A Guide to the CNI Fall 2006 Task Force Meeting
by Executive Director Clifford Lynch
The Fall 2006 CNI Task Force meeting offers a wide range of presentations that advance and report on CNI’s programs, showcase projects underway at Task Force member institutions, and highlight important national and international developments. Here is the “roadmap” to the sessions at the meeting, which includes both plenary events and an extensive series of breakout sessions focusing on current developments in networked information. As always, we have strived to present sessions that reflect late-breaking developments and also take advantage of our venue in Washington, DC to provide opportunities to interact with policy makers and funders.
As usual, the CNI meeting proper is preceded by an optional orientation session for new attendees — both representatives of new member organizations and new representatives or alternate delegates from existing member organizations — at 11:30 AM; guests are also welcome. Refreshments are available for all at 12:15 PM on Monday, December 4. The opening plenary is at 1:15 PM and will be followed by two rounds of parallel breakout sessions. Tuesday, December 5, includes additional rounds of parallel breakout sessions, lunch and the closing keynote, concluding around 3:30 PM. Along with plenary and breakout sessions, the meeting includes generous break time for informal networking with colleagues and a reception which will run till 7:00 PM on the evening of Monday, December 4, after which participants can enjoy a wide range of dining opportunities in the Washington area.
In conjunction with the meeting, the Library of Congress is offering an information interchange session on developments with the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP), which will run from 8:30 to 11:45 AM on Monday morning. This is open to all CNI attendees, and no separate registration is necessary; the meeting will be in Meeting Room #2.
The CNI meeting agenda is subject to last minute changes, particularly in the breakout sessions, and you can find the most current information on our Web site, www.cni.org and on the announcements board near the registration desk at the meeting.
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 2006-2007 Program Plan. The Program Plan will be distributed at the meeting (and is available electronically on the Coalition’s Web site, www.cni.org). 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.
The opening plenary will also include the presentation of the first Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Awards for Technology Collaboration. These awards recognize non-profit organizations that have demonstrated exceptional leadership in the collaborative development of open source software through the contribution of substantial self-funded organizational resources. You can find out more about the awards, and the stellar award jury (which includes several recipients of CNI’s Paul Evan Peters award) at http://rit.mellon.org/awards/. The awards will be presented by Sir Tim Berners-Lee.
The closing plenary, scheduled to start at 2:15PM on Tuesday, will be given by Professor Dan Atkins of the University of Michigan, who since June 2006 has been serving as the Director of the Office of Cyberinfrastructure at the United States National Science Foundation. Dan, who I think is well-known to much of the CNI community and a former member of the CNI Steering Committee, has played a key role in shaping our networked information environment; he was one of the leaders in the development of our thinking about collaboratories and digital libraries. He was the founding dean of the School of Information at the University of Michigan. He chaired the blue-ribbon panel that wrote the key 2003 report “Revolutionizing Science and Engineering through Cyberinfrastructure” for the National Science Foundation. You can find much more about Dan’s career and contributions here: http://www.si.umich.edu/people/faculty-detail.htm?sid=2 ; more detail on the current work of the NSF Office of Cyberinfrastructure is at: http://www.nsf.gov/dir/index.jsp?org=OCI
Highlighted Breakout Sessions
I will not attempt to comprehensively summarize the wealth of breakout sessions here. However, I want to note particularly some sessions that have strong connections to the Coalition’s 2006-2007 Program Plan and also a few other sessions of special interest, and to provide some additional context for a few sessions that may be helpful to attendees in making session choices. We have a packed agenda of breakout sessions, and as always will try to put material from these sessions on our Web site following the meeting for those who were unable to attend.
Developing a more sophisticated understanding of faculty research in order to deliver library and information technology services to support this central mission of universities is on the agenda of many institutions. As the global and institutional cyberinfrastructure develop and new forms of e-research allow new types of scholarship, librarians and information technologists are seeking to understand their roles in the support of researchers deploying advanced technologies in their work. Richard Katz will present the work of the EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research (ECAR) on an extensive study of IT engagement in research, and we will have reports from NYU and University of Minnesota on their initiatives to assess how libraries could better meet the needs of researchers. Understanding faculty perceptions of publishing in the digital environment is also part of this picture. An important study from the Center for the Study of Higher Education at UC Berkeley will describe the results of in-depth interviews with faculty in several disciplines and their views of publishing in open access and online-only publications; the results are eye-opening and important for CNI representatives to understand.
The themes of institutional repositories and the management of locally-produced scholarship are also important to CNI’s agenda. Herbert van de Sompel and Carl Lagoze will describe their Mellon-funded project to work on cross-repository interoperability, which follows on from a workshop that CNI co-sponsored earlier this year. The Australian Partnership for Sustainable Repositories will discuss its project to develop an interoperability solution for resources in DSpace and Fedora. Representatives from JISC and SURF will provide an update on Knowledge Exchange, an initiative involving British, Dutch, German, and Danish partners on the national level who are working jointly on institutional repository and site licensing issues. We will have sessions from the University of Michigan and from Michigan State University on providing digital asset management for a wide variety of content. A more specialized, collaborative project for sharing dance image resources will also be featured.
Several project briefings will describe national, international, and local efforts to create software or tools for digital information systems. Zotero, developed by the George Mason Center for History and New Media, is intended to be a next-generation scholarly research tool that operates within the Firefox browser. In Germany, the ARIADNE and UNIMATRIX projects are working to provide uniform access to a variety of digital resources across the country through a standardized platform. CSA will describe a new set of tools and descriptive approaches they call “deep indexing” in order to enhance both the discovery and reuse of scholarly works. University of Rochester and Oregon State University will discuss their separate projects to develop new types of library search tools. University of Pennsylvania and University of Washington will describe their projects to deploy tools for better access to collections. A Mellon-funded project from the NITLE institutions that uses a semantic engine to explore texts will also be featured.
Digital preservation continues to be of great interest to the CNI community. As mentioned earlier, there will be a special briefing on the Library of Congress NDIIPP initiative that will be held prior to the start of the meeting. Project briefing sessions on preservation include an update from the Portico project, a discussion of threats and countermeasures for digital preservation by the developers of LOCKSS, an analysis from two libraries that compares LOCKSS/CLOCKSS and Portico archived content, and a report from a collaborative multi-institutional preservation initiative on Southern Digital Culture. A session on incorporating rights and preservation information into metadata will focus on technical issues. University of Kentucky will describe their work in reformatting analog oral history audio materials into digital form.
A number of sessions will explore what types of services today’s information users, seekers, and creators need and how libraries, information technology providers, and museums are innovating to meet those needs. At the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, librarians are experimenting with service delivery via Facebook, MySpace, and other vehicles; this should be a stimulating update of ways to reach users in new environments. The State and University Library of Denmark recently released an important study of users’ expectations of hybrid (digital and print) libraries, and we will hear about lessons learned from their survey. Many libraries are keenly interested in understanding their constituency’s use of Google as compared to library information resources, and a report from the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and Texas A&M will describe what LibQUAL+(TM) reveals about this issue. Georgia Tech will provide details on how collaborations between library and IT units produce better services and facilities for users.
In the teaching and learning area, a session will focus on a study of faculty and student use of digital images in liberal arts colleges. The Columbia University Center for New Media Teaching and Learning, which has produced some outstanding work, will describe some of their tools for the analytic use of video in the classroom. Another session, from University of Nebraska, will discuss art image issues in teaching and learning environments. Harvard and ARTstor will describe their experiment in merging locally owned images with ARTstor content. A briefing from the Virtual Museum of Canada will describe how a very large collection of user feedback messages helped the museum understand user behavior and measure impact. Related to these user studies is work by Ithaka to understand librarian attitudes towards their role, the role of digital resources, and other issues; this session will focus on results from a 2006 survey.
Given our Washington-area venue, we will have some very useful updates from federal agencies. These include sessions that will highlight grant opportunities, particularly for digital resources and services, from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), which has recently launched a Digital Humanities Initiative. Also, we will have an update from the Government Printing Office on their future digital system.
CNI works closely with a number of other organizations, and we will have reports from two of those, the new Programs and Research division of OCLC (which includes the new home for RLG’s programs following the OCLC-RLG merger) and the Digital Library Federation, which will highlight its important recent work on developing a services framework for digital libraries.
Finally, let me mention just two other sessions. Brad Wheeler of Indiana University will report on an October 2006 Licensing and Policy summit in which leaders grappled with the complex issues surrounding implementation of open source software. Another very interesting new development is the emergence of new university presses or other publishing enterprises as part of the campus library. We will have reports from Penn State, Rice, and Georgetown on their projects in this area.
There is much more, and I invite you to browse the complete list of breakout sessions and their full abstracts at the CNI Web site. In many cases you will find these abstracts include pointers to reference material that you may find useful to explore prior to the session, and after the meeting, we will add material from the actual presentations when it is available to us.
I welcome you to Washington, DC for what promises to be another extremely worthwhile 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 on the meeting.