during last week (wendesday afternoon) we held the first
code4lib.hu workshop in Debrecen, at the University Library.
The purpose of the meeting was that the library developers,
and library information system's power users meet and talk
each other, on order, that in the future different systems
could communicate over standard protocols, which is the
base condition of any mashupable, shareable service.
Preliminary only 9 person said that they will be there for
sure, but finally 28 developers participated, from libraries
and developer companies. The result was not a workshop for
hardcore coders, but an interesting and (more important)
productive talking. Since participants were not tied to any
concrete project, we could discuss a somehow 'ideal' state-of-art:
how to get there, what development and library policy steps
would be involved. The discussion focused on the uniform
library authentication (one entry oint for all Hungarian library)
and the inter-library loan. Some important statements:
- the services should be based on standards, either international,
or if we couldn't find a proper one, we could form a doemstic
- the authentication system provided by the National
Infrastructure Agency does not fit for all libraries, since
even the university libraries have users, who are not university
citizens, so they lack university identifiers
- bilateral agreement between libraries is a must have for the
unified authentication, that A library accepts the authentication
system of B library, and it will provide services for the users
of B library
- the current statistical measurements are outdated, and could
not reflect such a shared services, but since the statistics are
the most important measuring tool for the owner of libraries,
the libraries tend to not develop shared services, because they
could loose some of their resources (they spend on things,
which do not reflect in the statistics...)
- the inter-library loans could be initialized by the users, and
such way, it releases some burden from the librarians. The librarians
could controll the whole process, but not as the only player.
The meeting was not aimed to agree on anything, so we do not created
any document or manifestation, but there were some ideas about the
continuation. Since then, one of the participants bought the code4lib.hu
domain, and offered it for free to community usage. We restarted
an older listserv (at http://groups.google.com/group/ikr-fejlesztok),
and we decided, that we will continue the meeting in the near
future with lighting talks and discussions on library standards
(like NCIP, inter library loans etc.), and personally I hope,
that we could do mashaton-like meeting.
Final note: somebody said on the code4lib IRC, that we
will miss bbq. Well, we didn't have bbq, but as I promissed
we had slambuc, a traditional shepherds' dish near Debrecen.
Thank you for your support!