Wednesday, August 15, 2007

LibraryCamp NYC 2007 Notes

Preparing this blog entry was decidedly low-tech, laptop battery having died long before. LibraryCamp NYC 2007 was a great event – we’re all grateful to Stephen Franceour, et al. (Rachel Watstein, Linda Rath & Louise Klusek, for example), and Baruch College, our gracious hosts for putting it together. Approximately 100 people attended – among them some stellar minds representing many types of libraries (and related organizations). In the morning, we all put together a list of topics on which to have sessions & slotted 24 different sessions – (8 rooms, 3 time slots) for the day. Of course, it was an embarrassment of riches, so you couldn’t possibly attend the sessions on all of your favorite topics – but that’s ok (my brain was on overload by the end, anyway!).

I enjoyed twittering about it & watching others do so throughout the day (lovin’ that wifi) & it was also exciting to watch the LibraryCamp wiki develop throughout the day as we all posted notes about the sessions we’d attended and/or moderated. (Mine on LibX were pretty rough, so I’m hoping someone has edited them since I posted them yday afternoon.)

For all of the proceedings & info about LibraryCamp NYC 2007, go to

Library2.0 Show & Tell [see notes at]

  • Public summer rding club book reviews via wiki – Princeton Public Library; lots of training required for wiki (I think that it’s the
  • Poetry blog (at Princeton P.L. - – local poets who posted & read poems on podcasts (over 250 visitors a day) – very popular
  • Staff are on Facebook and the library itself is on Facebook [NJIT Robert Van Houghton Library] as an individual (ref libs have own accounts)
  • III has a new community commenting feature
  • Columbia – several internal wikis (says should have one internal instead of several);
  • A reference stats database made through Zoho Creator by Ellyssa Kroski (see
  • To keep up: subscribe to library2.0 and top tags on digg, reddit, youtube, etc. – popurls (
  • Quantifiable/measurable results of implementation of Web2.0

[My thoughts in response to others’ comments/concerns:

User needs assessment is the starting point – only choose wikis or whatever tool as a result of that user needs assessment

Transformability is the key reason for wiki (RSS feed – can subscribe via email).

Also, you can tie down the MediaWiki and other wikis so that an exclusive group can collaborate

How important a moderator is in an unconference. The moderator can ensure that a greater percentage of the collective wisdom of the room is tapped by making sure that anyone who has an important point to make is given an opportunity to enter the discussion and to keep the more verbally aggressive folks from dominating completely.]

Official notes & links to bookmarks of sites mentioned in this session are at

LibX Firefox extension

LibX allows you to build toolbar for your library as a Firefox browser extension |

- easy -- nonprogrammers can use it

- easy for end-users to implement – quick, easy download into Firefox [Example of LibX toolbar to search UVA’s catalog]

Works for several different (the big ones, like III included) ILS’ – Edition Builder – online web forms to fill in values for your own library to create toolbar

Only for Firefox, of course,

- LibX is really javascript encoded within XUL (Mozilla uses) – everything javascript-based

LibX got a grant from IMLS to create an ext. for IE

Greasemonkey framework (more info – see plugs into Firefox, supports user-created scripts

See - for library-related scripts [User scripts includes a script to hide Google ads]

In IE7 Pro, your Firefox extensions will work

LibX uses OCLC Xisbn lookup – example use - look it up in Amazon, then do search in the LibX toolbar for your library’s catalog

To use the LibX bar you’ve created for your library’s catalog, remote users have to install the extension

Open search plugin – search plugins (like Google toolbar in Firefox)

An extension just adds functionality; but the Google toolbar in Firefox is a plug-in

Open search plugin uses A9 open search – could be installed where the Google toolbar is, as another search option, but of your library catalog

LibX integrates with OpenURL resolver – so you can work with Google Scholar, JSTOR, & your dbs

Right-click on page and choose “redirect through EZProxy” so that the end-user can go right into the article, for example; any text highlighted, you can right-click and drag (in Windows)

Extension for managing citations (similar to an app like EndNote) = Zotero (

Conduit – what is it? For free, builds your own toolbar – has some drawbacks in functionality

LibX built by Virginia Tech, edition builder;8080/editionbuilder/src/zul/

Can download the source code to UNIX environment

Edit out all code not specific to your system (can copy others’ code & take/edit from their Firefox ext.)

Point being – the ext. can get your library to where your (Firefox) users are

[Note to self: Look more at & check out Greasespot – user scripts]

RDF / Metadata interoperability / Semantic Web

My final session of the day blew my mind & convinced me that I have a lot to learn in yet another area – the Semantic web. I thought I was good at theory until I heard the heated debate about the use of RDF and microformats. What I got from the session – besides tons of questions (research topics for myself) – was that RDF issues haven’t yet been worked out and that there are arguments within the library community about whether or not it’s workable for libraries to start work in RDF. There were also discussions about microformats & lots of acronyms were thrown around. [Note: I have to look at & others to get the basics about Semantic Web… I’d read a Business2.0 article (July 2007) called, “Weaving the [Semantic] Web” – clearly a number of folks in the non-library world are doing RDF, in hopes of something that will ultimately supplant Google – a somewhat creepy but interesting quote from that article “The CIA is already loading its phone taps into semantic mills, sifting for terror clues.”]

Here are my raw notes, they may or may not be 100% accurate in representing the issues, since I didn’t quite understand all of the discussion. See the official notes at

RDF W3C standard “resource description framework” subject map – metadata model

Graph based node & arc

If you id evything with URIs, then can assert that the URIs are objects, have certain things

Predicate has a URI too

Formalizes modeling for metadata

Lots more machine processible than the way we describe things in library world is using RDF (RDF-based)

Emerging framework for data, not application

Controlled vocabularies

Zotero makes use of RDF

Linking open data (semantics built into data structure)

Microformats are not the same, but useful

RDF-ication of bib data (instd of MARC)

Not all content on the web needs to be part of RDF

Microformats / modify existing systems - & |


RDF for normalization

XML serialization of RDF is not good – per the comoderator – that’s where complexity gets intro’d

Microformats great for existing web data – digital objects

[What I’m getting from all this is that RDF issues are not nearly worked out enough to try looking at….]

What’s a triple/triple store – subject, predicate, and object (res. A – relationship – res. B)

Web is a graphic structure

We’re not going to standardize on RDF, not going to standardize at all…

How you’re modeling data vs. what data exchange method(?)

A major problem clearly is that the data is in multiple locations – slightly diff in each diff. location

Talis is an all RDF-based integrated library system from England

1 comment:

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