Category Archives

Mace Ojala: find out why libraries are not Open Data

The Open Data -idea and the movement have been active now for several years. Libraries, and their bibliographical metadata seem like the perfect data to make available in a wider variety of ways; it’s systematically created and maintained, (supposedly) coherent and high quality, well documented, the concept of Open Data is quite easy to understand, the data is propably outside of copyright or the copyrights belong to libraries, it’s creation is typically tax-funded and is of wide interest, Open Data is politically endorsed, there are step-by-step guides how to do it, most if not all of the data is already available online via OPACs and possibly Z39.50 APIs too, libraries claim they are an “open platform” and easily accessible, technological innovation in libraries seems to be quite low… and finally, very few people seem to outright oppose libraries going Open Data.

A handful of libraries have taken the initiative to go their own way and go Open Data. However most libraries haven’t. During the Cycling for libraries -unconference I intend to find out why not.

I believe i can identify top 5 reason why libraries are still not Open Data. Also i hope i can figure out some counterarguments, and perhaps formulate counter-counterarguments to them, together with some other participants of Cycling for libraries.

Mace Ojala

Dierk Eichel: how to make a green library?

Libraries have always been the keeper of the cultural heritage of mankind. But with the advent of the industrial era mankind threatens the very foundation of our existence, nature. Now, libraries as keeper of knowledge and educators of society can play a key role in saving the environment and allow for technical advance at the same time. What can, what has to be done by libraries and librarians to reach that goal? Is there room for exchange of ideas regarding the green libraries at cyclingforlibraries? Can this be the starting point of a global green library movement?

I’m looking forward to this adventure

Dierk Eichel
IFLA New Professionals Special Interest Group (NPSIG)

Amelia Acker: mobile apps for libraries

Mobile devices and their applications are transforming the landscape of personal computing and information access. I want to start thinking about how we can incorporate mobile apps into the information services that libraries provide to users. What are the tools, skills, and resources that librarians need to build mobile applications for our libraries? How should we teach ourselves new practices for tool building? How can we preserve what we learn, circulate new ideas, and document our failures? What apps do our users need? What apps do they already use?

These are some of the questions I would like to answer during our time together.

Amelia Acker
Dept. of Information Studies, UCLA

Katie Herzog: Library aesthetics in an information age

I am interested in exploring the “image” the library is “selling,” and developing alternative platforms to interface with the public, including library artist residencies and locally elected classification systems. Branding and marketing are popular approaches many libraries feel forced to adopt to stay competitive, keep their image fresh and relevant, and maintain funding. In an over-saturated ad culture where it is increasingly necessary for the recipient to tune out messages entirely, let’s use our medium, information, creatively. If we are losing patrons to the internet and digitization, in our strategizing to invite them back in, let’s consider what libraries offer which online searches don’t: physicality, qualia, architecture, politics, community, light, human guidance, local historical archives, public space, etc. Let’s utilize the challenge of relevance as a means for institutional innovation.

Katie Herzog
Molesworth Institute

Juha Kortesluoma: invent new ways for co-operation between small and large libraries

The challenge I’ll try to solve, is to find new ways how small public libraries could co-operate and share ideas more openly with large libraries and how both could benefit from co-operation

Juha Kortesluoma
Espoo City Library

Susanna Sandell: What should the public library provide to the customers in the internet?

What should the public library provide to the customers in the internet? I mean besides an access to the library database and the services concerning the customer account (renewals, reservations, payments…)

Should we recommend novels? Recommend music, games, language courses, links to internet sites etc? Give online homework-help? Some educational entertainment to children? What?

See ya all soon in Rostock and have a good time in Denmark!

Susanna Sandell
Turku City Library

Lauri Holopainen: list the strenghts of public libraries

I would like to think alone and together with you about what are the strengths the public libraries. What are those strengths today and what could they be tomorrow? I’m sure there will be a competition of public funds and it could be useful to be able to describe our strengths anytime in one’s own words & enthusiastically!

Secondly, i’m also interested in the possibilities of open data. What kind of mobile apps are possible by using open data?

Lauri Holopainen
Espoo City Library

Sonia D. Kirkaldy Nielsen: Build justification for all types of library services

You all have some really interesting and good ideas about library work. I am looking forward to discussions about all the different issues. No doubt, we will come up with some good ways to solve the different tasks within the field of library work.

I have mainly been working at picture and media libraries. For a few years I worked in the archive at a Danish financial news paper (Børsen) and an image library (Scanpix). The last 4 years I have been working in the library at TV2. At TV2 we catalog the news programs, archive the footage and do research for the journalists.

The library is the ”memory” of TV2 and it is very important to be able to go back and find footage, interviews and other things that have been broadcastet. For some people it is difficult to ”see” the importance of the library because we work in the ”background” and behind the scenes. Other places I have work it has also been difficult to make the library more ”visible”. My questions are:

  • How do we make library work more visible?
  • Are we to ”silent”?
  • How do we get out there and show people what we do?
  • Could we be more visible by finding new areas where our library qualifications can be used?

Sonia D. Kirkaldy Nielsen
TV2 library, Denmark

Jared Wiercinski: learn from file-sharing communities

Hi everyone! I’m interested in what libraries and file-sharing communities can learn from each other.

I became interested in this whole topic when trying to purchase sound recordings that students or faculty had requested at our library. You see, part of my job involves working as the music and dance librarian here at our university. I noticed that there were some things that I couldn’t buy, no matter how hard I looked, because they were simply out of print or were unavailable through second-hand sellers. But I was able to find many of those same requests through peer-to-peer networks using torrent-tracking sites. It made me realize that these sites and communities often play a valuable archival role and provide access to all kinds of important cultural and intellectual work.

I think that many of the positive aspects of these communities and sites are often left out of the discussion, and the conversation frequently shifts in other directions. Some positive aspects that I have discovered are: dedicated user groups, community spirit, and high-quality standards for both media files and the associated metadata. I think it’s worth thinking about the connection between libraries and file-sharing communities and what they can learn from each other.

Jared Wiercinski
Concordia University Library

Michael Rathai: How to make library software more independent?

A big concern for me as head of the digital library department in the GBV library consortium is to support my colleagues to make better software for OUR libraries and we quite often feel kind of hindered by existing software solutions, partly quite monolithic old-fashioned systems we are bound to use. And the companies providing this software in fact react quite often only very slowly to our demands.

So I am happy that in the last 5 years we have build up our own development group using open source sw (vufind, solr, lucene, shibboleth). It is a good start, but there is still a long way to go and cyc4lib I’d like to use to think and talk about how we can improve this process, how we can become much more independent from the big providers and what can I do to help make both libraries and ourselves more brave to dare to use these open source solutions. Some libraries already are doing that by their own, some don’t dare and some simply don’t have the resources to do so. One chance with cyc4lib for me is to meet a lot of people from libraries worldwide and I hope to get a lot of stimuli from you and a better understanding of the libraries situation wrt. to my questions mentioned here.

Michael Rathai

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