Friday, March 30, 2007

IT Conversations :: Karen Coyle on Libraries and Web Standards

Originally posted by IT Conversations on March 12, 2007.

Libraries don't always get the credit due them for setting information technology standards. This work continues as the emerging semantic Web allowing easier integration of information. Digital library consultant Karen Coyle describes the benefits of this work to all Web users, such as plug-ins for Firefox, and a common standardized layer of metadata across the Web, such as the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative. Meanwhile, in an age of Google and Microsoft digitizing books for their own businesses, libraries are trying to figure out the tradeoff between such ease of access and librarians' need for control over the data in an authoritative way. The standards process is also in flux, trending away from formal standards towards more ad hoc, user-generated standards. What role does the Open Content Alliance play? How does today's library decide what to throw away and what to keep?