Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day 2010

Today is Memorial Day in the U.S.(May 31, a Monday holiday).  On May 24, 2001, I wrote the following about observing Memorial Day in Europe in 1998.  It still captures how I feel about the day:
I know that Memorial Day is Monday.  I'm not sure where I'll spend it, but I know that three years  ago I was in Europe for Memorial Day.  Here the day is hailed as the beginning of summer and a day for picnics and parades.  We honor those who fought in wars in other parts of the world.  But what a difference to celebrate Memorial Day in Europe where you are walking literally on the battlefield.  I had the honor of attending -- by accident -- part of the Memorial Day celebration at the American memorial in Bastogne (Belgium) where the Battle of the Bulge was fought.  The event was a Belgium celebration, with veterans, politicians, children, and the military.  There was an American honor guard.  And since the Europeans don't celebrate Memorial Day on the same day, I was also able to attend the Memorial Day celebration at the American cemetery in Luxembourg, where General Patton is buried.  Lots of dignitaries at that one.  The feeling, though, was the same at both -- thankfulness for those who fought to save Europe, no matter their nationality.  And the realization that we here in the U.S. have no idea what it is like to live in the middle of a war that envelopes your region, your town, your life.  However you celebrate the day this year, do take a moment to be thankful for those who fought, those who died, and for those of us who have been spared the knowledge.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

[Off Topic] SLA Information Outlook: Focus on Social Networking, April/May 2010

In late March, I was asked to write the introduction for series of articles in the April/May 2010 issue of Information Outlook.  After I wrote the piece, it was discovered that it couldn't be used because I'm a candidate for SLA's Board of DirectorsSLA tries to create a level playing field for all of its Board candidates and being published in Information Outlook would have provided an advantage to me.  However, since the article could not be used by SLA and since the issue has now been distributed, I'm publishing my article here. 

The three articles in the issue, which I reference below, on social networking are:
And who stepped in to wrote the intro in my place?  Dennie Heye. (Thanks, Dennie!)

    2008 was a turning point in mass communications and social media.  The U.S. Presidential election, the Mumbai massacre, and several natural disasters around the world demonstrated that we had moved from being informed of events via traditional mass communications (newspaper, radio and TV) and are now relying more on ordinary people to gather and disseminate information.  2008 was also when SLA implemented its own version of “23 Things” and the Innovation Lab, signaling that we needed to be fully conversant in these new information tools.  Now in 2010, we look around us and see old media relying on new media to alert it to breaking stories and to gather information from the people on the street. The idea of a story breaking through Twitter seems almost normal now, yet it was an unknown concept in early 2008.

    As librarians and information professionals, we look at this new world order and wonder how to tap into this changing information stream, how to disseminate our own information via social media, and how to capture and preserve the knowledge that these social media sites contain.  Yes, not only do we have more tools for communicating with our clients, but we have more places to check for information that could be important to our clients and the work that they do.  Indeed, social media has put much more on our to-do lists.

    As we continue to discover the power of social media, one truth becomes clear: those that understand the power of information are the ones that are using it.  It does not matter what the person’s age, social status or cultural background is, but whether that person recognizes that the information which flows through social media can change the course of a person, a product or an organization.  In fact, it tends to be the thirty-somethings (and older) who truly understand the power of information and who then understand the power of social media. 

    In this issue of Information Outlook, we are focusing on social media and how our colleagues are reaping real benefits from its power.  In the last year, we have talked about our brand as an association.  In this issue, we will hear about a library school that is using social media to impact its brand.  We are accustomed to stories of commercial organizations using social media to place it and its products in a more positive light, but how would a school accomplish the same thing?  And can we learn from their endeavors?

    A second article discusses the wisdom of the crowd.  We know from our training that the information that is in people closest to an event are the ones with the best information.  With social media, we may be able to tap into that information.  However, we also know that what can circulate isn’t truth, but rumor.  While I learned many years ago that many rumors are true, the problem is are indeed true and which ones are false.  And who is used to searching though information in order to construct a more accurate picture of what is occurring?  Yup, us.

    The third article considers how we can develop social networking strategies for our libraries and information centers.  Being conversant in the tools is one thing; having a strategy for how you will use them is something else.  We need to move beyond any haphazard use and consider how to make our online interactions (social networking) and user created content (social media) part of our work, just as breathing is natural part of our lives.

    After you have read these articles and considered how you can implement what you have learned from them, tell us about your ideas, successes and challenges.  Please write a letter to the editor or an article for publication in Information Outlook.  We would enjoy hearing from you.

    JISC final report Keeping Research Data Safe 2

    This sounds like a good report to read and refer to.

    JISC is pleased to announce that the final report for Keeping Research Data Safe 2 (KRDS2) is now available from the JISC website. This KRDS2 study report presents the results of a survey of available cost information, validation and further development of the KRDS activity cost model, and a new taxonomy to help assess benefits alongside costs. The KRDS2 study was conducted by Charles Beagrie Ltd. and associates.

    KRDS2 has delivered the following:
    • A survey of cost information for digital preservation, collating and making available 13 survey responses for different cost datasets;
    • The KRDS activity model has been reviewed and its presentation and usability enhanced;
    • Cost information for four organisations (the Archaeology Data Service; National Digital Archive of Datasets; UK Data Archive; and University of Oxford) has been analysed in depth and presented in case studies;
    • A benefits framework has been produced and illustrated with two benefit case studies from the National Crystallography Service at Southampton University and the UK Data Archive at the University of Essex.

    One of the key findings on the long-term costs of digital preservation for research data was that the cost of archiving activities (archival storage and preservation planning and actions) is consistently a very small proportion of the overall costs and significantly lower than the costs of acquisition/ingest or access activities for all the case studies in KRDS2. As an example the respective activity staff costs for the Archaeology Data Service are Access (c.31%), Outreach/Acquisition/Ingest (c.55%), Archiving (c.15%).This confirms and supports a preliminary finding in KRDS1.

    Full URL:

    A range of supplementary materials in support of this report have also been made available on the KRDS project website. This includes the ULCC Excel Cost Spreadsheet for the NDAD service together with a Guide to Interpreting and Using the NDAD Cost Spreadsheet. The NDAD Cost Spreadsheet has previously been used as an exercise in digital preservation training events and may be particularly useful in training covering digital preservation costs. The accompanying Guide provides guidance to those wishing to understand and experiment with the spreadsheet.

    Friday, May 28, 2010

    Call for Papers: The International Conference on Management of Emergent Digital EcoSystems

     As received via email.

    The International Conference on Management of Emergent Digital EcoSystems (MEDES 2010)
    In cooperation with ACM SIGAPP and IFIP WG 2.6
    October 26-29, 2010

    Description and Objectives

    In the world of the Internet, the rapid growth and exponential use of digital medias leads to the emergence of virtual environments namely digital ecosystems composed of multiple and independent entities such as  individuals, organizations, services, software and applications sharing one or several missions and focusing on the interactions and inter-relationships among them. The digital ecosystem exhibits self-organizing environments, thanks to the re-combination and evolution of its "digital components", in which resources provided by each entity are properly conserved, managed and used. The underlying resources mainly comprehend data management, innovative services, computational intelligence and self-organizing platforms.

    Due to the multi-disciplinary nature of digital ecosystems and their characteristics, they are highly complex to study and design. This also leads to a poor understanding as to how managing resources will empower digital ecosystems to be innovative and value-creating. The application of Information Technologies has the potential to enable the understanding of how  entities request resources and ultimately interact to create benefits and added-values, impacting business practices and knowledge. These technologies can be improved through novel techniques, models and methodologies for fields such as data management, web technologies,  networking, security, human-computer interactions, artificial intelligence, e-services and self-organizing systems to support the establishment of digital ecosystems and manage their resources.

    The International ACM Conference on Management of Emergent Digital EcoSystems (MEDES) aims to develop and bring together a diverse community from academia, research laboratories and industry
    interested in exploring the manifold challenges and issues related to resource management of Digital Ecosystems and how current approaches and technologies can be evolved and adapted to this end. The conference seeks related original research papers, industrial papers and proposals for demonstrations.

    In this call, we solicit original research and technical papers not published elsewhere. The papers can be theoretical, practical and application oriented on the following themes (but not limited to):

    - Digital Ecosystem Infrastructure
    - Web Technologies
    - Service systems and Engineering
    - Emergent Intelligence
    - Data & Knowledge Management Systems
    - Multimedia Information Retrieval
    - Ontology Management
    - Social Networks
    - Game Theory
    - Networks and Protocols
    - Security & Privacy
    - Standardization and Extensible Languages
    - Human-Computer Interaction
    - Business Intelligence
    - E-Services , E-Learning, E-Humanities and E-Government
    - B2B, B2C, B2A, E-Commerce, E-Business, E-Marketing and E-Procurement
    - Digital Library
    - Open Source

    Paper Submission
    Submissions must be in an electronic form as PDF format and should be uploaded using the conference website.

    Submissions should be at most 8 ACM single-space printed pages. Papers that fail to comply with length limit will be rejected. Submissions will be peer-reviewed by at least 3 peer reviewers. Selection criteria will
    include: relevance, significance, impact, originality, technical soundness, and quality of presentation.
    Preference will be given to submissions that take strong or challenging positions on important emergent topics
    related to Digital Ecosystems. At least one author should attend the conference to present the paper.

    The conference Proceedings will be published by ACM and indexed by the ACM Digital Library.

    Important Dates
    - Submission Date: June 20th, 2010
    - Notification of Acceptance: September, 5th 2010
    - Camera Ready: September 20th, 2010
    - Conference Dates: October 26-29, 2010
    - Dinner Reception: October 27th, 2010
    - Gala Banquet: October 28th, 2010

    Special issues and Journal Publication

    Extended versions of the selected papers will be published in one of the following reviewed journals.

    -International Journal on Subject-Centric Computing (IJSCC)
    -International Journal of Organizational and Collective Intelligence (IJOCI)
    -Journal of Emerging Technologies in Web Intelligence (JETWI)
    -International Journal of Bio-Inspired Computation  (IJBIC)
    -International Journal of Internet and Enterprise Management (IJIEM)
    -Journal of Service Science and Management (JSSM)

    Keynote Speakers
    Albert Y. Zomaya (University of Sydney, Australia)
    Taweesak Koanantakool (NSTDA, Thailand)

    Program Chair
    Richard Chbeir (Bourgogne University, France)

    Local Organizing Committee Chair
    Asanee Kawtrakul (NECTEC, Thailand)

    International Program Committee:
    (see the web site for the full list)

    Tuesday, May 25, 2010

    ICON: International Coalition on Newspapers

    Since there is no central repository for digitization program, I'm always pleased when I discover a list that tries to be comprehensive in some way.  As the International Coalition on Newspapers web site says:
    ICON provides a freely accessible database of bibliographic information for more than 25,000 newspaper titles from participating institutions.
    The web site is continually updated. Date ranges on newspapers are noted, when applicable.

    Thursday, May 20, 2010

    Speaking of budgets

    My blog post on Tuesday has sparked some emails, blog comments and side conversations.

    First of all, I understand the NSLS has truly thought about the disposition of all of its services.  Sarah Long and her staff are to be commended for the way they are going about there reduction in staff and services.  It cannot be an easy job emotionally for any of them.

    Nylink is also communicating clearly about their changes and I'm sure BCR must be doing the same.  Those conversations via the web, email and face-to-face are surely difficult.  Sadly, I know that there will be other organizations that will need to have similar conversations in the coming months.

    Second, it is clear that some governments are delaying the adoption of a new budget so that the tough decisions are not made by them, but are made by other who much cancel services, eliminate staff, etc.  If I don't give you the money that you need, then I'm not responsible for the cuts that you have to make in order to survive.  It is not a helpful strategy.

    But more importantly, it is clear that in some situations this current budget crisis is on top of prior tight budgets.  Personally, we're taught to save for a rainy day, but our cultural heritage organizations may not have been able to do that.  Businesses are told to have several months of operating funds in the bank, in case something goes wrong.  Do our cultural organizations live by the same rule?

    And one more thing...and this is quite adults, we're told to prepare for our "end".  We buy insurance and create wills, living wills, DNRs (do not resuscitate), etc.  Part of that is ensuring that whatever we leave behind is taken care of properly.  Do we do the same thing for our organizations, our services, our assets, etc.?  Do we talk to "Uncle Frank" to see if he's take over our digital assets if anything should happen to us?  Do we make an agreement with the neighbor to care for our most valuable books?  Do we know that our most prized possessions will find good homes?  These are "what if" conversations that do need to happen.

    SimpleDL software

    Received a demo this morning of new digital asset management software called "SimpleDL".  They are just engaging their first customers and starting to exhibit at library conferences.  The software seems easy to use and with good functionality.  Seeing a demo is not like "kicking the tires" (doing a real test), but it can given an indication if you really want to know more.  What I saw makes me think I'd be will to see/hear more.

    I asked a lot of questions about what the software does, who they're working with, who they are, etc.  I did not ask about ongoing software support.  Since they are a startup, that is a question some organizations might see as a mitigating factor. 

    Roy Tennant believes that you should always know how to get your content out of the software, and I was impressed that Steven and Jacob demoed that early on in the session.

    Tuesday, May 18, 2010

    Of libraries, digitization programs, and doom

    From my safety of my keyboard, I watch news of libraries and library consortia that are financially stressed due to the impact of the economy.  For public library organizations, the financial problems are caused by their government not having enough money to fund everything that it should.  Academic and special libraries (e.g., corporate, news, legal, etc.) are also having to do less with less. We assume wrongly that organization have enough money to make it through a downturn.  While some likely did have reserve funds, those monies weren't enough to keep them stable until their funding is fully restored.  Sadly, we all know of someone who has lost a library job as a result of tightening budgets.

    While at Computers in Libraries, I was a part of several conversations about BCR merging with Lyrasis.  BCR has come to a point where merging with another organization will help to ensure that its services continue in its region.  BCR had already absorbed CDP which is well-known for its digitization efforts.  (CDP originally stood for Colorado Digitization Project and then Collaborative Digitization Program.)  Lyrasis was created from the merger of Palinet with Solinet.  Since Lyrasis has its own digitization efforts, I am assuming that the digitization work that BCR was involved in will continue.

    Last week the North Surburban Library System (NSLS) announced that it will be drastically scaling back services and laying off many members of the staff including the executive director.  NSLS has a wonderful digitization program known as Digital Past and there is no news on what will happen to it.  My hope is that someone (or some organization) will step in to ensure that it is maintained. It would be a shame to have it fall into disrepair and fail.

    Yesterday word came that Nylink - the BCR equivalent in New York State is shutting down its services within the next twelve months.  Because Nylink is part of the State University of New York (SUNY), it cannot be merged with another "baby OCLC" (like Lyrasis).  Nylink had not embarked on its own digitization efforts, but was an "authorized dealer" of OCLC services and, I believe, may have also been selling products from other vendors.  In my view, because library organizations could deal directly with OCLC, and not have to go through Nylink, Nylink lost its market.

    We can all point to other library organizations that are stressed and on the verge of extreme ill health.  Some have not failed because checks somehow keep getting written, even though the bank account is virtually empty.  Others may be using staff, volunteer and community goodwill to keep themselves going, but we all know that goodwill is not enough.

    In 1999, the Corning (NY) Public Library closed for a year, due to an unfavorable budget vote, which said more about area politics than support for the library.  All of the library materials were boxed up and stored.  The staff was dispersed and patrons had to go elsewhere for services.  Thankfully, when funding was restored, services, books, etc., and even some of the former staff were able to come back together.  Now when such an event occurs, we need to throw the organization's digital assets into that mix and hope that they can somehow remain accessible even if the institution is gone.  And it is likely that most organizations have not considered how their digital assets will survive even if the organization itself does not.

    Here's my call to action:

    First, communicate to your constituents as much information as possible about your organization's current situation.  If your organization is truly in great shape, tell them.  If your organization is on shaky ground, help your constituents know what that means for the near-term and what it might mean for the long-term.  If you need them to rally and offer support, they will need information in order to make that happen.

    Second, no matter what type of library organization you're in, spend time with your staff thinking about your services.  Honestly, which ones are critical to your users?  Which services do you have the most invested in?  Which ones could be maintained with very little effort and still be useful?  While we always want to keep everything at the best level of service/support, NSLS shows us that sometimes tough choices have to be made.  Those decisions need real forethought and should not be made rashly.

    Third, if you have digital assets that you have created, plan for their future.  If you can't keep them viable into the future (for whatever reason), who can?  Is there another institution that can maintain them and their online presence?  Is there a digital archive that could help?  What kind of arrangement would be needed to make that happen?  This is not a trivial matter, so forethought and planning is required.

    Finally, if you or your library are part of a larger consortia or another type of library organization, start asking tough questions.  The information that you receive will help you understand how to help the organization whether its through financial support, moral support or advocacy.'t turn your back on the organization.  Find a way to be supportive.  In this economy, we all need each other.

    Monday, May 17, 2010

    Digital Curation and Preservation Bibliography , v.1 from Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

    One of Charles Bailey's fortes in the creation of outstanding bibliogrpahies and the passion to keep them up-to-date.  So I'm very pleased to see that he has created a "Digital Curation and Preservation Bibliography" and marked it as being version 1.0.  In his introduction, Bailey wrote:
    This bibliography presents selected English-language articles, books, and technical reports that are useful in understanding digital curation and preservation. Most sources have been published between 2000 and the present; however, a limited number of key sources published prior to 2000 are also included.
    Published with a Creative Commons license, this bibliography will be a great starting point for anyone who wants to learn more about digital curation. Students especially would do well to bookmark it and refer to it.

    In the scope notes, Bailey has a definition of digital curation and is a bit more extensive that the one I've published.   From recent conversations, I know that the word "curation" means different things to different people.  However, when we talk about digital curation, the key concept is "stewardship" even if that word is not used.

    Wednesday, May 12, 2010

    What if digital libraries and digitization programs had to submit data mgmt plans with funding requests?

    Dr. William Michener spoke today at the iSchool on "Building a virtual data center for the biological, ecological and environmental sciences."  While that topic doesn't sound much like digitization, one comment he made connected with me.  Michener noted that the National Science Foundation is asking researchers to submit data management plans with their funding requests.  The NSF does not want research data to be lost, yet if often is.

    When digitization programs ask for funding, what if they had to submit a plan for how they are going to manage their data? What if they needed to demonstrate upfront that they have thought about the long-term viability of all of their digital files, including metadata?  While that might seem like a tough hurdle for many programs, would it help to ensure that programs were not orphaned after their completion?

    Event: Survive or thrive: making the most of your digital content Conference

    Received via email.

    *Survive or thrive: making the most of your digital content Conference*
    8-9 June 2010
    Macdonald Hotel, Manchester


    The growth of digital content and use of content on the Web has been rapidly changing over the past decade. The digital deluge provides opportunities but how can these best be exploited? Are you making the most of your content? What are the technical and strategic approaches required to thrive in today's environment?

    Question this conference will start to address:
    • How do we exploit the value of distributed resources, linked data, geospatial tagging and metadata etc?
    • In terms of scale what are the issues and barriers? What does working at web scale mean and offer? How can the crowd be exploited?
    • What are the issues and opportunities for opening up content?
    • How do we effectively and efficiently meet the needs of users and taking the best advantage of the available technologies? For example personalisation?
    • How do sectors work together? Education, the cultural heritage sector, engaging business and community and the public and private sectors? What role should strategic agencies play?


    The aim of the conference is to bring together community of experts to provide a focus on the above questions. This will allow us to identify the key approaches that universities, colleges, the cultural heritage and public sectors can pursue to support education, research and the wider knowledge economy.


    It will provide a *Position Paper*, based on the workshop discussion that gives direction to content providers in the networked environment.

    Also the outcomes of the workshop will help to inform JISC programmes and service approaches, in particular the resource discovery and access strategies that JISC pursues; for example the JISC and  Research Libraries UK Resource Discovery Task Force vision and the JISC's  Strategic Content Alliance
    as appropriate.


    This event is aimed at people who have a stake in providing content for  learning teaching and research. This includes policy makers, senior managers,  information specialists and technical managers/developers, from the public and  commercial sectors.


    Your registration includes all refreshments, lunch and dinner at the event. It  also includes a night's B & B accommodation. Otherwise, travel and subsistence  are not included.

    To book ASAP please click on the link as:

    Tuesday, May 11, 2010

    Events: GWLA Data Curation Webinars

    One of the webinars has already occurred, but the other two are still in the future.  The webinars are being recorded and those recordings will be made available online. 

    The Greater Western Library Alliance is providing a series of three free webinars on the topic of data  curation. The webinars will be conducted using “Wimba” webinar software. No pre-registration is
    necessary. The webinar login address is:

    At the login page, select “Participant”. If you haven’t accessed Wimba before, you’ll need to run the “Wizard” setup (even if you have entered Wimba before, it’s recommend to run the “Wizard”). It takes (1
    – 4) minutes for the software to confirm the participant’s system compatibility, so allow time accordingly; we recommended that you login at least ten minutes prior to the presentation. The “Wizard” has (5) checks to walk through; all that’s required is to press ‘next’ (there is an ‘audio test’). In order to use the audio function,
    you’ll need a headset, or a computer with both ‘mic’ and ‘speakers’.

    Each of the webinars will be recorded. After each session, a URL will be posted to mailing lists where the series was announced.

    Presentation Details:

    1. Big Picture Overview of Data Curation, Thursday May 6, 12-1:30 EST

    Over this decade, increasingly more people are viewing research data as an asset requiring proper  management and long-term stewardship. This outlook is a major cultural shift from the perspective that
    knowledge outputs such as journal articles and books are the sole treasures of research.  One consequence is that librarians in research institutions are now having to consider how to incorporate data as a library resource.  Chuck Humphrey’s presentation provides an introduction to basic data concepts relevant to librarians.  Topics to be discussed include how to differentiate research data from everything else that is digital, how lifecycle data management helps us better deal with data as a resource, how collections remain
    important in managing data and how levels of service can be defined for data.

    It is important to understand data curation within the larger scholarly communication context, and then to identify opportunities and capacities where librarians can and should find a role to engage.

    Given a definition that ranges from managing to archiving to preserving data along the data lifecycle, there are various points where data curation services can be pursued by librarians: at a point of research initiation (articulating the problem and pursuing  funding), at a point of recent or ongoing research (organization
    within the lab), at a point where a larger community needs to be engaged (broadening access), and at a point where time scale is important (archiving and preserving in a repository). D. Scott Brant will discuss the role of librarians in pursuing and engaging in these data curation activities with specific examples presented.


    Charles (Chuck) Humphrey has been the Head of the Data Library at the University of Alberta since 1992 and began a data library service in 1980 in the University’s academic computing centre while employed as a
    statistical consultant. In 2000, Mr. Humphrey also assumed responsibility for the implementation and  management of a Statistics Canada Research Data Centre (RDC) at the University of Alberta, which is a data enclave for Statistics Canada confidential data. As the Academic Director of the RDC, he oversees the operations of this facility and serves on the RDC National Coordinating Committee.

    D. Scott Brandt is a professor of library science and associate dean for research in the Purdue University Libraries. Primarily he helps guide the Libraries’ research and facilitates participation in sponsored funding (e.g., NSF, IMLS, local seed grants)—-since April 2005, Purdue librarians have participated in more than 70 grant applications with more than 80 faculty across campus. As acting director of the Distributed Data Curation Center, he overseesinvestigation into curation issues of organizing, discovery and access to, and archiving research data in complex environments. Prior to arriving at Purdue in 1993 he was associate head of the Science and Engineering Libraries at MIT, and is the author of Teaching Technology (2002) and Unix in Libraries (1991).

    2. What kinds of data are libraries managing, how are they doing it and with what staff?, Tuesday June 1, 12-1:30 EST

    After giving a brief background summary of what the MIT Libraries are doing, Anne Graham and Amy Stout will discuss issues surrounding starting a data management program and provide an overview of what
    libraries need to know before starting a data management program. They will discuss the following topics from a subject librarian perspective:
    • How does your library system operate?
    • Are you better off starting your program from the top-down or using a grassroots approach?
    •  Making contact with your faculty and finding out what they need 
    • Learning about data and e-science
    • Developing relationships across departments that will facilitate your offering of  services to people outside the library system 
    Sayeed Choudhury will discuss early experiences related to the Data Conservancy, one of two current awards through NSF’s DataNet program. Choudhury will speak specifically about the types of data being
    considered for the early prototype development, the initial technical architecture, and the new duties or skill sets that are being developed as a result of these activities.


    Anne Graham is Civil and Environmental Engineering Librarian and GIS Liaison and Amy Stout is Computer Science Librarian at MIT Libraries. Both Anne and Amy have been working on starting data services at the
    MIT Libraries. This includes educating faculty, students and lab managers about “best practices” for data management as well as initiating projects that encourage faculty to look to the libraries for the stewardship of their data.

    G. Sayeed Choudhury is the Associate Dean for Library Digital Programs and Hodson Director of the Digital Research and Curation Center at the Sheridan Libraries of Johns Hopkins University. He is also the Director of Operations for the Institute of Data Intensive Engineering and Science (IDIES) based at Johns Hopkins. He is a Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at Johns Hopkins, a Research Fellow at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Senior Presidential Fellow with the Council on Library and Information Resources. He is a member of the ICPSR Council and DuraSpace Board.

    3. What is happening at GWLA Libraries and what are next steps for GWLA?, Thursday July 1, 12-1:30 EST

    Presenters from several GWLA libraries will provide 5 minute presentations on what is happening at their institutions, at what stage they are at with data curation, and what they see as a possible GWLA role. Presentations will be followed by discussion about possible next steps for GWLA and potential areas of collaboration among GWLA libraries regarding data curation.

    Speakers: GWLA members involved in data curation [an OSU wiki will be updated as GWLA speakers are confirmed for the 3rd webinar:|../x/0wV9
    <> ]

    Monday, May 10, 2010

    Event: 4th International Conference on: Preservation and Conservation Issues in Digital Printing and Digital Photography

    Received via email.

    4th International Conference on: Preservation and Conservation Issues in Digital Printing and Digital Photography
    27-28 May 2010
    Institute of Physics, London

    Organised jointly by the IOP Printing and Graphics Science Group and the University of the Arts London (Materials and the Arts Research Centre - MATAR), in association with the Society for Imaging Science and Technology.


    The two-day international conference aims to inform those responsible for the preservation of digitally printed materials about developments in digital photography and printing technologies and progress in research on inks and substrates and their significance for conservation and preservation issues and techniques. We also hope to develop links between related industries and the conservation/preservation world.

    The event is aimed at an international audience of photographers, conservators, preservation personnel, conservation scientists and those working in the digital printing, ink and paper industries.

    Further information about the conference is available at

    Registration Open

    To register for the conference, please visit the website at


    Dawn Stewart
    The Institute of Physics,
    76 Portland Place,
    London W1B 1NT, UK.

    Tel: +44(0)20 7470 4800
    Fax: +44(0)20 7470 4900

    Quote from interview with Archivist of the U.S., David Ferriero

    David Ferriero was interviewed for the April 2010 issue of Information Today.  During the interview, Miriam Drake asked, "How are we progressing in digitizing legacy collections, paper, photos, and others?"

    Ferriero's response:
    We have partnership agreements with three commercial organizations to help us digitize major portions of our records. The agreements and overall digitization strategy can be found on It is an approach that the agency had taken before I came. They decided that the only way they could accomplish this task is to partner with and others. I have concerns about these arrangements. The stakeholder community also has concerns. To the best of my knowledge, we have not investigated raising money or asking for money to do the digitization ourselves. This is open territory.
    Ferriero discussed more about digitization in that article and in the second part of the interview which was published in May.

    Wednesday, May 05, 2010

    NARA's Technical Guidelines for Digitizing Archival Materials for Electronic Access: Creation of Production Master Files – Raster Images

    Written by Steven Puglia, Jeffrey Reed, and Erin Rhodes, this June 2004 document is something that I haven't mentioned before and it seems worthwhile noting (remembering).  This 87-page guideline for the following record types - textual, graphic illustrations/artwork/originals, maps, plans, oversized, photographs, aerial photographs, and objects/artifacts - is extensive and contains illustrations. 

    According to the scope:
    The Technical Guidelines presented here are based on the procedures used by the Digital Imaging Lab of NARA’s Special Media Preservation Laboratory for digitizing archival records and the creation of production master image files, and are a revision of the 1998 “NARA
    Guidelines for Digitizing Archival Materials for Electronic Access
    ”, which describes the imaging approach used for NARA’s pilot Electronic Access Project.

    The Technical Guidelines are intended to be informative, and not intended to be prescriptive. We hope to provide a technical foundation for digitization activities, but further research will be necessary to make informed decisions regarding all aspects of digitizing projects. These guidelines provide a range of options for various technical aspects of digitization, primarily relating to image capture, but do not recommend a single approach.

    Tuesday, May 04, 2010

    Institutional Repository Infrastructure for Scotland (IRIScotland) Toolkit

    This seems like a site worth remembering.  According to the web site:
    The IRIScotland Toolkit exists to help institutions who are developing an institutional repository. The toolkit is aimed at both staff within institutions charged with developing repositories and at researchers wanting to find out more about open access and how they can engage with it. The content focuses on policy, cultural and legal issues rather than on the technical aspects of setting up a repository.

    Monday, May 03, 2010

    People to listen to and learn from concerning copyright law

    In my last lecture for the copyright course I've been teaching this semester, I provided a list of people whom I consider good to listen to for their views and knowledge on copyright law.  These are people whose opinions I cherish and whom I (and others) can learn from.  My list:
    In addition, I would add two more that I should have mentioned:
    This is an area where I believe you need to not only read the law (yes...please read it), but you also need to listen to those who have studied it.  They can help you understand any nuances and show you the bigger picture.  They can also provide context for why the law is as it is, and help you see the forces at work to change it (or change how we think about it).

    Finally, I have to say that my students gave lots of "thumbs up" to the book Copyright Law for Librarians and Educators by Kenneth Crews. This is a book that was useful as a textbook and will continue to be useful as they head into the work-world.

    New and improved!

    After a long journey and the assistance of Josh Shear, I've updated the format of my web site and blogs (Digitization 101 and eNetworking 101).  For the first time, everything has a consistent look and feel, and everything is integrated together! 

    One of thing you'll find everywhere on the site now is a Meebo "window" that will allow you to communicate in real time with me, if I'm online.  I've been using a MeeboMe widget for years and am glad to finally have it all over the place.  So if you have a quick question or comment, your can chat with me rather than sending email.

    You'll also notice links to many of the places that I hang out online like Twitter.  You can use these to find out more about me or to make a connection with me.  (The only caveat is that I truly use LinkedIn to connect with professionals whom I know.)

    By the way, early on in the process, Josh asked me to name five web sites that I admired (in function or look) and why.  If you or your organization are going to update your web site, I would encourage you to answer that question for yourself.  Yes, it is okay to like very different web sites. What is important to the designer is know what you like and find important, especially since we all "know it when we see it". 

    Finally, I've heard of organizations that are going to take multiple years to update their web sites.  Really?  Our expectations of online environments are constantly changing.  If you're web site is not matching you needs (let alone your users' needs), you can't take years to change it.  It has to change now and then you have to be committed to continually updating it in order to continually match your users' needs.  If you plan a new web site this year, but don't implement it for two years, it will already be out of date.