|John Mark Ockerbloom
Digital Library Architect and Planner
University of Pennsylvania
Senior Computer Specialist, Digital Initiative Program
University of Washington
New Maps of the Library: Building Better Tools for Discovery Using Library of Congress Subject Headings(Ockerbloom)
Libraries invest significant time and effort in detailed subject cataloging of their collections. They have built up a rich, complex ontology for such cataloging in the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). Some now question whether these investments are worthwhile, or whether such complex ontologies should be abandoned in favor of cheaper, more automated schemes such as are used in popular search engines and portals. Contributing to these doubts has been the poor support of subject-based searching and browsing in most online public access catalogs (OPACs). Even the recent facet-based OPACs do not take full advantage of known relationships among subjects and resources.
In this presentation, I describe and demonstrate tools in development at the University of Pennsylvania to generate and display interactive “concept maps” of library collections. Based on LCSH, these maps are automatically built from existing authority records, a collection’s bibliographic records, and optional local “tweaks” for local interests and search patterns. Users can explore these maps via ordinary text-based web browsing, and browse clusters of related research resources. We now provide these maps for small collections like The Online Books Page, and are experimenting with maps for the entire Penn Library catalog. We hope to enable users to take full advantage of the rich conceptual relationships in LCSH-based library collections, and more effectively browse increasingly diverse and dispersed library collections.
Handout (MS Word)
Lessons Learned in Creating a Community-Based and -Driven Digital Library (Graham)
For the past three years, the University of Washington Libraries, in partnership with a variety of community organizations and individuals on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, have been digitizing materials intended to showcase aspects of the rich history and culture of the region. The Olympic Community Museum project is made possible by a National Leadership Grant for Library and Museum Collaboration from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). This work resulted in an online “virtual museum,” available to all web users, and served through CONTENTdm. Over 12,000 digital items were assembled, including multimedia. Materials are organized as a series of exhibits, each representing a different aspect of the culture and history of the region. Community Museum online exhibits include: Makah and Quileute tribal cultures; timber history; the lives of early pioneers; and the growing local Hispanic population’s culture. Curriculum materials were also created for use by teachers of grades 9 and beyond. A community-based approach was used to collect images and curate them. This session will explore the successes and problems which were overcome in the process of identifying, digitizing, and organizing over 12,000 items and the lessons learned, which may in turn be useful to others involved in community-based digital projects. Lessons regarding permission procurement, especially permissions from the three tribal entities involved, will be presented. Other concerns to such a project, such as publicity, management approaches, training, and curating will also be described.
Handout (MS Word)