Just in time or just in case?

Metasearch vs. harvesting & indexing The other day I gave a presentation for the Assembly of members of the local Amsterdam Libraries Association “Adamnet“, about the Amsterdam Digital Library search portal that we host at the Library of the University of Amsterdam. This portal is built with our MetaLib metasearch tool and offers simultaneous access to, at the moment, 20 local library catalogues. A large part of this presentation was dedicated to all possible (and […]

Roadmaps to uncertainty

What will library staff do 5 years from now? I attended the IGeLU 2009 annual conference in Helsinki September 6-9. IGeLU is the International Group of Ex Libris Users, an independent organisation that represents Ex Libris customers. Just to state my position clearly I would like to add that I am a member of the IGeLU Steering Committee. These annual user group meetings typically have three types of sessions: internal organisational sessions (product working groups […]

No future for libraries?

Will library buildings and library catalogs survive the web? Some weeks ago a couple of issues appeared in the twitter/blogosphere (or at least MY twitter/blogoshere) related to the future of the library in this digital era. There was the Espresso book machine that prints books on demand on location, which led to questions like: “apart from influencing publishing and book shops, what does this mean for libraries?“. There was a Twitter discussion about “will we […]

Collection 2.0

Henk Ellerman of Groningen University Library writes about the “Collection in the digital age” reacting to Mary Frances Casserly’s article “Developing a Concept of Collection for the Digital Age“. I haven’t read this 2002 article yet, but Henk Ellerman goes into the problem of finding a metaphor describing collections that for a large part consists of resources available on the internet. Henk says: “…the collection (the one deemed relevant for… well whatever) is a subset […]

System librarians 2.0

It strikes me that training for and documentation about our new Aleph ILS are aimed at three types of staff: system administrators, system librarians and staff (expert) users. Basically system administrators are supposed to take care of “technical stuff” like installing, upgrading, monitoring, backups, general system configuration etc., while staff users are dealing with the “real stuff”, like cataloging, acquisition, circulation, etc. System librarians appear to be a kind of hybrid species, both technicians and […]

LING – Library integration next generation

End of August I attended the Technological Developments: Threats and Opportunities for Libraries module of TICER – Digital Libraries à la Carte 2008 at the University of Tilburg, The Netherlands. One of the speakers was Marshall Breeding. His presentation “Library Automation Challenges for the next generation” consisted of three topics, one of which was “Moving toward new generation of library automation”. He discussed “rethinking the ILS”. The old I(ntegrated) L(ibrary) S(ystem) was about integration of […]