I recently attended this IU Digital Library Brown Bag talk:”Let it go: Exposing digital collections for accessible and useful data.” The presenter was Juliet L. Hardesty, a Metadata Analyst for IU Libraries. The abstract for the talk follows:
How do you usefully combine digital repository, library catalog, and library website data so researchers can discover and make use of the data in support of their research? This session discusses plans to combine IU Libraries’ digital repository data with library catalog and IUB Libraries’ web site data to create a Solr-indexed data source that preserves context and provides thorough, useful, and sharable access to the information, collections, and resources at the Indiana University Libraries.
I’ll start by saying that the talk was quite technical. It wasn’t overly technical but as a newbie to this digital library world, I felt that maybe I wasn’t going to fully understand all of what Ms. Hardesty had to say. That’s okay though. You can’t learn until you find out that there’s stuff you don’t know. I decided to key in on terms that seemed important.
I made a list. Some of these I know, some I don’t.
- Digital Repository
- Digital Collection
- Library Catalog
- Library Web Data
- Federated Searching
- Discovery Layer Tools
- Browsable Areas (I found this article with a quick Google search. Don’t know if it’s the same thing.)
- Finding Aid (Wikipedia has an article about Finding Aids. I think I would like to be involved in creating these one day.)
- Linked Data Model
- Collection Level Records
I also learned the names of some people who are writing about this kind of thing: Marshall Breeding on federated searching, Melissa Hoffman on discovery layer tools, and Tom Johnson on the linked data model.
This slide appeared on the screen. I’m not sure what to make of it, but it helped me to gather up some of those key terms.
Ms. Hardesty talked about Fedora and showed us a picture of a Fedora. She did mention that this Fedora is different from the Linux operating system. Learn more about this Fedora here.
I learned that people in digital libraries have to look at things like this
so they can figure out solutions for making resources more accessible for us information consumers. That doesn’t look so easy, but I suppose I can learn.
The talk was informative, but it felt rushed. I think Ms. Hardesty could have gone into more detail. I’m interested in how researchers go about searching for information. It seems to me that librarians need to know their users’ behavior before they can create suitable retrieval systems. Do researchers and library folk ever get together and talk about these things?
It was interesting to see examples from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Stanford University. I also now have a little insight as to why doing a search from the IUB Libraries website results in a less than optimal experience.
Digital libraries are a complicated business!