Top Technology Trends, 2002 ALA Annual Conference

Technology and library users, an ongoing discussion

Technology experts who are members of the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA), a division of the American Library Association, met for a managed discussion in Atlanta on June 16th, 2002 to discuss what they feel are the top technology issues and trends in today's libraries. THE TOP TRENDS

Open URL

Open URL - National Information Standards Organization (NISO)

The official OpenURL site. Defines OpenURL and lists the primary developers of the standard.

OpenURL Website

Contains a wide range of information about OpenURL including demonstrations, working documents, presentations, a bibliography, and information about other NISO activities. Even contains a theme song and video!

OpenURL: Standards Can Be Fun!

American Libraries article by Walt Crawford that provides a useful overview of the benefits of OpenURLs to libraries. The Crawford Files: OpenURL: Standards Can Be Fun! Walt Crawford American Libraries Vol. 33, No. 7 (Aug., 2002), p. 99

OpenURL Generator

A tool for developing OpenURLs. Useful for understanding how OpenURLs are constructed and the type of information OpenURLs contain.

OpenURL Syntax Description

Detailed description of the standard tags and framework used in OpenURL.

Open Linking in the Scholarly Information Environment Using the OpenURL Framework

A paper that describes a practical implementation of OpenURL.

Generalizing the OpenURL Framework beyond References to Scholarly Works

A paper that describes a practical implementation of OpenURL.

Integrated Online Library Systems

General Lists of Library Automation Resources

Emerald Library Technology Links

This site provides over a dozen links to library technology / automation resources.

Library Automation Resources

This site provides links to automation resources and articles, as well as other publications, organizations, and conferences related to library automation.

Vendor Websites
Some of the trends / technologies library vendors are working on with their overall system in general or particular software modules in particular can be found on their corporate websites. Below are lists of such vendors with URLs to their corporate websites.

Library Automation Systems and Vendors on the WWW

Yahoo, Library Services - Software

Library Technology & Automation Reports

ALA TechSource

Homepage for Library Systems Newsletter and Library Technology Reports. Only sample, limited information is available online without a paid subscription.

ILSR: Integrated Library System Reports

This site contains several white papers, sample RFPs, vendor information, and more, related to IOLS. The vendor list is a searchable database, containing detailed survey information on many systems. Also included is a searchable citation database of reviews and articles related to IOLS. As of August, 2002, the ILSR site was last updated in May, 2001.

Library Journal: Automated Systems Marketplace 2002

Perhaps the most comprehensive annual survey on library automation systems, containing both vendor and customer demographics and other information. Mergers, revenues, trends, etc. are all covered. For example, in the 2002 report, chief trends discussed include expanding OPAC functionality, linking/metasearching, ASP, and the Open Archives Initiative.

Library Technology Guides: Key resources and content related to Library Automation

This site contains a news archive, a listing of library automation vendors, a searchable library automation bibliography, and more. Also included is a current news section containing press releases from library automation vendors.

Metasearching/New Search Interfaces

Article describes a scalable system for searching heterogeneous multilingual collections on the web.

Explores the complexities of providing searching services across interoperable heterogeneous Federated Digital Library Systems.

Register here for free trial of a meta searching tool, Find-it-all. It is one-stop searching of multiple online resources.

Addresses issues and complications of federated repositories through harvesting of heterogeneous collections with varying degrees of metadata.

Several articles addressing Federated Searching issues.

Print Resources :

1. “Meta searching Comes of Age,” by Walter Minkel. School Library Journal v 48 no. 1 (Jan.2002) p. 33, 35.

2. “Gaylord Launches Meta searching with Polaris 2.0, Announces Polaris Implementation.” Information Today v 18, no 11 (Dec 2001) p.44

User Centered Design

What is User-Centered Design?

Technology Giant, IBM, defines "User-Centered Design"

The Core of Computing: Meta Pad Slices And Dices Pervasive Computing Obstacles

IBM demonstrates their leadership in "User-Centered Design" with a "real-world" example of how they are using it to better understand how users will interact with PDAs. This article first appeared in Think Research magazine.

User-Centered Design and Web Development

A summary of this article, Ten Guidelines for User-Centered Web Design, was originally printed in Usability Interface, Vol. 5, No. 1, July 1998.

User-Centered Iterative Design for Digital Libraries: The Cypress Experience

The paper documents the application of user needs assessment and evaluation in iterative, user-centered design as part of a digital library project at the University of California, Berkeley known as Cypress. It first appeared in D-Lib Magazine in February 1996.

Formal Definition of User-Centered Design (UCD)

A link to in-depth information on "User-Centered Design" is available at this web site.

Toward User-Centered Digital Image Libraries

In the March/April 2001 CLIR issues publication, Max Marmor, Distinguished Fellow, Council on Library and Information Resources, discusses how we can create digital libraries that meet the needs of their primary users, educators and scholars.

Talking 'Bout MyLibrary

Walt Crawford, American Libraries columnist and LITA Top Technology Trends expert, looks at the positive and negative sides of personalized library portals. The Crawford Files: Talking 'Bout MyLibrary Walt Crawford American Libraries Vol. 33, No. 4 (Apr., 2002), p. 91

User Interface Design: Some Guiding Principles

In October, 1999, Roy Tennant, "LITA Top Technology Trends expert," discusses in Library Journal the dramatic changes that have occurred in the past few decades in the user interface to the library.

Building Effective Web Sites

This PowerPoint presentation, found at the web site of leading Information Technology consultants, Gartner, clearly demonstrates the importance of understanding the "customer experience" in the design of web sites.

Design of the Times

In an interview with CIO Magazine in September, 1997, Charles Kreitzberg, President, Cognetics Corporation, a software and application design company, emphasizes the importance of user-centered design.

Usability Strategies for Intranet Web Site Design

David Dick, editor of the August 2002 Usability Interface newsletter, emphasizes that the same usability engineering principles used for product design apply to the design of an Intranet.

People-Centered Software

People-centered software is defined as collaborative programs such as chat, community and personalization. In June, 2000, the author examines several exciting innovations from Israel.

Web-Based Catalogs: Is Their Design Language Anything to Talk About?

The factors identified by the authors, Elisabeth Green and Alison Head, in the 1998 Online article evaluating early web-based catalogs at Stanford and Berkeley still apply today.

Change Your Goal, Extend Your Role

Pradeep Henry, noted author and usability engineer, encourages fellow technical communicators to provide information that meets end-user needs in order to maximize the ease of use of software products.

Print Resources

"Shaping the 'Experience Library,'" by Joan Frye Williams American Libraries April 2002 p. 70-72

"LITA Top Technology Trends expert" Joan Frye Williams explains in this article how the newly dedicated (March 16, 2002) Cerritos Public Library in California was planned by understanding how service would be experienced by the user.

Software for Use: A Practical Guide to the Models and Methods of Usage-Centered Design by Larry Constantine and Lucy Lockwood Addison-Wesley Publishing Company 1999

This book discusses a software design process that is centered on usability. Many examples of inadequate interfaces found in Windows and various web sites are provided.

User-Centered Design: An Integrated Approach by Karel Vredenburg, Scott Isensee, Carol Righi Prentice Hall 2001

This practical guide to UCD (User-Centered Design) provides a CD-ROM with real tools and resources for introducing, deploying and optimizing User-Centered Design.

User-Centered Information Design for Improved Software Usability by Pradeep Henry Artech House Inc. 1998

This book was written for technical writers and emphasizes that the goal of the system documentation is to improve software usability and that user-centered information must extend beyond written manuals to online help, error messages, command buttons and labels.

Human Factors in Information Systems by Edward J. Szewczak Ph.D., Coral Snodgrass, Ph.D. IRM Press 2002

In this interesting book, Canisius College professors examine the human side of technology from both the user and developer sides.

Game Technology

Video Gaming, Education and Digital Libraries
D-Lib Magazine, February 2002

An overview of video games and their possible application to libraries. Includes a list of references. Author John Kirriemuir has collected links to U.K. gaming statistics, organizations, conferences and articles on his personal site as well:

BECTa Information Sheet: Computer Games to Support Learning

BECTa (British Educational Communications and Technology agency) gives an overview of platforms, genres, and learning skills. There is also a list of educational projects, resources on the gaming industry, articles at:

Game Culture

Links to an extensive list of articles, books, conferences and other materials maintained by Sue Morris, University of Queensland (Australia).

The Future of Education: Lessons from Video Games and Museum Exhibits

Text from a commencement address given by Don Norman, Professor of Computer Science at Northwestern University in June 2001.

MIT Games to Teach Project

MIT and Microsoft are partnering to develop games for math, science and engineering education and the high school and college level. They are also studying how how people learn through gaming. Site includes prototypes and research reports.

Designing for Motivation and Usability in a Museum-Based Multi-User Virtual Environment by Chris Dede (Harvard University) and Kevin Ruess (George Mason University)

Report on a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded research project that studied how a computer game-like environment affected the motivation of middle school students.


The Internet Sound Institute

Brief article that describes the technical setup of an infrared headset/hearing assistance system, and compares it to other hearing assistance options (like FM wireless, etc.).

An Introduction to Infrared Technology:
Applications in the Home, Classroom, Workplace, and Beyond ...

A good basic overview of possible uses for infrared systems, as well as potential health risks, etc.

Infrared Data Association

Home page for the trade association for defining infrared standards.