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VALA 2008-02-07 Stuart L. Weibel Senior Research Scientist OCLC Programs and Research Scholar in Residence, University of Washington Libraries and the.

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Presentation on theme: "VALA 2008-02-07 Stuart L. Weibel Senior Research Scientist OCLC Programs and Research Scholar in Residence, University of Washington Libraries and the."— Presentation transcript:

1 VALA 2008-02-07 Stuart L. Weibel Senior Research Scientist OCLC Programs and Research Scholar in Residence, University of Washington Libraries and the Information School Making Identifiers Concrete (so library places and spaces dont have to be)

2 Overview The Library brand and Web 2.0 Infusing bibliographic ideas into the Web (and vice versa?) Identities on the Web Gluing the pieces together with Identifiers Design criteria for identifiers WorldCat Identifiers – good enough? A Glimir of the future

3 Where is the Library as a Brand? Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources A Report to the OCLC Membership 3300 Respondents to questions on: Library use Awareness and use of library electronic resources The Internet search engine, the library and the librarian Free vs. for-fee information The "Library" brand

4 The over-all picture: Libraries are trusted sources of information But search engines are trusted about the same People care about the quantity and quality of information they find… speed is less important (!?surprise?!) They do not view paid information as more accurate than free information The overwhelming branding image of libraries is… BOOKS Patrons do not think of the library as an important source of electronic information !

5 Library Brand Equity: we need a strong, visible brand on the Web

6 Building out the library brand Build on the trust of our patrons Build on our business model: Making information look free to end-users Build on the scale that libraries represent Presence in every community Global scope and reach Improve awareness of library resources Make libraries a part of the new electronic environments that dominate social, educational, and work environments

7 Social Networking Software It isnt new… only the technical manifestation is Deliver library services into the emerging social networks Motivate people to participate Tagging Book Reviews Emergent relationships that are evident from data about what people buy and borrow, like and dislike (so called business intelligence) Link to the people as well

8 Social consumer environments Social Networking is not just for games Facebook Myspace Second Life Twitter All are flawed as service delivery models Business models are closed (or obscure) (Closed Gardens) Features are rudimentary (or overbearing) But… they foretell a digital future in both their virtues and faults

9 Libraries must compare favorably with experiences that our patrons expect: Discovery and recommender services Web 2.0 social network capabilities Experiences of comparable commercial service providers Last-mile delivery capability Bookstore social experiences Coffee-shop salons People to help us navigate complicated knowledge space We are offering an experience as well as a service

10 Can Libraries compete in the social networking space? Should they? The social software movement is fueled by (dollar denominated) entrepreneurial fervor Rate of innovation (and failure) is rapid Distinguish between trends and the trendy Are we babes on the beach?

11 The future of Library catalogs? Evolving towards the network level Collections linked to people, organizations, global locations, concepts, context, metadata, and social networking benefits Fit into the workflow and social lives of patrons Help create a scaffolding for past knowledge and future productivity

12 Web or Scaffolding?

13 Web is a wonderful metaphor, but perhaps something a bit more durable? We want more Coherence and context Durable environments that help us preserve and fix resources in the context of culture Librarianship embedded in the emerging technologies of a social Web

14 FRBR Entities – Librarianships contribution to a richer resource model on the Web Group 1Group 2Group 3 WorkPersonConcept ExpressionCorporate bodyObject ManifestationEvent ItemPlace

15 And dont forget Social Bibliography: User-Generated Content Group 1Group 2Group 3 WorkPersonConcept ExpressionCorporate bodyObject ManifestationEvent ItemPlace Book Reviews Lists Services Commentary Other?

16 All these entities should be First Class Objects An information entity that has: Persistent Identity on the Web Accessible by anyone or any application Stand alone Attribution (authorship) Clear Intellectual property rights Curated (dont leave it lying around untended) Allow the user to enter and traverse the catalog from any point

17 What about the people in social networking? Libraries have large investments in Name authority How can this be leveraged to support emerging identity needs? What is the relation to authentication and authorization?


19 WorldCat Identities – another piece of the puzzle?





24 A complicated puzzle: where ya gonna turn? People Information resources Places Terminologies User Generated Content FRBR (explain it to your patrons)

25 Hook everything together with the right sort of identifiers A coherent identifier infrastructure is essential to establishing a rich and dynamic scaffolding of interconnected information resources to support users and uses of bibliographic data in a climate of changing technology and user expectations. Broad dissemination of canonical, globally-scoped public identifiers serves the library collaborative and is the single most compelling means of making library assets persistent and visible on the Web

26 Some Design Parameters for Identifiers in the Global Library Community Persistence Universal accessibility Global scoping Search Engine Optimization Canonical identification Branding Usability Granularity and the FRBR model

27 Persistence Not technological, but rather, a function of the commitment of organizations Libraries and other cultural memory organizations do this well Harder to do in the digital era, but the community is up to the task

28 Universal access and global scoping Open to all: public identifiers in a public Web Should work in Myanmar, Melbourne, and Minneapolis alike WorldCat is the first globally-scoped identifier architecture for library assets in which the global surrogate is mapped to locality But were not quite done

29 Search Engine Optimization and Canonical Identifiers Visibility of assets in the global library is diluted by the multiplicity of identifiers Many competing identifier schemes Localized versions of identifiers Agreement on a canonical identifier Raises search engine ranking Concentrates aggregation of social content Simplifies supply-chain processing (the Amazoogles are interested Supports user needs in answering the question: Is Item X the same as…related to… relevant to… Item Y

30 Branding is an important component of URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers) Every URI is a micro-billboard branding library content in a crowded and largely commercial Web landscape Library branding reminds users that libraries are in the business of providing sustainable access to cultural, educational, scientific, and technical information products Citations with persistent identifiers help to anchor the content in the collective web-based memory

31 Usability of URIs URIs should be designed for people as well as machines URIs should be speakable URIs should be a short as can be managed URIs should have a predictable pattern that makes them hackable and truncatable

32 Granularity of bibliography on the Web: FRBR again…. FRBR is a major contribution to resource organization on the Web, but it is a challenge to explain it to users

33 And along comes WorldCat WorldCat: Mid 2006 WorldCat identifiers approximate, for the first time, a globally scoped, persistent public identifier for library manifestations Globally unique (the easy part) Freely available to everyone Citable and resolvable, independent of location (for WorldCat participants) Linked to descriptive surrogates and to the content itself (for WorldCat members) Canonical – almost, but not quite

34 WorldCat IDs: a global manifestation identifier? But, but, but… Approximates: Close, but not quite How does a WC Identifier fall short? Duplicates mistaken duplicates (even as the poor, always with us….) functional duplicates (duplicates we want for one reason or another) Citable (Yes) Resolvable to content (Yes, but) Canonical (well, sort of)

35 Duplicates Errors are costly to find and fix Duplicate detection algorithms What about encouraging the participation of librarians or even patrons? Institutional records have been loaded into WorldCat – useful, but dilutes canonical character of WC IDs Non-US records Is the UK or Australian or New Zealand English language record somehow less canonical than the American English language record? Is the (German/Italian/Japanese…) record somehow less canonical than the English language record?

36 GLIMIR: Global Library Manifestation Identifier The library community needs a global manifestation identifier which is: Global in scope Canonical Business neutral Provides the URL Equity necessary to support the library brand Fits comfortably within the FRBR model

37 What About Other Identifier Schemes Can a global community agree and adopt a canonical identifier in an already identifier-rich marketplace? National Bibliographic Numbers – NBNs (largely European) ISSNs and ISBNs (format-limited, but established and valuable) DOIs (purpose-built to support IPR management) Handles (based on a belief in the failure of DNS) Local and regional identifiers

38 Cautious Exploration OCLC is launching a pilot to identify the functional requirements and practicalities for a community-based manifestation identifier We have solicited review from a collection of technical specialists in several countries and sectors Moving forward will require a careful balance of use cases, business issues, and community advice as to how we can best meet the community need in a neutral manner

39 What if youre not an OCLC member? Can the global library community coalesce around a naming architecture derived from WorldCat identifiers, even if they are not WorldCat participants? How will OCLC build and support a naming architecture that does not require membership? How will non-OCLC members request a Glimir? How much metadata will be necessary to disambiguate near matches? Who will manage it?

40 In summary Identifiers are key: To fulfilling the mission of libraries in a digital future To competing on the open Web for recognition of our communitys brand equity To integrating our traditional bibliographic values with social networking content To providing services and access to the digital tribe – our future constituency

41 Many thanks! (yeah…Facebook, too)

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