Top Technology Trends, 2003 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 Toronto on June 22nd, 2003 to discuss what they feel are the top technology issues and trends in today's libraries.

Experts in attendance included : Karen Coyle, Joan Frye Williams, Clifford Lynch, Walt Crawford, Thomas Dowling, Elizabeth Lane Lawley, Tom Wilson, and Marshall Breeding.

Top Technology Trends

The Death of MARC

LOC MARC Standards

Site gives information concerning MARC including history, new developments and other documentation.

Metadata Object Description Schema

Site gives standards for Metadata Object Description Schema. It is intended to be able to carry selected data from existing MARC 21 records as well as to enable the creation of original resource description records. It includes a subset of MARC fields and uses language-based tags rather than numeric ones, in some cases regrouping elements from the MARC 21 bibliographic format. MODS is expressed using the XML schema language of the World Wide Web Consortium.

Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard

Site gives standards for Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard. The METS schema is a standard for encoding descriptive, administrative, and structural metadata regarding objects within a digital library, expressed using the XML schema language of the World Wide Web Consortium.

Death of MARC - Articles
  1. Chapman, Anne. "Demystifying Metadata." Catalogue and Index, no. 146 (Winter 2002) p. 1-6.

    Chapman discusses various standards including Metadata, MARC, MARC21, ONIX and Encoded Archival Description (EAD). Gives detailed discussion of the various formats including the elements of DC (Dublin Core) and MARC.

  2. Guenther, Rebecca and McCallum, Sally. "New Metadata Standards for Digital Resources: MODS and METS." Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, v. 29, no 2 (Dec. 2002/Jan 2003) p. 12-15.

    Discusses the new Metadata Standards for Digital Resources, Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS) and Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS).

  3. Mayes, Bessie. "Beyond MARC: New Trends for the Library of the Future." OLA Quarterly, v. 9, no 1, (Spring 2003) p. 2-4.

    Discusses the differences between the practicalities of MARC and the technological world in relation to the usefulness of XML. Asserts that library world must change with the times just as it adapted to MARC it can now adapt to a new language structure such as XML.

  4. Tennant, Roy. "MARC Exit Strategies." Library Journal, v. 127, no19 (Nov. 15, 2002) p. 27-8.

    Tennant gives practical solutions for moving beyond MARC. He discusses solutions and some of the on going projects and research that relate to MARC as an out of date standard and the usefulness of XML as possibility for the basis of a new standard. Among the solutions are developments by the Library of Congress in the area of XML standards for bibliographic information.

  5. Tennant, Roy. "MARC Must Die." Library Journal, v. 127, no 17 (Oct. 15, 2002) p. 26.

    Probes the usefulness of MARC today. Analysis of the problems with MARC compatibility with other standards such as XML. Asserts the profession needs to move in the direction of the wider information technology industry.

Accommodating Handhelds

Two excellent resources for handhelds :

PDAs and Handhelds in Libraries and Academia.

How the academic library is using PDA technologies: Resources and Sample Projects. Last Updated 4/03 by Megan K Fox Web & Electronic Resources Librarian Simmons College Libraries,;

Resources for on the job in libraries. Personal Digital Assistants & Wireless Technolgy for Libraries - Resource Links including PDA resources and Wireless technolgy links. With related links on such as Live Reference / Digital services in Libraries, Marketing your library with the Internet & Your Library website, and Resources for Library Webmasters

Changing Cyber Infrastructure

Official Internet 2 Site

The official Internet 2 Site, linking to myriad information on Internet 2 initiatives, collaborative applications and their associated Internet 2 working groups, middleware development, and details on the Internet 2 Network infrastructure. The best place to start for an overview of Internet 2 is the "About Internet 2" webpage (

Revolutionizing Science and Engineering through Cyber-infrastructure

provided here is the final report of the NSF Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel on Cyberinfrastructure. An executive summary, full report, and appendices are provided. This panel was charged to "evaluate current major investments in cyberinfrastructure and its use, to recommend new areas of emphasis relevant to cyberinfrastructure, and to propose an implementation plan for pursuing them," [Executive Summary, page 1].


IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6), or IPng (Internet Protocol Next Generation) is a set of specifications geared to ultimately (albeit slowly) replace the current IP version (IPv4). With 128 bit IP addresses, addressing capabilities are greatly expanded. In addition, other features are included, such as quality of service capabilities for realtime audio and video.

Internet Traffic Report

This site gauges Internet traffic flow around the world, providing average response times and packet loss information based on ping echo data. Data is provided by continent (currently Africa and Antartica are not included). A "traffic index" from 0 to 100 rates the relative "health" of the Internet. Global indexes are available for the last day, 7 day period, and 30 day period. This is an interesting site providing fun data on Internet traffic and some measure of the infrastructure health.

Intel: Evolution of Gigabit Technology

This is a 12-page whitepaper discussing (and marketing) gigabit Ethernet connectivity in local area networks from the server to the end-user PC. Advantages of additional bandwidth and why additional bandwidth is needed are offered. Half of the paper focuses on generalized gigabit migration / deployment strategies for various scenarios (small business, mid-size business, etc). Several other pieces can be found on the Intel website, such as "Supercharging the Desktop" ( , and "The New Ethernet" (

Bandwidth Place

This site allows a user to test their current connection speed, offers news headlines to some degree related to internet infrastructure, and provides a basic technology guide and chart listing various communication technologies and their associated bandwidth capacities (ranging from a 56k modem to an OC-255 connection).

FCC Broadband

Broadband is currently one of the most popular technologies offered to consumers for relatively "fast" internet connectivity. This is the Federal Communications Commission's webpage dealing with broadband technologies (such as cable), the FCC's objectives related to broadband, and links to various documents.

Wireless Technologies

Wireless internet access is a growing segment of the cyber-infrastructure. A list of resources from the Top Technologies Trends is provided at the address above. Some recent white papers (2003) from Lucent Technologies dealing with various aspects of 3G and wi-fi LANs can be found at,1981,inDocTypeId+115-inPageNumber+1-inByLocation+0-SORT+D,00.html


The TechWeb website offers current information within the computing technology arena. Of interest to the cyber infrastructure discussion are the "news," "vendor news," "mobile and wireless," "networking," and "hardware and infrastructure" sections. The TechEncyclopedia section can be used to find definitions on cyber infrastructure topics and technologies, and links to several associated websites offer additional information.

Integrated Online Library Systems

See earlier bibliographies at:   Annual 2002.

   Spam Filters

What is SPAM?

The Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-Mail (CAUCE) presents information about what is SPAM, why it is a threat to the viability of Internet e-mail and a danger to Internet commerce and what can be done to stop it.


In an article in the a July/August 2003 issue of the Technology Review: MIT's Magazine of Innovation, author Evan Schwartz discusses the problems associated with SPAM and the difficult problem of fighting it.

Ways to Slap SPAM

Wharton legal studies professor Dan Hunter labels SPAM "a cancer on the Internet" and demands new laws to limit its use. Some of his Wharton colleagues agree but others do not. They feel technology can be used to conquer it

Microsoft's Legal Offensive Against Spam

On June 18, 2003, Microsoft opened a new offensive against "spammers" by announcing 15 lawsuits alleging that the defendants are responsible for flooding the e-mail inboxes of customers of its MSN and Hotmail with a huge amount of unwanted commercial e-mail.

Battling Spam : Politics, Technology and Unwanted E-Mail Messages

NPR's Rick Karr looks at the politics of spam and ways to prevent "unwanted commercial e-mail" in a two-part special report for Morning Edition.

The Anti-Spam Cookbook

In a September 2002 article in Network Computing, Ron Anderson provides a "recipe" for eliminating junk e-mail.

Natural-Born Spam Killers,aid,109698,pg,1,00.asp

In a May, 2003, article in PC World, six top utilities are reviewed and tests reveal the best defenders for junk mail onslaught to e-mail in-boxes.

Spam Lawsuits Abound

This web site is devoted to reporting about lawsuits that grow out of use of the Internet. To this end, the site reports, "To date, lawsuits concerning spam have occupied a fair chunk of the Internet litigation landscape." The site contains valuable information - especially to those who are trying to avoid future litigation.

Print Resources

Net Crimes & Misdemeanors: Outmaneuvering the Spammers, Swindlers, and Stalkers Who Are Targeting You Online by J. A. Hitchcock, Information Today 2002

Clive Cussler reviews this book and says, "Revealed at last-the secrets to all the spam that comes through your e-mail...without exaggeration, this advice will benefit millions."

Marketing With Email : A Spam-Free Guide to Increasing Awareness, Building Loyalty, and Increasing Sales by Using the Internet's Most Powerful Tool by Shannon Kinnard, Maximum Press 2002

The author advises companies on how to use the power of e-mail to effectively and responsibly expand and improve marketing opportunities, communications, and on-line relationships.


See earlier bibliographies at : Midwinter 2002 and Midwinter 2003.

Shibboleth Project -

Shibboleth is a system designed to exchange attributes across realms for the primary purpose of authorization. It provides a secure framework for one organization to transmit attributes about a web-browsing individual across security domains to another institution. In the primary usage case, when a user attempts to access a resource at a remote domain, the user's own home security domain can send certain information about that user to the target site in a trusted exchange. These attributes can then be used by the resource to help determine whether to grant the user access to the resource. Sample applications of Shibboleth include remote access of electronic resources without using a proxy server or shared passwords and inter-institutional collaboration without the need for additional or group passwords.



Software, tips, and directory to facilitate the world of blogs. Article on Blogs

Defines blogs and discusses their cultural significance as they have grown more sophisticated and widespread.

Library Weblogs

A list of library-related web logs.

Libdex Open Directory

A list of library-related web logs.

Wiki Wiki Web

A web site written by its users. Anyone can change content or create new content.


A comprehensive online encyclopedia, wiki-style. Users contribute and/or change content as needed.


A blog maintained by Elizabeth Lawley, assistant professor of information technology at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Metasearching/Federated Searching

See earlier bibliographies at : Midwinter 2002 and Annual 2002.