Preconference: Intro to Web Services

[late posting due to Internet connection issue]

Sara Randall from University of Rochester opened the program by giving us the definition of Web Services and its components. She showed Rochester’s CUIPID (Catalog User Interface Platform for Iterative Development) project that implements an XML-based library catalog with Google-like “did you mean” spell checking. She emphasized that web services are important to promote interoperability, including support for legacy applications and just-in-time integration.

Eric Lease Morgan followed up with a more elaborate definition of the service, some simple hands-on examples, and several web services projects such as OAI-PMH, the WordNet thesaurus project from Princeton, Google Maps, Weather Channel on the desktop, and “semi web services” of integrating MyLibrary content into Notre Dame’s campus portal. He also emphasized the need to start learning XML and embracing web services especially since many users prefer accessing library resources through the Internet.

Two case studies were then presented. Jeremy Frumkin from Oregon State discussed the OCKHAM Initiative project, a collaboration between Oregon State, Notre Dame, Emory, and Virginia Tech. Digital Library Services Registry (DLSR) enables easy advertising and discovery of digital library services by using a P2P network. Harvest-to-Query Service (H2Q) is a method for enabling any OAI-PMH available collection to be Z39.50 available. More info on http://ockham.org.

Diane Vizine-Goetz from OCLC discussed their Library of Congress Controlled Vocabulary project, a service that checks the name against the Library of Congress authority file. Another project presented was Terminology Services that can be delivered through MS Office 2003 Research Task pane. The goal of this project is to ”make controlled vocabularies more accessible to people and computer applications.” This service should be available for public in July.

From vendors’ perspective, Carl Grant represents Vendor Initiative for Enabling Web Services (VIEWS), an effort by vendors to enable interoperability in corporation with NISO. The initiative is hopefully to bring a win-win situation for the libraries as well as the vendors to achieve the optimal service. Read June 15th issue of the Library Journal on library automation (The Dis-Integrating World of Library Automation) about his thoughts on the service.