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D-Lib Magazine
June 2004

Volume 10 Number 6

ISSN 1082-9873

A Few Observations after JCDL 2004

This month's issue of D-Lib Magazine is being released a little later than usual because I took time out from D-Lib's regular production schedule to attend the Joint Conference on Digital Libraries1 (JCDL 2004), June 7 - 11, in Tucson, Arizona. As in past years, attending the conference was a good investment of time and resources. JCDL is the premier annual US conference focusing specifically on digital libraries.2

My intention here is not to provide a detailed report on JCDL 2004 (look for a full report on JCDL 2004 in next month's issue of D-Lib), but I would like to share a few impressions with which I came away from the conference.

As evidenced by the growing number of JCDL presentations about operational digital libraries in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education as well as in cultural heritage organizations such as museums and archives, the results of previous years' digital library (DL) research have been incorporated in many practical applications. There is less discussion about whether or not libraries will survive as institutions and more talk about how advances in DL technology, and access to increasing amounts of digital content, are enabling librarians to perform their traditional roles better. Though challenges remain for search, access, retrieval and management of digital textual resources, much progress has been made for dealing with digital texts and non-textual digital resources as well. It also seems as if DL research projects are more frequently being performed by cross-disciplinary teams (i.e., teams made up of computer scientists, librarians, subject specialists, etc.) and teams made up of researchers from multiple organizations and nations.

All in all, it is heartening to see the results of past digital library research and development being incorporated into practical applications, and it is with great anticipation that we can look forward to the results of current digital library research efforts.

Bonita Wilson

[1] The website for JCDL 2004 is at <>. Other major digital library conferences for 2004 include the International Conference on Digital Libraries (ICDL) held in February 2004, and the upcoming European Conference on Digital Libraries (ECDL) in September, the Russian Conference on Digital Libraries (RCDL) in October, and the International Conference of Asian Digital Libraries (ICADL) in December.

[2] There are many other excellent conferences that focus more narrowly on various areas of interest to the digital library community. For more information about those, please see D-Lib's calendar of events.

Copyright© 2004 Corporation for National Research Initiatives

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