Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Live Webcast: Copyright at a Crossroads

Open Registration for the Live Webcast

Copyright at a Crossroads:
The Impact of Mass Digitization on
Copyright and Higher Education
Online June 14-16, 2006

A symposium sponsored by The Center for Intellectual Property

Registration for the face-to-face symposium is still open, but perhaps you are not able to join us in person--you need not be left out. We are committed to making the programming available to you.

Please join us online for the live symposium webcast!

Visit http://www.umuc.edu/cip/symposium/webcast.html for details on how you can participate remotely in this event and for details on what will be broadcasted.

Costs: $225 per person or just $575 for an institution with three or more participants.

Visit https://nighthawk.umuc.edu/CIPReg.nsf/Application?OpenForm to register now.

Scanning 230 - 460 pages per minute

We tend to think of how many items can be digitized in an hour and forgot that for many projects, but when digitizing "“office documents"” then it is how many can be scanned in a minute that is important.

InoTec GmbH produces scanner that can do 230 sheets (or 460 pages in duplex) per minute at 200 dpi. Cost? I don't see a cost listed and I doubt that the scanner is inexpensive. With that type of throughput, there is a lot of technology and innovation involved. [The SCAMAX 510 will even detect a "double feed" and stop, as well as work to ensure that double feeds are raroccurrenceses.]

I find that kind of throughput absolutely amazing and necessary for many of the non-library projects that are occurring. Let's hope that beneficial pieces of that technology finds its way into equipment that is being used on non-office documents.

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Digitization Expo was a success (or "I can breathe again")

Yesterday was the Digitization Expo & Vendor Showcase sponsored by the Western New York Library Resources Council. We -- myself, Council staff, and committee members -- had spent a lot of time over the last year thinking about and working on this event. We were all pleased when it went off with very few problems and was a resounding success! (Photos)

When we envisioned the Expo, our first thought was to create an event where people who are interested in digitization could interact with companies that provide products and services used in digitization programs. So our original focus was on having an exhibit hall and perhaps some space for presentations. The companies that participated were:
S-T Imaging was suppose to be there, but sadly was not.

What stood out to me was the breath of products/services available from these companies including book scanning, microfilm scanning, scanning glass plate negatives, content management, and "total solutions." These were companies that could work both on small or large projects (if you're thinking of outsourcing) or provide resources for in-house projects. There were also companies who worked with/for for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. In others words, they were not just focused on libraries (and we did have non-library attendees).

We wanted to build an educational component into the day, as well as give people another reason to attend, so we had six presentations on successful projects/programs. Each presenter had a lot to say and each was well received by the attendees. The presenters came from:
  • Ohio Historical Society (Ohio Memory -- Angela O'Neal)
  • Syracuse University (Digital Projects in Special Collections -- Peter Verheyen & Nicolette Schneider)
  • Rochester Public Library (Rochester Images & Rochester City Directories -- Pamela O'Sullivan)
  • New York State Archives (Erie Canal Time Machine and others -- Julie Daniels)
  • University at Buffalo (UBdigit -- Stacy Person)
  • American Memories (Susan Allen)
What amazed me was that many people wanted to hear all of the presenters. We had not anticipated that, but thought that people might come for part of the day. Many people came before the doors officially opened and stayed until things shut down. At some points, the presentation area was standing room only. Wow!

BTW people came from a broad geographic area including Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Ithaca, Corning and parts in-between (and beyond).

As one of the event organizers -- and the main contact for all of the companies that exhibited -- I was anxious for the event to occur. I hoped that it would be a success and was very pleased when company representatives (vendors) said that they had talked to people who were interested in their services and were making good contacts. Pleased, too, when attendees talked about how much they were learning. Halfway through the day, I began to relax and breathe again -- it was all going well.

I want to thank Richard Kim at METRO and Charles Dufresne of CSD Exhibits / Displays LLC who gave me valuable advice early on. I cannot tell you how much I learned about "event planning" over the last year. There is a reason why some people specialize in this -- and now I know the reasons! Thanks also the Sheryl Knab at WNYLRC and members of WNYLRC's Regional Digital Heritage Advisory Subcommittee for their parts in making the day a success. Sheryl found the location and got all of the speakers lined up (as well as handling other details). It was a team effort.

Finally, there is one more benefit I should mention about yesterday. People got to see and talk to other people that are interested in digitization -- people involved in projects as well as people who are just thinking. Who knows what ideas were sparked or what collaborations might occur because of the event.

Addendum 6:12 p.m.: I forgot to list American Memories, which I've now done, and I added the presenters' names. I should note that Susan Allen works for Nichols School and had an opportunity to work on American Memories. It was that experience that she spoke about.

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The ECHO Depository

At Computers in Libraries, there was a presentation on the ECHO Depository. (I've just listened to the audio of the presentation.) The presenters were:
  • Tom Habing, UIUC
  • Richard Pearce-Moses, Arizona Library & Archives [Richard is also the current president for the Society of American Archivists.]
  • Taylor Surface, OCLC
Unfortunately, their presentation is not on the Internet, but the resources they mentioned are at:
You can also see/hear a presentation Richard Pearce-Moses did on the Arizona Model when he was a NHPRC Electronic Records Fellow.

Part of the ECHO DEPository project is to "install and test instances of four or more major open-source digital object repositories (Fedora, DSpace, Greenstone, and ePrints) as well as the OCLC Digital Archive to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses." I don't see on the project web site any conclusions from this work. The project is to be completed in 2007, so we'll need to keep our eyes open for their results and lessons learned then.

A few of the key thoughts from what they said are:
  • What we do to curate a collection is the same no matter if it is paper-based or electronic, but how we curate it changes.
  • The solution must be scalable.
  • Curating these collections requires a combination of computer and human skills.
  • When preserving web sites, do you need to preserve the entire web site? Actually, they are not capturing entire web sites, but are capturing those pages that are "in scope" (relevant).
One presenter used the term "semantic preservation." I find that the term is used in other places, but cannot find a definition. If anyone has seen a firm definition, please post a comment and let me know what it is. Thanks!

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Article: U.S. Orphan Works Bill Introduced

Gigi Sohn wrote very early today:
Late yesterday afternoon [May 22, 2006], Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chair of the House Subcommittee on Court, Internet and Intellectual Property introduced HR 5439, the Orphan Works Act of 2006. The bill, which seeks to limit liability for artists, educators and others who make a “reasonably diligent search” to find a copyright holder but cannot, is a significant improvement over the draft bill proposed by the Copyright Office in February.
Go here to read the entire post. I hope others like Larry Lessig and K.M. Dames will provide their opinions of this.

Monday, May 22, 2006

List of digital library projects

I have not done much exploring in this, but enough to know that it should be bookmarked and kept as a possible resource when needed. You might want to do the same.

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Exploiting the Value of Structured Metadata

Lorcan Dempsey, from OCLC, spoke at Computers in Libraries on "Exploiting the Value of Structured Metadata." I've heard Lorcan's name more than a few times recently, so I was pleased to be able to hear his presentation on the CIL CD. Thankfully, his PowerPoint slides are online here.

Lorcan's presentation is about releasing or using the value of our metadata. One of the examples that he discusses is using information about "library type" to create an audience level for each holding in WorldCat. (If you look at his slides, you'll see this beginning on slide #7.) The premise is that if public libraries hold a book, for example, it is aimed at a different audience than if many academic libraries hold a book. So if a book "scores" as being held by academic libraries, it is not likely a book that someone would read for fun.

After listening to Lorcan, I wonder now what intelligence is hidden in the metadata being created for digitized materials and which is waiting to be released? This is something we need to be thinking about. And likely we need to not be thinking about it by ourselves, but pulling other people into the conversation in order to gain a different perspective.

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Friday, May 19, 2006

Event: DCC and DPC Joint Workshop: Policies for Long-term Curation and Preservation

DCC and DPC Joint Workshop: Policies for Long-term Curation and Preservation
03 July - 04 July 2006
Wolfson College, University of Oxford

The Digital Preservation Coalition and the Curation Centre is pleased to announce that it will be delivering a two-day workshop to explore the range of policies required to manage, preserve, and reuse the information held within digital repositories over time. This event is co-sponsored by the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) and will be held at Wolfson College at the University of Oxford on 3rd and 4th of July, 2006.

To find out more about the event and to register go to:

Event: EVA London 2006

***EVA LONDON 2006***
Electronic Information, the Visual Arts, and Beyond
Wednesday 26th - Friday 28th July 2006

The Foremost European Electronic Imaging Events in the Visual Arts since 1990


Venue: The UCL Institute of Archaeology, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY


Wednesday 26th July
Workshop: New research presentations


*Strategies and new directions*
Emerging business models; Cultural cartography; Effects of online catalogues; Gender bias in science & art museum websites; AV preservation - the BBC archive; Rights management panel


*Museums, libraries & archives*
Collections documentation: a critical perspective; Museum cell phone audio tour programmes; Collections management, asset management; Turning the museum inside out

*Architecture, archaeology, history*
Automated classifcation system for bronze age vessels; Virtual museography for an archaeological site; On-site ICT applications; The Golden City Hall Man: 3D scanning and reverse engineering

*New technical developments*
Reproduction of stained glass windows on transparent material; An interactive genetic algorithm for the production of collaborative literature


*Arts IT and education, new digital arts*
Online education as stage and narrative acts; 'Music of the spheres'; Confessions of computer scientists working in the arts; Collaborative technology enhanced environment and interactive technologies

Conference Chair:
Suzanne Keene, The Institute of Archaeology

Jonathan Bowen, London South Bank University
Lindsay MacDonald, London University of the Arts
James Hemsley, Birkbeck & EVA, Honorary chair

Event manager: Monica Kaayk, EVA: aconom@cix.co.uk

Who should participate? Local to national and European ... those working in cultural technology ... the cultural sector ... university & culture researchers ... high tech industry ... education ... government ... media & publishing consultants ... cultural tourism ... cultural foundations.

Marketing & promotion opportunities include sponsorship, demonstrations, product or service presentations, exhibition


Thursday, May 18, 2006


Last night I listened to the audio of two presentation given at Computers in Libraries (CIL) on taxonomies -- Portal Taxonomy: A Case Study of MediaSleuth (Marjorie M.K. Hlava) and Taxonomy Tales (Jennifer Evert).

Jennifer Evert spoke about using people to help create a robust -- yet precious -- taxonomy for use in indexing and retrieval of content at LexisNexis. One thing that stood out to me is that the software tools also help the human indexers apply the terms correctly. She spoke of "editorial drift" which is when indexers do not apply the terms consistently. Although we don't use that phrase, editorial drift is something digitization projects need to be aware of when creating metadata. Terms must be apply correctly and consistently.

Marjorie Hlava (Margie) is the President, Chairman, and founder of Access Innovations, Inc. The MediaSleuth web site says that the company "is a division of NICEM (National Information Center for Educational Media) and was developed in conjunction with Access Innovations in response to market conditions and requests from both sides of the educational and training media community." Part of what Margie talked about was using machine aided indexers (MAI). Quoting from her slides (in the collected presentations book):
  • M.A.I. suggests the correct terms from the taxonomy as descriptors
  • M.A.I. rulebase recognizes term equivalents
In other words, MAI can help to index materials more quickly and more accurately, once the rules have been created. Of course, those rules do require human input and humans are needed to help to keep the rules up-to-date.

When most libraries think of creating metadata, they think of doing it manually. As we our need to create metadata increases, we need to look at tools that will help us do it faster and smarter...and help us guard against editorial drift. Tools like those developed by LexisNexis and Access Innovations might be things that we would use.

In talking with Margie after CIL, I learned that Access Innovations does scanning and OCR as a way of helping their clients load content into databases. This is not their main focus, but it reminded me of how many companies have gotten involved in digitization. In this case, as a way of helping their clients and maintaining their client-base.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Are our quality standards changing?

During a conversation with a colleague yesterday, we talked about current telecommunication options like VOIP and using a cell phone instead of a traditional land line. At one point, he said that some digital phones sounded as good as a cell phones. Now, I remember when Sprint did the pin drop commercials and talked about the clarity of its land line phone service (so good that you could hear a pin drop). Clarity was what mattered. Now it is being able to connect -- talk -- while on the move and/or at a low cost. People are using cell phones, digital phones and other VOIP options even though they may not be as high quality as we had become used to.

Indeed our quality standards are constantly changing. In some cases, we expect better quality, but in other cases, we will accept lower quality because lower quality may accompany a feature that we desperately want.

In thinking about quality, here are some questions to ponder:
  • How have changes in your users' view of quality affected you?
  • When looking at your digital library or digitized collection, what quality standards did you use when you built it? How have those quality standards changed since then?
  • Do your users expect better (higher) quality?
  • Are there features or areas where your users have adapted to lower -- or just radically different -- quality standards?

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Article: Copyright law changes in Australia

We assume that every country plays by the same rules, but they don't. This short article points to changes that are poised to occur in Australia:
Once the new laws are passed, "format shifting" of music, newspapers and books from personal collections onto MP3 players will become legal. The new laws will also make it legal for people to tape television and radio programs for playback later...Schools, universities, libraries and other cultural institutions will, in the future, be free to use copyright material for non-commercial purposes.
I'd like to say that we need to become more aware of the laws in other countries, but I know how time consuming that would be. We do, however, need to remember that laws have boundaries while information does not. As our information crosses territorial boundaries, what laws will be applied to it?

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Event: Digital Preservation Training Programme (UK)

Digital Preservation Training Programme
University of York Conference Centre
July 24th - 28th 2006

Booking is now open for the third Digital Preservation Training Programme. This is an intensive one week residential course to be held at University of York National Science Learning Centre (NSLC) Conference Centre from July 24th - 28th 2006.

The aim of the DPTP is to equip staff with the skills, tools and confidence to be able to embark on a pragmatic and cost-effective digital preservation programme appropriate to their own institutional needs.

Topics covered will include: preservation approaches, planning and strategy, OAIS, tools, metadata, costs, risk management, legal issues, web archiving, access plus much more.

The pilot version of this training programme took place in October 2005 and received very positive comments from attendees and through a process of independent evaluation. Comments included:

“Overall an excellent series of seminars. Pre-course material was invaluable... I will be thoroughly recommending the course to colleagues.”

"The overall approach was good and I was positively surprised that it was a real workshop with hands-on exercises."

“...the most beneficial and well presented, thought out course that I've ever attended in 10 years as a professional.”

DPTP's development is funded by JISC under its Digital Preservation and Asset Management programme. The project is led by ULCC, working with its partners: the Digital Preservation Coalition and Cornell University. It builds on the excellent foundations of Cornell's Digital Preservation Management Workshop, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Places are strictly limited to ensure a good presenter/student ratio and maximum participation from delegates. Booking is open to all and we welcome applications from elsewhere in Europe. Booking will close at 5 p.m. Friday 7th July. You will be advised whether your booking was successful by email on the first working day following your request.

The full price for this course is £950 or the reduced rate of £855 for DPC associate members or £655 for DPC full members, subject to confirmation from us.

To book, please go to http://www.ulcc.ac.uk/dptp/future-courses/booking-form.html

If you have any queries regarding the course, please email dptp- admin@ulcc.ac.uk or go to http://www.ulcc.ac.uk/dptp/ for further details.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Article: Scan This Book!

This is an interesting New York Times article to read or skim. Here are some quotes that stood out to me:
  • Corporations and libraries around the world are now scanning about a million books per year.
  • Superstar, an entrepreneurial company based in Beijing, has scanned every book from 200 libraries of all kinds in China. It has already digitized 1.3 million unique titles in Chinese, which it estimates is about half of all the books published in the Chinese language since 1949. It costs $30 to scan a book at Stanford but only $10 in China. {This quote includes the correction published on the NYT web site.}
  • The arsenal of our current display technology — from handheld gizmos to large flat screens — is already good enough to move books to their next stage of evolution: a full digital scan.
  • Turning inked letters into electronic dots that can be read on a screen is simply the first essential step in creating this new library. The real magic will come in the second act, as each word in each book is cross-linked, clustered, cited, extracted, indexed, analyzed, annotated, remixed, reassembled and woven deeper into the culture than ever before. In the new world of books, every bit informs another; every page reads all the other pages.
  • The link and the tag may be two of the most important inventions of the last 50 years.
  • ...the universal library of all books will cultivate a new sense of authority. If you can truly incorporate all texts — past and present, multilingual — on a particular subject, then you can have a clearer sense of what we as a civilization, a species, do know and don't know.

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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Report from the symposium "Scholarship and Libraries in Transition"

News Release
Information Officer
1 202 606 9200
For Immediate Release

NCLIS Issues Report from Symposium on Mass Digitization
Focus is on Implications for Information Policy

Washington DC May 10, 2006. The Chairman of the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS), Dr. Beth Fitzsimmons, announced today the publication of a report from the symposium "Scholarship and Libraries in Transition: A Dialogue about the Impacts of Mass Digitization Projects." The symposium was held at the University of Michigan on March 10-11, 2006. The URL for the free 24-page report is http://www.nclis.gov/digitization/MassDigitizationSymposium-Report.pdf.
Persons wishing to request a hard copy of the report may send a request to info@nclis.gov.

The idea for the symposium was inspired by the announcement in December 2004 for a partnership between Google, Inc. and five major research libraries to digitize over 10 million unique titles. This partnership launched a new era of large-scale digitization heretofore not imagined feasible or affordable. However, the "Google 5" project has generated many questions about the legal, social, economic, and other impacts of this and similar projects that will inevitably follow Google's lead. The symposium brought together scholars, librarians, publishers, government leaders to discuss their concerns and issues. NCLIS co-sponsored the symposium, which was planned and organized by the University of Michigan Library staff and funded mainly by the University of Michigan.

After the symposium, because of their responsibility to address the information and learning needs of the American people, NCLIS Commissioners summed up nine major issues that have information policy implications and connected them to key points made during the symposium. The nine issues or areas that the Commission identified to have potential impact on national information policy are:
  1. Copyright: How should important aspects of copyright-fair use, orphan works, opt-in vs. opt-out models-be handled in digitization projects?
  2. Quality: When is the quality of OCR good enough? What about qualityof content and authentication?
  3. Libraries: What are the roles and priorities for libraries in thedigital age?
  4. Ownership and preservation: Who will assume long-term ownership ofbooks and journals and other media? Who will take responsibility for long-term preservation of books and journals and other media, and preserving the public record?
  5. Standardization and interoperability: How can the silos of digitalinitiatives communicate with each other?
  6. Publishers: What are the roles of publishers and booksellers in thedigital age?
  7. Business models: What business models are needed in the era of massdigitization? How will the open access movement affect the economics of digitization?
  8. Information literacy: What should be done about informationilliteracy?
  9. Assessment: What types of assessment are being used? How will weknow if digitization and electronic access are meeting people's needs?
This report sums up the key points under each of these nine topics and concludes that finding workable solutions will have to involve authors, scholars, publishers, libraries, associations, and government agencies. The solutions will involve education and awareness, policies, responsibility, standards, quality, cooperation, rights, sustainability, technology, and assessment.

The Webcast of the entire symposium may be found on the symposium Web page:


The U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS) is a permanent, independent agency of the Federal government charged by Public Law 91-345 to advise the President and Congress on national and international library and information policies, to appraise and assess the adequacies and deficiencies of library and information resources and services, and to develop overall plans for meeting national library and information needs.

Article: Windfall for watercolorist's legacy

This article is about the artist, Charles E. Burchfield, and materials of his that have been given to the Burchfield-Penney Art Center in Buffalo. What stood out to me is the final paragraph:
In 2000, the [Burchfield Foundation] gave 62 volumes of Burchfield's journals, which are seminal texts dating from 1909 to 1965. The organization also helped fund major Burchfield exhibitions, some of which toured nationally, as well as publications and such initiatives as digitization of the artist's journals. {My emphasis}
Here is a foundation that wants to help spread information about an artist, not keep the works locked up. The fact that they have digitized materials shows forethought. Let's hope that other foundations, donors, etc., find ways to follow this lead.

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Friday, May 12, 2006

New Blog: Inside Google Book Search

Google has just started a blog about it Google Book Search project. Nothing earth shattering posted yet. What I do find interesting are the links to many other Google blogs on the right side of the screen. When you check out this new Google blog, you might want to take a moment (or more) to check out its other blogs.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

When is audio not audio?

At Computers in Libraries in March, I ordered the CD of the audio of all of the presentations. Waiting for it to arrive, I began to plan "when" I would have time to listen to it and realized that I could listen to it while I drive, especially on business trips that take me across New York State. Well, the CD came last week and today I popped one of the CDs into the CD player in my SUV. Nothing happened. So I looked at the case and realized that what I have is an interactive CD-ROM (with audio and PDFs) that is meant to be played in a PC or Mac. That is not a bad thing, but it limits the devices I can use in order to hear the audio of presentations that I missed.

As our screens change, people are changing where they expect to view information. Can they view information on a cell phone, rather than a computer screen? This means that we have to create web sites and content so that it will display correctly on whatever screen someone is using. This change not only applies to text, but to images, audio and video. And when we think of audio, we also need to think of those other devices people are used to using for displaying audio. We need to break down barriers and ensure that people can use the information on their preferred devices.

Since it is for personal use, can I find a way of moving the audio to a CD that I can play in my SUV or even put it on my iPod? mmm.... sounds like a challenge!

Addendum 5/18/2006: I was able to use my iPod software to copy the audio from the CDs to my iPod Shuffle. The process was easier than I thought it would be. The CD had no digital rights management (DRM) on it. A surprise. At any rate, last night I listened to two sessions on taxonomies while watch the NBA (basketball) playoffs!

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Event: Taxonomy Boot Camp, Nov. 2 - 3, 2006, San Jose, CA

Information Today does many events during the year, including this one. The postcard I received says:
At Taxonomy Boot Camp attendees will learn how to know when a taxonomy is needed, categorization options, and how to develop a classification system. The structured curriculum will cover topics including what you need to know to make a "build or buy" decision, how to build a taxonomy framework, how to apply metadata and taxonomy principles, how to manage and maintain the information in your taxonomy. Participants will also study governance issues and learn how to integrate a taxonomy with search and content management systems for maximum effectiveness and ROI.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Construction Season: How are your underpinnings?

In the colder regions of the U.S., the joke is likely the same. There are two seasons to the year: winter and construction. Construction season is now in full swing and it is interesting to see what work is being done. Bridges that we assume are in fine shape are having their support structures reinforced, highways are being torn-up and repaved, and many other projects are underway.

Thinking about the bridges, I take for granted that every bridge I drive over is sturdy, but now as I look at the construction work being done, perhaps I should not be so sure in my assumption. When we drive over a bridge, we really have no idea what the underside is like and if the supports are in good shape.

The same is true for a web site. We visit a web site and assume that what is keeping the site running -- its underpinnings -- are in good shape. But we generally see only what is on the surface and really don't know what lies beneath. Sometimes the underpinnings do show -- like cracks in the road -- and display where some maintenance needs to be done. For the site to continue to function well, the "construction crew" must do regular and timely maintenance. More in-depth maintenance must be planned for and scheduled, so that the entire structure does not fail at some point. And sometimes that in-depth maintenance means replacing the supportive structures under a web site.

Unfortunately, we can go for a long, long time without thinking about maintaining a web site, but in reality most sites need regular maintenance. Regular maintenance helps to keep a site fresh and interesting. Those sites with loads on content, content management systems, etc., can have more things that will cause them to fail, so regular maintenance is important. The construction crew should be out on a regular basis looking for potential problems, making patches, and planning for future in-depth maintenance.

Here in Upstate New York, our road maintenance is planned for warm weather and thus a specific time of the year. When do you plan your web site maintenance? Is it done at a "slow period" during the year? Does someone check things over monthly? Or do you wait for something to break? Who checks your digital assets to ensure that they have not degraded?

Perhaps it is time for you to pull out the hard hats, lay out the orange cones and declare that construction season has begun.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Using and abusing copyright and Fair Use

I teach some element of copyright law in every university class that I teach. When I do workshops on digitization, I talk about copyright and sometimes I even do workshops specifically focused on copyright. (This Friday, I'm facilitating a copyright discussion in Buffalo.) Through these experiences, I am continually amazed at how little most librarians and library workers understand about copyright. As a group, we are getting more knowledgeable, but in general we have a long way to go. Why? First, library schools don't make every student learn about copyright, and my understanding is that some schools either don't have a class specifically on copyright or the class is not part of the regular semester rotation. For example, at Syracuse University, the graduate class on copyright is taught during the summer as an on-campus, five-day class. It is too bad that it is not taught during the regular semester and not taught in a way that makes it accessible for distance students. So we have librarians being trained and entering the workplace with a basic idea of copyright, but likely unable to consistently interpret the law correctly.

Then we have non-librarians who really don't understand copyright at all. They underplay the role of copyright and overplay their ability to apply Fair Use. In the business world, I have been in some very interesting copyright discussions and often find myself having to teach someone (perhaps a client) a few basic principles about copyright law, Fair Use, and content licensing.

For example, I remember being with a group of consultants and having one person exert that what we wanted to do with some content was legal under copyright law. I tried to gently put forth my viewpoint, but wasn't making much headway. The consultant in reiterating his viewpoint said that he wasn't a copyright expert, but felt that he was right. Someone else jumped in and pointed out that I was a copyright expert (which quieted the gentleman down!). Expert? Let's just say more knowledgeable than most.

With so many people thinking that they know the law and that they are interpreting it correctly, we all have to be careful to state our expectations about content we place on the Internet, including those materials we digitize. We need to tell our users what they can and cannot do with the content that we place online. You may be afraid to spell it out, but your users will appreciate knowing your exact expectations. Be blatant. What can they do without seeking additional permission? When do they need to contact you for permission, and exactly who should be contacted?

I am now more on the look out for digitization projects that do both a good and bad job of stating what their users can do with the content. I think a great example is the "Conditions of Use" created for UBdigit, which even includes the citation format for when something from the site is used. A bad example is the lack of information on the PictureAustralia web site telling people what they can and cannot do with materials connected to that project via Flicker. Some projects tell you nothing at all like this one, the Art of Asia. Is everything on this site in the public domain? I would suspect that the answer is "no."

During the summer slow period at your institution (whether that slow period is real or mythical), take some time to look at your web site through the eyes of your users. See where you need to be more clear about conditions of use (or terms & conditions, as they are sometimes called). Is there content that could be published under a Creative Commons license? If yes, why not do so. And if materials are in the public domain, tell people. Take time to stop your users from having to guess. Tell them what they need to know.

Yes, this is something we all need to do. Even me.

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SLA 2006 Conference Blog

Rather than just continuing with the blog developed for last year's conference, SLA has created a new blog for 2006. I'll agree with Steve Cohen and wonder why they didn't just continue with the conference blog they started last year. Oh, well.

If you wonder what the Special Libraries Association (SLA) Annual Conference is like, check out the posts from last year.

If you want to know what is happening with this year's conference, add this year's blog to your blog reader. Posts will likely begin soon by the contributors and continues until late June. I'll again be blogging SLA, so look for posts in the SLA blog as well as here about the conference.

BTW the Maryland Chapter has a blog where they are giving tips about Baltimore. You'll find Quoth the Raven here.

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Event: New York Archives Conference 2006

This conference -- which will be held on June 14-16, 2006 at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY -- does have some digitization-related sessions. They include:

Session: “Regional Digitization Projects: Tips on the Do's and Don'ts”
Chair: Eric Roth, Archivist/Librarian, Huguenot Historical Society, New Paltz
  • Tessa Killian, Manager of Technology and Administrative Services, Southeastern New York Library Resources Council, “Establishing the Hudson River Valley Heritage Website”
  • Prudence Backman, Coordinator, Access Services, New York State Archives “Creating a Virtual Resource Collection on New York State's Environmental History”
  • Jane Subramanian, Archivist, SUNY Potsdam, “North Country Heritage Collaboration Project”
Session: “Bringing Local Public Records to the Public”
Chair: Geof Huth, Chief of Government Records Services, New York State Archives
  • Antonia Mattheou, Archivist, Town of Huntington, “‘The Game’s the Thing Where in We’ll Catch the Attention of the Public’ and Other Outreach Activities”
  • Patty Dohrenwend, Director, Westchester County Archives & Records Center, “Towards a Cyber Repository
There will also be a tour of Hudson Microimaging.

New York Archives Conference 2006 Registration Form

Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, Wednesday-Friday, June 14-16, 2006

The conference is underwritten with support from ASR Systems Group, Inc., Eloquent Systems,

Hollinger Corporation, Hudson Microimaging, Kardex Systems, Inc.,and University Products.

Registration Deadline: May 25, 2006 (Postmarked)

Name (please print)____________________________________________________


Mailing Address_______________________________________________________

Email Address ________________________________________________________

City____________________________ State _______ Zip Code______________

Telephone _______________________ Name for badge: ______________________________

Thursday Workshops: (Workshop registration is on a first pay first serve basis. Workshop only attendees do not have to pay the conference registration.)

Workshop 1: “Prepare for an Emergency, Avoid a Disaster” (full day) $20.00 ______

Workshop 2: “What Teachers Need, When, In What Format….” (half day) $12.00 ______

Conference Registration $50.00 ______

Thursday Evening Reception (free, please check if you plan to attend) ______

Friday Luncheon (choose one) $35.00 _______

Pan Seared French Cut Chicken Breast ______

Portobello Mushroom Napoleon Layered with Roasted Red Peppers ______

Friday Tours (choose one):

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Library _____
Hudson Microimaging, Inc. _____
Vassar College Special Collections _____

NYAC Membership Fee $5.00 ________
Late Fee (postmarked after May 25) $15.00 ________

Total: $________
Please make checks payable to “New York Archives Conference”. Do not make your check out to Geoff Williams.
To help us assign session rooms please circle the session you plan to attend:

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10

Please mail completed form to:

New York Archives Conference c/o

Geoffrey Williams, University Archivist

University Library, LE 356

University at Albany, SUNY

1400 Washington Avenue

Albany, NY 12222

If you have any questions, contact Geoff Williams at (518) 437-3936 or gwilliams@uamail.albany.edu


NYAC has arranged for a block of rooms at the Vassar College Alumnae House. Please contact the Alumnae House directly at: http://www.aavc.vassar.edu/house/ to reserve a room. If the Alumnae House is full there is a good Poughkeepsie lodging site at the following address: http://www.poughkeepsie.worldweb.com/WheretoStay/HotelsMotels/

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Presentation at SUNY Cortland

I'm speaking at the inauguration of the Learning Commons this afternoon at SUNY Cortland. My presentation is entitled "Social Network, the Web & Us." For those who are interested -- including those who attend and want to follow the links in the PowerPoint -- the presentation is online here.

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Event: iPRES 2006, Oct. 8 - 10, in Ithaca, NY

The International Conference on the Preservation of Digital Objects (iPRES 2006) will be held October 8-10, 2006 at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY U.S.A.

The theme of this year's iPRES is Words to Deeds: Collaboration in the Realm of Digital Preservation. Following on the successful iPRES 2005 held September 14-16 in Goettingen, Germany, iPRES 2006 Plenary Sessions will explore topics in Preserving Multimedia Objects, e-Journal Preservation, Certification, and National Efforts in Digital Preservation. Concurrent sessions on Tools of the Trade; Selection, Workflow, and Accession; eScience and Digital Preservation; Metadata; Business and organizational issues; and Repositories are tentatively planned. We invite contributions in concurrent session topics by sending a brief abstract to ipres2006@cornell.edu. Deadline for contributed papers is August 15, 2006. The deadline for early registration is September 1, 2006.

For details about the iPRES 2006 agenda and to register, please visit our web site: http://ipres.library.cornell.edu/ .

CALL FOR PAPERS : International Conference on Digital Libraries (ICDL 2006)

In case you haven't seen this...

CALL FOR PAPERS : International Conference on Digital Libraries (ICDL 2006

December 5-8, 2006
India Habitat Center, New Delhi, India

Dear Colleagues,

ICDL is a major international forum focusing on digital libraries and related issues. It aims to consolidate and expand concerted efforts to bridge the digital divide. ICDL2006 proposes to focus on Information Management for Global Access through the creation, adoption, implementation and utilization of DLs. About 40 renowned and experienced speakers from India and abroad will be sharing their experiences. For detail information about the conference please visit the website www.teriin.org/events/icdl

As you may be aware that TERI had earlier organized the ICDL (International Conference on Digital Libraries) 2004, in partnership with Department of Culture, Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Government of India from 24 to 27 February 2004. The conference was inaugurated by Hon'ble President of India. More than 750 participants from 36 countries and 55 invited speakers from 16 countries and 80 contributed speakers shared their experiences on a single platform. The conference was able to create awareness and enthusiasm within the community which afterwards witnessed several digital library and knowledge management initiatives in

You are invited to submit your papers to the 2nd International Conference on Digital Libraries, to be held in New Delhi, India 5-8 December, 2006. Contributions are invited for conference sessions, tutorials, poster presentations and workshops.

TOPICS : The relevant topics include the following (but not limited to) :
  • Planning, development, and management of digital libraries
  • Online information management
  • Content organization and knowledge management
  • System scalability and interoperability
  • Semantics, thesauri, and ontology
  • Information storage and retrieval for global access
  • Open archives initiatives
  • User studies and system evaluation
  • E-learning
  • Multi-lingual information retrieval system and unicode
  • Digital divide
  • Digital preservation
  • Standards in digital library design and development
  • Dublin core and metadata standards
  • DRM and copyrights issues
  • Digital library services
  • Digital library network and information sharing
  • E-publishing
  • Economic issues of DL and e-learning
  • Tools and techniques for DL
  • DL models and architectures
Paper Submission Information :

All papers must be original in contribution and authors are expected to transfer the copyright to TERI. Papers must be written in English and limited to 5000 words. Each paper should contain a list of about five keywords. The paper should also mention the topic under which it falls from the above list of topics or any other. Send your paper in MS Word (any version) format. For Detail submission details and author guidelines, please refer to the conference website. Full paper should be submitted electronically at (ICDL@teri.res.in) by 1 June, 2006.

Important Dates :

Submission of full papers -1 June 2006
Notification of acceptance of paper with comments - 15 Aug 2006
Submission of the final paper after incorporating comments -15 September 2006
Early Bird Registration Deadline - 15 Oct 2006

Registration Information :

For details about the conference registration fee for all presenters and
participants and other registration information, please refer to the
conference website (www.teriin.org/events/icdl )

Sponsorship details, Products & Services Exhibitors and business sessions -- For details visit conference website (www.teriin.org/events/icdl) or e-mail at icdl@teri.res.in

For any queries contact:

Debal C Kar
Organising Secretary
ICDL2006 Conference Secretariat
TERI, Darbari Seth Block
IHC Complex, Lodhi Road
New Delhi - 110 003, India
Phone - 91-11-24682141, 24682111 or 24682100
Fax - 91-11-24682144, 2468 2145

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A model to use when discussing digital resource management

Today espida launched the beta version of their model -- a process surrounding the use of the Value and Cost templates when considering making proposals to management about digital resource management.
The espida model offers a way of getting senior management to listen. It is a method of being able to communicate the benefits of your work in their language -- without relying on a financial bottom line. It does not supply a route to funding for work that is irrelevant or without merit, but it does give clarity to the expression of values that are intangible and hard to communicate. (from the espida homepage)
The model can be downloaded here.

Note that those who make use of the model will be asked to participate in an invitation-only event during the fall 2006.

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Digital preservation and retention schedules

On April 18, I pointed you towards an article in D-Lib magazine written by James Currall and Peter McKinney. Last week, I received a message from Peter McKinney. It seems that he and Currall, who both work for espida, are feeling like lone voices in the wilderness asking us to consider to be selective in what we preserve, rather than just preserving everything.

Looking at the work espida is doing, it seems that the organization wants us not to make emotional decisions AND not to make decisions based on finances, but to look at the benefits. This is at the core of selective digital preservation. The question they want us to consider is:
"What is the benefit to preserving all of the materials?"

At the moment, many institutions are not doing digital preservation due to a number of reasons including cost. There is also the idea that once something is digitized, it should automatically be preserved, so some are hampered by the thought of needing to preserve everything, rather than being selective. Why would we digitize something that should not be preserved for the long-term? In my note back to Pete, I wrote:
You bring up a point (in the article) that we don't think about. Not everything -- particularly those things that are born digital -- needs to be preserved for the long-term. But it goes against what we believe as librarians or archivists. I do know from my experience in the corporate world that you should only retain those things that have value, but even now have a hard time tossing out some papers. Won't I need them at some point?
Maybe we should think formally about retention schedules for our digital materials. Wouldn't it be interesting if every project decided during the item selection process how long the resultant digital object should be preserved? That information could be kept as part of the metadata. Retention schedules are normal in many businesses -- especially major corporations. They ensure that materials are kept no longer than needed and mandate who keeps what (and how). Could we do the same?

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Presentations on digitization projects on May 24 in Buffalo

A DIGITIZATION EXPO will be held in the Buffalo area on May 24. This EXPO will include presentations from successful, world-class digitization projects. Presentations will be given by:
  • Ohio Historical Society (Ohio Memory)
  • Syracuse University (Digital projects in Special Collections)
  • Rochester Public Library (Rochester Images & Rochester City Directories)
  • New York State Archives (Erie Canal Time Machine and others)
  • University at Buffalo (UBdigit)
The projects have been digitizing books automatically, creating online scrapbooks, building collaborative efforts, and digitizing archival/special collections.

In addition to these presentations, you will be able to talk to companies that provide:
  • Manual scanning equipment including patron-friendly machines
  • Automated book scanners
  • Digitization/scanning services including microfilm scanning
  • Content management software
The companies that will be at the EXPO include:
  • Backstage Library Works
  • Biel’s Information Technology Systems
  • Crowley Micrographics
  • Document Advantage
  • Hudson Microimaging
  • IKON
  • Indus USA
  • Kirtas Technologies
  • Marquis Digital Imaging
  • OCLC/Nylink
  • S-T Imaging
The DIGITIZATION EXPO is FREE and open to the public.

Date: Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Location: WNY Event Centre, 11163 Main Street, Clarence, NY
Cost: Free.
Registration: Attendees are encouraged to register to ensure that vendors and speakers bring the proper number of handouts. Online registration is available at http://www.wnylrc.org/calendar/current.htm#May24

Addendum (5/10/2006): The event brochure is at http://www.hurstassociates.com/expo_brochure.pdf

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Monday, May 01, 2006

Visible Proofs: Forensic Views of the Body

The graduate students in Syracuse University's digitization class are almost done blogging for the semester. This has been a very worthwhile activity for them AND has created well over 150 descriptions/reviews of digitization projects from around the world.

Most of the comments in the blog have been from the students themselves, but the post on Visible Proofs -- a project at the U.S. National Library of Medicine has received an inquiry from a masters student in England. If anyone has seen that actual exhibit -- assuming that there is one -- please consider responding to the questions that Arlete has posted in her comment. Thank you!