Monday, April 07, 2014
#CILDC : Hack Libraries: Platforms? Playgrounds? Prototypes? - David Weinberger
Tom Hogan Sr. gave the welcome to the 29th CIL Conference. Hogan started with this quote from Eric Hoffer, "In a world of change, the learners shall inherit the earth, while the learned shall find find themselves perfectly suited for a world that no linger exists."
This year's conference demographics:
1349 registered for the conference
247 signed up to visit the exhibits
155 exhibitor personnel
There are registrants from 46 states +DC, and 13 countries. This includes a delegation of six people from Qatar!
Jane Dysart, the conference chair, also gave welcoming remarks. The conference theme this year is "hack the library".
Dysart recognized two pioneers, who died recently: Peter Scott and Rich Wiggins. Http://libconf.com/pioneers Scott invented a way of "browsing" the internet before there were browsers. Wiggins was also a champion of the internet.
David Weinberger - @dweinberger - the keynote speaker, is the co-director of the Harvard Library Innovation Lab.
Two questions: why hacking now? Why isn't every knife a Swiss Army knife?
First libraries are getting squeezed a bit. Hacking is a good why if raising the value. This is "white hat" hacking". Hacking for good. There is also "black hat" hacking and bozo hacking.
What gives us this opportunity now?
1) Networking of everything - not simply that things are going digital.
They're just going networked.
2) Opening of everything - from closed by default. Open access, for example. There is momentum around open access. It seems inevitable.
3) Lifecycle engagement - readers can connect to the library and to each other. They can also connect with authors. People can develop ideas together. Libraries are involved in conversations.
4) We have a set of networked ecosystems - people tend to go to Google, Wikipedia and Amazon as there first stops. Libraries now have the ability to provide more of the infrastructure and be a place that people think of first.
This gets us to the Swiss Army knife - the Wenger super expensive and huge version is discussed. It weighs over 7 lbs. Why doesn't every knife have all of these things? It is a negative utility to have all of these things together. Question - which tools do you want to bind together? Anticipation is how you decide what to put together.
Anticipation based development is what we experience all the time. Consider how publishers decide what to publish. In the real physical world, works get filtered out. In a networked world, everything can be available. Libraries try to anticipate needs. Everything libraries do is based on anticipation in their collections, services, and even their digitization efforts.
Even our metadata schemes is done with anticipation.
Three paths where anticipation is not the guiding thing:
1) Platform approach. Place a platform under the current services. The platform includes open data. Some of it could be user generated. Give people the ability to access this data is if it were theirs. People can figure out what services they want. The cost of providing services goes way down. There are some platforms on the Internet currently, like DPLA.
Library Cloud - librarycloud.harvard.edu - MARC holdings of all of the Harvard libraries. Has bookstore info. Hopes to have syllabus data. Links out into the world. Three different APIs. One application is StackLife, which displayed books in on a shelf. The visual of the book spine is meaningful! It is open source, so you can create your own version. Http://stacklife.harvard.edu
The Harvard school of design took over a space and allowed people to create their own library, which was a type of platform.
awesomebox.io - allows a user to return a book and designate it as being awesome. This could create really interesting metadata.
2) Linked open data - we're getting to the place were we can created linked ILSs. If allows definitions to be pointers, so that computers can understand when a metadata field is the same. Allows the system to get much smarter, much faster.
Do an internet search for "Linked data for libraries"
3) introduce graphs - These could be knowledge graphs, like the Theodore Roosevelt info on Google. Graphs can show relationships. A library graphs would show the dense relationships that they know about books, etc. Graphs are an expression of linked data. New data can easily be added.
To hack libraries, we need to hack the future. It is what we've always dine, but we need to do more of it. It means providing an infrastructure of knowledge. We need to enrich our existing assets. We need to continue our curation efforts.
Librarians need to continue to evaluate sources, point out problems, point out connections, challenge beliefs, curate differences.
Rogues need to take different roads. Take the yellow brick road, but also go where a million flowers bloom.