CNI Report

Monday and Tuesday I attended the spring Task Force meeting of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) along with Marcia from LIS. The meeting is day and a half of reports highlighting current projects and innovations in networked information (for libraries and information technology). Being in Minneapolis, it’s also relatively close which is nice to save another airline trip (especially this week).

Keynote sessions were offered by Daniel Adkins, Director of the Office of Cyberinfrastructure for the National Science Foundation (and the founding Dean of Michigan’s School of Information) and Tara McPherson, Associate Professor of Gender Studies and Critical Studies from the University of Southern California. She is also Editor of Vectors: Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular. Atkins gave an historical retrospective over his career and the progression and changes in networked information that he has seen. He was the recipient of the 2008 Paul Evan Peters Award from CNI. McPherson discussed multimodal publishing in the humanities and highlighted the work of Vectors, which offers a peer-reviewed journal for non-textual scholarly work. I recommend folks take a look at the journal and think about the implications this will have on all parts of what libraries and IT organizations do. As scholarship moves more into tacking issues with multimedia our current workflows will break down significantly. Not only does such production require new tools to accomplish, but new lines of support and new thinking about access and preservation. Humanities is not and will not be the only area where this change takes place. It will mean some big changes for us as it becomes more fully developed.

Other sessions I attended:

  • Change and the Role of Emerging Technologies: The Library’s Role in Supporting Teaching and Learning in a 2.0 Environment given by McMaster University. They discussed the integration of wikis and decentralized collaboration as being used by their library liaisons in partnership with teaching faculty. A critical point from this session was the role that the library can play as a change agent and advocate for innovative use of technologies in the curriculum if it steps into that role.
  • Library Integration with the Campus Enterprise and Beyond given by the University of Minnesota. They have built a well-integrated system to track usage of library resources as well as deliver targeted content both through the campus portal as well as the library website.
  • Moving to Mobile: Exploratory Services and Applications in Libraries given by the University of Illinois and UCLA. This session was an overview of mobile possibilities for libraries including services by texting (e.g. reference). With young adults becoming so attached to their increasingly capable mobile devices, there will only be greater opportunity for delivering services via mobile devices moving forward.
  • Web 2.0 Services and the Management of Academic Libraries given by Mannheim University in Germany. This session centered on collaborative features such as blogging and patron reviews integrated into library websites and catalogs as well as an initiative for tagging with controlled taxonomies.
  • WorldCat Local: Discovery to Delivery at the Network Level given by OCLC and the University of Washington. WorldCat Local is an OCLC initiative looking to provide an alternative discovery services layer for libraries and has been in use for around a year at the University of Washington as well as other libraries. The service provides a front end for searching along with integration with selected resources for users. This is similar to the Encore product Luther has purchased and will be implementing this summer.