Library - OCLC

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VALA

2008
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02
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07

2008
-
02
-
07

Stuart L. Weibel

Senior Research Scientist

OCLC Programs and Research


Scholar in Residence,

University of Washington Libraries and

the Information School

Making Identifiers Concrete


(so library places and spaces
don’t have to be)


Overview

The Library brand and Web 2.0

Infusing bibliographic ideas into the Web (and vice versa?)

Identities on the Web

Gluing the pieces together with Identifiers

Design criteria for identifiers

WorldCat Identifiers


good enough?

A Glimir of the future

Where is the Library as a Brand?


Perceptions of Libraries and


Information Resources


A Report to the OCLC Membership


3300 Respondents to questions on:


Library use


Awareness and use of library electronic resources


The Internet search engine, the library and the librarian


Free vs. for
-
fee information


The "Library" brand



The over
-
all picture:

Libraries are trusted sources of information

But search engines are trusted about the same

People care about the quantity and quality of information they
find… speed is less important (!?surprise?!)

They do not view paid information as more accurate than free
information

The overwhelming branding image of libraries is…





BOOKS

Patrons do not think of the library as an important source of
electronic information !

Library Brand Equity: we need a strong,
visible brand on the Web

Building out the library brand

Build on the trust of our patrons

Build on our business model:
Making information look free
to end
-
users

Build on the scale that libraries represent


Presence in every community


Global scope and reach

Improve awareness of library resources

Make libraries a part of the new electronic environments
that dominate social, educational, and work environments

Social Networking Software

It isn’t new… only the technical manifestation is

Deliver library services into the emerging social networks

Motivate people to participate


Tagging


Book Reviews


Emergent relationships that are evident from data about
what people buy and borrow, like and dislike (so called
business intelligence
)

Link to the people as well

Social consumer environments

Social Networking is not just for games


Facebook


Myspace


Second Life


Twitter

All are flawed as service delivery models


Business models are closed (or obscure) (
Closed Gardens
)


Features are rudimentary (or overbearing)

But… they foretell a digital future in both their virtues
and faults

Libraries must compare favorably with
experiences that our patrons expect:


Discovery and recommender services

Web 2.0 social network capabilities

Experiences of comparable commercial service
providers

Last
-
mile delivery capability

Bookstore social experiences


Coffee
-
shop salons


People to help us navigate complicated knowledge
space

We are offering an
experience

as well as a
service

Can Libraries ‘compete’ in the social
networking space? Should they?

The
social software

movement is fueled by (dollar
denominated) entrepreneurial fervor


Rate of innovation

(and failure) is rapid


Distinguish between

trends and the trendy


Are we babes on the

beach?

The future of Library catalogs?

Evolving towards the network level

Collections linked to people, organizations, global
locations, concepts, context, metadata, and
social networking benefits

Fit into the workflow and social lives of patrons

Help create a scaffolding for past knowledge and
future productivity


Web or Scaffolding?


http://www.smart
-
kit.com/s291/what
-
spider
-
webs
-
can
-
teach
-
us
-
about
-
caffeines
-
effect
-
on
-
the
-
brain/

Web

is a wonderful metaphor, but
perhaps something a bit more durable?

We want more


Coherence and context


Durable environments that help us preserve and
fix resources in the context of culture


Librarianship embedded in the emerging
technologies of a social Web


FRBR Entities


Librarianship’s contribution
to a richer resource model on the Web

Group 1

Group 2

Group 3

Work

Person

Concept

Expression

Corporate body

Object

Manifestation

Event

Item

Place

And don’t forget
Social Bibliography
:

User
-
Generated Content

Group 1

Group 2

Group 3

Work

Person

Concept

Expression

Corporate body

Object

Manifestation

Event

Item

Place



Book Reviews



Lists



Services



Commentary



Other?

All these entities should be

First Class Objects

An information entity that has:


Persistent Identity on the Web


Accessible by anyone or any application


Stand alone


Attribution (authorship)


Clear Intellectual property rights


Curated (don’t leave it lying around untended)

Allow the user to enter and traverse the catalog from
any point

What about the
people

in social networking?

Libraries have large investments in Name authority

How can this be leveraged to support emerging identity
needs?


What is the relation to

authentication and

authorization?


WorldCat Identities


another piece of the
puzzle?

A complicated puzzle: where ya’ gonna turn?

People


Information


resources


Places


Terminologies


User Generated Content


FRBR (explain it to your patrons)

Hook everything together with the right sort
of identifiers

A coherent identifier infrastructure is essential to
establishing a rich and dynamic scaffolding of
interconnected information resources to support “users
and uses of bibliographic data” in a climate of changing
technology and user expectations.

Broad dissemination of
canonical, globally
-
scoped
public identifiers

serves the library collaborative and is
the single most compelling means of making library assets
persistent and visible on the Web

Some Design Parameters for Identifiers in the
Global Library Community

Persistence

Universal accessibility

Global scoping

Search Engine
Optimization

Canonical identification

Branding

Usability

Granularity and the
FRBR model



Persistence


Not technological, but rather, a function of the
commitment of organizations


Libraries and other cultural memory
organizations do this well


Harder to do in the digital era, but the
community is up to the task


Universal access and global scoping


Open to all: public identifiers in a public Web


Should work in Myanmar, Melbourne, and
Minneapolis alike


WorldCat is the first globally
-
scoped identifier
architecture for library assets in which the global
surrogate is mapped to locality


But we’re not quite done

Search Engine Optimization and Canonical
Identifiers


Visibility of assets in the global library is diluted
by the multiplicity of identifiers


Many competing identifier schemes


Localized versions of identifiers


Agreement on a canonical identifier


Raises search engine ranking


Concentrates aggregation of social content


Simplifies supply
-
chain processing (the
Amazoogles

are
interested


Supports user needs in answering the question:


Is
Item X

the same as…related to… relevant to…
Item Y


Branding is an important component of URIs
(Uniform Resource Identifiers)


Every URI is a micro
-
billboard branding library
content in a crowded and largely commercial Web
landscape


Library branding reminds users that libraries are
in the business of providing sustainable access to
cultural, educational, scientific, and technical
information products


Citations with persistent identifiers help to
anchor the content in the collective web
-
based
memory

Usability of URIs

URIs should be designed for people as well as machines

URIs should be ‘speakable’

URIs should be a short as can be managed

URIs should have a predictable pattern that makes them
‘hackable’ and ‘truncatable’

Granularity of bibliography on the Web:

FRBR again….

FRBR is a major contribution to resource organization on the
Web, but it is a challenge to explain it to users



And along comes WorldCat

WorldCat: Mid 2006


WorldCat identifiers approximate, for the first time, a
globally scoped, persistent public identifier for library
manifestations

Globally unique (the easy part)

Freely available to everyone

Citable and resolvable, independent of location (for
WorldCat participants)

Linked to descriptive surrogates and to the content itself
(for WorldCat members)

Canonical


almost, but not quite

WorldCat IDs: a global manifestation
identifier? But, but, but…

Approximates: Close, but not quite

How does a WC Identifier fall short?

Duplicates


mistaken duplicates (even as the poor, always with us….)


functional duplicates (duplicates we want for one reason or
another)

Citable (Yes)

Resolvable to content (Yes, but)

Canonical (well, sort of)

Duplicates


Errors are costly to find and fix


Duplicate detection algorithms


What about encouraging the participation of librarians or
even patrons?


Institutional records have been loaded into WorldCat


useful, but dilutes canonical character of WC IDs


Non
-
US records


Is the UK or Australian or New Zealand English language
record somehow less canonical than the American English
language record?


Is the (German/Italian/Japanese…) record somehow less
canonical than the English language record?

GLIMIR:

Global Library Manifestation Identifier

The library community needs a global manifestation
identifier which is:


Global in scope


Canonical


Business neutral


Provides the “URL Equity” necessary to support the
library brand


Fits comfortably within the FRBR model


What About Other Identifier Schemes

Can a global community agree and adopt a canonical
identifier in an already identifier
-
rich marketplace?


National Bibliographic Numbers


NBNs (largely European)


ISSNs and ISBNs (format
-
limited, but established and
valuable)


DOIs (purpose
-
built to support IPR management)


Handles (based on a belief in the failure of DNS)


Local and regional identifiers

Cautious Exploration


OCLC is launching a pilot to identify the functional
requirements and practicalities for a community
-
based
manifestation identifier


We have solicited review from a collection of technical
specialists in several countries and sectors


Moving forward will require a careful balance of use cases,
business issues, and community advice as to how we can
best meet the community need in a neutral manner

What if you’re not an OCLC member?


Can the global library community coalesce around a naming
architecture derived from WorldCat identifiers, even if
they are not WorldCat participants?


How will OCLC build and support a naming architecture
that does not require membership?


How will non
-
OCLC members request a Glimir?


How much metadata will be necessary to disambiguate
near matches? Who will manage it?

In summary

Identifiers are key:


To fulfilling the mission of libraries in a digital future


To competing on the open Web for recognition of our
community’s brand equity


To integrating our traditional bibliographic values with
social networking content


To providing services and access to the ‘digital tribe’


our
future constituency


Many thanks!

http://weibel
-
lines.typepad.com

http://flickr.com/photos/weibel
-
lines

http://twitter.com/stuartweibel

(yeah…Facebook, too)