Thursday, January 08, 2009

Brad Wheeler on HathiTrust and the Importance of Librarian + Technologist Collaboration

Stefan K. cited a recent letter to the editor by Pat Steele and Brad Wheeler of Indiana University, who write that the traditional rift between librarians and technologists is damaging both sides. They mention the HathiTrust shared digital repository as an example of successful collaboration between these two groups and across multiple institutions.

Wheeler gives a more detailed description of HathiTrust in his Jan. 6 interview with Library Journal Academic Newswire. For example, given the gargantuan size of the database, index "shards", metadata facets, and relevance-ranking algorithms can optimize system response time and enhance findability.

He mentioned that two of the HathiTrust partners, Michigan and Indiana, had already "benefitted tremendously from our past cooperation in the Sakai Project for open source courseware management software. Learning to work together across institutions to deliver production services is an important capability for the foreseeable future."

This seems like a point worth remembering as we track our involvement in the VuFind project.

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