Thursday, June 20, 2002

David Ward, from the University of Illinois, sent an overview of the ALA
LITA Top Tech Trends program and gave me permission to post. What a
great program I wish I could have attended. Thanks for letting me post here, David.Top Tech Trends Annual Program

"ALA Annual 2002
Atlanta

The experts and their trends

Marshall Breeding
1. Library Automation Systems - Vendors are throwing lots of bells
and
whistles on catalogs, and the library community is also looking at the
catalog as a one-stop-shop for searching for different materials
2. Metasearching/Federated Searching/Content Searching - Many
tools
are springing up that lets us search multiple databases and
repositories at
once. Moving into a post Z39.50 world, what tools can come up that
help
make sense of the search sets that these tools produce?
3. Open URL - Using context sensitive linking technology to
provide
better access to full text content
4. RFID - Where can we put wireless barcodes, and what can we do
with
them?
5. WAP enabled cell phones - It is not likely that these will be
used
to search library catalogs any time soon.

Roy Tennant
1. Metasearching - Roy sees it not as one-stop-shopping right now,
but
5-stop-shopping; libraries are still learning how users will users
results
2. Online Reference Assistance - if Metasearching is in the Infant
stage, then Online Reference is in the Toddler stage - tools are
developing, and librarians are learning how to conduct reference better
with them
3. Interoperability Standards - We are in the "Golden Age" of
standards development, and there is much promise in using things like
XML,
Web Services, UDBI, OAI, Dublin Core, etc.
4. Cataloging - It is time to think about the content access we
provide our materials, and how AACR2 is used - my favorite quote :
"stop
measuring the damn book!"
5. Wireless - Using roaming networks, public libraries can become
islands of connectivity for wireless notebook users.

Eric Lease Morgan
1. XML - still a cool thing - recommended http://www.axkit.org - a
toolkit that uses Perl modules that you install on an Apache Server.
The
toolkit makes it easy to create XML and XSLT documents that really work
2. Open Source Software - Eric sees the use of these technologies
by
libraries as an investment in people - since you need good staff to use
them, instead of paying vendors to maintain expensive, flaky software.
3. OAI - Should continue development, as a useful way to share
metadata between 2 machines
4. User Centered Design - Important in everything, from website
design, to library facilities (signage, etc.); we buy services library
users don't even know exist. Eric described a typical user search
through
a catalog, showing how every step along the way got the user another
pointer to information (e.g. bibliographic record, call number, floor
map,
etc.), but ultimately wasted the user's time through inefficiency. In
assessment, we need to ask users to do a task, then see if they can.

Clifford Lynch

First, Clifford noted that version 2.0 of OAI was released last week,
and
that it is more of a standard now, and ready for more robust
implementation.

1. Google's Open API's - Now open to the public for "research"
purposes, these programming interfaces can help with the design of
search
tools for libraries
2. Privacy - Comcast got busted for tracking the clickstreams of
its
broadband users; what are the implication for libraries?
3. Computational Linguistics - Machine Understanding of texts; can
the
tools being developed here be used for semantic based markup of library
texts?
4. Learning Management Systems - Blackboard, WebCT, etc. - what is
the
libraries place in these?
5. Security/Authorization - There are two key trends to consider
here-
A. Shibboleth (from Internet 2) - a distributed Authorization System
for
Access Management and B. The frailty and integrity of digital
information,
and the continued need for preservation
6. Multi-Player Gaming Technology - What are the possible uses for
libraries from technologies like PS2 and Online PC games? How can we
design worlds for users, especially ones they will want to explore?

Joan Frye Williams -

1. Google Answers - this new service allows users to pay for
answersto
questions, bid on by unknown Googlites. It is convenient, and the
answers
aren't too bad. What effect will this have on libraries?
2. Infrared - This technology can be used to beam specific
information
to specific users - for example, a Library Program can be beamed in
multiple languages, and users with Infrared Headphones can tune in to
receive the one they need to hear.
3. Cloaking Cell Phones- the technology exists, if libraries want
to
implement the cone of silence.
4. User Centered Design - Do we need one search tool/interface for
both library professionals and users? We should develop separate tools
for
each, tailored to their needs.

Tom Wilson -

1. Single User Interface (i.e. Metasearching, etc.) - Tom was
troubled
by this, and feels the same interface might not work for all subjects -
so
an interface that works great for medical information might not be the
ideal one to search for geopolitical data
2. Integrated Online Library Systems - We need decent authority
control.
3. WAP interfaces to catalogs - Why would you want to? We need to
develop appropriately packaged information to deliver to these devices
4. Single Vendor Orientation - Libraries need to get away from
their
proclivity to buy things like IOLS systems from one source
5. User Centered Design - Are we providing what users want, or
what we
want?

Walt Crawford

We were running out of time, so Walt didn't really get a fair shake.

1. Multiplier Technologies - Things like Open URL - that make the
resources
you already pay for more valuable, my connecting them to full
text/other
resources. We should look into the development and use of these as
much as possible."

Several references to technology with handhelds - RFID - congratulations
to Ela Area Public Library District for implementing this in their library;
WAP accessible automated catalogs; infrared; and wireless.

Thanks again, David!


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