News Story

KMi helps shape the Library of 2013

Alan Fletcher, Friday 22 May 2009

A joint KMi and OU library team today hosted a tailored series of workshops in KMi that was designed to explore the future face of the OU library. The workshop participants, all of whom gave extremely positive feedback about the event, were from across the board within the library.

Participants were encouraged to explore the familiar, new and potential faces of IT that could help shape how a library will interact with its customers in the next five years.

The reactions of all participants were extremely upbeat, with high levels of interaction and debate, resulting in the identification of some key areas for further development.

The workshops were designed and built using existing tools and channels for content repository, search and retrieval, along with explorations of the potential relating to KMi research in new media, semantic web, web services and multimedia retrieval.

Dividing the participants into four groups, each with a separate theme, the four workshops were designed to encourage conversation and debate and to give the participants the ability to experience some of the technologies first hand by using Asus eePC machines to browse the web.

In the final session, each workshop presented a summary of its discussion and findings to all of the assembled participants.

The workshop outcomes will be used to help shape the 2013 vision of the OU Library, to build a truly interactive, intuitive and invaluable resource for the OU, its students and the wider academic world.

For further information about the workshops, please contact Alan Fletcher in KMi.

Workshop outlines

Workshop 1: Shaping the Digital Community
This workshop explores the issues around provision of services to disparate audiences using new media tools and how they can build, shape or destroy a community. The session will explore the motivation, management, support and relevance of new media channels such as iTunes, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter.

Workshop 2: Managing Multimedia
This workshop will explore the wealth of rich media available and the possibilities for analysing, indexing and searching the data in intuitive and semi automated methods.

Workshop 3: The fusion of old and new. Are catalogues, repositories and digital libraries C21st dinosaurs?
This session will focus on unpicking the elements for the types of infrastructural services librarians and semantic technologists are engaged with to support learners working in new types of 24/7 digital domains. Can we afford to continue to maintain what we have seen as core services? What is the current role of the library management system and catalogue search versus new types of semantic resource discovery services being piloted and developed in KMi and where is the likely source of new strategic developments going to drive us?

Workshop 4: Is the web truly broken? Can we fix it or should we start again?
This session will focus on gaining deeper understanding of why we need the semantic web and how it can solve some of the current issues we face when trying to search, find and organise relevant material online. Will the solution be a set of ‘plug and play’ browser based applications or do we need to drill down to the foundations of how we create material for the web and mandate standards for managing and transforming content and information for the web?

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