Research news and notes from the National Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Education
Digital Library (NSDL) Program [Back Issues]

The Whiteboard Report
June 2005, Issue #76



Joint Conference For Digital Libraries (JCDL) Highlights
Joint Conference For Digital Libraries (JCDL) Highlights The National Science Digital Library (NSDL), The University of Colorado, and the Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE) co-hosted JCDL "Digital Libraries: Cyberinfrastructure for Research and Education in Denver June 7-11. In her opening remarks General Chair Mary Marlino, Director, DLESE Program Center, remarked that Thomas Jefferson sold his library at the end of his life instead of his wine collection. In 1801 Jefferson's library was the largest in the world and formed the basis for the Library of Congress (LOC). Deanna Marcum, Associate Librarian for Library Services, LOC, began the proceedings by issuing a call to consider "The Sum of the Parts: Turning Digital Library Initiatives into a Great Whole" in support of global improvement in research, teaching and learning in her keynote address to the 350 digital library experts and leaders in attendance.

Marcum posed the question,"What are we really, ultimately, collectively going to do with our astonishing digital technologies?" Her view that linking all the libraries that can contribute including both libraries and digital collections would require critical path, unifying technologies like the Open Archives Initiative for Metadata Harvesting Protocol (OAI). She concluded by encouraging participants to keep the possibility of a universal library in mind underscoring that we do not have a single government sponsoring agency that can make this happen.

Guy "Bud" Tribble, M.D., PhD, VP Software Technology, Apple Computer opened the second plenary session with a 1995 quote from Negraponte, "The change from atoms to bits is irrevokable and unstoppable in his talk entitled, "Digital Content: Creating, Sharing, Searching."

He pointed out that the rate of new information creation is growing at about 30% per year--37,000 times the size of the Library of Congress book collection. Only about .01% of that new information goes onto paper.

He suggests that the way students and consumers access the approximately 2 gigabytes of primarily digital information being generated globally per person, per year is related to their age. He believes that, "Our children are born into the digital age as 'natives.'" Apple has developed educational programs for sharing their technology to engage teachers and students in pioneering what he believes is a sea change in education based on access to a rapidly expanding global information layer.

Tribble echoed Marcum's call for "A universally accessible digital repository of human knowledge." He concluded that promoting open source-open standards, arriving at a legal framework for sharing digital content, keeping long-term archiving solutions in mind, and increasing digital library research efforts would bring us closer to this goal.

An example of emerging digital library critical path technology was presented in the conference proceedings by Gordon W. Paynter. His paper entitled, "Developing Practical Automatic Metadata Assignment and Evaluation Tools for Internet Resources" based on research partially funded by NSDL Core Integration through the Infomine/iVia Project, University of California-Riverside, received the ACM-sponsored Vannevar Bush Best Paper Award at the JCDL awards presentation on June 9.

Paynter notes that his work is not a substitute for human assessments that link web content to metadata fields, but that performance measures for Infomine/iVia metadata fields have allowed focused crawling yielding appropriate additional metadata for resources cataloged in the NSDL repository. Paynter suggests that automated tools are able to detect "on-topicness" in focused web crawls. Noting that some homepages rely on graphical content (animations and images without ALT tags), Paynter has found that crawling secondary pages, particularly "about" pages, often returns the most useful information about a resource.

The conference concluded with a keynote address by Hector Garcia Molina, PhD, Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, Stanford University entitled, "Digital Libraries Initiatives: What I Learned (and didn't) in 10 Years." Molina's conclusions were similar to those of Deanna Marcum and Bud Tribble--universal access will require attention to some common digital library research themes that include archiving solutions and copyright reform.

In a closing panel discussion with Barbara Quint, Editor, Searcher magazine, and Rick Luce, LANL, entitled, "Tick, Tock--Google as Library" (The title was taken from Quint's article on the subject, Clifford Lynch, Director, Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), suggested that a "global information race" among nations to be the first to truly provide "the most" digital access to their knowledge heritages is a benefit of the Google Library agreements.
Related Link:

NSDL Standing Committee Meetings at JCDL
NSDL Standing Committee Meetings at JCDL The Educational Impact and Evaluation (EIESC), Content (CSC), and Technology (TSC) Standing Committees met in Denver last week.

-The EIESC meeting, chaired by Laura Bartolo, reviewed:

1. CALL for participation in working groups to continue EIESC work throughout the year, as well as to work with other projects sharing similar interests. Please email Anita Coleman ( or Laura Bartolo ( by Thursday, June 30, if you would like to participate in one of the Working Groups listed below, or another that you would like to suggest:

-Evaluation Tutorial Workshop at NSDL Annual Meeting 2005 (deadline for proposal is July 10)
-2006 Annual Report--Each year EIESC works with other groups on contributing to AR. Carol Minton Morris discussed that the AR Committee looks for ways to demonstrate impact and will disseminate the publication in print and online version
-DLIST Evaluation Clearinghouse: Collaborative effort to build an evaluation materials repository for EIESC Grade Level Vocabularies

2. CALL 2006-2008 Chair and Vice-Chair Nominations
Please email Anita Coleman (asc at or Laura Bartolo (lbartolo at if you would like to volunteer or nominate individuals for these positions. The term starts in January 2006. Voting will be held at Annual Meeting in November.

3. Additional Discussion for EIESC List: Fall teleconference call, and EIESC meeting at the Annual Meeting:

The EIESC will revisit goals to find out where there is energy. Please send your thoughts to the EIESC list []. The fall teleconference will be scheduled in late August to plan for the EIESC meeting at the NSDL Annual Meeting.

-The CSC meeting, chaired by Kim Lightle, discussed:

1. A strategy for developing a list of documents (everything from collection development policies to reusability guidelines) that would be useful to collect in one place

2. A process for finding controlled vocabularies that have already been registered.

-Robbie Robson, TSC Chair, led the Technology Standing Committee Meeting on Friday morning where he outlined a possible "Plugfest" for the Annual Meeting explaining that a venue for experimentation and demonstration would be an opportunity for developers to cross-fertilize. Response was favorable, but timing and resources are missing to make this happen in conjunction with the Annual Meeting. Could be presented at an additional NSDL event. The TSC would like to:

1. Get a better idea what technologies are being used by NSDL projects. Survey methods were discussed.

2. Explore creating a facility within the poster finder to help developers find others who are presenting complimentary technologies.

3. Give the Annual Meeting Planning committee feedback about what sorts of technical presentations would be useful during the Annual Meeting.
Related Link:

REMINDER: 2005 NSDL Annual Meeting Proposal Submission Deadline for Panels, Workshops, Crit Labs
REMINDER: 2005 NSDL Annual Meeting Proposal Submission Deadline for Panels, Workshops, Crit Labs Deadline for Proposal Submissions (Panels, Workshops, Crit Labs, and SIGs): July 10, 2005
Presenter Notification: Late August 2005
Poster Registration Deadline: October 14, 2005
Deadline to Volunteer as a Reviewer: June 30, 2005

The NSDL Annual Meeting Planning Committee (AMPC) is soliciting proposals from the NSDL community for presentations to be delivered during the 2005 Annual NSDL Annual Meeting entitled "Examining NSDL's Impacts" will be held November 15-18, 2005 in Denver. The success of this annual event depends heavily on the participation of the community and the quality and relevancy of the sessions. We encourage all projects to share their experiences and successes, and to raise issues that are of interest across NSDL.

The 2005 meeting theme, Examining NSDL?s Impacts, is intended to inspire discussion around the educational, technical, societal, and other impacts of individual projects and NSDL as a whole.The Planning Committee encourages proposals that reflect the diverse possibilities of the Impacts theme.

2005 Proposals will be accepted in five session categories. Distinctions between session types are outlined in the Session Format Overview and specific requirements for each type are detailed on the Session Format Descriptions page. Those submitting sessions are strongly encouraged to read these documents before completing the proposal form. Please note that Posters will follow a separate submission process that will be concurrent with meeting registration and will be available in late June. Look for further information about posters and general meeting registration on the Annual Meeting website:

1. Tutorial Workshops ? Interactive workshops that allow participants to build specific skills.
2. Crit Labs ? Sessions that facilitate critique of and discussion around a specific sample of work submitted by a project.
3. Special Interest Groups (SIGs) ? Opportunities for open discussion around a common interest or concern.
4. Interactive Discussion Panels ? Sessions that offer a variety of perspectives on a topic and engage the audience in active discussion.
5. Presentation Panels ? Lecture-style presentations of project results. Please note only four Presentation Panels will be selected for inclusion in the final meeting schedule.

More information is available at . Please contact the Annual Meeting Planning Committee at with any questions.
Related Link:

Whiteboard Report Summer Publishing Schedule
NSDL Whiteboard Report will be published on July 15, Aug. 2 and Aug. 16. Please contact Carol Minton Morris with questions at , or 607 255-2702.
Related Link:



Digital Imaging and Preservation News from the Research Libraries Group (RLG)
Digital Imaging and Preservation News from the Research Libraries Group (RLG) RLG supports researchers and learners worldwide by expanding access to research materials held in libraries, archives, and museums to increase online discovery and delivery of research resources, enable global resource sharing, and foster digital preservation for long-term access.
Related Link:


Summer Science: Arty the Part-time Astronaut
Summer Science: Arty the Part-time Astronaut A fantastic voyage through time and space for kids and educators that includes games: "Clean Sweep," Galaxy Bowl," Dodge Ball Bots," and "Martian Marbles." "The Teacher's Spot" providing activities that can help students to better understand the story and facts about space.
Related Link:

Published from 2000 to September 2009, NSDL Whiteboard Report Archives provide access to prior issues of the bi-weekly newsletter published by NSDL. To subscribe to current news and information about NSDL, go to the NSDL Community Network site, register as a user, subscribe to and participate in selected features found there. For more information contact Eileen McIlvain