The 2013 forums

Web Weavers of the Future

4 February 2013

ITS Research, the University Library, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and the Centre of Advanced Journalism jointly hosted a free public lecture at the University of Melbourne with Sir Tim Berners-Lee as guest speaker.

This was Sir Tim Berners-Lee's first Australian visit in over a decade. He undertook a five-city tour in January and February 2013.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee OM, KBE, FRS, FREng, FRSA invented the World Wide Web while working at CERN in the 1990s. He now leads the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), overseeing the Web's standards and development.

Sir Tim is a Director of the World Wide Web Foundation and is a member of the UK's Transparency Board. He is the author of Weaving the Web: the original design and ultimate destiny of the World Wide Web by its inventor.¿¿

He has received numerous awards throughout his career including the Japan Prize, the Prince of Asturias Foundation Prize, the Millennium Technology Prize and Germany's Die Quadriga award.

In 2004 he was knighted by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II and in 2007 he was awarded the Order of Merit.¿¿ The Telegraph (UK) newspaper ranked him first in a list of '100 greatest living geniuses.'

Sir Tim Berners-Lee's Australian tour was presented by iiNet with additional support from the Australian Computer Society, CSIRO, the University of New South Wales, the University of Melbourne, the University of Technology, Sydney and NICTA, Australia's Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Research Centre of Excellence.

The inside-out library: scale, learning, engagement

11 April 2013

The classic library was built on an outside-in model: information materials were brought to the institution, and made available for use. This was appropriate in an age of information scarcity and high transaction costs. The only way effectively to interact with a large body of knowledge was to have it assembled close to the reader.

Our environment has now changed. We live in an age of information abundance and transaction costs are reduced on the web. This makes the locally assembled collection less central to the lives of readers.

At the same time, institutions are generating new forms of data – research data, learning materials, preprints, videos, expertise profiles, etc – which they wish to share with others. These need to be managed and disclosed so as to be discoverable by others, as an ‘inside-out’ perspective becomes more interesting.

This creates new questions for libraries. What is the best scale to do things at (locally or in the cloud)? How do you collaboratively source common infrastructure which creates little unique local impact? How do you better understand the changing research, learning and information workflows of readers and become more engaged with them? How do you become a learning organisation which can respond effectively to change?

Lorcan Dempsey oversees the research division and participates in planning at OCLC.

OCLC Research is one of the world's leading centres devoted exclusively to the challenges facing libraries and archives in a rapidly changing information technology environment.

Lorcan is a librarian who has worked for library and educational organizations in Ireland, England and the US. He has policy, research and service development experience, mostly in the area of networked information and digital libraries.

He writes and speaks extensively, and can be followed on the web at Lorcan Dempsey's weblog and on Twitter.

Before moving to OCLC Lorcan worked for JISC in the UK, overseeing national information programs and services, and before that was Director of UKOLN a national UK research and policy unit at the University of Bath. Lorcan is Irish, and before moving to the UK he worked in public libraries in Dublin, Ireland.

Recent publications by Lorcan Dempsey:

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Libraries, Discovery, and the Catalog: Scale, Workflow, Attention
EDUCAUSE Review Online, Monday, 10 December 2012.
This article is a slightly amended version of a contribution of the same name to Sally Chambers, ed., Catalogue 2.0: The Ultimate User Experience (London: Facet Publishing, 2013).

Libraries and the Informational Future: Some Notes (302 K/18 pp.)
This e-print is a slightly edited version of a chapter of the same name which appears in Information Professionals 2050: Educational Possibilities and Pathways, edited by Gary Marchionini and Barbara B. Moran. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2012, pp. 113-26. .