Mitchell, S. (2006, December). Machine assistance in collection building: new
tools, research, issues, and reflections. Information Technology and
Libraries 25.4: 190(27). Expanded Academic ASAP. Thomson Gale.
University of Washington. Retrieved July1, 2007, from:
Digital tool making offers many challenges, involving much trial and error. Developing machine learning and assistance in automated and semi-automated Internet resource discovery, metadata generation, and rich-text identification provides opportunities for great discovery, innovation, and the potential for transformation of the library community. The areas of computer science involved, as applied to the library applications addressed, are among that discipline’s leading edges. Making applied research practical and applicable, through placement within library/collection-management systems and services, involves equal parts computer scientist, research librarian, and legacy-systems archaeologist. Still, the early harvest is there for us now, with a large harvest pending. Data Fountains and iVia, the projects discussed, demonstrate this. Clearly, then, the present would be a good time for the library community to more proactively and significantly engage with this technology and research, to better plan for its impacts, to more proactively take up the challenges involved in its exploration, and to better and more comprehensively guide effort in this new territory. The alternative to doing this is that others will develop this territory for us, do it not as well, and sell it back to us at a premium. Awareness of this technology and its current capabilities, promises, limitations, and probable major impacts needs to be generalized throughout the library management, metadata, and systems communities. This article charts recent work, promising avenues for new research and development, and issues the library community needs to understand.
According to this article, I found a great connection between the implication of this article and Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail. In “The Long Tail,” Anderson is mainly concerned with the profit making possibilities that exist in niche markets. In general, he states that if the marginal cost of providing new goods is near-zero, you can make money by providing more goods, as long as people can find them. Indeed, Anderson applies this concept on many markets, such as songs, movies, and of course our main concern (in this article) libraries.
Before the internet, the availability of niche market items for the average consumer was very limited. People had to visit specialty stores, travel outside their hometown, or use mail order to acquire anything other than the items sold in nearby retail outlets, for example, finding historical readings, scholarly, and other unique materials. But now, online libraries can offer their customers access to an extensive number and variety of books, articles, and other materials. Physical lcontainer, if I can find the book in its one-and-only possible shelf location. But, in the online world, availability is about providing the content. In Mitchell’s article, he describes the mechanism of the Data Fountain technique that is used in digital libraries. This technique is basically a new service that helps people to find what they seek, by adopting an open-source-software. Worldwide, many people tend to use this method for its validity of saving effort and time. Therefore, d