Friday, 29 February 2008

A study of the information needs of the users of a folk music library and the implications for the design of a digital library system

Charles Inskip, Richard Butterworth and Andrew MacFarlane


A qualitative study of user information needs is reported, based on a purposive sample of users and potential users of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, a small specialist folk music library in North London. The study set out to establish what the users’ (both existing and potential) information needs are, so that the library’s online service may take them into account with its design. The information needs framework proposed by Nicholas [Nicholas, D. (2000) Assessing information needs: tools, techniques and concepts for the internet age. London: ASLIB] is used as an analytical tool to achieve this end. The demographics of the users were examined in order to establish four user groups: Performer, Academic, Professional and Enthusiast. Important information needs were found to be based on social interaction, and key resources of the library were its staff, the concentration of the collection and the library’s social nature. A collection of broad design requirements are proposed based on the analysis and this study also provides some insights into the issue of musical relevance, which are discussed.

Keywords: User information needs; Qualitative interviews; Folk music; Digital library design; Musical relevance

Link to online paper.

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Making Music with Windows

Brings a tear to the eye......

Actually its rather clever!

(h/t: Charles Arthur)

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Stealing reputation

This is simply appalling!

Its is a classic case of a company trying to steal a projects reputation, and using legal means to prevent the orginal project owners from getting their project back.

This is a particularly unpleasant example, I must say.

Image manipulation

Look at this image. In particular see the evidence provided for the manipulation of the image. Images may say a thousand words, but what if they are the wrong ones!

What interests me here is the implication for IR, ergo image spamming. We're not there yet with regard to indexing by image content (the semantic gap), but how would you deal with such a problem? Sadly, I have no answers.

(h/t: Charles Arthur)


Last night I was awoken by a notice where everything seemed to shake - really shook me up, bit of start!

I wondered if it was an earthquake, and it was!

Didn't last very long, but it was a bit of racket!


This earthquake has some interesting information dissemination implications, according to the Register

Search and sources of information

Last night the BBC broadcast the latest documentary in the Horizon series entitled Professor Regan's Supermarket Secrets.

One part of the documentary had the presenter, Prof. Regan, doing a search on Google for what was clearly a research topic (I can't remember the query, it was something like 'cancer colon'). We are presented with a decision on the back of the information gathered.

Its fine for people to perhaps start off using Google to pick up some initial information on a given subject (particularly if they are new to it), but in general you'll probably want to search different type of sources in order to come to some final decision. That is, for a research topic you'll want to engage with the academic literature. This means looking at sources beyond the web.

I'm surprised that Prof. Regan let herself be used the the Beeb in this way, given that she is declares herself as a scientist. Does she use Google and only Google to search for information in her own specialist area?

I rest my case.

[Prof. Regan is a Consultant Obstetrician St Mary's @ Paddington. I found it using Google.....]

Thursday, 14 February 2008