From collection to connection
– the iBib-project “In the iBib-project we have been inspired by a new aesthetic form, called informative art, that operates with an aesthetic presentation of information collages”, says Kai Grønbæk, professor of datalogy and director of Center for Interactive Spaces. The large number of library resources which are today only available in digital form cannot be exhibited in the same way as the physical book. They only become visible when found via a search system, and the public only become aware of them when they are presented on the screen. The project ‘The hybrid library of the future’, run by Århus Central Library, has been experimenting with building collages of digital information on columns in the physical library. Via a web browser the librarians choose material from the digital library and place it on the columns in a format controlled by a programme and presentation parametres as indicated by the librarian.
Stortinget’s heralded increase in project means fails to materialise
ABM’s activities restricted
Two library and information science students at the Oslo University College have conducted an investigation into the attitude of the Norwegian library sector – and particularly the smaller special libraries – towards ABM-utvikling (Norwegian Archives, Libraries and Museums). The report reveals a widespread critical attitude, and according to one of the authors, Teena Østesen, this is a reflection of some uncertainty in the face of something new. Smooth cooperation has to be built up over a period of time.
Director of ABM, Jon Birger Østby, accepts the criticism, but also regrets the lack of financial means – project means which had been promised by the Norwegian parliament (Stortinget) in connection with the establishment of ABM-utvikling in 2003 have failed to materialise. In view of lack of resources, also in terms of staff, and an inevitable consolidation process, it is not easy to meet the requests for more services. ”If we are to be active in the development of the library sector, we have to take the lead and prioritise cooperation with influential and innovative institutions. I did not really expect cries of jubilation after one year in operation, but after three to five years I very much hope that we have demonstrated our capabilities.”
Bright outlook for Norway’s school libraries
“The Storting is on our side!” declares Morten Haugen, board member of the Norwegian Library Association. An almost unanimous committee in the Norwegian Storting states that school libraries’ important role as cultural mediators in schools is to be stressed. The volume of information is rapidly increasing in society and via the school library pupils will learn to seek information from sources. An essential task for the school will be to encourage the libraries to teach the pupils how to select and sort information and judge what is relevant and what is not. Framework plans have also been approved that make it obligatory for teacher training colleges to incorporate the theme ‘The library as a learning arena’ in their syllabus.
Challenging the big publishers
On the 3. June the Library Board in Lund opened a DOAJ2, a full text version of the world’s first open multi-disciplinary database for scienctific journals, DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals). By August it was possible to search among 50,000 articles from 290 scientific e-journals. The great advantage of scientific journals with free electronic access is that the users can read them free of charge, and the libraries are free to collect records from DOAJ for their own website. The publishing is paid for by the authors who in return do not lose their copyright. The articles are subjected to the same critical peer reviews as articles in the major publishers’ journals, thus guaranteeing quality of content. The system of the database is 100% Swedish (see www.doaj.org).
DOAJ should be seen as a rebellion on behalf of the research libraries against price increases on scientific journals as well as the scholars’ opposition to – without compensation – being forced to submit their copyrights to the major publishers. Investigations into how often authors in DOAJ are quoted show that there is no great difference in relation to the major publishers’ journals.
“If those financing research make it a condition that the results be published in freely accessible journals, then the publishers will no longer be able to ‘feather their nests’”, says Henrik Åslund, Library Board in Lund.
Translated by Vibeke Cranfield