Library Director Jarmo Saarti introduced a wide or ideal model for fiction in literature in his dissertation, published in 1999. It introduces those aspects that should be included in an information system for fiction. Such aspects include literary prose and its intertextual references to other works, the writer, readers' and critics' receptions of the work as well as a researcher's view. It is also important to note how libraries approach a literary work by means of inventory, classification and content description. The most ambiguous of the aspects relates to that context in cultural history, which the work reflects and is a part of. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
Since the model consists of several components which are not found in present library information systems and cannot be implemented by them, a new way had to be found to produce, save, process and present fiction‐related metadata. The Semantic Computing Research Group of Aalto University has developed several Semantic Web services for use in the field of culture, so cooperation with it and the use of Semantic Web tools were a natural starting point for the construction of the new service. Kirjasampo will be based on the Semantic Web RDF data model. The model enables a flexible linking of metadata derived from different sources, and it can be used to build a Semantic Web that can be approached contextually from different angles.
The “semantically enriched” ideal model for fiction has hence been realised, at least to some extent: Kirjasampo supports literature‐related metadata that is more varied than earlier and aims to account for different contexts within literature and connections with regard to other cultural phenomena. It also includes contemporary reviews of works and, as such, readers' receptions as well. Modern readers can share their views on works, once the user interface of the server is completed. It will include several features from the Kirjasto 2.0‐application, which enables the evaluation, description and recommendations of works. The service should be online by the end of Spring 2011.
The project involves novel collaboration between a public library and a computer science research unit, and utilises a novel approach to the description of fiction.
The system encourages user participation in the description of fiction and is of practical benefit to librarians in understanding both how fiction is organised and how users interpret the same.
Upon completion, the service will be the first Finnish information system for libraries built with the tools of the Semantic Web which offers a completely new user environment and application for data produced by libraries. It also strives to create a new model for saving and producing data, available to both library professionals and readers. The aim is to save, accumulate and distribute literary knowledge, experiences and silent information.
Hypén, K. and Mäkelä, E. (2011), "An ideal model for an information system for fiction and its application: Kirjasampo and Semantic Web", Library Review, Vol. 60 No. 4, pp. 279-292. https://doi.org/10.1108/00242531111127848Download as .RIS
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