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Code4Lib2006 - Day 1 - Afternoon

Continuing day 1 of the conference.

Lipstick on a Pig by Jim Robertson

Slides (ppt)

This session was a list of many things you can do with your opac to make it a bit more useful. This includes pulling data from other API’s or supplementing it with your own programming. Most of the stuff has been discussed on various blogs. The one thing that was new was the virtual reference. When someone accesses the virtual reference chat from the opac it will pass a session number that the reference librarian can use to view the person’s current search session, making it easier to identify problems with their searching.

Decoupling from the OPAC by Casey Durfee

I don’t have slides to look over but I vaguely remember it being about the advantages of moving data out of the ILS. I only remember that because of ecorrado.

Learning Content Talk by Robby Robson

Another one where I don’t have slides for reminders. I believe he went over elearning content design, including SCORM, and the ability to have various representations of it. The representations would be inside desktop software, online courses, etc. There’s a big push in education for reusable learning objects so this is something to keep an eye on.

Breakout: Developing an Interface for Federated Search

There were multiple breakout sessions but I went to the one on federated search interfaces. The general consensus in the room was that the current breed of solutions are terrible, if you can call them solutions. Most appear to be using SFX or similar. There was discussion about how much information to include, how to link things together, the problem with data from vendors, etc. There was also some loose discussion about interfaces to holdings in general similar to the lipstick on a pig session. Topics like tags came up which I’ll likely discuss on this site later. A takeaway point was that the vendors don’t supply all the data that would make this work best. It would be ideal to have the indexes on our end and then link to the content on their site. Supposedly Los Alamos was able to get this data from vendors though others have not had such luck. It was a good breakout session.

Lightning Talks

The lightning talks were all good though there were so many my memory is failing. Some standouts were Eric Hellman talking about security problems with many library systems, Charles Lockwood talking about making it easier to link to resources for faculty and Ross Singer’s talk on link resolver abstraction (router).

Bar Talk

The bar of the evening was American Dream Pizza and Crowbar. The pizza was decent, the locals were friendly and the beer was great. I have to thank Eric Hellman for putting up with my OpenWorldCat complaints.