Friday, October 29, 2010

Blog post: Understanding DPI

If you are digitizing using a camera, how do you calculate DPI (dots per inch)?  Misty De Meo has tackled that calculation in her blog.  The key is knowing the resolution of the camera you are using.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Report: Expert Meeting: Price Tags of Digital Preservation Policy Choices

Quote the report:
On 16 September 2010 a rather unique meeting took place in The Hague: the experts behind five past and present projects on cost modelling for digital preservation came together to exchange information and discuss possibilities for international cooperation. The projects discussed included Keeping Research Data Safe (KRDS, UK), CMDP (Denmark), LIFE3 (UK), DANS (Netherlands), National Archives Testbed (Netherlands). 
I haven't read this seven-page report yet, but skimming through it, I can see that there is a lot to digest.  Plus you can view all of the presentations, too (46 pages).

Blog post: Who infringed at Georgia State?

This copyright lawsuit involving Georgia State was mentioned yesterday by a librarian who visited one of my classes.  Peter Hirtle wrote in his blog post:
We have a ruling from the court over the motions for summary judgement in the lawsuit over Georgia State's ereserve program.  Kevin Smith gives an excellent analysis of the order in Going forward with Georgia State lawsuit.  The bottom line is that the court did not find Georgia State guilty of direct and vicarious copyright infringement, as the plaintiffs requested.  The only issue that will go forward is whether Georgia State contributed to the copyright infringement of others through its implementation of its 2009 policy.
In reading Kevin Smith's blog post, this text stands out to me:
Perhaps more importantly, Judge Evans was impressed by declarations from multiple professors about how they use e-reserves. She quotes at length one professor’s explanation that she uses e-reserves only in cases where she is assigning so little of a work that students would not buy the text if it were assigned. Judge Evans also cites approvingly several professors’ declarations to the effect that if they had to pay a royalty to use e-reserves, they would stop using the system.
Being able to put text on reserves is important. Because many campuses have gone to an e-reserve system, the rules about what can be put on reserves are more strict. This means that professors are justifying what they put on reserves and only putting on reserve as much as necessary.  Universities are also putting into place systems that limit access to those reserves to only the students who should have access. 

In my very personal view of the situation, I believe that publishers who are trying to further restrict access or seeking additional fees are doing nothing but making it more difficult for professors to teach the next generation.  We should want to ensure that students have access to the best information.  However, if publishers are going to make that more difficult to do, then our students' education will suffer.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Event: DAM LA 2010, Nov. 15-16, 2010, Los Angeles, CA

I've recently become aware of conferences produced by  Henry Stewart Events on digital asset management. This one is called DAM LA.
DAM LA 2010 highlights all the important issues - from the fundamentals of how to get started with a DAM solution to the latest and best practices in the management of digital media. Attendance at DAM LA 2010 ensures that everyone involved in the capture, storage and application of digital media assets is fully briefed on the latest developments and best practices.
If you quote DIG101 when registering, you will receive a $100 discount on this event.

Next year, they will host DAM events in  New York, London, Los Angeles and Chicago.  Dates should be announced in a few weeks.

Event: 6th International Digital Curation Conference (IDCC10)

Received via email.

6th International Digital Curation Conference (IDCC10)
“Participation & Practice: Growing the curation community through the data decade”
6 – 8 December 2010
Chicago Mart Plaza, Chicago, USA.

The updated IDCC10 programme including all the accepted papers is now available on the DCC website, with a link at both the top and bottom of the page to the PDF.  A full list of posters and demos will be added shortly.

Register for pre-conference workshops and the conference at

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wayback Wednesday: Metadata blog posts from the Digitization 101 archives

Cafe au lait and Beignets at Cafe du MondeSince I don't describe myself as a metadata librarian, metadata can make my eyes cross. However, I have discussed metadata in this blog (quite amazing!.  So this Wednesday night, I want to curl up with cup of coffee and highlight several Digitization 101 blog posts on it.)
Want to dig into the archives yourself?  Use the "popular labels" on the right side of the blog OR use your favorite Internet search engine to search this site (e.g, plus whatever terms are relevant to you).

Friday, October 15, 2010

Blog Action Day 2010: Water

Susquehanna River in Harrisburg, PAToday blogs around the world will participate in Blog Action Day by writing about this year's topic - water. According to the Blog Action Day web site:
The average American uses 159 gallons of water every day – more than 15 times the average person in the developing world. From showering and washing our hands to watering our lawns and washing our cars, Americans use a lot of water. To put things into perspective, the average five-minute shower will use about 10 gallons of water. Now imagine using that same amount to bathe, wash your clothes, cook your meals and quench your thirst.
This point has been driven home to me through news stories, documentaries, fact sheets and web sites. The result is that I struggle to use less water and get mad at myself when I use more to do a simple task than I think necessary.  Can I be more efficient in washing dishes and vegetables, for example?  Should I put a timer on my showers and then challenge myself to make them shorter?  Can I reuse grey water in a way that is practical and makes sense? While I ponder those and other questions, I look around and see neighbors that wash their cars frequently, have swimming pools, or do other things that waste something that is so precious in other areas of the world.  I can even look at my own family and see members who are water wasters.

Woman holding water vesselThe problem -- or good news -- is that people in my region have enough water.  There is no need for us to give our unused water to our neighbors, because they have enough.  Those that need water are elsewhere in the world.  While shipping water to them is a possibility, what they need is a way for them to make what they have sanitary.  They also need to be able to get water to the areas where it is needed, so people aren't walking miles for potable water (suitable for drinking).  They may need help drilling wells, building irrigation systems or aqueducts.  These are often tasks that a community cannot do on its own because of the expense or resources needed.

So if I can't be there to help them, what can I do?  What can you do?  
  • Learn more about the problem and its solutions.
  • Find ways of using less water, because even though we think we have enough water, the reality is that our water supply is changing and every year we have more people who are reliant on it.
  • Help to keep our waterways and aquifers free of pollutants.Pollution travels and our pollutants end up in places that we can see and affect people we don't know.
  • Support organizations and projects that are working to reduce the number of people in the world who do not have access to clean water and adequate sanitation.
  • Teach those around us about this issue. 
Those are not difficult tasks.  If we all do our part, this is a problem that can be solved.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Blog post: The view from Frankfurt: who controls the ebook business?

Alastair Horne has written a very good post about a panel discussion at the Frankfurt Book Fair entitled "The eBook Business: Who’s in Control?". While publishers had come close to losing control of the ebook business, the tide has turned due to increased competition, which means that publishers are out of it yet.
The panel agreed that, with ebooks currently accounting for approximately 15% of trade sales in the United States, it no longer made any sense to have a separate strategy for ebooks: digital had instead to be at the heart of a more general publishing strategy. 
The prediction is that ebook could account for 50% of book sales in five years.  That type of shift will put pressure on brick-and-mortar bookstore, who may see their needed shelf space decrease and a lose in business.

Two areas not addressed in the article are textbooks and libraries.  Textbooks continue to increase in price and are often available only in hardcopy.  E-textbooks could be lower cost and provide more information (e.g., connecting the text to other sources).  Many students carry laptops, iPads and smartphones to class (at least in the U.S.) which means that they have an ebook reader available to them.  Wouldn't it be great if they could have their books on that reader?

Some libraries are carrying ebooks, but I don't know if there is yet an agreed upon model for library pricing, circulation policies, etc.  Could it be that some books will only be available in ebook format?  What would happen if a library couldn't get a needed book because it couldn't handle that format?

The FutureBook blog has other blog posts about the Frankfurt Book Fair and promised to have more.  Blog posts already available include:

Event: Staying on TRAC: Digital Preservation Implications and Solutions for Collaboratives

From the collaborative-dig email list....

Ensuring the longevity of your collections is a challenge you need not face alone.  Join LYRASIS for Staying on TRAC:  Digital Preservation Implications and Solutions for Collaboratives.  This workshop has been designed especially for libraries and cultural heritage institutions with existing digital content, created collaboratively or locally, that need to plan for long-term preservation of, and access to, these materials.
Goals of the Staying on TRAC workshop:
  • To help libraries and cultural heritage organizations gain an understanding of the organizational roles and responsibilities related to digital preservation;
  • To provide the information and tools that organizations need to develop a local digital preservation policy;
  • To provide the information and means to help institutions advocate for digital preservation at the local and collaborative levels;
  • To assist institutions and their collaborative partners in developing the capacity to assume responsibility for long-term accessibility of digital collections under their stewardship.
Using de facto guidelines, standards, and tools for digital preservation planning, analysis, and assessment such as the CRL-OCLC-NARA Trustworthy Repositories Audit and Certification: Criteria and Checklist (TRAC), the workshop will provide you with the information and tools you need to plan, assess and outline a digital preservation plan for sustaining collaboratively generated digital content. 
Limited space, register today!
The workshop consists of 3 webinars and an in-person session:
  • Webinar 1 -  November 2, 1-3 p.m. ET
  • Webinar 2 - November 3, 1-3 p.m. ET
  • Webinar 3 - November 5, 1-3 p.m. ET
  • In-person session - November 16-17, 2010, Northwestern University Libraries, Evanston, Illinois
BONUS:  Five collaboratives who complete their plans will be selected for an onsite digital preservation readiness assessment. Each assessment will be conducted by two of the faculty members.

Workshop Fee: The cost to attend this invaluable workshop is $150 for the first member of a registered collaborative team, and $75 for additional on-site attendees from the same collaborative team. NOTE: The fee covers the webinars and in-person session, as well as all workshop materials and post-workshop online activities. Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided at the in-person session.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Article: French National Library to Open Archives to Microsoft Bing

Here's the key part of the announcement:
The [French National Library] is making it easier for Microsoft to link to digitized versions of over a million documents in its archives. In return, Microsoft will make search results from the library more prominent.

No money will change hands as a result of the deal, which is non-exclusive, meaning that Microsoft can give similar prominence to search results from other document archives, and the library can give similar access to other search engines, including Google.
It is very good that material from the French National Library will gain more exposure, although I find it very interesting that the content "more prominent". Search engines do manipulate search results.  I wonder how this will be implemented?  Will items from the collection be automatically at the top of the search results?  Will they just rank higher than normal?  And will all of our search results one day be so manipulated that they will be meaningless?

Monday, October 04, 2010

SLA elections results, my past & your future

Jill Hurst-WahlDuring the Special Libraries Association's Leadership Summit in January 2010, I received a phone call asking if I would consider running for the Association's Board of Directors and I said "yes". Over the next eight months, I and the other candidates met with SLA members, gave brief speeches, wrote blog posts, and even did a video presentation in an effort to ensure that fellow members knew who we were and had enough information in order to decide for whom to vote. Last Wednesday, the voting ended and by Thursday afternoon the results were made public. Yes, in January 2011, I will begin a three-year term on the SLA Board of directors.  I know that the work will not be easy and, yes, I'm up for the task.

The Road Ahead: A few people have asked about my goals for the next three years or what I hope to accomplish. The directors often work on special projects at the request of the Association's president as well as having input on all Board activities. We don't have individual priorities like our political representatives might have. Instead we work to ensure SLA meets its mission to promote and strengthen "its members through learning, advocacy, and networking initiatives." With the diversity of our members in terms of focus, geography, language, etc., that in itself is a tall order.TableCon @ Gang CIL2009

Like other for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, the last two years have been stressful for SLA and that stress will continue into the future as it weathers the economic slowdown we're all feeling.  Speeches given during the annual membership meeting this year discuss what we're facing:
  • Speech by Dan Trefethen, SLA's Treasurer
  • Speech by Janice Lachance, SLA's CEO
  • Speech by Anne Caputo, SLA's President
The financial viability of the organization is a priority for the Board and staff.  I and others on the Board will work to ensure that SLA fulfills its mission while also staying on track financially.  I don't expect the conversations or decisions to be easy.  I do expect there to be a lot of work ahead of us and much angst.

Jill Hurst-WahlMy Past & Your Future: When I graduated with my MLS degree, I had no desire to be a manager or leader, I just wanted to have steady employment. In fact, my goal was to work for one organization for my entire career and thus emulate my one grandfather. What really occurred has been radically different! I've worked for several organizations, started my own business, been a manager and found myself in leadership positions. Those are all things I did not plan for, but what if I had planned? Or...better yet...what should a librarian -- you! -- do in order to set yourself on a track that will position you for important leadership positions in the future?  Here are a few ideas:
  • Network with your peers. At some point, your peer group will become the leaders, so it is good to interact with them now and to get to know one another.  Also realize that they have to know who you are if you're going to lead them!
  • Attend meetings and conferences that your peers are attending as well as those in leadership positions.  Attend not only for the networking opportunity, but also for the ability to hear the plans, problems, solutions and other things discussed either as part of the meeting or in side conversations.  If you want to be part of the solution, you need to know what the problems are.
  • Volunteer your time and talent, even if you think you don't have the time or the talent.  Even giving a little time is noticed and appreciated.  And every volunteer opportunity gives you a chance to affirm your skills and build on them.
  • Listen.  It is sometimes a forgotten skill, but it is one of the most useful skills you can ever develop.  Listen to everyone about everything.  You will learn from it.
  • Understand the issues that are important to your peers and to your industry.  You can't have an informed opinion without that knowledge.
  • Be willing to take a stand for those things that are important to you and to your profession.  People want leaders who will take a stand, especially if the person is doing so unselfishly.
  • Be positive.  I know, It's not always possible to have a  positive outlook, but people do appreciate those who are more positive than negative. 
    Mantras you shouldn't say: I don't know; I'm not ready; I can't do it. - YogiTM Tea

    Finally, to those who are already leaders (in whatever way) - thank you!  And to those who will be leaders in the future - I look forward to cheering you on!

    Related blog posts:

    Sunday, October 03, 2010

    Books as icons

    Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate ConceptionThis summer, I began to become acquainted with the Iconic Books Project at Syracuse University and today I had the pleasure of attending part of its third international symposium on the subject.  The Project has been collecting images of books being used for their iconic value.  In this stained glass window, for example, you see a book being held. We might ask what is its presence meant to convey?

    In libraries, books are important for the knowledge that they contain, but also because they -- as a vessel (icon) -- have some importance.  Jim Watts wrote about this briefly in a recently Iconic Books Project blog post

    Here are my questions for today...Does the iconic value of the book keep us tied to this medium more than we should be?  Is our move toward other ways of transmitting information being inhibited by our connection to the book as a representation of knowledge?