Posted: 28/06/19

Improving the functionality and user experience of search and research tools to make content more discoverable was a key theme of LibTech, a showcase of technology focused on libraries of the future.  The event was hosted by the ADAPT Centre for Digital Content Technology, an SFI Research Centre, in collaboration with the Library of Trinity College Dublin and featured six presentations and demonstrations of technologies that can deliver superior access to online content for better research and access outcomes for users.

The showcase was co-developed based on interaction with the Library with the aim of highlighting how technology can support user-driven features that promote exploration and discovery of content.  Researchers presented their work to the gathered crowd and demonstrated their systems during the breaks. 

The showcase highlighted how technology can enhance user experience and help users identify content relevant to their needs, which helps critical evaluation and selection.  Through smart search and next-generation visualization technology, researchers showed that library technologies can support the users by giving them the information they value without detracting from the reading and learning experience.

Comments from attendees at the LibTech showcase included:

"I can now see that library technology can offer so much to users, so much help in relation to finding and connecting different people and sources to each other."

"A benefit of these library technologies is the ease of sharing data, everyone now has easier access to this information and its available worldwide. It's amazing!"

"Libraries can now approach users in an intelligent or emphatic way and slightly nudge me in the direction that I should be going and I think that is very beneficial to users."

Demonstrations included:

  • Dr Joeran Beel presented ‘Mr DLib’, a non-profit open-source project to provide recommendations-as-a-service for research articles, calls for papers and academic news. 

     

  • Joe Lakes presented a project that is underway in Trinity’s Library to replace the end-of-life digital collections software with an integrated service. 
  • Lucy McKenna presented a novel data interlinking approach that aims to facilitate information professionals engage in the process of Linked Data interlinking with greater ease, efficiency and efficacy. 
  • Gary Munnelly used the works of Terry Pratchett to show new ways of analyzing and actualizing fantasy literary works to help people gain new perspectives on the nature of the texts. 
  • Kieran Fraser presented a project on how push notifications can empower smart communications between libraries of the future and their users.
  • Jeremy Debattista presented a new proof-of-concept linked data search tool which allows information professionals to identify the best quality measurements for an interlinking task in order to rank various linked data sources based on their quality.

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