This article deals with people and organisation level issues in distributed digital libraries, and in the process introduces the range of topics relevant to this new…
This article deals with people and organisation level issues in distributed digital libraries, and in the process introduces the range of topics relevant to this new column and the involvement of the author in projects dealing with these topics. User issues are not covered.
This article is an introduction to the problem of interoperability in subject searching and browsing in distributed digital libraries. The aim is to provide brief advice…
This article is an introduction to the problem of interoperability in subject searching and browsing in distributed digital libraries. The aim is to provide brief advice of practical value to those tackling the problem themselves. A general overview of problem areas is given and some current projects tackling key issues are described.
Overview of the EC‐funded Open Archives Forum (www.oaforum.org) which supports the dissemination of information about European open‐archives initiatives. This article describes the forum’s activities which consist of workshops, reports, an e‐mail list and Web site.
Scotland, with its Parliament recently re‐established after 300 years, is likely to see the development of a networked service to make electronic information, learning and…
Scotland, with its Parliament recently re‐established after 300 years, is likely to see the development of a networked service to make electronic information, learning and research materials readily available to all of its citizens as a key aim in the early part of the twenty‐first century. The newly‐created Centre for Digital Library Research (http://bubl.ac.uk/cdlr) at Strathclyde University (http://www.strath.ac.uk/) in Glasgow aims to be a significant player in the process of making the vision a reality, whilst also contributing to international research efforts in the area. Bringing the networked service of the future into being requires collaborative research and development effort in a range of areas – from identifying and documenting current problems and establishing future requirements, to work on major elements of the problem such as user needs and user interfaces, collaborative collection development, content creation and maintenance, interoperability problems, navigation and integration issues, access control, metadata, and standards and policy frameworks. The Centre is already working with stakeholder institutions, organisations and individuals across the country on a number of relevant projects and initiatives that will contribute to understanding and develop expertise in these areas. Many of them have a practical focus that will help to partially implement the kind of environment envisaged. Examples are GDL (the Glasgow Digital Library project ), CVU (Clyde Virtual University project) (http://cvu.strath.ac. uk/), CAIRNS (Co‐operative Academic Information Retrieval Network for Scotland) (http://cairns.lib.gla.ac.uk/), SCONE (Scottish Collections Network Extension project) and DIO (Digital Information Office project).
The Psion organiser is a small hand‐sized computer about the size of a (thick) pocket diary. Despite its size, it is a complete computer by any reasonable definition, with…
The Psion organiser is a small hand‐sized computer about the size of a (thick) pocket diary. Despite its size, it is a complete computer by any reasonable definition, with processor, 16–32Kbyte memory, operating system, programming language, resident software, and the ability to communicate with peripherals such as printers and light pens, as well as with other microcomputers. The resident programs are an electronic diary, a personal database system, a calculator, a clock, an alarm facility and a programming facility. The programming facility allows programs to be created, edited, saved, compiled and inserted into the main menu in such a way that they may be run with a single keystroke.
This article describes a major digitisation programme aimed at improving online access to UK cultural resources from the UK’s museums, libraries and galleries for lifelong learners and others. The programme is supported by lottery funding of £50 million and provides free access to important areas of the country’s diverse cultural, artistic, and community resources. The article describes the programme, highlights some of the projects, and looks at areas where improvements to programme coordination might have been made. At time of writing, most of the projects are still in progress.
To report on the work of the SPEIR project and indicate its relevance beyond the Scottish information environment. SPEIR was funded by the Scottish Library and Information…
To report on the work of the SPEIR project and indicate its relevance beyond the Scottish information environment. SPEIR was funded by the Scottish Library and Information Council to identify, research, and develop the elements of an internationally interoperable Scottish Common Information Environment (SCIE) for Library, Museum and Archive domain information services, and to determine the best path for future progress. A key focus was to determine the distributed information infrastructure requirements of a pilot Scottish Cultural Portal being developed in parallel with the SPEIR work, building on existing pilot initiatives such as the CAIRNS distributed catalogue and landscaper, the SCONE collections database, the SCAMP staff portal and an embryonic organisational infrastructure based on the Confederation of Scottish Mini‐cooperatives (CoSMiC).
A series of practical pilots was undertaken. These were underpinned by relevant desk and field research and conducted within an overarching holistic approach to developing the distributed environment.
Key outcomes included the creation of a single upgraded integrated service incorporating an extended distributed catalogue, collections database, and landscaper, the creation of a pilot distributed digital library, the development of open‐URL‐based facilities to permit portals to incorporate “canned searches” of the catalogue, the collections database, the SDDL, and other compatible services, an illustrative pilot Scottish terminology mapping service, and various organisational infrastructure and professional support improvements.
The embryonic technical and organisational infrastructure reported may provide a model for other small countries (or regions within larger countries) seeking a coherent approach to the development of an interoperable information environment.
A study has been made of employers′ perceptions of the desired skills and values to be displayed by secondary school leavers in the Bristol area. Five major companies in a single locality provided the information by in‐depth discussions. These perceptions were translated into 20 identifiable skills. In a case‐study approach, the staff in a local comprehensive school were asked to indicate their judgement of the importance of each skill and asked to assess how well each skill was achieved in the school. The extent to which teachers′ ranking of importance and attainment matched those of industry are discussed. Schoolteachers tended to emphasise cognitive skill acquisition at the expense of affective skills. Skills relating to personal development and responsibility of the pupil were attained less well than companies hoped for.
The Glasgow Digital Library (GDL) Project has a significance over and above its primary aim of creating a joint digital library for the citizens of Glasgow. It is also…
The Glasgow Digital Library (GDL) Project has a significance over and above its primary aim of creating a joint digital library for the citizens of Glasgow. It is also both an important building block in the development of a planned and co‐ordinated “virtual Scotland” and a rich environment for research into issues relevant to that enterprise. Its creation comes at a time of political, social, economic and cultural change in Scotland, and may be seen, at least in part, as a response to a developing Scottish focus in these areas, a key element of which is a new socially inclusive and digitally driven educational vision and strategy based on the Scottish traditions of meritocratic education, sharing and common enterprise, and a fiercely independent approach. The initiative is based at the Centre for Digital Library Research at Strathclyde University alongside a range of other projects of relevance both to the development of a coherent virtual landscape in Scotland and to the GDL itself, a supportive environment which allows it to draw upon the research results and staff expertise of other relevant projects for use in its own development and enables its relationship to virtual Scotland to be both explored and developed more readily. Although its primary aim is the creation of content (based initially on electronic resources created by the institutions, on public domain information, and on joint purchases and digitisation initiatives) the project will also investigate relationships between regional and national collaborative collection management programmes with SCONE (Scottish Collections Network Extension project) and relationships between regional and national distributed union catalogues with CAIRNS (Co‐operative Academic Information Retrieval Network for Scotland) and COSMIC (Confederation of Scottish Mini‐Clumps). It will also have to tackle issues associated with the management of co‐operation.
A summary of key aspects of the final report of the eLib‐funded CATRIONA II project which investigated questions relating to the university management of locally‐created…
A summary of key aspects of the final report of the eLib‐funded CATRIONA II project which investigated questions relating to the university management of locally‐created electronic resources from a UK‐wide perspective, but within the context of surveys and discussions carried out in Scottish universities. Quality electronic teaching and research resources, which are of significant value or potential value to academics, universities and the UK Higher Education community in general, are being ceated at high levels in all types of university. However, since they are not being created with the aim of wider access and use, few are networked, most are difficult to find or in difficult to access electronic formats, and consequently are unlikely to be suitable for reuse by other institutions or even other departments in the host institution. There can also be other problems such as a lack of clarity on the copyright position of resources on university Web sites and a failure to protect potentially valuable university resources from copyright infringement. University management of services offering access to these resources within and beyond the host institution would greatly improve the value that both the host institution and UK Higher Education as a whole obtain from this material and the effort that goes into creating it – particularly if local efforts were co‐ordinated nationally to ensure resource design standardisation and service interoperability. Universities appear to regard the issue as important and see the advantages of managing services as outweighing the disadvantages. Most institutions appear to envisage University Libraries playing a key role in the management of services.