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Article
Publication date: 12 October 2010

Alan Poulter

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the concept of open source to a non‐technical audience and give an overview of its current and potential applications in libraries.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the concept of open source to a non‐technical audience and give an overview of its current and potential applications in libraries.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a literature review.

Findings

Open source already aids libraries and has great potential but is hobbled by its intrinsically technical appeal.

Originality/value

The paper makes observations about information technology trends which might affect the take up of open source and introduces open source comprehensively but succinctly.

Details

Library Review, vol. 59 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1996

ALAN POULTER

Cryptography and related terminology is defined. The design and operation of an encryption algorithm is examined in detail, using the example of DES (Data Encryption…

Abstract

Cryptography and related terminology is defined. The design and operation of an encryption algorithm is examined in detail, using the example of DES (Data Encryption Standard). Public key cryptosystems based on the Diffie‐Hellman and RSA (Rivest, Shamir and Adleman) models are described and their revolutionary nature made clear. The necessity for trusted public keys with RSA is explained. Applications in records management are given in sections on storage and transmission. The latter type further breaks down into mail and file transfer/EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) areas of use. Some novel applications are proposed (for example a virtual records centre). A conclusion argues that although the law has yet to catch up with developments in cryptography, when it does cryptography will be central to electronic file management.

Details

Records Management Journal, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-5698

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1997

Alan Poulter

A ‘World Wide Web search engine’ is defined as a retrieval service, consisting of a database (or databases) describing mainly resources available on the World Wide Web…

Abstract

A ‘World Wide Web search engine’ is defined as a retrieval service, consisting of a database (or databases) describing mainly resources available on the World Wide Web (WWW), search software and a user interface also available via WWW. After intro ducing early Internet search engines, which are pertinent as precursors for the current range of WWW search engines, the problems of searching the WWW (link persistence, lack of integrated search software) and the resulting search engine types (keyword or directory) are analysed. Search engines of all types are then compared across their generic features (database content, retrieval software, and search interface), rather than on a search engine by search engine basis. Finally, wider information access issues aris ing from the nature of the Internet and web search engines are considered, and a general strategy for using web search engines is proposed.

Details

Program, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0033-0337

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1997

Alan Poulter

In the ‘old days’, throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, the adage in the IT industry used to be ‘Nobody ever gets fired for buying IBM’. IBM would sell complete…

Abstract

In the ‘old days’, throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, the adage in the IT industry used to be ‘Nobody ever gets fired for buying IBM’. IBM would sell complete solutions, hardware and software (operating systems and applications) to meet all needs. These days it is more likely to be ‘Nobody ever gets fired for buying Microsoft’. Microsoft do not sell complete solutions. The only hardware they currently sell are ergonomic keyboards, mice and game accessories. Their dominance comes solely from their software.

Details

VINE, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-5728

Content available
Article
Publication date: 12 October 2010

Alan Poulter

Abstract

Details

Library Review, vol. 59 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1994

Alan Poulter

The concept of the virtual reality library is introduced and defined as a new form of OPAC. Since a desktop virtual reality package is needed to construct a virtual…

Abstract

The concept of the virtual reality library is introduced and defined as a new form of OPAC. Since a desktop virtual reality package is needed to construct a virtual reality library the expected functionality of such software is discussed in general terms. One such desktop virtual reality package, REND386, is then discussed in detail and used to build a working prototype of a virtual reality library.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 46 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2007

Alan Poulter and Rodney Brunt

Reflects on a paper extolling teaching cataloguing and indexing at library school written for Library Review in 1980.

Abstract

Purpose

Reflects on a paper extolling teaching cataloguing and indexing at library school written for Library Review in 1980.

Design/methodology/approach

Reflective debate on the content of the original paper.

Findings

The sentiments of the original paper were supported, with the added proviso that nowadays the ability to organise information is a basic skill everyone needs.

Practical implications

May be of interest to practitioners and library educators interested in this long standing debate.

Originality/value

Paper carries a response by the original author to the reflections on his paper.

Details

Library Review, vol. 56 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Sandie King, David McMenemy and Alan Poulter

The aim of this paper is to report the findings of a survey into staff perceptions of the UK‐wide information and communications technology (ICT) training conducted under…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to report the findings of a survey into staff perceptions of the UK‐wide information and communications technology (ICT) training conducted under the People's Network programme for public library staff.

Design/methodology/approach

A web‐based survey was undertaken across several prominent UK mailing lists, seeking staff views on issues such as the usefulness of the training provided, and any perceived gaps in training that existed. The survey also asked what types of ICT queries staff regularly encountered.

Findings

It was found that while the staff found the training rewarding, there were concerns at the lack of ICT troubleshooting in the programme, and the reliance on an off‐the‐shelf training programme not specifically designed for libraries, namely the European Computer Driving License, or ECDL. The paper suggests that ICT training for library staff should be built around problem solving and troubleshooting, rather than generic skills, in order to match the kinds of queries encountered in the front line of libraries.

Originality/value

The paper is useful for anyone involved in designing library training programmes, or for researchers or students interested in the ICT skills necessary for librarians and the types of ICT queries encountered in the workplace.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1993

Alan Poulter

It is argued that the current generation of online catalogues do not meet basic user expectations about how to search for information. After a brief examination of virtual…

Abstract

It is argued that the current generation of online catalogues do not meet basic user expectations about how to search for information. After a brief examination of virtual reality audits associated technology, a new form of online catalogue, the virtual reality library is proposed. Users browse an information space, a computer‐controlled set of shelf orderings for items. Its form, workings and design are investigated in detail. The concept of the virtual reality library is then applied to information resources which either have no physical repository or have one which is not accessible to users.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 45 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Gobinda Chowdhury, Alan Poulter and David McMenemy

This article seeks to propose a new vision for public libraries in the digital age.

Abstract

Purpose

This article seeks to propose a new vision for public libraries in the digital age.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual paper is based on an understanding of the recent developments in ICT, internet and digital libraries; and also on the authors' personal experience in research and development in library and information science – especially in relation to public libraries – and digital libraries.

Findings

The study argues that currently there are no proper mechanisms for capturing, preserving and disseminating community knowledge, and proposes that public libraries in the digital age should take a new role whereby they should act not only as a gateway to knowledge, but also as a platform facilitating the creation of, and access to, local community knowledge. Proposes a model for PL2.0 where public libraries can take on this new role to build a network of community knowledge.

Research limitations/implications

The paper proposes a conceptual model for the second generation of public libraries, and further studies are required to test and implement the model.

Practical implications

The paper proposes that the new role of public libraries will be to shift from solely providing access to knowledge to acting as a platform for the storage and dissemination of local community knowledge within the global context created by twenty‐first century digital technologies.

Originality/value

The proposed model will bring in a “cultural change” by giving a new role to public libraries in preserving and disseminating community knowledge.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 30 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

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