Edinburgh’s Scottish Storytelling Centre was a great venue for the 3rd SLIC FE Conference on Friday, well organised by Catherine Kearney and chaired by Charles Sweeney.
With such topics as LMS, Web 2.0 and IPR in digital repositories on the agenda, you might think the day might have been disjointed. Far from it. The day hung together very well, with yours truly setting the context of the wider waves of technology and innovation that have been and will continue wash across the wider web, influencing the world of academia and libraries. Although this is being seen in the Library systems world with the emergence of so called Next Generation OPACs, is this only just doing the same old thing but better – we need to extend the user interface and the underlying systems and data to integrate with the systems and organisations around us. [Presentation available on SlideShare]
The theme continued with Phil Bradley taking us through Web 2.0 usage and techniques applicable to everyone in general and libraries in particular. Next on the bill was Charles Duncan, Intrallect CEO, taking us through the way repositories should be integrated in to institutions an the wider national and international landscape – Web Services are the key.
An afternoon of presentations: NewsFilm Online – a fascinating resource introduced by Vivienne Carr from EDINA; Intellectual Property Rights issues as applied to the output of, and material used by, e-learning; drawn to a close by the inimitable Dave Pattern, sharing his experience at Huddersfield University applying Web 2.0 principles to their OPAC.
The whole day was drawn to a close with a JISC sponsored round table discussion which I was invited to join, which served to reinforce my impression that libraries and educationalists over the last few years have found themselves in the unusual position of striving to catch up with the rest of the world.
Traditionally they have been in the role of helping to introduce new technologies & techniques to their students and the wider world. For a whole generation the OPAC was their first interaction with publicly accessible computing. With the web and now so called Web 2.0 the boot is on the other foot. We are in danger of making too big a deal out of it – many of our users are already more in tune with the things we are worrying about how to introduce.