Thursday, June 30, 2005

British Library predicts 'Switch to digital by 2020'

diglet mentions this article that talks about the British Library switching from print to digital publications by 2020. Lynne Brindley, Chief Executive of the British Library, said:
Most people are aware that a national switch to digital broadcasting is expected by the end of this decade. Less well known is the fact that a similar trend is underway in the world of publishing: a study by EPS , commissioned by the Library, projects that, by the year 2020, 40% of UK research monographs will be available in electronic format only, while a further 50% will be produced in both print and digital. A mere 10% of new titles will be available in print alone by 2020.

As the British Library moves to digital publications, it is also building the infrastructure to "store, manage, preserve and provide access to digital material in the same way as we do for the ‘physical’ national collection..."

Preservation, Archives and Records, Oh, My!

Josh Shear in his blog, blogJosh, has a long posting on archiving information. Josh pulled together information from several articles and sources, noting that both digital and paper-based information is on the verge of being lost because we don't have the space or technology to keep it. In writing about the problem, Josh quotes the article "The Fading Memory of the State:"
Because the [U.S. National] Archives has no good system for taking in more data, a tremendous backlog has built up. Census records, service records, Pentagon records of Iraq War decision-making, diplomatic messages--all sit in limbo at federal departments or in temporary record-holding centers around the country. A new avalanche of records from the Bush administration--the most electronic presidency yet--will descend in three and a half years, when the president leaves office. Leaving records sitting around at federal agencies for years, or decades, worked fine when everything was on paper, but data bits are nowhere near as reliable--and storing them means paying not just for the storage media, but for a sophisticated management system and extensive IT staff.
In thinking specifically of paper files, Josh mentions that people like me want paper files kept even after the materials have been digitized. I do advocate keeping paper, because you can always read it. Personally, though, I should admit that I don't keep paper copies of everything. I know it is a risk, but one that I'm willing to take. I also know that a good portion of the information I have isn't unique, so it can be found again. Let's hope that these important files mentioned above (e.g., records of Iraq War decision-making) are held in multiple locations so that there are better odds of them surviving for future generations to study.

Mega JPEG files vs. TIFF

In January, I wrote a post entitled "JPEG2000 vs. TIFF." In the last few weeks, a similar question has come up. One vendor has suggested that librarians are too tied to the TIFF file format as a way of creating a high quality archival image. Many projects turn to the TIFF format because it is lossless and holds a tremendous amount of information. We fear losing data that may drop out if the file is compressed (like in the JPEG format). Yes, we're willing to use JPEG for smaller files that are viewed online, but we want those big unaltered TIFF files stored in the archives for prosperity posterity.

But what if we use technology that will create mega JPEG files? What if the image was created using a 16 megapixel camera and the files were huge (5-14 MB)? With that technology, could we overlook the fact that JPEG is a lossy format? Could we use these large files as the archival version instead of a TIFF file?

You might notice that I said camera above, not scanner. Using photography to create the image does not bother me; however, I'm stuck a bit on the idea of not capturing a raw file and capturing a very large JPEG file instead. I keep wondering if I would be missing something. Would I have regrets? Perhaps it would depend on what I was digitizing. For example, I might be willing to use JPEG files when capturing pages from a book, but not if I'm digitizing art work. Obviously, this is a topic/idea/reality that is not going to go away. The technology is being used already on digitizing projects. I just need to get comfortable with the idea...

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Report: Digital preservation in the regions

Digital preservation in the regions is a report based on a "sample survey of digital preservation preparedness and needs of organisations at local and regional levels An assessment carried out from December 2004 to March 2005" by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) in the United Kingdom. The nine key findings from the survey include the fact that long-term "management of digital material needs to be more firmly and clearly embedded in corporate planning processes and strategic thinking and planning." Besides discussing the key findings, the 30-page report also lays out a series of fourteen action points.

Event: Digital Asset Management with Fedora

From the conference web site:

The National Library of Wales is pleased to announce an upcoming Fedora conference to be held in Aberystwyth, Wales on Oct. 24, 2005.

The aim of this meeting is to bring together those using, or thinking about using, Fedora from across Europe in order to share knowledge and experience whilst making connections between institutions..

General themes will include:

  • Introducing Fedora
  • Implementing Fedora (a European Perspective)
  • Bridging Fedora and DSpace
  • Low-cost Digital Asset Management
  • Workflows
  • Fedora and Collaborative Working
  • Fedora and METS
This conference will be held in conjunction with METS awareness day on 25th October 2005 (more details to follow). Participants are welcome to attend both events.

A formal conference programme will be circulated in late July. Until then, please contact the conference organizer, Paul Bevan) if you have any questions.

* * * * *

Thanks to the digitizationblog for posting about this.

The cost of promoting NYS' digital library

As part of New York State's New Century Libraries initiative, the State Library implemented a program called the New York Online Virtual Electronic Library or NOVEL. NOVEL consists of five components:
  1. Electronic resources purchased on a statewide basis to provide significant economies of scale;
  2. Shared electronic catalogs of the holdings of all types of libraries, including the high-quality, specialized resources held by New York's academic and special libraries;
  3. Opportunities for libraries to digitize their unique collections;
  4. Enhanced opportunities for high-speed network access that will enable libraries to deliver all the benefits and features of NOVEL; and
  5. A NOVEL user interface (or portal) that integrates the services and resources brought together under NOVEL.
New Yorkers have access to the NOVEL databases through their local public libraries, many academic libraries, and the NOVEL web site. Through the NOVEL web site, New Yorkers can access the databases using their NYS driver's license number or non-driver photo ID number. The State also created an easier to remember URL for NOVEL ( and what it must consider an end-user interface.

As of July 2004, 86% of NYS libraries were registered to use NOVEL after five years in operation (but are they really using it?). Usage in 2004 had doubled from the previous year. Yet there are many people in NYS -- probably the majority of NYS residents have no idea what NOVEL is. In fact, I bet there are still librarians in the State who are unsure of what NOVEL is and how to use it. To increase awareness, last year NYS funded efforts throughout the State to train library staff members and end-users on NOVEL. Each library system or library council that received funding used it differently, and I suspect that each truly did make NOVEL better known in its region. (I even did workshops on Long Island for LILRC and SCLS to help library staff members understand the Business & Company Resources Center and to think more creatively on how to market online resources.)

In order to get more New Yorkers aware of NOVEL, the New York State Library has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the development and implementation of a statewide education and information program for the State Library's NOVEL (New York Online Virtual Electronic Library) project. Here is what I find most intriguing about the RFP... According to the factsheet about NOVEL, the State is investing $14 million annually to create NOVEL. The RFP states, "The total cost for the project cannot exceed $250,000 including travel and any incidental expenses, for the term of the [three-year] contract." Wow! Create a communication effort to educate and inform the general public about NOVEL and do other things for $83,333 per year for three years. And the promotion efforts are to use the media, print and press, and other creative venues. (I keep looking at the RFP thinking that there must be more money than this. If you see money here that I do not, please let me know.)

What are the goals of the RFP? The goals stated are that by September 2007:
  • 30 percent of a sampling of New York adult residents will indicate that they have heard of NOVEL. (BTW there are ~14 million adults in NYS.)
  • 15 percent will say they have used NOVEL.
  • 5 percent will say that they or members of their family have benefited from access to NOVEL's 24/7 core collection of reliable electronic resources.
Can you adequately build awareness among 14 million adults of a digital library that costs $14 million/year for only $83,333 per year? Can a connection be made between NOVEL and its audience for that cost? Librarians believe in not spending money on marketing and sometimes a good marketing campaign can be done inexpensively, but is the State trying to be too cheap? Is it setting itself (or whomever wins the contract) up to fail?

As you can tell, I'm skeptical. When the announcement first crossed by desk, I was pleased, but as I have written this, I'm concerned that they are grossly underfunding this effort. Perhaps I'm wrong. At any rate, it will be interesting talking to people about this over the next few weeks.

Below is the announcement of the RFP from NYS. Perhaps you know of someone who would like to take this on?


The New York State Library has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the development and implementation of a statewide education and information program for the State Library's NOVEL (New York Online Virtual Electronic Library) project. Eligible applicants are libraries, library systems, institutions of higher education, not-for-profit and for-profit organizations and associations, including but not limited to advertising firms. The development of a NOVEL statewide education and information program project evolved from a recommendation of the NOVEL Steering Committee. The contract resulting from this RFP will be for three years.

RFP proposals are due by August 1, 2005.

NOVEL, the New York Online Virtual Electronic Library, is a powerful virtual library that gives New Yorkers full computer access to thousands of national and international newspapers and magazines, health and medical magazines and resources, valuable business and investment information, and fun and educational materials for adults and youngsters - all free via their local library. NOVEL opened a new era in library service, thanks to support from the LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) program and the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). NOVEL is a "virtual library" that connects New Yorkers in every community to state-of-the-art information without regard to economic, geographic, or physical barriers. Over 5,000 libraries across the state have already become subscribers.

Complete RFP information, along with submission documents, can be found at the New York State Library's NOVEL website at:

Questions can be directed to Mary Linda Todd, Library Development Specialist/New York State Library by calling 518-474-7890 or by email at:

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Google and Libraries: What’s in Store for Google Print and Google Scholar

Here's an good blog posting from Leo Klein who is attending the ALA conference in Chicago. Participating in this session at ALA were Adam Smith (Google), John Price-Wilkin (Michigan), Catherine Tierney (Stanford), Ronald Milne (Oxford), Dale Flecker (Harvard), and John Balow (NYPL). There seemed to be no big revelations, however, from what Klein has written, it sounds like the participants in Google Print recognize the risks and are willing to live with them.

Article: Library of Congress Joins Internet2

This has come to my attention. It was announced in mid-May and perhaps it just didn't stand out to me then.
Internet2, the foremost U.S. advanced networking consortium led by the research and higher education community, today announced that the Library of Congress has become a member of Internet2 and will connect to its high-performance Abilene Network. The Library plans to collaborate with the Internet2 community and leverage its advanced network infrastructure to facilitate wide-scale digital preservation projects, to enhance the development of an Internet-based database of U.S. newspapers, and to assist with its educational outreach programs.
The full press release is available here.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Digital Imaging with JPEG2000

At the American Library Association (ALA) conference, ksclarke has summarized a session entitled "Digital Imaging with JPEG2000." The notes are long (and it's hot here in Syracuse -- 91F/32C) so I'm going to bookmark them and read later. With JPEG2000 growing in popularity, you may want to bookmark it too and read it when time (and temperature) permits.

The Historical Event Markup and Linking Project

Peter Binkley, in a comment to this blog last week, mentioned the Historical Event Markup and Linking Project (HEML). HEML is the product of Bruce Robertson and several others to provide a basic set of text mark-up and transformations for historical information. A sample timeline, created is HEML is one of Russia under Stalin. The timeline links to underlying documents, and can be displayed in multiple languages and calendars. The site says that the timelines and maps look best when viewed with SVG by Adobe.

Bruce Robertson wrote a brief (and non technical) article on it here.

A search of the Internet on HEML shows that it is mentioned frequently (however you really judge that now-a-days). It has attracted interest.

If you know of live (real) projects that are using HEML, please post a comment. This seems to be a cool tool, so it would be nice to see it in action with real project. (It is unclear if any of the "demos" on the HEML web site are real projects or not.)

Event: Public roundtable discussions regarding orphan works

From the digital-copyright discussion list:


The Copyright Office will hold public roundtable discussions regarding orphan works later this summer. The cities and dates for the discussions are as follows:

Washington, D.C.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Berkeley, California
(hosted by the Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berkeley)
Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Please be aware that the Copyright Office will soon issue a notice in the Federal Register (and simultaneously on the Office's website) with more detailed information on these discussions. The notice will indicate the exact locations and times of the meetings, a summary of the issues to be discussed, and the procedure for requesting to participate in the discussions. Persons wishing to participate in the discussions must follow the procedure to be specified in the forthcoming notice.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Adding timelines to digital content

At the beginning of June, someone on the DigiStates discussion list asked about software options for adding timelines that could be linked to digital content. Three excellent examples of timelines were offered:
If you look at any of those, I think you'll be impressed with what you see.

We know that timelines can be very powerful. They help you connect pieces of history together in a way that allows the reader to see relationships between events. There have been two timelines that I have admired, although neither is like the ones above.
  1. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial of Greater Rochester (NY) contains a timelines that starts centuries before the Vietnam War. It shows some of the history of that region as well as "pointers" to other civil wars. The reader must build the storyline as she read it, which is what I like about it. The timeline doesn't state why all this information is there, you must figure it out on your own. I must admit that this timeline broadened my thinking on the war.

  2. The PBS series "Eyes on the Prize" looks at the U.S. Civil Rights Movement from several viewpoints. Each show is a timeline that covers the same time frame as the other shows. You can see some of the interconnectedness, but you also have to build some of the connections yourself.
Have you added a timeline to your project? Is it interactive? Does it link to digital materials? What have you learned (about technology or whatever) from including a timeline on your site? Please leave a comment and share your thoughts (or just a URL)...

Event: Digital Library Symposium, 29 September 2005

The University of Maryland Libraries is delighted to announce a digital library symposium (29 September 2005) entitled "The Library in Bits and Bytes," an official event celebrating the 150th anniversary of the University of Maryland, College Park, and pre-symposium workshops, "Introduction to XML and the TEI" (27-28 September) and "Demystifying EAD" (28 September).

This one-day symposium will reflect on how library practice has embraced and is challenged by digital library initiatives. Plenary speakers are:
  • Deanna Marcum (Associate Librarian for Library Services, Library of Congress) speaking on "Creating an Organizational Culture to Support Digital Library Initiatives."
  • Anne Kenney (Associate University Librarian, Cornell University Library) on "Five Organizational Stages of Digital Preservation."
  • Paul Conway (Director, Information Technology Services, Duke University Libraries) on "Why Is IT So Hard to Do?"
  • G. Sayeed Choudhury (Hodson Director of the Digital Knowledge Center, Johns Hopkins University) on "The Cutting Edge: The Next Generation Digital Library."
The symposium will close with a panel discussion entitled "Pattern Recognition: Trends, Forecasts, and Fragments of a Future" chaired by Matthew G. Kirschenbaum, with Ben Bederson, Allison Druin, Stuart Moulthrop, and Jennifer Preece.

Pre-symposium workshops (which may be registered for independently) are a two-day hands-on "Introduction to XML and the Text Encoding Initiative" (27-28 September) and a one-day (28 September) introduction to Encoded Archival Description entitled "Demystifying EAD."

Full symposium and workshop details are available at

Susan Schreibman, PhD
Assistant Dean
Head of Digital Collections and Research
McKeldin Library
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

Phone: 301 314 0358
Fax: 301 314 9408

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Educational material from the Copyright Clearance Center

The Copyright Clearance Center has two publications (PDFs) on its web site that may be useful to you.
Of course, the materials are copyrighted. Too bad they didn't employ a Creative Commons license on these two pieces so people could freely disseminate them.

They also have a separate Campus Guide to Copyright Compliance to help "answer questions ranging from basic copyright law to the more complex topics of ILL and e-reserves."

The LITA blog and list of top tech trends

The Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) blog contains postings on top technology trends, including a posting from Roy Tennant. The lists are easy to skim. My favorite, from Eric Morgan, says:
You can decreasingly expect people to come to your website for content.

Instead, explore ways to integrate your content and services into the working environments of you patrons. Playing a role in institution-wide portal applications is one example. Create Search Bar tools for Firefox browsers. Explore the use of XUL to create institution-specific interfaces to collections and services. Syndicate your content, and develop tools — gadgets/widgets — providing seamless access to you, your content, and your services from within the user’s browser, email client, and RSS reader.

Florida On Florida

Many people take vacations in Florida or even move their to enjoy their retirement years. It is a popular destination. Florida On Florida "is a catalog of digital materials related to Florida. It includes all sorts of items including maps, photographs, postcards, books, and manuscripts."

The information contained in the full records varies depending on the organization. Some have very extensive and informative notes fields. The watermark on some images (i.e., Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System) are very over-powering. Look at this one or this one, for example.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Article: Saving the past for the future

The Richmond Times-Dispatch has an article about the digitization of a Civil War era newspaper, the Richmond Dispatch. Digitizing the Richmond Dispatch is part of a larger project to digitize newspapers from that era and give people access to the different points of view from that time.
A $478,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences, a federal agency, has financed the two-year effort and brought together UR [University of Richmond], the Virginia Center for Digital History at the University of Virginia, and Tufts University, which also has had extensive experience digitizing text materials.
In order to create searchable text, the project is "double keyboarding" the text from the scanned images (having two people re-key the text independently of each other), then are using a computer to compare the two texts in order to produce the most accurate version. The University of Richmond notes that it is time consuming, but 99% accurate.

Article: Publishers' Group Asks Google to Stop Scanning Copyrighted Works for 6 Month

Jeffrey Young writes at that:
The Association of American Publishers has asked Google to stop scanning copyrighted books published by the association's members for at least six months while the company answers questions about whether its plan to scan millions of volumes in five major research libraries complies with copyright law.
The publishers believe that Google must seek permission before scanning the books, while Google believes that it can do what it intends. As the saying goes, "this will be interesting..."

MIT Weblog Survey

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

The more people who take this MIT survey, the better. They are hoping to " understand the way that weblogs are affecting the way we communicate with each other." So if you blog, please click on the graphic above, request a "key" (required to get into the survey) and take it. Completing the survey takes 15 minutes or less (honest!).

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

AAP vs. Google: Round 2

Eli in Confessions of a Mad Librarian has a good post on what is becoming the Association of American Publishers v. Google. At the end of the post, she writes:

1) Before calls of injunctions or infringement are made, what sort of compromise can/might be worked out between the content owners (and their reps) and Google?


2) What will the role of libraries (especially UMich and Stanford, but including the full force of the library community) be in intermediating or negotiating a possible compromise?

Gee, sounds like a lawyer in the making talking! (On June 2, this librarian announced that she's going to go to law school and hopes to practice law on behalf of libraries and librarians.)

Several Major Reports on Digital Preservation, Curation and Collections

The following has been posted to a discussion list from Clifford Lynch, director of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI):

In the past few days several important reports have been issued; I've collected pointers to them in a single message here.

The U. S. National Science Board has approved the release of the final version (subject to copy-editing) of Chris Greer's report on Long-Lived data collections. Chris gave a talk on this report at the spring CNI meeting, and I circulated a pointer to the earlier version of this report that was issued for comment in March 2005; the version that has just been posted incorporates many of the comments that were received on the draft report.

You can find this document at

I would urge anyone at a U.S. research institution or organization concerned with research to take the time to at least look at the executive summary of this very important report.

In addition, the Canadian National Research Council has issued its final report on the 18-month Canadian consultation on access to scientific research data. This is in important, interesting and timely document that serves as a fine complement and counterpoint to the U.S. report just discussed; it is much broader in terms of policy questions but also somewhat more tentative. Again, I would urge anyone interested in scientific or scholarly data curation to at least skim this important report. It can be found at:

In the UK, the JISC has announced a new series of awards (totaling some four million pounds) under its repositories program. For information on this, see:

and follow the pointers to the descriptions of the individual projects, many of which are of extraordinary interest.

Also in the UK, there has been a very interesting report out of the museum sector reflecting on the problems of collections too extensive to be exhibited:

Note that this page also contains pointers to several interesting ancillary documents, as well as some press material; the report proper is at:

Clifford Lynch
Director, CNI

Monday, June 20, 2005

Article: New life for old jazz tapes

The writes:

Recordings of live performances by Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington and others at the Monterey Jazz Festival are in danger of deteriorating.

To help preserve these recordings and others from 1958 to 1969, the Grammy Foundation has given the jazz festival a $40,000 grant for its Archive Preservation Project to digitally reformat and catalog the archives, in partnership with Stanford University.

The Monterey Jazz Festival is world famous, so it great to see that these performances will be perserved by digitally reformatting them.

Event Reminder: Digitizing Historic Newspapers: A Practical Approach

Register now for this in-depth look at digitizing historic newspapers.

A variety of speakers, including Sue Benz, Brooklyn Public Library; Martha Crawley, Institute of Museum and Library Services; John Herbert, University of Utah; Sue Kellerman, Penn State University; Barclay Ogden, University of California-Berkeley; Maria Pallante Hyun, the Guggenheim Museum, and others will share their experiences and insights, discussing the issues that impact historic newspaper digitization. Topics include:
  • Planning
  • Technical Issues and Options
  • Approaches to Funding
  • Copyright Considerations
  • Impact: How to Make a Difference
Register online at
or contact Jill Koelling, CDP, 303.871.2820 or Brenda Bailey-Hainer, Colorado State Library, 303.866.6907

Conference Date: Monday, July 18, 2005

Executive Tower Hotel
1405 Curtis Street
Denver, CO 80202

Special hotel rate: $95/night plus tax - rates apply Friday, July 15 - Tuesday, July 20.

Registration for the conference is $75, and includes continental breakfast and lunch, along with free parking at the Executive Towers parking garage.

Registration deadline is June 29, 2005.

Conference Agenda
The conference agenda focuses on the components of a successful historic newspaper digitization project, from planning and technical issues, through funding, copyright, and finally, how to know your project has made a difference and met its goals.

9:00 - 9:15 am Welcome
9:15 - 9:45 Keynote Address
9:45 - 10:45 Planning for Success
10:45 - 11:00 Break
11:00 - 12:00 Technical Issues and Options
12:00 - 1:15 Lunch
1:15 - 2:15 Approaches to Funding
2:15 - 3:00 Copyright Considerations
3:00 - 3:15 Break
3:15 - 4:15 Impact - How to Make a Difference
4:15 - 5:00 pm Question and Answer Session

About the Speakers
Speakers for the conference are hands-on practitioners and experts who have experience in digitizing historic newspapers. Some of the speakers you will hear include Brenda Bailey-Hainer, Colorado State Library; Chris Bell, Thunder Ridge High School; Sue Benz, Brooklyn Public Library; Martha Crawley, Institute of Museum and Library Services; John Herbert, University of Utah; Sue Kellerman, Penn State University; Jill Koelling, Collaborative Digitization Program; Keith Lance, Colorado State Library and University of Denver; Kevin Norris, ProQuest Information and Learning; Barclay Ogden, University of California-Berkeley; and Maria Pallante Hyun, the Guggenheim Museum.

Event: Basics and Beyond on-line digitization training courses July 11-29, 2005


The Illinois Digitization Institute at the University of Illinois Library at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), in partnership with the Illinois State Library and the Illinois Heritage Association, is offering a Basics and Beyond on-line digitization training courses July 11-29, 2005.

This three-week on-line course allows busy professionals the opportunity to learn more about digitization from the convenience of their own computers! Using the Web, participants can access the on-line course materials, have access to a course facilitator and digitization experts, engage in on-line discussions, solve real world digitization problems, and do readings on various aspects of the digitization process. Cost: $300.00 per person.

Courses will be directed towards participants from libraries, museums, archives, and other cultural heritage institutions who are seeking in-depth digitization training to enable them to apply information standards and best practices in their work with cultural heritage materials.

To learn more about the "Basics and Beyond" digitization course series and available scholarships or to register for courses, please visit or contact:

Amy Maroso, Project Coordinator
Grainger Engineering Library Information Center
Phone: (217) 244-4946

Article: Turning books into bits

This is an interesting article on MSNBC with information about what Brewster Kahle is doing now. Here's a couple of quotes:
And at the Internet Archive in San Francisco, Kahle and company are bolting together an even cheaper scanning system [than the Kirtas scanner] ? dubbed ?Scribes? ? that will travel to libraries around the country.
Libraries, in short, are already evolving into community digital research centers, staffed with professional guides to the vast quantities of text, audio, video and images available online, and equipped with the latest digital playback devices, from video screens to printers to audio systems.
By the way, in June 2004, Brewster Kahle joined the Board of Directors for Kirtas and is an investor in the company.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Computers as appliances

Wild flowers in my yard In a non-computer environment, where do you view photographs? You might view photos sitting in your living room or out on the side porch. You might show off pictures over dinner or even at a ballgame. Now that we are taking digital pictures and e-mailing them, we tend to look at photographs not as we engage in conversations with friends and family, but in front of the computer. Is this where we want to be looking at photos?

Last week at the Special Libraries Association conference, Bill Buxton talked about making computers appliances. At the moment, the computer -- that generally sits in its own defined space -- does lots of different activities that are normally associated with other areas of the house or office. It is a cookbook and recipe helper (kitchen), a photo album (living room), an news source (TV room), an entertainment device (TV/family room), a book (the side porch in the summer)... If a person was looking at cookbook in the kitchen, we would know what the person was doing. It would be obvious. When a person is sitting in front of a computer, we have no idea what the person is doing and what "room" that activity should be associated with. All we know is that the person is sitting in front of the computer. What we used to do in various rooms is now done in one -- the computer room.

Buxton suggested strongly that we create separate appliances that do these individual functions so that we can use the technology where that function normally occurs. Create an electronic cookbook (with the ability to search the Internet for recipes) that exists in the kitchen. Create a devices that can share and view photographs that you can have in the living room or TV room (or carry with you). Liberate these functions from the computer so that we can also be liberated from the computer room.

Article: Google Library Digitization Agreement With University Of Michigan Now Available

Danny Sullivan has a posting about the Google agreement with UM. The agreement covers all of the legal stuff -- who's responsible for what, etc. Danny said that he will post a summary of it. From a quick skimming, there seems to be nothing exciting but perhaps he's eagle-eyes will catch something that should not be missed.

Update (6/17/2005, 3:40 p.m.): Jessamyn at has begun to truly read the agreement and has posted some notes in her blog. One things she picked up on was that:
UM needs to find a way to restrict automated access or downloading of its content, or make its content available for commercial purposes. This is more restrictive than public domain.
Update (6/20/2005): See also Will Google Adhere to Library Privacy Policies?

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Digital Knowledge for all, but what about forever?

For Immediate Release Contact: Emma Poole, 020 7273 1459

London, 16 June 2005 – A report published today by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) and Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) throws out a challenge about the future access to digital museum, library and archive collections.

Digitisation is making more museum, library and archive collections accessible across the internet. MLA and DPC are working with a range of national partners to ensure that the knowledge held in those institutions can be accessed wherever and whenever it is needed. Digitisation mean that objects and information in different places can be brought together to create virtual collections, matched to the particular needs of the searcher. But a new survey shows that these digitised collections may be at significant risk of being lost to future generations if the issue of digital preservation is not addressed.

The survey, which will inform the development of a national digitisation strategy, looked at non-national museums, libraries and archives in two English regions – the North East and West Midlands – to discover how well prepared they are to deal with the problems of keeping digital material in the long term. The results show that there is a significant commitment to digitisation, with over 80 digitisation projects currently in place. However, the survey highlighted a major concern that 90 per cent of the projects were externally funded and therefore took no account of the need to provide the long-term, sustainable support needed to preserve and protect public access to the digital collections.

Some key findings are:

  • The organisations surveyed expressed a need for help and advice on a range of digital preservation issues.
  • Awareness raising on the whole issue of digital preservation is needed
  • The bulk of activity covered by the survey has been the digitisation of existing collections rather than in tackling the issues raised by born-digital material.
  • Long-term management of digital material needs to be more firmly embedded in corporate thinking and planning.

Chris Batt, Chief Executive of MLA, said: “Digitisation of collections has significantly improved public access. We wanted to know how museums, libraries and archives were coping with the challenges posed by their increased responsibility for sustaining digital materials. This report will help us all to develop more effective policies for management of the collections that define the knowledge sector and will assist us in lobbying for adequate funding to secure for the future the nation's investment in digital resources.”

Lynne Brindley, Chief Executive of the British Library and Chair of the DPC said: “This survey is key in helping us to build an overall picture of the challenges UK institutions face in managing their digital resources. The results of the survey serve as a wake up call to all institutions. The current investment in digitisation will be wasted if we cannot provide sustainable levels of access for the long term. The survey provides valuable evidence for the importance of the Digital Preservation Coalition and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council working together to develop a national policy that will ensure that digital preservation is embedded in funding streams as we move towards a fully digital economy and e-society.”

The report is available on the MLA website at:

# # #

Notes to editors:
For further information please contact Emma Poole, MLA Media and Event Manager, 020 7273 1459/

The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) is the national development agency working for and on behalf of museums, libraries and archives, advising the government on policy and priorities for the sector. MLA's roles are to provide strategic leadership, to act as a powerful advocate, to develop capacity and to promote innovation and change. MLA is leading the implementation of Framework for the Future, the government's vision for English public libraries over the next ten years.

Museums, libraries and archives connect people to knowledge and information, creativity and inspiration. MLA is leading the drive to unlock this wealth, for everyone. For further information visit the MLA website at

The survey involved a sample of museums, libraries and archives in two English regions – the North East and the West Midlands, in collaboration with the North East Museums Libraries and Archives Council (NEMLAC) and Museums, Libraries and Archives West Midlands (MLAWM). It was conducted for MLA by Duncan Simpson over the period December 2004 to April 2005.

The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) was formed in 2001. It was established in the belief that a concerted, cross-sectoral effort was needed to ensure continued access to valuable digital resources. The 27 members of the Coalition are major national bodies with an interest in digital preservation. They include JISC, CURL, MLA, the British Library, the National Archives, The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, the National Archives of Scotland and the National Libraries of Scotland and Wales. The DPC website is at:

Duncan Simpson is a former director of The National Archives (TNA); now an independent consultant in records management, archiving, access to information and digital preservation and Honorary Senior Research Fellow of the Constitution Unit in the School of Public Policy at University College London, specialising in the records management aspects of access to information, including issues of public access to information and of the long term preservation and availability of material.


Smart Woman Online: Jill Hurst-Wahl

This week, I was interviewed by Yvonne DiVita who has a blog named Lip-sticking: Smart Marketing to Women Online. The interview touches on many topics (including copyright) and contains a photo of "moi" (me).

Thanks, Yvonne, for including me as a Smart Woman Online.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Report: Using Dublin Core

The new version of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) guide, Using Dublin Core, is available. Created by Diane Hillmann, it replaces a version that was nearly two years old.

{ I had originally called this an OCLC guide. Thank, Diane, for correcting me.}

Event: First South-Eastern European Digitization Initiative (SEEDI) Conference

The First South-Eastern European Digitization Initiative (SEEDI) Conference will be held from 11th to 14th of September, 2005 in Ohrid, Macedonia. The conference topics will include:

1. Digital re-Discovery of Dance
2. Digital re-Discovery of Music
3. Manuscripts
4. Edutainment
5. General Areas Covering All Aspects of - Playing. Digital.

SEEDI is an effort to develop awareness about digitization of cultural and scientific heritage in the South-Eastern European countries and to bring together researchers having similar scientific and practical interest in digitization and to support cooperation between them.

Please check the web site for additional information.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The benefits of blogging...

When I talk about blogging and why I do it, I talk about disseminating and sharing information. I also talk about using my blog to keep track of information for myself (a nice side benefit). Another tangible benefit is that blogs allow for a give-and-take that seems different from an e-mail discussion list or online forum.

As I write this, I'm thinking of Charles Bailey who sent a comment to alert me to a list that I had not seen. I also think about the comments I've received where someone has been able to give some insight into an organization/process that I was not privy to. Those comments then become part of the knowledge shared in the blog. The truth is, we all have access to different information and our blogs allow us to share and combine what we know.

Sharing...this is the benefit of blogging...and the benefit of digitizing materials.

Collaborative Digitization Projects in the United States

Thanks to Charles W. Bailey, Jr. for pointing me towards a listing of Collaborative Digitization Projects in the United States. (As the saying goes, ask and you shall receive.) These are ongoing collaborative digitization projects that focus on cultural heritage materials, not necessarily statewide projects. The list is maintained by Ken Middleton at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). MTSU and Ken are also actively involved in DigiStates so it makes sense that they would maintain this list. The list was updated in June 2004.

By the way, the list contains one project in NYS (Hudson Valley Heritage), which is a cooperative project in the lower Hudson Valley (near West Point).

NC ECHO surveying statewide digitization projects

A few weeks ago, North Carolina Exploring Cultural Heritage Online (NC ECHO) put out a call on the DigiStates discussion list for statewide projects to respond to a survey. Recently a list was posted of those projects that had responded. Where are there statewide digitization projects occurring? This list gives us a good starting point.
Who's missing from the list? Well, off the top of my head, there are also the New Jersey Digital Highway (, and the Maine Memory Network ( Who else can you think of? Post a comment and let us know. Let's build a comprehensive list! Perhaps we'll unearth a project that has not yet been recognized.

BTW, there is not a statewide project in New York. The state has not initiated anything and no one else has been able to muster the support ($) to begin such a project. However, there are themes that run across NYS and lots of possible content to create a dynamite project. (Keep in mind that NYS was one of the original 13 colonies and that a lot of history has occurred in NYS -- women's rights, abolition, the Erie Canal, various wars, etc. And let us not forget that New York City was the capitol of the U.S. for a short time.)

Monday, June 13, 2005

Article: Report on the DPC Meeting on the large-scale archival storage of digital objects

This brief report and PowerPoint presentation will be of interest to those involved in large scale projects. If this topic interest you, I would suggest looking at both the report and the PowerPoint.

Informal survey of cataloguers’ roles in digitization projects

Digitizationblog notes that an informal survey was done on catalogers’ involvement in digitization metadata projects. The blog contains notes from Jeanne Boydston and Joan Leysen, who did the survey. The blog posting, with the information from Boydston and Leysen, can be found here.

Article: Battle Brews over E-reserves

According to this article at
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) has been challenging the [e-reserves] practice at the University of California–San Diego (UCSD). According to UC counsel Mary MacDonald, that effort began in fall 2003, when AAP legal counsel Allan Adler wrote UCSD officials demanding the library take "prompt action to investigate and terminate the illegal reproduction, display, and distribution of copyrighted works."
Are e-reserves really a course-pack in disguise? Is there a lawsuit in the works? Read the article for more information.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

S-T Imaging Inc.

One of the vendors I visited at the Special Libraries Association conference was S-T Imaging Inc. According their web site, "S-T Imaging is a leading manufacturer of microfilm readers, universal film carriers, digital microfilm viewers and scanners." S-T Imaging is owned by Digital Check Corporation (DCC) and has been involved creating micrographic equipment since 1989.

The machine S-T Imaging demonstrated at SLA was a microfilm/microfiche reader/printer/scanner that is meant for patron use (the ST200 Motorized). The ST200 can be outfitted so it will do microfilm only, or both microfilm and microfiche. This machine would replace an existing microfilm reader, giving the patron all of the current functionality plus the ability to scan images. Once scanned, images can be saved to a variety of media options or e-mailed using the ScanWrite software. (If you don't want the patron to have access to all of the storage options, they can be disabled.)

The ST200 is not meant to be used in production mode. (It is too slow for production mode, but a good speed for patrons).

Wayne Rogozinski, national sales manager for S-T Imaging, noted that they will be coming out with more scanning devices later this year (non-microform related).

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Event: Google’s Library Digitization Project: Reports from Michigan and Oxford

Scheduled for June 15, the event pre-registration is already closed. Obviously lots of people want to know about what Google is doing. (I wonder how many people watching the webcast will be those working on competitive projects?) The web site states that an archive of the seminar will be available after the event concludes.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Article: German publishers' Google challenge

The International Herald Tribune writes:
Then this year, when Google started wooing publishers to sign on for its own digital book project, that German executive, Matthias Ulmer, decided the time was ripe to seize control with a homegrown counterattack.
The full article is available here.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Last day of the SLA conference

Today is the last day of the Special Libraries Association annual conference in Toronto, Canada. The three keynote speakers have all been excellent and the conference sessions have been very good. There is (and will continue to be) conference highlights and notes (etc.) published in the conference's official blog. As one of the conference bloggers, I've posted some notes there and will do more in the coming weeks.

The exhibit hall closed yesterday afternoon. I did get to visit more digitization related vendors including S-T Imaging Inc. and Open Text. I had also visited the Electronic Scriptorium earlier in the week, but had forgotten to mention it. S-T Imaging manufactures digitization equipment and has interesting stuff. I look forward to learning more about them.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

More info from the SLA conference

Yesterday morning I attended a breakfast meeting by the Biomedical and Life Science Division on digitization. Four speakers talked about three projects, with the most interesting being the Lyman Digitization Project at McGill University. They are digitizing books and other documents from this entomological collections so that the researchers have access to materials that should be (or are) stored in special collections. The presenter noted that because of the need to do transcriptions (done by students), scanning, OCR and mark-up of the pages that the cost per page was approx. $20 (Canadian).

Yesterday got a chance to also spend time talking to the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC), OCLC and Backstage Library Works. I asked the CCC if they every helped digitization projects clear the copyright on items like photographs (e.g., not books/journal stuff) and they said "no." Seems like that would be a useful services for them to provide.

I took a look at Grokker, which is federated search software. Very, very cool.

I've got a few more vendors to talk to today....

Monday, June 06, 2005

Digitization vendors as the SLA conference

Olive software, PTFS and OCLC are here. I've seen a demo of Olive and talked extensively with John Yokley from PTFS. I've also talked to CSA about their federated search product. The CSA product will work with all types of content and will work with lots of different products. If users have a content repository type that is not already covered by their multisearch product, they will create whatever's needed so that repository can be searched. (My specific question was about it searching CONTENTdm. They didn't know if it did, but assure me that it could.)

More later....

Friday, June 03, 2005

Next week (June 5 - 11)

Next week, I'll be at the Special Libraries Association annual conference in Toronto. My blogging will undoubtedly be sporatic during the week. However, look for postings both during the week and after the conference on sessions and vendors. Yes, there will be sessions on topics related to digitization and vendors, too.

The conference does have its own blog and I'll be posting some stuff there along with many other bloggers.

Event: Online Forum on Intellectual Property in the Information Society

WIPO is hosting 15 days of online forums from June 1 - 5, 2005.
The WIPO Online Forum is designed to enable and encourage an open debate on issues related to intellectual property in the information society, and in light of the goals of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). This presents a unique opportunity for all to engage in the emerging debate on intellectual property in our day.
To participate, go to

National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) Announces New Program Web site

This has been posted on several discussion lists.

* * * * *

The Library of Congress is pleased to announce a new Web site,, providing an overview and technical specifications for the development phase of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). This program, a partnership between the National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH) and the Library of Congress (LC), is a long-term effort to develop an Internet-based, searchable database of all U.S. newspapers with descriptive information and digitization of select historic pages. Supported by NEH, this rich digital resource will be developed and permanently maintained at the Library of Congress. An NEH grant program will fund the contribution of content from, eventually, all U.S. states and territories.

An initial development phase will run through 2007, and will include content from 6 NEH state awardees (University of California, Riverside; University of Florida Libraries, Gainesville; University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington; New York Public Library, New York City; University of Utah, Salt Lake City; and Library of Virginia, Richmond) providing 100,000 pages each of historic material published between 1900-1910. In addition, the Library of Congress will contribute 100,000 pages from its own historic collections, representing the District of Columbia.

Program information for the National Digital Newspaper Program is available from the Library of Congress's Preservation Web site.

Please direct any questions regarding this Web site to the LC NDNP program contacts at:

Event: DAM London 2005

The Digital Asset Management Symposium in London is June 21 & 22 2005. Complete information about the event is available here.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Article: Top 10 assaults on digital liberties

On the blog Darknet: Hollywood's War Against the Digital Generation, JD Lasica has written a posting on the "Top 10 assaults on digital liberties." (Liberties, not libraries.) He looks at this from the viewpoint of the entertainment industry's impact on digital liberties, which is one we don't often do (at least not me). The list is an eye-opener and worth skimming.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Event: SAA Annual Meeting, Aug. 14 - 20, 2005

The Society of American Archivists (SAA) Annual Meeting in New Orleans has some sessions that will focus on digital assets. For example:
Some of the sessions are being taped. Let's also hope that some notes end up in blogs and other public places.

Event: DCC/DPC Workshop on Cost Models for preserving digital assets

Here's a full-day workshop that will focus on an important question. How much does it cost to preserve our digital assets? This workshop will be held at the British Library Conference Centre in London on Tuesday July 25, 2005. Registration details are available at

Article: Access Allowed

CIO magazine writes:

For much of this vast country's history the tyranny of distance has meant rural Australians have been pretty much denied access to our largely Canberra-based cultural institutions, and research has traditionally suffered most.

Now, thanks to digitization and a Web presence, institutions like the National Library of Australia, the Australian War Memorial and the National Archives of Australia have found their mission transformed. With a new-found ability to deliver a service beyond their doors, their focus has drastically changed, from being mere providers of collections to providers of access.

They note that the boundaries between various cultural institutions are becoming increasing fluid as institutions see the benefits of collaboration.

Full-text of the article is available here.

Internet browsers

Many people (including me) have switched to Firefox or Mozilla by The Mozilla Organization. Unfortunately, every browser will interpret HTML a bit differently (like how it interprets slightly bad coding). If you're maintaining web pages for your digital library or digitization project, please check to see how the pages look in Firefox or Mozilla. Do the pages look as you expect? Do the menus work correctly? Don't assume "yes."

One site that I visit daily works better in Internet Explorer than Firefox. Right now, firing up IE is a just a nuisance, but soon it'll be a royal pain and I'll stop using that site. Don't tempt your users to stop using your site just because yours doesn't work with their browser.

Creative marketing

Marketing your digital library often takes creativity. Although a digital library is in the ether, you need to reach out and touch your users (your public). The Liverpool (NY) Public Library has been doing an interesting marketing/outreach activity. They've been going to a local hotspot (food-wise and with wireless access) to answer reference questions, register people for a drawing of library-related stuff and sign people up for library cards! You can read a brief posting about it here.

Are you reaching out and touching your public? Doing something creative? Write a comment to this post and tell us what you're doing!