On March 26, 1998, the Ohio Supercomputer Center, OhioLINK, and OSC Networking will sponsor a one-day conference on digital libraries. The session will enable representatives from Ohio's higher education institutions and industry to share ideas on digital library research and form working groups that could pursue opportunities for network experiments using the current infrastructure and possible funded research. Faculty, technical staff, and industry personnel with interests in digital libraries are expected to attend.
Digital library research is an area of emphasis for federal granting agencies; it is also an area of considerable interest to anyone developing software for the Internet. Digital library research encompasses a number of topics, including information retrieval, database systems, human-computer interaction, and the use of artificial intelligence to assist in searching and retrieval processes.
Not only are digital libraries of interest because of the emphasis of federal granting agencies, they also present significant opportunity because of digital library projects in Ohio which can be the foundation of research programs. OhioLINK, a consortia of the state's colleges and universities, is building a digital library of text, images, and other forms of data. Its content and audience of 500,000 users can be utilized for the exploration of many digital library topics. Similarly, there are other "digital libraries" being built in the state with medical imagery and other content that offer similar opportunities for research.
The conference will discuss digital library research. Existing digital library applications and research opportunities offered by state programs such as OhioLINK will also be discussed. The conference will hopefully help its participants identify research programs that can exploit these opportunities and for which federal and state funding can be pursued.
The conference will be held at The Ohio State University's Fawcett Center for Tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 26, 1998. Featured speakers will include Benjamin M. Gross from the University of Illinois and Mike Christel from Carnegie Mellon University. Both speakers have NSF digital library grants. A tentative agenda will be posted in the near future.