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Telematics for Libraries - Projects

VERITY

Updated: 13 JUL 98

Project Number and Title
5627 - Virtual and electronic resources for information skills training
Programme/Action line Call Topic(s) Start End Project Duration
in Months
FP 4/C 8-9-10 bis and 11 April 1998 27
Keywords
Young people; information skills; intermediary services; electronic resources

Action Line

Action line C: Library Services for Access to Networked Information Resources

Call Topic(s)

  • Call Topic 8-9-10 bis: Adding value to networked information services delivered through libraries
  • Call Topic 11: User applications supporting unified access to combined networked information and library-based resources;

Project description

VERITY will explore new ways of providing virtual library services that are creative, stimulating and educational for young people in the 13-19 age group. It will design a system to help these users with their information enquiries, in a context which will encourage the development and understanding of information seeking skills. It will teach young people to find and manage information held in libraries and on electronic networks.

Technical approach

The project will use Web technology to develop the Virtual Librarian, an intelligent system comprising:

  • an enquiry system using an interactive interview process to direct users to the information they require;
  • the skills component, based on a learning dialogue explaining the informatio n seeking process;
  • a referral service, to forward unanswered queries to a transnational mediated SIG.

A detailed concept for the technology and content will be developed from an initial user needs analysis. Joint development of the core system will result in demonstrators in each of the 5 participating countries, with a common base and local variations, according to the needs of language, subject, target group etc.

Key issues

The key issues to be investigated are in the area of usability and of organisational change and impact, including:

  • investigation of a new service model and impact on traditional functions (eg improvement in service quality);
  • investigation of how the new technologies can improve the study and information skills of young people;
  • guidance and staff training required

Impact, users and expected results

The result will be a prototype tool that can be exploited and integrated in other areas (eg schools, home use) as well as adapted for other users groups and different enquiry services. It will enable users of libraries and those seeking information to take advantage of 'professional' skills, without being tied to location and opening hours. However, by being made available also within public libraries, it provides a tool and opportunity accessible to all.

Deliverables

The main public deliverables will be:

  • report on user needs;
  • prototypes in different country versions and documentation
  • annual reports
  • project final report

Coordinator

Name of Institution/Organisation Postal Code / City Country
University of Sunderland, Information Services, Chester Road Library UK SUNDERLAND SR1 3SD UK
Title, First Name, Name Mrs Janet Stafford
Acting IT Development Manager
Address: Chester Road
Tel: +44 191 515 2903 Fax: +44 191 515 2904
E-mail 1: janet.stafford@sunderland.ac.uk E-mail 2:

Other Partners

Name of Institution/Organisation Country Role
University of Helsinki, IT Centre for Schools FI P
Stadtbücherei Stuttgart DE P
Athens College Library GR P
ISEGI PT P
Gateshead Libraries and Arts Services UK A
City of Helsinki FI A
ATP Oy FI A
ICL Data Oy FI A
Association of Finnish Local & Regional Authorities FI A
City of Vantaa Library FI A
Costeas Gitonas School GR A
Dr Gert Fieguth Forschung & Beratung DE S


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