D-Lib Magazine
The Magazine of Digital Library Research

I N   B R I E F

May/June 2010


PREMIS in METS Toolbox

Contributed by:
Priscilla Caplan
Assistant Director for Digital Library Services
Florida Center for Library Automation
Gainesville, Florida, USA

Implementers of the PREMIS Data Dictionary for Preservation Metadata now have a set of tools to support their PREMIS implementations in the PREMIS in METS Toolbox. The Toolbox works with standalone PREMIS documents and with PREMIS elements embedded within METS documents.

The Validate tool will validate a PREMIS document against the PREMIS schema and return a conformation message or list of errors. It will validate a METS document against the METS schema and also against set of rules for PREMIS in METS best practice encoded in Schematron (ISO/IEC 19757-3:2006). Best practice follows the Guidelines for Using PREMIS With METS for Exchange (September, 2008).

The Convert tool will take a PREMIS or METS document as input. Given a PREMIS document, it will generate an output METS document containing the PREMIS elements according to best practice. The user can specify whether to put all PREMIS elements in a single METS digiProvMD section, or distribute the elements into digiProvMD, rightsMD, and techMD sections. Given a METS document containing PREMIS elements, Convert will generate a stand-alone PREMIS document.

The Describe tool takes any digital file as input and generates its description in a PREMIS document. Describe invokes the DAITSS 2 Description Service which in turn uses DROID for format identification and JHOVE for characterization. General file metadata including format, file size, checksum, creator, create date, and inhibitors is supplied, as well as format-specific metadata for JPEG, JP2 and TIFF images (MIX), WAVE and AIFF (AES-X098B), ASCII, UTF8 and XML (TextMD), and PDF (DocMD). The PREMIS document generated by Describe can then be submitted to the Convert tool to create a METS document if desired.

The PREMIS in METS Toolbox joins a growing repertoire of tools available from the PREMIS Maintenance Activity website. It was coded by Francesco Lazzarino and Marly Wilson at the Florida Center for Library Automation under contract to the Library of Congress (LC). LC is the maintenance agency for both PREMIS and METS.


EUscreen: Accessing and exploring European television heritage

Contributed by:
Johan Oomen
Technical Director of EUscreen
Head of Research
The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision

EUscreen Logo

EUscreen is a Best Practice Network, co-funded by the eContentplus programme of the European Commission. The major objective of EUscreen is to stimulate the use of content from television archives and advance active engagement with the cultural memory of Europe. The three-year project started in October 2009. By 2012, the EUscreen portal will provide free, multilingual online access to over 30,000 digital objects related to the history of television of Europe, enriched with contextual information. The content will also become accessible though the Europeana portal, the online collection of millions of digitized items from European museums, libraries and archives. The project consortium consists of 27 partners (archives, universities and technology providers) from 19 European countries. The co-ordination is in the hands of Utrecht University, Institute of Media and Culture Studies. EUscreen builds on the results of its predecessor, the Video Active project, that managed to offer online access to 10,000 content items.

Main Issues to be Addressed
Although many archives are digitising their analogue collections and more and more material becomes available online, access to audiovisual archives remains fractured and scattered. This is due to the lack of interoperability (both at the level of metadata and semantics), the non-existence of proven scenarios for the use of audiovisual material, the complexity of rights issues and the lack of contextualisation. EUscreen addresses these issues by building a network of key stakeholders and technology providers to provide multilingual and multicultural access to television heritage. EUscreen develops long-term solutions to rights issues and supports user-led demand and interest for services and content, including the development of use case scenarios for different contexts, notably research, learning, leisure and creative reuse.

Aggregators for Europeana
EUscreen is one of the main audiovisual content aggregators for Europeana. Europeana provides cross-domain access to cultural heritage content coming from museums, libraries, archives and audiovisual collections across Europe. Aggregating content from thematic portals (such as EUscreen) is key to the success of Europeana. There are thousands of cultural heritage institutions in Europe and the central Europeana Office in The Hague will never be able to ingest content from all these individual institutions. Other European audiovisual content providers include EFG (European Film Gateway) and DISMARC. EUscreen is closely collaborating with EFG in particular. EFG brings together 21 partners from 15 European countries and aims to provide access to 790,000 digital objects, including films, photos, posters, drawings, audio and text documents.

User Requirements and Software Development
In the first months of the project, ample time and effort was invested to define the user requirements and draft the functional specifications of the portal. The Technical University of Athens coordinates the technical development of the portal. This work is executed in close collaboration with Noterik, the European Broadcasting Union, the University of Arts and Design Helsinki and the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. Key components of the portal include:

  • Content and Metadata Ingestion web service, providing tools to establish and exploit the semantic alignment of metadata schemata that content providers use to annotate their items, to a common machine understandable schema.
  • The Metadata Export service that supports exporting of the aggregated metadata to several established standards for metadata mediation. Primary showcase is the transformation of the aggregated content to the Europeana Semantic Elements schema and the deployment of an OAI-PMH repository to facilitate harvesting by Europeana.
  • A EUscreen developed and implemented 'server-less' front-end APIs approach where a javascript/flash proxy system handles the communication with the back-end services. The result will be a front-end system that can be 'installed' on any plain html web server without any need for server-side technologies.

The EUscreen platform will be launched in January 2011. Please visit www.euscreen.eu to keep informed on current developments.


Content Lifecycle Integration Framework (CLIF)

Contributed by:
Richard Green
Project Manager, CLIF Project
Academic Services
University of Hull, United Kingdom

The Content Lifecycle Integration Framework (CLIF) project was set up to look at a real-world problem.

At the heart of meeting institutional needs for managing digital content is the need to understand the different activities that the content goes through, from planning and creation to disposal or preservation. Digital content is created using a variety of authoring tools. Once created the content is often stored somewhere different, made accessible in possibly more than one way, altered as required, and then moved for deletion or preservation at an appropriate point. A number of different systems can be involved at different stages: one of these may be a repository. To embed repositories in the content lifecycle, and prevent them becoming yet another content silo within the institution, they thus need to be integrated with other systems that support other parts of this lifecycle. In this way the content can be moved between systems as required, minimising the constraints of any one of them.

CLIF is examining the management of the lifecycle of digital content from creation through to disposal or preservation across system boundaries. It is carrying out this examination through the integration of the Fedora digital repository system with two other systems used within the HE sector in the UK and abroad, Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server (MOSS) and Sakai, to enable the movement of content between them as required. All three systems are used to manage digital content, and each addresses different overlapping parts of the content lifecycle.

The project started with a use case study and a literature review and has now defined an initial architecture for the work. The CLIF developers are currently working on the transfer of content to and fro between Fedora and Sakai on the one hand, and Fedora and MOSS on the other. Once this basic work is complete, more complex interactions involving richer workflows, more complex metadata and more complex content will be considered.

The CLIF project, which runs until March 2011, is a collaboration between Academic Services at the University of Hull and the Centre for e-Research at King's College, London; it is funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC).



Contributed by:
Julie Makinson
CeDAAME Administrator
School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)
University of London
London, UK

The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Library at the University of London houses the world's greatest concentration of scholarly works on Asia, Africa and the Middle East. It contains an estimated 1.8 million items, many of them rare, written in hundreds of languages. Library treasures include a 9th century Tibetan prayer book, priceless Japanese scrolls, original maps of Africa drawn by the 19th century explorer David Livingstone and the first known writings in the Aboriginal language.

But with more than 25,000 new books being added each year, the Library is running out of room. As SOAS approaches its first centenary, it is embarking on an ambitious plan to transform the Library into a modern, truly global resource. This £12m project will see the Library transformed into a modern learning environment. A shift towards electronic resources will make it easier to source information and transform the learning experience of all users.

Projected view of refurbished SOAS Library reception area

Projected view of refurbished SOAS Library reception area. Copyright SOAS. Used with permission

The Centre for Digital Africa, Asia and the Middle East (CeDAAME) has been up and running at SOAS since September 2009. It is an 18-month project funded by JISC with the goal of developing a school-wide strategy for digitisation in support of learning, teaching and research at SOAS.

This has involved carrying out an audit of a sample of SOAS materials in order to build up a picture of the extent and scope of SOAS' collections. A consultation exercise with staff, students and external users has been carried out, the results of which will form the basis for drawing up a strategy.

This strategy will be central to safeguarding the future status of SOAS as a leading research institution in the UK and abroad. The strategy will allow SOAS to take its place as a world player among other hybrid libraries in the newly emerging digital landscape. This will be carried out by centralising the currently ad-hoc nature of digitisation across the School and establishing policies for managing ever increasing amounts of born-digital material.

A co-ordinated programme of digitisation will offer numerous benefits. Access to material will be increased and will be more flexible: users of SOAS Library will be able to access digitised collections from home at times that suit them, and as a result SOAS collections will be promoted to a wider audience. The digitisation of core teaching materials will also improve provision for distance learning. Selecting fragile items for digitisation (in conjunction with carrying out necessary conservation work) will preserve material for the future and ensure access to otherwise restricted material. By providing digital surrogates it is anticipated that hard-copy volumes may be stored more efficiently to maximise space. A key aim of the centre is also to establish networks with other institutions. This will allow SOAS to build awareness of existing digitisation initiatives targeting material that is complementary and adds value to SOAS collections.

As a centre of expertise, CeDAAME is also responsible for supporting the ongoing digitisation of material from SOAS collections and, as well as managing existing projects, is also actively engaged in sourcing funding for new projects. Around 20,000 photographs have been digitised to date and around 10,000 of those are already available to view online at: digital.info.soas.ac.uk. More information about CeDAAME and current and proposed digitisation projects is available on the CeDAAMe website: http://www.soas.ac.uk/cedaame/.


Terrier 3.0 Release Announced

Contributed by:
Craig Macdonald and Iadh Ounis
Department of Computing Science
University of Glasgow, United Kingdom

The University of Glasgow has announced the version 3.0 release of the open source Terrier information retrieval (IR) platform. Terrier includes full-text indexing and search functionalities, and represents an effective and efficient platform for performing extensive IR research and developing large-scale search applications. Terrier is distributed under the Mozilla Public License (MPL).

Particular features of Terrier 3.0 include several state-of-the-art effective retrieval and query expansion approaches (e.g., parameter free Divergence from Randomness weighting models), in addition to field-based weighting models (e.g., BM25F, PL2F), and proximity weighting models (e.g., MRF, pBiL2).

For IR research and experimentation, Terrier is an excellent choice, with support for all standard Text REtrieval Conference (TREC) research test collections up to the current ClueWeb09 corpus of Web documents. For such multi-terabyte scale corpora, the built-in MapReduce indexer based on Apache Hadoop technology allows easy horizontal scaling of the indexing process.

Terrier has been used by research groups worldwide, for both mono-lingual and multi-lingual IR research. Moreover, Terrier has exhibited top retrieval performances on TREC (English), CLEF (European), and FIRE (Indian) test collections. As an example, the University of Glasgow have developed models for Web search, relevance feedback, enterprise expert search, blog search and entity search built on the retrieval approaches of the Terrier platform. In addition, the platform can easily be integrated into applications needing search technologies, such as digital library solutions.

Terrier is written in Java, and follows a component-based architecture, whereby developers and researchers can integrate new retrieval approaches by "plugging in" at various stages in the retrieval process. Moreover, to support the growing community using Terrier, there is a popular forum on the Terrier website, as well as an issue tracker.

We believe that Terrier 3.0 represents a major improvement to the platform, and a promising framework for developing research or application search services.


OSTI Makes DOE Green Energy Full-text Documents & Patents Easier to Find

Contributed by:
Mark Martin
Senior Technical Advisor
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI)

Research on renewable energy resources and energy conservation, including bibliographic citations, technical reports and patent information, is now available at a new portal, DOE Green Energy. Subject areas include but are not limited to solar, wind, bioenergy, hydroelectric, geothermal, tidal and wave power, and energy storage. The free public portal was launched on the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, April 22, 2010, by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) within the Office of Science.

An easy-to-use search box allows users to selectively download, at no cost, current and historical research results from thousands of projects representing more than a $10 billion DOE R&D investment. The website includes a news feed provided by the DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy program.

The DOE Green Energy portal is part of the DOE Open Government Plan, which furthers the Administration's Open Government Initiative. Dr. William F. Brinkman, Director of the DOE Office of Science, said, "DOE Green Energy is one of our Open Government initiatives encouraging public engagement as we work tirelessly to solve today's scientific challenges."According to the DOE Open Government Plan, the DOE Green Energy portal is a data collection "developed for researchers to accelerate scientific discovery and innovation and for business and industry to stimulate economic growth related to renewable energy and energy efficiency."

OSTI advances science and sustains technological creativity by making R&D findings available and useful to DOE researchers and the public.


I N   T H E   N E W S

May/June 2010


National Park Service On-Line Library

May 12, 2010 — "The next time you are doing research on topics ranging from history to science or preservation, see what the National Park Service (NPS) has to offer. Researchers and those with a thirst for knowledge or an insatiable curiosity will find an extensive and ever expanding online library with almost 4,000 books, reports, and articles, covering a broad range of subjects at http://www.nps.gov/history/history/."

"The NPS E-Library houses information on all aspects of the NPS mission, including archeological/anthropological research, history and natural history, scientific monographs, urban ecology, wildlife, and geology, as well as an extensive collection of park administrative histories, reports, newsletters, and classic books about the NPS."

"The NPS continually adds to this online library and focuses on new, rare, and hard-to-find materials about national parks and the NPS."


Webcasts of 2010 WebWise Conference Now Available

May 10, 2010 — "Anyone who missed the 2010 WebWise Conference on Libraries and Museums in the Digital World, held March 3-5 in Denver, Colorado, can now go online to watch sessions on leading edge digital technologies that libraries and museums use to share their collections and engage the public."

"The webcasts focus on the sustainability of digital content, engaging users, new tools and services, essential skills for practitioners, and funding. The captioned videos also feature a pre-conference session on school libraries and 21st century skills and a thought-provoking dialogue between Howard Besser, professor of cinema studies and director of New York University's Moving Image Archiving & Preservation Program, and Susan Chun, a museum technology consultant."

"Also available online are interviews with leaders in cultural heritage digitization such as Joyce Ray, IMLS associate deputy director for libraries and principal organizer of the annual WebWise conference. The 'Digital Pioneers' project was launched by the University of Denver's Penrose Library and Morgridge College of Education's Library and Information Science."

"Full-text papers of many of the presentations will be available in the summer at the online journal First Monday."

For more information, please see the full press release.


Southern New Hampshire University Academic Archive Now Accessible Worldwide

May 7, 2010 announcement from Alice Platt, Digital Initiatives Librarian, Southern New Hampshire University — "Student research from Southern New Hampshire University is now available worldwide in the SNHU Academic Archive, an online repository of student achievement, faculty research, and university archival material. It may be accessed from http://academicarchive.snhu.edu. This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services."

"The flagship collection is a selection of student thesis projects and dissertations from Southern New Hampshire University's Community Economic Development program. Dating from 1983 to the present, the projects tackle a range of issues such as housing, local agricultural development, child care, and HIV/AIDS. Previously, the projects were only available from the Shapiro Library on SNHU's campus. Now, nearly 400 projects from communities across the United States and ten other countries are available to view online. Many represent student work resulting from a partnership program with the Open University of Tanzania. The range of communities and economic situations represented in this collection is a boon for researchers interested in community economic development."

"The SNHU Academic Archive is an open access institutional repository developed with DSpace open source software. The Academic Archive supports the Shapiro Library's mission 'to promote successful academic careers and lifelong learning through the delivery of information and instruction using innovative services and technologies.' In addition to Community Economic Development research, it includes creative theses from the Fine Arts in Creative Writing program and select university publications."

For more information, please see contact Alice Platt at <a.platt@snhu.edu>.


Project Compass Summits Help State Libraries Develop Strategies for Workforce Assistance

May 6, 2010 — "The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is funding an innovative yearlong project linking libraries nationwide to share strategies for helping unemployed patrons find work. Project Compass, launched by OCLC WebJunction and the State Library of North Carolina, features four regional summits where state library officers are sharing best practices on meeting the workforce needs of their communities."

"South Carolina State Library representatives highlighted an IMLS-supported Web site for workforce recovery. It provides library staff across the state with a well-organized and consistent set of resources for patrons, providing them with a number of pathways toward employment. The 'Next Steps' section, for example, provides resources for starting a small business."

"Along with a job and career resource Web site, the Tennessee Public Libraries featured an impressive array of partnerships that it has leveraged for staff training, workforce development tools, and promotion of library services. Partners include the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce, the University of Tennessee, Adult Education Centers, and State Technology Centers."

"After the showcase, the Atlanta group identified three key needs:

  1. Training for library staff to meet the needs of job seekers.
  2. Strategies for funding, including information about how to maximize support, gain visibility, and minimize budget cuts.
  3. A Web site with centralized resources on workforce recovery provided by the state library. For examples of state Web sites that have been established, please go to: http://wiki.webjunctionworks.org/index.php/Workforce_Resources."

For more information, please see the full press release.


Raphael elected ALA president for 2011-2012; Neal elected ALA treasurer 2010-2013

April 30, 2010 — "Molly Raphael, former director of libraries at Multnomah County Library in Portland, Ore., has been elected president-elect of the American Library Association, defeating Sara Kelly Johns, school library media specialist for grades 6-12 at Lake Placid (N.Y.) Middle/High School."

"James Neal, vice president for information services and university librarian at Columbia University, was elected treasurer, defeating Alan Kornblau, director of the Delray Beach (Fla.) Public Library."

"As ALA president, Raphael will be the chief elected officer for the oldest and largest library organization in the world. The ALA has a membership of more than 62,000 librarians, library trustees and library supporters. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information. Raphael will become president-elect in June 2010, and will assume the ALA presidency in June 2011, following the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, La. She will serve a one-year term as president and a one-year term as Immediate Past President."

For more information, please see the full press release.


NDLTD Union Catalog Surpasses One Million Electronic Theses and Dissertations

April 29, 2010 — "The Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD) announced today that there are now over one million readily available electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) online worldwide. The NDLTD, OCLC (Online Computer Library Center), VTLS, and Scirus maintain and provide access related to the NDLTD Union Catalog of ETDs available in institutional repositories around the globe."

"The NDLTD is an international non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the creation, dissemination, use, adoption, and preservation of digital theses and dissertations. The NDLTD assists students and universities in using electronic publishing and digital libraries to more effectively share knowledge in order to unlock potential benefits worldwide. The NDLTD also promotes student efforts to transform the genre of the print dissertation through the use of innovative software to create cutting edge hypertext/multimedia ETDs."

"The NDLTD is comprised of many individual member institutions and consortia, each of which has or plans to put in place a process for archiving and distributing ETDs; others are welcome to join if they have similar interest. The Union Catalog Project is an attempt to make these individual collections appear as one seamless digital library of ETDs to students and researchers seeking out theses and dissertations."

For more information, please see the full press release.


OCLC Global Council elects new member to Board of Trustees, Council vice president/president-elect

April 28, 2010 — "The OCLC Global Council elected a new member to the OCLC Board of Trustees and new leaders for next year during its first meeting April 19 - 22 in Dublin, Ohio. Delegates representing libraries from 17 countries heard presentations and participated in discussions about the focus and shared values of the OCLC cooperative."

"Global Council elected Brian E. C. Schottlaender, The Audrey Geisel University Librarian, University of California, San Diego Libraries, to the OCLC Board of Trustees. Mr. Schottlaender will take his seat on the Board in November."

"Mr. Schottlaender has been University Librarian at UC San Diego since September 1999. Prior to joining UCSD, his 20-plus year career in libraries has included positions at the California Digital Library; UCLA; the University of Arizona; Indiana University; and Firma Harrassowitz in Wiesbaden, Germany."

For more information, please see the full press release.


In age of Social Media U.S. libraries encourage users to choose privacy

National public awareness campaign helps library patrons understand privacy rights in the digital age

April 27, 2010 — "In the past, privacy could be protected by closing a curtain, sealing a record, or simply choosing not to share one's information. But in today's digital environment, more and more of our personal information exists online, available and vulnerable to anyone with prying eyes and access to a computer. This makes individual control over one's personal information a vital and compelling concern for Americans today."

"The American Library Association's (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom has established Choose Privacy Week, May 2-8, to help libraries work with their communities around these complicated but vital issues. Privacy has long been a cornerstone of library services in America and a freedom that librarians defend every day...."

"...Librarians have a long history of protecting the rights of people to read, learn, and be curious, because the freedom to read and receive ideas anonymously is at the heart of individual liberty in a democracy. This makes libraries ideal places for people to think and talk about privacy today."

For more information, please see the full press release.


James G. Neal elected to OCLC Board of Trustees

April 20, 2010 — "James G. Neal, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian at Columbia University, has been elected to the OCLC Board of Trustees."

"A librarian for more than 35 years, Mr. Neal served as the Dean of University Libraries at Indiana University and Johns Hopkins University, and held administrative positions in the libraries at Penn State, Notre Dame, and the City University of New York before his appointment at Columbia."

"He is currently Chair of the ALA Budget Analysis and Review Committee (BARC) and has served on the Council and Executive Board of the American Library Association. He has served on the Board and as President of the Association of Research Libraries, on the Board and as Chair of the Research Libraries Group (RLG), and as Chair of the RLG Programs Committee of the OCLC Board."

"Mr. Neal has also served on the Board and as Chair of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO), and on the Board and as Treasurer of the Freedom to Read Foundation. He brings to the OCLC Board extensive experience and expertise in scholarly communication, including service as Chair of the Scholarly Publication and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), and in copyright, including membership on the Library of Congress Section 108 Study Group."

For more information, please see the full press release.


IMLS Announces Reich as Associate Deputy Director, Office of Museum Services

April 21, 2010 — "The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is pleased to announce the selection of Christopher J. Reich as the Associate Deputy Director for Museums. In this position, Reich will oversee the agency's museum grant programs and supervise the museum program staff."

"Reich has been with IMLS since 2006, previously serving as a Senior Program Officer in the agency's Office of Museum Services. In that position, he launched and oversaw the Museum Grants for African American History and Culture program and managed the 21st Century Museum Professionals grant program. He was also responsible for coordinating the review of nominations for the National Medals for Museum Service and acting as a liaison to the American Association of Museums (AAM) in the implementation of the Museum Assessment Program (MAP)."

For more information, please see the full press release.


NYU Bobst Library to Begin Renovation in May 2010

'Phase II' will Transform Floors Four and Five into a 21st Century Research Commons

April 15, 2010 — "A new phase of renovation for the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library at New York University will transform floors four and five into a research commons for 21st century scholarship."

"This renovation is to begin immediately after Commencement in May 2010. Work is scheduled for completion in November 2010. For the latest updates, quick facts, and to provide feedback, please visit the Bobst Library renovation website, http://library.nyu.edu/renovation"

"The project is being supported in significant part with a gift of $10 million from the Elmer and Mamdouha Bobst Foundation. The gift, combined with a number of smaller gifts, contributions from the Friends of Bobst Library (a membership group), and a major investment from NYU, will enable Phase II to continue the transformation of the flagship library begun with the Phase I renovation of the main floor and two lower levels, completed in 2004."


IMLS Announces Kennelly as New Grants Management Officer

April 8, 2010 — "The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is happy to announce the selection of Mary Estelle Kennelly as the Grants Management Officer. Ms. Kennelly has been with the agency since its inception in 1996 and with its predecessor, the Institute of Museum Services, for three years before that. She has held several positions, most recently Associate Deputy Director for Museum Services."

"In her new position, Ms. Kennelly will join IMLS's Office of the Chief Financial Officer, and take primary responsibility for ensuring uniform grant administration throughout the agency; developing, recommending, and implementing post-award grant administration policy; and managing all fiscal grant requirements for the agency. She will work with the Office of Library Services and the Office of Museum Services to ensure compliance with federal requirements and agency policies so that IMLS's grant programs meet the highest management and fiduciary standards while furthering the agency's mission."

For more information, please see the full press release.


Follow IMLS on Twitter! Museums and Libraries to Be Informed of Important Issues Faster and More Frequently

April 5, 2010 — "The Institute of Museum and Library Services is launching a new Twitter feed....This social media tool, one of several that IMLS uses, will be a source for information about grant announcements, best practices, and other time-sensitive information."

"The Twitter feed is the latest in a series of Web 2.0 tools that IMLS is using. Please explore the following resources:

  • UpNext: The Future of Museums and Libraries Wiki
  • Podcast
  • RSS Feed

"To access all of IMLS's social media tools, please go to: http://www.imls.gov/news/web20.shtm"

For more information, please see the full press release.


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library Goes Mobile

March 29, 2010 — "The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library now offers a beta mobile Web site at http://m.library.illinois.edu. The site provides access to a core set of basic library services customized for successful use on mobile devices, including the ability to search the Library's catalog, find Library locations and hours, access additional databases with mobile interfaces, and text librarians."

"The University Library established a working group that was charged with planning, developing, and maintaining an information access environment for Library users who have mobile devices, including iPhone and BlackBerry phones. If the beta mobile site is well-received by the public, it can serve as the platform for delivering a growing array of mobile services in the future."

"The mobile Web site includes access to the Text a Librarian service, also a new pilot initiative of the Library. University Library users may text a librarian with questions through the mobile site or SMS text 217-686-4361 from any mobile phone that supports text messaging. Standard charges apply, based on the user's mobile phone plan with the account provider, for both messages sent and received. The Text a Librarian service uses Google Voice and is available during the same hours as other Ask a Librarian services (www.library.illinois.edu/services/hours.php)."

For more information, please see the full press release.


Digital Preservation Coalition 2010 Digital Preservation Award

March 29, 2010 announcement from William Kilbride, Executive Director Digital Preservation Coalition — "The DPC and ICON are delighted to announce that details of the Digital Preservation Award 2010 have now been published and that we are now accepting expressions of interest from prospective nominees."

"The Digital Preservation Coalition sponsors the Digital Preservation Award, one of a set of awards which are collectively called the Conservation Awards. The Conservation Awards began in 1993 and their presentation is co-ordinated by a working party of the Institute for Conservation (ICON). The Digital Preservation Award has been run three times (2004, 2005 and 2007). Although based on the high level criteria of the Conservation Awards, the size of the community and the nature of the work it recognises means that the Digital Preservation Award is distinctive in how it implements the criteria and eligibility."

For more information, please see the DPC web site.


First-ever National Study: Millions of People Rely on Library Computers for Employment, Health, and Education

March 25, 2010 — "Nearly one-third of Americans age 14 or older – roughly 77 million people – used a public library computer or wireless network to access the Internet in the past year, according to a national report released today. In 2009, as the nation struggled through a recession, people relied on library technology to find work, apply for college, secure government benefits, learn about critical medical treatments, and connect with their communities."

"The report, Opportunity for All: How the American Public Benefits from Internet Access at U.S. Libraries, is based on the first, large-scale study of who uses public computers and Internet access in public libraries, the ways library patrons use this free technology service, why they use it, and how it affects their lives. It was conducted by the University of Washington Information School and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services...."

"...The library's role as a technology resource has exploded since 1996, when only 28 percent of libraries offered Internet access. Today, almost all public libraries offer visitors free access to computers and the Internet...."

"...The report's findings are based on nearly 50,000 surveys – including 3,176 from a national telephone survey and 44,881 web survey responses – from patrons of more than 400 public libraries across the country. View 2-page summary of the report's findings (PDF, 209KB). The full report is available at http://tascha.washington.edu/usimpact."

For more information, please see the full press release.


American Library Association lauds three library programs for best use of cutting-edge technologies

March 23, 2010 — "The American Library Association (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) has recognized Contra Costa County Library in Pleasant Hill, Calif.; North Carolina State University Libraries in Raleigh, N.C.; and Jones Library in Amherst, Mass., for their use of cutting-edge technologies in library services."

"In June 2009, OITP and the subcommittee for its Program on America's Libraries for the 21st Century issued a call for nominations for best library practices using cutting-edge technology to showcase libraries that are serving their communities with novel and innovative methods."

"After selecting the winners, OITP produced descriptions of the programs to provide the library community with some successful models for delivering quality library service in new ways."

For more information, please see the full press release.


Semmel Will Serve as IMLS Acting Director upon Radice's Departure

March 19, 2010 — "Marsha Semmel, deputy director for museums and director for strategic partnerships, will serve as acting director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Semmel assumed the leadership role on March 14, following the departure of IMLS Director Anne-Imelda M. Radice, Ph.D., a distinguished art and architecture historian, museum professional, and administrator, whose term ended on March 13. Semmel will lead the agency until a new director is nominated and confirmed for a four-year term. The IMLS directorship alternates between individuals from the museum and library communities."

For more information, please see the full press release.


Despite Flat Budgets, State Library Agencies Invest in Technology Services

March 18 2010 — "Despite the lack of real growth in their budgets in recent years, state library agencies are working strategically to assist library professionals and local libraries to meet patrons' needs, according to State Library Agency Service Trends: 1999-2008, a new research brief by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) http://www.imls.gov/pdf/Brief2010_02.pdf. Limited resources are being shifted as libraries services are being redefined. Over the past 10 years, for example, real dollar expenditures on statewide database licensing more than doubled, reaching a total of $65.8 million in 2008. These databases provide all library users access to a wide range of online resources, such as reference sources for homework, job search and training tools, and specialized magazines and newspapers. This finding indicates one way that state library agencies are making the most of limited resources..."

"...Twenty-first century patrons expect more technology resources in schools, public libraries, colleges, and universities. While current and future information technologies provide exciting new opportunities to extend library services to patrons across the U.S., they require significant investment and coordination, the study found."

"IMLS will continue to document the trends highlighted in this report to better understand how changes at the state level affect the quality of library services to the public."

For more information, please see the full press release.


Expert meeting in Paris revised the concept of knowledge societies

March 15, 2010 — "UNESCO organized an expert meeting on 'Knowledge Societies: The way forward' on 1 and 2 March 2010, in its Paris Headquarters. The purpose of the meeting was to refine UNESCO's strategy directed towards building inclusive knowledge societies. A group of global experts from academic, civil society, and governmental sectors participated in discussions on the concept of knowledge societies."

"In light of recent technological and social developments, there was a need to revise the concept of knowledge societies. In doing so, the expert meeting targeted three main objectives:

  • to operationalize the concept of knowledge societies: identify mechanisms for putting the theory into practice, towards UNESCO's goal of building inclusive knowledge societies;
  • to develop tools to qualify and quantify the concept of knowledge societies: provide analysis for anticipating trends and emerging challenges to support Member States in developing adequate strategies and policies, particularly in the area of communication, education, sciences and culture; and
  • to identify concrete activities for UNESCO to propose at the national level: learn from ongoing and recent efforts to translate the knowledge societies concept into reality on country levels."

"Participants of the meeting suggested a number of key actions, including:

  • enhancing strategic partnerships with multiple actors, ensuri
  • , at the same time, a complementary "delivering as one" UN approach;
  • producing more in depth studies about ongoing, holistic national efforts to develop knowledge societies, in order to learn more about key elements of successful processes and failures;
  • raising the awareness of decision makers and Member States and assisting them in the implementation of the knowledge societies concept, including through the tools developed by UNESCO."

For more information, please see the full press release.

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