School of Information
 Previously School of Library & Information Studies

 296a-1 Seminar: Information Access.
 ("The Friday Afternoon Seminar")
 Summaries - Spring 2007.

Fridays 3-5. 107 South Hall. Schedule.
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 (IISI), Bonn. 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 the MIT. 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 Measurement.
    The European Commission's Joint Research Centre: a Reference Center for Science and Technology in the European Union

    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 Peter 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, including zooming 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 Their Assets?"
    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.
    For CDDA see, 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.     Fall 2006 schedule and summaries.   Fall 2007 schedule and summaries.