As David & Thom point out, what are the implications of having the pile
of stuff stored locally vs. using a similar device to access content
stored in remote repositories? ( ie, what direction would this
discussion take if the device in question was a wireless handheld
retrieving content from a research database?)

Seems to me the big difference with local storage is that it enables
users to create custom libraries, and the opportunity/challenge here
revolves around  how (and whether) libraries could help users organize
& access information they have at least partially assembled themselves.

Even leaving aside DRM issues for the moment, how would something like
that work?

Here's a random suggestion: I think it's safe to say that any system
requiring end users to enter their own metadata is doomed. How about
something like a central repository of metadata that can be accessed
over the network, eg:
--I load the latest copy of the Journal of Things in General into my
local serials db
--The serials db software reads the ISSN & issue number
--It automatically queries the central metadata repository & pulls back
authors, titles & abstracts [etc] for all the articles in that issue,
and loads them into the appropriate fields in the local db.

Could this be done seemlessly & consistently enough that the user could
then run a single search against their local database & other remote
databases & actually have it return useful results? ... sorry, suddenly
I seem to be caught in some kind of weird early 90s Z39.50 timewarp.
I'll stop now.



John Durno
Acting Manager
BC Electronic Library Network
Phone: 604-268-7002
Fax: 604-291-3023
Email:   [log in to unmask]