The 2010 forums

Is there a future for an Integrated Library Management System?

12 February 2010

Marshall Breeding was the Director for Innovative Technologies and Research for the Vanderbilt University Libraries in Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

Marshall was a keynote speaker at the VALA 2010 conference held in Melbourne in February. We are grateful to the VALA organisers for their assistance with organising this Information Futures Forum.

In this Information Futures Forum Marshall posed a simple question -- "Is there a future for an Integrated Library Management System?" -- and explored a variety of possible answers.

Building a community of practice for programmers

10 March 2010

This event was co-hosted by the Victorian eResearch Strategic Initiative (VeRSI) and the University Library's Information Futures Forum series.

Paul Walk, the Deputy Director of UKOLN, is involved in the development of openly accessible services in the UK's higher education community. He has worked on cross-sectoral approaches to developing and exploiting open APIs to support the creation of innovative, cost-effective networked services.

UKOLN is a UK research organisation that aims to inform practice and influence policy in the areas of: digital libraries, information systems, bibliographic management, and web technologies. It provides network information services, including the Ariadne magazine, and runs workshops and conferences.
In his presentation Paul spoke about recent developments at UKOLN and a vision for the future.

Faculty and Learning Services at Auckland

29 March 2010

In March 2010 Hester Mountifield was the Acting Associate University Librarian (Faculty & Learning Services) at the University of Auckland.

In this role she contributed to the development of the University Library system as a whole with designated responsibility for the provision and ongoing enhancement of excellent collections and services to support the teaching, learning and research activities of all faculties. 

In her previous role as Assistant University Librarian (Information Commons & Learning Services) she was responsible for the development of the Kate Edger Information Commons, Grafton IC and Epsom IC facilities.

She spoke about Faculty & Learning Services @ Auckland seven years after the opening of the Information Commons.

Creative Disruption: ebooks and scholarship

1 September 2010

This Information Futures Forum featured a keynote address by Dr Ziggy Switkowski, followed by a panel discussion and audience Q&A chaired by Professor John Dewar, Provost.

The expert panel members were:

  • Professor Pip Pattison, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching)
  • Mr Graeme Connelly, Director University Bookshop
  • Mr Philip G Kent, University Librarian

Dr Ziggy Switkowski was the Chair of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization. He was a non-executive director of Suncorp, Tabcorp and Healthscope, and Chair of Opera Australia. He is a former chief executive of Telstra, Optus and Kodak (Australia).

In 2006 Dr Switkowski chaired the Prime Minister's Review of Uranium Mining, Processing and Nuclear Energy which returned nuclear power to the country's strategic debate.

He has a PhD in nuclear physics from the University of Melbourne and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

Professor John Dewar was  Provost of The University of Melbourne. The Provost leads and supports the development, delivery and excellence of the University's curriculum, student experience and scholarly information services.In her role as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching),Professor Pip Pattisonhad responsibilities in elearning and the quality of learning and teaching. Professor Pattison is a quantitative psychologist interested in the development of mathematical models for social and behavioural phenomena, particularly for social networks and network-based social processes.

Mr Graeme Connelly was  Director of the University Bookshop. He was a member of the Federal Book Industry Study Group convened by Senator Kim Carr. In 2009 he partnered with the University Library to establish the Expresso Book Machine, a print-on-demand book-production service.

Mr Philip G Kent was  University Librarian at The University of Melbourne.

Future directions for Virtual Research Environments (VREs)

15 November 2010

Ian Dolphin, Executive Director of the Sakai Foundation, delivered a presentation exploring the relatively short history of e-research and virtual research environments, and offering a vision for the future development of VREs.

The presentation was followed by audience Q&A. The forum was chaired by Professor Richard Sinnott, Director eResearch at the University of Melbourne.

Thanks to the Victorian eResearch Strategic Initiative (VeRSI) for their assistance with bringing Ian Dolphin to the University of Melbourne.

Ian Dolphin was appointed as Executive Director of the Sakai Foundation in August 2010. Originally a teacher, Ian was for many years Head of eStrategy at the University of Hull in the UK, and has served in a variety of governance roles for the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), including as Deputy Chair of the JISC Committee for the Integrated Information Environment. Most recently, Ian directed a review of JISC-provided information infrastructure in the UK and acted as Director of the eFramework, a JISC partnership with Australian and New Zealand government departments.

Ian was for many years a member of the Board of Directors of the Sakai Project and Foundation, Jasig, the parent organisation of uPortal and other software which is widely used in higher education, and the Curriki content initiative.

The Sakai Project deliberately set out to build an environment which would support learning and teaching collaboration, but which could be used in a broader variety of contexts, including providing support for research collaboration.

Despite the widespread and widely reported use of the Sakai Collaboration and Learning Environment as a learning management system, the experience of use of Sakai for research collaboration remains under-reported. This experience and breadth of use has fed directly into the specification of the next generation of Sakai software, the Sakai Open Academic Environment (formerly Sakai 3).

The Sakai OAE begins squarely from the perspective of the academic user and learner. It applies lessons from social networking for scholarly purposes, and focuses on the flexible support of academic workflows. Above all the OAE will be a securely permeable environment, rather than a walled garden. It is designed from the ground up to incorporate external content and tools, and to disclose content and services to other systems. The design goals of the Open Academic Environment will be presented, together with the progress of the managed project to develop it.

Monopolies of Invention: collaboration across class lines in the digital humanities

6 December 2010

Dr Bethany Nowviski was Director of Digital Research and Scholarship at the University of Virginia Library and Associate Director of the Scholarly Communication Institute.

Digital humanities communities  on local, national, and international scales are rightly characterized as welcoming, collaborative, and interdisciplinary. Nonetheless, they operate within institutional structures that reify distinctions between service and research, staff and faculty.

Bethany Nowviskie discussed models and policies that have evolved at the University of Virginia over its 20 years of institutional experience in humanities computing.  She identified successes to be duplicated and outlined problems to be solved.

This event was a combined session of the Faculty of Arts eResearch Forum and the Information Futures Forum, sponsored by VeRSI.

Bethany Nowviskie was the Director of the Scholars’ Lab, which combines the services and resources of UVA’s former Etext, GeoStat, and Research Computing Support Centers. The Scholars’ Lab hosts public programs on the impact of new media and methods on humanities and social science research.

Bethany's doctorate is in English Language and Literature from the University of Virginia and she has taught courses in writing, poetry, bibliography, and new media aesthetics and design. Digital projects Bethany has worked on include the Rossetti Archive and Temporal Modelling.

The Scholars' Lab is an initiative of the University of Virginia Library. It is staffed by expert consultants from the UVa Library's Digital Research and Scholarship unit. The Scholars' Lab caters to the digital research and scholarly analysis needs of faculty and advanced students in the humanities and social sciences.