The 2006 forums

The library of the future - spreading  the word: capturing and delivering libraries of information in the 21st  century

9-10 February 2006

We were most fortunate to have two world experts on the storage and  retrieval of information to speak to our first Information Futures  forum for 2006. Speakers Daniel Clancy and Sandy Payette were both in  Australia as keynote speakers at the 2006 VALA Conference.

Daniel  and Sandy both addressed the same topic.

Sandy Payette led digital library research and development projects at Cornell  University's Information Science program. She was founder and  co-director of the internationally-recognised Fedora Project that  deploys sophisticated open-source software that forms the basis of  digital libraries, institutional repositories, digital archives, and  educational software.Sandy collaborated with colleagues from Cornell and Los Alamos National  Laboratory in the NSF-funded Pathways project to design new information  architectures for integrating heterogeneous digital repositories and  services, and to demonstrate a next-generation scholarly communication  system.

Sandy's other research areas include digital preservation, information networks, and automated policy enforcement.

Further reading: Carl Lagoze, Dean B Krafft, Sandy Payette, Susan Jerusoga: "What is a Digital Library Anyway? Beyond search and access in the NSDL", published in D-Lib magazine, November 2005.

Dr Daniel Clancy was  Engineering Director for Google Book Search, USA. The Google Book  Search project focused on indexing offline printed content to make  it full text searchable via the web.

Prior  to joining Google, Daniel worked at NASA Ames Research Center for  seven years. He was Director of the Information Sciences and Technology  Directorate at NASA Ames Research Center. Daniel Clancy received his  PhD in artificial intelligence from the University of Texas at Austin.

SAKAI and community source software for higher education

23 March 2006

A three-hour forum and workshop led by:

  • Chuck Severance, the Chief Architect of the Sakai  Foundation
  • James Dalziel from Macquarie University's E-learning Centre  Of Excellence
  • Neil McLean, Director IMS Australia
  • Mike Rebbechi  from Charles Sturt University -  a representative of the Sakai Partners  in Australia

The forum used Sakai as a model of community developed and supported  software to provide a seamless course management, research and project  collaboration environment in the higher education sector.  It covered  the nature of the community, its governance, how it interacts with  other higher education open source communities and the role of  standards in successful community source development.

Dr Charles Severance was a Software Architect at the University of  Michigan Duderstadt Center working on tools for online collaboration  for teaching, learning, and research. He was Chief Architect  on the Sakai project ( and worked on the NEESgrid project and the National Middleware Initiative grid portal project. Charles is the author of the book High Performance Computing (Second  Edition) published by O'Reilly and Associates, and has taught computer  science courses at the University of Michigan and Michigan State  University .Charles has developed several tools to assist in the production of  multimedia web-based lectures. The tools are called the Sync-O-Matic  3000 and ClipBoard-2000. He has a BS, MS and PhD in Computer  Science from Michigan State University. His research area is the use  of parallel processors for High Performance Computing and the use of  the Internet to deliver educational content.

Thoughts on technology and the 21st century university

25 May 2006

Dr Tracey Wilen-Daugenti from Cisco Systems (Global Education, USA) presented  a global overview of issues and trends of information technology in  higher education, including multi-disciplinary research, teaching  spaces, libraries and the value of partnerships.

Traceywas  the Managing Director of the Internet Business Solutions team  at Cisco Systems Inc. In this role she led higher education institutions in innovation and excellence by using the Internet to  achieve institutional goals. Before joining the Internet Business  Solutions Group, Tracey held a number of positions at Cisco for the  past eleven years in the areas of Business Development, Marketing, and  Operations. Prior to Cisco, Tracey held executive positions at Hewlett  Packard and Apple Computers.Tracey holds  an MBA and Doctorate in International Business and has been a visiting scholar at Stanford University. She was an adjunct  professor for graduate and doctoral programs for a number of Bay Area  universities for 15 years. Her areas of expertise are  international business, leadership, and women's studies. Tracey was named San Francisco Woman of the Year by the Women in  Business Organization for her outreach in the fields of academia, women's research, and technology.

New media realities: the user revolution

21 June 2006

Tony Walker, Manager, ABC Digital Radio, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, says the balance of power is shifting from media producers to the  audiences.

The triumph of personal technology over mass technology is  giving birth to new behaviours. No longer is media consumption a  passive pursuit, with viewers, listeners and readers waiting for media  companies to produce and deliver content.

Now audiences can use a  growing variety of platforms to get what they want when they want it.  But not only is content distribution passing into the hands of the  consumer.

So is content production. Increasingly, consumers are becoming producers, distributing their  content to their own audiences, and this is where the heart of the  media user revolution lies.

Tony Walker spent 30 years working in the Australian media and has a background in  journalism, program making and broadcast management. As Manager ABC Digital Radio he was responsible for the planning, development  and management of new services within the ABC Radio division and the  identification and analysis of strategic issues and developments in  broadcasting.

Where is it? Enterprise search - promises and challenges

20 September 2006

Dr David Hawking was Science Leader for the Information Retrieval area in the CSIRO ICT Centre. He was also chief scientist of Funnelback Pty Ltd, the company spun off  to commercialise CSIRO's enterprise search technology.

Universities, like other organisations, are beginning  to realise the significant business cost of ineffective search  facilities, both in external competitiveness and in internal  productivity. The issues, challenges and exciting possibilities of  enterprise search will be outlined and illustrated with examples drawn  from the university sector. A number of promising ideas for improving  the quality of search will be presented as will new methods for  measuring how well they actually work.

Dr  Hawking led a very active research program in Workplace Information  Retrieval and supervise PhD students at ANU and the University of  Sydney. He is an author of over 60 scientific publications, sits on the  editorial boards of Information Retrieval and Computational  Intelligence and is a member of the program committees of many of the  leading conferences in the areas of the Web search and information  retrieval. For more information see Dave's home page.