Previously School of Library & Information Studies
Seminar: Information Access.
("The Friday Afternoon Seminar")
Summaries - Spring 2007.
Fridays 3-5. 107 South Hall.
Summaries will be added as they become available.
Friday, January 19: First seminar meeting of semester:
Clifford LYNCH: Introduction. "Memories for Life" Workshop.
After the usual introduction to the Seminar and
introductions, I'll discuss and reflect on the UK Memories for
Life Program (see
for more information), based on the workshop and symposium that
I had the opportunity to attend in December 2006. Memories for Life
is a very broad-scale, multidisciplinary effort to look at how
science and technology are changing our understanding of memory and
our ability to support it, and also to explore some of the social and
cultural implications of these changes.
Jan 26: Ray LARSON, Fredric GEY & Michael BUCKLAND:
Bringing Lives to Light: Biography in Context.
Biographical texts, such as "Who's who" entries and biographical
articles in encyclopedias, are very rich in mentions of places,
time-periods, events, and other people. To understand someone's life
one needs to know the conext that these terms refer to.
We will discuss a new project:
"Bringing Lives to Light: Biography in Context" (See
This project seeks to enable the more effective use of biographical
texts in a digital environment by making it easier to understand this
context. Our goal is to design, demonstrate
and evaluate standards and best practices for encoded mark-up,
embedded queries, and associated editing tools that can be used
to create more powerful digital biographical texts that can in
turn be connected to a wider world of contextual information.
The intended audience is the creators of biographical records,
primarily librarians, archivists, editors of scholarly texts, museum curators
and educational publishers.
Feb 2: Volker WULF, Univ. of Siegen, Germany: A Practice-based Approach
to Human-Centered Computing.
Computer applications are getting increasingly
interwoven in everyday life. To build these applications, we
need to take the distinct practices of their (potential) users
into account. I will frame the talk by developing a practise-based
perspective on social systems. Based on this perspective, I will
suggest a research framework for human centred computing. To clarify
this framework, I will present research being conducted currently
at the University of Siegen and Fraunhofer FIT. We are developing
innovative applications for distinct domains such as: knowledge
work in a German industrial association, a fire-brigade in the
city of Paris, and an ethnically mixed neighbourhood in the city
of Bonn. Research in these particular domains is linked by
overarching method development such as appropriation infrastructures,
end user development, and 3D simulation environments of wearable
computer. Finally, I will discuss further research challenges
when taking a practise-based view on human centered computing.
Volker Wulf is a a professor in Information
Systems and the director of the Media Research Institute at the
University of Siegen. At Fraunhofer FIT, he heads a research group
in the field of User-centred Software-Engineering (USE). He is also
a founding member of the International Institute for Socio-Informatics
After studying computer science and business administration at the
RWTH Aachen and the University of Paris VI., he got a Ph.D. at the
University of Dortmund and a habilitation degree at the University
of Hamburg, Germany. In 2001, he worked as a research fellow at
He is currently on sabbatical as a Fulbright Scholar at the
University of Michigan and at Stanford.
His research interests lie primarily in the area of Computer Supported
Cooperative Work, Knowledge Management, Computer Supported Cooperative
Learning, Entertainment Computing, Human Computer Interaction,
Participatory Design, and Organizational Computing.
He published more than 170 papers. He edited 10 books among which Expertise
Sharing: Beyond Knowledge Management and Social Capital and Information
Technology both with MIT Press and End User Development
with Springer Dordrecht are probably best known. As a conference co-chair
he hosted the Seventh European Conference on Computer Supported
Cooperative Work (ECSCW 2001) in Bonn and Communities & Technologies
(C&T 2003) in Amsterdam.
Feb 9: Lin MUEHLINGHAUS, Kim CARL, and others:
Support for the Learner:
Needs, Habits, and Evaluation Studies.
As part of the recently completed study "Support for the
Learner: What, Where, When, and Who" (see
a series of studies were undertaken
at UC Berkeley and at
Dominican University in San Raphael concerning the needs,
habits, and preferences of students
and faculty in terms of the support that libraries do (or might)
provide to support
their instruction and research. There were exploratory initial interviews, a second
round of interviews with faculty, a questionnaire survey, and
demonstration and discussion of the prototype interface and search support
system developed for the project. See
and try this interface at
Join us for a discussion of our findings, which
suggest that effective adaptation to a network environment
will require fundamental changes in how faculty and librarians
do their work, how they interact with each other, and
how libraries provide access to digital resources.
Lin Muehlinghaus is Assistant Professor
of education at Dominican University and has specialized in the
relationship between technology, politics, and education and in the
evolving role of librarians. Kim Carl provides technical
support for the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative and recently
completed her MLS degree. Both are part of the project team.
Feb 16: Doris FLORIAN, European Commission
Institute for Reference Materials and
The European Commission's Joint Research
Centre: a Reference Center for Science and Technology in the
The Joint Research Centre (JRC), a
Directorate General of the European Commission, is a
reference centre for science and technology in the European
Union. The JRC supports the European Union from the scientific
point of view when new legislation is conceived, developed,
and finally implemented and monitored in the Member States.
The JRC consists of 7 Institutes in 5 Member States of the
European Union (Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and
Spain). The presentation will briefly cover the European
Union legislative cycle and the scientific
support needed for it. Further it will cover the JRC
scientific activities by presenting examples also of
relevance to the USA and US information scientists.
Powerpoint presentation (16 MB).
Doris Florian is Head of the Institute Development
and Programme Management Unit at the
Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements
of the Joint Research Centre
of the European Commission.
She is in
charge of strategy development and programme management, public
relations, training of staff and the library and information
center. Formerly working for Joanneum Research, Graz, Austria,
Doris Florian was Visiting Scholar here in the School of
Information in the mid and late 1980s.
Feb 23: Clifford LYNCH: Search in 2017.
On Saturday, February 17, I had the chance to participate
in a session at the AAAS meeting speculating on what search would be
like ten years from now, in 2017. Preparing for this session, I realized
that it had been about a decade since I wrote an article titled
"Searching the Internet" for Scientific American and this led
me to some reflection about the last decade of search developments
as well. At seminar this week I'll summarize the observations from
the AAAS panel, share my own thinking about what we can learn from
the past ten years and what the next ten years may bring, highlight
some open research problems, and lead a discussion.
Mar 2: Peter BRANTLEY, Digital Library Foundation:
Architectures for Collaboration: New Directions
for Digital Libraries.
Peter Brantley will discuss some of the issues that libraries should
be addressing in the coming years in a discussion of collaboration,
new media, and user participation.
Peter Brantley is the new Director of the
Digital Library Federation,
is a partnership
organization of 39 academic libraries and related organizations that are pioneering
the use of electronic-information technologies to extend their collections and
services. DLF provides leadership for libraries by identifying standards and
best practices for digital collections and network access, coordinating research
and development in the libraries's use of technology, and fostering projects
and services that libraries need but cannot develop individually.
See News Release at
Brantley Appointed DLF Executive Director.
Mar 9: Google Earth Symposium: Mano Marks (The Google Earth Team),
Ray Larson, Jeanette Zerneke (International & Area Studies) & others.
A description and discussion of the use of Google Earth,
through time, for access to cultural heritage resources.
Mar 16: Fred TURNER, Dept of Communication, Stanford.
Burning Man at Google: A Cultural Infrastructure
for New Media Production?
Every August for more than a decade, thousands of information
technologists and other knowledge workers have trekked out into a barren
stretch of alkali desert and built a temporary city devoted to art,
technology and communal living: Burning Man. Drawing on extensive
archival research, participant observation, and interviews, this
talk will explore the ways that Burning Man's bohemian ethos
supports new forms of production emerging in Silicon Valley and
especially at Google. It will show how elements of the Burning Man world
-- including the building of a socio-technical commons, participation in
project-based artistic labor, and the fusion of social and professional
interaction -- help shape and legitimate the collaborative manufacturing
processes driving the growth of Google and other firms. The talk will
thus develop the notion that Burning Man serves as a key cultural
infrastructure for the Bay Area's new media industries.
Fred Turner is an Assistant Professor of
Communication at Stanford University. He is the author of
From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth
Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism (Univ. of Chicago Pr.,
2006), which the Association of American Publishers recently named the
Best Book in Communication and Cultural Studies for 2006. He is also
the author of Echoes of Combat: The Vietnam War in American Memory
(Anchor/Doubleday, 1996; 2nd ed., Univ. of Minnesota Pr., 2001). Before
coming to Stanford, he taught Communication at Harvard's John F.
Kennedy School of Government and MIT's Sloan School of Management.
Mar 23: Roger C. SCHONFELD, Manager of Research, Ithaka.
The Survivability of Texts.
I've been working on a history of the survivability of texts in the
United States over the course of the past 150 years. This
history has major implications for policymaking about how to
organize future preservation services for both print and electronic
materials. From a systemwide organizational perspective, there
are significant implications for the network accessible environment.
I will give a brief overview of my work and invite discussion.
Roger Schonfeld is Manager of Research for Ithaka, a not-for-profit
organization working to help higher education take advantage of advances
in information technologies. Roger leads a research program presently
focused on the transition away from print and related preservation
issues; on understanding the community's information-services needs; and
on improving our understanding of new resource models for teaching and
learning. Roger is the author of JSTOR: A History (Princeton University
Press, 2003), which examines business models for the shift to an online
environment for scholarly texts by focusing on how JSTOR developed into
a self-sustaining not-for-profit organization. He has also published The
Nonsubscription Side of Periodicals (Council on Library and Information
Resources, 2004) and, with Brian Lavoie, the most comprehensive
examination of the systemwide print book collection, "Books without
Boundaries: A Brief Tour of the System-wide Print Book Collection,"
Journal of Electronic Publishing, 2006. Previously, Roger was a research
associate at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Mar 30: Spring break: No seminar meeting.
Apr 6: Kimiko RYOKAI: Objects with Narrative Memories.
My work builds on the relationships people have with their physical
objects. Physical objects are charged with history, narratives, and
memories of people, both from the ones who created them and from the ones
who interacted with them. However, we usually do not have access to this
information about our physical objects. With my past and present projects,
StoryMat and I/O Brush, I will discuss the potential that technologies
have in creating that missing link.
Kimiko Ryokai is our School's newest faculty member.
She is also a faculty member in the Center for New Media. See her profile at
Apr 13: Short Reports by Bernt WAHL, Clifford LYNCH, and others.
Bernt WAHL:Micro Publishing
In the current digital era, technology is emerging that allows unique
content to be tagged, monitored, controlled and distributed at
increasingly granularity. Basically all content bits can be given
unique identifiers, along with licenses that give terms of usage and
its related cost. Then when the 'material' item is used associated
fees can be collected from the appropriate parties for distribution to
the contents' rights holders.
The desire to create 'unique' content by uses is immense as seen, with
the resent explosion of video content sites like YouTube. To the
question "User-Generated Content: Can Copyright Tolerate Mixing and
Mashing?" the real question should be, "Can Media Companies Afford to
Stand Idlely by When Such a Golden Opportunity Exists to Capitalize on
Clifford LYNCH: Report on the Library of Congress
Task Force on the Future of Bibliographic Control.
Apr 20: Paul ELL, Centre for Data Digitisation
and Analysis, The Queen's University, Belfast, and Michael BUCKLAND:
Digitization and Uses of Digitized Irish Studies Journals.
Dr Paul Ell, whose background is in historical geography, leads
the Center for Data Digitisation and Analysis, a center that specializes
in the scanning and OCRing of humanities resources.
His Centre and the University Library at the Queen's University, Belfast
have received a large grant to do a retrospective digitization
of the back files of the 100 leading journals in Irish Studies.
Recently Belfast and Berkeley submitted a grant proposal to show how
techniques developed by Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative could be
used to enable readers of these Irish texts to understand the broader context
of what they read, building on the recently completed IMLS-supported project
"Support the Learner: What, Where, When, and Who"
Join us for an informal discussion of the work of Dr Ell's Centre,
the special features of Irish Studies and its literature, the digitization
project, the proposed joint project with Berkeley to make the digitized back files
more usable, and related topics.
see http://www.qub.ac.uk/cdda/, for
Paul Ell see
and for the digitization of back files of Irish periodicals see
Apr 27: Clifford LYNCH:
Report on the Open Archives Object Reuse and Exchange (ORE) Initiative.
May 4: Last meeting of the semester.
Bernie HURLEY, University Library:
What's Going on in Research Libraries?
We'll spend some time discussing the Google Book scanning
project and the University of California's involvement, the UC Libraries
Bibliographic Services Task Force Report (Executive summary at
and how this all relates to the future of research libraries. And more.
The seminar will resume in the Fall semester on August 31.
Spring 2007 schedule.