Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wayback Wednesday & Digitization 101 2010 Year In Review

New Year's Eve BallAs I do at the end of each year, I want to spent time looking back at the last 12 months with a few lists and more.

I see four trends as I scan the horizon:
  1. Digitization is no longer an exceptional activity. While digitization is not a normal activity still for many organizations, it is much more mainstream that is was several years ago.  Look around...can you find a workshop on digitization or on scanning?  Yes, they still exist, but they are definitely not as prevalent as they were before.  Those that haven't jumped on the "digitization train" yet are finding themselves left behind.  (I should note that universities are offering courses on digitization, digital libraries, etc., which go into more depth and which are attracting a high number of students. These courses prepare the students for the growing number of digital library positions that are being advertised.)

    In the same vein, one thing to notice is that digitization is no longer in the news as it has been. It is no longer that shiny object that captures the media's attention.  For a while, Google Book Search kept digitization in the news, but even that story is no longer capturing headlines as the sides work toward an agreement.
  3. Digital preservation is where most of the action is in terms of conversations, conference sessions, research, etc.  This is true because we are a digital society and if we cannot ensure long term access to our digital content, we're doomed.  Losing digital content could mean losing the data and information that we need to run our governments, businesses, academic institutions, etc.  It could also mean losing our history.

    If you are not thinking about how to ensure long-term access to your digital content, please begin thinking about it now. You might even make it a New Year's resolution. (Yes, do jump on the digital preservation bandwagon.)
  5. Institutional repositories are where many are focusing their energy. Whether it is a repository of preprint material, course material, lab notebooks or other content, many organizations are creating institutional repositories.  These repositories include digitized and born digital material that require many of the skills we've been fostering in our digitization programs.

    If you haven't heard about a repository in your organization, check to see if one is being built that you don't know about, and then see if you can get involved.  If one hasn't been started in your organization, be sure to position yourself so you will be involved in it.  They will need your skills.
  7. Collaboration is still very important.  I know that there are some institutions where it is difficult to build external collaborations, but those institutions are rare.  If at all possible, reach out and build collaborations with other cultural heritage organizations, schools, and even businesses.  Also build internal collaborations whenever possible.  Remember that collaborative programs are more successful.
As you know, I am a full-time professor, which means that I not only look at what's happening in cultural heritage institutions with my "gee how can I use this in my practice" hat on, but I also think about what I should be introducing to my students.  This year, one of the technologies that captured  my imagination was QR codes.  I've begun to use them personally, as well as give assignments about them.  If you know nothing about QR codes, check out:
Undoubtedly, you are looking at that two-dimensional thing that looks like modern art and wondering if you really need to know anything about it.  QR codes are being used all around you, even if you are unaware of it.  Manufacturers are using smaller versions of these codes to track inventory.  I've found a QR code on cold medication, for example. Someone spotted a QR code in an airport that would provide access to two free ebooks.  Lots of organizations are using QR codes to deliver content to people on their cell phones quickly and easily.  Imagine, for example, having a QR code in an exhibit that linked the person to online content about each specific item exhibited.  As part of an assignment, my students found ways of using QR codes to link people with library content from a wide variety of locations.

That QR code above contains my basic contact information.  If you have a camera phone and QR code software (e.g.,  i-nigma), you should be able to read it and add me to your contacts.

I have three posts that were the most read Digitization 101 blog posts of 2010. Each received an amazing amount of attention:
What I want LIS students to know was mentioned in a number of locations on the Internet and sparked a few similar posts by others.  In addition, I received tweets, emails and other communications from LIS students who valued the advice.  From the sounds of it, my post reached some students when they needed the advice the most.

This blog post may not have received a high number of hits yet, but it is one that I think is worth highlighting:
When a student's work intersects with copyright, integrity and ethics (Opinion/Rant)
Cafe au lait and Beignets at Cafe du MondeIn September, I began a series called Wayback Wednesday, which I hoped would facilitate me resurrecting worthwhile posts from the Digitization 101 archives.  As my fall semester as a professor got busier, my time for blogging grew shorter, and Wayback Wednesday didn't become a weekly feature.  I do, however, intend to produce more of them in 2011 and on a more regular - but not weekly basis.

Here's a list of the Wayback Wednesdays to date:
Jill Hurst-WahlA Moment About Me - My days have been very full this year and one of my goals has been to find a better balance, and to not be over-committed.  However, I enjoy making a difference if at all possible and being involved, which does lead to me having a very full plate of activities...and I enjoy them all!

Two things from my very full plate that I want to highlight are:
A Moment About Digitization 101 - In May, I updated all of my web sites to have a consistent look and feel.  An unintended consequence is that the archive of Digitization 101 is difficult to access.  The labels on the right side of the blog will show you recent posts on that topic, but may not go back far enough.  I didn't think this would be a problem, but I've received a few emails from people who want to be able to search the archives and so I'll have a search feature implemented in 2011.

By the way, you can use your favorite Internet search engine to search this site (e.g, plus whatever terms are relevant to you).

Blountstown High School Class of 1979 30-Year ReunionThat's it until 2011!  Wherever you are, I hope that 2010 is ending on a positive note. I know that some of you have been adversely affected by budget cuts, unusual weather, and personal/family hardships.  Ending 2010 on a positive note may just been that you have survived the year.  If that is true, do take a moment to look ahead to 2011 as a new year and a fresh start.  Remember that you have friends and colleagues that are their to listen, to help, and to send positive energy your way.

Related blog posts:

1 comment:

Schriro said...

Wayback Wednesday is awesome! It's been been really helpful to me on several occasions this year. I'm glad to hear that there will be more of it in 2011.