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Third DELOS International Summer School on Digital Library Technologies
ISDL 2004
6-10 September 2004, Pisa, Italy


The third DELOS International Summer School on Digital Library Technologies (ISDL 2004) was held in Pisa, Italy on September 6-10, 2004, under the direction of Tiziana Catarci (University of Rome) and Yannis Ioannidis (University of Athens).

The main purpose of the school was to foster research and understanding in the area of "User-Centred design for Digital Libraries". The school was directed towards members of the research community in the wide sense, i.e. graduate students and young researchers and professionals involved in R&D in digital library-related areas. The participants represented mostly the academic computer science community, with the other participants coming from the industry and the user communities interested in Digital Libraries technologies (libraries, archives and museums).

The ISDL programme was organised in nine half-day lectures, having as invited lecturers leading researchers in the digital library field, both from the US and Europe, so that the students could hear different views about user requirements and interfaces.

Summaries of presentations

Helen Tibbo, in her introductory lecture, described several different perspectives on what digital repositories (digital libraries, digital archives, etc.) are and what functionality they are supposed to deliver. She then defined what the needs of users might be in such environments and outlined methodologies one can follow to identify them.

Yannis Ioannidis identified information overload as the primary motivation for the need for personalised system behaviour. He gave a general overview of the current state-of-the-art in field, putting particular emphasis on some of the most important issues in user modelling, user profiling, and personalisation methods.

Barry Smyth pointed to several changes that have occurred in the last few years in the ways users search for information, the devices they have at their disposal, and the amounts and types of information that is currently available. Taking these into account, he discussed in detail four specific case-studies that demonstrate how personalised system functionality may be beneficial with respect to the effectiveness and productivity of user information-seeking tasks.

Pier Luigi Feliciati outlined several requirements that a cultural-oriented system designer should take into account with respect to making it accessible, paying specific attention to people with disabilities. He also discussed a general model of an archive, including its content, users, and general environment.

Maria Economou discussed the changing role of museums, from plain repositories to resource centres that can create new user "experiences", and how information technologies can support the transition. She discussed the special characteristics that museum information has and the different models of its use. She illustrated all this through a tour of the systems and websites that several museums and art galleries have developed and offer to their users.

Rudi Schmiede, in his two lectures, with the assistance of Stephan Koernig and Wolfgang Meier, examined user needs within the current social framework and outlined several strategic issues that need to be addressed in order to serve those needs. He then discussed in various levels of detail several standard technologies that play a key role in current software design, i.e., UML, Web Services, Z39.50, SOAP, XML, RDF, and others.

Alan Dix, in his two lectures, introduced the basic principles of user interaction design and analysed some of its most critical aspects, such as understanding users, scenarios, navigation, screen layout, physical devices, colour use, and others. He then presented several intuitive visual tools one may employ in a user interface and discussed numerous forms of visualisation that are effective in helping users understand different types of information at varying levels of detail.

Course Programme

6 September 2004
8:30 - 9:00

Presentation of the School

Costantino Thanos (IEI-CNR, Italy)
Tiziana Catarci (Universita' di Roma "La Sapienza", Rome, Italy)
Yannis Ioannidis (University of Athens, Athens, Greece)
9:00 - 12:30 Use, Users, and User-Centered
Design and Evaluation in the Digital Library
Information Seeking Behaviours
User Centered Evaluation
User Based Evaluation
User Needs
Helen Tibbo (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
12:30 - 14:00 Lunch  
14:00 - 17:30 Personalization (1) Yannis Ioannidis (University of Athens, Athens, Greece)
7 September 2004
9:00 - 12:30 Personalization (2) Barry Smyth (University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland)
12:30 - 14:00 Lunch  
14:00 - 17:30 Universal access to cultural web resources
Example ISAAR
Example ISAD
Quality in Cultural Web sites
Pier Luigi Feliciati (General Directorate of Archives and Minerva Project, Rome, Italy)
8 September 2004
9:00 - 12:30 Museums' User Needs
Bibliography and information
Maria Economou, (University of the Aegean, Greece)
12:30 - 14:00 Lunch  
14:00 - 17:30 Birds of a Feather (BOF) Sessions  
9 September 2004
9:00 - 12:30 User Needs and Digital Libraries Design (1) Rudi Schmiede (Darmstadt University of Technology, Darmstadt, Germany)
12:30 - 14:00 Lunch  
14:00 - 17:30 User Needs and Digital Libraries Design (2)
User Needs and Digital Libraries Design (3)
Rudi Schmiede (Darmstadt University of Technology, Darmstadt, Germany)
10 September 2004
9:00 - 12:30 User Interfaces (1) Alan Dix (Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK)
12:30 - 14:00 Lunch  
14:00 - 17:30 User Interfaces (2) Alan Dix (Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK)
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Last update: 2006-05-02