Monday, August 31, 2009

Blog Day 2009: Five blogs/podcasts you should know about

Blog Day 2009Every year I celebrate Blog Day. This rules around this day are:
  1. Find 5 new Blogs that you find interesting
  2. Notify the 5 bloggers that you are recommending them as part of BlogDay 2009
  3. Write a short description of the Blogs and place a link to the recommended Blogs
  4. Post the BlogDay Post (on August 31st) and
  5. Add the BlogDay tag using this link: and a link to the BlogDay web site at
Rather than text blogs, this year I'm focusing on podcasts. Here are five podcasts that I think you should know about:
  1. Beyond the Book - The site says: "Copyright Clearance Center's Beyond the Book program explores issues facing the information content industry and helps creative professionals realize the full potential of their works, while encouraging respect for intellectual property and the principles of copyright." Christopher Kenneally has a nice interview style, which makes these very listenable and interesting. The programs are generally 30 minutes in length (weekly).
  2. Future Tense - This is a program out of ABC News Radio in Australia that explores "the social, cultural, political and economic fault lines arising from rapid change." These are often about technology, but in a broad sense. Weekly, 30 minutes in length.
  3. Six Pixels of Separation - This weekly podcast provide information on digital marketing, new media and personal branding. The web site provides very good show notes. The podcasts vary in length from 20 - 60 minutes.
  4. Marketing Over Coffee -This weekly podcast is indeed about marketing and contains interesting insights. The show notes on the web site are excellent. Shows are 30 minutes in length.
  5. T is for Training - This is a twice monthly podcast with Maurice Coleman as the host. The show features a fluid number of librarians and library trainers talking about a broad range of issues, concerns, ideas, techniques, etc. loosely related to technology training that is conducted in/by libraries. Information on how to actively participate in the show recording is on the web site and all are welcome. URLs mentioned during the shows are posted to under T is for Training. The shows are 60 minutes in length. {Full disclosure - I'm often a part of this podcast.}
I hope you'll give these a listen! If you have recommendations for interesting podcasts, please leave a comment on this blog post.

Previous Blog Day posts:

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

My 5th Anniversary as a blogger!

My first blog post on August 30, 2004 wasn't very long or helpful, but it was a beginning. Since then, this blog has been visited by people from across six continents including islands in the middle of the oceans. From the statistics kept my SiteMeter and ClusterMaps, it looks like this blog gets around 6000 visits per month, which does not count those who read blog posts through their RSS readers or via email. Thank you for your visits!

In addition to your faith in reading Digitization 101, I have been heartened by the number of people who have quoted text from this blog. I've found quotes in English as well as in a number of other languages. Thank you!

Because of the faith you have put in this blog, Digitization 101 has gotten itself listed in places that have truly humbled me (and continues to do so).

In addition, this blog has become my "calling card" and allowed me to meet many wonderful people through blog post comments, email, telephone and face-to-face. Wow!

On August 30, 2004, I had not idea that this would happen. I am and will be forever grateful for what has occurred!

Photo above from / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Video of 1000 frames-per-second book scanner

On Aug. 21, I mentioned the book scanner being developed by the Ishikawa Komuro Laboratory in Tokyo which can reportedly digitize at 1000 frames-per-second. A Japanese TV station did a story on this new technology and shows it in action. You can watch the video at Even if you don't speak Japanese, the video is worth watching.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Thomas Frey on electronic outposts (a version of digital libraries)

In Information Outlook (v.13, n.4, June 2009), Thomas Frey wrote:
Even before the widespread use of book readers, libraries will begin to experiment with a version of the digital library I've termed "the electronic outpost." An electronic outpost is a type of library designed to inspire the mind, to serve as a forum for intellectual spontaneity and a safe haven for creative ideas where visionary thinkers can find solitude and support.

The size, shape, and ultimate purpose of each outpost will vary. Many will be planned with a homey, living room-like feel to them, while others will go with a more eclectic atmosphere to inspire industry-specific thoughts. Electronic outposts will evolve over time around the core services most relevant to a particular user group.
Note that this definition is about a physical place that has an emphasis on the digital.

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Blog post: You Listening, Google? Rocket-fast Japanese Page-Flipper Could Revolutionize Scanning

The Ishikawa Komuro Laboratory in Tokyo "has developed a scanner that can turn pages and scan their contents - text and images - at 1000 frames-per-second with a minimum of distortion." (from E-Reads)

I cannot imagine how this works. If anyone has seen demos of this, please let me know!

If this really works, then the next question will be which hardware vendor will get their hands on this technology? (Or maybe the question is who has already gotten their hands on it?!)

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Selection criteria, Zipf's law and the Pareto Principle

My blog post on Wednesday talked about using Zipf's law as a way of deciding what to digitize. According to Walt Crawford, he has argued using the Pareto Principle for determining what is popular vs. the exceptional items. While the Pareto Principle and Zipf's law are very different, you can see how each could be used in creating selection criteria.

Custer - using Zipf's law - focused on trying to satisfy 70% of user needs. Crawford, however, argues that the obscure items are "exactly what needs to be digitized...It's the oddball stuff that will disappear otherwise..." This is very different than trying to satisfy a large number of user requests.

What's your take on this? Do you want to satisfy the most user requests or provide access to important obscure items in your collection? Which would benefit your institution more?

BTW Crawford's article on this appeared in American Libraries, June/July 2001, p. 72. (v. 32, n. 6).

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Can you use Zipf's law to determine what to digitize?

Ben Goldman, Digital Programs Archivist for the American Heritage Center at University of Wyoming, sent me a quick update from the Society of American Archivists Conference:

Mark Custer, digital librarian at East Carolina University "gave an amazing presentation on 'mass representation,' where he argued that it really isn't necessary for us to digitize *everything*. Using Zipf's Law and usage data from ECU's digital collections, he made a pretty compelling case that by digitizing representative portions of 20% of our collections, we could adequately serve 70% of our users."
I would be interested to know how much time it takes to do the analysis and also what users really think of it.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Paper: Collaboration Services in a Participatory Digital Library: An Emerging Design

This 1999 paper - Collaboration Services in a Participatory Digital Library:
An Emerging Design
- talks about the American Front Porch Participatory Digital Library. Included on page 1 is this information on what a digital library is (or could be): [ emphasis added]
Like other innovations, digital libraries will go through phases that emulate, replicate, extend, and finally augment existing practices. To date, most digital library projects have focused on replicating and extending the development and delivery of a library collection. Problems associated with digitization and storage of materials, retrieval methods, and delivery of electronic documents have been addressed in various ways, and some of the worst problems have been resolved (e.g., Digital libraries 1998). However, such digital libraries have not addressed several services often provided by physical libraries, e.g., opportunities for conversations and collaboration among colleagues. In addition, they have not exploited the digital infrastructure to augment their services in ways not possible in a physical library, e.g., in supporting collaboration among users and staff across distances to locate and create information resources.
Do you have a definition of digital libraries? I'm collection them!

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Friday, August 14, 2009

From ARL: Google Book Settlement Information For Faculty and Scholars

This information geared towards faculty members, hits the key points of the settlement and provides links to additional information. If the settlement still seems a big mysterious, this document may shed the light that you need. (Actually, I think it takes several readings of different interpretations for the settlement to make any sense.)

Thanks to Jill O'Neill and the Law Librarian Blog for pointers to this.

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David Lankes on “Participatory Librarianship and Digital libraries”

On July 30, I asked how YOU define digital libraries. Here is an 18 min. video from David Lankes which includes a couple definitions. He also touches on the point that some digital library people do not see themselves as being in the library field.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Event: International Conference on Digital Libraries

Via email....

The rapid growth of information technology has thrown up enormous opportunities in the growth of digital libraries (DL). Seeing the potential of leveraging IT as a tool for learning and bridging the knowledge gap, we have already conducted two international conferences on digital libraries since the year 2004 with varied themes successfully with overwhelming response.

The Third International Conference on Digital Libraries (ICDL) is being organized during 23-26 February 2010 jointly by TERI and IGNOU. The theme of the Conference is "Shaping the Information Paradigm". The conference will focus on creation, adoption, implementation and utilization of digital libraries, e-learning and a knowledge society. Apart from these, this conference has special focus on web-based methodologies in teaching and learning, academic programmes, information services, multi-media content, open archive initiatives & open educational resources, e-learning & e-resource management, and virtual support to distance learners. Special conference sessions and tutorials shall be devoted on the theme related
aspects to the digital library, the technologies applicable in open and distance education system. There are more that 50 International speakers will share their view. Please join there to share your experience.

In view of your experienced and valuable professional contribution, we invite you to submit a proposal for conference session and tutorial. We solicit your experienced and valuable contribution for the successful organization of this mega event. Further information Please visit

International Conference on Digital Libraries (ICDL)
Shaping the Information Paradigm
New Delhi * 23 - 26 February 2010

Venue: Conference at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, 24 -26 February 2010
Tutorial at IGNOU, Convention Centre, New Delhi, 23 February 2010

Important dates
  • Submission of full papers 15 September 2009
  • Notification of acceptance of paper with comments 30 October 2009
  • Submission of the final paper after incorporating comments 30 November 2009
Further details, please contact:

Organizing Secretary
ICDL Secretariat
TERI, Darbari Seth Block,
IHC Complex, Lodhi Road,
New Delhi, 110 003, India
Telephone 24682138, 24682100, 41504900
Fax 24682144, 24682145
India +91 Delhi (0)11

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Don't sell me!

I spent a while on the phone this afternoon with someone who will be training sales staff to interact with libraries, librarians and library workers. We covered a lot of territory, but here are some of the ideas I threw out:
  • If a company wants to sell to libraries, then it (and its sales people) need to understand what libraries are, what they value, and how they operate.
  • A great way of understanding libraries is to visit them (lots of them). Just go and walk through them. Look at their layout and materials. Check their web sites. Ask a question at the reference/info desk. Talk to staff about what they do and who they serve.
  • Go to library-related events (e.g., association meetings), not to sell but to interact and listen. Go to local, regional and national events. And don't go just once. Keep going. You're there to learn and to build relationships. Relationships are not built in a day or a week.
  • Keep the same sales staff, if possible, calling on the same libraries. If you're changing sales staff frequently, then you're making it hard on your client. Why should I bring one person up to speed on my needs and then bring another person up to speed six months later?
  • Understand that libraries are about providing access to information for their users. You must know how your products and services are going to help with that.
  • Don't provide just one solution. The more solutions (options) you provide, the better.
  • If you really can't service my needs, can you recommend someone that can? For example, if I don't want to purchase your machine, then tell me about an outsourcing company that has your equipment.
  • Librarians love to share information, so know that I'm going to use my network to find out what others think of you (and know that they will tell me).
  • Understand that in this economy, I want to work with - purchase from or outsource to - companies that are financially viable in addition to have good products and a good reputation. I're not going to tell me if you're in trouble financially, but recognize that I'll be looking for clues.
  • Finally, realize that "selling me" means building a relationship. A hard sell is likely not going to work. I know, relationships take time and you need that sale before the end of the quarter. So maybe you need to build those relationships before you need them?

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Event: Google Print in Depth

This came to me via email...

Will the Google Print Settlement Change Libraries and Copyright Management?

Join intellectual property law expert Peter Jaszi as he provides in depth analysis for librarians and academics. This online workshop will focus on copyright issues in the dispute between the Google Print project and authors/publishers. Sessions will review this ambitious plan to create a universal digital library, the lawsuits filed to block it, and the recently proposed settlement agreement in the litigation.

Google Print in Depth
Dates: February 1-12, 2010
Register by: January 25
Instructor: Peter Jazsi, J.D., Faculty Director of the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic and Professor of Law at the Washington College of Law at American University; Center for Intellectual Property IP Scholar

Spaces are filing fast. Register today and get this workshop for free ($250 value) when you sign up for the CIP's certification program!

Foundations in Copyright Management and Leadership Certificate
Dates: September 28-November 20, 2009 OR March 29-May 21, 2010
Instructor: Kimberly Bonner, J.D., Executive Director of Center for Intellectual Property

Use your membership today for a 20% discount or see the website for details on becoming a member at, the certification program at and additional workshop offerings at

*** Space is Limited... SIGN UP TODAY at

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Friday, August 07, 2009


Received via email...


The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK

16-18 October 2009

The Book Conference serves as an inclusive forum for examining the past, current and future role of the book. It proceeds from recognition that although the book is an old medium of expression, it embodies thousands of years' experience of recording knowledge. The pervasive influence of this experience continues to shape newer forms of information technology, while at the same time providing a reference point for innovation.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Bill Bell, Director of the Centre for the History of the Book, The University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Gobinda Chowdhury, Professor of Information and Knowledge Management, University of Technology Sydney, Australia
  • Lorraine Fannin, Board of Trustees, National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, UK
  • Michael Fraser, Director of the Communications Law Centre, University of Technology Sydney, Australia
  • John Man, British historian and travel writer, UK
  • Alistair McCleery, Professor of Literature and Culture, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, UK
  • Martyn Wade, National Librarian, National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, UK
  • John W. Warren, Director of Marketing, Publications, RAND Corporation, USA

The Book Conference not only considers the book and other information technologies as artefacts or discrete objects, it also examines other key aspects of the information society, including publishing, libraries, information systems, literacy and education. Broadly speaking, the Conference engages the interrelation between changes in thought, creation, production and distribution, and the role and meaning of the book and other information technologies. The Book Conference welcomes a wide range of participants from the world of books including authors, publishers, printers, librarians, IT specialists, book retailers, editors, literacy educators, and academic researchers and scholars from all disciplinary traditions.

The Conference includes plenary presentations by accomplished researchers, scholars and practitioners, as well as numerous paper, workshop and colloquium presentations. Presenters may choose to submit written papers for publication in The International Journal of the Book. If you are unable to attend the Conference in person, virtual registrations are also available which allow you to submit a paper for refereeing and possible publication in this fully refereed academic Journal.

Whether you are a virtual or in-person presenter at this Conference, we also encourage you to present on the Conference YouTube Channel. Please select the Online Sessions link on the Conference website for further details.

The deadline for the next round in the call for papers (a title and short abstract) is 20 August 2009. Future deadlines will be announced on the Conference website after this date. Full details of the Conference, including an online proposal submission form, are to be found at the Conference website -

In addition, we will be offering a tour to the 2009 Frankfurt Book Fair. Please continue to check the Activities and Extras link on the Conference website for updates.

Report: Preserving Geospatial Data

From email...

The Digital Preservation Coalition is delighted to announce an important addition to its series of Technology Watch Reports:

Preserving Geospatial Data by Guy McGarva of the University of Edinburgh, with contributions from Steve Morris (NCSU) and Greg Janée (UCSB).

'Increasingly large amounts of geospatial data are being created and collected.' Explained Guy McGarva, principal author. 'Much of this data has long term value but its preservation is a complex problem caused not least by the variety of formats. It is very important that people understand the approaches and actions that need to be considered when preserving geospatial data with the aim of ensuring future access.'

The report is designed for repository managers and archivists who may be expected to preserve and manage geospatial data but don't have a background in geospatial sciences. The report provides an advanced introduction to the often daunting world of geospatial data management and it supports efforts to ensure that these valuable and complex data sets can be secured for future generations.

Key recommendations of the report pertain to formats, metadata and the systems used to manage geospatial data. They also underline the need for careful rights management when preserving commercially sensitive third party data.

This report is the seventh in the series - previous reports have included hot topics such as the preservation of PDF files, the Jpeg 2000 standard, Preservation metadata, large scale storage, institutional repositories and the Open Archival Information System. Future reports Including File Format Selection and Web Archiving are in development.

Commenting on this latest addition, William Kilbride - Executive Director of the DPC - said, 'Geo-spatial technologies are set to become one of transformative technologies of the next decade. The growing prevalence of location-aware services already points to this. But time and space go together. This report sets a premium on long term access to spatial data, and it provides practical recommendations as to how to secure that long-term.'

'The Geodata Team within Edina have a well deserved reputation for supporting researchers and teachers.' He added. 'Services like Digimap have set a benchmark for access to complex spatial data. It is really pleasing to see that experience and expertise also looks to the long term.'


1. The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) is a not-for profit membership organisation whose primary objective is to raise awareness of the importance of the preservation of digital material and the attendant strategic, cultural and technological issues. It acts as an enabling and agenda-setting body within the digital preservation world and works to meet this objective through a number of high level goals. Its vision is to make our digital memory accessible tomorrow. For more about the DPC see:

2. EDINA is the JISC national academic data centre based at the University of Edinburgh*. Our mission and purpose is to 'enhance the productivity of research, learning and teaching' across all universities, research institutes and colleges in the UK. We do this by delivering first-rate online services and by working with support staff in university and colleges and with other partners in the academic community, and beyond, and by carrying out successful R&D projects. For more about EDINA see:

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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Interview with Dr. Sohair Wastawy is Chief Librarian for the New Library of Alexandria, Egypt.

This interview with Dr. Sohair Wastawy, Chief Librarian for the New Library of Alexandria (Egypt) touches on many topics including the new Library of Alexandria, public libraries, skills needed to be a librarian, ebooks, digitization and more. I like this quote:
We live in the midst of an information revolution and the digitization of a nation’s literary and scientific works, as well as its tangible and intangible heritage, is very important. Because libraries offer more than books, they will continue to be needed. Not everyone owns a computer or has access to the internet. For those who don’t have access to these technologies, libraries will remain an important source of information.

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Orphan Works (definition)

According to the report Orphan Works: Statement of Best Practices:
“Orphan works” is a term used to describe the situation in which the owner of a copyrighted work cannot be identified and located by someone who wishes to make use of the work in a manner that requires permission of the copyright owner.

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Paper: Orphan Works: Statement of Best Practices

This 16-page document outlines recommended best practices when trying to copyright clear a work when (p. 3)
  • The identity of the rights owner cannot be determined;
  • The identity of the likely rights owner is known, but he or she cannot be located.
This document is an excellent resources for anyone who needs to understand how to copyright clear an item, especially one that has not been published. It includes a 2+ page resource list, two charts and a table, which I can see people using extensively.

BTW the document does not carry an explicit copyright statement nor a Creative Commons license. It would be great if it was given an appropriate Creative Commons license that promoted the knowledge it contains.

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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Blog post: The myth of the pre-1923 public domain

This is a well written blog post by Peter Hirtle.

We do all talk about works created before 1923 as being in the public domain and sometimes we wiggle our hands to signify that there are exceptions. Here Hirtle documents a problem with a well known piece of music. There is lots of quotable text in his post, but this one gets at the heart of the matter:
In short, just because a work was published in the US prior to 1923 does not mean it is in the public domain. The first authorized publication needs to have occurred before that date.

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