Monday, November 5, 2007

Third All School Day Speaker

The third speaker at All School Day was Daniel Alemneh, Metadata Specialist for the Digital Projects Unit of the UNT Libraries. His topic for the day was "Emerging Trends and Innovative Uses of Digital Technologies. He spoke about how the Web is bringing together "contributions of millions of people and making them matter" and how the trend is not text documents in libraries anymore, digital libraries are now about multimedia content. Users want a "visualization of the information space instead of a ranked list of search results." They want to search systems with their own language and not worry about controlled vocabulary. They also like folksonomy and the ability to index their own content. Librarians should take advantage of users becoming information taggers and study their tags in order to design systems that meet the needs of these users' information behaviors.

Despite the changes that are taking place in the library field, Alemneh explained that Ranganathan's laws and other aspects of libraries remain timeless.

In answer to the changing library field, Almeneh sees the following trends:
1. Most conferences now address Web 2.0
2. Libraries must appeal to users in other ways than simply providing information because people can find so much information on the Web.
3. A new generation of OPAC is developing.
4. More repositories of various sizes and scope are being created.
5. There is a greater push for user-centered design and metadata access.

To finish up his presentation, Almeneh showed us a digital library for which he does work, Portal to Texas History. This UNT digital library provides both search and browsing functionality, with browsing areas in county, subject, collection, and contributor. Users may comment on content and even contribute their own images through this function.

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