friends / colleagues / etc :)
the thoughts of DLF staff are slowly beginning to turn (overcoming
the inertia of the summer) towards the fall forum.
this fall, like the last Forum, the DLF Board will meet before us,
and so we will try to reprise our "Big Issues" segment on the first
day. I'm trying to think of some fun things for that, so stay tuned
(and send me your most outrageous suggestions!).
in a wee while, we'll do an open solicitation for papers. however, I
I would like us to start think about certain themes that strike me as
particularly important, although there are always going to be places
for great papers and talks on damn near any topic. the following
memes seem to be particularly interesting right now; you'll see that
many of them may not be usual suspects :
moving images : I have a high interest in DLF member institutions
moving up the learning curve on film/video projects, and to begin
tackling the huge challenges in re making this content accessible.
and per my recent Lot 49 conference (see post on O'Reilly Radar)
my emphasis is very much on /access/ vs utopian preservation
schemes. this will involve libraries with many other different
institutions - a big theme of mine - as we will all benefit from
collective engagement on the hard issues of making medium- and
long-form video discoverable and accessible.
science cyberinfrastructure : there's been a lot of talk about how
libraries can be involved in humanities and social science cyber-
infrastructure projects, as if we were uniquely capable of "soft"
domains, or as if hard science somehow had everything figured
out. I don't believe either proposition. Hum/SocSci CI work is
critically important - but so is our engagement with hard science.
we have huge expertise to bring to table, and many things to
learn. managing massive data flows from real time sensoring
projects - this is a critical topic for us, and it engages us deeply
with our faculty.
collaboration in virtual and social communities - DLF has started
supporting a SecondLife initiative, and we will have some updates
from that group. other explorations in virtual worlds are welcome.
additionally, it seems to me that a lot of scholarly work and
collaboration is being taken in widely available tools like facebook,
and through technologies like instant messaging. how libraries
might proactively seek to interface with these tools that engage
us socially - providing services and content - is a cool market
opportunity for digital libraries.
accessing mass digitizations : the capabilities of private mass
repositories of books and other content is progressing nicely,
and the challenges of addressing our motivations to produce
specific value-added services apart from commercial vendors is
unabated. I know of several panels that will be considering
various issues on these mass digitization projects, with a eye
fortunately less on the mechanics and the wonders, and more
on the challenges and questions posed for us at a deeper level.
new content / new publishing : the explosion of different content
formats for interactive manipulation means that libraries bear the
challenge of thinking through whole new forms of publication that
encourage re-use, annotation, and mashups for information and
data extending far beyond text. dataset visualization tools like
many eyes, video mash up tools such as those provided by Adobe,
the development of platforms like AIR and Silverlight, all point to
a multi-modal future. what do library services look like through
the lens of these tools? what are the ramifications for publishing
mobile applications : regardless of the particular value of the
iphone, it is finally forcing an awareness of the capabilities of
mobile convergence devices. IT will continue to be driven by
the twin forces of minaturization and increasing sophistication -
this is how we will increasingly discover, engage, interact, and
author information. in a time/place where engagement with
content means the capacity to author/mash/comment with
information on highly portable, always-on, networked devices,
what services can libraries contribute? with whom will we
need to partner to acquire skills?
these are just a sample of the topic areas that must motivate
us moving forward. I encourage us to think *wildly* about the
future; what confronts us will always be more audacious than
our most imaginative visions.