Tuesday, July 21, 2009

10th Sakai Conference

John Dunn, Susan Hollar, Steve Smail and Gaurav Bhatnagar presented a session on integration of library resources into the next generation of Sakai (Sakai 3). Since Sakai 3 is still very much under construction, the format was more of a conversation among librarians and developers about choosing directions for further work. As the funding from the Mellon Foundation supporting the current library integrations has now ended, a new structure will need to be created to carry on this work. While no solution was achieved at the conference, a broader set of institutions than currently involved expressed interest in moving this project forward; a list of contacts was established, and phone conferences are planned. As for the scope and direction of further work, projects will probably be proposed by institutions with the most pressing need for a service, and resources contributed by them and others. A user-centered design process is being adopted. A first step in determining what these services might be is to survey library users; it would be nice if we could contribute, in some form, results of the recent extensive faculty surveys done here. Slides from this presentation are available at http://www.slideshare.net/jwdunn/integration-of-library-resources-and-services-in-sakai-3. Of special interest are slides of mock-ups of possible future integrations.

Another interesting session was on the addition of a Z39.50 connector for the existing Citations List helper for the Sakai Resources tool, presented by Mame Awa Diop and Jean-Yves Côté from HEC Montréal. There are many libraries who do not have metasearch capabilities, and this connector allows them to use the Citations List functionality with catalogs and other services which support the Z39.50 protocol. The development team at HEC will contribute this code back to the community.

Two other library sessions were offered; one was a pre-conference workshop on library integration focused on small schools, conducted by Jezmynne Dene, Cheryl Cramer, Mike Osterman and Michael Spalti. Another panel session brought library professionals from four different institutions to discuss details of library integration with Sakai at their respective schools. Susan Hollar, Jezmynne Dene, Kalee Sprague and John Dunn presented this panel.

I offered a session on multi-repository integration with Sakai, focusing on local needs we anticipate having with repository integration in the near future, and how changes in the architecture of the next generation of Sakai will require the use of different methods from the current version. Strategies and technical information about current work from a couple of new projects in this area were discussed, with an eye toward how these technologies might be used to present a single standard repository interface to several disparate data sources. Slides are available at http://www.slideshare.net/jrmdkc/sakai09-repo-case-study.

These were just the library-related talks. There were many other interesting sessions related to pedagogy etc. which were of great interest. If you are would like to check out more presentations, have a look at slides from some of the presentations at http://www.slideshare.net - search for the tag Sakai09.

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