Ten years linked open data

This post is the English translation of my original article in Dutch, published in META (2016-3), the Flemish journal for information professionals. Ten years after the term “linked data” was introduced by Tim Berners-Lee it appears to be time to take stock of the impact of linked data for libraries and other heritage institutions in the past and in the future. I will do this from a personal historical perspective, as a library technology professional, […]

Maps, dictionaries and guidebooks

Interoperability in heterogeneous library data landscapes Libraries have to deal with a highly opaque landscape of heterogeneous data sources, data types, data formats, data flows, data transformations and data redundancies, which I have earlier characterized as a “data maze”. The level and magnitude of this opacity and heterogeneity varies with the amount of content types and the number of services that the library is responsible for. Academic and national libraries are possibly dealing with more […]

Standard deviations in data modeling, mapping and manipulation

Or: Anything goes. What are we thinking? An impression of ELAG 2015 This year’s ELAG conference in Stockholm was one of many questions. Not only the usual questions following each presentation (always elicited in the form of yet another question: “Any questions?”). But also philosophical ones (Why? What?). And practical ones (What time? Where? How? How much?). And there were some answers too, fortunately. This is my rather personal impression of the event. For a […]

Library Linked Data Happening

On August 14 the IFLA 2014 Satellite Meeting ‘Linked Data in Libraries: Let’s make it happen!’ took place at the National Library of France in Paris. Rurik Greenall (who also wrote a very readable conference report) and I had the opportunity to present our paper ‘An unbroken chain: approaches to implementing Linked Open Data in libraries; comparing local, open-source, collaborative and commercial systems’. In this paper we do not go into reasons for libraries to […]

Roadmaps, roadblocks and data finding users

Lingering gold at ELAG 2014 Libraries tend to see themselves as intermediaries between information and the public, between creators and consumers of information. Looking back at the ELAG 2014 conference at the University of Bath however, I can’t get the image out of my head of libraries standing in the way between information and consumers. We’ve been talking about “inside out libraries”, “libraries everywhere”, “rethinking the library” and similar soundbites for some years now, but it […]

Meeting people vs. meeting deadlines

Lessons from Cycling for Libraries As I am writing this, more than 100 people working in and for libraries from all over the world are cycling from Amsterdam to Brussels in the Cycling for Libraries 2013 event, defying heat, cold, wind and rain. And other cyclists ;-). Cycling for Libraries is an independent unconference on wheels that aims to promote and defend the role of libraries, mainly public libraries, in and for society. This year […]

Resilience, connections and a clean slate

The inside-out library at ELAG 2013 This year marked my fifth ELAG conference since 2008 (I skipped 2009), which is not much if you take into account that ELAG2013 was the 37th one. I really enjoyed the 2013 conference, not in the least because of the wonderful people of the local organising committee at the Ghent University Library, who made ELAG2013 a very pleasant event.This year’s theme was “the inside-out library”, a concept coined by […]