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12 July 2002














Cross Currents No 10 July 2002 

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.



Creative industries | Government relations | Measuring economic & social impacts


ASAE strategic alliance | Network dynamics | Project management research 


Digital Resources in the Humanities Conference | Interactivity in digital libraries | Interoperable digital libraries

| METRO Regional Digitization Initiative|  QuestionPoint virtual reference service



ICT Direction in Australia | National Office of the Information Economy activities


H-Museum Network | Metlife Foundation Museums Connections Program


IAML Australia conference


Metadata Object Description Schema | Open Archives Metadata Harvesting Protocol | Technical Metadata for Digital Still Images



Creative Industries

The Australian Government has released Creative Industries Cluster Study Report, a preliminary analysis of the industries producing digital content and applications, identifying key enterprises, their location and productivity drivers and barriers. Web: http://www.dcita.gov.au.

Cultural and creative industry policy 

Media International Australia explores cultural development, industry and distribution in its February 2002 edition. Includes ‘the continuities and differences between cultural development and creative industries'.  http://www.gu.edu.au/centre/cmp/MIACP102.html

Measuring Economic and Social Impact 

The Arts Council of England has released the report, Measuring the Economic and Social Impact of the Arts, providing an overview of arts impact research in the UK. [Source: Cultural Policy listserv]. Web: http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/



ASAE strategic alliance

The Australian Society of Association Executives has established a global alliance with the New Zealand Society of Association Executives and American Society of Association Executives. As part of a complimentary six-month trial membership, Australian members will have access to the ASAE’s upgraded website, e-commerce capabilities, database with over 5,000 articles, monthly newsletter and other services. Web: http://www.asaenet.org

Network dynamics

Rob Cross and Laurence Prusak in The People Who Make Organizations Go -- or Stop (Harvard Business Review June 2002, pages 104-112) explore the structure, roles and dynamics of informal networks, and the benefits of focusing on a few key players.  Four categories are described: (1) Central Connectors – who link the right people with one another at the right time; (2) Boundary Spanners – who connect their information networks with other parts of the organization or with similar networks in other enterprises; (3) Information Brokers – who connect subgroups in an informal cluster, providing cohesion to a group that would otherwise splinter into multiple ineffective segments, (4) Peripheral Specialists – who are not part of any informal cluster, but are periodically called upon for their special expertise. By mapping and analysing such informal networks, fragile interpersonal networks can be modified and strengthened. [Source: Current Cites]

Project Management Research

Timothy J Kloppenberg and Warren A. Opfer in The Current State of Project Management Research: Trends, Interpretations, and Predictions (Project Management Journal June 2002, pages 5-18) present the findings of a project that evaluated the state of project management research published in English, 1960 -1999. Subjects covered included cost/schedule, systems management, value engineering, standardization, and certification. [Source: Current Cites}.



Digital Resources in the Humanities Conference

The annual Digital Resources for the Humanities Conference, this year at University of Edinburgh, 8 - 11 September, 2002, will cover the themes; provision and management of access; digital libraries, archives and museums; time-based media and multimedia studies in music and performing arts; other social sciences where these overlap significantly with the humanities; network technologies used to support international community programs; the anticipated convergence between television, communication and computing media and its effect on the humanities; information analysis, design and modelling in humanities research; and knowledge representation, including visualization and simulation. [Source: Arts and Humanities Data Service].  Web: http://www.drh2002.lib.ed.ac.uk

Interactivity in Digital Libraries

The Journal of Digital Information has a special issue on Interactivity in Digital Libraries (Volume 2, issue 4, June 2002). According to the editorial, advances in Internet technologies have made it seemingly possible and easy to create digital collections, repositories and libraries. However, facilitating interaction beyond searching and browsing is in the early stages. The problems facing digital library design can be reframed as three challenges in the areas of: information spaces, learning spaces and interaction spaces. The information-learning-interaction spaces challenge provides a  framework and directs digital library research and development to the human rather than just the technical problems. It is also grounded in the realization that libraries, whether they are digital or traditional, are socially constructed, and that the values of a society are embodied in the use of a library. The Jounal of Digital Libraries is published electronically free of charge with support from the British Computer Society and Oxford University Press. [Source: CNI].  Web: http://jodi.ecs.soton.ac.uk/

Interoperable Digital Libraries

Howard Besser’s article, The Next Stage: Moving from Isolated Digital Collections to Interoperable Digital Libraries  is featured in the June 2002 issue of First Monday [Source NINCH]. Web: http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue7_6/besser/

METRO Regional Digitization Initiative

The Metropolitan New York Library Council has launched a newly designed web site for  the METRO Regional Digitization Initiative. METRO is supported in part by Federal Library Services and Technology Act Funds, awarded to the New York State Library by the US Institute of  Museum and Library Services, It has four main components: [a] an online survey of METRO member’s digitization efforts; [b] a full day symposium on digitization of library materials; [c] two half-day vendor showcases, with presentation and discussions of digitization products and services; and [d] an online information resource center, called the METRO Online Digitization Information Clearinghouse. [Source: FOS]. Web: http://www.metro.org/modic.]

QuestionPoint virtual reference service

The Library of Congress and OCLC have launched QuestionPoint, a virtual reference desk collaborative service for libraries, based on the Collaborative Digital Reference Service (CDRS) pilot. Features: a local/regional digital reference interface; web-based question and answer forms and live chat; a global cooperative of libraries and information professionals; ability to track the routing an status of questions; a comprehensive database of library profiles participating in the service; a global knowledge base; usage statistics and reports; a gateway to the global reference cooperative; a customised administrative module. [Source: Ozlib]. Web : http://www.questionpoint.org 

US Library and Museum Digitisation

The Institute’s report Status of Technology Digitization In the Nation's Museums and Libraries 2002 shows that a minority of US libraries and museums are involved in projects to make traditional materials available to users in a digital format. While most libraries and museums have funds dedicated to technology projects, only a third of museums and academic libraries, and only a quarter of public libraries are involved in digitization efforts. [Source: Culpol].  Web: http://www.imls.gov



ICT Development in Australia

Recommendations of the Australian Computer Society’s report, ICT Development in Australia - A Strategic Policy Review by John Houghton, include: establishment of a $1 billion ICT Industry Development Fund; increased funding for education and skills development; increased access to affordable bandwidth; copyright reforms; and a cluster-based development framework. [Source: the Update June 2002]. Web: http://www.acs.org.au


National Office of the Information Economy Activity May-June  

Further details at http://www.noie.gov.au

  • created a 'Currently Consulting on...' area on its  web site to facilitate public input into the decision making processes.

  • announced that National ICT Australia (NICTA) was the preferred applicant to establish and operate the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Centre of Excellence.

  • released a discussion paper on the potential for a National Authentication Technology Framework.

  • convened a forum to improve dialogue between Commonwealth health agencies and Australian IT companies with health delivery expertise. Presentations delivered at the Forum are available for browsing on the NOIE web site

  • extended by six months the Trials of Innovative Government Electronic Regional Services (TIGERS) Program

  • published the Netspots Directory as a guide to public Internet access facilities across Australia.

  • released eBusiness in Education, a report on potential education sector gains from more extensive involvement in electronic business processes.

  • sought public comment for the eGovernment Benefits Study, a research project examining the demand for and benefits derived from eGovernment.

  • asserted that Australia leads the Asia-Pacific region in the transition to e-Government according to a report published by the United Nations. 

  • welcomed the launch of Telstra Broadband Fund. aimed at promoting growth in the Australian ICT sector as a complement Government initiatives and stimulating the demand and supply sides of the broadband industry in Australia..

  • drew attention to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ survey highlighting the fact that the Australian government spent $4.3b on IT&T in 1999-2000.



H-Museum Network for Museum Professionals

H-Net, an international, interdisciplinary organization of scholars and teachers dedicated to developing the educational potential of the Internet has announced the creation of a moderated mailing list and information forum for museum professionals. The list will address themes and questions primarily relating to museums and memorial places, but is also intended to be interdisciplinary, so that archaeological, historical, cultural and artistic information can be posted alongside other more established, central spheres of activity. Articles relating to the activities and news of archives and libraries will also be listed. Subscription applications are solicited from scientists in museums, universities, libraries, archives and other academic institutions, as well as from graduate students of the arts, cultural sciences, museology and history. [Source: Culpol]. Web  http://www2.h-net.msu.edu/~museum/

MetLife Foundation Museum Connections Program

In an effort to bring museums and communities closer together, the MetLife Foundation's Museum Connections Program awards a total of US$500,000 a year to US-based art museums in eligible states to support creative and innovative projects that increase dialogue between museums and the community; expose the collections and cultural resources found in museums to a broader segment of society; and build new and diverse audiences for the arts. Web: http://www.metlife.com/  


The Australian Branch of the International Association of Australia has released a program for its Biennial Conference in Perth, 12-14 September 2002. Under the theme Preserving Australia's Musical Culture, papers will be presented on bibliographical resources and the scholar, Australia's performing arts heritage (PASIG and AusStage), the Australian Choral Archives, the ABC and the preservation of musical culture, MusicAustralia, and the direction of music librarianship in Australia. Contact: Allison Fyfe afyfe@liswa.wa.gov.au. Web: http://www.iamlaust.org



Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS)

The Library of Congress' Network Development and MARC Standards Office, with interested experts, has developed the Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS), a bibliographic element set that may be used for a variety of purposes, particularly for library applications.  As an XML schema it is intended to be able to carry selected data from existing MARC 21 records and enable the creation of original resource description records. It includes a subset of MARC fields and uses language-based tags rather than numeric ones, in some cases regrouping elements from the MARC 21 bibliographic format. The elements inherit MARC semantics, so are more compatible with existing library data than other metadata schemes. MODS could potentially be used: as a Z39.50 Next Generation specified format; as an extension schema to METS (Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard); to represent metadata for harvesting; for original resource description in XML syntax (using MARC semantics); for representing a simplified MARC record in XML; for metadata in XML that may be packaged with an electronic resource. MODS is available as a six months' trial, during which comments are invited. [Source: FOS]. Web: http://www.loc.gov/mods

Open Archives Metadata Harvesting Protocol

The Open Archives Initiative has released version 2.0 of the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). [Source: CNI]. Specs: http://www.openarchives.org/

Technical Metadata for Digital Still Images

NISO, the National Information Standards Organization, in collaboration with the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM), has released a draft of Z39.87, the Data Dictionary for Technical Metadata for Digital Still Images for trial use. The purpose of the dictionary is to define a standard set of metadata elements for digital images, thus facilitating interoperability between systems, services, and software as well as to support the long-term management of and continuing access to digital image collections [Source: NINCH]. Web: http://www.niso.org.

This issue of Cross Currents compiled by Paul Bentley


The Wolanski Foundation would be grateful for feedback on the scope, format and content of this bulletin..


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