Registration Now Open for a Fall Forum on the Future of Library Discovery

Helping patrons find the information they need is an important part of the library profession, and in the past decade the profession has seen the rise of dedicated “discovery systems” to address that need. The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) is active at the intersection of libraries, content suppliers, and service providers in smoothing out the wrinkles between these parties:

Announcing “The Future of Library Resource Discovery” — a NISO Two-day Forum in October in Baltimore

Cover page from the NISO white paper "The Future of Library Resource Discovery"

Cover page from the NISO white paper “The Future of Library Resource Discovery”

In early October, NISO will be hosting a two-day forum on the future of resource discovery in libraries. This is an in-person meeting to extend the work of Marshall Breeding’s paper on the same topic that was published earlier this year:

  • Full paper, PDF, 53 pages
  • Summary from Information Standards Quarterly, Spring 2015, 27(1): pp. 24-30.

Can Google’s New “My Account” Page be a Model for Libraries?

One of the things discussed in the NISO patron privacy conference calls has been the need for transparency with patrons about what information is being gathered about them and what is done with it. The recent announcement by Google of a "My Account" page and a privacy question/answer site got me thinking about what such a system might look like for libraries. Google and libraries are different in many ways, but one similarity we share is that people use both to find information. (This is not the only use of Google and libraries, but it is a primary use.) Might we be able to learn something about how Google puts users in control of their activity data? Even though our motivations and ethics are different, I think we can.

My View of the NISO Patron Privacy Working Group

"Privacy Please" by Josh HallettYesterday Bobbi Newman posted Thinking Out Loud About Patron Privacy and Libraries on her blog. Both of us are on the NISO committee to develop a Consensus Framework to Support Patron Privacy in Digital Library and Information Systems, and her article sounded a note of discouragement that I hope to dispel while also outlining what I’m hoping to see come out of the process. I think we share a common belief: the privacy of our patron’s activity data is paramount to the essence of being a library. I want to pull out a couple of sentences from her post:

Make Plans to Attend the ResourceSync Post-Conference Tutorial at LITA Forum

ResourceSync LogoAs you are planning your trip to the 2013 LITA Forum in Louisville in mid-November, plan to stay a few hours longer to attend the ResourceSync Tutorial happening after the close of the main conference on Sunday. Herbert van de Sompel will lead this 3-hour session where attendees can learn about how the emerging ResourceSync standard can be used to synchronize web resources between servers. There is no cost to attend the post-conference tutorial, but we would appreciate knowing how many people are coming. Please select the post conference checkbox on the registration form to let us know.

Interoperability and Its Role In Standardization, Plus A ResourceSync Overview: Slidecast from ALA2013

At the American Library Association meeting in Chicago last month I gave a 20 minute presentation that was a combination of an overview of interoperability and standards plus a brief overview of the ResourceSync activity for the NISO Update session. Included below are my slides with a synchronized audio track.

Interlibrary Loan Standards Undergoing Revision at the ISO Level

My employer (LYRASIS) is a member of NISO (the accredited standards organization for information and documentation in the U.S.), and as the primary contact I see and consider ballots for standards issues that impact LYRASIS member libraries. The Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Application Protocol Specification (a.k.a. ISO 10160/10161) is up for its periodic review, and there is a bit of interesting movement on this standard. ISO 10160/10161 became a standard in 1993 so it predates the modern era of the web. The group shepherding the standard realized that progress had overtaken the specification and they started work on a reformulation of inter-machine ILL standards. This ballot and its supplemental documentation gives a view of the plans.

Model Language on Library Data Ownership

In September, Carl Grant wrote a blog post on the ownership of library data (“We have a problem… another vendor appearing to need education about exactly WHO owns library data“) that has been rolling around my own thoughts for, well, months. The spark of Carl’s post was a Twitter conversation where a major library system vendor appeared to be taking steps to limit what library/customers can do with their own data.

What To Do With ISO 2709:2008?

My employer recently became a member of NISO and I was made the primary representative. This is my first formal interaction with the standards organization heirarchy (NISOANSIISO) and as one of the side effects I’m being asked to provide advice to NISO on how its vote should be cast on relevant ISO ballots. Much of it has been pretty routine so far, but today one jumped out at me — the systematic review for the standard ISO 2709:2008, otherwise blandly known as Information and documentation — Format for information exchange. You might know it as the underlying structure of MARC. (Though, to describe it accurately, MARC is a subset or profile of ISO 2709.) And the voting options are: Confirm (as is), Revise/Amend, Withdraw (the standard), or Abstain (from the vote).