For the record, I did attend JCDL2006

If you look along the right-most row in this picture, about midway vertically in the shot, you can see someone in a cream-colored shirt with an Apple laptop. (You can tell it is an Apple laptop because of the glowing white logo in the center.) That’s me.

ZoneTag Photo Monday 10:19:18

Originally uploaded by jacksonfox.

Librarians as Gatekeepers

The plenary session of JCDL this morning was Jonathan Zittrain (Harvard Law School and University of Oxford) entitled “Open Information: Redaction, Restriction, and Removal.” This was so good that I couldn’t stand to stop and take notes. I did write down one bit: “Libraries are the best hope…for the controlled release of information.” His point was that the library profession is a trusted gatekeeper — librarians have a track record of providing orderly access to shared information resources and taking seriously the responsibility to provide access to those resources under the terms with which they were acquired. (Although there was a great deal of humming in the room at one key point of the presentation — those that were there know what I mean.) Can publishers entrust content to us such that the library controls the DRM that protects the content? Would publishers be willing to give the library the content in an unrestricted form with the promise, in the form of a legal agreement, that the library will apply the appropriate DRM at the appropriate time? Could that be a new role for libraries in this new DRM-happy society?

JCDL2006 Monday Brain Dump

JCDL is ranking high one of the most useful (and when not useful one of the most interesting) meetings I’ve attended. This is my first time here, and although I’d heard about it before I did not realize what a treat it would be to attend. I’m a practice-oriented guy with an eye towards useful (implementable) theoretical stuff, and so far JCDL has hit that sweet-spot very nicely. The down side is this — here at the start of the second day of the meeting I just need to dump my brain into this and a few other postings and hope that I’ll have a chance to get back to these thoughts some day.

Evergreen Goes Beta, Signals the End of the World As We Know It

I’ve got a ton of work to do, but I couldn’t let this announcement from Brad LaJeunesse via Dusty Gres on Pub4Lib via Karen Schneider on the newNGC4LIB list go by without comment:

The Evergreen software development team is proud to announce the Evergreen ILS Beta release. Evergreen is an open-source ILS being developed by the Georgia Public Library Service for PINES, a consortium of over 250 public libraries. The Evergreen ILS is scheduled to go into production in PINES this fall.

Who Said You Couldn’t Catalog the Internet?

I seem to remember, in the early heady days of the internet, there was a cry from the library profession to “Catalog the Internet” — to create descriptive records and controlled vocabularies for every resource out there deemed useful. The early Yahoo!, with a librarian on the staff, was going to help by putting everything in a neat, orderly classification system. The rest of us were going to catalog sites like mad and put them all into WorldCat (and keep them up-to-date). A nice dream.

Fedora Advanced Applications Panel at JCDL2006

I am excited almost beyond description to be sharing a panel with Sandy Payette (Cornell
University, USA), Andrew Treloar (Monash University, Australia), Matthias Razum (Fiz
Karlsruhe, Germany), and Carl Lagoze (Cornell University, USA) at the upcoming Joint Conference on Digital Libraries. The tutorial is on Sunday afternoon (Sunday, June 11, 2006, 1:30-5:00pm local time) with the title “The Fedora Service Framework – Advanced Applications and Panel Discussion”. Sandy’s recent announcement include this abstract:

Client JAR for FEDORA Server Access

At OhioLINK we’ve reached the conclusion that coding would be easier if we created a modestly robust JAR file that is an implementation of the AXIS-based web services interface to a FEDORA server. Our initial effort is ready for public consumption; you can check it out of our Subversion repository at:

The JavaDocs are available at:

If you ask the OhioLINK team, they’ll tell you that the API has undergone significant changes in its young life, but I think it will settle down now. Some features: