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* Monday, March 19, 2007

20070319-01 CIC Conference: Lorcan Dempsey

(Conference blog is at

In the Flow: from discovery to disclosure - Lorcan Dempsey

personal learning landscape image
construct a digital identity out of a variety of tools & interact with a full range of people
no library in the picture, but that might not have been part of the digital identity
how do we drop the library in there? must have a URL right now; RSS ties this type of environment together

peoples' work, communication, the way they want to interact with others changes when they enter a network environment
a single website is no longer the focus of attention but workflow
database --> website --> workflow
"getting things done" in effective ways
prefabricated workflows (e.g. CMS)
also a big focus on self-assembled digital identity
- RSS aggregators, toolbars, bookmarks (not just the desktop but beyond that, too)
supporting workflow is the issue now, helping you get things done

showed PictureAustralia on Flickr
put themselves into the flow of what people do (which also had the added benefit of driving traffic to the PA website)

Then: users built workflow around the library
Now: the library must build its services around user workflow
So: get into the flow, disclose into other environments

Then: resources scarce, attention abundant
Now: attention scarce (surrounded by opportunities to find what we want), resources abundant
competition for attention; simply being there is no longer good enough, simply making an offer is no longer good enough

Long Tail Information Providers
networked environment = flattening, integration of many things, participation

hubs emerging online (IMDB, etc.) aggregate supply and demand

Aggregation of supply (e.g. iTunes):
- unified discovery (want to reduce the steps you have to go through to make it easier for you)
- low transaction costs

Aggregation of demand (e.g. Google):
- mobilize users
- brand

- do not aggregate supply very well
- do not lower the transaction costs of using things
- limited number of users available
- what is the brand of the library?

so the long tail argument is that you are pushing down demand
it's not enough to manage it - you have to aggregate supply and make it easy for people to use it

Collections and Scholarly Information Flow

a major issue for libraries over the next few years
manage collections in a very fragmented way

print - found in the catalog
licensed content - found in the metasearch resolver
digital, research & learning outputs - found in repositories (home-grown solutions for the most part)

one side is how you manage these things, the other is how you present them
range of approaches to managing these various resources
from the web presence point of view, have a range of offerings to people which may or may not be integrated into the website (usually confusing to users - where should I go for what?)

have to get away from the here is this - here is this - here is this approach and move to an integrated interface

how does one make resources available where people are, in their workflow

in the last few years, more work has moved onto the network
a variety of other things then need to be managed
the way people are doing research changes
aggregation at a higher level

opportunity for libraries to assist users in finding and managing resources
these types of services are no longer centralized in the library

The Network Rewrites the Library: The Catalog, Discovery, and Disclosure

Chris Bekect - bypassing on-site navigation
increasingly, what people want to do is get to the target content (articles)
publisher wants to make sure target content is visible to search engines, aggregators, link servers
the bulk of navigation is useless and not used because they are looking for target content
we design our websites as if they are the single point of attention for users
how are machines consuming your content?

1. Local discovery environments
focus on "next generation catalogs"
"make data work harder"
integrate consumer environment
escape from ILS limitations
examples: NCSU, Rochester, SOLR, Worldcat 2.0, Primo, Encore
showed their FictionFinder beta product of fiction by tag cloud

issues with this approach:
- unified?
- how does MARC data play with other data?
- subjects, authors....
- duplicate cost?
- relationship to metasearch?

2. Shared Discovery Environment
try to increase the impact by moving the discovery environment up in the network to create more gravitational pull and more brand

example: Libraries Australia (reduces transaction cost by letting you request, buy, etc. the item)
- also provides code to put a search box on your site to reduce transaction costs

code to add search box on your site shows the value of the network
aggregates supply by letting you find something in any Ohio academic library
also aggregates demand by making it available to everybody in all institutions
from a brand point of view, once people know about the network, it is easier to find than individual institutions

- integration of discovery 2 delivery becoming essential
- a move to shared environments seems more likely with increased ability to 'view' different levels
- increased gravitational pull; a greater use of collections
- discovery at the group 'network level'

3. Syndicated Discovery Experience

putting data in places where it can be discovered and then pulling people back into the library

syndicating services
- portlets
- APIs, protocol-based

syndicating links in places like Wikipedia
catalog data in RSS aggregators

- routing issue for non-unique materials
service disclosure is less common
making the library's resources available elsewhere via toolbars, HTML fragments - search boxes, widgets, extensions, etc. will become more important in the future

4. Leveraged Discovery Experience

use another discover resource to connect back to yours
e.g. Greasemonkey script to add library holdings to Amazon website

may become more common

the library website is not the front door anymore so painting it and putting ornaments on it is of little use
need to connect multiple discovery environments to library fulfillment options
need to put library resources in users' workflow

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