Yes well my apologies, it’s been a little quiet around these parts. Still have to figure out how to write a post to be posted at a particular time. I’ve been at the Libraries Without Walls 7 conference, held on the Greek island of Lesvos in the Aegean sea. Fortunately I’m not easily distracted by sunshine, beaches, ancient hilltop castles, boat trips, swims in the sea, etc., so I was able to concentrate fully on just the conference papers. No really, and as proof here’s a brief rundown on papers of relevance to this blog:
Prof Christine Borgman spoke on the emerging roles for libraries in the scholarly information infrastructure – the goal being linking up data and documents and the competing pressures and rewards on scholars, i.e. rewards for publishing, not for data management.
Chris also made a very interesting comment on Margaret Markland’s talk about usage statistics for institutional repositories, as comments were raised about sending monthly reports of downloads to authors and whether you make that information available to authors who have NOT submitted their papers to the repository to raise awareness of impact and distribution gained by deposit.
Jane Secker and Gwyneth Price from LSE and the Institute of Education spoke on their LASSIE project, and the exploration of social software to enhance the experience of distance learners. Very interesting stuff..
I enjoyed Susan Robbins presentation on their integrated library enquiry environment, Information Central, and was facinated by Maitrayee Ghosh’s description of outreach services to ‘the rural masses’ in India, particularly their use of rickshaws laden with IT equipment that could be take out to villages and used by farmers to gain access to everything from agricultural market prices to health information – absolutely amazing!
Virpi Palmgren and Jouni Nevalainen from the Helsinki University of Technology Library spoke about their work using dialogue and concept mapping tools for their information retrieval programs – and I’ve just spoken today with a staff member from the Mechanical Engineering department who explained a similar method he’s interested in for knowledge management on his desktop! Great stuff for those for whom spacial and relational organisation of information is easier to digest than the usual hierarchial systems we use day to day.