Clips & Pointers


D-Lib Magazine
July/August 2008

Volume 14 Number 7/8

ISSN 1082-9873

In Brief


A Digital Libraries Curriculum: Expert Review and Field Testing

Contributed by:
Barbara M. Wildemuth, Professor
Jeffrey Pomerantz, Assistant Professor
Sanghee Oh, Ph.D. Student
School of Information and Library Science
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
<>, <>, <>

Seungwon Yang, Ph.D. Student
Edward A. Fox, Professor
Department of Computer Science
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia, USA
<>, <>

In 2006, the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH SILS) and the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Tech (VT CS) took the first steps toward developing an interdisciplinary curriculum for digital library (DL) education. Our project was introduced in an earlier D-Lib Magazine briefing (; further details are available on the project website ( and wiki (

With financial support from NSF (grant IIS-0535060 to UNC-CH and grant IIS-0535057 to VT), the project has developed a number of educational modules, organized into ten core topics: Overview, Digital Objects, Collection Development, Information/Knowledge Organization, Architecture, User Behavior/Interactions, Services, Preservation, Management and Evaluation, and DL Education and Research. The curriculum and educational resources are intended to be applicable to both computer science and library and information science programs, so, as these modules were developed, input was gathered from colleagues in both disciplines.

Fourteen modules have been developed. They (and the core topics with which they are associated) are:

  1. History of DLs and library automation (Overview)
  2. Digitization (Collection Development)
  3. Metadata (Information/Knowledge Organization)
  4. Architecture overview (Architecture)
  5. Application software (Architecture)
  6. Information needs/relevance (User Behavior/Interactions)
  7. Online information seeking behavior and search strategy (User Behavior/Interactions)
  8. Interaction design, usability assessment (User Behavior/Interactions)
  9. Search engines (Services)
  10. Reference services (Services)
  11. Web publishing (Services)
  12. Preservation (Preservation)
  13. DL evaluation, user studies (Management and Evaluation)
  14. Intellectual property (Management and Evaluation)

The full curriculum framework, including 28 modules yet to be developed, can be viewed at the project website (

The modules listed above are now in the process of being evaluated. The first phase of the evaluation of each module consists of a review by several experts, supported by the project wiki. The second phase of the module evaluation consists of field testing in classrooms. For both expert review and field testing, the same criteria guide the evaluation. They address:

  • Objectives: Are the objectives appropriate for the topic?
  • Body of knowledge: Does the module address all areas of the topic that need to be addressed?
  • Readings: Are the readings the best and most appropriate for the topic?
  • Learning activities: Are the activities appropriate for the topic?
  • Level of effort and prerequisites: Is it feasible to teach the module as it is currently constructed?
  • Overall structure of the module: Is the current module well structured?

During the expert reviews, several experts are asked to comment on each module, in relation to the evaluation criteria. Use of the wiki to support this evaluation allows the experts to see and comment on each other's feedback.

During the field testing, an instructor will implement a particular module within the context of a course. Once the module has been completed, the students in the course will be surveyed about its effectiveness, and the instructor will be interviewed about the module implementation and its usefulness. If the students completed any of the suggested learning activities, their work products will be collected and evaluated (if they allow).

Practitioners, researchers, and instructors in digital libraries are invited to become a part of this process, either as module developers or module evaluators. In particular, we are in the process of developing the module on Case Studies in DL, and invite DL developers and managers to write up case studies of their projects. We also invite DL instructors to participate in the field testing of the modules, which will continue in fall 2008 and spring 2009. If you would like to participate, please contact any of the authors.

CrossRef Supports Digital Object Identifiers (DOI names) for Standards

Contributed by:
Chuck Koscher
Director of Technology
Lynnfield, Massachusetts, USA

CrossRef ( is an independent membership association that provides a linking infrastructure for scholarly communication. While original efforts were focused on peer reviewed journals and conference proceedings, CrossRef has expanded to support DOI® name registration of other publication types including books, working papers, technical reports, dissertations, data bases/sets and standards.

ASTM International has recently joined other standards organizations, including IEEE, NISO and BSI, that use the DOI® System and CrossRef's metadata services. These CrossRef members seek to enhance the visibility and provide stable and persistent citation linking techniques for their standards publications. Standards are highly cited throughout scholarly literature and are particularly cited in patent documentation.

Metadata for standards at CrossRef is in an early state and will evolve as the standards publishing community works to address concerns over citation styles and other industry practices. In December 2007 CrossRef was pleased to participate in a meeting hosted by BSI British Standards during London On-Line whose intent was to jump start industry wide dialog around identification issues related to standards publications. Through activities of this type, and by working closely with individual members as they begin DOI name registration for their publications, CrossRef hopes to move in the coming months towards a more mature metadata model and linking/discoverability capability for standards.

More information can be found at the CrossRef web site.

National recognition for Lois Hole Campus Alberta Digital Library

Contributed by:
The Alberta Library
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Following a high-profile launch in 2007 that included Premier Ed Stelmach and government and community leaders across the province, the Lois Hole Campus Alberta Digital Library ( is already receiving national recognition.

The initiative was recently presented with the 2008 Canadian Association of College and University Libraries' Innovation Achievement Award at the Canadian Library Association's National Conference in Vancouver.

In making the announcement, the Canadian Library Association noted that the Lois Hole Campus Alberta Digital Library "is truly innovative in concept, scope and breadth; has pushed consortial activity to a new level; and may in fact serve as a model of collaboration for other provinces."

"This award recognizes the progressive nature of the Lois Hole Campus Alberta Digital Library and the important role it is playing in Campus Alberta," said Alberta Advanced Education and Technology Minister Doug Horner. "It gives students across the province easy access to the best educational resources possible."

"We are honoured by this award, and committed to continuing to build a digital library that exemplifies the future of learning in Alberta," said Ernie Ingles, University of Alberta Vice-Provost and Chief Librarian, and Chair of the Lois Hole Campus Alberta Digital Library.

The Lois Hole Campus Alberta Digital Library provides a vast array of digital resources for teaching, learning and research, including:

  • Province-wide access to full-text digital collections.
  • Digitized materials important to Albertans.
  • Electronic repositories to manage and preserve digital materials.
  • Management of a secure authentication system.
  • Information literacy programs for library staff, faculty and students.

The digital library gives students and faculty unlimited access to resources, regardless of their school or location. This dramatically expands the information available to Albertans and transforms the way libraries enable their learners and faculty to discover and use information and knowledge resources.

The resource currently contains over 4.5 million items, including academic journals, encyclopedias, magazine and newspaper articles, literary criticisms and video clips. Digital library content includes not only the shared collection of licensed materials, but also new collections of unique digitized content.

In the News

Excerpts from Recent Press Releases and Announcements

Jim Rettig inaugurated 2008 ALA president

July 2, 2008 - "[July 2] Jim Rettig, university librarian, Boatwright Memorial Library University of Richmond, began his term as 2008-2009 president of the American Library Association (ALA)."

"As ALA president, Rettig is the chief elected officer of the oldest and largest library organization in the world. Established in 1876, the American Library Association has more than 65,000 members. Its mission is to provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all."

"Rettig served on the ALA Executive Board from 2003 to 2006 and was elected to three terms on the ALA Council. He also served as chair of the ALA Committee on Organization (2000-2003) and ALA Publishing Committee (1997-1999). Rettig is a past president of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) and chaired the College & Research Libraries News Editorial Board, a publication of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) from 1986 to 1988."

For more information, please see the full press release at <>.

OCLC Minority Librarian Fellowship program will provide opportunities for under-represented groups

June 30, 2008 - "OCLC has announced a new OCLC Minority Librarian Fellowship program designed to provide a unique opportunity for aspiring library professionals from historically under-represented groups."

"The Fellowship program offers an opportunity to be part of the world's leading library cooperative. The 12-month program offers the selected Fellow two, three-month assignments within specific divisions of OCLC, and one six-month assignment with a specific operating unit within the OCLC organization...."

"...OCLC will begin accepting applications for the Fellowship July 15, 2008. Deadline for applications is August 29, 2008."

For more information, please see the full press release at <>.

Supporting diversity and equality through improved access: Groundbreaking work will provide support for delivery of resources to disabled students and staff

June 19, 2008 - "The JISC TechDis Service has joined forces with the Publishers Association to provide resources which have the potential to transform the delivery of learning materials to disabled students and staff."

"These two resources, developed in collaboration with the RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) and several major publishers, will support the delivery of materials in alternative formats to meet the needs of people with a range of disabilities, a crucial requirement for equality of access for all students and staff in education and research."

For more information, please see <>.

Institute of Museum and Library Services Awards More Than $20 Million to Support Librarians

June 17, 2008 - "On June 17, the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded 31 institutions grants totaling $20.3 million as part of the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program. This year's grantees will provide educational opportunities to library students and staff to strengthen Gulf Coast libraries; support school library media programs; increase the number of librarians, archivists, and library and information science professors; increase diversity in the library workforce; and strengthen that workforce to better meet the needs of users of all types of libraries. To see a list of awardees and descriptions of how they intend to use their grants, please click here."

"'Since the program began in 2003, the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program has awarded more than $100 million to recruit and train the next generation of librarians. Whether working in public schools, colleges, or local public libraries, librarians are essential contributors toward student and community success,' said Anne-Imelda M. Radice, Ph.D., IMLS Director."

"The next deadline for the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program is December 15, 2008. Click here for more information."

For more information, please see the full press release at <>.

New tools promote wider sharing of research for scholars across disciplines

June 10, 2008 - "The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) have released a new series of bookmarks in the Create Change campaign, which targets scholars in different disciplines with messages about the benefits of wider research sharing. Librarians can use these freely available files to enhance their efforts to engage faculty interest in changing the way scholarly information is shared."

"The Create Change Web site emphasizes the rapid and irreversible changes occurring in the ways faculty share and use academic research results. The site outlines how the advancement of knowledge is fueled by accelerating and enhancing sharing – of journal articles, research data, simulations, syntheses, analyses and other findings. Create Change offers faculty practical ways to look out for their own interests as researchers and delivers the personal perspectives of scholars in 10 different disciplines, from music therapy to chemistry to microbiology, on the benefits of sharing. New interviews are added regularly."

For more information, please see the full press release at <>.

JISC adds its support to 'innovative' international open access model

June 10, 2008 - "A new model for open access publishing is emerging in which funding agencies and libraries cover authors' publication payments to support journals' peer-review and editorial services while publishers make the electronic versions of those journals openly available and free to read without charging a subscription."

"High Energy Physics (HEP) is an area in which it is thought this model might be particularly successful, a discipline in which a culture of pre-prints (pre-publication online outputs) is predominant. SCOAP3 (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics) is offering just such a model, one in which each partner finances its contribution by cancelling journal subscriptions and each country contributes according to its share of HEP publishing."

"It was announced today that JISC has joined SCOAP3 on behalf of UK Higher Education Institutions who have pledged to re-direct their current expenditures on High-Energy Physics journals to this Open Access initiative."

For more information, please see the full press release at <>.

NISO Elects New Chair, Vice Chair and Directors

June 4, 2008 - "The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) membership has elected new leadership for the 2008-2009 terms beginning on July 1, 2008. Oliver Pesch has been elected to serve as Chair of the NISO Board of Directors. Currently the Chief Strategist for EBSCO Information Services in Birmingham, Alabama, Pesch helps set direction for EBSCO's E-Resource Access and Management Services initiatives. Chuck Koscher has been elected to serve as Vice-Chair, and will become chair in 2009, when Pesch's term expires. As Director of Technology at CrossRef, Koscher has been actively involved in improving the linking infrastructure for scholarly publications. Both will serve on NISO's Board and Executive Committees."

For more information, including a list newly elected and continuing NISO Board members, please see the full press release at <>.

Groundbreaking University of California, San Diego Research Study to Measure 'How Much Information?' is in the World

June 3, 2008 - "Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, today announced a new study to quantify the amounts and kinds of information being produced worldwide by businesses and consumers alike. The 'How Much Information?' study will be completed by a multi-disciplinary, multi-university faculty team supported by corporate and foundation sponsorship. The program will be undertaken at the Global Information Industry Center (GIIC) at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS), with support from the Jacobs School of Engineering and the San Diego Supercomputer Center."

"The How Much Information (HMI) program is a three-year effort by specialists at University of California, San Diego, MIT and University of California, Berkeley. Previous theorists involved in developing baseline data are UC Berkeley professors Hal Varian and Peter Lyman, highly regarded for work in this field. Professor Varian noted 'we are very pleased that GIIC is undertaking this next generation of studies.'"

"Updates on the research will be announced over the course of the next three years, with the initial report slated for publication at the end of 2008."

For more information, please see the full press release at <>.

Open Society Institute gives American Library Association $350,000 seed grant for 21st Century privacy rights initiative

May 21, 2008 - "The American Library Association announced today that it has received a $350,000 seed grant from the Open Society Institute. The grant will launch a three-year public engagement initiative to inspire library patrons and Americans to stand with librarians as they fight to usher in privacy standards for the digital age."

"Collaborating with ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom is a blue-ribbon privacy advisory panel of 13 thought leaders that includes representatives from the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the Association of American Publishers, the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse and Google, among others..."

For more information, please see the full press release at <>.

OCLC and Google to exchange data, link digitized books to WorldCat

May 19, 2008 - "OCLC and Google Inc. have signed an agreement to exchange data that will facilitate the discovery of library collections through Google search services."

"Under terms of the agreement, OCLC member libraries participating in the Google Book Search™ program, which makes the full text of more than one million books searchable, may share their WorldCat-derived MARC records with Google to better facilitate discovery of library collections through Google."

"Google will link from Google Book Search to, which will drive traffic to library OPACs and other library services. Google will share data and links to digitized books with OCLC, which will make it possible for OCLC to represent the digitized collections of OCLC member libraries in WorldCat...."

"...The new agreement enables OCLC to create MARC records describing the Google digitized books from OCLC member libraries and to link to them. These linking arrangements should help drive more traffic to libraries, both online and in person."

For more information, please see <>.

NISO Standard at the Heart of Microsoft Plug-In for the Blind and Print-Disabled

May 15 2008 - "The National Information Standards Organization's (NISO) Specifications for the Digital Talking Book (ANSI/NISO Z39.86) serves as the centerpiece for a new free, downloadable plug-in to provide feature-rich, structured information to persons who are blind or print disabled, as well as to assist in the creation of e-books."

"To develop the plug-in, which was officially released May 7, Microsoft Corporation worked in collaboration with the DAISY Consortium, maintenance agency for the DAISY/NISO standard. The result of this joint, standards-based, open-source development project is 'Save As DAISY,' which converts Open XML-based word processing documents into DAISY XML, also known as DTBook."

"DAISY Digital Talking Books (DTBs) go far beyond the limits imposed by analog audio books or commercial digital audio books. In a DAISY book, the audio is synchronized with the textual content and images, providing an accessible and enriched multimedia reading and learning experience. A DAISY book also supports multiple outputs, such as Braille and large print. "

For more information, please see the full press release at <>.

Copyright 2008 © Corporation for National Research Initiatives

Top | Contents
Search | Author Index | Title Index | Back Issues
Previous Conference Report | Clips & Pointers
E-mail the Editor