ELAG 2007: 31st Library System Seminar

European Library Automation Group (ELAG)

Proceedings of the 31st Library System Seminar: ELAG 2007: Library 2.0

University of Barcelona, 9-11 May 2007
Edited by Paula Goossens


Twenty-five years of library automation in Catalonia
  Author: L. Anglada, (Consorci de Biblioteques Universitàries de Catalunya, Barcelona)


The paper will presents the history of library automation in Catalonia from its beginnings to the present, describing the evolution of trends in this field and their application in this autonomous community. It considers the challenge faced by institutions in deciding what software to use for library automation, from the first 'in-house' library automation systems in the 1980s to the 'turnkey' packages that are currently used. It then discusses the setting up of the Union Catalogue of the Universities of Catalonia (CCUC). Finally, it reviews the current trends in library automation worldwide, and describes the joint call for tenders for the purchase of an automated system for all the libraries of Catalonia, led by the Consortium of Academic Libraries of Catalonia (CBUC).


E-journal usage studies at Catalan academic libraries
  Authors: A. Borrego, M. Barrios, C. Ollé and C. Urbano (Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat de Biblioteconomia i Documentació)


This presentation summarises the findings of several studies carried out at the Consortium of Academic Libraries of Catalonia (CBUC) in order to evaluate the use of electronic journals consortially subscribed since 1999.

It presents the results of several log analysis studies of the data supplied by the publishers and the findings of a survey distributed to all the lecturers at the universities that make up the CBUC.

Results show a great increase in the access to electronic scientific journals due to the use of titles not previously subscribed to and the progressive assimilation of new journals. Users show a clear preference for the PDF format over HTML. There is a greater dispersion in the consumption of titles than seen in paper publications, with 80% of requests corresponding to 35% of the titles. When it has been possible to analyse data on use by IP address, the data has shown that a small group of IP addresses account for most sessions, article downloads and viewings of abstracts. Finally, a survey has shown a great deal of knowledge and extensive use of electronic journals among teaching staff. Use seems to be closely related to age and discipline, with younger scholars and those working in Sciences being the most active users.


The DELOS Reference Model for Digital Libraries
Author: Vittore Casarosa (ISTI-CNR, Pisa, Italy)


A reference model is a set of inter-related concepts that collectively circumscribe and capture the essence of a distinct part of human knowledge, be it a whole scientific field or an individual idea or anything in between. It is a framework that helps in the understanding of the basic elements of its concepts of concern, and it can be established at various levels of abstraction, from very high-level and flexible to very concrete and precise. The field of Digital Libraries is increasingly showing the need of a reference model in order to facilitate their interoperability and their further evolution.

Digital Libraries constitute a relatively young scientific field, whose life spans roughly the last fifteen years. They represent the meeting point of a large number of disciplines and fields, i.e., data management, information retrieval, library sciences, document management, information systems, the web, image processing, artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction, and others. These first fifteen years have been mostly spent on bridging some of the gaps between the disciplines (and the scientists serving each one), defining along the way what "Digital-Library functionality" is supposed to be, and integrating solutions from each separate field into digital library systems. The result has been a very complex universe, driven by the growth and the evolution of the digital library community, with a variety of approaches, solutions and systems. The field is now mature enough to attempt the definition of an overarching framework capable to comprehend all of those different aspects and facilitate further evolutions.

The framework proposed by DELOS, the Network of Excellence on Digital Libraries, consists of (i) the Digital Library Manifesto, (ii) the Digital Library Reference Model, (iii) the Digital Library Reference Architectures, (iv) the Digital Library Concrete Architectures, and (v) the Digital Library Implementations. This presentation will focus on the Digital Library Manifesto, which sets the ground and lays the high-level guidelines for the other items, and on the Digital Library Reference Model, which identifies the set of concepts that characterize the essence of the digital library universe. It will then conclude with a brief overview of the Digital Library Reference Architecture, which tackles the problem of identifying the appropriate design patterns in implementing, in different application contexts, systems described and identified according to the Reference Model.

The Manifesto introduces the three main concepts underlying Digital Libraries. A Digital Library is a live organization that comes to existence through a series of development steps that bring together all necessary constituents. There are three major milestones in this process, which result in three distinct notions of a "system", respectively: Digital Library Management System, Digital Library System, and Digital Library. Although these are often confused and used interchangeably, they play a central and distinct role in the world of Digital Libraries.

­ A Digital Library (DL) is a (potentially virtual) organization that comprehensively collects, manages, and preserves for the long term rich digital content and offers to its user communities specialized functionality on that content, of measurable quality, and according to prescribed policies.
­ A Digital Library System (DLS) is a software system that is based on a (potentially distributed) architecture and provides all functionality that is required by a particular Digital Library. When operating in a Digital Library environment, users interact with the corresponding Digital Library System.
­ A Digital Library Management System (DLMS) is a generic software system that incorporates all functionality that is considered foundational for Digital Libraries and provides the appropriate software infrastructure to both produce a basic Digital Library System and integrate additional software offering more refined, specialized, or advanced functionality. An integral part of a DLMS is a "Digital Library Administrative Tool" that is used to choose the appropriate subset of its functionality, e.g., through relevant parameters of its components, and then (potentially automatically, to some degree) install, deploy, and (re)configure a Digital Library System.

It has to be noted that, while the concept of Digital Library is intended to capture an abstract system consisting of both physical and virtual components, the remaining two capture concrete software systems. For every Digital Library, there is a unique Digital Library System in operation (possibly consisting of many interconnected smaller DLSs in the most general case), whereas it is expected that most of the Digital Library Systems will be derived from (generated by) a handful of Digital Library Management Systems.

The Reference Model consists of a set of inter-related concepts and their related definitions along with the set of relationships that collectively capture the intrinsic nature of the various entities of the digital libraries universe. Six main high-level concepts common to each of these systems have been introduced, i.e. Content, User, Functionality, Quality, Policy, and Architecture. Their relationships and characteristics are shown through the use of Concept Maps, a simple and immediate representation of the conceptual model based on the well known usage of graphs, where nodes are concepts and arcs represent their relationships.

Finally, the Reference Architecture proposes an architectural philosophy that promotes the development of DL systems not as single units with tightly coupled components, but rather as loosely coupled components, each of which performs a logical, discrete function. It stresses the added value of loosely-coupled components that: (i) are ready for being assembled in a variety of ways; (ii) can be reused in different application contexts to satisfy the needs of different and heterogeneous user communities; (iii) can be used to add new building blocks and replace others as the user needs change.



RDA (Resource Description and Access)

  Author: Gordon Dunsire (University of Strathclyde, Glasgow)


The presentation explains the background to the development of Resource Description and Access, a metadata content standard intended for international use by a wide range of metadata communities. The presentation describes progress to date, and discusses the implications of RDA for library systems.



Accessing library materials via Google and Other Web Sites

  Author: Janifer Gatenby (Strategic Research, OCLC PICA)

Two and a half years have passed since libraries first started to make available the contents of their catalogues to the major Internet search engines, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft Network (MSN). The paper examines the success of this initiative and various aspects including search engine selection policies, ranking, service evolution and statistics in terms of "click throughs" and "conversions". The benefits to libraries of exposing their collections as broadly as possible, additional sites to GYM and methods of exposure are examined. But there is becoming a serious "discovery to delivery gap"; linking seamlessly to delivery systems is a necessity if libraries are to sit proudly alongside web sites like online book stores and match them for ease of requesting materials. Recent developments in standards and in OCLC's worldcat.org are presented as steps towards improvement in the delivery area.



A futuristic view of knowledge and information management
  Author: Sue Mcnight (Nottingham Trent University)


Knowledge Management (KM) and Information Management (IM), often used synonymously, are concepts that librarians need to grapple with in the very near future (if not already doing so). 'Grapple' is used deliberately, because of the complexity, different understandings and perceptions of KM and IM. It won't be a comfortable future as we envisage new ways of working and new organisational relationships, new services, new professional roles, requiring the letting go of some much-loved 'traditional' frameworks but there will be a very important role for librarians. Society is moving rapidly from an Industrial Age to an Information Age that is associated with information overload. There will be a blend of centralised services, such as enterprise content management systems and institutional repositories, customer relationship management systems, and enterprise-level federated search engines as well as the physical library. The role of librarians in helping to organise and manage these services will continue, and spread beyond the library across the organisation. However, the concepts of the library catalogue, books and journals, authority control, classification and standards will be challenged by the rapidly expanding use of social networking tools, such as blogs and wikis that will generate vast amounts of information. The creation of community repositories, and increased collaborative working and studying in an increasing 'always online' society, will generate learning objects that we can't control and manage. Librarians must play an important role in providing information literacy skills training so that readers can discriminate from a huge range of information resources.


Open access institutional repositories: the case study of Spain

  Author: Remedios Melero (Instituto de Agroquímica y Tecnología de Alimentos - CSIC)


The open access movement, which is spread all over the world, is still emerging in Spain, but it has advanced in the past three or four years with more frequent initiatives related to repositories and open/free journals. The 227 registered signatories of the Berlin Declaration include 21 Spanish institutions, which mostly signed it during year 2006, that awareness commitment to open access. The Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR) and the Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR) have in their records 26 and 12 open access repositories from Spain, respectively, which represent still less than 2 % of the whole repositories in those directories. The oldest one is Tesis Doctorals en Xarxa ('Networked Doctoral Theses') created in year 2001, however most of Spanish institutional repositories emerged at the end of year 2004 or the beginning of 2005. Nevertheless, there is evidence that exist more than those which have been created and announced during last months.

Based on OpenDOAR records, Dspace and ePrints are the most used software for their implementation, 42 and 17 % respectively of a total of 12 repositories. Among them 67 % are institutional, 25% aggregating and 8 % disciplinary repositories. The most frequent types of repositories are those archiving conference and workshop papers, thesis and dissertations, and research papers (pre and post prints). The growth of Spanish repositories as a function of time, from data provided by ROAR, might fell into three types: plateau, stairstep and steady growth. The most clear growth behaviour is the one of TDX sorted into the steady pattern.



Electronic publishing and institutional archives: utilising open-source software
  Author: Ellen Røyneberg (BIBSYS, Trondheim)


The interest in open access and institutional archives in Norway is growing. In 2005, several university libraries, university college libraries and other research libraries met and discussed a joint effort to create institutional archives. The meeting resulted in the Pepia project with BIBSYS as a software partner. The project group decided to use the open source system DSpace as a software platform. A standard DSpace installation runs on a Tomcat servlet container. BIBSYS does not use this container, and we therefore needed to configure DSpace to get it to run successfully on our server. In addition we had some problems with integrating the DSpace development structure with our integrated development environment. Further we needed to create a new build process that effectively could build more than 30 applications from one source code. These changes were quite time consuming, but they were necessary so that we could have an efficient work environment. Out of the box DSpace has many of the functionalities that an institutional archive requires. In spite of this we needed to alter some of the functionality, especially the user management system. DSpace is a complex system, but with the active community we could get the help we needed. BIBSYS Brage, the result of the Pepia project, was launched as a beta version in December 2006. We look forward to develop BIBSYS Brage further, and are confidant that it will become a great system for the consortium.



OAI Object Re-Use and Exchange: Moving interoperability from the metadata to the resource level
  Author: Herbert Van de Sompel (Los Alamos National Laboratory, Research Library)

YouTube, Flickr, del.icio.us, blogs, message boards and other "Web 2.0" related technologies are indicative of the contemporary web experience. There is a growing interest in appropriating these tools and modalities to support the scholarly communication process. This begins with leveraging the intrinsic value of scholarly digital objects beyond the borders of the hosting repository. There are numerous examples of the need to re-use objects across repositories in scholarly communication. These include citation, preservation, virtual collections of distributed objects, and the progression of units of scholarly communication through the registration-certification-awareness-archiving chain.

The last several years have brought about numerous open source repository systems and their associated communities. The Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) has been the initial catalyst for repository interoperability. However, there is now a rising interest in repositories no longer being static components in a scholarly communication system that merely archive digital objects deposited by scholars. Rather, they can become building blocks of a global scholarly communication federation in which each individual digital object can be the ore that fuels a variety of applications.
Both the interest in this type of federation, and the insights gained thus far are sufficiently strong to move beyond prototypes and to support an effort to formally specify this next level of interoperability across repositories. Through the support of the Mellon Foundation, a two-year international initiative to define this interoperability fabric has started in October 2006. The effort is in the context of the Open Archives Initiative, and is named Object Re-Use and Exchange (ORE). OAI-ORE is intended to be a complement to OAI-PMH.
OAI-ORE is coordinated by Carl Lagoze and Herbert Van de Sompel, and consists of international experts on Advisory, Technical and Liaison Committees. The Technical Committee held its first meeting in January 2007 and began its initial work to develop, identify, and profile extensible standards and protocols to allow repositories, agents, and services to interoperate in the context of use and reuse of compound digital objects beyond the boundaries of the holding repositories.

In this presentation, we will give an overview of the current activities, including: defining the problem of compound documents within the web architecture, enumerating and exploring several use cases, and identifying likely adopters of OAI-ORE. More information about ORE can be found at http://www.openarchives.org/ore.



Amazon: competition or complement to OPACs
Author: Maja Žumer (University of Ljubljana)

Reserach (e.g. Borgman, Bates etc.) repeatedly confirms that end-users find OPACs difficult to use. And recently an interesting observation was often mentioned when discussing OPACs: some users use Amazon as front-end to OPACs. They find a book they want to borrow in Amazon and then use ISBN to find the call number in the catalogue (see e.g. https://intranet.lib.byu.edu/wwg/?p=13). This may not be the prevalent current practice, but it certainly points to a problem: average OPAC interfaces seem to be less user-friendly than Amazon at least to some users. Amazon will of course not replace libraries, but librarians must have continuous interest in and understanding of what users need and want and how they search for information. We need therefore to analyse what other services do better and try to implement appropriate changes in our own services. Some library systems have already made the first steps in this direction.










2006 © European Library Automation Group - CBUC