Wednesday, June 06, 2007

We need to raise our standards

In the year 2000, at 8:15 AM on a beautiful Saturday September morning in St. John's, Newfoundland, I first heard about the OpenURL standard. What was once strange, new and exciting on that early early morning has now, seven years later, become somewhat commonplace as most North American academic libraries now have an OpenURL server which does the job of resolving which online service should be used when a user requests a particular journal article. An idea materialized.

After reading the 135 lides [pdf] of Dan Chudnov's 2007 NASIG Keynote address called A New Approach to Service Discovery and Resource Delivery (or as I have described it to co-workers, "some steps to make the library more like iTunes"), I plan to learn more about the following standards:
To me, standards are part of a bridge-building process with each part, reducing the distance needed to bring our users to the things they want to read. Until that connection is seamless and sound, most folks won't even notice that there is even a bridge being built, much less appreciate the efforts that are being made to reduce the gaps. But the gaps are getting smaller...

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