Wednesday, February 27, 2008

code4lib 2008 trends

Some observations regarding the first day of code4lib 2008:

There are a couple big players here from outside the library and library vendor worlds that are doing big, important library-related things: The Internet Archive and the Center for History and New Media.

The Internet Archive considers itself a library, a basically altruistic, nonprofit institution. But unlike any library I know, it has ambitions that are as far reaching as Google. It wants to create a digital archive of as much of the human record as it can get its hands on. I gotta say that I'm impressed with what they've done so far with the Internet Archive, and I support their other efforts with the OpenLibrary.

The Center for History and New Media comes at the perspective of research in the digital age from that of the humanities scholar. They've brought us Zotero, which I was impressed to learn has a user base of over 500K already. I'm also eager to here about their digital collections/digital exhibit software Omeka, which I see as a possible replacement for ContentDM at our shop.

It's really evident that there are a lot of competing solutions out there for solving various library technology problems. Throughout the day we heard of several solutions for catalog search/metasearch: the WorldCat API, VUFind, eXtensible catalog, and tangentially, LibraryFind. I can only wonder if there'll be a shakeout here sometime in the near future.

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