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Conference Report


D-Lib Magazine
July/August 2009

Volume 15 Number 7/8

ISSN 1082-9873

Report on the 2009 ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries

Austin, Texas June 15-19, 2009


Michael L. Nelson
Old Dominion University
Department of Computer Science

Red Line


The Ninth ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL 2009) was held near the campus of the University of Texas at Austin, June 15 - 19 [1]. Conference Co-Chair Mary Lynn Rice-Lively (UT-Austin) reported there were 270 attendees representing 23 countries. Although the daytime temperatures exceeded 100 F, the evenings were in the 70s for those who chose to partake in Austin's famed night life.

This JCDL followed the same format as the preceding JCDL conferences. Three tutorials ("Introduction to Teaching / Learning about Digital Libraries", "Lightweight User Studies for Digital Libraries" and "Preservation Planning: Planning for Optimal Long-term Digital Preservation Solutions"), and a doctoral consortium were offered on the first day, followed by three days of regular conference sessions. The conference closed with a day offering four workshops (see this issue of D-Lib for reports on three of the workshops). The doctoral consortium, first held at JCDL 2005, was popular this year with 14 presentations accepted from 22 submissions.

Richard Furuta (Texas A&M) chaired the conference Program Committee. Paper selection was very competitive with acceptance rates of 29 of 102 full papers (28%) and 13 of 43 short papers (30%). In addition, 5 papers originally submitted as full papers were accepted as short papers. Rounding out the 2009 JCDL program were 53 posters presentations and 12 project demonstrations. The posters and presentations were unveiled during the popular "minute madness" session. During minute madness, a poster/demo presenter has one minute in which to promote their concept or innovation in order to entice visitors to stop by for more information or to see a demo during the reception later that evening. The brevity of the "minute madness" time slot encourages economy of presentation and, frequently, good humor.

The technical program consisted of a mix of full papers (30 minute presentations) and short papers (15 minute presentations), running in two parallel sessions. The papers covered many topics but reflected the growing trend of previous JCDLs, with an increasing focus on social media, digital preservation and the application of machine learning techniques for digital library collection acquisition, evaluation and enhancement. In addition to the papers, there were two panel sessions: "What should we preserve from a born-digital world?" (Anne Gilliland, UCLA; Michael Lesk, Rutgers; Cathy Marshall, Microsoft; and Megan Winget, UT-Austin) and "Google as Library Redux" (Michael Lesk, Rutgers; Clifford Lynch, CNI; and Gretchen Hoffman, Fulbright Jaworski), a follow-on from the 2005 JCDL panel "Tick, Tock - Google as Library".

The opening keynote was given by Christine Borgman (UCLA), entitled "Digital Libraries: Now Here or Nowhere?" [2]. In this talk she reflected on the history of digital libraries and lessons learned from developing multiple digital libraries, from the early Alexandria Digital Earth ProtoType (ADEPT) [3] to her current involvement with ecology of data in the projects with the Center for Embedded Networked Sensing (CENS) [4] and other projects. Although the term "digital library" has not caught on with the general public, some of the core tenets of digital library research: open data, tool development and community interaction, are all actively embraced.

The second keynote, "Cultures of Participation: Opportunities and Challenges for the Future of Digital Libraries" was given on Wednesday by Gerhard Fischer (University of Colorado) [5]. In his keynote, Gerhard stressed the continuum of libraries as a method of "preserving the past" and the "culture of participation" afforded by Web 2.0 tools and memes as a method for "designing tomorrow". During this talk he stressed the importance of "meta-designers" (which create tools that allow systems to be steered or designed by the participants), "social creativity" (group knowledge and problem solving) and long tail phenomena for supporting cultures of participation.

The conference banquet was held Wednesday at the University of Texas Alumni Center. During the banquet, the Vannevar Bush Award for Best Paper was presented to Steven Bethard (University of Colorado), Philipp Wetzler (University of Colorado), Kirsten Butcher (University of Utah), James H. Martin (University of Colorado), and Tamara Sumner (University of Colorado) for their paper "Automatically Characterizing Resource Quality for Educational Digital Libraries". The Best Student Paper Award was given to "Improving Optical Character Recognition through Efficient Multiple System Alignment" by William B. Lund and Eric K. Ringger (both of BYU). Continuing the precedent introduced at JCDL 2008, the best paper nominees and finalists were grouped into their own sessions (instead of the prior approach of spreading them throughout the program). The Best Poster/Demo award (determined by popular vote from Tuesday's reception) went to the demonstration "Using University Collections in Digital Library Education" by Quinn Stewart (UT-Austin) and David Todd (Conservation History Association of Texas).

JCDL 2010 will be held jointly with the International Conference on Asian Digital Libraries (ICADL) June 21-25, Gold Coast Australia [6]. This will be the first time for JCDL to be held outside North America. The focus for JCDL 2010 will be "Vision 2020 - Beyond Digital Libraries" while the focus of ICADL will be "The Role of Digital Libraries in a Time of Global Change". While waiting for the arrival of JCDL 2010, you can relive the JCDL 2009 memories with a collection of photos [7], tags [8], tweets [9] and Second Life [10].

Links to resources referenced in this report

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2. <>.

3. <>.

4. <>.

5. <>.

6. <>.

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8. <>.

9. <>.

10. <>.

Copyright © 2009 Michael L. Nelson

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