1 0101010100100101101010010011011 Challenges in the evolution from classical over hybrid to digital libraries 011010100001010010100010010101
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1 0101010100100101101010010011011 Challenges in the evolution from classical over hybrid to digital libraries 011010100001010010100010010101 Paul.Nieuwenhuysen@vub.ac.be Vrije Universiteit Brussel Information and Library Science, University of Antwerp Belgium Invited talk at the International Conference on Digital Libraries 24-27 February 2004, in New Delhi, India
2 These slides are available from http://www.vub.ac.be/BIBLIO/nieuwenhuysen/presentations/ (note: BIBLIO and not biblio)
3 You can find more details and references in the paper printed in the proceedings of this conference
4 contents = summary = structure = overview of this talk Part 1 WHY? Why many challenges for libraries? WHAT? What kind of challenges? WHERE? Where are libraries active? WHEN? When should libraries adapt to a more digital world? WHO? Who can be a good librarian?
5 - contents - summary - structure of this lecture Part 2 HOW? How to develop and run hybrid and digital libraries? HOW MUCH? How much does all this cost? FOR WHOM? For whom do we create digital libraries? CONCLUSIONS contents = summary = structure = overview of this talk Part 2
6 WHY? Why many challenges for the libraries in evolution?
7 Libraries in evolution: from classical to digital? Classical libraries Hybrid libraries! Digital libraries? the librarian acting more as as intermediary PAST NOW FUTURE?
8 Libraries in evolution: effects of more ICT The fast evolution to powerful and affordable applications of information and communication technology (ICT) has several effects on libraries and information centers.
9 Libraries in evolution: effects of more ICT (1) 1. More applications of ICT to manage classical, printed, hard-copy books and journals: ordering of documents; cataloguing of documents; online public access catalogue; administration concerning users; lending; interlending among libraries; financial management; communication by email; WWW sites of libraries...
10 Libraries in evolution: effects of more ICT (2) 2. Providing access not only to hard-copy documents, but also to digital, computer- and network-based information sources.
11 The digital/electronic/virtual library: scheme Structures, practices, and methods of physical libraries and archives Computing power that is decreasing in price Communication capabilities of electronic networking Digital / electronic / virtual library
12 Libraries in evolution and access to information sources Hard-copy (NOT online) Expensive, fee-based Digital, online Expensive, fee-based Hard-copy (NOT online) Free of charge Digital, online Free of charge If it is not on the Internet, available free of charge, then it does “not exist”.
13 Libraries in evolution and the users of information More information delivery more directly from producer to end-user without involvement of a library or information centre acting as intermediary. from producer to end-user library
14 WHAT? What kind of challenges for libraries in evolution?
15 Libraries and information centres: evolution of their roles Collection development (hard copy documents) 1. Applying more ICT in collection development of hard copy documents 2. Acquiring access to digital information + conversion of important local documents to digital format (computer files) and making these accessible through the Internet
16 Libraries and information centres: evolution of their roles Organizing access to hard-copy documents: »cataloguing »classification »physical placement »… 1. Applying more ICT to organize access and to manage hard copy documents 2. + Organizing access to digital information, which includes providing access to computers connected to the Internet
17 Libraries and information centres: evolution of their roles User services: »reference, »user education »… + Offering services in a computer-network environment: -- OPAC throught the Internet; -- website of the library; -- guides to information sources; -- contributing to a high level of information literacy: -- virtual reference services; -- …
18 Libraries and information centres: evolution of their roles Providing a physical, local meeting place + Presence of the library on the WWW, that is accessible from everywhere at any time!
19 Libraries and information centres: evolution of their roles Conservation / preservation (hard copy documents) + Conservation of digital documents or ensuring continuous access to digital documents on external computers
20 Challenges of the hybrid environment: hard copy + digital User / Reader Collection development Library or information centre Electronic, digital resources Hard copy
21 Challenges of the hybrid environment: hard copy + digital User / Reader Searching Electronic, digital resources Hard copy
22 Challenges of the hybrid environment: hard copy + digital Users should be guided in finding their way through the maze, through the labyrinth that is formed by all available information systems and services.
24 Challenges of the hybrid environment: hard copy + digital User / Reader Searching + using Hard copy + electronic, digital resources in an integrated, hybrid library
25 Integrating access to all types of information Web site created, offered, and maintained by a library or information centre 1 or several catalogues / databases created, offered, and maintained by a library or information centre
27 Libraries and information centres: future trend = becoming invisible Conservation of hard copy documents becomes a smaller task in comparison with other activities in libraries. Services offered by libraries become more virtual, less clearly visible. Is the ideal library invisible? Who wants to pay for an invisible library?
29 From local, physical libraries to invisible information centers? From visible, human librarians to more invisible information experts? Who wants to pay for invisible librarians? ?
30 The physical location of the library becomes less important The physical location of documents is an irrelevant concept when the documents are based on computer- networks and the Internet in particular. The physical location of information intermediaries of a library is not important anymore, when reference services and guidance is offered by information intermediaries / experts through the Internet, by using an application like WWW or email. “Virtual reference services”
31 Local, physical libraries can still be attractive Physical libraries can of course remain attractive when they offer »many classical documents that are not available through the Internet »an interesting, attractive space for contemplation, study, entertainment, self-development, meetings… Of course the library budget is limited and can be spent only once in a hybrid library: either on the physical library, either on the digital library
32 How to make hybrid libraries attractive “places”? Physical libraries can be made attractive and usable by good architects / designers. Digital libraries can be made attractive and usable by good information architects / web designers. Creating a good interface user information is crucial.
33 WHEN? When should libraries adapt to a more digital world?
34 When should libraries adapt to a more digital world? This is a question that is easy to answer: »Yesterday »Today »Now »Tomorrow »Always »Permanently »Continuously
35 When should libraries adapt in their evolution? “Change is the only constant”
36 HOW? How to develop and run hybrid and digital libraries?
37 Tools and methods for libraries: ILMS Integrated library management system, including »databases related to documents, users, other data »online pubic access catalogue(s) »integration with related computer programs »integration with Internet »integration with the WWW site of the library
38 Tools and methods for libraries: the Internet and applications Internet + applications of the Internet, such as the WWW and electronic mail
39 Tools and methods for libraries: public access computers Computers for access by the public to Internet-based information resources. Essential is securing these against »theft, »viruses, »hackers, »modifications of the user interface and the programs
40 Tools and methods for libraries: portal software Portal software = federated searching software = meta-searching software to integrate access to distributed databases in one search action, as far as possible.
41 portal = meta-searching Tools and methods for libraries: portal software user information sources
42 Tools and methods for libraries: portal software Portal software tries to cope with technical difficulties, such as differences among digital information sources in the applied »Internet application protocols for communication and retrieval (telnet, HTTP, Z39.50, OAI-MHP…) »metadata schemes in the databases to improve retrieval (classifications, thesaurus systems, ontologies…)
43 Tools and methods for libraries: appropriate hyperlink generator OpenURL resolving software = appropriate hyperlink generator to guide users to the most suitable sources that are appropriate for the specific library or specific user, for instance to cope with the multiple-copy problem (such as SFX software from Ex-Libris or V-link software from VUBIS-GEAC)
44 incoming reference target information source appropriate hyperlink generator Tools and methods for libraries: appropriate hyperlink generator database about local situation
45 Tools and methods for libraries: filtering information Filtering software to protect the user from low-quality or inappropriate sources? Of course here we come close to the sensitive subject of censorship with all its advantages and disadvantages. Deciding on what is low quality or inappropriate for a particular user is not easy.
46 Tools and methods for libraries: personalisation of access Personalisation software to create in a more or less automatic way a more personal interface to the information services that are offered through the Internet and the WWW. Personalisation may depend on the user’s address, age, expressed interests, previous activities related to the library services.
47 Tools and methods for libraries: studies of information system users A few users of the library web site should be selected from various categories of the user community and the way they work with your web site should be studied. The observation of their behaviour and the comments by those users can be useful and interesting to improve your web site.
48 Tools and methods for libraries: co-operation Any single library cannot well cope with the fast evolution to more digital components. Co-operation among organisations should be considered, such as »public libraries scientific libraries »libraries computer centers / web designers »libraries electronic learning centers
49 Tools and methods for libraries: professional societies Professional organisations that focus on libraries can fulfil some needs: »continuous learning »exchange of ideas »stimulate co-operation However, take care that the society does not focus only on established practices, so that they do not stimulate but on the contrary hinder adaptation and progress.
51 How much does it cost to evolve towards digital libraries? Clearly ICT applications cost money for »hardware »software »skilled personnel »personnel development »maintenance »user guidance »... However, budgets normally do NOT grow.
52 What is the value of information that can be offered by a library? What is the value of information sources? Which price is reasonable and acceptable for access to information sources? These are simple questions, but the answers are difficult to give. These are classical questions. Debates on these questions by all stakeholders are going on continuously.
53 What is the value of a well-structured access to information? Related but different questions are: What is the added value of »a good guide to information? »a well organised and well structured access path to information sources? How do decision makers see this?
54 Hybrid libraries should make their digital components well visible Most decision makers do NOT want to pay for invisible libraries and for invisible librarians. Therefore, it is important that hybrid libraries make their digital library components clearly visible and attractive, not only for users, but also for decision makers. Marketing and branding can help here. ????? ?!?!? !!!!!
56 Classical character of librarians: “no computers please” The classical, typical character of librarians and information managers: interest and background in human sciences; less interested in computers and technology
57 Skills of today’s librarians: “more computers please” Desirable skills of librarians and information managers include more and more: computer usage skills; information and communication technology skills
58 Classical character of librarians: document-oriented The classical, typical character of librarians and information managers: focused on static documents, cataloguing, conservation of hard copy documents; less on relations and communication with users
59 Skills of today’s librarians: people-oriented Desirable skills of librarians and information managers include more and more: communication skills: to communicate with users/clients and with higher management teaching skills: to guide users/clients to today’s information sources and services
60 Classical character of librarians: static The classical, typical character of librarians and information managers: attracted by a static, constant, conservative, “valuable” working environment; less interested in more dynamic, “fashionable” systems with a short life
61 Skills of today’s librarians: dynamic Desirable skills of librarians and information managers include more and more: ability to adapt to continuous change; willingness to work in a dynamic environment and to learn continuously; working methods that are always “under construction” from collecting information “just in case” to offering appropriate information “just in time”
63 The clients of hybrid and digital libraries Not all potential users »can “see” an “invisible digital library” »have access to the required technology »can use the required technology
64 The clients of hybrid and digital libraries To reach and to serve people with digital library components, the library should offer more than ever »equipment and software to access information »user guidance »good user interfaces
65 The clients of hybrid and digital libraries A growing number of clients use their hybrid library from a distance through their digital components. This is for instance the case in universities. Hybrid library
66 Conclusions related to the evolution of libraries More challenges than ever for libraries. A picture of the libraries with growing digital components that is as sharp, clear and well defined as that of the more classical library has not yet emerged. One standard solution or view is unlikely to fall from the sky today or in the future. So this leaves room for constructive discussions among so- called "librarians" to learn from each other’s ideas, efforts, opinions, experiences, failures and successes.