Japan – flattening the library culture

Michalko at Keio Media Center
Last week I was invited to give a keynote presentation at Keio University in Tokyo (that’s me carrying on about the Long Tail as a preface to discussing mass digitization). The Media Center is an RLG member and a key institution for our relationships in Japan. I enjoyed the day I spent with the Keio senior staff – many are new to their posts and ready to shake things up. A group of them have been charged with thinking about their future library system. In fact, they are visiting RLG member institutions in NY, Boston, and Toronto this week. As they investigate they’re taking Lorcan Dempsey’s thought experiment seriously.

what would a library service which can only be delivered through common services (Flickr, delicious, Technorati, ….) and browser tools (toolbars, bookmarklets, ..) be like.

That made for some interesting and unexpected conversation.

I also visited the National Diet Library and the National Insitute of Informatics. Having discussed their issues, concerns and interests I sent references to presentations and papers that I thought they’d find useful. Maybe you will as well. Here’s what got sent:

“Museums and Digital Repositories”
Dale Flecker, Associate Director for Planning & Systems
Harvard University Library [Web presentation]
[PowerPoint presentation – go here to download]

Portico: An Important Component of a New Preservation Infrastructure”
Kevin Guthrie, President, Ithaka [Web Presentation]
[PowerPoint presentation – go here to download]
The Portico website

Digital Repository Certification – overview from the RLG website

Statement of Current Perspective and Preferred Practices for Selection and Purchase of Electronic Information – an ICOLC document

And I managed to have two Thankgivings as a consequence of the visit – Wednesday November 23 was Labour Thanksgiving Day (kinro kansha no hi) in Japan and I got back in time for the US holiday on Thursday.