Technology and library users: LITA experts identify trends to watch
One of the top trends in technology for libraries is: you don't have to pay attention to all the trends! Ten experts who are members of the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA), a division of the American Library Association, met for discussion in Philadelphia on January 31, 1999. They agreed that librarians have permission to ignore the "trends of the week" breathlessly and regularly announced in computer industry publicity.
To see more thoughts on the idea of predicting the technology future please see Futurespeak: A Preface to Top Technology Trends in Libraries , an essay by LITA's Telecommunications Electronic Reviews' Editor, Tom Wilson .
The discussion group assembled by LITA included Karen Coyle , Walt Crawford , Pat Earnest , Elizabeth Lane Lawley , Clifford Lynch , Roy Tennant , Carol Tenopir , Joan Frye Williams , Tom Wilson , and Milton Wolf . The experts stay informed about top trends by reading technology related publications, attending computer seminars/workshops, and networking with others in library and computer related fields.
Top Technology Trends
Library users who are Web users, a growing group, expect customization, interactivity, and customer support. Approaches that are library-focused instead of user-focused will be increasingly irrelevant. The University of Washington's MyGateway and North Carolina State University's MyLibrary@NCState are examples of customized portals.
Alexander, Steve. "Web marketing GETS personal."
InfoWorld, January 12, 1998.
Lange, Larry. "Updated Web sites customize data for designers."
Electronic Engineering Times, May 5, 1997, n952 p154(1).
Available at: www.national.com or www.ei.org
In dealing with electronic information resources, what librarians bring to the table is evaluative guidance. Comprehensive lists and catalogs aren't possible any more (if they ever were!), but librarians can help the overloaded information user by selecting, evaluating, and adapting features such as "people who liked this book also liked*."
Beyond "Cool:" Analog Models for Reviewing
Bibliography on Evaluating Internet Resources
Building Earth's Largest Library by Steve Coffman
The Response to "Building Earth's Largest Library" by Steve Coffman
Earth's Largest Library: One Librarian's Plan of Action by Mike Dahn
Criteria for Evaluation of Internet Information
Critical Evaluation of Resources on the Internet
Evaluating Information found on the Internet
Evaluating Quality on the Net
Evaluating Web Resources
Evaluating Electronic Resources
Evaluation of Information Resources
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly; or, or, Why It's a Good Idea to Evaluate Web Sources
How to Critically Analyze Information Sources
Information about Evaluating WWW Resources
Library Selection Criteria for WWW
T is for Thinking
Thinking Critically about World Wide Web
It's time to put a human face on the virtual library. What's the crucial factor in the success of the nonvirtual library? The people who work there and serve the user! What do libraries emphasize on their Web sites? Resources, collections, facts * with no human guidance or presence! On many library Web sites, the user is hard-pressed to identify the staff, whose names, if they're there, are five levels down. The human factor is still important.
Why reinvent the wheel? Co-opt existing technologies that haven't been used in libraries, and take advantage of cooperative efforts in information access. Libraries can afford less and less wasteful inefficiency and duplication of effort. You can't catalog the Web yourself; instead, tune in to OCLC's Project CORC or the ISAAC Network . And those folks in the fast food industry with the telephone headphones * why aren't we all using those in customer support?
Building Earth's Largest Library by Steve Coffman
The isolated scholar is out there, and she wants your resources! That widespread distribution tool, the Web, is making library resources available to more people than ever before and blurring the lines between audiences. The farmer online from Two Egg, Florida might be just as interested in your one-of-a-kind research material as a graduate student is. Who are you going to serve on the worldwide network and how?
Authentication and rights management: who has the right to use this, but not that, and how much will they be charged? And is that document the real thing? The World Wide Web allows more access by more people to more connected information than ever before in history, but documents and identities are also more malleable than ever before. Libraries are going to have an increasing interest in verifying that you are who you say you are, you do have the right to access this resource, and the resources you are receiving are authentic.
Bibliography available at: http://www.sil.si.edu/staff/authentication.htm
"A White Paper on Authentication and Access Management Issues in Cross-organizational Use of Networked Information Resources"
Clifford Lynch, editor. CNI.
(Revised Discussion Draft of April 14, 1998)
Kerberos: The Network Authentication Protocol
"Kerberos is a network authentication protocol. It is designed to provide strong authentication for client/server applications by using secret-key cryptography. A free implementation of this protocol is available from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Kerberos is available in many commercial products as well."
Guideline for the Use of Advanced Authentication Technology Alternatives
(Federal Information Processing Standards Publication 190. 1994 September 28)
"Implementation of JANET authentication and encryption services"
by Andrew Young
Authentication and Encryption Software (from NIH)
List and links to various software programs
"User Authentication on the Web" by Allen S. Firstenberg
DePaul Authentication Help Page
Example of a help page for end-users who run into authentication problems
Proposal to Provide a Standardized WWW Authentication for the University.
From North Carolina State University (Date: July 11, 1996)
A University Common Authentication Project Information Resources & Communications DRAFT
(University of California). July 1, 1997
- RFC Related to Authentication:
RFC 2069: An Extension to HTTP : Digest Access Authentication
J. Franks, P. Hallam-Baker, J. Hostetler, P. Leach, A. Luotonen, E. Sink, L. Stewart
Steganography (Digital Watermarks):
"Safeguarding Digital Library Contents and Users Digital Watermarking"
by Fred Mintzer, Jeffrey Lotspiech, Norishige Morimoto (from D-Lib Magazine)
"Washed out" by Mark Ward (from the New Scientist)
WWW References on Multimedia Watermarking and Data Hiding Research & Technology
Extensive list of links
Don't run aground on submerging technologies! Often just as important to libraries as emerging technologies are submerging technologies. For example, you need to be planning now to migrate away from CD-ROM and toward the Web as a delivery mechanism for index, abstract, and full text databases.
LITA president Barbra B. Higginbotham noted, "LITA is the preeminent professional organization in this country for librarians working in the fields of systems and information technology. Our members, and the library field as a whole, look to LITA for guidance about both their professional present and future. Our 1999 LITA National Forum in Raleigh, North Carolina, to be held November 5-7, will include programming that expands on many of the trends these LITA leaders have identified, better equipping LITA members for the 21st century."