by Donatella Castelli and Stephanie Parker
What is playing an increasingly central role in the way we communicate, deal with information, learn, conduct commerce, work, deliver and use government services, carry out research, and practise and benefit from health care? The answer is: digital libraries.
Digital Libraries (DLs) are making the vision for universally accessible collections of human knowledge a reality. For this to happen, considerable advances in digital library technologies and systems are needed. In particular, there is the need for Global Digital Library Infrastructures resulting from the federation of regional, national, international interoperable DL systems and digital repositories worldwide. However, making DL systems interoperable is a complex process that needs to take into consideration core requirements for digital library architecture, content, functionality, policy, quality and user perspectives.
DL.org, a recently funded EC project, which stems from the DELOS project, is paving the way for the future interoperability of DL systems thus making feasible the implementation of Global Digital Library Infrastructures. The DL.org Consortium includes: CNR-ISTI (Coordinator), University of Athens, HATII at the University of Glasgow, and Trust-IT.
DL.org aims to forge strong alliances with major stakeholders and the wider digital library community to harness global expertise and knowledge and maximize opportunities for the enhanced development of the next generation of Digital Library systems. Key DL.org goals focus on capitalising key achievements, addressing the main open research & technical issues, capturing best practices, promoting shared standards, and producing guidelines for the development of global DL infrastructures.
DL.org coordinates a number of Working and Liaison Groups composed of representatives of international DL initiatives and internationally known experts and is organising eTraining courses designed to enable the next generation of DL professionals.
The DELOS Digital Library Reference Model will constitute the basic conceptual framework within which DL.org will conduct its activities addressing the DL interoperability problem from the Architecture, Content, Functionality, Policy, Quality and User perspectives.
Expected outcomes of DL.org include:
- A "Digital Library Technology and Methodology Cookbook" providing a portfolio of current best practices and patterns to facilitate cross-fertilization among existing systems and their enhancement in terms of critical interoperability issues.
- A consolidated and enhanced version of the DELOS Digital Library Reference Model.
- Workshops, summer schools, eCourses and Dissemination activities to communicate the impact of DL.org achievements to relevant communities.
DL.org is also working with standardisation organisations like the Open Grid Forum and its European partner, OGF-Europe, to identify OGF standards that can support the interoperability goals of the project, as well as define further developments of them.
Tel: +39 050315-2902
E-mail: Donatella.Castelliisti.cnr.it, infodlorg.eu