A Guide to the CNI Fall 2004 Task Force Meeting
by Executive Director Clifford Lynch
We welcome CNI Task Force representatives and other participants to Portland, Oregon for the Coalition’s Fall 2004 Task Force Meeting. The meeting will be held at the Portland Hilton on Monday and Tuesday, December 6-7, 2004; this is the same venue that we used for the Fall 2003 meeting. In Portland this year we will again offer a rich and diverse set of presentations that advance and report on CNI’s programs, showcase projects and issues from Task Force member institutions, and highlight key activities in the broader field of networked information. Here is the “roadmap” to the meeting. We have a great deal to report on and to talk about.
As usual, the CNI meeting begins with an optional orientation session for new attendees – both representatives of new member organizations and new representatives or alternate delegates of existing member organizations – at 11:30 AM on Monday, December 6. Refreshments for all attendees will be available at 12:15 PM on Monday, December 6, followed by the opening plenary at 1:15 PM and several rounds of breakout sessions. The meeting wraps up with a closing plenary session concluding at 3:30 PM on Tuesday, December 7.
Along with plenary and breakout sessions, the meeting includes generous time for informal networking with colleagues and a reception on Monday evening. The reception will conclude by 7:30 PM, allowing time for attendees to discover or revisit the attractions of Portland.
The Plenary Sessions
Following tradition, I have reserved the opening plenary session to address key developments in networked information, discuss progress on the Coalition’s agenda, and highlight selected initiatives from the 2004-2005 Program Plan. The Program Plan will be distributed at the meeting (and will be available electronically on the Coalition’s Web site, www.cni.org, around December 4). I look forward to sharing the Coalition’s continually evolving strategy with you, as well as discussing current issues. The opening plenary will include time for questions and discussion, and I am eager to hear your comments.
Dr. David Liroff, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of public broadcasting station WGBH in Boston will deliver the closing keynote on Tuesday. David has been thinking deeply over the past few years about how the rise of digital content and networks changes the role of public broadcasting and its relationships to the rest of the research, education and cultural heritage community. Also bound up in these issues are questions about the broader future of mass media and mass audience, and of how various types of technology will reshape our traditional understandings of television as a medium. Given the growing importance of moving image material in supporting research and teaching, and the questions many CNI members are facing about how to organize, obtain access to, manage and preserve such material, David’s presentation – and the opportunity for discussion – should be very valuable.
Highlighted Breakout Sessions
I will not attempt to cover all of the many breakout sessions here. However, as always I want to note some sessions that have strong connections to the Coalition’s 2004-2005 Program Plan and also a few other sessions of special interest. In particular, I want to underscore that many of these breakouts are not only designed to inform attendees, but also to provide opportunities for participants to offer guidance in shaping ongoing initiatives; I’ve tried to specifically highlight some of these opportunities for participation here.
The full schedule and abstracts (and in some cases, pointers to background materials) for all the breakout sessions are available now at the CNI Web site, and we will update these on an ongoing basis if any changes occur. We have a packed agenda of breakout sessions, and, recognizing that meeting participants will not always be able to attend all breakouts of interest, we will try to put additional material from as many of the sessions as possible on the CNI Web site following the meeting.
At the Spring 2004 CNI Task Force meeting Brewster Kahle challenged the audience during his Paul Evan Peters Award speech to set a goal of comprehensively digitizing our out-of-copyright retrospective collections, and described a number of efforts that the Internet Archive was participating in to make progress towards this goal. Brewster will be joining us to discuss progress in large-scale book scanning activities.
The Open Archive Initiative (OAI) has become a critical part of the infrastructure for digital libraries and networked information; its metadata harvesting protocol (developed in part under the joint sponsorship of CNI and the Digital Library Federation) is now mature and widely deployed. OAI has continued work in a number of areas, including rights expression, content harvesting, and the use of the metadata harvesting protocol to optimize and enhance traditional web crawling. We have devoted two sessions to OAI; the first is a comprehensive update on the work of the initiative, and the second is intended to serve as a discussion forum so that the OAI can obtain community input on future directions and priorities.
In support of CNI’s emphasis on strategies for the stewardship of institutionally produced assets through approaches such as institutional repositories, we have a number of sessions. The University of Rochester will discuss their findings on faculty needs for institutional repositories; we will have a presentation from SURF on the institutional repository program that is being deployed across the entire higher education sector in the Netherlands; and we will have a presentation on the UTOPIA project at the University of Texas, which serves both as repository and portal. The University of Washington will give us an update on Digital Well, their very sophisticated video and audio repository system, and its applications both in institutional and broadcasting settings. On a more technical level, there’s an important session looking at the integration of MIT’s DSpace system with the Storage Request Broker (SRB) developed by the San Diego Supercomputer Center, which would provide replication and distributed storage services to DSpace. We will also have a presentation on the virtual data center software being developed by Harvard and MIT, and a presentation by Penn State and Cornell on DpubS, an open source electronic publishing system that can serve as a complement to an institutional repository.
Another area of great interest is the development, deployment and management of image collections to support teaching and research. There has been a lot of activity in this area recently, and we have sessions ranging from technical matters to updates on community resources. The University of Connecticut will report on the state of the art for the JPEG 2000 standard, building on an invitational conference they hosted earlier this fall; the very important Automatic Exposure initiative to automate metadata capture as part of imaging workflow will be described by RLG; and the integration of the ARTstor system into metasearch frameworks will be discussed. There will be a report and opportunity for input related to the Vanderbilt Television News Archive, which has been making substantial progress on a very exciting digitization effort. And Northwestern University will offer a presentation on two high-profile initiatives to image scholarly materials: the Mellon-funded Dunhuang murals, and the Robinson insurance maps from the late 1800s.
Digital Preservation is well represented at this meeting. We’ll have two sessions focused on aspects of archiving Web sites, one from the Center for Research Libraries on strategic and curatorial issues in capturing political Web sites, and the second from NYU addressing technical issues in the use of the METS standard for web archiving. We’ll have a report on the work of the PREMIS group, which is completing a year-long effort to develop recommendations for preservation metadata. There will be a presentation on the MetaArchive of Southern Digital Culture, a large-scale collaborative digital preservation effort that is part of the work being funded by the Library of Congress National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP). The LOCKSS project, which is now at a critical point in setting directions and establishing future viability, will offer a status report and discussion forum. A team from the University of Kansas will describe their work in developing a broad institutional program to address digital preservation needs. Finally, there will be a session covering the landmark recent policy statement from the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) endorsing digitization as an acceptable preservation reformatting option; this will be an opportunity for attendees to better understand the scope and implications of this policy statement. I want to note here that CNI (and a host of other organizations) have strongly endorsed ARL’s position on this.
Learning management systems and their relationships to the broader information environment are well covered, with presentations on a very innovative bibliographic data management system at Northwestern, an update on Sakai from Indiana University and the University of Michigan, and a session dealing specifically with the integration of libraries into course management systems from the University of Maryland and IUPUI. Princeton’s fascinating Almagest system has aspects of a learning management system, a repository, and an image collection; suffice it to say that this is likely to be a presentation of interest from a number of perspectives.
We will have several sessions dealing with learning spaces, including presentations from Ohio University and Georgia Tech, and a session by CNI’s Joan Lippincott which will deal broadly with the state of learning spaces and CNI’s work related to them, and offer an opportunity to provide input into our programmatic directions in this area. There is also a session by the California State University exploring their work with the Educational Testing Service (ETS) on information and communication technology proficiency assessment.
In the technology area, we’ll have updates on the Internet2 middleware initiative (including the Shibboleth distributed authorization system), which will be issuing its next software release this month, and on new computational approaches to dealing with literary texts by NITLE. And we’ll have two sessions that look at the changing landscape of search services and technologies and how developments there relate to existing repositories and access services: Lorcan Dempsey and colleagues from OCLC will discuss their work with Yahoo and Google in making “deep web” resources more visible, and RLG and Sand Codex will discuss Voss, a new technology RLG is deploying in its Cultural Materials system.
I look forward to seeing you in Portland this December for what promises to be another stimulating and informative meeting. Please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Joan Lippincott, CNI’s Associate Director (email@example.com) if we can provide you with any additional information or if you have comments on the meeting.
Coalition for Networked Information