New & Noteworthy

Library Hi Tech News

ISSN: 0741-9058

Article publication date: 5 July 2011



(2011), "New & Noteworthy", Library Hi Tech News, Vol. 28 No. 5.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

New & Noteworthy

Article Type: New & Noteworthy From: Library Hi Tech News, Volume 28, Issue 5

Taiga Forum 2011 Provocative Statements

On November 1, 2010, Taiga Forum 6 met in Palo Alto to begin developing a new set of provocative statements regarding some future challenges to academic libraries. Another group discussed the draft statements at ALA Midwinter in San Diego in January 2011.

The Taiga Forum Steering Committee has taken that input and created this third round of Taiga Forum Provocative Statements. As before, the statements are intended to provoke conversation rather than attempt to predict the future. Taiga Forum participants write these statements in recognition of the value of considering potential medium-term futures in planning and decision making.

These statements are not intended to comprehensively cover all issues; they simply represent some of the topics that arose in our discussions. We welcome and encourage comments:

  • organizational structures flatten;

  • radical cooperation;

  • collaborative space partners;

  • books as decor;

  • no more collection building;

  • new model of liaison librarianship;

  • staff reallocation, elimination, and retraining, etc.;

  • library in the cloud;

  • boutique services; and

  • oversupply of MLSs.

Further discussion of the 2011 Provocative Statements is scheduled for the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans in June.

The Taiga Forum is a community of AULs/ADs who meet annually to challenge the traditional boundaries in libraries. You can read more about Taiga at:

Read and comment on the 2011 Provocative Statements at:

The networked librarian: Lee Rainie on technology and libraries

Director Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, discussed technology and libraries at San Francisco Public Library on May 6, describing the latest research findings of the project about how Americans use the internet and cell phones. He explored how libraries can be actors in building and participating in social networks through their use of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and blogging and through delivering their time-tested – and trusted – services to their patrons.

More information on:


Slides available at:

Twitter update 2011 from the Pew Internet Project

New survey results from the Pew Internet & American Life Project report that 13 percent of online adults use the status update service Twitter, which represents a significant increase from the 8 percent of online adults, who identified themselves as Twitter users, in November 2010. About 95 percent of Twitter users own a mobile phone, and half of these users access the service on their handheld device.

As in our previous research on Twitter use, African Americans and Latinos continue to have high rates of adoption of the service. Fully 25 percent of online African Americans use Twitter at least occasionally, with 11 percent doing so on a typical day.

Additionally, Twitter use by internet users ages 25-34 has doubled since late 2010 (from 9 to 19 percent) and usage by those ages 35-44 has also grown significantly (from 8 to 14 percent).

These findings come from national survey findings from a poll conducted on landline and cell phones, in English and Spanish, between April 26 and May 22, 2011 among 2,277 adults (age 18 and older). The margin of error among the internet users is ±3.7 percentage points.

Read full report at:

US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announces digital literacy initiative

At a public computing center in Baltimore on May 13, US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced a digital literacy initiative that works to expand economic and educational opportunities in America. Locke joined US Senators Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) and Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) in unveiling, a new web site that provides libraries, community colleges, schools, and workforce training centers a variety of resources and tools for teaching computer and internet skills, which are increasingly necessary for success in today’s economy. Prior to the unveiling, Locke and the senators toured a computer lab and witnessed firsthand how the people in the community are utilizing this web site, which can allow any person to find free training on a range of digital literacy topics, at different skill levels, including searching, and applying for jobs online:

In a globalized, 21st century economy, when you don’t have regular access to the high-speed Internet – and the skills to use it – your education, business, and employment opportunities are narrowed,” Locke said. “The tools we are unveiling today will help more Americans gain valuable job skills and augment the Recovery Act investments we are making to expand broadband access and adoption nationwide. In partnership with nine federal agencies, the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), created to provide librarians, teachers, workforce trainers, and others a central location to share digital literacy content and best practices. These trusted groups can, in turn, better reach out to their communities in providing them the skills today’s employers need. NTIA is also partnering with the American Library Association and the Institute of Museum and Library Services to promote the use of the portal by the nation’s more than 16,600 public libraries where, in 2009, over 30 million job-seekers used computers to search and apply for jobs. In launching, NTIA is building on knowledge gained from managing its broadband grants program in order to provide digital literacy resources to all Americans.

“In Maryland and across the nation, people are hungry for good jobs and economic opportunity,” said US Senator Barbara Mikulski, Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science, which funds the US Department of Commerce:

Here at Coppin State University, and across America, with, we aren’t just talking about the innovation economy. We’re training people to be a part of it. We’re teaching how to use computer skills to get and keep a good job. With more than $115 million in federal stimulus funds for broadband coming to

Maryland, we will not only create jobs, foster growth and spark innovation, but create opportunity for the people of Maryland.

“Technology is the key to jobs in today’s economy, but more people need access to computers and the ability to use them,” US Senator Ben Cardin said:

Coppin State University’s community computer center is at the forefront of ensuring that Marylanders have the skills they need to succeed and find jobs. This computer center will help make technology more accessible, and the new web site – – will provide people with the computer and Internet skills needed for the digital age. Secretary Locke announced the new web site during a visit to a public computer center at Coppin State University, which is providing broadband access and computer training to residents of the surrounding community in Baltimore. The center is funded by NTIA’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), a recovery act initiative that is investing $4 billion in the construction or upgrade of more than 100,000 miles of broadband networks, enhancing and expanding public computer centers, and implementing programs to encourage broadband adoption among populations where it is lagging. The new web site,, provides a central location where BTOP grantees can upload and share digital literacy training materials with other practitioners and the general public, leveraging the value of these projects.

For more information see the Digital Literacy Fact Sheet at:

BISG study reveals e-book buyers are accelerating their move away from print

The surge in sales of e-reading devices like Amazon’s Kindle during the 2010 holiday season launched a turning point in e-book history according to the Book Industry Study Group (BISG). The second installment in Volume 2 of BISG’s closely watched Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading survey shows the percentage of print book consumers who say they download e-books jumped from 5 percent in October 2010 to nearly 13 percent in January 2011. In addition, fully two-thirds of survey respondents said they have moved exclusively, or mostly, to e-books over print. Finally, despite declining sales of pricier hardbacks, overall spending on books shows an uptick over the past six months, with 44 percent of respondents reporting higher unit purchases and 34 percent reporting higher overall spending on a combination of print books and e-books.

“This is a market in fast motion and identifying trends early is the key to gaining a competitive edge,” said Scott Lubeck, BISG’s Executive Director:

This on-going BISG baseline study of consumer behavior toward e-books and e-book reading devices is essential to understanding both the velocity of change and its significance to every stakeholder in the book industry. Since November 2009, Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading has been tracking the habits and preferences of print book consumers who say they have acquired an e-book or a dedicated e-reading device within the past 18 months.

Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading is the first study to capture data from hundreds of print book consumers who also identify as e-book readers. Respondents were first surveyed during Volume 1 (November 2009-July 2010) to find out when, why, how, and where they purchase and use both e-books and e-reading devices, providing a baseline measure of impact in a dynamic market. Both Volumes 1 and 2 are powered by Bowker’s PubTrack Consumer.

Results from the most recent survey in Volume 2 show:

  • Fiction continues to dominate downloads, with literary fiction, science fiction, and romance each comprising over 20 percent of all format purchases.

  • The most influential factors leading to an e-book purchase are free samples and low prices.

  • “Power Buyers” (respondents who indicated that they acquired e-books at least weekly) have moved away from computers to dedicated e-readers and tablets much faster than the overall pool of respondents.

“While this unprecedented rate of change makes for great headlines, assessing its impact to the overall publishing industry needs further analysis. That’s why this study is so essential,” said Kelly Gallagher, Vice President of Publishing Services of New Providence, NJ-based Bowker:

It measures consumers’ pace of migration and also tracks such important nuances as whether e-books are in the substitutional mode or incremental mode. That’s the kind of insight that will allow effective navigation of an extraordinary shift in the marketplace. Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading also explores the use of e-book reading devices. Current results indicate the emergence of a bifurcated market, with preference for e-reading devices such as Kindle and NOOK as devices of choice for most fiction readers, while the iPad and other tablets are preferred by those engaging in more interactive types of reading that includes charts, graphs, and multimedia.

Data for Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading were derived from a nationally representative panel of book consumers (men, women, and teens). Each month a new group of 3,000 respondents complete surveys about their book purchasing behavior as part of PubTrack Consumer, a service of Bowker. Out of nearly 65,000 possible panelists drawn from the last 18 months, respondents were qualified for the BISG e-book survey by indicating they had either purchased a “digital book or e-book” or owned a dedicated e-reader device (such as Kindle, NOOK, or Sony Reader). This process yielded a survey sample of 750 e-book consumers.

The survey findings are available for sale both as a PDF Summary Report and as a complete data compendium, accessible online.

For more information:

NISO launches e-book special interest group

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) and its Architecture Committee have announced the creation of a special interest group focused on e-books (the NISO e-book SIG). Simultaneous with the formation of the group, NISO is issuing a call for participation in the e-book SIG and its associated monitoring group. The e-book SIG will explore a range of industry best practices and standards related to the creation, distribution, discovery, delivery, and preservation of digital book content. The primary responsibilities of the group will be to continuously monitor and review the state of the industry for e-books and to suggest areas for new initiatives within NISO or areas where NISO can engage with other communities on e-book work underway outside of NISO. The group will also host thought leader meetings and commission relevant research to advance the state of the industry.

While NISO is best known for shepherding groups focused on a specific problem through the creation and implementation of recommended practices and standards, NISO’s new strategic initiatives seek to widen its outreach within the information industry. Specifically, the NISO Board and Architecture Committee seek to emphasize NISO’s role as a facilitator within the industry, one that can foster cross-community dialogue in a given topical area and provide a place for the incubation of ideas even if no formal standards process within NISO is ever initiated as a result.

In line with this strategy, the e-book SIG will explore the larger context in which development initiatives are unfolding, by addressing some of the following foundational questions:

  • How can NISO actively facilitate cross-community dialogue in this area, building bridges between what are now separate, sometimes disparate groups?

  • How can NISO work collaboratively to provide education and information to assist with this dialogue?

  • How can NISO actively foster “incubation teams” to identify specific pain points in the e-books realm that could be remedied through formal standards, recommended practices, dissemination of information (e.g. via white papers, educational workshops, professional forums, Thought Leader meetings, etc.) either through NISO or within another agency or in partnership with one or more organizations?

Initially, the NISO e-book SIG will identify relevant ongoing or proposed work related to e-books, then begin outreach to the communities within the library, publishing, information system, and scholarly communication communities actively engaged in some aspect of e-book development and support.

The NISO Architecture Committee is seeking nominations for experts interested in actively participating in the core e-book SIG from all areas of the community. In addition to the core group, a larger monitoring group will also be established to receive updates from the core group and provide feedback. NISO encourages any organization actively engaged in this area to contact the NISO office via e-mail ( to participate in the core group or the monitoring group.

More information on:

Flat World Knowledge releases “Make It Your Own” textbook platform

Flat World Knowledge, publisher of free and open college textbooks for students worldwide, announced in April the release of a new platform called MIYO (Make It Your Own). The fully-automated system gives professors greater control over textbook content, and the ability, with one click, to make their modified book available to students free online or in multiple, low-cost digital, and print formats.

MIYO (mee-oh) transforms a static textbook into an adaptable learning platform by combining a digital-first architecture with Flat World’s open licensing model that grants faculty the right to revise, remix, and share its textbooks:

Unlike legacy publishing systems, MIYO gives professors the freedom to change what they don’t like in a text, and add the things they’ve always wanted to help them achieve their teaching objectives (Eric Frank, President and Co-founder of Flat World Knowledge). The new system uses familiar drag-and-drop and click features that allow instructors to easily move or delete chapters and sections; upload Word and PDF documents; add notes and exercises; insert video and hyperlinks; edit sentences; and incorporate other content that is free to reuse under a Creative Commons open license.

Once a professor’s changes are saved, MIYO automatically reformats and publishes the new version in multiple formats without any human intervention. Contributors’ edits are identified and highlighted. In future releases, instructors will have the ability to mix titles from Flat World’s catalog. Planned for later this year, they will be able to make their derivatives available to faculty outside their institution.

Flat World’s open textbook model gives students the choice to read a free web-hosted book or buy low-cost formats that fit their learning style and budget. Soft-cover books, e-books for the iPad or Kindle, audio books, print-it-yourself PDF downloads and interactive study aids are available for $40 or less at their bookstore or through the publisher. DRM-free (digital rights management) digital files can be freely transferred from device to device, and never expire, so students have access to their textbooks anytime, anywhere.

Ross Gittell, Professor of Management at the University of New Hampshire’s Whittemore School of Business and Economics, and two colleagues, created their own version of Exploring Business by Karen Collins by writing chapters on sustainability and business and public policy – critical issues in contemporary business that did not appear in the original text.

For a leadership and supervision course, Dr Rita Quinton, Associate Vice President of Daytona State College, selected topics from chapters in Principles of Management, bundled them for her students, and developed quizzes and activities. “It’s great to be able to build a textbook based on the learning outcomes for the course,” said Dr Quinton. “The material is relevant and the students love having all the format choices.”

In designing MIYO, the development team, led by Jon Williams, Chief Technology Officer, took advantage of open source software to enable full editing capabilities without the limitations found in other customization systems. Williams and team solved a major dilemma in textbook publishing – what happens to the professor’s customized book when the author makes updates? “We figured out how to create a ’live edition’ of a book so authors and professors will always be in lockstep,” said Williams, who was formerly CTO for iVillage, a division of NBC Universal, and Kaplan Test Prep and Admission. “Now, if professors want to integrate authors’ changes, they can, without redoing their edits.”

Instructors can edit from any browser, without downloading a proprietary editing tool, and instantly see how their changes will look when the book is printed, downloaded or viewed online. The edited books are then stored in an XML repository that allows for searching any part of the text in milliseconds, versus opening up an entire book file each time.

Contributors’ modifications are captured in a reportable format which provides authors with valuable feedback on how faculty and students are actually using their books. As a result, authors are better equipped to make changes to new editions.

To date, nearly one-third of Flat World’s faculty adopters have customized their textbooks. The company expects that 50 percent or more will make use of MIYO during the next academic year.

To learn more, visit:; on Facebook at:; on Twitter at

SPARC introduces open-access journal publishing resource index

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) released in May a free online open access journal publishing resource index with information and documents to support the launch and operation of an open-access journal. Materials in the index will help libraries, presses, and other academic units on campuses as they work together to make the work of their researchers more widely available.

This new resource is launched in conjunction with the SPARC Campus-based Publishing Resource Center (, which delivers a guide to critical issues in campus-based publishing partnerships, case studies, a bibliography, and resource list, an index of collaborative initiatives (operated in partnership with Columbia University Libraries (CUL)), and access to the LIBPRESS online discussion forum (operated by the University of California). The center is overseen by an editorial board representing library and university press staff who are actively engaged in creating and managing publishing partnerships.

The new index complements the rich existing resource center by pointing to relevant sections in existing open-access journal publishing guides and to sample journal proposals, policies, bylaws, and other documentation to help with planning, development, and collaboration issues. Topics covered include:

  • new journal planning;

  • journal publishing program policies;

  • governance;

  • editorial;

  • marketing and promotion;

  • technical platforms; and

  • sustainability planning.

Relevant sections of existing open-access publishing guides, including those by David Solomon, Carol Sutton, Kevin Stranack, Jan Velterop, Howard Goldstein, and Raym Crow, and others are indicated under each topic area.

By highlighting samples and best practices, the index will help give campuses the tools they need to develop and maintain long-term, successful open-access publishing ventures. “As campus-based publishing gets more ambitious in scope, it’s important to build on the successes and challenges of earlier initiatives and adopt best practices,” said Raym Crow, senior consultant at SPARC:

Ultimately, campus-based publishing can offer universities greater control over the intellectual products they help create. SPARC is pleased to provide another tool to support libraries and publishers in sustainable, professional, open-access publishing. Lee C. Van Orsdel, Dean of University Libraries at Grand Valley State University, says faculty are beginning to consult librarians for advice on journal publishing options, including open-access models, and the SPARC site is a welcome resource. “We’re deepening our knowledge as quickly as possible, but it’s a whole new area of expertise for most of us,” she said. “It will save us time and increase the probability that we can get to the right solution when advising our faculty on their best options.”

The editorial board invites contributions from other campuses to help build this resource and expand the bibliography – especially with primary research papers on collaboration issues. “SPARC hopes this will seed an effort where people will give documents to share, making it a community hub,” said Crow. Members of the board and how to contact the managing editor with suggestions are detailed on the center home page.

The open access journal publishing resource index is available online at

SPARC-ACRL Forum at ALA: focusing on the Berlin open access declaration

The upcoming SPARC-ACRL Forum on emerging issues in scholarly communication, to be held at the American Library Association (ALA) meeting in New Orleans, LA, will focus on expanding support for the Berlin Declaration on open access to knowledge in the sciences and humanities. The declaration, issued in 2003, outlines concrete steps to promote the internet as a medium for disseminating global knowledge, including encouraging researchers and cultural heritage custodians to make materials openly available.

The goals of the declaration are advanced in part by an annual conference of international leaders. In November 2011, this meeting will take place in North America for the first time, offering a unique opportunity for the library community to continue its leadership role in advancing open access. The Berlin Declaration has garnered signatures from nearly 300 research institutions, libraries, archives, museums, funding agencies, and governments from around the world – including the leaders of organizations ranging from the Max Planck Society to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, to Academia Europaea. Most recently, both the Harvard University and the International Federation of Library Associations added their names to the roster.

The next SPARC-ACRL Forum will explore the motivations behind the Berlin Declaration and its impact on the global research community. It will also present the opportunity for North American libraries to encourage their institutions to sign onto the document and become engaged in further advancing open access by promoting the statement’s call to action.

For further details on the forum, visit:

For details on the Berlin Declaration, visit:

For details on the Berlin 9 Open Access Conference, visit:

CUL partner with internet archive to collect and archive web resources

The proliferation of freely available internet resources of high-research value has far outpaced libraries’ efforts to collect and preserve them, forcing our collection development models to evolve. With the benefit of continued support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, in 2009, the Columbia University Libraries and Information Services (CULIS) began a three-year project on Web Resources Collection Program Development (following a 2008 pilot project).

The project’s objective is to develop best practices and standards for collecting and preserving freely available web resources and to integrate this activity into existing library collection development and technical services programs.

Since 2006 selectors at CUL have used an automated Internet Resource Cataloging Request (IRCR) form to submit web sites for inclusion in Columbia’s online library catalog, CLIO. This mechanism has allowed selectors to collect important free web resources in the sense of identifying and providing access to them, but not to preserve the web sites. Moreover, the IRCR form guidelines limited its use to sites with “stable remote access,” as the work of cataloging was not cost-efficient for sites likely to disappear quickly.

Now with this project CUL will begin preserving selected web sites through web archiving, enabling a fuller integration of web resources into collection development.

As a starting point for developing a web collecting program that will be adaptable to a range of disciplines, subjects, and topics facing the loss of important web-based content, CUL will first focus on web resources related to human rights, culminating in the creation of the Human Rights Web Archive (HRWA), which will be overseen by CUL’s Center for Human Rights Documentation and Research.

The HRWA is an initiative by CULIS and its Center for Human Rights Documentation and Research, with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, to select, preserve, and provide access to freely available internet resources, specifically addressing at-risk web sites in the area of human rights. As expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this concept includes such commonly recognized areas as freedom from torture, slavery, and arbitrary arrest, but also embraces social, cultural, and economic rights, freedom of movement and assembly, the right to work, and more.

The interdisciplinary, wide-ranging, and highly networked field of human rights relies extensively on web-based information to disseminate publications, reports, media, and other content. While placing material on the internet allows for widespread and rapid access to information, much of this content is at risk of disappearing within a relatively short time period. Archiving this information and facilitating its ongoing discovery and use is essential for building the documentary record of human rights practice and research.

Material archived in the HRWA project will be publicly available, initially via the internet archive project site. Web sites included in the HRWA will receive catalog records in the online library catalog for Columbia University Libraries and in OCLC’s Worldcat database with links to both the live sites and the archived content. Project staff will actively explore alternative means of providing access to archived material.

The program is also developing thematic collections focused on other subject areas important to CUL, and exploring selective archiving of miscellaneous individual web resources of lasting research value for preservation purposes. Archived web sites will remain freely available to the public via CUL’s Internet Archive partner page, and will receive catalog records in the online library catalog for CUL and in OCLC’s Worldcat database with links to both the live sites and the archived content. Project staff will actively explore alternative means of providing access to archived material.

For more information, visit the CUL Web Resources Collection Program pages at:


Internet Archive project site:

Scholarly practice, participatory design, and the eXtensible Catalog

Jennifer Bowen, Assistant Dean, University of Rochester River Campus Libraries and Co-Executive Director, eXtensible Catalog Organization, LLC, has announced the release of a new book, Scholarly Practice, Participatory Design and the eXtensible Catalog. Based on user research for eXtensible Catalog (XC), the book is edited by Nancy Fried Foster, Katie Clark, Kornelia Tancheva, and Rebekah Kilzer.

As part of the development of XC, a project to develop open source software sponsored by the University of Rochester’s River Campus Libraries, and funded by the Mellon Foundation and project partners, four institutions conducted 80 interviews and numerous workshops to understand how researchers learn about, acquire, and use scholarly resources. Research findings informed the design and development of XC, a set of open-source applications that provides access to resources across a range of databases, metadata schemas, and standards. In this volume, members of the project team report on key findings of the user research that was done at Cornell University, Ohio State University, the University of Rochester, and Yale University, and discuss the value of including library users and technology specialists from many disciplines in the software design and development process. Authors: Jennifer Bowen, Kaila Bussert, Katherine Chiang, Katie Clark, Maureen Donovan, Nancy Fried Foster, Gabriela Castro Gessner, David Lindahl, Melissa S. Mead, Kornelia Tancheva, and Wendy Wilcox.

The book is available now from ACRL: or Amazon:

CNI conversations, and interviews from CNI Membership Meeting now available

Interviews conducted during the Spring 2011, CNI Membership Meeting have been published by EDUCAUSE. The podcasts include a conversation with plenary speaker Todd Presner, Founder and Director of HyperCities (a GIS research and education platform built on the Google Maps and Google Earth APIs), as well as an interview with University of California, San Diego University Librarian Brian Schottlaender on collaboration and the future of university libraries. EDUCAUSE Producer Gerry Bayne spent time with a few other presenters and attendees at CNI’s spring meeting, including:

  • Brian Owen (Simon Frasier University), discussing the public knowledge project.

  • Thomas Hickerson and Shawna Sadler on the University of Calgary’s Taylor Family Digital Library, a converged library, archive, art, and publishing facility;

  • Sayeed Choudhury (Johns Hopkins University) with a data conservancy update.

  • Robert Seal (Loyola University) reflects on three years of an information commons Library-ITS partnership.

These recordings are designed to function as an extension of the meeting, complementing the standard program, and providing an opportunity for the broader CNI community to hear from some of our key presenters and attendees.

The meeting was held on April 4-5, 2011 in San Diego, CA.

Web site:

New CNI conversations recorded on June 1, 2011, cover topics including: crowdsourcing and data; the future of academic libraries; and national approaches to digital preservation.

In this 13-minute podcast, CNI Associate Executive Director Joan Lippincott recaps the recent symposium “The Future of the Academic Library” held at McMaster University, and she also talks about some of the learning spaces within the University. CNI Director Clifford Lynch mentions a symposium on crowdsourcing and scientific data quality presented by the National Research Council’s Board on Research Data and Information on June 13, 2011 in Washington, DC. Cliff also discusses “Aligning National Approaches to Digital Preservation,” a meeting which took place at The National Library of Estonia, Tallinn, Estonia, on May 23-25, 2011.

Listen to the June 1 CNI conversations at:

CNI conversations is available at: (to subscribe to the audio feed, add to iTunes, or any podcatcher).

NISO recommended practice on single sign-on authentication available for public comment

NISO has announced the availability of ESPReSSO: Establishing Suggested Practices Regarding Single Sign-On (NISO RP-11-201x) for public comment through June 22, 2011. ESPReSSO identifies practical solutions for improving the use of single sign-on authentication technologies to ensure a seamless experience for the user.

Currently a hybrid environment of authentication practices exists, including older methods of userid/password, IP authentication, or proxy servers along with newer federated authentication protocols such as Athens and Shibboleth. This recommended practice identifies changes that can be made immediately to improve the authentication experience for the user, even in a hybrid situation, while encouraging both publishers/service providers and libraries to transition to the newer Security Assertion Markup Language-based authentication, such as Shibboleth.

“With the growing use of mobile devices and remote access, the older authentication methods are not manageable for either the content provider or the library,” explains Steve Carmody, IT Architect, Computing, and Information Services, at Brown University and Co-chair of the NISO ESPReSSO Working Group. “The ESPReSSO recommendations will help bridge the transition to more robust authentication methods that better match the needs of today’s users and eliminate the need for multiple identities.”

“Libraries are very concerned about protecting the privacy of their patrons,” states Harry Kaplanian, Director of Technology, Serials Solutions, Inc., and Co-chair of the NISO ESPReSSO Working Group. “These recommendations identify methods that can be used to maintain privacy while still offering users advanced functionality, such as saving searches between sessions.”

“NISO is testing various methods for identifying issues in our community where NISO can provide leadership in developing solutions,” states Todd Carpenter, Managing Director of NISO:

The ESPReSSO recommended practice is the first outcome of a Chair’s Initiative project, where the NISO Board of Directors Chair (then Oliver Pesch from EBSCO Information Services) identifies a specific issue that would benefit from study and the development of a recommended practice or standard. The draft Recommended Practice and an online comment form are available at: Publishers and distributors of licensed content as well as licensing organizations, such as libraries, are all encouraged to review and comment on the document.

Library of Congress issues statement: transforming our bibliographic framework

The Library of Congress is sharing the following statement, by Deanna B. Marcum, LC’s Associate Librarian for Library Services for the benefit of its external constituents. Dr Marcum will be leading the initiative that will drive this transformation process. The Library is mounting the statement now for early review. Following the June 2011 Annual Conference of the ALA, where discussions about the statement will occur, the library will make further announcements.

The recent publication of Resource Description and Access (RDA), and the US National Test of RDA that is now being analyzed, have come at a time when technological and environmental changes are once again causing the library community to rethink the future of bibliographic control, including the MARC 21 communication formats. The content and packaging of RDA itself attempt to address this question and in so doing have raised further issues. Quite apart from a decision about implementing RDA, we must evaluate the wider bibliographic framework.

Adding to the uncertainties that accompany change, libraries, and other cultural heritage institutions and information centers around the world are facing serious budgetary constraints. Cultural heritage institutions see their resources dwindling at the same time that they need to invest in dramatic new uses of bibliographic data. In this environment, many institutions have been forced to relax standards of quality in bibliographic records while still being asked to broaden their services, especially in terms of the availability of digital data. Efficiencies in the creation and sharing of cataloging metadata are therefore imperative: information providers and cultural heritage institutions must reevaluate their use of scarce resources, both as individual organizations and as a community.

The Associate Librarian of Congress for Library Services, Deanna Marcum, is leading an initiative at the library to analyze the present and future environment, identify the components of the framework to support our users, and plan for the evolution from our present framework to the future – not just for the Library of Congress, but for all institutions that depend on bibliographic data shared by the library and its partners. The Library of Congress has invested considerable resources in the development of broadly implemented encoding standards such as MARC 21, as well as cataloging standards and vocabularies such as the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd Edition, RDA, and the Library of Congress Subject Headings. Spontaneous comments from participants in the US RDA Test show that a broad cross-section of the community feels budgetary pressures but nevertheless considers it necessary to replace MARC 21 in order to reap the full benefit of new and emerging content standards. The library now seeks to evaluate how its resources for the creation and exchange of metadata are currently being used and how they should be directed in an era of diminishing budgets and heightened expectations in the broader library community.

The Library of Congress will address these issues:

  • Determine which aspects of current metadata encoding standards should be retained and evolved into a format for the future. We will consider MARC 21, in which billions of records are presently encoded, as well as other initiatives.

  • Experiment with semantic web and linked data technologies to see what benefits to the bibliographic framework they offer our community and how our current models need to be adjusted to take fuller advantage of these benefits.

  • Foster maximum re-use of library metadata in the broader Web search environment, so that end-users may be exposed to more quality metadata and/or use it in innovative ways.

  • Enable users to navigate relationships among entities – such as persons, places, organizations, and concepts – to search more precisely in library catalogs and in the broader internet. We will explore the use of promising data models such as functional requirements for bibliographic records in navigating relationships, whether those are actively encoded by librarians or made discernible by the semantic web.

  • Explore approaches to displaying metadata beyond current MARC-based systems.

  • Identify the risks of action and inaction, including an assessment of the pace of change acceptable to the broader community: will we take incremental steps or take bolder, faster action?

  • Plan for bringing existing metadata into new bibliographic systems within the broader Library of Congress technical infrastructure – a critical consideration given the size and value of our legacy databases.

The Library of Congress’ process will be fully collaborative. We will consult our partners and customers in the metadata community, standards experts in and out of libraries, and designers and builders of systems that make use of library metadata. We intend to host meetings during conferences of the ALA, specialized library associations, and international organizations, as well as special “town hall” meetings open to the metadata community, to gather input from all interested parties. We plan to establish an electronic discussion group for constant communication during the effort of reshaping our bibliographic framework, and we expect to host a series of invitational meetings of experts and stakeholders in 2012 and 2013.

Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative at:

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