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 […]

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 […]

Do we need mobile library services? Not really

Mobile services have to fulfill information needs here and now Like many other libraries, the Library of the University of Amsterdam released a mobile web app this year. For background information about why and how we did it, have a look at the slideshow my colleague Roxana Popistasu and I gave at the IGeLU 2010 conference. For now I want to have a closer look at the actual reception and use of our mobile library […]

New users – new libraries – new librarians

Meeting new user expectations at ELAG 2010 In the near future libraries and librarians will be very different from what they are now. That’s the overall impression I took away from the ELAG 2010 conference in Helsinki, June 8-11, 2010.  ELAG stands for “European Library Automation Group”, which is an indication of its age (34 years): “automation” was then what is now “ICT”. The meetings are characterised by a combination of plenary presentations and parallel […]

Mobile library services

Location aware services in a digital library world This is the third post in a series of three [1. Mainframe to mobile – 2. Mobile app or mobile web? – 3. Mobile library services] While library systems technology and mobile apps architecture make up the technical and functional infrastructure of mobile web access, mobile library services are what it’s all about. What type of mobile services should libraries offer to their customers? As stated before, […]