TPDL Workshop: Linking Research & Education in DLs

28-29 September 2011, Berlin, Germany

Workshop Organisers: Vittore Casarosa, Donatella Castelli, Anna Maria Tammaro

Workshop preliminary programme

Workshop Motivation

In recent years the increased availability of “born digital” information, the increased digitization of existing documents and artifacts, and the ease with which digital information can be made available online, have all contributed to start blurring the traditional boundaries between libraries, archives and museums, the so-called “memory institutions”. Professionals working in those institutions, which we could now call “information workers”, are increasingly facing the need to reconsider their educational needs, in order to maintain the traditional leadership in the cycle of knowledge creation, distribution and preservation.
Research in “Digital Libraries” has been going on now for over 15 years (even though there is not yet a general agreement on the exact meaning of the term), leading the way to research also in fields of memory institutions. As a result the Digital Library Universe is a very complex one, encompassing a number of different technologies, disciplines and application fields. In addition to that, research in Digital Libraries can be tackled from many different perspectives and angles. Digital Libraries are, for example, information systems and their technology can be researched as such; but they are also organizations and they can be researched also in that respect; they are arenas for information seeking behavior and for social processes such as learning and knowledge sharing, which can be another dimension of research; they are collections of content that need curation (collection, description, preservation, retrieval, etc); they are social institutions with a social mandate, and as such they are affected by social, demographic and legal issues.
From this multifaceted perspective it appears that Digital Libraries continue to be a new topic in existing research fields, and education has to take into account this interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary aspect. This workshop aims at bringing forward a discussion on how better to exploit the results of research for education in Digital Libraries, or more generally, education for information workers. The main thread of discussion will be a critical review of the roles of the information workers, considering not only the impact brought by the advances in the technical dimension, but considering also other dimensions such as policy, quality, user profiles, legal aspects, etc.

Workshop Goals
The aim of the workshop is to stimulate collaboration in education and research for the Digital Libraries, demonstrating and explaining tools and methods of sharing knowledge.  To start the dialogue between different communities with their languages and research methods, we need a conceptual model and agreed definitions.  In order to try and provide some common foundations (and terminology) to all those different perspectives, the DELOS Network of Excellence on Digital Libraries (an EU funded initiative) initially, and subsequently (a European project for Interoperability in Digital Libraries) have been working on the definition of a conceptual model for digital libraries, based on a small number of simple concepts (content, user, functionality, quality, policy, architecture).

Expected Outcomes

  • An (initial) understanding of what aspects of research and education in Digital Libraries can affect the development of Digital Libraries in a significant way.
  • An (initial) discussion on how results of research in Digital Libraries can be usefully transferred to education in Digital Libraries, quickly and easily: e.g. how to implement a European scale mechanism for exchanging, sharing and integrating research results into education.
  • The outline of the content of a report on conceptual model and definitions of concepts to be distributed to the research and education communities interested in Digital Libraries, for furthering the discussion of those topics.
Workshop format
This workshop intends to bring forward some initial ideas developed and discussed in a Workshop held last November in Parma, jointly organized by the DILL International Master in Digital Libraries Learning and the European project for Interoperability in Digital Libraries. It is planned to have only invited speakers, leaving ample time for discussion after each presentation, and to have a final plenary session to wrap up the discussions held during the workshop and to outline the follow-on activities.