Reference Services and Knowledge Bases: When is Help Helpful? (SIGs STI, LT and USE)
Peter Armenti, Library of Congress Boris Katz, Artifical Intelligence Laboratory, MIT R. David Lankes, Syracuse University Information Institute Scott Nicholson, Syracuse University Information Institute
This panel will discuss research and opportunities in the area of knowledge bases. With large numbers of users utilizing the internet for reference assistance and expecting "instant answers," there is a greater and greater need to meet these demands. There is much work and research going on in the area of building knowledge bases to answer questions that are frequently asked. How useful are these knowledge bases? When are they helpful, and when are they not helpful? This panel features researchers and librarians who are building and using knowledge bases, who will share their knowledge, experience, and thoughts for the future. Peter Armenti will be speaking about QuestionPoint and the use of knowledge bases as a tool to support reference activities at the Library of Congress. He will explore several Library reading rooms’ experiences using the QuestionPoint knowledge bases, and will summarize staff perceptions of the costs and benefits of adding, editing, maintaining, searching, and using knowledge base records. Boris Katz will be presenting information about The START Information Access System, which is a language-based information access system that has been available to users of the World Wide Web since 1993. He will outline major modules and capabilities of the system, give examples of START in operation, and sketch out current development and future horizons. Finally, Scott Nicholson and R. David Lankes will present their plans and status for the Development of the Digital Reference Electronic Warehouse (DREW), an NSF funded project for which will create archival standards for reference transactions, create anonymization tools, and apply bibliomining to create a management information system and create the collaborative infrastructure to make the DREW a reality.