Thomas Dowling | 2 Jan 21:17 2008

LITA Next Generation Catalog Interest Group at Midwinter

[Apologies for duplication.]

LITA NGCIG Meeting at Midwinter: Three Next Generation Catalog Projects

The LITA Next Generation Catalog Interest Group will meet on Sunday,
January 13, from 4:00 to 6:00pm in the Hilton Garden Inn (conveniently
located just outside the convention center), in Salon A/B.

We will have presentations and discussion about three locally developed
and/or open source catalog projects.  Ross Shanley-Roberts of Miami
University will discuss their SolrPac project; Bess Sadler of the
University of Virginia will discuss their Project Blacklight; and Chris
Barr and Andrew Nagy of Villanova will discuss their VuFind project.

A brief business IG business meeting will follow the discussion.

See you in Philadelphia.

--
Thomas Dowling
tdowling <at> ohiolink.edu

Weinheimer Jim | 3 Jan 14:11 2008

Relevance ranking: was Aqua Browser

> On 12/22/07, Nancy Cochran <nancy.cochran <at> earthlink.net> wrote:
>
> > Considering Google - not sausage - what are the lines of code that
> > normalize the feminine and the masculine; the singular and the plural; the
> > past, present and future tense; capital letters and lower case characters;
> > silly punctuation like an apostrophe to indicate
> ownership;  parts of
> > speech as simple as nouns and verbs?  And then of course, how
> does Google
> > get the differing language versions of the same universally used word?
> > It is important to note that they often do.  And they do it in
> the
> > background.

I got into this rather late, but I would like to point out that the purpose of Google vs. the purpose of
libraries is completely different and this is reflected in their tools. Google is a business and as such,
aims at "Customer satisfaction." Therefore, if the customer is satisfied, that is the end of their responsibility.

I would contend that librarians practice a profession, such as doctors or lawyers. A doctor worries less
about satisfying the customer, i.e. telling patients what they want to hear, and tells them what they need
to hear. This may make the patient/customer very angry. Librarians follow a code of ethics, which does not
even exist for businesses such as Google. The ALA code is at: http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/statementspols/codeofethics/codeethics.htm

A few of them can be pointed to for thought:

II. We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.
III. We protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information
sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.
VI. We do not advance private interests at the expense of library users, colleagues, or our employing institutions.
VII. We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our
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Rob Styles | 3 Jan 19:29 2008

Re: Relevance ranking: was Aqua Browser

> I got into this rather late, but I would like to point out that the
> purpose of Google vs. the purpose of libraries is completely
> different and this is reflected in their tools. Google is a
> business and as such, aims at "Customer satisfaction." Therefore,
> if the customer is satisfied, that is the end of their responsibility.
>
> I would contend that librarians practice a profession, such as
> doctors or lawyers. A doctor worries less about satisfying the
> customer, i.e. telling patients what they want to hear, and tells
> them what they need to hear. This may make the patient/customer
> very angry. Librarians follow a code of ethics, which does not even
> exist for businesses such as Google. The ALA code is at: http://
> www.ala.org/ala/oif/statementspols/codeofethics/codeethics.htm

Could you expand on the parallel between librarianship and say, being
a medical doctor? For example, the similarities in the expectations
of users that you're seeing or in the sanctions that are applied to
librarians when they fail to find the right resource for a user's
needs? I'm not sure library users see librarians in quite the same
way as they see their lawyer or doctor.

The google code of conduct is at: http://investor.google.com/
conduct.html and makes interesting reading...

It contains a section on serving their users well, taking a stand on
issues that affect their users, respecting each other at work and not
letting personal issues become a conflict of interest; all in all it
seems to me to be very similar.

> ***Please note*** that I am not saying anything bad about Google
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Eric Lease Morgan | 3 Jan 19:45 2008
Picon

Re: Relevance ranking: was Aqua Browser

On Jan 3, 2008, at 1:29 PM, Rob Styles wrote:

> That is to say, relevance is about matching the result to the context
> of the user. What Google excels at it is guessing that context from
> what you've typed, how much you've typed, how specific it is and
> much, much more.
>
> Surely a next-generation catalogue has to do a better job of that?

These are my thoughts exactly, and I don't think relevancy is an
advertising gimmick. I've elaborated upon the idea of context in a
presentation called "Catalog Collectivism: XC and the Future of
Library Search". Here's a snippet:

   The future of search lies in: 1) the enhancement of the
   discovery process and 2) providing services against
   collection beyond simple identify. Putting the users' needs
   and characteristics at the center of the query process will
   greatly enhance the discovery process. By knowing more about
   the searcher -- placing the query in context with the
   searcher -- it will be possible to improve find
   significantly. For example, if you know the searcher is a
   freshman, then it is safe to assume their experience or
   knowledge is less than a senior's and therefore a different
   set of resources may be appropriate for their needs. Search
   can take experience into account and present results
   accordingly. Suppose the searcher is an expert in
   anthropology but are searching for information on
   micro-economics. Given this it is unlikely the searcher will
   want advanced micro-economic data, at least not right away.
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Nancy Cochran | 3 Jan 19:49 2008
Picon
Picon

Re: Relevance ranking: was Aqua Browser

Jim Weinheimer responded to the entry below with his own entry.  My
comment:

I agree with you completely, entirely, without exception.  You help make my
point.  My question is, why do libraries, with their wide-reaching motives
and goals, acquiesce to the likes of Google?  Librarians can do what they
do now _and_ what Google does.  (Libraries already do the harder of the two
parts.)

Now, give users "customer satisfaction."

Make it transparent and you'll outdo Google.  (Some of us are not real fond
of sausage.)

If I was to provide an answer to my own question, (as an outsider) I would
say that Libraries are stuck in their own bureaucracy.

> [Original Message]
> From: Weinheimer Jim <j.weinheimer <at> aur.edu>
> To: <NGC4LIB <at> listserv.nd.edu>
> Date: 1/3/2008 10:20:23 AM
> Subject: [NGC4LIB] Relevance ranking: was Aqua Browser
>
> > On 12/22/07, Nancy Cochran <nancy.cochran <at> earthlink.net> wrote:
> >
> > > Considering Google - not sausage - what are the lines of code that
> > > normalize the feminine and the masculine; the singular and the
plural; the
> > > past, present and future tense; capital letters and lower case
characters;
(Continue reading)

McGrath, Kelley C. | 3 Jan 22:11 2008
Picon

ALA Midwinter brainstormins session on work-level records for moving images

The Online Audiovisual Catalogers Cataloging Policy Committee (OLAC
CAPC) will be holding a brainstorming session on possibilities and ideas
for work-level records for film and video during the second half of our
meeting at Midwinter in Philadelphia. We hope to form a task force to
flesh out the ideas generated in the discussion and ideally to try to do
some proof-of-concept experiments.

If you are interested in this topic, please join us at the Philadelphia
Marriott (Downtown), Room 302-304 on Friday, January 11, 2008 at 8:30
p.m. I have included some thoughts I wrote to start the discussion off
below. The full meeting agenda will soon be available at
http://www.olacinc.org/capc/new.html. If you have ideas to share or
would like to be involved in this project and cannot attend the meeting,
please contact me at kmcgrath <at> bsu.edu.

Thank you.

Kelley McGrath

Chair, OLAC Cataloging Policy Committee

Some Thoughts on Work Records for Moving Images

Work records for moving images would be a high-value proposition
because:

*       Users often want to search on work-level attributes and we don't
do a good job of encoding some of these attributes in our
manifestation-level bibliographic records 
*       Moving images tend to be re-released in different variations
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B.G. Sloan | 3 Jan 23:46 2008
Picon

Re: Relevance ranking: was Aqua Browser

  If only I had a nickel for every time someone suggests that libraries could out-Google Google..... :-)

  Nancy Cochran asks:

  "My question is, why do libraries, with their wide-reaching motives and goals, acquiesce to the likes of Google?"

  Google is a single entity, with fairly straightforward goals and decision-making processes. The library
community is actually thousands of entities (both libraries and librarians), not all of which are
heading in the same direction. And as far as decision-making goes, no one is in charge of the library
community. Nancy suggests that "Libraries are stuck in their own bureaucracy". The library community as
a whole is not a bureaucracy. The community is thousands of little bureaucracies, many of which do not play
well together (note: I'm not saying these bureacracies intentionally do not play well together, just
that there are competing interests and missions, etc.).

  I think the only realistic way that librarians can move forward rapidly in this area will be through a
relatively small group (or groups) of talented dedicated people that is beholden to no one, and thus is not
obligated to spend huge amounts of time engaged in consensus building. They would be free to forge ahead
and do what they think is best. I think the library community as a whole has already missed the boat on this.

  Bernie Sloan

Nancy Cochran <nancy.cochran <at> EARTHLINK.NET> wrote:
  Jim Weinheimer responded to the entry below with his own entry. My
comment:

I agree with you completely, entirely, without exception. You help make my
point. My question is, why do libraries, with their wide-reaching motives
and goals, acquiesce to the likes of Google? Librarians can do what they
do now _and_ what Google does. (Libraries already do the harder of the two
parts.)
(Continue reading)

Eric Lease Morgan | 4 Jan 00:45 2008
Picon

Re: Relevance ranking: was Aqua Browser

On Jan 3, 2008, at 5:46 PM, B.G. Sloan wrote:

> Google is a single entity, with fairly straightforward goals and
> decision-making processes. The library community is actually
> thousands of entities (both libraries and librarians), not all of
> which are heading in the same direction....
>
> I think the only realistic way that librarians can move forward
> rapidly in this area will be through a relatively small group (or
> groups) of talented dedicated people that is beholden to no one,
> and thus is not obligated to spend huge amounts of time engaged in
> consensus building...

I agree and disagree at the same time.

On one hand it is true there is no central authority in Library Land,
and no, most libraries do not share exactly the same goals. Such
things are advantages of hierarchal organizations.

On the other hand I posit that libraries have more things in common
than differences. We all share the desire to collect, preserve,
organize, and disseminate data/information for the use of our
constituents. Our only differences are in the funding sources, the
types of materials, and the audiences. Our processes are very (VERY)
similar. Moreover libraries have a long tradition of collaboration.

When you combine these characteristics (advantages) with the evolving
characteristics (advantages) of a networked environment I believe it
is entirely possible for our profession to move forward toward a
shared goal. It worked for an operating system. It can work for
(Continue reading)

Michael Fitzgerald | 4 Jan 04:17 2008

Re: Relevance ranking: was Aqua Browser

Rob Styles wrote:
>It contains a section on serving their users well, taking a stand on
>issues that affect their users, respecting each other at work and not
>letting personal issues become a conflict of interest; all in all it
>seems to me to be very similar.

Except that "users" to Google means something rather different than
"users" to libraries, I think:

"...our users, whether they're simple search users or advertisers,
large companies or small companies. We have many different types of
users but one primary goal for serving them all. "Is this useful?" is
the one question every Googler should keep in mind during every task,
every day. "

So when the *advertiser* is asked "is this useful?" don't you think
that there might well be considerations affecting the response
compared with when the *simple search user* (i.e., Joe Q. Patron) is
asked? Particularly when compared to the ALA's:

"We do not advance private interests at the expense of library users,
colleagues, or our employing institutions."

It seems to me that Google wants to blanket nearly everyone with the
"user" label (perhaps as a way to do whatever they want and justify
it with "just serving the user") but in the library many of those
would be under the "private interests" label. And as the ALA states,
"Ethical dilemmas occur when values are in conflict." How convenient
to have nothing conflict because both the advertiser *and* the simple
search user are *all just users*. (But some users are more equal than
(Continue reading)

Weinheimer Jim | 4 Jan 09:27 2008

Re: Relevance ranking: was Aqua Brow

> Could you expand on the parallel between librarianship and say, being
> a medical doctor? For example, the similarities in the expectations
> of users that you're seeing or in the sanctions that are applied to
> librarians when they fail to find the right resource for a user's
> needs? I'm not sure library users see librarians in quite the same
> way as they see their lawyer or doctor.
>
> The google code of conduct is at: http://investor.google.com/
> conduct.html and makes interesting reading...
>
> It contains a section on serving their users well, taking a stand on
> issues that affect their users, respecting each other at work and not
> letting personal issues become a conflict of interest; all in all it
> seems to me to be very similar.

The Google code of conduct is aimed at the conduct of their employees. There is a lot of concern about
Google's actual policy. For a rather extreme stance, see the Mother Jones article at: http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2006/11/google.html
Here is a report about Google being the worst at protecting privacy:
http://www.privacyinternational.org/article.shtml?cmd%5B347%5D=x-347-553961

I know that Google agreed to censor itself in China. This is not to say that Google is "bad": it is acting like a
normal corporation out to make money, but it is no better and no worse than any other corporation. We all
need to be aware of this.

Librarians have the code of ethics that says we do not censor user's information We do not promote certain
information over other information for our own benefit. Of course, this is how Google works: if one site
can get a whole lot of others to link to it, by paying them or in any way they can, they will wind up higher in the
rankings. This can be seen the clearest with google bombs, but it is obviously happening in other ways as well.

> Not knowing much about Dostoyevsky I figured I'd try http://
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Gmane