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16 January 2009














Cross Currents No 32January 2009 

A digest of cross sectoral information management events, issues and ideas in organisations, libraries, archives and museums, with special emphasis on arts and the humanities.


ARTS & HUMANITIES AusStage symposium | Australian music libraries conference | Project Bamboo  DIGITISATION & DIGITAL REPOSITORIES

Australian aborigines and digitisation | Book Search | Copyright law | Digital preservation | International survey of library & museum digitisation projects KNOWLEDGE & INFORMATION MANAGEMENT Collaboration among libraries, archives and museums |

Cyberlearning | Virtual organisations  LIBRARIES & LIBRARIANSHIP Future libraries | Library cooperation | Sustainability | Using Facebook  RECORDS & ARCHIVES  Australian Digital Recordkeeping Initiative | German archives union catalogue | National Archives of Australia | NZ Recordkeeping Standard | US archives digital strategy SYSTEMS & STANDARDS Federated search software | Hidden web | Metadata practices | Open source software | Persistent identifiers | PREMIS and METS | Social software


AusStage symposium
Flinders University’s Humanities Research Centre hosted the AusStage symposium Transforming Research into Live Performance in September 2008 to look at the Australian performing arts gateway as a tool for research. Presenters included Julie Holledge (Flinders University), Adrian Kiernander (University of New England), Paul Makeham (Queensland University of Technology), Jonathan Bollen (Flinders University), Maryrose Casey (Monash University), Helena Grehan (Murdoch University), Glen McGillivray (University of Sydney / University of Western Sydney), Mark Seton (University of Sydney / Macquarie University), and Lisa Warrington (University of Otago, who gave a presentation on Theatre Aotearoa, the New Zealand theatre database at Further information available at

Australian music libraries conference
The Australian Branch of the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres held its biennial conference at Hobart in September 2008. The conference included presentations on the Australian musical resources, publishing, and digitisation of musical resources Australia-wide. Web:

Project Bamboo
Project Bamboo is an international multi-institutional, interdisciplinary and inter-organisational effort, launched in April 2008, to bring together researchers in arts and humanities, computer scientists, information scientists, librarians, and campus information technologists to advance arts and humanities research through the development of shared technology services. A plan is anticipated in September 2009, based on the efforts of working groups. The site includes links to relevant material at


Australian aborigines and digitisation
Martin Nakata and others have published the report Australian Indigenous Digital Collections: First Generation Issues at the University of Technology E-Press website. The purpose of the project was to investigate practical issues facing institutions when digitising materials generally, particularly Indigenous materials. They conclude that, from the institution’s perspective, legal and sensitivity issues are the major point of disjuncture from standard digitisation processes. However, the need for Indigenous access to Indigenous materials in collections is an over-riding consideration. Progress has been patchy. There is a need for the development of broader cross-sector strategies. Web:

Book Search
Satya Nadella, in Book Search Winding Down (Live Search, 23 May 2008), reports on the announcement by Microsoft that it will end its Live Book Search and Live Search Academic projects and focus instead on indexing library and publisher book content in organizations' digital repositories. Microsoft has also said it was making the scanning equipment available to its digitisation partners and libraries to continue digitisation programs. About 750,000 books have been digitised as a result of Microsoft's projects and 80 million journal articles indexed. Web:

Copyright law
The Library of Congress’s National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program has published the report International Study on the Impact of Copyright Law on Digital Preservation (July 2008), commenting on copyright and related laws of Australia, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and United States and the impact of those laws on digital preservation of copyrighted works. It also addresses proposals for legislative reform and efforts to develop non-legislative solutions to the challenges that copyright law presents for digital preservation. Web:

Digital preservation
Neil Beagrie, Najla Semple, Peter Williams and Richard Wright have published a Digital Preservation Policies Study as part of the UK Joint Steering Committee’s Digital Preservation and Records Management Program. They note that a major business driver in all universities and colleges over the past decade has been harnessing digital content and electronic services. The priority in recent years has been on developing e-strategies and infrastructure to underpin electronic access and services. However any long-term access and future benefits may be heavily dependent on digital preservation strategies underpinned by relevant policy and procedures. This should now be an increasing area of focus in our institutions. Their study aims to provide a model for digital preservation policies and to analyse the role that digital preservation can play in supporting and delivering key strategies for higher and further education institutions. Although focussing on the UK higher and further education sectors, the study draws widely on policy and implementations from other sectors and countries and will be of interest to those wishing to develop policy and justify investment in digital preservation within a wide range of institutions. They have created two tools: (1) a model/framework for digital preservation policy and implementation clauses based on examination of existing digital preservation policies; (2) a series of mappings of digital preservation links to other key institutional strategies in UK universities and colleges. They recommend that (a) funders utilise the study to evaluate and encourage best practice in institutional preservation policies and procedures and (b) that JISC consider funding case studies on how the generic digital preservation policy in the study might apply in practice to specific activities, digital content or units. Web:

International survey of library & museum digitisation projects
Research and Markets Ltd has published its latest Survey of Library & Museum Digitization Projects covering practices in more than 100 library and museum digitisation programs in the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, the UK and other countries. The report presents data on funding, collaboration within and outside of institutions, staffing of digitisation projects, spending on hardware and software, practices on copyright, outsourcing, staff training, cataloguing issues, marketing and other aspects. Web:


Collaboration among libraries, archives and museums
Diane M Zorich, Günter Waibel and Ricky Erway’s 59-page report Beyond the Silos of the LAMs: Collaboration Among Libraries, Archives and Museums (OCLC, 2008) is the result of an RLG program, Library, Archive and Museum Collaboration, which set out “to explore the nature of library, archive and museum (LAM) collaborations, to help LAMs collaborate on common services and thus yield greater productivity within their institutions, and to assist them in creating research environments better aligned with user expectations—to move beyond the often-mentioned silos of LAM resources which divide content into piecemeal offerings.” Five RLG Programs partner sites were selected to participate in the workshops: the University of Edinburgh, Princeton University, the Smithsonian Institution, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and Yale University.

Although the scope of the investigation was limited to LAMs in a campus environment or under a single administrative umbrella, a number of observations may be applied when assessing the potential for collaboration among independent LAMs. (1) A general vision for national and international LAM collaboration has been articulated in many different contexts, and most often by those not affiliated with collecting institutions. In the US context, probably the best exemplars of strides toward realising the vision of independent LAMs coming together have been state-wide digitisation projects. (2) While many independent LAMs can articulate a broad and compelling vision of network-level access to their resources, they generally lack the unifying influence of a mandate that would propel the LAM community toward that vision. (3) Mandates must be funded. Governments and other entities can have a significant impact in realizing a more collaborative environment through strategic investment. (4) Beyond funding, staff incentives to partake of the sweeping vision of LAMs at the network level remain unclear. Local staff are rewarded for achievements with local impact, and as this report has shown, the implicit definition of “local impact” determines the nature of collaborative initiatives and disincentivises collaborative efforts in broader LAM communities.

On an international scale, the highly successful Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) provides a case-study of a cross-domain international collaboration: the vision of how science could be advanced with an integrated dataset of biodiversity information led to a mandate from an international coalition of governments, expressed in a “memorandum of understanding between countries, economies, or organisations.” Since its founding in 2001, GBIF and its partner organisations have created standards and a clearly articulated information architecture, as well as integrated access to biodiversity information. Staff routinely get seconded to work on GBIF projects, since they (and their institutions) perceive being part of a large international effort as a compelling incentive. In this manner, GBIF has moved a vast community (including many LAMs) far to the right side of the collaboration continuum. GBIF, however, is the exception.

The absence of the unifying, orchestrating and directing impetus of a single administrative entity emerges as a systemic handicap in this cursory look at collaboration among independent LAMs. Without many of the catalysts at play, it is difficult to imagine deep, long-term collaborations among independent LAMs. It requires extraordinary motivation, committed resources over a long time horizon and significant changes in institutional perspective and behaviours. Each institution’s sense of primacy would need to yield to efforts that focus on a larger, extra-institutional goal. While the inclination of campus-based LAMs was to do so by focusing on delivery and access through their individual Web sites, current patterns of user access and engagement increasingly take place at a broader network level. Users accustomed to using the Internet for the majority of their information needs will soon stop thinking about resources that are not indexed by Google and other search engines. Web analytics show where the users are and LAMs need to respond. This very real requirement may motivate cross-domain collaborations aimed at increased access to cultural heritage. Web:

The National Science Foundation has published Fostering Learning in the Networked World: The Cyberlearning Opportunity and Challenge, which provides guidance to NSF on the opportunities, research questions, partners, strategies, and existing resources for cyberlearning. The report identifies directions for leveraging networked computing and communications technology. It also calls for research to establish successful ways of using technologies to enhance educational opportunities and strengthen proven methods of learning within the scope of NSF’s charter, which focus on the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and the social, behavioural, and economic sciences based in the US. It makes five recommendations: (1) promoting cross-disciplinary communities of cyberlearning researchers and practitioners including technologists, educators, domain scientists, and social scientists; (2) instilling a “platform perspective”—shared, interoperable designs of hardware, software, and services—into NSF’s cyberlearning activities; (3) emphasising the transformative power of information and communications technology for learning, from “K to grey”; (4) adopting programs and policies to promote open educational resources; (5) taking responsibility for sustaining NSF-sponsored cyberlearning innovations. Web:

Virtual organisations
The National Science Foundation has published the report Beyond Being There: A Blueprint for Advancing the Design, Development and Evaluation of Virtual Organizations, based on a workshop, sponsored by the NSF, to advance collaboration in research and education through cyberinfrastructure. After exploring the nature of virtual organisations, the report recommends: (1) encouraging cross-disciplinary studies involving both technologists and social scientists working with domain-centered VOs; (2) combining knowledge from multiple studies to present a framework that can inform further VO research and practice; (3) developing a checklist of necessary VOs features—technological, social, organisational —to ensure that new VOs start off on the right track; (4) designing instrumentation, metrics, and evaluation as part of a VO from the beginning rather than adding measurements systems post-mortem; (5) supporting human capital development around Vos; (6) investigating whether technological and organisational factors that support effective virtualisation can be standardised or provided as commoditised infrastructure; (7) offering awards for supporting community services at all levels, including the development of new scientific applications, operation of technology infrastructures, and ongoing maintenance of these services; (8) identifying incentives and offer rewards for “metacontributors” to VOs—the people who build or reorganise features to make it easier for others; (9) supporting the development of hardened common tools and protocols for sharing knowledge and data; (10) creating proposal funding models that support the use and reuse of VO infrastructures; (11) encouraging universities to support VOs with substantial, complementary investments; (12) establishing cross-directorate funding opportunities that could more appropriately evaluate and support projects uniting social scientists, computer scientists, and domain scientists. Web:


Future libraries
The Council of Library and Information Resources’s report No Brief Candle: Reconceiving Research Libraries for the 21st Century (Washington, DC: Council on Library and Information Resources, 2008) contains papers from a meeting of librarians, publishers, faculty members, and information technology specialists convened by CLIR in February 2008. It urges a change in the way research libraries reinvent themselves to deal with rapidly developing digital technologies and other issues. Change cannot be executed by a single profession. It calls for a new approach in hiring and providing professional development. Research libraries need to be redefined as multi-institutional entities. “The latter entails a mandate to eliminate redundancy by calibrating resources, staff, and infrastructure functions to the collective enterprise of the federated institutions,” in a way that transcends the traditional concept of a library while preserving their strengths. Change should “enhance intellectual productivity in a far more cost-effective fashion." Web:
Rebecca Miller, in Future-Proof Your Library (Library Journal, 15 August 2008) reports the thoughts of "movers and shakers" about the key aspects for providing library services in the future. New thoughts seem to depend on implementing past approaches – using talent and marketing. Focus on staff above all else, staff who are adept at change, are computer and social networking experts, who scan the horizon. Staff who are helpful. Market the library by being relevant rather than ‘sustainable’, being open, being user-centred, providing local value, being problem solvers, by getting out from behind the desk, by gaining trust, by being collaborators. Web:

Library cooperation
Janifer Gatenby, in The Networked Library Service Layer: Sharing Data for More Effective Management and Co-operation (Ariadne, no 56, 30 July 2008) writes on the evolution of library management systems, current library priorities, matching systems to priorities, data storage, collection, acquisition and management issues at the network level and the need for standardisation before concluding: “Moving appropriate data to a network level data with basic enquiry and update Web services is a first step in re-engineering library systems. In fact it is not only the ILS that needs re-engineering, but also the newer solutions that, like ILS, have created silos of data, often locked inside proprietary systems and databases. It is important for libraries to own and control their data resources; to be free to share them, provide access to them and to expose the data. It is less important that the libraries own or run the software that manipulates and manages the data." Web:

Ricky Erway, in Seeking Sustainability, reflects on the success and failures of the RLG Cultural Materials and programs, focusing on efforts to make access to the digitised special collections of cultural heritage institutions self-sustaining. The project has been discontinued. The RLG Cultural Materials was launched in 1999 with the aim of increasing awareness of the institutions and their special collections, working collaboratively to address some of the issues surrounding the digitisation, description of cultural materials and management of rights, developing a body of digital surrogates and related descriptions for the works and artefacts documenting culture and civilization collected by libraries, archives, and museums, providing access to that resource for educational use, identifying ways to reach new audiences, explore means for sustaining such an activity and returning revenue to contributors. By 2006, fifty-four institutions had joined the alliance. Thirty-six institutions had contributed 117 digitised special collections and created Cultural Materials subscription resource, represented a quarter of a million works (which, in turn, represented almost a million digital objects). The service set out to seek commercial gain through licences for images. She concludes: “Our attempt with to put the images on the open Web, where users are looking, was a step in the right direction. However, we learned that the bulk of inquiries that made it through to were from people doing very specific searches, typically for ancestors. Although we had lots of interesting content related to the great quantity of more general searches, we didn’t achieve the ranking that would push content near the top of search-engine result lists. Web:

Using Facebook
Belinda Weaver, in Researcher Profiles and Portfolios: Use Cases of the Facebook Service and the University of Queensland Researchers Service (D-Lib Magazine July/August 2008), describes the University of Queensland’s online research profiling system, UQ Researchers, to showcase the expertise of its academic staff and postgraduate students. External users can search for topical areas and seek opportunities for research collaboration. The take up of the service has been patchy. Not all staff participate in the service, and postgraduate student take up is extremely low. On the other hand staff and students have been more than willing to spend time showcasing themselves and their work via social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook. Facebook offers a number of useful features that could be adapted for users in the academic environment. It also offers a more 'live', real-time view of a researcher, and it provides a much more engaging and interactive experience. Recommendations are made to make the UQ Researchers more appealing and useful, Web:


Australian Digital Recordkeeping Initiative
The Australasian Digital Recordkeeping Initiative (ADRI) has announced progress on recent activities: (1) it has endorsed a suite of online publications for the Australia and New Zealand global collaboration on software requirements, which, according to ADRI promises significant benefits to the software industry and eliminates confusion caused by varying jurisdictional standards; (2) it has prepared a statement on the dangers of digital rights management technology, which may impair the ability of governments in Australia and New Zealand to capture full and adequate records ensuring the preservation of and access to government business, decisions and communications; and (3) it applauds international consensus on protocols for the exchange of digital records, in which the Public Record Office Victoria played a major contributing in the project conducted by the United Nations and the Centre for European Normalisation (CEN). Each of the three new products can be found at: ADRI is also currently working on the development of generic business cases for digital recordkeeping, training modules on digital recordkeeping and virtual archiving, generic specifications for digital archive hardware and software functionality, guidelines for managing digital recordkeeping metadata in archival systems, and a standardised recordkeeping metadata element set consistent with ISO 23081 Metadata for Records. http://Web:

German archives union catalogue
Andres Imhof, in Using International Standards to Develop a Union Catalogue for Archives in Germany: Aspects to Consider Regarding Interoperability between Libraries and Archives, reports on a project of the Bundesarchiv (National Archives of Germany), involving a portal finding aids for archival records in SED (Socialist Unity Party of Germany) and FDGB (Free German Trade Union Federation). The project transformed data formats into a common profile using the Encoded Archival Description (EAD), Encoded Archival Context (EAC) and Encoded Archival Guide (EAG). Despite the use of these standards, many aspects needed special attention because of the differences between library and archive materials, and the different needs and traditions of libraries and archives. Important congruent data structures for the integration of all the catalogue data from libraries, archives, and museums into a European digital library [EDLproject], Imhof says, are still lacking. International standards cannot guarantee interoperability between libraries and archives. It is more appropriate to accept the heterogeneity of these institutions and to plan and execute a common presentation, taking into consideration the aspects discussed in this article. After conducting a full text search, users will still need an orientation in the respective context of resources. Only then will the results of the search be understood fully. Web:

National Archives of Australia
The Rudd Government has transferred the National Archives of Australia from the Department of Finance and Deregulation to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, where it joins the Australian Public Service Commission, Commonwealth Ombudsman, Australian National Audit Office, Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Office of the Privacy Commissioner and the Office of Freedom of Information. Web:

NZ Create and Maintain Recordkeeping Standard
Archives New Zealand has published an exposure draft of Standard on Creation and Maintenance of Full and Accurate Records. Web:

US archives digital strategy
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has released its Strategy for Digitising Archival Materials for Public Access, 2007-2016, building on Preserving the Past to Protect the Future: The Strategic Plan of the National Archives and Records Administration, 2006-2016. The strategy addresses efforts to digitise and make available historical documents to the public online rather than "born digital" material, which are addressed in its Electronic Records Archives (ERA) project. Five strategies are proposed: (1) gathering and making available on the web archival materials that have already been digitised in the course of performing agency functions, but for one reason or another are not available online; (2) establishing partnerships with organisations from a variety of sectors (private, public, non-profit, educational, Government) to digitise and make available holdings; (3) conduct digitisation projects on its own with materials that are not appropriate for partnerships; (4) pursuing digitisation of archival materials as part of its preservation reformatting approach; (5) continuing to make its online catalogue (currently the Archival Research Catalog, ARC) a hub for discovering NARA's digital images. The strategy also includes NARA Principles for Partnerships to Digitise Archival Materials, covering non-excusive rights, transfer of rights to NARA, support for the goals of increased access, enhanced preservation of archival materials and other issues. Web:


Federated search software
Alexis Linoski and Tine Walczyk, in Federated Search 101 (netConnect, 15 July 2008)m review the state of the library metasearch market and how to approach system selection. All products have their strengths, they say, and the right choice will boil down to the features best suited to libraries and their users. They also provide comments on open source products which provide comparable features and no cost. These products, however, will need IT support to install the software. But in many cases the installation, maintenance and upgrading could be cheaper than a subscription-based product. Open source products include LibraryFind from Oregon State University Libraries, dbWiz from Simon Fraser University, and Pazpar2 from Index Data. Web:

Hidden Web
Kat Hagedorn and Joshua Santelli, in Google Still Not Indexing Hidden Web URLs (D-Lib Magazine vol 14 no 7/8, July/August 2008) investigate whether Google had increased the number of OAI-based resources in its search index and conclude that its indexing doesn’t appear to have retrieved more of these hidden web resources since 2006, when around half of the digital resources in OAIster were hidden. They were not certain that Google is crawling URLs of OAI-based resources. and note that the search engine has recently dropped support of OAI for website indexing. Web:

Metadata practices
Karen Smith-Yoshimura, in RLG Program's Descriptive Metadata Practices Survey Results (OCLC, 2007,, reports on an OCLC program to change RLG metadata creation processes, The project began in 2007 with a survey of 18 RLG partner institutions, representing libraries, archives and museums, to obtain an understanding of current descriptive metadata practices. Those involved in the work were struck by the high levels of customisation and local tool development, the limited extent to which tools and practices are, or can be, shared (both within and across institutions), the lack of confidence institutions have in the effectiveness of their tools, and the disconnect between their interest in creating metadata to serve their primary audiences and the inability to serve that audience within the most commonly used discovery systems such as Google and Yahoo.

Six categories of tools were considered —archival management systems, Collection Management Systems (CMS), Digital Asset Management Systems (DAMS), digital collections software, Integrated Library Systems (ILS), and Institutional Repository software. Given the prominence of ILS, it was no surprise that MARC emerged as the most widely used data structure standard among the fourteen cited. Dublin Core (ie Dublin Core Unqualified and Dublin Core Qualified) was the second most common data structure, followed by Encoded Archival Description (EAD). Few institutions reported using any of the established profiles for Dublin Core. CDWA (Categories for the Descriptions of Works of Art and CDWA Lite) represented about half of those using VRA (Visual Resources Association) Core, designed to cover most visual materials. The survey found that a surprising number of respondents still used APPM (Archives, Personal Papers, and Manuscripts) rather than DACS (Describing Archives: A Content Standard), which was approved by the Society of American Archivists in 2004. Most were using both APPM and DACS, indicating perhaps that it takes more than three years for one content standard to replace another. ISAD(G) (International Council on Archives, General International Standard of Archival Description) and ISAAR (CPF) (International Council on Archives, International Standard Archival Authority for Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families) were used in both the United Kingdom and United States. The relatively new CCO (Cataloguing Cultural Objects) had a surprising uptake of 21%. The number one data content standard used was still AACR2 (Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd revised edition), which correlates with the use of an ILS and MARC. In the area of controlled vocabularies, most respondents use the Library of Congress Subject Headings, Library of Congress Name Authority File, and Art & Architecture Thesaurus. About half the respondents build and maintain one or more local thesauri.

Smith-Yoshimura makes the following conclusions. (1) In analysing the results of this survey, there appears to be an inward focus—the use of local tools to reach a generally local audience. (2) The customised systems in use are only shared to a limited degree with others within an institution, alongside a moderate sharing of discovery mechanisms, descriptive strategies, and metadata creation guidelines. Despite customisation, the tools used are at best only “partly effective” by the respondents’ own evaluation criteria. (3) One benchmark for effectiveness is to provide access to all of one’s collections. With the prevalence of backlogs and inability to keep up with additions to one’s collections, institutions will fall farther behind without some substantial changes in descriptive strategies, tools, or both. (4) While most count the public among the audience for their resources, respondents still see their primary audience as restricted to affiliated users (students, faculty, and staff). Both affiliated and unaffiliated audiences congregate in large-scale information hubs, which current disclosure strategies target only to a limited degree. (5) To reach users wherever they are, the RLG community needs to disclose more metadata to OAI harvesters, Web crawlers, and also push metadata out directly to information hubs. For disclosure to be effective, search engine optimisation is crucial. (6) RLG Programs will be following up on the questions raised by the survey in its Renovating Descriptive and Organizing Practices agenda. Its goals: maximising resources to generate as much metadata as quickly as possible; optimising descriptive data with Web information hub targets in mind; sharing tools and descriptive strategies as much as possible; and leveraging terminologies from as many sources as possible.

Open source software
Philip A Laplante, in Open Source: The Dark Horse of Software? (Computing Reviews, 15 July 2008) describes the major issues facing evaluation and implementation of open source software and gives some practical tips. He concludes “there are more than 200,000 open-source projects, ranging from simple academic pursuits to games, programming languages, tools, and enterprise-level applications…It is definitely changing the way that software engineers think about software.” Future research, however, is needed to resolve many of these issues and challenges. Questions include: Is the economic incentive to contribute to open-source projects sufficient to drive innovation at a level attractive to for-profit enterprises? Will OSS remain largely in the purview of academicians and free software proponents? What are the motives for participating in open-source communities and can these be reconciled with loyalty to company and country? Is the security and reliability proposition for OSS strong enough for commercial applications and even secure government deployment? Is the quality of OSS better, worse, or the same as closed-source software? Will the for-profit companies that have sprung up around the open-source movement be able to survive and grow, or are they simply a momentary phenomenon? Web:

Persistent identifiers
Emma Tonkin, in Persistent Identifiers: Considering the Options (Ariadne no 56, 30 July 2008), describes the range of persistence identifiers such as URN, PURL, DOI, NBN, ARK, and OpenURL and discusses related issues including opacity, authority and centrality, semantics, flexibility and complexity, availability and viability, and technical solutions versus social commitment. She concludes that "technology cannot create a persistent identifier, in the digital library community's sense of the term" and that it is an area "in which there are more questions than answers." Web:

Rebecca S. Guenther in Battle of the Buzzwords: Flexibility vs. Interoperability When Implementing PREMIS in METS (D-Lib vol 14, no 7/8 July/August 2008) looks at ambiguities in using the e PREMIS Data Dictionary for Preservation Metadata with the Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS). She describes metadata types in both schemes, redundancies between them, and issues in linking them. In conclusion, she describes efforts by working groups to create guidelines for using PREMIS in METS to resolve some of the uncertainties. “ “It is clear that the PREMIS in METS guidelines are a work in progress, and experimentation will lead to revisions. The working group that developed them has attempted to provide initial guidance for implementations. It is important that implementers provide feedback to the Library of Congress, members of the working group, or to the PREMIS Implementers' Group list. As implementers gain experience in using the guidelines and exchanging METS documents conforming to them, the guidelines will be revised.” Web:

Social software
Matthew Bejune and Jana Ronan, in Social Software in Libraries: SPEC Kit 304 (Washington, DC: Association of Research Libraries, July 2008), look at ten types of applications—social networking, media sharing, social bookmarking, wikis, blogs, RSS, chat and IM, VoIP, virtual worlds, and widgets. Most libraries now use some kind of social software application. IM and chat are the most popular applications. Although implementation is widespread, half the libraries surveyed report that social software activities remain uncoordinated and are often reliant upon the efforts of individual librarians. The executive summary is available free at

This issue of Cross Currents compiled by Paul Bentley


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