Monday, January 31, 2011

Generating Collaborative Systems for Digital Libraries: a Model-Driven Approach, by Alessio Malizia, Paolo Bottoni, and S. Levialdi

The design and development of a digital library involves different stakeholders, such as: information architects, librarians, and domain experts, who need to agree on a common language to describe, discuss, and negotiate the services the library has to offer. To this end, high-level, language-neutral models have to be devised. Metamodeling techniques favor the definition of domain-specific visual languages through which stakeholders can share their views and directly manipulate representations of the domain entities. This paper describes CRADLE (Cooperative-Relational Approach to Digital Library Environments), a metamodel-based framework and visual language for the definition of notions and services related to the development of digital libraries. A collection of tools allows the automatic generation of several services, defined with the CRADLE visual language, and of the graphical user interfaces providing access to them for the final user. The effectiveness of the approach is illustrated by presenting digital libraries generated with CRADLE, while the CRADLE environment has been evaluated by using the cognitive dimensions framework.

The Middle Mile: The Role of the Public Library in Ensuring Access to Broadband, by Marijke Visser and Mary Alice Ball

This paper discusses the role of the public library in ensuring access to the broadband communication that is so critical in today’s knowledge-based society. It examines the culture of information in 2010, and then asks what it means if individuals are online or not. The paper also explores current issues surrounding telecommunications and policy, and finally seeks to understand the role of the library in this highly technological, perpetually connected world.

An Evolutive Process to Convert Glossaries into Ontologies, by José R. Hilera, Carmen Pagés, J. Javier Martínez, J. Antonio Gutiérrez, and Luis de-Marcos

This paper describes a method to generate ontologies from glossaries of terms. The proposed method presupposes an evolutionary life cycle based on successive transformations of the original glossary that lead to products of intermediate knowledge representation (dictionary, taxonomy, and thesaurus). These products are characterized by an increase in semantic expressiveness in comparison to the product obtained in the previous transformation, with the ontology as the end product. Although this method has been applied to produce an ontology from the “IEEE Standard Glossary of Software Engineering Terminology,” it could be applied to any glossary of any knowledge domain to generate an ontology that may be used to index or search for information resources and documents stored in libraries or on the Semantic Web.

Bridging the Gap: Self-Directed Staff Technology Training, by Kayla L. Quinney, Sara D. Smith, and Quinn Galbraith

Undergraduates, as members of the Millennial Generation, are proficient in Web 2.0 technology and expect to apply these technologies to their coursework—including scholarly research. To remain relevant, academic libraries need to provide the technology that student patrons expect, and academic librarians need to learn and use these technologies themselves. Because leaders at the Harold B. Lee Library of Brigham Young University (HBLL) perceived a gap in technology use between students and their staff and faculty, they developed and implemented the Technology Challenge, a self-directed technology training program that rewarded employees for exploring technology daily. The purpose of this paper is to examine the Technology Challenge through an analysis of results of surveys given to participants before and after the Technology Challenge was implemented. The program will also be evaluated in terms of the adult learning theories of andragogy and self-directed learning. HBLL found that a self-directed approach fosters technology skills that librarians need to best serve students. In addition, it promotes lifelong learning habits to keep abreast of emerging technologies. This paper offers some insights and methods that could be applied in other libraries, the most valuable of which is the use of self-directed and andragogical training methods to help academic libraries better integrate modern technologies.

Next-Generation Library Catalogs and the Problem of Slow Response Time, by Margaret Brown-Sica, Jeffrey Beall, and Nina McHale

Response time as defined for this study is the time that it takes for all files that constitute a single webpage to travel across the Internet from a Web server to the end user’s browser. In this study, the authors tested response times on queries for identical items in five different library catalogs, one of them a next-generation (NextGen) catalog. The authors also discuss acceptable response time and how it may affect the discovery process. They suggest that librarians and vendors should develop standards for acceptable response time and use it in the product selection and development processes.