Research Collaboration and the Digital Library: 
Vision for 2010

 eLibrary@ubc4 Symposium
November 14-15, 2002
University of British Columbia

version 0.10 last updated 2002-11-15-09:51 -0800 (pst)


1. Traveling to UBC

How I happen to be going to this conference

Taking the train

Talking to Canadians

Listening to Canadians talk

2. Day 1 Symposium


3. Day 2 Reflections

Although I had registered for the second-day workshop, I chose not to attend.  On first noticing, on Wednesday, that the workshop was from 9am - noon on Friday, I had changed my return reservation to 5pm.  On this trip, I would never actually be on a railroad train while traveling via Amtrack between Seattle and Vancouver, BC.  The change allowed me to be in Seattle at 8:30 pm instead of 9:55, a great improvement in terms of Vicki picking me up at the station in Seattle, and just plain in terms of having the pleasure of being at home.

At the end of the first-day symposium I learned that the workshop would be focused on what preoccupies academics everywhere -- funding and grant proposals, and initiatives for ongoing work involving university departments and staff -- I elected to change my reservation to 12:30 and spend a leisurely morning, reviewing my notes and updating my records.  This way, I would be in Seattle and near home by 4:30 pm, with the evening available to spend with Vicki and catching up on things.  The prospect for being at home for the entire evening, and having a leisurely afternoon bus ride was very appealing by the end of the first day.

I was told that I would be welcome at the workshop, and I am sure that it would be interesting.  Instead I am sorting out what I have learned and taking a serious look at what my sustaining interest is in this area.  

Key ideas from the conference - 

I don't present myself as a community (except maybe when generalizing, but I like to think I don't do that much).  This makes it difficult for libraries, especially research libraries to address their clientele as communities.  People approach libraries as individuals and, perhaps, as representatives of administration or departments, which is not necessarily a strong reflection of their (scholarly) community as library patrons.  (I wonder where the term patrons was introduced for libraries.  It is an interesting nuance with regard to the emphasis this day on consumers and customers.  I am reminded of my lunch-time discussion on deconstruction of language.)

The Englebart view of wheels within wheels and scales of systems that have concurrence and federation is intriguing.  This is not unlike some of the ideas that were presented at OOPSLA in terms of evolving systems.  I think my view is very rigid and that I will need to look at what it would be like to approach and use a system of this kind.  It doesn't fit my technocratic view of disciplined computing!  It is natural for me to look at what it would be like to have a system like Miser at the heart of this kind of activity, and what would that portend not only for distributed operation but for the level at which people would interact with and evolve a system as part of their collaborative activity.  For people, the technology would be hidden and the system would be experienced.  What is available by standing that far back?  If it is all some kind of high-level hacking, what then?

There is something else, but it just flitted away.  Oh, one thing is about hiding the technology.  Then what models will people create around what the system is and what it is doing.   For kids, who must certainly create explanations for themselves and each other, it does not seem that there is much system knowledge required to be adept at instant messaging, e-mail, and especially gaming of all kinds.  It is all experience, play, and exploration, and the technology is stable enough so there is not much need for knowledge of the workings.  My analogy is driving a car rather than repairing a car.  And the frustrations around breakdowns seem to be similar.  I am reminded of the statement that we must make systems complex enough that we are able to hide the technology.  So now I am back to confirmable experience and what that means at this higher level.

Well, it is time to wash up the dishes and prepare to check out.

X. Resources and References

Refine this:

The original notification, from Lee Iverson

The eLibrary web site of the UBC Library Department

Other material on the symposium on the web site, including useful links and any materials that have been added.

Contact David Levy, who Lee Iverson met in Portland at the Digital Library conference there.

Look at the models for digital library work that apply.  Also, notice how much is going on in the humanities and the social uses in addition to the technical ones.


version 0.10 2002-11-15 Start populating notes.  I did not have a laptop connection during the symposium, so I have 12 pages of notebook jottings to review and turn into reports and postings.  I started by writing some initial  impressions and the questions I have for further exploration.

version 0.00 2002-11-14 Adapt a previous report as the boilerplate.  There is orphaned content here that must be cleaned up as I make my note .

created 2002-11-14-08:08 -0800 (pst) by orcmid
$$Author: Orcmid $
$$Date: 02-11-18 16:16 $
$$Revision: 3 $