The Cline Center for Democracy at the University of Illinois recently released a study chronicling systematic revisions to official presidential press releases on the White House website listing the members of the Coalition of the Willing that backed United States military action in Iraq. Although these archived press releases are presented as original and unaltered documents, three list documents underwent a series of content revisions. In total, the documents were altered at least seven different times, with three countries added and one removed. In each case, when countries were added or removed from the lists, the release dates remained unchanged, suggesting that those countries were always (or never) listed as part of the coalition on that date. In addition to revisions, some of these documents were later deleted. Of five URLs hosting copies of the list on the White House website, the two earliest versions of the list those containing the smallest number of countries were later removed from the site while other press releases from those days remain on the site.
As official White House press releases, the dates on the documents are even more important than would be the case for informational webpages. For example, one of the documents contains the coalition list dated March 27, 2003. In early 2004 its publication date was changed to "February 4, 2004", but the list itself remained the same. In September/October of that year, the list was deleted from the site, only to be restored within a matter of weeks; this time post-dated back to March 27, 2003, with one country (Costa Rica) removed from the list, and the introductory text changed to state there were 48 members on the list. Shortly thereafter, the page was changed again: the list stayed the same, but the text was altered to state there were 49 countries. The different versions of the list have propagated outward over time such that even Wikipedia now lists an "original" version of one list that is actually one of the modified versions.
The Cline Center study used the Internet Archive's "Wayback Machine" (http://www.archive.org/) to access historical snapshots of White House URLs to document what changes had occurred and the timeframe in which they were made. In operation since 1996, the Archive has saved snapshots of the web for more than a decade. Like any other automated web crawling service, the Archive's crawler does not reach every page of the web and even of those that it does reach, it does not always save snapshots of the pages on a regular basis. But overall, the Wayback Machine offers a unique resource to document what a given webpage looked like through time.
While the mainstream media have reported in the past on isolated changes or deletions to the White House website, this study is the first to systematically document an extensive pattern of repeated revisions over time. While the specific changes to the coalition list may seem small, the fact that such an extensive effort was made to revise this list over time, and the ease with which documents may be altered in the digital era, suggests that greater scrutiny must be given to government documents.
The complete report of the Cline Center for Democracy study may be found at <http://www.clinecenter.uiuc.edu/airbrushing_history/>.
DL.org - Digital Library Interoperability, Best Practices and Modelling Foundations: A Common Journey to New Frontiers
Mining the vast array of digital content that is being made available offers enormous value for Europe, underpinning the work of cultural, educational and research institutions from diverse disciplines and opening up new windows of opportunity for co-operation on a global scale. Truly effective access to digital data is only feasible with interoperable systems, which enable organizations to maximize the value and reuse potential of information, and exchange information across organizational and geographical boundaries to generate new knowledge from previously isolated data sets.
The availability of increased resources brings huge benefits to diverse user groups. However, making systems interoperable is a complex process that needs to take into consideration core requirements for digital library architecture, content, functionality, policy, quality and user perspectives. DL.org is a recently funded EC project spearheading the important drive towards interoperability as key to ensuring that the development of digital libraries is catered to the specific needs of a broad spectrum of user communities. DL.org aims to forge strong alliances with major stakeholders and the wider digital library community to harness the global expertise and knowledge that exists and maximize opportunities for the enhanced development of digital systems, which can be shaped by all DL actors.
To this end, DL.org will foster an effective two-way dialogue with representatives from DL initiatives, with the aim of addressing the on-going needs of the community, capturing best practices and promoting shared standards. DL.org provides a forum for knowledge exchange and the deliberation of key issues and new directions supported by eTraining courses designed to enable the next generation of DL professionals. DL.org will support and inform the cross-domain community through workshops, synergies and advocacy with a variety of DL initiatives.
The DELOS Digital Library Reference Model serves as the starting point to define and respond to the specific needs of diverse user groups with domain scientists and DL representatives, playing a fundamental role in encapsulating advanced perspectives and providing updated specifications on the DELOS concept. Focused investigations into DL architecture, content, functionality, policy, quality and user perspectives are thus expected to foster common understanding on interoperability solutions.
"Today, no single institution or platform can reasonably claim to offer substantial value without co-operating, and uniform technical approaches can neither be expected nor strived for! New and increasingly complex distributed platforms are built around key concepts like 'co-operation', 'federation' and 'virtual aggregation' of services and resources. Such DL architectures fundamentally rely on interoperability which in turn has its foundations in standards, especially in settings such as Europeana which are built on multilateral interoperability of many independent partners and platforms. One of the first steps the Commission took for preparing Europeana was to create a working group on 'Interoperability of Digital Libraries'. The DELOS Reference Model was very useful for this group and I strongly believe that the same will be true for the work of DL.org for the DL community as a whole!", says Prof. Dr. Stefan Gradmann, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin School of Library and Information Science and Leading Europeana.net WP2 ("Technical and Semantic Interoperability").
"The key challenge for digital libraries is intelligent, seamless integration of information search, use, and production into user activities and tasks. DLs must use a task-centric as opposed to an application-centric approach. DL.org provides a forum to shape these ideas, among others, and to systematise them in the Digital Library Reference Model for wide communication. Along the way, DL.org will foster consensus and mutual understanding among stakeholders, thus moving the field forward in both theory and practice. I am looking forward to participating in the common journey to new frontiers", remarks Professor Dagobert Soergel, University of Maryland, USA.
Geneva Henry from Rice University, USA, sees the launch of DL.org as both timely and much needed, providing an umbrella for existing and future digital library projects, thus avoiding fragmentation and duplication in functionally. "The community has grown significantly in the last decade, with many experiments launched and lessons-learned. The current landscape is now in need of co-ordination to harness the global expertise that exists. Building from the Digital Library Reference Model work, DL.org brings together a team of researchers with a proven track record that is recognised worldwide for their expertise in the digital library community. They recognise that interoperable systems are the key to ensuring that digital libraries continue to grow in a way that meets the needs of users across the Web. The core work within DL.org will therefore fill crucial needs for the global digital library community", comments Geneva Henry.
In the i2010 vision of a European Digital Library, the EU launched an ambitious plan for large scale digitisation projects transforming Europe's printed heritage into digitally available resources. The aim of fully integrating intellectual content into the modern information and communication technologies environment can only be achieved by full-text digitisation: transforming digital images of scanned books into electronic text. At the moment digitised material is still becoming available too slowly, in too small quantities and from too few sources. This is due to the high costs of digitisation, the unsatisfactory results of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software for historical documents, and the lack of institutional knowledge and expertise, which causes inefficiency and 're-inventing the wheel'.
The IMPACT project, coordinated by the National Library of the Netherlands, aims to speed up the process and enhance the quality of mass digitisation in Europe. The fifteen partners (seven libraries, six research institutes and two private sector companies) collectively constitute a Centre of Competence that will share best practice and expertise with the cultural heritage communities in Europe. The IMPACT research programme will significantly improve digital access to historical printed text through the development and use of innovative Optical Character Recognition software and linguistic technologies.
On 6-7 April 2009, the IMPACT project will organise a two-day conference on "OCR in Mass Digitisation: Challenges between Full Text, Imaging and Language". Experts from the IMPACT consortium will be present to discuss some preliminary results from the first year of the project, while key speakers from outside the project will provide the opportunity to exchange views with other researchers and suppliers in the OCR field.
The first key speakers are now confirmed: Rose Holley from the National Library of Australia will talk about online user participation in their historical newspaper digitisation project, Simon Tanner from King's College London will discuss the analysis of OCR accuracy and from the supplier side, Claus Gravenhorst from CCS will focus on future challenges facing OCR technology. Furthermore, experts from IMPACT will talk about the online Collaborative Correction module, through which volunteers can correct the OCR results and in this way improve the adaptive OCR engine, and the various linguistic issues that come up when digitising historical text material. The conference will be held at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB - National Library of the Netherlands) in The Hague; registration is limited to 150 participants.
For more information about IMPACT please visit the project website: <http://www.impact-project.eu>.
To stay updated on the latest IMPACT news and events, please send an email to <email@example.com> to subscribe to the IMPACT mailing list.The registration form and programme updates for the IMPACT OCR conference in 2009 are available through: <http://www.impact-project.eu/about-the-project/news/ic2009/>.
The outputs of research activity are published records, most commonly in the form of journal articles, books, reports, etc. However, the vast majority of the data that are produced during the research process never reaches publication stage. There is an increasing recognition of the potential benefits of such data both to the wider research community and to society in general.
Developing systems and services for the effective and efficient management of research data, as well as addressing issues around their long term curation, is an area of increasing activity in UK Higher Education. Recent examples of such activity include projects that currently run under the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) Digital Repositories programme 2007-9 such as the Data Audit Framework Development project and a further study for identifying the benefits of curating and sharing research data, and the joint RLUK-RUGIT UK Research Data Service Feasibility study. Moreover, studies of the complex relations and issues around the generation, management, curation, use and value of research data (Swan & Sheridan, 2008; Lyon, 2007; NSB, 2005; MacLeod & Childs, 2003) have already started to pave the way for further research in this area.
The UCL Data Audit Framework pilot implementation project (UCL DAF) is part of the activity in this area.
The UCL DAF project aims to test the Data Audit Framework methodology, which has been developed for auditing research assets in Higher Education Institutions. The development of the DAF methodology has been led by the Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute (HATII) in conjunction with the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) supported with JISC funding. The aims of the UCL DAF project are to contribute to the iterative development of the Data Audit Framework and collate information about the research assets generated, held and managed by academic and research staff at University College London (UCL). In particular, the objectives are:
We are currently trialling the DAF methodology across a range of departments and an interdisciplinary research centre at UCL. The departments and centre that were approached are:
As part of the trial we are conducting an online questionnaire survey and semi-structured interviews with academic and research staff at the designated departments. We are currently in the process of:
The questionnaire and interviews are designed to explore an interlinked set of research questions: Would respondents welcome institutional systems and services to support the managed curation of their research data? To what extent do they already share their data, and would they see any value in widening access to it, ethical considerations permitting? What opportunities might there be for the re-purposing of their data, perhaps in interdisciplinary applications? What criteria might they use for prioritising the importance of the data they have already collected?
The findings from the UCL Audits will be reported in summary form in March 2009.
UCL Data Audit Framework pilot implementation is funded by the JISC (the UK Joint Information Systems Committee), and it runs until March 2009. For more information and updates, visit the Project Web site at <http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ls/data-audit>.
References to projects and reports
Joint Information Systems Committee. Digital Repositories programme 2007-8. Information available at: <http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/digitalrepositories2007.aspx>. (Last accessed 21/11/2008.)
Data Audit Framework Development. Information available at: <http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/digitalrepositories2007/dataauditframework.aspx>. (Last accessed 21/11/2008.)
RLUK-RUGIT UK Research Data Service Feasibility Study. Information available at: http://www.ukrds.ac.uk/ (Last accessed 20/11/2008)
Identifying the benefits of curating and sharing research data. Available at: <http://jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/digitalrepositories2007/databenefits.aspx>. (Last accessed 21/11/2008.)
Swan, A. and B., Sheridan (2008). The skills, role and career structure of data scientists and curators: an assessment of current practice and future needs, Key Perspectives Ltd. Available at: <http://ie-repository.jisc.ac.uk/245/>. (Last accessed 21/11/2008.)
Lyon, L. (2007). Dealing with data: roles, rights, responsibilities and relationships. UKOLN. Available at: <http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/ukoln/staff/e.j.lyon/reports/dealing_with_data_report-final.pdf>. (Last accessed 19/11/2008.)
National Science Board. Long-lived digital data collections enabling research and education in the 21st century. Technical Report NSB-05-40, National Science Foundation, September 2005. Available from: <http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2005/nsb0540/nsb0540.pdf>. (Last accessed 21/11/2008.)
MacLeod, J. and Childs, S. (2003). Managing primary research data and records in HE institutes, Northumbria University; Information Management Research Institute. Available at: <http://www.northumbria.ac.uk/static/5007/ceispdf/resrecrep.pdf>. (Last accessed 21/11/2008.)
The EU-funded project PARSE.Insight INSIGHT into issues of Permanent Access to the Records of Science in Europe (http://www.parse-insight.eu/) deals with long-term digital preservation, the provision of raw scientific data and its links to publications. Nine partners from the fields of libraries, research, journalism and politics are working together in PARSE.Insight. The project is scheduled to run for two years (March 2008 until February 2010). It is closely linked to the European Alliance for Permanent Access (http://www.alliancepermanentaccess.org), which aims to develop a shared vision and framework amongst major stakeholders for a sustainable shared infrastructure for permanent access to scientific information.
Raw scientific data is held in a variety of file formats and file sizes, is often scattered over a number of research institutes, and in many cases is managed locally by the researchers themselves. The rapid aging of data carriers, formats, and software and hardware environments means that their long-term accessibility is under threat. In many cases no preservation strategies exist for this data, meaning that its future accessibility and general availability are not assured. There is therefore a risk of losing data that is of great significance for research.
The aim of PARSE.Insight is to create a roadmap and develop recommendations to support the e-infrastructure for the digital preservation and long-term accessibility of this raw scientific data. The project partners first analyzed the communities involved in the provision of raw scientific data. At present the project is carrying out a Europe-wide survey to determine how raw academic data is currently being archived. Three case studies in the areas of high-energy physics, geoscience and social science (psycholinguistics and book studies) are providing specific and complementary information. If you would like to share your particular views and experiences in this field with us, please complete the questionnaire at <https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=OA_2bp_2fFDSL_2bbyC_2bgx9bHF_2bQ_3d_3d>. The outcome of the survey will be posted on the projects website at a later date.
The survey results will be used as a basis for plugging the gaps in the European e-infrastructure with regard to the long-term usability of raw scientific data and then to devise a tool to support EU investment and infrastructure decisions aimed at ensuring long-term access to raw scientific data. Thus, PARSE.Insight makes a major contribution to securing the underlying data on which research is based, storing it in a usable form and ensuring it remains accessible in the future.
Excerpts from Recent Press Releases and Announcements
ALA releases tough economy toolkit
January 13, 2009 - "A new, Web-based resource has just been released that will help library advocates make the case for libraries during times of economic downturn. The 'Advocating in a Tough Economy' toolkit is available at <http://www.ala.org/tougheconomytoolkit>."
"...The toolkit provides information on how to work with decision-makers and the media recent media coverage of libraries is included. It also contains talking points to help libraries articulate the role of libraries in times of economic downturn. Talking points on the economic value of libraries (with return-on-investment examples), libraries and the economy and upswings in library usage are included. Users are also invited to share advocacy success stories."
"This resource is part of the "Advocacy U", ALA's new initiative geared to providing tools, training and resources to library advocates achieve real advocacy goals in real situations at the local level. Learn more at <http://www.ala.org/advocacyuniversity>."
For more information, please see <http://www.ala.org/ala/newspresscenter/news/pressreleases2009/january2009/olaeconomytoolkit.cfm>.
Nature Education launches free education website fit for Generation Y
January 7, 2009 - "Nature Education today launches Scitable (http://www.nature.com/scitable), a free, online educational resource for undergraduate biology students and educators. Currently focussed on genetics, Scitable combines authoritative scientific information with social media functionality. Scitable is the first product launch from Nature Education, a division of Nature Publishing Group formed in January 2007 to develop innovative education resources and tools for college science students and educators."
"Scitable provides students with free online access to more than 180 overviews of key genetics concepts. The overviews are evidence-based and have been vetted by Nature Publishing Group staff. By connecting with other Scitable users via groups, chat functionality and other social media features, students can collaborate online with classmates, or with a wider community of experts, researchers and fellow students."
"Scitable is also intended as a teaching tool for faculty. Educators can set up public or private groups for their students, providing reading lists, course-packs of Scitable articles and group discussions. Scitable is flexible and easy to use, and can be incorporated into courseware services such as Blackboard."
For more information, please see the full press release at <http://www.nature.com/press_releases/natureeducation.pdf>.
Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) incorporated in Singapore
January 6, 2009 - "The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) has completed the legal steps for incorporation as a public, not-for-profit Company limited by Guarantee in Singapore. The founding members of the new legal entity are the National Library Board Singapore and the National Library of Finland. The other DCMI Affiliates, the Joint Information Systems Commission (JISC) in the UK, the National Library, National Archives and the State Services Commission of New Zealand and the National Library of Korea, will become Members in the weeks ahead."
"The incorporation as an independent entity is another step from DCMI's origins as an informal network of experts who came together in 1995 with the objective to define a core set of descriptors to enable discovery of Web resources, towards the establishment of a professional and sustainable organization that develops, maintains and promotes the Dublin Core metadata terms and associated documentation for a global audience."
"As an independently incorporated entity, DCMI will continue its work as an open, consensus-based organization with open participation and with free and unrestricted availability of its documentation. "
For more information, please see the full press release at <http://dublincore.org/news/press/DCMI_press_20090105_incorporation.pdf>.
Nature goes 3-D
December 31, 2008 - "Nature gains an extra dimension this week with its first PDF containing a three-dimensional interactive figure. Published in the 1 January issue, figures in a paper by Alyssa Goodman and colleagues enable Nature readers to view and rotate maps of molecular clouds. "
"The paper describes a new method for analysing 3D maps of molecular clouds, shedding light on the role of gravity in star formation. The researchers borrowed technology from medical imaging to analyse data cubes of molecular clouds, where the x and y axes represent the plane of the sky, and the third dimension (z) is velocity."
"The PDF of the article makes the most of recent versions of Adobe Acrobat Professional, which enable the creation of PDFs from 3D and Computer Aided Design (CAD) file formats. The resulting PDF retains the structure and detail of the 3D model. While the PDF can be viewed and printed as normal, a window is embedded in the PDF adding extra functionality. Click on the image in the PDF and a 3D toolbar appears across the top of the image and the image becomes interactive. The tools provided allow the user to rotate the model, pan horizontally or vertically, zoom in or out, and to isolate or hide individual parts. To use the interactive functionality on 3D PDFs, users need Adobe Reader 9.0 or a more recent release."
For more information, please see the full press release <http://www.nature.com/press_releases/nature3d.pdf>.
G. Sayeed Choudhury Appointed CLIR Senior Presidential Fellow
December 22, 2008 - "The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) is pleased to announce the appointment of G. Sayeed Choudhury as CLIR Senior Presidential Fellow. Mr. Choudhury is associate dean for library digital programs and Hodson Director of the Digital Research and Curation Center at the Sheridan Libraries of Johns Hopkins University. He is also director of operations for the Institute of Data Intensive Engineering and Science (IDIES) based at Johns Hopkins. Mr. Choudhury serves as principal investigator for projects funded through the National Science Foundation, Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Mellon Foundation."
"'I am delighted that Sayeed Choudhury has accepted the appointment of CLIR Distinguished Fellow,' said CLIR President Charles Henry. 'Sayeed's work in support of the humanities and the sciences a rare combination of expertise and methodological scope is exemplary. As a Fellow, CLIR will call upon Sayeed for advice and occasional participation in selected conferences and symposia that align with his interests. He will bring to CLIR a unique perspective and a reputation for building successful coalitions of diverse constituencies, something that is at the heart of CLIR's mission.'"
For more information, please see the full press release at <http://www.clir.org/news/pressrelease/08choudhurypr.html>.
IMLS Publishes FY 2006 Public Libraries Survey Report
December 19, 2008 - "The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has issued the Public Libraries Survey (PLS) report for fiscal year 2006. This is the first PLS report released since IMLS was given responsibility for the annual survey, which includes information on population of service areas, service outlets, library collections and services, library staff, and operating revenue and expenditures. More than 9,000 libraries were surveyed in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands. The survey had a 97.5 percent response rate."
"'The report shows the tremendous value that our public libraries have in the United States,' said Anne-Imelda M. Radice, IMLS Director. 'The public library is an essential community resource particularly in difficult economic times. This survey provides solid data that helps to inform policy and practice decisions at the community, state and national levels.'"
"The report includes a number of key findings."
For more information, please see the full press release at <http://www.imls.gov/news/2008/121908b.shtm>.
NISO 2008 Thought Leader Meetings Pinpoint Action Items in Four Key Areas
December 17, 2008 - "As part of a strategic redesign of its standards-development process, NISO launched a series of Thought Leader meetings in 2008. Each meeting has provided NISO with recommended action items in specific topic areas that will help shape NISO's work program in the coming months and years. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation supported the initial round of the Thought Leader meetings."
"NISO Thought Leader meetings assemble a range of experts on a particular topic to bring their unique perspectives together in order to brainstorm top issues, consider ways the community can broach recognized barriers in a coordinated manner, and identify and recommend where a standards-based or recommended practice solution may be carried out. The areas of focus for the 2008 meetings were: Institutional Repositories; Digital Libraries and Collections; E-learning and Course Management Systems; and Research Data . Recommendations resulting from the Thought Leader meetings now go to the Architecture Committee to incubate new standards and best practices initiatives within NISO. Information on all four of the meetings held this year and the corresponding reports are available on the Thought Leaders webpage <http://www.niso.org/topics/tl>."
IMLS and The Wolfsonian-Florida International University Announce Registration for 2009 WebWise Conference
December 15, 2008 - "The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and The Wolfsonian-Florida International University (The Wolfsonian-FIU) announce open registration for the 2009 WebWise Conference on Libraries and Museums in the Digital World. The free conference takes place February 26-27, 2009, at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., with a pre-conference workshop on February 25. For information on the conference and related events, please go to: <http://webwise2009.fcla.edu>."
"The 2009 WebWise Conference theme is "Digital Debates." Participants will explore the ethical, strategic, and programming challenges posed by emerging technologies. Designed as "debates" between expert panelists from the museum, library, academic, and technology fields, each session of the WebWise Conference will address "big issues" that digital technologies pose for cultural institutions."
"The 2009 WebWise Conference features keynote addresses by Michael R. Nelson, professor at Georgetown University and former director of Internet Technology and Strategy at IBM, and Jonathan Palfrey, professor and vice-dean at Harvard University's Law School and Faculty co-director of the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet & Society."
For more information, please see <http://www.imls.gov/news/2008/121508a.shtm>.
CLIR Announces Hidden Collections Awards
December 15, 2008 - "The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) today announced the...recipients of Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives awards..."
"Over the next one to three years, these institutions will create cataloging records of their special collections' holdings that can be accessed through the Internet and Web. This will enable the federation of disparate, local cataloging entries with tools to aggregate the information by topic and theme."
"In January, CLIR will begin building a basic registry of hidden collections and archives, created from information in the proposals, that can be searched through a Web-based platform."
For more information, including the list of recipient organizations, please see <http://www.clir.org/news/pressrelease/08hiddenpr3.html>.
NISO Announces 2009 Education Program Schedule
December 15, 2008 - "NISO has announced its 2009 schedule of in-person education events and webinars and is accepting registration for all sessions at its website, <http://www.niso.org/news/events/2009/>. As an important aspect of NISO's mission to communicate the value of standards and provide information about developing technological challenges in the community, the program will highlight a range of issues of critical importance to libraries, publishers and systems developers. One key component of the schedule is a regular monthly schedule of webinars. This series will be held on the second Wednesday of each month at a regularly scheduled time, so that attendees can incorporate it into their regular schedule."
"NISO has also reached an agreement with the North American Serials Interest Group (NASIG) to extend NISO member rates for all events to members of that organization. This new partnership will extend a discounted educational opportunity to a broader community of library professionals."
"Attendees can register for individual sessions or can purchase a subscription package for the 2009 webinar series. Those who have plans to participate in multiple webinars have the benefit of pre-paying for three and receiving admission to a fourth at no charge. Registration for the entire 2009 webinar schedule enables the participant to receive 50% off the registration price for the entire scheduled series of 12."
For more information, please see the full press release at <http://www.niso.org/news/pr/view?item_key=48a11f74f94f120810c5f8a29acb65785cd9e244>.
National Meetings on Library Statistics
December 11, 2008 - "On December 5, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) convened the first meeting of the Library Statistics Working Group. Members of the working group are charged with advising IMLS on the conduct of national public library and state library data collections."
"At the first meeting, the Working Group discussed the vision for the IMLS statistics program. Members of the group identified priorities, policy areas, and issues for future IMLS data analysis and briefs. They also discussed new data elements, methods for improving the usefulness of data, and development of new library statistics products. The Working Group will meet twice a year with bi-monthly conference calls. The next meeting will be held in summer 2009."
For more information, please see the full press release at <http://www.imls.gov/news/2008/121108b.shtm>.
Announcing iRODS Version 2.0 - Cyberinfrastructure Unites Collaborations
December 9, 2008 - Announcement from Paul Tooby, DICE Data Intensive Cyber Environments, University of California, San Diego: "The Data-Intensive Cyber Environments (DICE) group has announced the release of version 2.0 of iRODS, the Integrated Rule-Oriented Data System. The new version of the award-winning software adds a number of important features, including federation of independent iRODS installations which lets them "talk" to each other, supporting large-scale collaboration by giving users seamless access to data distributed across different iRODS systems."
"Core development of the open source iRODS data system is led by the Advanced Center for Data Intensive Cyber Environments at the Institute for Neural Computation at the University of California, San Diego and the National Center for Data Intensive Cyber Environments at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Download of version 2.0, user information, and release notes are freely available as open source software from the iRODS wiki: <http://irods.org>. "
For more information, please see <https://www.irods.org/>.
Information business has to address the issue of information quality
November 27, 2008 - "'A good scientific information service requires a quality-controlled production process over the whole information life cycle', Sabine Brünger-Weilandt describes a problem which gains high importance with the increasing amount of electronically available research information. According to FIZ Karlsruhe's President and CEO, the quality of data has a significant influence on the search results obtained from an information system. Information services used for important business decisions have to be reliable as regards content, retrieval methods, and electronic post-processing. "
"Brünger-Weilandt thinks that the public has to be made aware of how important the quality of information is. In times when the internet suggests that any information can be made available by just a few mouse clicks, the quality of information and information skills should be discussed in public. 'Information is developing from a static product which for centuries could be transported on paper into an asset which can be dynamically modified. Its storage, availability and presentation very much depends on the quality of the data and the software,' says the manager. According to her, the quality of the methods used to access the databases is decisive for whether or not all relevant information is found and displayed and whether a repeated search will yield the same answers. High precision will guarantee that users do not have to spend hours working through irrelevant answers."
For more information, please see the full press release at <http://www.fiz-karlsruhe.de/pressrelease_2008.html?&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=675&tx_ttnews[
IMLS Publishes FY 2007 State Library Agency Report
November 26, 2008 - "The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) issued its second library statistics report on state library agencies in the 50 states and the District of Columbia for state fiscal year (FY) 2007. The State Library Agency Report for FY 2007 includes a wide array of information on topics such as libraries' Internet access and electronic services, collections, staff, and revenue. The survey provides state and federal policymakers, researchers, and other interested users information on the range of roles played by state library agencies and the financial, human, and informational resources invested in the agencies' work."
"'State library agencies provide a vast amount of high-quality services to the public, which the report deftly captures. It is a critically important tool for decision makers who want to support and advance the library services that are important to us all,' said Anne-Imelda M. Radice, IMLS Director."
"The report is available in PDF format at: <http://harvester.census.gov/imls/pubs/stla/index.asp>"
For more information, please see the full press release at <http://www.imls.gov/news/2008/112608.shtm>.
IBM Reveals Five Innovations That Will Change Our Lives in the Next Five Years
November 25, 2008 - "Unveiled today, the third annual "IBM Next Five in Five" is a list of innovations that have the potential to change the way people work, live and play over the next five years:
"The Next Five in Five is based on market and societal trends expected to transform our lives, as well as emerging technologies from IBM's Labs around the world that can make these innovations possible."
For more information, please see <http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/26170.wss>.
Now Online: "Europeana", Europe's Digital Library
November 20, 2008 - "Europeana, Europe's multimedia online library opens to the public today. At <http://www.europeana.eu>, Internet users around the world can now access more than two million books, maps, recordings, photographs, archival documents, paintings and films from national libraries and cultural institutions of the EU's 27 Member States. Europeana opens up new ways of exploring Europe's heritage: anyone interested in literature, art, science, politics, history, architecture, music or cinema will have free and fast access to Europe's greatest collections and masterpieces in a single virtual library through a web portal available in all EU languages. But this is just the beginning. In 2010, Europeana will give access to millions of items representing Europe's rich cultural diversity and will have interactive zones such as communities for special interests. Between 2009 and 2011, some €2 million per year of EU funding will be dedicated to this. The Commission also plans to involve the private sector in the further expansion of Europe's digital library. In September 2007, the European Parliament supported, in a resolution voted by an overwhelming majority, the creation of a European digital library. "
For more information, please see "About Europeana" at <http://www.europeana.eu/portal/aboutus.html>.
IMLS and China Strengthen Cross-cultural Connections
November 18, 2008 - "The U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China signed an agreement establishing the Partnership for Cultural Exchange between museum, library, archive, and information services at a November 16 ceremony at the Library of Congress. The memorandum of understanding was signed by Mary Chute, IMLS Deputy Director for Libraries, on behalf of IMLS Director Anne-Imelda M. Radice, and Li Dongwen, Director General of the Chinese Ministry of Culture's Bureau for External Cultural Relations. The ceremony was part of the 64th annual meeting of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities of which IMLS is a member."
"...The agreement calls for sharing best practices in library and museum services, including enhancement of public service and access to information in libraries, promotion of youth engagement, education in museums, and applications of new technologies in libraries and museums to engage audiences and increase the availability of information online."
"The two-year project, supported by IMLS with additional support provided by the Chinese Society of Libraries, will introduce Chinese librarians and library educators, and managers of library technology to American practices of public library service. U.S. librarians will also work with their Chinese counterparts to identify publicly available Chinese information resources that are or could be made available via an online portal developed by the project team. The training will take place both in the United States and in the People's Republic of China. The Chinese American Librarians Association is also a project partner."
For more information, please see the full press release at <http://www.imls.gov/news/2008/111808b.shtm>.
Bush Bestows Presidential Citizens Medal on IMLS Directors Radice, Martin
November 18, 2008 - "President George W. Bush conferred the Presidential Citizens Medal on Anne-Imelda Radice, Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Robert Martin, former IMLS Director, on November 17, 2008. Bush made the announcement at an East Room ceremony honoring this year's recipients of the National Medals of Arts and National Humanities Medals."
"The President noted that the Presidential Citizens Medal was created nearly four decades ago to recognize Americans who have performed exemplary service to our nation and that it is one of the highest honors that can be conferred on a citizen."
For more information, please see the full press release at <http://www.imls.gov/news/2008/111808c.shtm>.
University of Alberta debuts First Nations Colleges information gateway
November 12, 2008 - "For the first time ever, First Nations colleges in Alberta will have online access to their own collections and a wide selection of culturally significant academic materials shared by other post-secondary institutions in the province. The First Nations Information Connection will allow students and faculty in six First Nations colleges to take full advantage of the Lois Hole Campus Alberta Digital Library."
"The First Nations Information Connection is a network of libraries including the Aboriginal Resource Centre, Blue Quills First Nations College, Maskwachees Cultural College, Old Sun Community College, Red Crow Community College and Yellowhead Tribal College. The colleges have each received computer hardware, software, technical support and training for their library staff."
"The network was built in response to a need to assist Aboriginal colleges get access to a large variety of regularly updated online resources, including digitized photographs and artifacts, historical and scientific information, Aboriginal themed e-books and other academic research materials. The First Nations Information Connection is a U of A initiative done in partnership with the Online Computer Library Center, Nexen Inc., Alberta Advanced Education and Technology and Sun Microsystems of Canada Inc."
For more information, please see the full press release at <http://www.library.ualberta.ca/fnic/mediarelease/FNICFNIC.pdf>.
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