The University of Pennsylvania sure has some pretty impressive library tech folks! First they create PennTags, now they’re working on Pennvibes, which, according to this abstract from the DLF conference, looks like an exciting new way to create resource guides:

Pennvibes is a framework for content delivery and organization inspired by Netvibes, iGoogle, and Pageflakes. It is being developed at the Penn Libraries using AJAX, XML and Java technologies with the goal of creating a web presence that is drastically more responsive and flexible to the needs of our patrons. We also hope that Pennvibes provides an extensible delivery platform for arbitrary digital library content. When we go live (end of 2007), Pennvibes will enable our Librarians to build new reference pages in a few minutes, complete with custom-tailored (and proxied) lists of resources built from PennTags, integrated search tools (e.g., a Pubmed widget), RSS feeds, editable Webnotes, rotating image widgets, and a “My Library Account” widget that integrates items checked out, fines, and document delivery requests for the patron. In the second phase of the project, we would like not only librarians, but also Penn faculty and students to be able to create and modify Pennvibes pages, thereby making our Library Web site fundamentally more interactive and collaborative. In our presentation, we will demonstrate Pennvibes, outline its potentials for Library Web sites, and discuss the strengths and challenges of the underlying technology. * Please note that “Pennvibes” is an internal name that might be changed when we go live.

Richard Akerman was kind enough to blog their session. Does anyone else have any insight into this project? It sounds incredibly cool and I look forward to seeing it in production.