2014年2月18日 星期二

獨家專訪 Marshall Breeding: 整合自動化系統 vs 雲端服務系統



Library Watch 因應Marshall Breeding 即將在 2014221 日出席2014 圖書館科技與創新服務研討會之特邀演講 (Keynote speech),繼續針對圖書館自動化產業圖書館傳統自動化系統與雲端服務系統、雲端系統之共享合作與技術議題進行深入的專訪。


Library Watch:  根據您持續對此產業的觀察,這幾年的產業趨勢有目標方向嗎? 如果有,那是什麼呢?
Marshall : 

我看到許多不同的趨勢走向與角度,但是在較為廣闊的觀察來看,我看到在圖書館自動化產業中的整合的趨勢。圖書館資訊科技技術必須在實際可運作的工作流程中讓工作更有效率地進行。新格式與新的出版模式增加了圖書館館藏發展的複雜度,圖書館資訊科技技術必須部斷發展以處理不斷變化的館藏並能夠支持圖書館間建立合作共享。建立與提供這樣的技術環境以支援圖書館實際業務面與策略的變化的技術正要迎頭趕上,持續朝著共享合作的目標前進。

Library Watch:  您可以提供圖書館員選擇特定圖書館技術的建議嗎?? 相同的,有任何有關於選擇代理代的建議嗎??
Marshall :
圖書館員應該選擇最能夠協助館員進行工作並能夠服務讀者的圖書館資訊技術。特定的資訊技術可能會隨著時間的推移而產生或消失,重要的是如何有效的利用資訊科技並在對的時間點讓資訊科技能夠協助圖書館發揮實效與時效。圖書館在選擇資訊科技時往往承受與需要擔負新科技所帶來的風險與挑戰,有些人會願意去承擔早期採用新興科技資訊的風險,有些人則會觀察與採用後續較廣為採用的產品與所提供的服務。
我認為選擇代理商就像是基於產業與產品的考量選擇合作夥伴。圖書館往往在選擇一套圖書館自動化系統後,通常都會使用超過十年以上,在購買圖書館自動化產品時的購買情境往往呼應著當時整體圖資產業的整體發展軌跡。重要的是如何在長期與代理商進行協作發展,不在許多方面,圖書館與代理商可共同針對其產品的發展願景共同努力。許多廠商在發展產品時缺乏往前整合性與未來的前瞻性,以至於圖書館在面對資源特性的不同時無法持續讀者期望的服務品質。我認為廠商若能對自有產品謙虛與更積極的從使用者的角度出發,圖書館與廠商都能夠在當前競爭的氛圍下受益。

Library Watch:  從圖書館員與讀者的角度來看傳統的圖書館自動化管理系統與雲端服務管系統時,最大的差別在哪裡?
Marshall :
傳統圖書館自動化系統發展的背景為圖書館主要的館藏為紙本資源之時,那時整合性圖書館系統提供流通模組編目模組期刊控制模組與線上公用目錄系統協助圖書館可以管理紙本館藏。那時,廠商還發展了系統平台以供圖書館或有限的圖書館使用,系統的主要功能較著重於圖書館的內部的館藏管理與服務自己組織的讀者,那時館際互借與資源共享則不在圖書館自動化的主要功能中,而是用其他的應用程序進行管理。
時至今日,圖書館面對完全不同的館藏類型,包括電子化館藏的比率愈來愈高以及內容授權的產品是利用訂閱的方式取得 (如手稿照片影音資料等)。紙本資源雖仍是圖書館的館藏內容,但會因為資訊技術的日新月異而逐漸消失,此時,圖書館對建立資源共享之協力合作機制需求正高。
為了符合現今圖書館的需求,新型態的資訊科技技術應運而生,這些新的系統我稱之為[圖書館服務平台][圖書館服務平台]與傳統的圖書館自動化系統奠基於不同的原則。[圖書館服務平台]設計的目的在於幫助圖書館管理所面對各項不同資源之相對應的詮釋資料。以傳統的圖書館自動化系統為例,編目標準完全根據機讀格式進行設計,而新一代的圖書館服務平台則針對了多樣資料形式相對應的詮釋資料 (包括都柏林核心VRA檔案編碼描述格式EADONIX ONIX-PL 、鏈結資料和 BIBFRAME 新興書目模式)。新圖書館服務平台可讓館員可能夠全面性的流程進行異質性高資源的採購描述編目,並能夠依資源的特性與特殊形式提供多樣化的檢索。
[圖書館服務平台]建置於雲端技術的架構上,並利用不同模組之軟體及服務之服務型態提供給圖書館有別於傳統圖書館自動化模組服務。軟體即服務的服務型態可提供較有效率的軟體發展與支援模式,服務的本質精神在於提供協作環境與利於資源共享。有別於傳統圖書館自動化系統建置於圖書館自己的主機,圖書館服務平台因應每個圖書館書目庫之差異與同質性,提供了共享書目庫與圖書館獨特的管理功能。
理想的圖書館服務平台系統截至目前為止雖尚未完全實現,但目前至少已有產品正持續發展並實現此服務平台的願景,包括 OCLC WorldShare Management Service, Ex Libris Alma Innovative Sierra。開放型原始碼 Kuali OLE ProQuest Intota 雖仍持續發展中,但仍是朝此目標邁進。
 

Library Watch:  由於[協力共享合作] 已被確認為 web-scale 管理系統之核心價值,誰將是此核心價值中的最大受益者? 他們又如何參與?
Marshall :
協力共享合作的主要受益者會是圖書館圖書館員以及所服務的社區。當然,提供協作的系統廠商也是受益者。協作的基礎在於資訊基礎建設共享,有別於圖書館獨立建置自動化系統,而是利用共享的自動化系統的觀念提供給區域性圖書館使用。透過此架構建置之圖書館自動化系統,可降低圖書館管理主機的成本,並且透過共享的機制簡化工作流程並提供更豐富的資訊給所服務的讀者。共享的資訊架構可以讓參予圖書館進行資源共享,並有利於實現成本較低的館際互借服務,並提高館際互借的效率。
共享自動化系統有很大的潛力,比起以往獨立的自動化系統更能夠可以幫助圖書館提升服務的品質。圖書館的讀者可檢索更多的資源( 包括紙本資源電子與數位內容),圖書館員可降低自動化軟體與服務的管理成本,並聚焦於提供更專業核心的服務。

 
Library Watch:  針對大陸臺灣日本與韓國的資源未能夠完全蒐錄於雲端探索內容服務平台,您有哪些建議或解決方案?
Marshall :
雲端探索服務是奠基於中央知識庫內容蒐集的訂閱服務,中央知識庫會包含圖書館本身的實體紙本館藏資源,圖書館所訂閱的電子資源 (包括全文與索摘資料庫等 ),開放近用資源以及數位典藏與機構典藏資源。
在現階段,雲端探索內容服務平台已經發展成為可以夠有效的檢索並持續強化檢索內容的相關性,從整個國際出版內容涵蓋率來看,英語系的內容的涵蓋率較高。目前雲端探索內容服務平台所面臨到的挑戰在於各國自身的內容出版尚未能夠有效且充分的涵蓋。要能夠充分實現雲段探索內容平台並廣為蒐錄全球內容是極具挑戰性的工作,系統廠商要面對不同語言的內容之外,還要能夠處理多語言搜尋的檢索技術議題。有鑑於中國大陸臺灣日本與韓國政治方面與學術影響力在全世界舉足輕重,我認為目前雲端探索系統廠商納入這些區域的內容的積極度也很高。
在亞洲地區有許多雲端服務內容提供的國際型廠商,包括 ProQuest, EBSCO, Ex Libris , OCLC 。我希望在共享合作的機會下可以看到更全面性的雲端探索資源的蒐錄並從中學習。


Q1.  With your continuing observation of this industry, do you see various trends throughout the years heading toward a coherent direction?  If there is one, what is it?  If not, why? 
I see many different threads and tangents, but in a the broad perspective I see some areas of convergence the library automation industry.  Library technologies, to be effective, must align with the work that libraries do in the real world.  New formats and publication models continually add to the complexity of library collections.   Library technologies must be evolving to handle the increased complexity of library collections and to support the collaborative partnerships in which libraries engage with each other.  I have seen a relatively steady advancement in technologies to attempt to adapt to these changing library realities.  They often lag behind, but at least I there has been continual progress toward the ambitious goal of providing a technology environment able to support libraries in all of their areas of operational and strategic activity.

Q2.  Any suggestions you want to provide to the librarians when they are choosing a certain library technology?   Similarly, any special suggestions about choosing a vendor?
Libraries should acquire the technologies that help them do their work in the most responsive manner relative to the needs of serving their patrons.  The specific technologies that support this strategic approach will come and go over time.  It’s important not to get caught up in the hype that surrounds each new wave of technology or product launch, but to be pragmatic regarding its potential to help the library.  Libraries make different choices in the level of risks they can tolerate in the consideration of new technologies.  Some may be willing to take on the role of earlier adopters and others may need to follow the path of adopting more proven products and services.
I think that the selection of vendors is as much about partnership as about other business and product considerations.  Libraries tend to use their automation systems for very long periods—often more than a decade.  The features of a product at the time it is originally acquired represent only a snapshot within its overall development trajectory.  It’s important to work with organizations that will be around for the long term, that are committed to developing their products in ways that will evolve in step with the transformation of the library itself.   Libraries should press companies not just on the features and capabilities of the current versions of their products, but to articulate their vision of how they plan to develop technology to support libraries and to provide at least an outline their long-term development roadmap.   Many companies may have developed products for libraries in a previous iteration but lack the resources to re-develop those products in substantive ways that address the fundamental shifts that libraries have experienced in the nature of their collections and the services that they are expected to provide.  Libraries using these products that lack momentum of adequate forward development will be stymied in their ability to operate and provide services effectively.  I think that libraries benefit from less complacency and more aggressive movement away from legacy systems tied to concepts of the past and toward those that will better support them relative to current challenges.

Q3.  From the perspectives of both patrons and librarians, what would be the major differences between the traditional library management systems and the web-scale library management systems?
The traditional library systems were conceived during an earlier period when libraries were primarily involved with print collections.  They offer modules such as circulation, cataloging, serials control, and online catalogs designed to help libraries manage their print collections.  They were also developed at a time when technology platforms were generally capable of supporting one library or groups of libraries of limited number.  The functionality of these systems focus mostly inwardly, helping the library with managing its own collection and providing access to its own user population.  Interlibrary loan or other aspects of resource sharing was handled though other applications.
Libraries today face quite different realities.  Their collections include ever higher proportions of content licensed through subscriptions to electronic resources and of digitized materials, such as manuscripts, photographs, audio files and video.  Print materials continue to play a part, but one that may diminish over time.  Libraries also have greater interest than ever before in collaborative resource sharing arrangements. 
To meet the needs of this current vision of  libraries, new types of technology infrastructure have been developed. These new systems, which I call “library services platforms” are based on fundamentally different principles than the integrated library systems that came before.  Library services platforms are designed to help libraries manage collections comprised of multiple formats of materials with the ability to handle the corresponding metadata standards.  Integrated library systems, for example, were entirely centered on the MARC metadata formats.  Management of a multi-faceted collection brings the need to support many others, such as Dublin Core, VRA, EAD, ONIX, ONIX-PL, as well as emerging models such as linked data and BIBFRAME.  These new systems follow a more comprehensive approach to resource management, automating workflows related to the acquisition, description, and access of materials in ways not closely bound to specific formats of materials.
These new systems tend to be deployed using cloud technologies, such as multi-tenant software-as-a-service that not only result in more efficient models of software development and support, but that are inherently capable of improved collaboration and resource sharing.  Rather than focused on the individual solos of automation inherent in integrated library systems installed on local servers, with databases that isolated the collections of each library, library services platforms have the ability to automate large numbers of libraries within the same codebase installation, with the potential to both segregate data as needed for each library organization, but also able to provide shared  databases, knowledgebases and indexes that can be collaboratively populated and shared among participating libraries. 
This idealized view of library services platforms has yet to be entirely fulfilled, but at least a handful of products have been developed to achieve that vision.  Some of the products that incorporate at least some of the major design elements of library services platforms include OCLC’s WorldShare Management Services, Alma from Ex Libris, and Sierra from Innovative Interfaces.  The open source Kuali OLE project and ProQuest Intota remain under development, but also fall within this new genre of library systems.
Q4.  Since "Collaboration" has been identified as the core value of a web-scale library management system, who are those stakeholders that would be involved in the collaboration?  How are they going to be involved with the collaboration? 
I see the main stakeholders in collaboration as libraries, librarians and the communities they serve.  Naturally the providers of those systems have their own interests, seen in the benefits they receive from successfully providing their products and services to libraries. 
The vehicle for collaboration increasingly takes the form of shared technology infrastructure. Rather than each library implementing its own isolated automation system, there is a growing trend for shared automation systems to be provided that serve all the libraries in region or country.  In this model of shared infrastructure, each library is able to automate its own operations without the overhead of maintaining its own local integrated library system, while gaining the benefit of providing access for its users to a universe of content vastly beyond what it could acquire on its own.  Shared infrastructure comes with the ability to transfer resources among participating libraries as requested by users in much more efficient and less expensive mechanisms than traditional interlibrary-loan.
This model of shared automation has great potential to help libraries as stakeholders to fulfill their services more efficiently and more powerfully than the model of isolated automation systems.  Library patrons gain access to more resources as multiple libraries pool their collections of print, electronic, and digital content.  Librarians benefit through spending less time maintaining local software and services, focusing their talents on higher-value activities that take better advantage of their core expertise in information-oriented service delivery and are able to provide more immediate benefit to their patrons. 
Q5.  In a web-scale discovery platform, what are your opinions or solutions about those resources that are not covered in the Central Index pool such as those from China, Taiwan, Japan and Korea?   
Web-scale discovery services operate on the basis of a central index populated with content represented by the libraries that use that service.  These central indexes ideally would include the records from the library’s local physical collection, the electronic resources to which they subscribe (including full-text, metadata, and A&I terms), open access materials, and metadata from digital collections. 
At the current stage of development these Web-scale index-based discovery services have advanced to have effective search and retrieval interfaces, with ever improving relevancy, and that are populated with content from the international publishing arena.  English language materials tend to be quite well covered. 
The current challenge lies in handling the materials from the many international regions in which these services are deployed, which would include materials from local publishers and in local languages. 
Fulfilling the vision of a discovery service to address both international and local materials is where I see the current area of interest and activity.  But the challenges are enormous.  Not only do the developers of these discovery services have to become involved with content providers in many international regions, but they must also solve serious technical problems inherent in multi-lingual search and retrieval.   Given the rising influence of China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea politically and correspondingly in scholarship, I think that the current discovery services are highly motivated to expand coverage of these materials.  
It remains to be seen whether the needs of countries in the Asian region will be well served by the discovery services provided by the current international organizations, such as ProQuest, EBSCO, Ex Libris, and OCLC, or if specialized services will emerge.  I hope to learn more about any discovery services underway in Asia that comprehensively cover these Asian materials, and if there are opportunities for collaboration. 

【編譯劉育君】