Thursday, September 21, 2006

Talis announces winners of International Mashing the Library Up 2006: Alliance Second Life Library Project Wins Second Place!

This information taken from theTalis website: Talis is delighted to announce the winners of the first competition intended to openly encourage innovation in the display, use, and reuse of data from and about libraries - Mashing Up The Library 2006. First Prize The First prize of £1,000 was awarded to John Blyberg of Ann Arbor District Library in Ann Arbor, MI. His entry, Go-Go-Google-Gadget, shows how simply library information can be integrated into the personalised home page offered by Google, and is described by competition sponsor and member of the judging panel, Talis’ Paul Miller, as “an excellent example of taking information previously locked inside the library catalogue and making it available to patrons in other contexts where they may spend more time than they do in their catalogue.” Available information includes new and the most popular material in the library, and patron-specific information on checked-out and requested items. ‘Superpatron’ Ed Vielmetti applauded the simplicity of this entry, remarking in a clear invitation for others to follow John’s lead that “the visible source code is very tiny and easily hackable.” Vanderbilt University’s Marshall Breeding concluded, “I like this entry’s spirit of opening up information in the library system and putting it under the control of the user."In recognition of the current exchange rate, the sum of $2,000 has been paid to John. Second Prize The Second prize of £500 was awarded to the Alliance Library System in East Peoria, IL, and their global partners in the Second Life Library. Their entry, the Alliance Second Life Library 2.0, was described by Talis’ Miller as “both a testament to international co-operation amongst libraries and a compelling demonstration of the ways in which traditional library functions can be extended into cyberspace, reaching new audiences in ways exciting and relevant to them as they live their lives.” In recognition of the current exchange rate, the sum of $1,000 has been paid to the Alliance Library System, and they intend to use the funds to extend their work within Second Life. For all those users of libraries who have ever wished they could bring information from their library to life outside the virtual walls of its web site, this competition presented an ideal opportunity to see some of what the future might hold. From Jon Udell's early work with LibraryLookup to the current fashion for Greasemonkey plug-ins and the more structured exposure of Web Services by Talis, Amazon, Google and others, there are significant advances being made in the ways in which libraries offer their services to the outside world. At least as important is the revolution occurring outside the library, as those beyond the walls take and manipulate library data on their own. Modern approaches to thinking about provision of library data and services online create opportunities for numerous applications beyond the traditionally defined library management system. By adhering to standards from the wider Web community, by considering the library system as an interlocking set of functional components rather than a monolithic black box, and by taking a bold new approach to defining the ways in which information from and about libraries are ‘owned’ and exposed to others, we make it straightforward for information from the library to find its way to other places online. Rather than being locked inside the library system, your data can add value to the experience of your users wherever they are, whether it’s Google, Amazon, the institutional portal, or one of the social networking sites such as MySpace or Facebook. By unlocking data and the services that make use of it, the possibilities are literally endless, and it is here that efforts such as those around the Talis Library Platform become important. One very early example of combining library data with other sources in order to add value to both is the whole area of the ‘Mashup’. Mashups are not only found in the library world, but are proving increasingly prevalent in association with a whole host of Web 2.0 companies and ideas. Well this is exactly the kind of thing I was trying to explain in my presentation. I must go and have a look at that Go-Go-Google Gadget!

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