LITA Heads of Library Technology (HoLT) Meeting

January 13, 2008 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
[Apologies for the delayed posting]

Introductions and Announcements

The meeting was called to order by Michelle Robertson – Chair. We went around the room and introduced ourselves. We had representatives from the University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences Library System, Drexel University, Boise State University, the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, the University of Arkansas – Little Rock, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Brooklyn College, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Syracuse University, LexisNexis, the University of New Brunswick – Saint John, Temple University, Northwestern University, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Alberta, Tri-Colleges (Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore), and Anne Arundel Community College.

LITA & HoLT Business

Michelle explained the purpose of the interest group. From the HoLT website:

“Established in 2001 and renewed in 2004. To provide a forum and support network for those individuals with administrative responsibility for computing and technology in a library setting. Programs and discussions will explore issues of planning and implementation, management and organization, support, technology leadership and other areas of interest to library technology managers and administration.”

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Top Tech Trends

In 1908, Thomas Edison stated “Anything, Everything is Possible.”
According to Smithsonian Magazine, the events and innovations that occurred a century ago marked America’s entry into the modern world. The innovations in 1908 literally put us in motion.
Wilbur Wright flew 2 hours and 20 minutes.
Henry Ford introduced the Model T to the masses.
The First Skyscraper – the Singer Building was built in NYC.

At ALA’s Annual Discussion, K.G. Schneider said there were two ways to look at this years library tech trends.
– Architecture of Aesthetics
– Architecture of Participation

Below are a few new concepts Alexander Cohen collected for LITA that affect the Library of the Future and its’ Architecture of Aesthetics…

Google’s Library Digitization Projects, Artificial Intelligence / Web Search Projects
Virtual Streetscapes
Kindle Amazon’s Ebook Reader
Harvard’s Green Campus: LEED Status

Bibliotheca Alexandrina “recapture the spirit of openness and scholarship”
British Library Books Go Digital
RFID @ Las Vegas Clark County Library District
Steelcase “Thinking about the Virtual Environment
Daylighting “architects use of natural atrium lighting, acrylic building materials to light the Library.”
Digital Storage

Alexander Cohen noted areas that affect the Library of the Future. Areas the trendsters K.G. Schneider noted as the Architecture of Participation…

European Library’s API’s

MIT’s Dspace / IBM’s EDepot: Digital Asset Management
Social Networking: FacebookThe Espresso Book Machine
Betterworld Books and Hands Across the Water “reselling library books to public”

Linking: Software Garden RSS feeds
Open Source Projects: Druple
World Universities Forum: Feb 2008
$100 Dollar Laptop

LITA International Relations Committee Meeting

The LITA International Relations Committee 2008 met from 10:30 – 12:00 noon on Monday, January 14 at the Marriott Courtyard. Teri Sierra Committee Chair led the discussion of the various items on the agenda. Minutes from 2007 Annual were approved and a report from LITA Board of Directors Liaison Mary Alice Ball was given. The process for applying for the International Visitors Grant for the LITA Forum for Oct 2008 was discussed as well as sending a representative to IFLA.

Focus centered on pursuing plans for a program at the ALA Annual Conference, 2009 in Chicago. Approval for the program has already been granted. The committee would like to bring Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the One Laptop Per Child Foundation (OLPC), or someone from the foundation to discuss this vision and the foundations work. Other possibilities would be other organizations that are doing the same kind of work internationally such as Intel or governments with the same focus.

Public Libraries Technology Interest Group

The Public Libraries Technology Interest met on Sunday, January 13th at the Four Seasons Hotel from 10-12 noon. Featured guests included Larra Clark from the ALA’s Office for Research and Statistics; and Kim Bolan and Robert Cullins authors of Technology Made Simple: An Simple Improvement Guide for Small and Medium Libraries.

Larra Clark discussed the recent study Libraries Connect Communities: Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study 2006-2007: ALA Research Series. Larra discussed the highlights of the study. Some of the findings include: technology is bringing more, not less public library use; libraries infrastructure (space, bandwidth and staffing) is being pushed to capacity; and libraries need more technology planning and dedicated technology support. The report also includes a state by state summary of technology.

Kim Bolan and Robert Cullins, authors of Technology Made Simple: An Improvement Guide for Small and Medium Libraries, discussed their perceptions of technology in libraries. They were passionate about libraries but not books. They discussed thinking outside the box to troubleshoot many of the problems faced by small and medium libraries that do not have large budgets. User Centered Libraries was also a topic of discussion. Their book addressed the many problems face by small and medium libraries verses larger institutions. The focus of their book is the many creative ways to resolve technology problems in small and medium libraries.

LITA Education Committee Meeting

The Education Committee met on Sunday, January 13, 2008 with 12 members and guests present. This was the first meeting since the merger of the old Education Committee and the Regional Institutes Committee created the new Education Committee.

The By-Laws and Organization Committee sent Helen Gbala to the meeting to discuss the charge of the committee. Since the charge was just written by the board and presented to the new committee last June, the members asked to try out the charge to see how it works before making comment.

The committee spent most of the meeting time discussing two topics: the continuing education needs survey of LITA members and potential online courses or webinars that LITA could offer. The survey should be ready to go by late spring. It will include questions on educational topics, preferred delivery method (live or async), reasonable costs, and other issues.

Interspersed with discussion of the survey the committee discussed offering online and live courses with these points:

Hot topics sell (Web 2.0, JPEG 2000)
Need a plan or schedule for courses going forward
Develop an application form to disseminate to the members
Need a webinar product like OPAL or Illuminate
LITA has access to Moodle

Before adjourning the group discussed possible times for the next meeting. It’s hard to pick a meeting time that doesn’t conflict with something else important.

Assessment and Research Meeting on Friday, Jan 11

The recently formed LITA Assessment and Research Committee hosted a session on Friday morning about establishing a research strategy for LITA. Approximately 20 people from the Assessment and Research Committee, the Membership Committee, Committee and Interest Groups Chairs, LITA Emerging Leaders and the LITA Board participated in the session. Robin Wedewer, from Tecker Consulting, facilitated the session.

While the session took place at Midwinter the work began in December via email. Participants were asked to answer a series of questions. Those questions included:

  • Please think about the environment in which you live and work and what is happening in those areas that could have the potential to impact you and your business.
  • As you look to the future, what are the issues and trends that you think could have some effect, either positive or negative, on you and your workplace? In other words, what is going on in the environment that you will need to respond to or plan for—today AND in the future?
  • In order to track trends in library information technology that impacts professionals in the field, what data should be gathered and analyzed on a regular basis for benchmarking and trend tracking purposes?
  • In order to track trends as well as the health and welfare of LITA as an association, what data should be gathered and analyzed on a regular basis for benchmarking and trend tracking purposes?

The email discussion and meeting helped us to clarify the range of potential issues that LITA and its members are likely to face in the foreseeable future. As Robin stated “by carefully identifying ALL of the issues, we can establish priorities for information gathering that will help LITA be better prepared to respond with information and knowledge rather than with the opinion and anecdotes from individuals.”

Based on the email discussion, Robin created a list of the top issues in field for our members:
1. Re-invention of library’s traditional space
2. New and increasing funding requirements
3. Increased need for training
4. Changing role of the “librarian”/impeding leadership crisis
5. Changing expectations about access to information
6. Information glut
7. Changes in the nature of social interaction
8. Increased privacy concerns
9. Need for new tools, customization and user-friendly interfaces.

We split out into 3 groups, and each group was assigned several topics to discuss. Each group brainstormed and shared their results. The results of the brainstorming session were photographed.

Here is what was identified as priorities for LITA:

Re-invention of library’s space: (issue 1)

  • What is the value of our space both traditional and virtual; is it a success?
  • Where are members going beyond LITA?

Money/Budget (issue 2)

  • How do we (LITA) share our value/worth?
  • How do we optimize staff and volunteers
  • How much to put into new stuff such as research and development?
  • When do we decide to stop doing something?

Increased need for training (issue 3)

  • Value of training
  • Preferred models of training? f2f, online, webcast, etc
  • Why do people participate in training i.e. to learn, network, required, etc.

Changing role of the librarian …. (issue 4)

  • Focus on membership like what are the true demographics
  • What is role / expectation in say 5 years

Social Interaction (issue 7):

  • How are they used by members
  • what are their preferences
  • where do they use them (this related to both social tools as well as portable devices)

Increased privacy concerns issue 8 – included both LITA members as well as those we serve at our home institutions

  • What concerns do our users really have?
  • What do our users think is private; what do they want/expect to be private

Need for new tools….. (issue 9)

  • What are people using, how do they keep current, why they stop using a particular tool
  • Vendor relations – what is the role of LITA in working with vendors; more vendors used to be members, why is this membership group declining?

The session was also covered in Cognotes, Saturday, January 12, 2008, page 20.

While much was accomplished there is still more to do. Work will continue via email. Look for more updates via the blog in the near future.

Minutes for the BIGWIG meeting at ALA Midwinter 2008 (1/13/2008)


1. Questions regarding podcasts for LITA office candidates
2. Discussion on BIGWIG & Transparency
3. Conference podcasting
4. Brainstorm potential topics for social software showcase
5. ideas for interactivity or innovation for LITA forum

1. Questions for podcasts for LITA elections (Karen Coombs)

Podcasts for LITA candidates contained these questions last year:
1. Briefly describe your professional experience as it relates to holding LITA office
2. What do you bring to this position?
3. How do you envision LITA being a technology leader in ALA?

These informal podcasts were about 5 minutes long. David Lee King did these last year and will continue in this role for the next set of Candidates. The BIGWIG members present agreed that the set of questions was good.

2 BIGWIG & Transparency (Michelle Boule)

The Leadership of this interest group believes in and wants to exercise radical transparency for all discussions and decisions for the IG. We would like to install Drupal and set up a collaborative space with which to conduct planning activities. This site would be open to the entire web, and all discussion and planning would be conducted or made available in this space. Last year, the planning was done via Google Docs, email and a private wiki, and the Social Software Showcase was delivered via MediaWiki. Tools available in Drupal that we could make use of include: virtual meetings in the chat room, IG news delivered via RSS, web posting capability. The chat room could also be used to communicate with Showcase presenters.

Commentary on Drupal by present members and by John Chrastka, ALA Staff:
Drupal was used for the “Five Weeks to a Social Library” site as well as being the basis of the AADL site. It will also be used for the ALA online communities environment, with threaded discussion, live chat, a white board, document version control, and a calendar. Jenny Levine is a good resource at ALA for information on ALA Online Communities.

BIGWIG members present agreed that it would be good for the IG to implement Drupal and experiment with it now, see what ALA rolls out, then compare. We will give Jenny Levine feedback on what does and doesn’t work for the IG.

Everyone around the table thought that the idea of radical transparency is a good one and that Drupal is a good place to start.

3 Conference podcasting guidelines, procedures and plans for annual

The IG began recording podcasts at Annual in DC in 2007. Audio recorded on a sound baord has the best quality. The IG needs to choose which LITA sessions to record and how to coordinate this. Do we want to record whole sessions? How much editing should be done?

It was suggested that we ask presenters to create 5 minute audio summaries, and make these available for download, with an option to download the entire session. Summary podcasts could also be used to market the sessions.

John Chrastka informed us that there are plans for making a podcasting booth available at ALA Annual 2008 in Anaheim.

It was suggested that the IG should make a mini-tutorial available for presenters on creating podcasts and that if recording all LITA sessions was to much of a hardship, that we should solicit input from the Division members on what to record.

There currently is no central place to store the mini-recorders used to create podcasts. Karen Coombs will ask Mary Taylor for assistance and suggestions. It was suggested that the IG secure a small locker to keep these in, and that this could be kept in the ALA office. Presenters will also be asked if they have equipment that they can bring.

Karen will ask David Lee King if he is willing to continue to serve as Podcast Coordinator and will put David in touch with John. It was suggested that the LITA Office could assist with getting information to conference center and hotel staff that we would like to connect to sound boards to record.

Karen has notes on podcasting that she’ll make available; we’ll keep developing this plan. We do not want podcasting to fall through the cracks for annual.

4 Brainstorming for social software showcase: topics, virtual participation ideas, etc….

Suggested topics:
Wikia search
Facebook apps: how effective, how viable
open social: facebook supposedly signing on – how to take social contexts across platforms
Google knowl
pan-google social attempts
microcelebrity (see wired article on same)
ethics of the new web; what is privacy; what is “nice” and “not nice”?
activism in social networking
overcoming resistance to social networks
stovepiping – siloing of groups in social networks results in inbred opinions and no cross talk of groups

Suggestions to enhance virtual participation:

* use drupal discussion groups, chat room, etc?
* skype video conferencing? (subject to connectivity problems)
* virtual participation by conference call?

Karen will talk to PPC tomorrow about our technical needs for the Social Software Showcase. They might not be able to help with equipment needs but can try to help with space placement–so that we will get a room that meets our needs (wifi!).

5 LITA Forum 09 interactivity (Zoe Stewart Marshall Forum 2009 Planning Committee Chair)

history: Plannnig for 09 forum begins February 08. Planning committee has its first meeting at annual 08. They are looking for suggestions now for changes to the structure of the conference. It was commented that connectivity at the Salt Lake City forum location should be pretty good.

Would be great to create podcasts of keynotes; we should ensure that hotel is aware of our needs. Planning committee aware that some of the content becomes stale due to long process. They are also looking for suggestions for different types of sessions or ways to deliver content that will engage more users, and came to BIGWIG for ideas.

The committee is considering a “Bar Camp” approach, or the “lightning talks” that occurred at last year’s Forum. The committee wants to schedule these new sessions so that attendees don’t have to make a choice between traditional presentations and new stuff. It was suggested that posters and lightning talks at the same time so that people can ebb and flow among them (lightning talk is a poster session without the poster). It was also suggested that they use a twitter feed to broadcast who’s talking next. Notifications via SMS would be good too. opt-in for SMS notifications could be part of registration form.

Other feedback: the USB key was nice at last forum, but if there is no handout, would be nice not to have a blank pdf.

How to facilitate networking at the forum? Dinner doesn’t necessarily facilitate bar-camp-like discussion environment. “Birds of a Feather” was suggested–people would gather at an appointed BOF time to discuss topics important to them.

Members suggested posting an entry or link on the LITA blog soliciting additional ideas for Forum 09. IG members are also welcome to email Zoe with other ideas.

Open Source Systems IG Meeting

LITA Open Source Systems IG business meeting
Midwinter, 2008
January 14th
Marriott Philadelphia

Present were representatives of the National Archives of Canada, Liblime, Rowan University, Index Data, the Texas State Library, City College of San Francisco, Georgetown’s Law Library, Texas Wesleyan, the Massachussetts Trial Court Law Library, Florida State University, Wayne State University, Minnesota’s CLIC consortium, PALINET, Eastern Michigan University, and Wofford College.

Who’s Using What

Open-source content management systems were the most commonly used type of software, with Plone and Drupal coming up most frequently. About half of those present were at some level of consideration or implementation of an open-source ILS, with Evergreen and Koha being most mentioned, though there was also discussion of VuFind, Blacklight, and the eXtensible Catalog project; several had been to the Next Gen Catalog IG meeting the previous day where several of these projects were discussed. DLXS (digital library image management), WordPress (blogging), Moodle (courseware), and MediaWiki were also mentioned.

There was a lively discussion of programs planned for Annual in Anaheim.

Getting Started With Drupal (preconference). Cary Gordon, the speaker, was present by phone from the sunny West Coast.
Building and Supporting Koha, an open-source ILS. Speakers: John Houser of PALINET (present) and Joshua Ferraro of Liblime.
Legal Issues for Developing Open Source Systems for Libraries. Speaker from the Software Freedom Law Center.

The first-time chair got a lot of excellent advice on running successful programs, which he will try to honor in implementing them.

George Harmon of Florida State University volunteered to be co-chair between Annual in DC and Midwinter, and was duly elected. He will become chair at Annual in Anaheim.

A long-time member brought a couple of boxes of Linux live cd’s, the current version of Freespire. They were gobbled up enthusiastically.

The group decided to make use of ALA’s Online Communities and the LITA wiki to communicate about programs and other subjects between conferences.

The meeting flowed quite naturally into a discussion of practical issues with open-source in libraries, including the common perceptions that using open-source requires in-house expertise, and that commercial support is not available. Neither is necessarily true, as there are hosted services and a small but growing list of companies specializing in support of open-source library operations. Lots of those present were interested in the actual process of acquiring and migrating to an open-source ILS. The consensus was that open-source migrations are about the same as commercial migrations, but that there are some significant differences in the initial review and selection process. Specifically, assessing the health of a company and an open-source project are different things. Also, the usual RFP approach is to list features and see which service matches them–which doesn’t include the option to build the feature or have it built, as is possible with an open-source project. It is additionally entirely possible that the selection process will include dealing with the project, the support vendor, and possibly a developer of additional features. This creates a “gap of information” between the usual commercial process and what’s possible with open-source. Filling that gap is an additional part of the selection process, as is addressing the tendency to be skeptical of open-source and to have blind faith in products one pays for. Many of the concerns about open-source also apply to commercial vendors.

Chris Strauber

Electronic Resources IG Meeting, Friday 1/11/08 7:30 pm

The IG meeting on Friday night attracted an impressive group of information professionals, with standing room available only. Zoe Stewart-Marshall, an ERMIG Chair and Clara Ruttenberg, an ERMIG Vice Chair started the meeting with Electronic Resources IG mission statement and goals

Zoe announced that Vice Chair position, responsible for organizing managed discussions, will be open. Those interested are invited to apply. Also, any suggestions for topics to be covered at
ALA annual are welcomed.

The first presenter, Ted Fons from Innovative Interfaces, Inc gave a brief overview of the Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative (SUSHI) and a positive update that the standard was approved by NISO. He indicated differences between SUSHI and COUNTER. COUNTER is good on how to report the statistics on a smaller scale. SUSHI allows query for usage data through web services and saves time for staff. It took 18-20 months for the idea to be implemented. Last October the standard was finalized and approved for use, it is now standard Z39-93. Project EUCLID, Highwire Press, Gale all implemented SUSHI Server online. As of right now, content providers are at some stage of implementing SUHSI server. Mr. Fons jokingly suggested thanking your content providers for getting on board. There are several SUSHI versions, now we just need one efficient model. Read more about SUSHI: and

Oliver Pesch from EBSCO gave an update on the new COUNTER schema upcoming release 3 since the previous was rather limited. This is no longer unknown technology. There are issues in implementation. On the server side it is issue of creating new user interface, backing up data, etc. It’s up to the client and the server to decide what reports to ask for, as long as the server and client agree.

Ed Riding from SirsiDynix gave a brief update and overview on the Cost of Resource Exchange (CORE) standard. It will allow pulling ILS-stored acquisition data into ERM system. He mentioned that the question of which data elements from ILS to bring into ERM system was queried by a group of librarians last year. Their white paper can be found on the DLF website: At the same time SIRSI was discussing the same question with Serials Solutions. There were about 20-25 commonly requested data elements. Ed Riding’s group contacted NISO with proposal to create a standard protocol for exchange, using SUSHI and OpenURL as models. ERMS will store items with the same elements as ILS acquisition module: purchase order number, invoice number, fund code, vendor ID, etc. Whatever is used as markup language is to be determined by the group.
Next presenter, Brian Green from EDItEUR, was talking about developing standards for license communication: ONIX for Licensing Terms. It is a new ONIX standard for expressing and communicating licence terms between systems using a standard XML schema. With the explosion of digital resources libraries sign numerous licences with terms of agreement varying from institution to institution. The paper format is difficult for the users to consult on how to comply with licence terms. The answer is a machine readable license, and that’s when ONIX Publications Licence format (ONIX-PL) comes in. It is a structured XML statement of all terms and conditions which is sent to the library’s ERM system. The ERM system looks after user authentication and links the actionable licence terms to the relevant resources. When users access a resource, they are then informed about permitted uses. JISC and Wiley were one of the first to map the licence to ONIX-PL format. SCELC, Springer and Serials Solutions are also working on implementing ONIX-PL format.Some libraries want to receive ready mapped machine readable licenses, some prefer to map their own terms. ONIX-Pl is not intended to replace paper license, at least not yet.  Read more: and

Last speaker, Kathy Klemperer from Library and Information Systems Consulting gave an update on recently published materials on ONIX for Serials formats and documentation. A content item description message was added in the latest release. It is used to transmit information describing individual content items (usually articles) within a release. Another message added is a content item extended description, which is used to transmit detailed information about individual content items (usually articles) in a release. New release supports the provision of table-of-contents alerts, notification of single-article releases, and distribution of article-level information suitable for populating abstracting and indexing databases. Ms. Klemperer finished her presentation with a statement that those messages benefit everyone: they help to keep holdings up to date and help with claiming.

All messages are available at:

Meeting of the JPEG 2000 Interest Group on Jan 14th in Philadelphia

The JPEG2000 in Archives and Libraries Interest Group met on Saturday afternoon. 11 people attended the meeting. In the information sharing part of the meeting, there was discussion of the benefits, drawbacks, and considerations of “visually lossless” versus “digitally lossless”. In particular, one of the attendees talked about how the Internet Archive had chosen to go with visually lossless J2K files after extensive testing and review. (This attendee was not from the Internet Archive, but knew about its project.)

Some ideas for subsequent programming could be a review of J2K tools and a discussion of how much metadata is appropriate to put in the JP2/JPX file format metadata boxes.

The IG is preparing a program on using JPEG2000 for preservation for the Annual meeting in Anaheim. The description of the program was revised to:

The JPEG2000 image file format has made modest progress as an access master in cultural heritage application. Its acceptance as a preservation master format has been necessarily more cautious and deliberate. Panelists in this program will offer perspectives for using the JPEG2000 standard for preservation of still and moving image archives. Participants will learn the advantages and disadvantages of JPEG2000 as a preservation format and gain an understanding of trade-offs in the parameters that the specification offers.

Billy Kwan was also mentioned the options for online courses using ALA’s new Moodle system. At this time, the j2kIG doesn’t have any plans to take advantage of that, but the chair will put it on the agenda for the IG’s business meeting in Anaheim. The j2kIG interest group is also up for renewal this year, and is working through the paperwork. In that process, the attendees at this meeting selected Peter Murray from OhioLINK to continue as chair and Nick Baker from Williams College to be vice-chair.

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