Jerome McDonough of the Graduate School of Library & Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign presented a paper this summer at the Balisage conference with the title Structural Metadata and the Social Limitation of Interoperability: A Sociotechnical View of XML and Digital Library Standards Development.1 The title is very hard to penetrate, but the contents of the paper lay bare a theory for why we don’t have large, swirling pools of shared digital objects that cross institutional silo boundaries.
Waves of change are crashing on the shores of the library profession. New media, new tools, new techniques, and new expectations collide to cause excitement, anxiety, confusion, and concern. It may be difficult to determine where we are and where we are going. At our present crossroads, it is useful to view the pressures and effects of change on our services as a matrix of commercial versus local on one axis and physical versus digital on the other. Interesting observations about the nature of content and our reaction to it can be made at the intersections of commercial and local with physical and digital. This essay uses these intersections to examine the waves of content coming to the library and our ways of managing it.
In reading a background paper for the American Social History Online portal, I was reacquainted with a paper by Muriel Foulonneau, Thomas Habing and Tim Cole from UIUC called “Automated Capture of Thumbnails and Thumbshots for Use by Metadata Aggregation Services.”1 This is the abstract:
The practice of including thumbnails in short record displays, increasingly common in local implementations, is being adopted by metadata aggregation service providers as well. In addition, thumbnails and Web thumbshots have begun appearing as part of Web search results. This article reports on a project at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) to make more comprehensible heterogeneous resources available on the UIUC CIC metadata portal by incorporating thumbnails and thumbshots of image and Webpage resources in the context of the OAI Protocol for Metadata Harvesting. In addition to thumbnails provided by partner data providers, UIUC has developed an automated process to generate thumbnails and thumbshots from the Webpages resources pointed to by the metadata records.