Abstracts in English 1/2007

20 years of library automation in Finland

Juha Hakala’s career with library automation started in January 1987, when he was recruited to the Automation Unit of Finnish Research Libraries at the Ministry of Education – a unit which later was relocated to Helsinki University Library, the National Library of Finland, and became the Database Services Department. In the end of February 2007 Juha transferred to the Administrative Department, where his job is to coordinate all the major projects of the National Library. In this article he looks back to this past 20 year period, which covers about half of the history of library automation.

It has been a long way from the first server – HP3000 992 with 256 MB of memory – and the first software – British Library’s Library Software Package (LSP). Now the library consortia in Finland host five Sun supercomputers and are in the process of updating them, too, to the next generation of hardware. The LSP was traded first for VTLS and then for Voyager, and the ILS has been complemented with other systems, such as portal system MetaLib, digital object management system DSpace and electronic resource management system HALTI II. Internet archiving requires more and more storage capacity and in digitisation there are various solutions to consider as well as political decisions to make.

Electronic publishing is another aspect that has deeply affected libraries, but it is such a vast topic in itself that it was left out of this article.

For futher information, please, contact

  • Mr. Juha Hakala, Director of IT
    The National Library of Finland
    P.O.B. 15 (Unioninkatu 36)
    FIN-00014 UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI, Finland
    Email: juha.hakala (at) helsinki.fi

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The Finnish General Upper Ontology (YSO) – towards a Finnish semantic web

The objective of the National Semantic Web Ontology Project in Finland (FinnONTO, 2003-2007, http://www.seco.tkk.fi/projects/finnonto/) is to build a semantic web infrastructure in Finnish and to demonstrate its benefits with pilot applications. The consortium behind the project currently includes 37 Finnish organizations. One of the core thesauri that are ontologised in the project is the widely used Finnish General Thesaurus (YSA) maintained by the National Library. It is the basis for the Finnish General Upper Ontology (YSO) which has now been released for testing. The idea is that The Finnish General Ontology could be ¿the semantic glue¿ between many domain ontologies and this way offer a possibility to link contents from different domains in the Finnish semantic web.

This article discusses the need for ontologising YSA for use in the semantic web, the cost effective way to impelement ontologies in client applications and pilot portals and applications developed within the FinnONTO project.

More about YSO at http://www.seco.tkk.fi/ontologies/yso/

For further information, please, contact:

  • Mr. Eero Hyvönen, Professor
    Helsinki University of Technology, Media Technology Laboratory
    and University of Helsinki
    e-mail: eero.hyvonen (at) tkk.fi
  • Ms. Katri Seppälä, Researcher
    Helsinki University of Technology, Media Technology Laboratory
    and The Finnish Terminology Centre TSK
    e-mail: katri.seppala (at) tkk.fi
  • Mr. Kim Viljanen, Researcher
    Helsinki University of Technology, Media Technology Laboratory
    e-mail: kim.viljanen (at) tkk.fi
  • Mr. Matias Frosterus, Researcher
    Helsinki University of Technology, Media Technology Laboratory
    e-mail: matias.frosterus (at) tkk.fi

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Nelli Portal 2.0

Since it was launched at the Internet Librarian International 2005 the term Library 2.0 has been a popular topic, even to the extent that it has become a bit of a buzz phrase. However, the Finnish Nelli Information Retrieval Portal Team considers many of its features well worth implementing.

The first actions taken will be RSS feeds and the intergration of Nelli to virtual learning environments, such as Moodle and WebCT. The integration to web browsers would also be much easier with help from the Nelli Office. The new version 4.0 of the MetaLib software also has many Library 2.0 features that facilitate these enhancements.

For further information, please, contact

  • Mr. Ari Rouvari, Project Manager
    The National Library of Finland / Library Network Services
    P.O.B. 26, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
    e-mail: ari.rouvari (at) helsinki.fi

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Open Repositories 2007

The Open Repositories 2007 Conference brought together over 350 experts from all over the world to discuss the latest developments in the field. The conference focused on open source repository platforms, but also other related topics, such as long term preservation of digital assets and virtual learning environments, were discussed.

During the three-and-a-half day conference, Open Repositories 2007 continued the very successful format of Open User Group meetings for DSpace, Fedora, and Eprints, followed by general conference sessions that covered cross-cutting and overarching issues.

The article is a conference report by Samu Viita, who participated in the DSpace User Group. The main part of the article is devoted to this platform, which is widely used in Finland.

The Conference website is at http://openrepositories.org/

For further information, please, contact

  • Mr. Samu Viita, Systems Analyst
    The National Library of Finland / Library Network Services
    P.O.B. 26, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
    e-mail: samu.viita (at) helsinki.fi

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We only have names : URN facilitates locating documents

URNs (Uniform Resource Name) are persistent, unique identifiers for documents published in the World Wide Web. They facilitate identifying, locating and linking online documents. They are also functional enabling direct access from the reference.

Online documents have traditionally been identified by the URL address. However, that is exactly what it is, an address, not an identifier. We are all familiar with the problem of broken links when the document has been moved elsewhere or – even worse – been replaced by a totally different document in the same address.

There are several different systems for identifying online publications, the best known of which are the Handle system with the DOI identifier and PURL. Technically all these systems work in a similar way. What makes URN unique is that it is administered and maintained by national libraries, and therefore there are no commercial interests involved. It is a public service like the identifier systems that have been traditionally used within the publishing sector, e.g. ISBN, ISSN.

For further information, please, contact

  • Mr. Esa-Pekka Keskitalo, Senior Systems Analyst
    The National Library of Finland / Library Network Services
    P.O.B. 26, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
    e-mail: esa-pekka.keskitalo (at) helsinki.fi

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The Bookway project and the National ONIX Centre

The various actors in the book industry (publishers, bookstores and libraries) have all developed systems to meet their own particular needs. Consequently transferring data between these systems has not been easy, and at worst not even possible at all. In 2004 a project called Bookway was launched to investigate possibilities to facilitate this process.

Based on the final report of this project the book industry in Finland agreed to start using the ONIX format. To support this the National Library opened a National ONIX Centre in the beginning of this year.

More information about the ONIX format is available at the EDItEUR website at http://www.editeur.org/

For further information, please, contact

  • Ms Aija Vahtola, Systems Librarian
    The National Library of Finland / The Finnish ONIX Centre
    P.O.B. 26, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
    e-mail: aija.vahtola (at) helsinki.fi

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MARC 21 update

The Finnish libraries have been using various national cataloguing formats and profiles (FINMARC, MARC21-fin). To facilitate international exchange of bibliographic data the university libraries consortium made a decision to go over to the MARC 21 ”proper”. The same decision was later made also by the polytechnic and public library sectors.

The article gives an update on the schedule of the process, including the translation of the format, test conversions and training.

For further information, please, contact

  • Ms Nanna Jokinen, Systems Librarian
    The National Library of Finland / Library Network Services
    P.O.B. 26, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
    e-mail: nanna.jokinen (at) helsinki.fi

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