June 19, 2006

LISA V: J. Huchra, Science Libraries in the Information Age

John Huchra of Harvard gave the keynote. What an entertaining speaker! My notes; not guaranteed to be an accurate transcription.

Science Libraries in the Information Age

We’re undergoing a huge paradigm shift, not just in the sciences but in the world in general. 500 years ago the printing press changed everything; we’re undergoing a similar change now.

Astronomy is generating terabytes of data nightly. How do we store it for use now, and preserve it for use in the future? MEGACAM, HECTOSPEC, etc. Petabytes a night is coming…. How do we manage it? And how do we manage rapid access to these datasets?

Ejournals etc are the wave of the present; what do we need for the future? What are the needs of the new science community? What roles can we play to meet these needs?
  • Searchable Content. (Periodicals, e-pubs, books, ADS, arXiv, etc)
  • Curation (access, storage – one stop shopping for databases. It helps to be local!)
  • Our own data (Source for NVO++, etc) and provenance (source for publications?)
  • Education!
  • Intellectual Property – retaining the right to content for research and teaching.
Libraries are the first line of defense!


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