you might think. Or two of those, at least.
[Update, post-conference] the slides and audio from the talk are available here.
We are now accepting proposals for prepared talks for Code4lib 2007.
Code4lib 2007 is a loosely structured conference for library
technologists to commune, gather/create/share ideas and software, be
inspired, and forge collaborations. It is also an outgrowth of the
Access HackFest, wrapped into a conference-ish format. It is *the* event
for technologists building digital libraries and digital information
systems, tools, and software. Code4lib 2007 will be held from February
28 through March 2 in Athens, Georgia.
Prepared Talk Information
Prepared talks are 20 minutes, and must center on "tools" (some cool new
software, software library or integration platform), "specs" (how to get
the most out of some protocols, or proposals for new ones), or
"challenges" (One or more big problems we should collectively address).
We will evaluate proposals on criteria of usefulness, newness,
geekiness, and diversity of topics.
Prepared talk proposals of 75 words or less are being accepted for
review now. Please send your name, email address, and proposal to: email@example.com.
We cannot accept every prepared talk proposal, but multiple lightning
talk sessions will provide everyone who wishes to present with ample
opportunity to show off. Lightning talks are 5-minute presentations that
any conference attendee can sign up to present.
The proposal deadline is November 30, 2006, and proposers will be
notified by December 15, 2006. Voting on the proposals will be public,
and held in a similar fashion to SXSW.
There have been some posts in the blogosphere about things participants did not enjoy about the previous year's Code4Lib conference. Since planning has started for the 2007 conference, I thought now would be a good time to open the doors and ask what should be improved about the conference. What should be done the same and what should be done differently? Here is a place to start gathering voices...
A lightning talk is a fast paced 5 minute talk on the topic of your choosing. If you'd like to do a lightning talk please add your name, topic to this page. You can do more than one if you want, but if the lots fill up (there are 30 of them) you might have to choose which one you want to do.
Mark Jason Dominus has a nice page about lightning talks, which includes this summary of why you might want to do one:
Maybe you've never given a talk before, and you'd like to start small. For a Lightning Talk, you don't need to make slides, and if you do decide to make slides, you only need to make three.