JISC Report Gives Insight Into E-book Usage

April 14th, 2009 by Dicky

JISC has recently released preliminary results of one of the largest investigations ever undertaken into the usage of e-books by students. The results provide useful lessons for all of us and suggest that unlimited use models are the way to go. This data will help information providers and librarians alike clarify what is needed. JISC’s view is that current e-book models are not working for librarians.

During the last two years, the JISC national e-books observatory has collaborated with universities in the UK, gathering real time evidence on how course text e-books are actually used by students and teachers. The project
commenced in 2007 with the licensing of 36 course text e-books for students on business management, media studies, engineering and medicine courses. These e-books were selected by the higher education community and made available free of charge to all users in UK higher education. 127 universities, 76% of all higher education, participated in the project and worked with JISC Collections and CIBER at University College London on the deep log analysis study.

JISC Digital Content Conference 2009

April 8th, 2009 by Dicky

A date for your diary: June 30th to July 1st 2009

JISC warmly invites delegates to attend its Digital Content Conference. In the context of the completion of Phase 2 of the JISC Digitisation Programme the conference will look at the issues facing the UK’s colleges and universities as they deal with creating, delivering, sustaining and using a range of digital content as well as looking into future opportunities and challenges.

The conference will gather key players from both the UK and beyond to stimulate debate and discussion with aim of deciding the next steps that need to be taken to ensure the sustained integration of digitised content into research and education.

Who should attend

This event will be of interest to all decision makers involved in the provision and delivery of digital content to the education sector in the UK and internationally, including:

Senior Librarians in higher and further education
The librarians of the future – the next generation of librarians
Managers of electronic resources and digital content provision
Policy makers in charge of digital content strategies
National and international Government body representatives and policy makers
Teachers, lecturers and researchers with an interest in digital content
The conference will be held over two days at the Cotswold Water Park Four Pillars Hotel, starting at 11.30 (registration from 10.00) on 30 June and finishing at 15.30 on 1 July. Shuttle transportation will be provided free of charge by the organisers for arrival on day 1 and after the close of the event on day 2.

There is no charge to attend the conference and accommodation on Tuesday 30 June, refreshments, lunch and dinner are all included.  Delegates will be able to book their place at the conference online from Monday 4 May 2009. See conference website for full details.

We will contact you again to alert you when registration opens, to make sure that you don’t miss out!

Enquiries

For all enquiries relating to this event please contact the JISC Digital Content Conference Support Team:

Tel: +44 (0)2476 369 736

Email: content@conferencecare.com

Video from the Oxford debate is now on the website

April 6th, 2009 by Dicky

Videos of the presentations at the recent Libraries of the Future debate held in Oxford last week are now live on the JISC libraries of the future web site <http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/campaigns/librariesofthefuture/debate.aspx>. This event has generated tremendous feedback and discussion and I hope that this continues. Other activities are planned to support the debate and I would be very interested to hear your opinions on the direction that these should take; certainly I would say that more attention on the the young librarian of the future is needed.

Libraries of the Future – session 3, plenary question and answer

April 2nd, 2009 by Carrie Dunn

Question Time – chaired by Professor Vincent Gillespie, JRR Tolkien Professor of English Literature and Language, University of Oxford

Q: How can students currently in LIS and i-school programmes ensure that they are positioning themselves to be librarians of the future?

Peter Murray-Rust: You are the librarian of the future, and so are your colleagues, but you must take in the fundamentals from your course – the structure and history of information – but look to the future through what’s happening in the future.  You know more about Twitter and Facebook than your teachers do.  They must be brave enough to accept the judgement of younger people.  It won’t be easy, but hopefully some people will help you.  You must also develop collaboration.

Q: The words “library school” is begging a question. Are library schools the right way to do it?

Q: Library schools are different in the States.  Skills can only really be achieved on the job.

Q: Students should go to classes and retain their passion once they’re doing the job.  Just do it and don’t listen to the greyhairs who tell you that you can’t.

Chris Batt: Attitudes are taught by the people who are teaching.  If they’re not thinking about the future, they won’t stand a chance.  In the future, it can’t be about simply training a person to do all the things that are necessary.  They need to put together a team with different skills.

Heather Haskins, JISC: Considering the pressure on academics to put their work in open-access and publishers’ restrictions, is increased availability of free versions affecting paid subscriptions to full versions?

Sarah Thomas: Thinking about my experience at Cornell, we had an institutional and a disciplinary repository.  I said I thought the archive belonged in the library; it’s something we wanted to invest funds in to make it successful.  I saw it as a building-block for open-access.  There must be some new way of certification, some kind of authority that the academy can broker. Universities would have to change the way they fund projects and departments.  The whole nature of the periodical or the monograph is changing – it’s much more dynamic now.

Robert Darnton: Last year, Harvard mandated open-access for every scholarly article published in each faculty.  Every article produced by these scholars is automatically giving a licence to the president and fellows to make it available to the world.  Every faculty member can opt out of it.  A lot of professors think it’s just more hassle – the compliance rate was less than four per cent, which is trivial.  We are finding we are populating the repository and it will go public soon.

Q: Part of that question was about maintaining quality after things go free. Quality and trust have nothing to do with whether or not you pay for it.  Peer-review has to happen in trusted ways.

Heather Haskins: Thank you for your responses. It does solve some of the problems I had with that.  I am curious if there is much difference between the author’s final version and the published version.

Robert Darnton: We do require the author’s final version. I believe that editors add value. Peer-review is crucial. The problem is where the professionals insist that the thing come out in print in a prestigious journal because that has to do with a career structure. That can’t hold out forever.  If we can collectively make open-access work, the whole system will come tumbling down.

Q: Do libraries have to let go of books and buildings and help a new outsourced digital infrastructure develop?

Malcolm Read: No. The librarian’s experience is becoming richer. They have more engagement with their user community. We have spent so much time talking about the scholarly communication issue, but there is so much more to the future of libraries.

Sally Brown, Leeds Metropolitan University: We need librarians to be inspirational and engaging.  The library brings people together, engages people, and helps to develop skills.

Q: Why shouldn’t the web interface for libraries look very much like Amazon or eBay, with the ability to build lists and comment and so on?

Santiago de la Mora: We have taken that idea on board with the creation of My Library, allowing people to engage by writing reviews and building virtual libraries.  That should be something to explore for physical libraries.

Q: Libraries don’t aggregate. Google and Amazon are huge aggregators.  Why aren’t libraries sharing data?  Because then all their services would start to happen.

Peter: The danger is that education will be managed by Amazon, eBay and Google.  It’s a large market and saleable commodity. How do we make sure we are in control?

Chris: The world won’t end if we share data. People become engaged because they want to, and it will create new communities of users.

Q: This is an important issue. It’s the question about libraries developing when resources were scarce, and now it’s very different. There is lots of discussion but we are lacking leadership and a sense of what the new economic model will be for the library of the future.

Q: Amazon and eBay work by aggregating a large amount of information.  How relevant is that for us?  By the time you’re a PhD student, my colleague next to me doesn’t care about what I read.

Q: We need to take a “publish and be damned” approach and get the meta-data out.

David Pearson, University of London: The Google digitisation programme means the custodianship of knowledge is passing into commercial hands. How worried should we be?

Robert: I am worried. I admire Google tremendously, and it is a fabulous success.  The digital databank is spectacular.  They are digitising 1,000 books a day.  This is going to be the greatest digital library ever seen.  But is commercial ownership a good thing?  Yes and no.  Yes in the sense that it’s wonderful that it exists and books have a new life and it’s bringing research within our research. No, concerning orphaned books.  There are millions of books in that zone.  I think it’s unjust, and the revenue should go to a public cause.  Google is a monopoly.  Many monopolies deliver excellent services.  In Google’s case, there is one tremendous power coupled with enormous enterprise and audacity, and there is no serious competition.  Isn’t there a contradiction between private property, where Google own the content, and the public good, where libraries offer?  If Google want to organise knowledge and make it accessible and useful, it should compromise and monitor so that the public good is represented.  Google must come up with a proposal to make this happen, otherwise a court action is likely to succeed in the US.

Q: Google did it. What is it about business models that stopped us doing it? Why are we trapped?

Robert: There was no action. Google did do it, and they did a great job of it.

Q: Advertising, marketing, commercialisation is an area we have not gone into.  Philosophically, that may be a big tipping point for libraries in the future if we want to compare ourselves with organisations like Google.

David Pearson: At the JISC Digitisation conference, Chris put up a slide that said “Rupert Murdoch and the Russians buy Google.”

Q: Burning the library accidentally doesn’t worry me half as much as burning it on purpose.  Once one side starts editing the database, the original information needs to be preserved somewhere else.

Vincent Gillespie: Thank you to all delegates and the panel of speakers.

Libraries of the Future – session 2

April 2nd, 2009 by Carrie Dunn

Perspective: commercial sector – Santiago de la Mora (Google)

Google’s mission is to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.  It sounds grandiose, but that is the underlying theme of our products.  We started with the internet because the content was already online. The big challenge is bringing offline content online – to make it accessible and discoverable.

Books are a brilliant source of information. If we improve search, then everything else will follow.   Users have found books they did not know about.  The easier search is when you know what you are looking for, and you just go and retrieve it.

Our goal is to satisfy our users, and our users come from all walks of life.  It’s a very dynamic community.  The core of our library’s collection is in the out-of-copyright, out-of-print books.  Google can help to bring these books back to life.  It’s a nice mission to have.

Given copyright limitations, a user in the UK will go through four user experiences – full view, limited preview, snippet view and no preview available.  In order to succeed, Google needs to team up with copyright-holders, libraries, users, authors, publishers, and book-sellers – the whole ecosystem needs to see a benefit.  In Europe, we are focusing on public domain content to help libraries fulfil their dual mission – to preserve content, and to make content accessible.

On Google.com’s web search, books are coming up if there’s an author or title match, but what’s most interesting for us is where there’s a match on the topic or the content.  Partners are surprised by the fact that every book in their collection has been viewed regardless of publication date – the reason is full-text search.

On WorldCat there is a Google preview button.  If there’s a match with a book we have on Google, you can click on it and see the preview.  We want users to interact with the books – create and annotate.

This concept of the “long tail” has been used from a commercial point of view, but it’s interesting from a library’s point of view – the idea of keeping books alive through the internet.  There’s unlimited shelf space.  There’s no pressure to constantly review what we offer.  The number of users accessing content has increased exponentially, and creates a huge opportunity that everyone will benefit from.  I think we are part of the solution – we are trying to bring the right content in front of the right user.

Perspective: citizen – Professor Robert Darnton, Director of the Harvard University Library

There is an increase in the use of libraries today because of the current economic crisis. Citizens are pouring into libraries because they like books, and they want jobs.

The library is going to serve the older generation, which is increasing all the time.  Older people have difficulty with digitisation – they feel confused and frustrated with the chaotic appearance of a website.  Librarians of the future will need to help these people with what’s at their fingertips.  “Information managers” may sound too businesslike, but it describes librarians’ behaviour.

Younger people think everything is online, and all information is equal, and thus they don’t judge sources.  They need to consult a librarian to help them sort through information and question sources.

Most reference books today are online, and that costs money.  It’s all available in the library – the library acts as intermediary.  Open access may be the future, but until then it’ll be open access via the library, who has to pay for it.

We are developing new techniques of conveying meta-data with wiki-type attachments.

The demand for books will clearly exist in the foreseeable future, but the long-term future will be digital.

For the 21st century, I think we need a digital Carnegie Library system.  Google would be a player in that.

Questions and answers

Q: I find it frustrating that libraries don’t share data or assets.

Robert: I don’t have an answer, but I share your regret. Public libraries and local authorities lost a golden opportunity that Google seized.  We should have digitised material and made it open access.  The danger is that Google will make money from it and the public will suffer.  A great entrepreneurial company took the chance.  We need to work out a partnership between commercial enterprise and the public good.  My worry is that we can’t.

Q: Google links to books to buy from WorldCat. Will they also link to books that are free online?

Santiago: When you go to Book Search, a significant number of books there are already in the public domain and can be browsed online or downloaded in their entirety.

Q: Should libraries divert resources towards creating more digital content?

Robert: Yes. We must digitise and democratise.  The problem with many libraries is that they serve a particular body, for example students. We need to open them up – not by opening physical doors, but through digitisation.

Q: Are the librarian’s roles for the younger and older generations eternal, or just for the moment, and does Google see itself fulfilling those same roles?

Robert: I think it’s true that someone born in 2010 will not feel nostalgic for the paper book.

Santiago: It’s a complementary process. We serve as a catalyst in terms of interest for content.  Online is not a substitute for interacting with a physical book, even though the public domain content that we have online can be converted into plain text.

Libraries of the Future – session 1

April 2nd, 2009 by Carrie Dunn

After a ten-minute delay, Vincent Gillespie welcomed the fashionably late delegates to the afternoon’s conference, What is the library of the future?  Not only are there attendees present at the Martin Wood Lecture Theatre in Oxford, but also in Second Life; and coverage of the day is available via this blog and Twitter.

He handed over to Dr Sarah Thomas, of the University of Oxford, for the formal welcome. She talked about the foundation of the Bodleian library, the collections available in Oxford, and the importance of libraries in the future.  She argued that the past and the future are not polar opposites, but need to be integrated to move forward.

Malcolm Read, executive secretary of JISC, thanked Dr Thomas for her welcome.  He expected this conference to shed light on the ideas currently circulating and hoped that it would shape both libraries and librarians of the future.

Perspective: librarian – Dr Sarah Thomas (Bodley’s librarian and director, Oxford University Library Services)

The container of the content has changed, but the content itself lives on.  What will be obsolete in the next few years? Getting lost; house keys; ugliness; cosmetic surgery; death – and libraries, circa 2018?  Google contributes to confusion with its mission to organise information and make it universally accessible and useful – something no single library or consortium has achieved – but it doesn’t actually serve all the roles of a library.  There is a fallacy that everything is digital, and that what is digital is freely available, and that libraries only store books – this fails to recognise the library’s real role.

The library’s central core of identity has stayed the same over centuries.  Although methodology changes with technology, this stays the same, and meeting user needs remains crucial in the library of the future.  Physical libraries will serve as destinations for people who wish to engage with other people and artefacts in the pursuit of understanding; but technology makes it possible for almost anywhere to become a library.  Library buildings can include traditional reading rooms – cherished by all ages of readers, and likely to remain over time, but undergoing transformations as students and scholars use computer technology in their creative work.  Less formal rooms with soft chairs, coffee, conversation and consumer devices are developing in the future – libraries won’t just be silent.  Group study spaces will bring students together to work on team assignments according to the curriculum, supporting peer learning.  Masterclasses will reach new groups of users. In the physical library environment, fewer books will be housed in immediate proximity to readers. Outreach work will become a greater part of the librarian’s role.

Today, libraries devote their budget to managing their print inventories.  In future, libraries will receive batches of content from suppliers with appropriate meta-data.  Text-based information will be augmented by visual and aural media.  Users will expect seamless integration.  Geographical references will be linked to maps and atlases.  Some digital publications are already pointing the way to this state, and some libraries are already using this concept – it will become ubiquitous and pervasive.

For some time now, devices have become smaller – the iPhone points the way.  Kindle is available on the iPhone. Phones are data-enabled, and libraries can be wherever that phone is, streaming data at requests.  There will still be a need for hardware and software to enable editing of multimedia compositions.  Against the backdrop of social networking tools, libraries will offer their services via those media.

Librarians have been active in the world of scholarly communications.  Placing academic work in open-access repositories is likely to become more common.  There is a growing recognition that research data should be accessed and re-used.

Partnerships will become more prevalent – sharing cataloguing, sharing responsibility for preserving materials, integration across institutions (eg a common service for cataloguing mutual acquisitions).  Today, institutions find that resource sharing is making shared collection building a desirable alternative to costly duplication.  There is a trend towards shared storage – in the UK, universities are collaborating to decide which journals should be held by the British Library.

As the library develops, it will need new skills – lawyers to assist in interpreting intellectual property; MBAs to support entrepreneurial activities; audio-visual experts; statisticians to prepare surveys as part of evidence-based managements; IT skills will be essential.

Rumours of the demise of the book are greatly exaggerated. Special collections will rise in importance. Library buildings will remain at the centre of the university, bringing people to explore exhibitions, to house teaching, to provide spaces for study.  Libraries will be for collaboration, learning, and creating new knowledge.  Staff will expand their skills, but most important will be their ability to collaborate with many partners.

If you’re standing still, change looks fast.  If you go with the flow, it will seem effortless.  Libraries remain thrilling places.  The future of the library is bright.  Libraries will continue to evolve but remain true to connecting knowledge-seekers with the accumulated knowledge of the past for the advancement of individuals and society.

Perspective: public sector – Chris Batt OBE, head of Chris Batt Consulting

It’s more important to talk about librarians of the future, not libraries of the future.

First, which future are we talking about? Clay Shirky (in Here Comes Everybody)  and Susan Greenfield (in Tomorrow’s People) have different visions.  Are we talking about social networking changing the production of books?  Or are we talking about e-book readers?  Why haven’t we all tried them?  It’s different to reading a book, but it’s just as engaging.  We need to understand how to react to change – but making sense of today is also difficult.

Different sectors respond to change at different speeds. Traditional print media is disappearing. The music industry is trying to deal with ideas like iTunes. In the third sector, we see rays of light – people are applying themselves to trying to change the world.  On TheyWorkForYou.com, people work together to change policy.

A SWOT analysis of libraries –

Strengths – public libraries are still very popular; libraries can target particular audiences, and targeted offerings are vital parts of the future; the reading group movement; experimenting with new technologies.

Weaknesses – fragmented service (credit cards can be used everywhere; library cards can’t be, and the rules and regulations are different); the leadership paradox (too much leadership means nobody can agree what to do); lack of resources to explore a collective present, let alone a collective future.

Opportunities – all institutions have the chance to respond to government reports, and be part of learning for life; public libraries have a strong network and brand potential, and act as community interface.

Threats – the public good value is not recognised; there is a lack of national coherence; private sector creep (moving into areas traditionally covered by libraries, eg Amazon renting DVDs); failure to plan for change (you can prepare for uncertainty).

So what?  What does that mean for us and the future?  I can offer some things to do.  Library workers of the country unite!  We used to have Inspire, but that was trying to get libraries to work together and share resources – this ought to be the norm everywhere.  Start to be reflective.  My experience is that library workers tend not to – they are focused on doing things.  Stop and think about what the future could be like, and do some practical scenario planning.  After that, build a common narrative.  Find some new friends – friends that matter.  The Chancellor.  The Prime Minister.  Whoever it’s necessary to talk to.  Other sectors do it.

We must shift from “librarian” to “knowledge warrior” – people committed to wanting to change the relationship between the information and the people who want it.  We need a knowledge sector that can define, mediate, manage and lead the public landscape of the learning society.  This will lead to people with new skills, new organisational structures, and new partnerships.

The mission needs to be to remove all barriers to access.  In terms of public access, we need to forge a universal right to knowledge.  That means integrating knowledge into everyday life, and empowering everyone to want to learn.

Perspective: scientific researcher – Peter Murray-Rust 

What is happening in the world is bypassing university libraries.  I talk to colleagues and the feeling is that libraries for STM (science, technical, medical) are not useful. That’s not my polemic view – that’s reporting on having spoken to people.  When I got feedback from technologically-aware librarians, they informed me that they are doing a good job that is not being appreciated, and I should stop criticising.  I wasn’t criticising – I’m trying to tell it as it is.  The librarian of the future will not come from the librarian of the present.  The librarian of the future will be a revolutionary.

What do scientists want?  They want quality peer-review.  They want immediate access to published information, and to access it electronically, and possibly in chunks, rather than the entirety of a paper.  They want help in writing papers and grant applications.  They want a personal collection of papers. They want recognition for their work.

In the future, all information will be free and online, and everyone will be pervasively connected.  Things change on the web through evolution, not through planning.  Neglect the major players at your peril (Google, Yahoo, Microsoft).

Putting information and research (including code and demonstrations) online in open-access repositories is vital.  If your repositories don’t look like SourceForge, you’re not doing it right.

Publishing giants govern the direction of scholarly publication. We had the chance to control scholarly publication through the university presses, and we didn’t. Vice chancellors need to feel that they are losing the plot, because they are.  Google may Do No Evil today, but what will happen in the future?

Tim Berners-Lee’s phrase is “Just do it”.  Why are universities not helping Wikipedia become a teaching and learning organisation?  The bit of Wikipedia I wrote is in my view correct.  Wikipedia is all versioned.  Stamp it at a point in time and say that a page is fit for purpose.  I don’t know how librarians of the future will do it, but they need to get out there, and just do it.

Questions and answers

Q: Chris, when you talked about the fragmentation and the lack of national coherence, I had a strong view – it’s not a problem for Tesco and M&S.  Why can you not have different types of the same thing?

Chris: The issue is that the range of difference between libraries is quite significant, but it’s not clear to the users.  Services need to interoperate much more.

Q: I asked librarians to become informaticians.

Sarah: Rhymes with mortician!  I don’t worry about labels, it’s more important what you do.

Chris: Knowledge is an important word because it means something. The government are interested in the knowledge economy. Informaticians is something you’d have to explain.

Q: What role do university presses have to play?

Peter: I don’t think they can recover. I have great praise for some organisations that publish and research, but others see themselves as profit-making organisations.

Q: Can you each give us one skill a librarian will need in the future?

Peter: Programming.

Chris: Advocacy.

Sarah: Multi-tasking.

Q: What about the library as a collaborative workspace and the role of 3D virtual worlds?

Peter: I am a great believer in virtual worlds.  I have a Second Life avatar with no clothes on. I say go for it, make it work.

Chris: It’s something that has to play a part in the future.

Sarah: We have an increasingly global world with people using that technology to break down barriers and we’ll continue to see that.

Solitary, Silent, and Sombre: New ‘Old’ Libraries or Library Spaces for the 21st Century?

April 2nd, 2009 by Dicky

We asked Les Watson an expert consultant to the JISC on Technology Enhanced Learning Environments to write about the library space of the future. He explains that responding to greater student diversity demands is one of the drivers behind new space developments in many of our HE Libraries however we must be careful to avoid building new “old Libraries”. Further that we need to re-establish the Library as the intellectual focus of the University community.

As an undergraduate I rarely visited the University library, only going there if I had to, usually at the end of term to get those late essays finished. I don’t think I was alone in this relationship with the Library and on the visits that I did make, the Library as a place to work was at least as important as an information source. This was, the 1960’s, in a previous era of expansion in the university sector. Suddenly the undergraduate population had greater diversity than ever before. The University, and its Library were not significantly changed from what had existed before expansion existing in the same format despite the changes taking place around them – as many are doing currently. In those days scholarly work was deemed to be solitary, silent, and sombre, a paradigm that still has a place today for all learners some of the time. But widening participation inevitably brings greater diversity – and suddenly one size provision is less than a perfect fit. Responding to greater student diversity is one of the drivers behind new space developments in many of our HE libraries. Responding to teaching methods that focus on group work and problem based learning that demands student interaction, and is not solitary, sombre scholarship, is another. The common view of learning today recognises that “Human beings are social creatures – not occasionally or by accident but always. Sociability is one of our core capabilities, and it shows up in almost every aspect of our lives…” (Shirky ). In the learning domain this sociality takes the form of conversation – “…when people are in one another’s company, even virtually, they like to talk.” says Shirky.  Sociality and conversational group learning do not play well with the silent library. The majority of our libraries have responded to this but many have done this in a bolt-on way and there is more that we can do. The future Library Space

New short video presentation about the work of the Strategic Content Alliance

April 1st, 2009 by Dicky

A new short video presentation about the work of the Strategic Content Alliance has just been released – and is attached below. This highlights the big vision for the alliance and emphasises the barriers that need to be overcome.

Strategic Content Alliance Video

The Strategic Content Alliance and Libraries of the Future

March 31st, 2009 by Dicky

The Strategic Content Alliance

The work of the JISC lead Strategic Content Alliance is of great relevance to the library of the future and I though it would be useful just to highlight their activity. With an ambitious mission form day one the programme which began in 2006 and is now core to JISC content activity and central to JISC strategic aims. In a knowledge society – where unprecedented opportunities for creativity, ingenuity and innovation are stimulated and enabled by the Internet generally and the provision of e-content specifically. Much of this e-content stems from UK publicly funded resources developed over the last ten years or so in a fragmented and piecemeal approach. If the UK public sector is to be able to maximise its financial and intellectual investment in e-content, a much more systemic view of pooling and coordinating our investments and resources must be taken, particularly at a time of economic downturn. The Strategic Content Alliance is a unique collaboration between seven organisations, (BBC, Museum Libraries and Archives Council (MLA), British Library, NHS National Library for Health and Becta) all different, but all deeply involved in the creation, management and exploitation of e-content for public benefit. Over the past two years the Strategic Content Alliance has undertaken an ambitious programme to explore and develop techniques in support of its Mission Statement.

Strategic Content Alliance Mission
“For this country to realize the full potential of the Web, and for each citizen to realize their own potential – in the workplace, in their places of learning, and in the home – the full range of online content needs to be made available to all, quickly, easily and in a form appropriate to individuals’ needs.”

Follow this important work of the Alliance on their blog: http://sca.jiscinvolve.org/

Information Literacy “Sans Frontieres”

March 27th, 2009 by Dicky

Information Literacy “Sans Frontieres”

We asked Peter Godwin to write about information literacy (IL) a topic that will be discussed at the Libraries of the future Bodleian debate on April 2nd 2009 LOFT09. Peter highlights that ‘The disaggregation of information or the content being out of the container challenges us to make sense of what is discovered on the Web.’ He concludes that the emphasis for IL should be on clarity and simplicity with step-by-step integration of IL elements delivered within course assignments. Further, that whilst subject discipline and knowledge of its makeup will remain of paramount importance there are shifts in emphasis which the extra content from the Web 2.0 world throws in to the mix which demand IL for the future to embrace and focus more on ‘issues of authority, eInformation Literacy “Sans Frontieres”valuation, synthesis and ethical use, and less on searching.’

Peter Godwin report


Also relevant to this area JISC funds the following projects:

The JISC/BL Google generation work:
The study considers whether or not as a result of the digital transition and resources being created digitally, young people, the ‘Google generation’, are searching for and researching content in new ways and if so, how this will shape the way they research and search in the future
whether or not new ways of searching and researching for content will prove to be any different from the way that existing researchers/scholars wor
http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/resourcediscovery/googlegen.aspx

Developing personalisation for the Information Environment (1 & 2):
This study investigates how the JISC Information Environment (IE) may make use (or should be developed to make use) of adaptive personalisation in order to enhance the user experience. It will specifically consider the ways in which infrastructure established to support the UK Access Management Federation (the UK Federation) could support adaptive personalisation of JISC services, and the potential privacy and legal barriers to such use.
http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/resourcediscovery/Personalisation.aspx

Discovery to Delivery at EDINA and Mimas (D2D@E&M)
The overall aim of the project is to improve the quality of the user experience for UK researchers and students in their tasks of finding and gaining access to scholarly publications. Coherency will be established between Copac, SUNCAT and Zetoc. This will be achieved through the creation of a scholarly communications web site (together with scoping for a portal) and by establishing links from Copac and SUNCAT to Zetoc. There will also be work carried out to offer a series of delivery options, via a Broker, once discovery has been made. Finally, the project will develop facilities which will allow users to personalise their requirements.
and other relavant JISC projects include:
http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/resourcediscovery/d2dateandm.aspx

FlyWeb: Linking Laboratory Image Data with Public Databases and Publication Repositories
The project is developing a data web linking a number of sources of genomic data relating to the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. This data web is being provided as a service to software developers and bioinformaticians. To demonstrate the potential of this data web, the project is also building on-line data search and mashup tools on top of the data web that help scientists to be more productive and generate insights, through quick and easy location, comparison and analysis of data from different sources.
http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/resourcediscovery/flyweb.aspx

Library Management Systems Horizon Scan
The Projects objectives included:
the supply and demand sides of the LMS / ERM market Users expect ease of discovery, workflow and delivery influenced by Google and Web 2.0
Quantify procurement timeframes, typical costs, annual cost of ownership, product differentiation and value.
Conduct a horizon scan focused on the role of library systems amidst the shift from ‘content to context’.
Assess the emerging use of SOA, open standards and Open Source in terms of requirements, readiness and product match
Make recommendations on most effective engagement of library services with library related systems and the JISC Information Environment
http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/resourcediscovery/libraryms.aspx

Towards Implementation of Library 2.0 and the e-Framework (TILE)
The precursor JISC and SCONUL Library Management Systems study (April 2008) highlights challenges relating to practice, services and products. Meanwhile ideas are constantly being developed by early adopters, which offer opportunities to understand user expectations, gather professional practice and identify technical demands.
http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/resourcediscovery/tile.aspx
Also related briefing paper: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/publications/publications/modellinglibrarydomain.aspx

Metadata-based DYNamIc Query Interface for Cross(X)-searching content resources (DYNIQX)
DYNIQX investigated current cross-search systems and effect of metadata in search, explore an innovative dynamic query interface, and carry out extensive user task-based evaluation to evaluate and compare different search systems.
http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/resourcediscovery/dyniqx.aspx

Metadata Generation for Resource Discovery
This project evaluates auto-generation techniques such as 1) the harvesting of metatags from document headers 2) content (e.g. keyword) extraction from the body of documents 3) automatic metadata enhancement using controlled vocabularies 4) text and data mining. Consideration is given to workflow issues and Web services approaches. The project considers a range of text and non-textual resource types.

http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/resourcediscovery/autometgen.aspx