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The Code4Lib Conference started yesterday and Cathy Marshall, Senior Researcher at Microsoft’s Silicon Valley Lab gave the keynote speech. She talked about personal digital archiving and shared some insights on how with digitization, people can now hold on to everything digital. I found her talk pretty interesting as it made me wonder if I should keep everything. Then I looked at files and folders on my work computer that I have had for about six months now and I realized that I saved everything I came across and my Outlook inbox is so cluttered right now because I kept all emails that I received so far. In addition, I even downloaded files from my old computer that I kept for several years and that I have never used since the first time I saved them. Now I ask myself: am I a digital hoarder? Maybe I am (to a certain extent) . Kathy also talked about how people react initially with horror when they lose data stored on a computer hard drive but almost feel good about the loss later on once they realize they just got rid of unwanted digital artifacts.
Jeremy Frumkin from the University of Arizona and Terry Reese from the Oregon State University introduced Cloud4Lib which is an open digital library platform. The idea here is to leverage the implementation of tools like Evergreen, Koha, Vufind, LibraryFind, Duraspace, dSpace, Blacklight, Tellico, Moai, Solrmarc, Greenstone, Pymarc, and Fedora Commons to benefit more than one community. Doing so will enable libraries to collaboratively build and use common infrastructures. Ultimately, not just one institution that installs a product will benefit but the whole community of users. This enables development efforts to enhance an entire platform.
For Terry, team work is key in leveraging implementations. The work should be extended to the entire library and having a wiki could help when talking about collaborative space. He recommended Amazon (S3, Web Server, EC2 instances) as collaborative workspace. Jeremy added that breakout sessions, discovery across platforms could further enhance this process.
Ross Singer talked about liked library data cloud which can be implemented by building a linked data service using MarcXML. He mentioned how RDF and SPARQL could be used to provide users with useful information when they look up a URI. He actually used this concept to embed some RDFs into a Vufind instance to link external data.
Harrison Dekke, Data Librarian at UC Berkeley defined the role of the cloud as a replacement of the desktop and mentioned that this may make users work smarter. He also talked about Rapache which is an apache module that puts an instance of R in each apache process where R is an interpreter.
Karen Coombs recommended ways to improve library user interfaces with OCLC web services. She talked about cross listing print and electronic records and suggested the use of Open URL resolvers to aggregate and add a link to the library interface to allow display of print availability at other libraries. She also talked about http://librarywebchic.net a web interface that accepts an OCLC number and a zip code and returns a map with libraries that have a searched item.
Jennifer Bowen from the University of Rochester gave an overview of the eXtensible Catalog to take control of library metadata and websites. At Rochester, they used NCIP and OAI to provide connectivity between eXtensible Catalog and ILS, and developed a user interface offering facets and a customizable search interface and metadata tools for automated processing of large batches of metadata.
Anjanette Young, Systems Librarian and Jeff Sherwood, Programmer from the University of Washington talked about matching dirty data. Just like us at the ZSR Library, they use DSpace as a repository for electronic theses and dissertations. They use Pymarc for dirty data matching where they match marc bibliographic data with corresponding authors. The great thing about this Pymarc software is that its latest release has the ability to change records from MARC-8 encoding toUnicode-UTF8.
More posts to come…:-)