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There are a few ZSR folks typing as Roy Tennant gives the keynote address, so I’m just going to hit a few point that I think are particularly interesting on “Envisioning Our Future: Critical Issues for Libraries.”

  • The points in his talk aren’t really about the future, it’s now.
  • Google makes decisions differently from libraries. For example: Michigan allows full text cut & paste, but Google won’t (then others could index it, too).
  • Open Content Alliance allows downloadable files: very open!
  • Increased need to split inventory control from discovery.
  • Centralized systems require segmented content based on topic, intended audience, etc.
  • Asked audience to join with him to kill off the term “OPAC” as “public access” is an anachronism. He suggested “catalog” instead.
  • Systems optimized for librarians, not users. Amazon, etc. are easier for most people.
  • “Copernican Revolution” We are no loner the center, our patrons are.
  • Make local collections show up on the web when folks are searching for information.
  • Massively Centralized systems drive users to the local library.
  • We lost the battle on search. We should refocus our efforts on adding a lot of value to our particular user communities.
  • ILS won’t be the finding tool, not good at that.
  • Drop wall between local and what can be gotten through ILL.
  • “Only librarians like to search, everyone else likes to find.” (Brought the big laughs.)
  • Demoed several existing technologies: Open World Cat, OCLC tag cloud, OCLC covers/timelines/most widely held/etc, results with just author/title/description—what people want, Penn Libraries integrates everything into one page (awesome).
  • The next generation ILS will be whatever the vendors offer us.
  • Next generation finding tools should be able to find materials across catalog, articles, repository, etc. It will also allow faceted browsing, relevance ranking, provide data from other systems, etc.
  • Make link resolver button go away: it’s just one more click for users!
  • Goal should be to eliminate as many clicks as possible.
  • Mentioned COinS: Thanks, Kevin, for keeping us current!
  • Pointed out UCLA science & engineering page that allows faculty to browse several TOC (which they wanted), has RSS, good subject page.
  • University of Minnesota Libraries undergrad page is fun and useful! I liked this page!
  • University of Rochester course page (showed Women in Society) included metasearch box for WGS databases, librarian contact information & photo, websites, media, books, journals, etc.
  • Faculty and students have different things they need/want. Faculty wants experience about their field, students around papers.
  • We no longer control how people find information, must play well with other systems.
  • What will work: know clientele, learn new technologies, use imagination/creativity, provide easy access, market, it’s ongoing.
  • Erik asked about federated search/centralized discovery, should we give up and give it over to Google Scholar? RT answered by saying intentionally used SD instead of FS. Google centralized indexing so didn’t have to go out to each database. RT said it’s a good question & answer isn’t clear. We have a role for tailoring content, maybe use API with Open World Cat (or the like) and hook up to our own system. There’s a role for us to play even if Google Scholar or Open World Cat has centralized searching. Metasearching is painful.

Can I just say this was a great talk? This was a great talk. I recently wrote a paper on Google Books for school, and another on the open access information commons. These papers sparked an interest in all things open and in the general information commons, and this talk reinforced my interest and ideas about this. Great way to kick off the morning!