Fall 1999 Task Force Meeting
by CNI Executive Director Clifford Lynch
A Guide to the Fall 1999
Coalition for Networked Information
Task Force Meeting
The Fall 1998 CNI Task Force meeting to be held in Seattle, Washington at the Sheraton Hotel on December 7-8, 1998, offers a wide range of presentations that advance and report on CNI’s programs, showcase projects developed by Task Force member institutions, and highlight key activities in the broader field of Networked Information at a national and international level. This is intended to provide a roadmap to the sessions at the meeting, which includes again an unusually large number of concurrent breakout sessions — a testimonial to the dynamic progress that is taking place in the field. At this meeting, we have added an additional round of breakout sessions, in order to reduce the number of concurrent sessions.
Along with keynote and breakout sessions, the meeting includes ample time for informal networking with colleagues and a reception on the evening of December 7. The CNI meeting is followed immediately by the Educause CAUSE meeting; the Sheraton is the headquarters hotel for that meeting as well. CNI meeting invitees should have already received materials on the CAUSE meeting; information is also available at the Educause web site (www.educause.edu).
We will have two keynote speakers at the Fall CNI meeting.
Opening the meeting on Monday we are fortunate to be able to hear from Professor Janet Murray of MIT, who had originally been scheduled to address the CNI Spring 1998 meeting. Janet, who is the author of the recent delightful and important book from MIT Press titled Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace (which I highly recommend), will speak about the future of narrative forms in digital media. Her work offers important insights on new genres for digital documents and the construction of instructional technology content, as well as a fresh understanding of how we read and learn in the digital culture. Janet has a long and distinguished career which includes an extensive involvement in digital media, including work with the MIT Athena project. Janet has also agreed to do a breakout session following her keynote in order to permit attendees to have a more in-depth discussion with her. You can find more information about Janet’s work at web.mit.edu/jhmurray/www/.
Our closing keynote on Tuesday will be by Brewster Kahle. In the early 1990s Brewster led the development of WAIS (the Wide Area Information Server system), which broke important ground in resource discovery, electronic publishing and distributed search on the Internet. WAIS Inc. was later acquired by America Online. More recently, Brewster has been working on issues involved in organizing and archiving the Internet as President of Alexa Internet (see www.alexa.com) and as the founder and Chairman of the Internet Archive (see www.archive.org). The Internet Archive recently donated two terabytes of web content in the form of an interactive sculpture titled “World Wide Web 1997: Two Terabytes in 63 Inches” to the Library of Congress. Brewster has been a pioneer in networked information for a decade, and will offer his views on directions for digital libraries and for network navigation.
Highlighted Breakout Sessions
I cannot cover all of the many breakout sessions here. However, I want to note particularly some sessions that have strong connections to the Coalition’s new 1998-1999 Program Plan, which is available at www.cni.org.
As part of the emphasis on Internet 2 and the advanced applications that it can support, we have several sessions, including an applications update by Ted Hanss, a presentation on the Distributed Storage Infrastructure Project by Micah Beck, a discussion of Library Needs in Internet 2 led by Margo Crist, the chair of ARL’s Internet 2 Committee, and a session on the SURA Digital Video Project.
There are a number of sessions that focus on issues in distance education and instructional media, including an update on the work of the Educause National Learning Infrastructure Initiative and its Instructional Management System project; a presentation on library services for the Western Governors Virtual University; and a session on supporting users at a distance.
Several emerging standards and architecture issues are highlighted: the work of the Computer Interchange of Museum Information (CIMI) consortium on metadata testbeds; the evolution of the Government Information Locator System (GILS) in the international context; progress in digital object identifiers; DASL, a new standards initiative from the Internet Engineering Task Force for Web authoring and object management; and an update on DIENST and CUPID (systems for distributed management of documents and network based printing). Continuing the emphasis on authentication and access management, there will be presentations on ATHENS (the UK nation-wide authentication system) and on authentication projects within the Digital Library Federation.
Other sessions include updates on initiatives for digital theses and dissertations, and a number of important new projects being developed by CNI member institutions. Finally, we will have a presentation on the program of the Gates Library Foundation and their work with the US Public library community.
You can find a full list of the breakout sessions that are scheduled on the CNI web site (www.cni.org). This list will be updated as last-minute changes invariably occur.
I look forward to seeing you in Seattle in December for what promises to be an extremely valuable and stimulating meeting. Please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Joan Lippincott, Associate Director (email@example.com) if we can provide you with any additional information on the meeting.
Coalition for Networked Information