Friday morning I attended this session presented by Ross Singer from Georgia Tech. There were a lot of ideas in this session that are exciting, but I just didn’t get it. I think after a few days I understand a bit more.
Ross stated how the catalogue has no ‘real’ relationship to the outside world. There’s no way for the community to be involved, so at Georgia Tech they’re working on changing that. One thing Ross mentined was how the public interface does not have to be 1:1 with inventory.
I think that’s the way many of us work – we only want what we have or ‘own’ in the library catalogue. I know there’s a link somewhere to, for example, the Directory of Open Access Journals, but I haven’t heard of any library worker here actually referring students there.
Ok, so instead of trying to go through all that was said, here’s a few thoughts. What if our ‘catalogue’ was more than a catalogue? What if patrons had a place that not only held catalogue records of items they used but also ILL info, website bookmarks, citations with annotations, etc.? That’s what Ross is trying to do. There’s this idea of a LibraryCube, a web services bundle of ‘library things’ to enable communication to non-library applications; that aggregates library services. And then, another, um not sure if it’s an application or what, uses the librarycube and also connects with other tools like research guides, wishlists, etc. and…yeah this isn’t making sense, is it? That’s why I’m not the expert. I guess the end result is to have everything for everyone in one place – like a giant portfolio for students that are also linked to groups or classes they’re in and…hum, I’m really not getting his point across.
Basically he’s doing lots of cool stuff, so if you get the chance to see him speak, go see him!