Saturday, March 31, 2007

We dream about it. Portland State is doing it.

Dateline: Baltimore

On Friday, three librarians from Portland State University addressed a packed session on the topic “Library Mashups for the Virtual Campus: Using Web 2.0 Tools to Create a New Current Awareness Service.”

They described how the library developed Topic Watch, a mashup using several technologies to deliver program-specific resources to faculty via the university’s Luminis portal. Topic Watch provides channels for RSS feeds and blogs, podcasts and videocasts,, and articles. This last allows faculty to search directly from the portal page and list titles of the first five hits without ever leaving the portal. The article feature also incorporates Serials Solution’s Article Linker. In addition to these channels, Topic Watch includes a YouTube channel, but the library is running into copyright issues, as you might imagine. So far, the library has developed two Topic Watch subject areas: Business and Film Studies.

Topic Watch comprises one of several channels on a library “tab” on the university portal. Other channels include QuickLinks, Ask Us, Databases and Full-Text Resources, and several others.

To develop Topic Watch, Portland used HTML, JavaScript, XML, CSS, and Asynchronous JavaScript, as well as well as something called “screen scraping.”

Portland State is “considering” sharing their programming for Topic Watch via a Creative Commons license. The presenters encouraged librarians to contact them if interested.

Food for thought

What would it take to convince our ITS leadership to add a library tab to LCC’s new portal?
If we had a library tab, who would be the audience(s) for its resources and what would those resources be?
Do we have the skills to develop a tab like Portland’s?



  1. We should probably keep Portland State on the watch list. LCC will be using Luminis for the portal. I don't foresee have the expertise here soon, so if Portland develops as way to share their programming we might consider taking a look.

    Does anyone know if the library is going to have a presence in Luminis?

  2. As the Luminis project gets further along, I anticipate that various campus constituent groups will be contacted by the Luminis team which includes Chris Bennett. The library has been identified as a constituent group. Hopefully, there will be opportunities for us to advocate for a library presence in Luminis.