ERCIM News No.47, October 2001 [contents]
First DELOS Summer School on Digital Library Technologies
by Maristella Agosti and Vittore Casarosa
The First DELOS International Summer School on Digital Library Technologies (ISDL 2001) was held in Pisa, Italy, from 9-13 July 2001, under the direction of Maristella Agosti, University of Padua, Italy.
Being the first Summer School organised by the DELOS Network of Excellence, it was decided to have a broad programme covering most of the fundamental issues underlying the multidisciplinary area of Digital Libraries. Future editions of the DELOS Summer School may focus on specific issues and technologies of interest in the area of the Digital Libraries, providing more in depth coverage of the topics selected.
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. Each lecture was devoted to a fundamental topic of Digital Libraries, addressing both the methodological aspects and the presentation of the results of some of the most innovative and significant Digital Library projects. The School was divided into two parts: the first part, from Monday to Wednesday morning, devoted to more general topics, and the second part, from Thursday to Friday, addressing more specific topics. On Wednesday afternoon there was an invited talk, a short demo and the social programme (a guided tour of Lucca and a social dinner in an old villa outside of Pisa). Most of the participants and lecturers resided at the conference centre for the duration of the School, allowing ample opportunities for getting to know each other and for an informal exchange of ideas. The programme of the school included:
The School was attended by 52 students from 16 different countries (Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Korea, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, UK). 36 students were from universities and research institutions, and the remaining 16 were from libraries and archives. DELOS was able to partially fund the participation of 24 students by covering their enrolment fees.
An evaluation form was distributed at the end of the course asking students to rate different aspects of the school on a scale from 1 to 5 (bad to good). About 75% of the students filled in the form with 86% of the students giving a rating of between 4 and 5 for the school overall, 85% giving a rating of between 4 and 5 for the social events overall, and 87% giving a rating of between 4 and 5 for support overall. Lectures were rated individually, with 70% of the ratings falling between a score of 4 and 5. A section of the evaluation form provided space for comments and suggestions which will be considered when planning the next Summer School in June 2002. All in all, the school can be judged to have been a success, with many students expressing interest in attending ISDL2002.