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The future of libraries in a magic crystal ball!

Are libraries sustainable in a world of free, networked, digital information?Hello,

Are you among those who think libraries will disappear because their services are obsoletes? Or do you think libraries will always be there because they develop services no other organization can offer? Would you like to see the future of libraries in a magic crystal ball? Ups! Don’t you have a crystal ball?! Well, instead you can read Lluís Anglada’s  paper entitled “Are libraries sustainable in a world of free, networked, digital information?”. It isn’t a crystal ball but is the most similar!

Anglada offers us a formula (yes! a formula!) to calculate the sustainability (S) of libraries over the time. Formula variables are: Use (U), Dysfunctions (D), Perception (P) and Cost (C), and Anglada combines them in this way: S = (U - D + 2P) / C.

With this formula, Anglada calculates the sustainability of libraries, retrospectively and futuristically, and makes an extrapolating to a 2030 scenario. And his conclusions are not very optimistic: “The conclusion is that if the current generation of librarians does not introduce radical changes in the role of libraries, their future is seriously threatened.”

If do you want to see more inside Anglada’s crystall ball... Enjoy it!

Andreu Sulé
University of Barcelona

BOBCATSSS 2015: a conference organized by students for students

Bobcatsss 2015Hello,

Next year,from 28 to 30 January, it will take place in Brno, Czech Republic, the BOBCATSSS 2015 conference with the theme “DESIGN, PARTICIPATION AND INNOVATION”.

What BOBCATSSS is it? BOBCATSSS is an international conference dealing with issues of Library, Information and Documentation, organized every year jointly by two European academic institutions under the auspices of EUCLID (the European Association for Library & Information Education and Research).

Next year, students from the Czech Republic and Finland are taking charge. A team of students from Masaryk University and University of Tampere will be organizing this event and preparing content for the symposium.

Special mention to keynote speakers: Jay Gillette and Sinikka Sipila, twoleaderships in their own speciality!

Enjoy it! … and subscribe it!

Andreu Sulé

University of Barcelona

Two torpedoes to line of flotation of the library cataloguing!

Metadata creation – Down and dirty (Updated)Hello,

This week I read in a listserv message the reference to a James Weinheimer’s post entitled Metadata creation – Down and dirty (Updated). I began to read it because the title suggested me the post could be useful to my students on Information Retrieval System Design.

Actually, the post was originally written in 1999 but, as Wienheimer explains, its content needs relatively few updates. Its first part is more traditional. Wienheimer explains the importance of consistency and standardized terminology in the metadata creation. The main aim of these techniques is “to bring similar items together”.

But, in my opinion, the most interesting parts are "updates". Here, Wienheimer expresses their scepticism “about the superiority of library methods” of cataloguing in a (web) world where all information is connected and library user expectations have changed. Let's see two Wienheimer’s pearls of wisdom:

“The unavoidable fact is, that world has almost disappeared already and the cataloging community must accept it. The cataloging goal of making our records into “linked data” means that our records can literally be sliced and diced and will wind up anywhere–not only in union catalogs that follow the same rules, not only in other library catalogs that may follow other rules, but quite literally anywhere. That is what linked data is all about and it has many, many consequences, not least of all for our “consistency”.”

“I have discovered that the idea of searching for authors or titles or subjects is being forgotten by many young people and they think only in terms of keywords. Even the notion that searching for information can actually be hard work is difficult for many to grasp when, in other spheres, they can find a new app or find reviews for a nearby restaurant in just a few seconds. When they have trouble finding information for a paper for class, they often think it is a problem not with themselves, but with the systems—especially library systems.”

Touché! Two torpedoes to line of flotation of the library cataloguing!

Enjoy it!

Andreu Sulé

University of Barcelona

A developer's guide to the semantic web

Liyang Yu’s book A developer's guide to the semantic webHello,

There are many excellent books explain Semantic web from a theoretical point of view, but no so many afford this subject in a practical way, and even less that do it in a clear and educational way. This is the case of Liyang Yu’s book A developer's guide to the semantic web (Springer, 2011). As the author explains in the preface, “From this book, you will not only obtain a solid understanding about the Semantic Web but also learn how to combine all the pieces together to build new applications on the Semantic Web”.

And is this How-To-Do-It approach that makes Liyang Yu’s book a leading resource for those who wish to be initiated in real Semantic Web development work. Specifically chapters 12 to 15 are referred to fundamentals of development on the Semantic Web, Jena (a free and open source Java framework for building Semantic Web and Linked Data applications), and two Semantic Web developments samples.

Enjoy it!

Andreu Sulé

University of Barcelona

Google Glass

Google Glass: it truly seemed like a good idea at the time…Hello,

In a post published 10th October 2014, I mentioned an article about smartwatches and user interfaces design as a way to show the importance of new technologies on retrieval information.

Well, today I would like to speak about another cutting-edge technology called to change our lives: Google Glass. As you know, Google Glass is an optical head-mounted display (OHMD) device that has the capability of reflecting projected images as well as allowing the user to see through it that is augmented reality. Google Glass is a Google’s develop launched at 2013.

But, it is true Google Glass will change our lives? In opinion of Enrique Dans, professor at IE Business School, its limited sales success show this change will not will happen. In his post Google Glass: it truly seemed like a good idea at the time…, Enrique Dans explains his experience with this device: “uncomfortable, with an impractical interface that constantly required pressing your finger against your temple, that froze on several occasions when trying to carry out the simplest tasks, had a ridiculously short battery life, that you ended up using relatively rarely, and that for some tasks, such as driving, was not only a distraction, but potentially dangerous, even when compared to using a smartphone’s GPS” and very expensive.

Interesting, isn't? If you wish to know more about a real Google Glass experience I recommend you te read this post.

Enjoy it!

Andreu Sulé
University of Barcelona

Responsive Website Design

Web responsive designHello,

Following with infographic recommendations, today I would like to present What Is Responsive Website Design?, a Verve’s computer graphic very clear and illustrative on what responsive design is and why it is important to keep it in mind when you design a website.

The Responsive Website Design (RWD) is intented to extend optimal User Experience (UX) to whatever device a visitor is using (desktop, smartphones, tablets, etc.). The growth of users’ access to Internet via smartphones explains importance of offering also a optimal UX in these devices. Adaptation to screen sizes, bandwidths, human-device interaction, etc. are subjects a web designer must keep in mind when design a website.

Enjoy it!

Andreu Sulé
University of Barcelona

III International Seminar on LIS Education and Research (LIS-ER)

III International Seminar on LIS Education and Research (LIS-ER)Hello,

This week I want to inform the celebration of the III International Seminar on LIS Education and Research (LIS-ER) in Barcelona (Spain), on 4-5 June 2015.

2015 will be the commemoration of the centenary of the Faculty of Library and Information Science at the University of Barcelona, and this institution wants to celebrate it with a Seminar on the future of Library and Information Science Education and Research.

The Seminar will provide “an opportunity to look back over the achievements and failings of the European LIS Curriculum Project developed in 2005 by EUCLID and to discuss the future of LIS education and research”.

I think this is a very interesting opportunity to see and hear together representatives from leading European LIS schools, and to learn challenges that LIS will have to deal with next years.

Enjoy it!

Andreu Sulé
University of Barcelona

Smartwatches and user interfaces design

Raluca Budiu. Scaling User Interfaces: An Information-Processing Approach to Multi-Device DesignHello,
Now that smartwatches are in the public eye after news about the Apple Watch, it is a good time to recover a very interesting article of Raluca Budiu entitled “Scaling User Interfaces: An Information-Processing Approach to Multi-Device Design”, published on Nielsen Norman Group’s web site on 13 April 2014.

In this article, Budiu notices the importance to design services for all devices sizes (desktops, laptops, tablets, smartwatches, smart TVs, etc.). It is not the same to design interfaces for tablets that for smartwatches. In the words of Budiu: “Although many of the principles may be the same, they get applied differently on different devices.” Designers must take in consideration differences in Human–Device communication channel, users’ memory limitations, screen size, etc.

Smartwatches will test designers’ capacities to adapt “same principles” to an untapped reality, full of uncertainties and opportunities.

Enjoy it!

Andreu Sulé

University of Barcelona

Evaluation and Comparison of Discovery Tools

Evaluation and Comparison of Discovery Tools: An UpdateHello,

This week I would like to share with you an excellent paper about discovery tools entitled Evaluation and Comparison of Discovery Tools: An Update.

Wrote by F. William Chickering and Sharon Q. Yang, and published on June 2014 in Information Technology and Libraries (vol 33, no 2), the paper explains the comparative analysis that authors did of fourteen major discovery tools (three open source and ten proprietary) as the previous phase to acquire a new discovery tool by the Rider University Libraries (United States).

Due to the quantity of discovery tools analized (sixteen) and the quality of criteria evaluated (the advanced features of a “next generation catalog”), the paper serves to update librarians on the latest developments and user interfaces and to assist them in their adoption of a discovery tool.

Enjoy it!

Andreu Sulé

University of Barcelona