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Technology Trends Interest Group


Technology Trends Interest Group (TTIG) is a forum for discussing information technologies in agriculture and related disciplines.


Past TTIG Conference Programs



Leaving the Barn Door Open: Utilizing Technology to Enhance Traditional Roles and Value

Conveners: Martin Kesselman, Rutgers University; Claudine Jenda, Auburn University


This year's conference theme "Tradition in Transition" is quite apropos; Wooster is right next to the largest Amish community in the United States and most would say, you can't get any closer to tradition than that!  No matter how traditional their life might seem, the Amish have embraced some technologies when the result of the technology is of service to the community and brings people together. This session's presentations demonstrate how libraries are utilizing technologies for the same purpose, enhancing our traditional roles and values to improve access to information and to explore new ways to personalize communication with users wherever they are.



Technology Trends Interest Group: Taking a Leap to Reap - Libraries Meeting the Challenge to Cultivate Digital Scientific Research Collaborations

Conveners: Martin Kesselman, Rutgers University; Claudine Jenda, Auburn University; and Vernon Kisling, University of Florida


With a preponderance of electronic resources readily available as well as technology hardware and infrastructure advancing at a logarithmic pace, the needs for the physical library as a center for research have greatly diminished. Many libraries have moved to the notion of “library as place,” a welcoming environment for group study, an information commons, and cyber cafes. For those on campus, particularly undergraduates, this new approach has effectively demonstrated increased use of library buildings.


Libraries must also be focused on the notion of “place as library.” The library’s web presence should provide just as welcoming an environment as the library building for faculty, research staff and students. The sciences, in particular, have embraced the Internet for databases, distributed computing, and virtual collaboration where each member of the workgroup can be widely dispersed, beyond a single institution and, in some cases, beyond national borders.


The sciences have the greatest infrastructure of both digital resources and the newest technologies. New software products make the leap to virtual collaboration, virtual conferencing, and virtual teamwork seamless. Virtual collaborative activities take place in the digital environment, beyond the geographic constraints of the institution. So, where does the research library fit into this new and emerging model?


The speakers listed below will share some examples, with a focus on agriculture and related sciences, of how libraries can make a difference and provide research support services and an infrastructure for information access, dissemination, and preservation in the ever evolving digital environment.



Institutional Repositories:  Are They Worth the Effort?

Convenors: Valerie Perry, University of Kentucky;  Martin Kesselman, Rutgers University; Claudine Jenda, Auburn University; Vernon Kisling, University of Florida


Institutional Repositories (IR) of use to USAIN/IAALD members and concerned with agricultural data are discussed in practical terms that consider efforts needed to establish and maintain an IR.  The session will be a realistic review of three operational systems at various stages of implementation.  Each speaker will provide a summary of their institution’s experience with IR and the practical problems of determining content, selection criteria for IR projects, getting institutional, computer center and faculty participation, allocation of digital resources such as personnel, funding, grants, time to do another digital project, and the actual value and use of the IR.  Further consideration will be given to what kind of content constitutes a useful IR, the resources necessary to develop and maintain an IR, and the level of participation and use IR's are currently finding.  While many seem to favor the development of open access and institutional repositories, there are many challenges in implementing these initiatives.  This session will look at these challenges and discuss whether the effort required is compensated for by their value and use.  The session and discussion will highlight any successes and lessons learned, standards and best practices for institutional repositories, and the future for institutional repositories.  Are inter-institutional and global repositories the next logical step?  Has the experience gained prepared libraries to play a more critical role in managing, capturing, disseminating, and preserving primary research of their academic and research institutions to help force change in the structure of scholarly journal publishing?  What are IR’s true potential for improving access to international agricultural information?