Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wayback Wednesday: Looking back over 2011

I cannot let the last Wednesday in 2011 go by without looking backwards over the last 12 months. What stands out amid the growing din of the "news"?

Google
  • Google shut down its newspaper digitization program. (post) This was one of many things that Google did away with in 2011, in an effort to rid itself of those products and services that have not had the desired impact. (article)  Of course, after its long shopping spree, something was bound to be let go. (post)
  • Google's amended Book Search settlement was rejected. (post) This was, of course, a surprise to no one.
HathiTrust
  • In 2011, the Authors Guild turned its attention to the digitization work that the HathiTrust had been engaged in. (post)  The trial is scheduled to begin in November 2012. (article)
Georgia State 
  • I keep thinking that the copyright lawsuit against members of the George State University administration should be settled by now.  The judge was expected to release his decision in early fall.  I've searched for any recent news and found none. Because so many colleges and universities are using digital course reserves, this will have far reaching implications. (related blog post)
And...yes...those all (above) have to do with copyright. 
    Kenneth Crews (post), Clifford Lynch (post) and Henrik de Gyor 
    • I am always amazed by the people I get to talk to...from Henrik de Gyor (Another DAM Podcast), who is a fellow blogger, to people like Clifford Lynch and Kenny Crews. While these weren't news highlights for you, they were for me!
    Andrew Young & Martin Luther King IIIMartin King III and Ambassador Andrew Young 
    •  In April, I was invited to a meeting with Ambassador Andrew Young and Martin King III.  The photo on the right was taken on my iPhone and you can see Ambassador Young checking his iPhone!
    • Is this digitization related?  Yes.  JPMorgan Chase has been working with the King Center to digitization over one million documents.  (article)  This fall, Syracuse University's library announced plans to digitize audio and video materials in the King Center archive. (article)  The idea for SU to get involved with digitizing materials at the King Center was born at this meeting.
    • There were other digitization-related ideas that came out of this meeting, and I hope they come to fruition.
    • The lesson...you never know who is interested in digitization! The project of your dreams may be waiting for you in the next meeting that you attend.
    Amazing Digitization Programs
    • There are many amazing digitization programs going on now and they people involved aren't always who you would imagine.  For example, it's JPMorgan Chase that is working with the King Center on its digitization efforts. JPMC didn't hand the project off to someone else, instead they learned what needed to be done, how to do it, and then got to work.
    • Among the programs that I should be following more closely is the Digital Public Library of America.  This sounds like an effort that more people and organizations need to know about and get involved in. 
    • The need to handle "big data" - which can be created through digitization - is growing, and so some of the "projects" people need to get involved in are around analysis, open access, preservation, etc.  These projects may not be glamorous, but they are definitely necessary.
    • We have so much born digital content now that comes to us in a variety of way, that digitization doesn't have that "oh wow" affect on people. People are concerned about ebooks, new apps, tablet computers, smartphones, etc.  Digitization remains important when people look for something from the non-computer era, but that isn't something that people do every day.  Does this mean that we should digitize less?  No.  But it does mean that we need to continue to educate people about why it is important.
    On a Personal NoteMap of the Atlas of New Librarianship
    • I wrote more than 130 blog posts this year in Digitization 101.  While that will sounds like a lot to some people, actually my blogging has slowed down...and my focus has shifted.  I find myself drawn more to copyright concerns these days, even though the topic of digitization is important to me (and my teaching).   In 2012, look for a continued stream of posts on digitization, digital libraries, copyright, etc., but don't be surprised if you see a greater proportion of blog posts on copyright.
    • Teaching at Syracuse University has kept me quite busy.  (Sometimes too busy!)  Yet this was a prolific year for me in terms of publications.  In March, The Information and Knowledge Professional's Career Handbook written by Ulla de Stricker and I was released and has received positive reviews.  In April, The Atlas of New Librarianship, which was written and edited by David Lankes, was released.  It includes a section on "special librarians" written by Ruth Kneale and I.  And finally, Academic Entrepreneurship and Community Engagement: Scholarship in Action and the Syracuse Miracle which contains a chapter that I wrote.
    • I've done my best to enjoy every day!  I hope you've done the same.

    Tuesday, December 27, 2011

    Events: Upcoming conferences that may be of interest to you

    I have not been posting regularly about upcoming conferences that may be of interest to you.  My apologies.  Here are a few that have recently appeared in my mail.

    Born of Disruption: An Emerging New Normal for the Information Landscape
    NFAIS Annual Conference
    Feb. 26-8, 2012
    Philadelphia, PA
    http://www.nfais.org

    Future Perfect 2012: Digital Preservation by Design
    March 26-27, 2012
    Wellington, NZ
    http://futureperfect.org.nz

    DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: New Foundations: Creation - Curation - Use
    Sponsored by The Northeast Document Conservation Center
    June 13-15, 2012
    Boston, MA
    http://nedcc.org/dd2012/

    Blog Posts: Digital formats

    Carl Fleischhauer, a Digital Initiatives Project Manager in NDIIPP, has written two excellent blog posts on digital formats:
    These are not blog posts to be read quickly, so take your time and follow the links in them.

    Monday, December 26, 2011

    Blog Post: Supporting Open Source Tools for Digital Preservation and Access

    As Bill LeFurgy writes:
    Cultural heritage organizations and others from around the world have developed a host of means to facilitate work during each phase of the digital content life cycle.  Many of these tools are open source, which permits broad community sharing.  A search for “digital preservation” on SourceForge, for example, currently yields over 30 programs.
    Read the full blog post to see what the Library of Congress has contributed to this effort.

    Saturday, December 24, 2011

    May the holidays bring you joy, peace and love

    No matter which holiday you celebrate during this December, may it bring you joy, peace, love, good health, and hope for the future!

    Macy's holiday windows on 6th Ave. (NYC), 2007
    One of the Macy holiday windows from 2007.

    The words "library" and "librarian"

    Carnegie Library Building in downtown SyracuseOver the past several years, I have been involved in conversations about the respect that the words "library" and "librarian" receive.  Tell someone that you are going to a "library" and that person will instantly have an image of what the place might look like and what its services might be.  The word conjures familiar images, and often those images do not fit our current reality.  Libraries rely heavily on technology, contain cafes, might contain studios where people can work on creative endeavors, and can be quite noisy - which all fly in the face of that traditional image we all have.

    The same is true of the word "librarian".  Thousands of people around the word are professional librarians (with a masters degree), and they serve their users/patrons/customers/members/owners in a variety of different ways.  Often these people are not in physical libraries and they may not have the title of "librarian", yet they are part of the "library" profession.  Saying that they are a librarian communicates something about their skills and knowledge, as well as their values.  However, the word "librarian" can also put that person in a box that limits what people believe they can do.  Would you seek out a librarian to help you handle, organize, and analyze massive data sets?  Would you turn to a librarian for help in bringing an invention to life?  Would you put a librarian on the front lines in your operation, knowing that the person could access and analyze information quickly, and thus ensure that the front line team had the information it needed to make quick, accurate decisions?

    Ruth KnealeResearch conducted on behalf of the Special Libraries Association (SLA) during 2007-2009 showed that (and these are my interpretation of the results):
    • Many members did not hold the title of "librarian".  In fact, there were thousands of different job titles among the SLA members.
    • Although many didn't have the job title of librarian, a vocal segment of the membership did value the word and saw themselves as being librarians.
    • Those that hire "librarians" value their skills and knowledge.  If fact, it is the skill and knowledge that is most important, not that the person is a "librarian".
    • What we call ourselves - as librarians - may not be in agreement with the image that our employers have of us.  The word "librarian" may conjure the wrong image in their heads.  An image that is limited and limiting. 
    Which brings me to a question that was asked of Dave Lankes this fall:
    so which is more important, the name ‘librarian’ or what librarians could accomplish...?
    Chadwick SeagraveI must admit that this question made me stand still and think.  I have called myself a consultant, analyst, supervisor, manager, and professor...but have always considered myself at the core to be a librarian.  What if I totally stopped using that word; would their be a negative impact?  Could I use words that are more descriptive?  Could I use words that resonate better with the communities where I'll be talking about what my [library and information science] students can do for them?

    And what if people said, "gee...that kinda sounds like a librarian?"  I could acknowledge it and then point out that what we do now is so much more than the image that comes to mind.
    • We are the analysts and information organizers that people have been seeking.
    • We're the information and digital literacy trainers for the community.
    • We are the researchers and advisors for innovators and entrepreneurs that are bringing jobs back to economically stressed regions.
    • We are the people skilled in handling big data as well as ferreting out hidden details.
    Seattle Public LibraryFinally, when you go into a doctor's office, the person has his degree on the wall. The fact that the person has a degree gives you some level of confidence. This isn't just someone who was hired off the street to provide medical services. This is someone who was trained and vetted. The person was selected by the medical group because of the knowledge that person had acquired starting in medical school. In the same way, our employers need to look for people to handle their data who have the right degree for that activity. Too often organizations think that anyone can do it, but we know that is not true. They need to seek out the people who have studied that activity and who are intent on making it their life's mission (just like our doctors).

    I know...the words "library" and "librarian" are just words and how they are used or interpreted should not matter.  Sadly, however, it does matter and maybe not to you, but to a colleague that is job searching, a student that is graduating, or an organization that needs a skill and isn't sure where to find it.  In those and other situations, the words may hindering what is truly possible.

    Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    Podcast: Copyright & Commerce: Orphan Works & Fair Use in a Digital Age

    From the Beyond the Book web site:
    From the perspective of copyright, 2011 has been a year like so many others in the Digital Age. Suits and counter-suits over copyrighted text, music, film and video continue to fly in and out of court. The long-standing “Google Books” case is, for now, scheduled for trial in 2012, while the HathiTrust — a consortium of university libraries — has drawn a new lawsuit from authors for announcing plans to post online copyrighted texts that may or may not be “orphan works.”

    A panel of IP experts and commentators offered their answers and insights into these compelling issues ... at the Newseum in Washington, DC. Maria A. Pallante: The 12th Register of Copyrights and Director of the United States Copyright Office; Cecilia Kang: National technology reporter for the Washington Post; and Victor Perlman: General Counsel, American Society of Media Photographers spoke with CCC’s Chris Kenneally.

    The podcast is 77 minutes in length. (mp3)

    Wednesday, December 07, 2011

    Wayback Wednesday: Is every librarian a digital librarian?

    In September 2010, I wrote a Wayback Wednesday on digital libraries.  Now I want to write another post on the topic, but with a different focus.

    We have this concept of a digital library.  If you follow the links below, you will see that there are many definitions of what a digital library is. (more here) Very very simply put, a digital library is some manner of online resources.  There are graduate students who study digital libraries with a goal to become a digital librarian.  What the students learn how to do is to be a librarian whose tool set include the application of normal library ideas to a digital realm. Indeed, because most libraries now contain electronic/digital resources, every librarian is involved in a "digital library". 

    I interact daily with students that are interested in digital libraries and who want to take classes in the subject.  Yet, I look at courses such as "reference" and see the amount of digital content in them. Reference is not a course related to the area of digital libraries, yet many digital libraries are used in reference services.  Reference librarian are involved with contract negotiation, discussing the installation of digital resources, etc.  They need to understand a bit about how those digital resources are constructed, in order to teach how to use them.  Does that make a reference librarian a digital librarian?

    A cataloguer (or metadata librarian) may not have studied digital libraries, yet the person's work is vital for the creation of digital collections and digital libraries.  Are those workers digital librarians?

    I see students learning the latest technologies and delving into database construction, etc., but who do not take digital library specific courses. Yet when they graduate can they call themselves digital librarians?

    Or perhaps as hinted in the title of this post, the phrase "digital librarian" has outlived its usefulness.  Maybe it is time to admit that every librarian is a digital librarian.

    What do you think?

    Seattle Public LibraryPrevious blog posts:

    Monday, November 28, 2011

    The future of information access, part 2

    In an earlier post today, I wrote about the future of information access.  Here are the resources that I used for that guest lecture.

    The future of information access, part 1

    Earlier this month, Sean Branagan, who is the director of the Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship in the Newhouse School of Public Communications, asked that I guest lecture in his class on the topic of the future of information access.  The class is seeking input from a wide variety of industries on what the future may hold and its impact on communications (e.g., news).  In my 1.5 hour lecture, I spoke about the following ideas, some of which are evident in today's environment:
    • Game-like interfaces - more digital controls are taking on the look and feel of game-like interfaces.  In some cases, the impact may be subtle.  Why is this happening?  Considering the number of people that play computer games, these have been test grounds for what works and what doesn't, in terms of interface design.  A good game needs to be quickly understood by the player, which is the same thing that we want from our other digital technology.
    • Gamification – the use of game design techniques and mechanics to engage an audience - Gamification is happening everywhere, including in education (and that's not a bad thing).  If engagement is the goal, then we need to use whatever design principles that work.
    • Virtual reality - It wasn't surprising to me that only a few students had heard of Second Life, which was the darling of virtual reality.  Virtual reality has not caught on as it was hoped, due to a number of factors including hardware requirements.  It is has caught on in gaming and has influenced augmented reality.
    • Augmented reality - Overlaying a virtual environment on top of a real environment is being done in some games and smartphone apps (e.g., Yelp).  This allows for information to be displayed or overlayed on what a person is seeing, based on what the person is seeing.  This could even be information that has been digitized from a local history collection that is displayed - using a smartphone app - when the user look at a specific street using the camera on the phone.  The camera (and GPS) would know what the user was viewing and then would use the app to also display additional information about the area.
    • Personal, unique experiences – sixth-sense technology – Rather than trying to explain what I mean, watch this 9 minute video and imagine that you could interact with information in this (or other) ways. Yes, this is the ability to literally interact with information.

    • Access in your hands – mobile devices –According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 83% of all Americans own some type of cell phone. Increasingly, access to information is happening in people's hands and not on other devices.  Results of the Pew survey show that people are being impacted by the ability to have information literally at their fingertips. Pew also notes that 35% of adults  have a smartphone, and that number is growing.
    • Technology provides an expression or experience of the information – e.g., the weight-shifting and/or shape-changing mobile - A picture is worth a thousand words, so watch this video in order to understand the concept:


      Interesting, huh?! I'm not sure how this would really be implemented, but I can see some benefits to the idea.
    • Tactile (haptics) – “Haptics technologies provide force feedback to users about the physical properties and movements of virtual objects represented by a computer.” - Educause. For example, "Medical students can use haptic devices to develop a sense of what it feels like to give an epidural injection, perform laparoscopic surgical procedures, use dental or orthopedic drills, or any number of other highly tactile techniques. Such simulators give users the opportunity to develop a tactile sense of the structures, organs, and tissues of the body."
    • Technology helping to aggregate information from friends - We see this already in Facebook and Google+, for example, but I wish it worked better.  I want technology to understand really what I want to see and know, and to be able to refine that selection criteria based on what I click on or ignore.
    • Information as entertainment - Stephen Cobert and Jon Stewart have already proven that serious information can be delivered as entertainment.  And it is clear that people respond to receiving information in this way.  May of us may remember a teacher that taught history (or some other topic) in an entertaining way, and how it helped us learn.  Can we do more of this?  Should we?
    • Who you know, not what you know - Because more people are using Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. as their news sources, who you know is important.  Who you know will influence what news or information that you see.  It will likely bias what you are exposed to, unless you work to include people (friends) who have opposing viewpoints from you.  Even if you visit a news site, it is likely that what you see will be impacted by what your friends (contacts) have "liked".  This will make it harder for some news to get in front of your eyes and it could make you world smaller, not larger.
    I know that this topic raised several questions in the classroom and so I wonder what questions (or comments) that you have?  Do you see these trends?  Are there others that should be mentioned?  Leave a comment and let me know.


    Thanks to Christopher (Toph) Lawton for his help in researching this topic.

    Friday, November 25, 2011

    Interview with Kenneth Crews (audio, 17 min.)

    Here is an audio interview with Kenneth D. Crews on copyright conducted on Oct. 22, 2011 (17 minutes) for my class, Copyright for Information Professionals. (Kenny Crews gave his permission for it to be shared with a wider audience.) Crews is currently the director of the Copyright Advisory Office (CAO) at Columbia University. He has served as a faculty member for the Munich Intellectual Property Law Center since its inception in 2003.

    For over twenty years, Crews has has focused much of his research, policymaking, and teaching on copyright issues. He has been instrumental in helping library and information professionals understand the impact of the law on libraries.

    Kenny Crews hold a J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, and an M.L.S. and Ph.D. from UCLA’s School of Library and Information Science.

    Wednesday, November 23, 2011

    Wayback Wednesday: Copyright lawsuits

    In the copyright class that I teach (Copyright for Information Professionals), we have been discussing lawsuits that involved copyright.  While Google came to everyone's mind, we discussed Texaco and Legg Mason, too.

    This blog has always contained posts about copyright, including a number on the Google Book Project. I've mentioned some of the other "famous" lawsuits in passing.  Allow me now to provide more information about those that seem to come to my mind whenever I think of copyright and the courts. The links below lead to a number of sites (noted in parentheses).
    This list contains those that I find myself mentioning and it is not exhaustive. (more here

    As I told my students, as a corporate librarian, the Texaco case got me more interested in copyright.  That case affected what I did (and didn't do).  It had a definite impact and would have had a bigger impact if it had gone to the Supreme Court.  I also point to that case as an example of how long a court case can take until it is truly finished.  That one lasted 10 years.

    What copyright litigation has caught your eye and made you delve deeper into the law?  Leave a comment and tell me.  I and my students would be interested to know!

    Tuesday, November 08, 2011

    Podcasts on developing a professional portfolio

    This is quite off-topic for this blog. These are podcasts on professional portfolios that I developed for my library and information science students.  I'm placing them here so that others can access them easily. Each is under 5 minutes in length.

    About Portfolios #1: who needs one? (mp3)

    About Portfolios #2: what goes into a portfolio? (mp3)

    About Portfolios #3: where can you house your portfolio? (mp3)

    About Portfolios #4: when can you use your portfolio? (mp3)

    About Portfolios #5: final words of wisdom (mp3)

    Friday, November 04, 2011

    NYLA11: QR codes in libraries

    Meredith Farkas did a presentation at the New York Library Association Annual Conference on QR codes. As a person who has been incorporating QR codes in student assignments, I was pleased to see someone promoting QR codes to the library community. Here is her presentation:

    In order to demonstrate a unique QR code application, Meredith showed this video:



    I received a couple of questions via Twitter during the session from people who have not seen QR codes catching on in their community. I believe that QR codes need a champion as well as training. In other words, if you believe that they are useful, then you need to use them and teach others about them.  You should point out where they are appearing in advertisements and marketing material, for example, so that people know that they are all around us. 

    Others have done presentation on QR codes including these by Renata Curty:
    And this one from Joe Murphy and David Lee King:

    I've also written about QR codes, including:
    If you need more on QR codes, search Slideshare for additional presentations on the topic.

    NYLA11: Preliminary Recommendations for the 2020 Vision and Plan for Library Service in New York State

    Today at the New York Library Association (NYLA) Annual Conference, people gave comments on the draft report entitled Creating the Future: A 2020 Vision and Plan for Library Service in New York State.  The comments were received, without any discussion, by Regent Roger Tillis (Chair of the NYS Board of Regents Cultural Education Committee) and Deputy Commissioner of Education Jeffrey Cannell as well as two members of the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries (John Hammond and Jerry Nichols).  Besides the received verbal comments, everyone was encouraged to provide comments in writing.  In addition, comments may be submitted by members of the public, library staff, library students, and others via email to NYSLRegComments@mail.nysed.gov by November 15, 2011. After that, members of the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries will revise the 2020 Vision based on the input reserved.  The goal is to give the completed document to the Regents in the spring (April/May) and ask them to act on the recommendations.  Some of the recommendations may require legislative action.

    For additional information on this document and process, go to this web site.

    Monday, October 24, 2011

    Thank you, SLA Upstate NY Chapter!

    SLA Upstate NY Chapter Merit AwardOn October 15, the Upstate New York Chapter of the Special Libraries Association honored me with this Chapter Merit Award.  Me?  Wow!  Thank you to Elaine Lasda Bergman for her kind words at the event and for giving me this on behalf of the Chapter.

    I joined SLA in 1990 and went to my first SLA conference in 1992.  According to my records, I began volunteering at the Chapter level in 1995 and been active ever since somewhere in the Association.  Over the years, those in SLA have been important to me  - even helping me find consulting clients - and, in return, I have given of my time to the Association (where we all met).

    Thank you to those who were active in the Chapter in the early 1990s!  Some of you inspired many of us to get involved and stay involved.  And thanks to those elsewhere in the Association who were informal mentors over the years, and who also pushed and pulled me into various activities and committees.  A piece of this award belongs to all of you!

    Saturday, October 22, 2011

    Dear digitization company, are you meeting the needs of potential clients?

    Earlier this week, I spoke with someone who has overseen a rather large digitization program this year, which digitized a variety of materials.  The person said that they had not planned on building their own digitization facility for this program, but ended up having to.  They had thought that they would be able to find a company that could handle all of the work, including digitizing a variety of material types.  Unfortunately, companies that convert materials specialize in specific types of materials.  In addition, companies that do conversion may not create metadata or load items into the asset management software. However, that isn't what all organizations want.  Some organizations want to work with a company that can do it all and do it well. 

    If you are a digitization vendor and someone came to you to do it all, could you?  Would you?  Or would you let a prime opportunity (and income) walk away? 

    Thursday, October 13, 2011

    For New Yorkers: Notes from the Oct. 13 Regents Advisory Council Meeting

    The Regents Adivsory Council on Libraries met via conference call on October 13.  Due to our schedules, the meeting was delayed from its original September date. Below are my informal notes from the call.  (These are not official minutes.)

    Gerald Nichols was elected chair of the Council for the next year and John Hammond was elected vice-chair.

    2020 Vision: John Hammond gave a report from the 2020 Vision Task Force.  A first draft has been disseminated through several discussion lists.  It will also be sent directly to the Regents.  A second draft will be prepared to include feedback on the first draft.

    There will be a session at NYLA about the 2020 vision and look forward to hearing comments that occur then.  Deputy Commissioner Jeffrey Cannell and Regent Roger Tilles plan to be at the event. There was much discussion about how to ensure that the Council receives a lot of feedback from those that attend the NYLA session.

    The goal is to give a final report to the Regents in April.

    2012 Meeting Schedule: The Council will have a conference call on January 12 to review the next draft of the 2010 Vision.  The Council will also meet on March 13 by phone.  [The final meeting for 2011 will be held in December in NYC.]

    Update on the Research Library: The Research Library has now been open for a full year on Saturdays.  Anecdotal data shows that people are traveling to use the State Library on Saturdays and researchers (including graduate students) are using the expanded hours.  The Library is doing a survey of researchers in order to gather more input.  Loretta Ebert noted that the Dutch collections are receiving increased use.

    There is a goal to open a public computing center on the 7th floor of the State Library, part of the BTOP grant to create computing centers across New York State. Ebert mentioned a desire to increase collaboration and alliances in this area.  More information on the BTOP grants is available on the Library Development web page.

    There are discussions about how to allow collaborative licenses across entities.  This is something that came up during the 2020 Vision process and has been mentioned in other context.

    Division of Library Development:  Carol Desch reported.  There are two BTOP grants in NYS - one for Upstate NY (over $9 million) and one for NYC.  All of the 30 computing centers are up, except for the one at the State Library.  Video conferencing is part of the hardware that is being installed in these centers.

    Thanks to NYLA for helping to get the law amended about construction grants in NYS. The new law sunsets after three years, so it will be important see the impact of this change and advocate for its extension, if the impact is positive. 

    LSTA funding was cut at the federal level for 2011-2012.  Money coming to NYS from LSTA is based on population and the State's population has been decreasing. Carol gave more details about the impact of this, which I couldn't type fast enough to capture. LSTA funding is used for some work/staff at the State Library, NOVELny and grants to libraries/library systems.

    Jerry Nichols asked about the new 2% tax cap:  How will this impact libraries?  The law will sunset in eight years, but what will happen to libraries before then? What data is the State Library collecting and will we be able to understand the impact of the tax cap from that data?  (Yes)

    Relevant Meetings at NYLA Annual Conference in Saratoga Springs, NY:  Based on the conference call today, here are relevant sessions at the upcoming NYLA conference:
    • Thursday, Nov. 3, 9:15 a.m. - Comments from the NYS Education Commissioner
    • Friday, Nov. 4, 8:00 a.m. - Bond Basics for Financing Public Library Capital Projects 
    • Friday, Nov. 4, 3:45 p.m. - 2020 Vision for Library Services in NYS: the Discussion Continues
    • Saturday, Nov. 5, 8:00 a.m. - Declare Financial Independence: Become a Library District!
    • Saturday, Nov. 5, 9:30 a.m. - School Library Initiatives from NYSED
    • Saturday, Nov. 5, 9:30 a.m. - Tax Cap Impact on Libraries
    • Saturday, Nov. 5, 11:00 a.m. - Technology Policy and Planning from USNY

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011

    Information Media and Equipment (AIME) v. University of California at Los Angeles

    This is not a lawsuit that I was familiar, so thanks to Peter Murray for bringing it to my attention via Google+.

    Quoting the Chronicle of Higher Education:
    Those plaintiffs [AIME and Ambrose Video Publishing Inc.] claimed that UCLA had violated copyright and breached its contract by copying DVD’s of Shakespeare plays acquired from Ambrose and streaming them online for faculty and students to use in courses.
    The judge dismissed the lawsuit and provided "a little bit of good news, hardly definitive, for the fair use claim that was being made by UCLA."  (Quoting Peter Smith

    Here is the even better news, according to The Chronicle:
    UCLA decision increases the chance that the HathiTrust digital-library consortium will prevail in its effort to fight off a separate copyright lawsuit brought by the Authors Guild over the digitization of books from university libraries.
    That insight was given by James Grimmelmann, an associate professor at New York Law School.  Of course, it is up to the court to decide about the Authors Guild lawsuit, but we could use some good news in terms of copyright and digitization.

    Monday, October 03, 2011

    What we learned from 5 million books (video)

    The research in this 14 minute TED video was made possible by Google's book digitization efforts. The two researchers present this serious information in a fun way and demonstrate that reading isn't the only thing these digitized books are good for.

    Monday, September 26, 2011

    Washington Declaration on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest

    Quoting...
    The Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest, August 25-27, 2011, convened over 180 experts from 32 countries and six continents to help re-articulate the public interest dimension in intellectual property law and policy. This document records the conclusions from the Congress and is now open for endorsements and comments.
    I just heard about this and so do not know what the Global Congress intends to do with it. Are they looking to affect law? If you have any insight, please leave a comment.

    Friday, September 23, 2011

    Clifford Lynch, Scholarly Works, Big Data and Libraries

    Clifford Lynch speaking at SUClifford Lynch, executive director of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), spoke at Syracuse University yesterday.  Lynch's talk was entitled "The Changing Landscape of Scholarship: Implications for Libraries and Scholarly Communication".  He believes that you must look at the future of scholarly work first, then look at how that work will affect libraries.

    A great deal of scholarly practice is becoming data and computationally intensive, and across all disciplines.  Funding agencies are increasingly requiring that data produced as part of a grant be stored, maintained, and often shared (even before the research is completed). This has led to new areas of study, including data curation, eScience and data science, as well as new jobs, etc.  However, it is not clear what the real need for data curation experts is.  Nor clear where they will or should reside. Where is an important question since we don't have a national effort in the U.S. to store research data.

    Lynch did make an important distinction about two types of research data.  First, there is data that can be easily recreated.  Do we need to store this data in perpetuity?  Perhaps not.  Then there is observational data which can be difficult, if not impoosible, to recreate.  This data does need to be stored and maintained.

    He described two used of research data.  The first is to support the original research as well natural extensions of thar research. The other use of data is as proxy data and you cannot predict those uses.  For example, data about high tides could be used by the shipping industry, but also could be used by environmentalists.  Since you can't predict its use, the whereabouts of data sets needs to be known and access available.

    Lynch spent a long time talking about access.  When talking about big data, we all assume data that is digital, however, Lynch talked about the tremendous about of data - including specimens - that is not yet digital and that is very fragile.  Who is going to create the digital surrogates?  Where will the funding come from?

    Universities sit on a tremendous amount of data that might be "hidden" in various departments.  The library might not even know where it all is.  Lynch believes that at some point various university offices will get involved in how data is stored, maintained and shared including the office of risk management and those that audit varous processes. 

    Near the end of the question and answer period, Clifford Lynch made the point that people outside of our research institutions cannot easily get to scholarly material anymore.  (He used the phrase "scholarly material" in a broad sense, including data, databases, etc.)  For me, that raised the question of how libraries will make scholarly information available to people are not part of their user-base.

    Lynch mentioned that the UK had been a poster child for creating systems for storing data, but that funding shifts had harmed those systems.  He mentioned both  AHDS and JISC.  In the U.S., there isn't a natural focal point in order to build systems similar to the UK.

    Lynch also touched upon:
    • The unauthorized sharing of scholarly information.
    • Ethical constraints on research data.
    • "quantitative measurements of illusive things" - journal impact factors and other bibliometrics. 
    • Managing nontraditional "publications"
    • Open access, self publishing,and specialized web site which have replaced specialized encyclopedias.
    • "Report from theResearch Data Workforce Summit
    Lynch would like to see people studying the "science of data" with theoretical underpinnings. He believes that archival practices are not enough in order to understand and handle the problems with scholarly data.  He does believe that libraries have the processes and mission that will lead them to attack the problem of data sharing and data curation.

    Several of my students attended Lynch's talk.  Two mentioned being inspired by it and now being interested in knowing more about eScience.  They saw a vision of an optimistic future. One student heard in Lynch an air of pessimism.  Lynch, however, would say that he is neither an optimist nor a pessimist, but just a realist.

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011

    ARL Resource Packet On Orphan Works: Legal and Policy Issues for Research Libraries

    Prudence Adler (ARL), Jonathan Band (policybandwidth), and Brandon Butler (ARL) have written a 17 page report entitled "Resource Packet On Orphan Works: Legal and Policy Issues for Research Libraries" which provides background on orphan works and their associated legal and policy issues, the University of Michigan’s Orphan Works Project, and other material that will allow people to understand the issues faced by Authors Guild v. HathiTrust et al. Quoting the report:

    Recently, the University of Michigan announced the initiation of the Orphan Works Project. The focus of the Project is on US digitized books held by HathiTrust, a partnership of major research institutions and libraries working to ensure that the cultural record is preserved and accessible long into the future.

    HathiTrust provides a variety of secure long-term preservation and, in some cases, access services to the nearly 10 million scans that resulted from Google Book Search and other digitization efforts by research libraries. Digitizing these works has made identifying and locating high quality sources of information—both copyrighted and public domain works—far easier, thereby significantly increasing the value of library collections in support of research, teaching, and learning.

    On September 12, 2011, the Authors Guild, together with authors’ associations from Australia and Quebec and eight individual authors, filed suit against HathiTrust and five universities claiming that the making, storing, and providing access to digital scans of copyrighted works is illegal, objecting particularly to the Orphan Works Project.

    One of the things I really like about this report is that it goes through the four factors of Fair Use for the materials being digitized by HathiTrust. The amount of detail is excellent, which makes it a wonderful example. (Looks like something I will need to assign as a reading for my copyright class.)

    Wednesday, September 07, 2011

    Article: New Web Site Unabashedly Trades Free Digital Copies of Pirated Textbooks

    The Sept. 2, 2011 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education (p. A17) contains this article on textbook piracy. According the author, the created of this new web site - LibraryPirate - hopes "that a groundswell of textbook piracy would force publishers to bring down the prices of e-textbooks, which he sees as unfairly high."  What I find amazing is that LibraryPirate is being hosted in the Ukraine where it reportedly does not violate copyright law. 

    The good news about worldwide access is that it is worldwide (universal access).  The bad news is that disparities in the law can be exploited.

    The article is in the print edition of The Chronicle but does not appear on the free section of its web site.

    Thursday, September 01, 2011

    Tasini v. New York Times: With the Freelance Settlement Rejected, What's Next?

    The case of Tasini v. New York Times, which deals with the copyrights of freelance writers, was first settled in 1997.  Because of various appeals and rulings, the settlement was not final and:
    On August 17, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals sent the parties in the long-running class action suit known shorthand as Freelance back to the drawing board, rejecting an $18 million settlement struck in 2005.
    This article talked about the current status and what it means for:
    • For Publishers & Database Operators
    • For the Plaintiffs
    • For Libraries and the Public
    • For the Google Settlement 
    If you have article databases that you or license, are a freelance author yourself, or are just interested in how this could impact Google, then take time to read this article.

    It will be interesting to note what happens next...and when....

    Wednesday, August 31, 2011

    Copyright and Art Issues

    Christine L. Sundt maintains a web site titled "Copyright & Art Issues" which she started during the days of the Conference on Fair Use (CONFU) (1996). This spring Sundt reported that the site has been updated, with links checked and more content added...and she is continuing to update it.  Sundt reported that she is interested in comments and suggestions to help improve the site.

    Christine Sundt is the former Visual Resources Curator at the University of Oregon (1985-2005) and a former member of the board for the College Art Association (2003-2007).  

    The Copyright & Art Issues web site can be found at two slightly different URLs:

    Tuesday, August 30, 2011

    Report: Puzzling over digital preservation – Identifying traditional and new skills needed for digital preservation

    This paper, written by Thomas Bähr, Michelle Lindlar and Sven Vlaeminckas was recently presented at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress. The 14-page report includes pointers to additional useful resources.  Abstract:
    Digital preservation is a task requiring library and information science as well as information technology skills. It simultaneously utilizes traditional library skills and requires knowledge from information technology that goes far beyond the traditional roles of library and archive staff. But where does one start when implementing a digital preservation program? What knowledge is needed? What tasks can be covered by existing personnel? Where can one acquire expert knowledge needed? What information resources exist? Can a scalable approach be implemented to gain necessary skills? The paper is based upon a gap analysis conducted by the Leibniz Library Network for Research Information “Goportis”. It describes necessary know-how identified, ranging from digital curation skills needed to evaluate digital data carriers to specialist digital preservation knowledge of file formats needed to describe information with the goal of sustaining accessiblilty over long-term. It shows how central tasks of digital preservation like process description and preservation planning require expert knowledge of traditional librarian and information technology skills as well as new knowledge which is described as digital preservation skills.

    Friday, August 26, 2011

    Selecting materials to digitize

    A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by Jay Park who lives and works in New Zealand.  Jay was interested in talking about how libraries select materials for digitization and wanted to talk by phone. One Aug. 24 we both got on Skype for our conversation and found that his Internet connection was stable that day. I offered to record my response to his question and then give him a link to the recording. Since it may be of interest to others, I'm placing it here also. It is 20 minutes in length and done without any notes, which makes it very "off the cuff" and informal.




    If you want to download the audio, you can do so here

    Thursday, August 25, 2011

    Jill's alternate to the 2015 Beloit College Mindset List

    iSchool new student receptionBeloit College has released it 2015 Mindset List ® and, as I did last year, I'm going to write my own take on the mindset of this year's incoming college freshman class.

    Incoming college/university freshmen were born in 1993.  Here are some other things - and odd pieces of trivia -  that you need to know about them:  (My apologies for the list being a bit U.S.-centric.)

    • Mobile technology - in a variety of forms - has always been a part of their lives. (It is interesting to note that the iPod and iTunes store were introduced in 2001 and 2003 respectively.)
    • Peer-to-peer file sharing - which began in 1999 - is normal for them, no matter if it is done legally or illegally.
    • The Iraq War (or Second Gulf War) is the only war that they know.  (It began in 2003.) The first Gulf War was before they were born (1990-1991). 
    • They have lived through two economic recessions (2001-2002 and 2008-present).
    • They have always known of people that were out of work because their employers downsized, outsourced, or went out of business.
    • They have watched their older friends have problems finding full-time work and may already be anxious about their own job prospects.
    • Financial security may be a foreign concept to many of them.
    • The increased security protocols that occurred after Sept. 11, 2001 are not abnormal to them.
    • They have grown up using debit cards and online banking, rather than relying on checks and in-person banking like their parents and grandparents.
    • Business casual is standard work attire for them.  The idea of suit-up Friday (which is an informal event in some communities) is cool because that level of dress up is a novelty.
    • Rap and hip hop music are mainstream forms of expression in their world.
    • Rapper Tupac Shakur, who has had a lasting impact on the music world, died before they knew who he was (1971-1996). 
    • They have grown up listening to Eminem (born in 1972) and may consider him an "old guy".
    • Politicians recently have been talking about "Reagan Republicans" and mentioning other things about the Reagan presidency.  President Ronald Reagan was in office from 1981–1989, before our incoming freshmen were born.
    • Need to give cardiac resuscitation? Doctors have recommended doing the compressions to be beat of "Staying Alive".  That song was released 16 years before they were born and is music associated with some funky era their parents went through.
    • The idea of a global economy is normal for them and has been reinforced by such things as:
      • The formation of a single market for the European Union (1993).
      • The enforcement of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) (1994). 
    • They don't remember Hong Kong as being a separate country from China.  (Britain turn it over to China in 1997.)
    • They never knew Czechoslovakia as a country.  (It dissolved in 1993.)
    • OJ Simpson, to our freshmen, has always been someone known for his legal problems and not for his abilities as a football player or for his airport sprints in a Hertz TV ad.
    There's lots that I could say about this list and what it means for the worldview of our freshmen, but I'll comment only on the "employment".  I grew up when it was much easier for people to find a job.  Even people that were average workers could find meaningful employment.  That is no longer true.  Our freshmen know bright people that are out of work.  Some may be surrounded by people that are working several part-time jobs and see that type of employment to be more normal than working one job full-time.  And when they graduate from college, those things will likely impact how they look for a job and perhaps even what type of work they look for.  It will also impact them for the rest of their lives in the same way those that lived through the Great Depression were impacted by it.

    If you have comments on this list (or on Beloit's), I would enjoy hearing them.  Please leave a comment!

    Wednesday, August 24, 2011

    Digital preservation policies: guidance for archives

    This is old news....

    The National Archives in the UK have developed guidance on the need for a digital preservation policy. The document discusses the main success criteria for a digital preservation policy and its relation to other policy areas.

    Friday, August 19, 2011

    Report: Funding for Sustainability: How Funders’ Practices Influence the Future of Digital Resources

    This 60-page report was published in June 2011 by JISC.  Reading the executive summary, these words resonated with me:
    Content developed through the course of a grant may end up on a platform that is not well maintained or developed over time, where few are likely to find and use it. In a worst case scenario, a project team disbands and the resource languishes, available to those who may know where to find it in the short term, but at risk in the long term.
    The report outlines problems as well as ways that funders could help the situation. Of course, we all must admit first that we have a problem and I hope this report will help us to do so.

    Lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer...

    As Nat King Cole sang in the early 1960s:
    Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
    Those days of soda and pretzels and beer
    Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
    Dust off the sun and moon and sing a song of cheer
    I just realized that I hadn't added to this blog in a week.  And while my blogging has become more sparse at times, I had gotten on a good "roll" recently...but then summer called to me (as well as preparations for the fall semester) and blogging took a back seat.

    One of the joys of summer is "doing things"...in other words, taking advantage of what we can do in real life.  On Tuesday, I went to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.  While the Hall of Fame has online exhibits, there is nothing like seeing the stuff live and experiencing everyone's reaction to it.  (And nothing like a  Yankee fan dad making his Red Sox fan son stand next to Yankee memorabilia to have his picture taken!)  A good reminder that getting away from the virtual/digital is always a good thing to do.

    And in case you need a "pick-me-up" and a reminder that this is summer in the northern hemisphere, listen to this.



    P.S. - I'll try to get another quick blog post out this afternoon, so you'll have something substantial before the weekend.

    Friday, August 12, 2011

    Blog post: A is for Archives: the ABCs of preserving digital information

    Yesterday Martha Anderson began "a series that will explore the topic of digital preservation in an alphabetical way. Each post will use a word or phrase as a device to explore a concept and point to a what [she hopes] is a useful resource for understanding a specific aspect of the practice of digital preservation." I'm looking forward to reading this series and especially seeing how she incorporates letters like "x"! If this series interests you, you can subscribe to that blog (look at the top of the page).

    Event: Mysteries of Magnetic Tape Revealed!, Oct. 19-21, 2011

    I bet there are institutions that need this unique workshop, so feel free to pass along the word on this one.

    Mysteries of Magnetic Tape Revealed!

    Plan now to attend this practical and informative workshop on preserving and managing audio-video tape, hosted by the Midwest Archives Conference to be held Oct. 19-21, 2011, at the Sioux City Hotel (formerly the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center) in Sioux City, IA.

    To register, go to http://www.midwestarchives.org and choose "Registration."

    Analog audio- and videotape formats dominated the recording of sound and moving images for the better part of the late 20th century, stretching back as far as the 1950s. Whether acquired through in-house creation or external donation, these machine-readable formats have become increasingly common denizens of archival holdings all over the world. And their growing numbers, the recent alarms regarding their uncertain physical viability and their dependence on largely obsolete technology serve only to further perplex the collections manager who is more comfortable with paper and born-digital records.

    This symposium gathers archivists and practitioners to discuss the basics of magnetic audio and video media. Topics such as physical characteristics, preservation issues, format obsolescence, collections management, description, use and options for reformatting represent some of the content of this valuable exploration of the mysterious world of analog magnetic media. The symposium has been approved for ACA certification credit.

    The symposium, sponsored by the Midwest Archives Conference, will be held Oct. 19-21, 2011, at the Sioux City Hotel (formerly the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center) in Sioux City, IA. Join us for the opening reception, 5-7 p.m. , Wed., Oct. 19, at the newly-opened Sioux City Public Museum across the street from the hotel.

    For more information, go to http://www.midwestarchives.org.

    About the speakers: 

    George Blood of George Blood Audio and Video (formerly Safe Sound Archive) in Philadelphia is an expert in preserving and transferring magnetic recordings, both audio and video. He will discuss the technical aspects of magnetic media and their care, the digitization process, and working with vendors.

    Elizabeth Clemens is the audiovisual archivist at Wayne State University in Detroit. She will share her experiences working with magnetic media from an archivist's perspective, covering topics such as preservation, selection, description and access.

    Thursday, August 11, 2011

    blog post: When I Go Away: Getting Your Digital Affairs in Order

    Wondering how to get your digital life in order for your heirs? Mike Ashenfelder provides details on the steps you will need to take. The process is not easy. (Definitely not as easy as creating your last will and testament.) As Ashenfelder notes:
    Planning is tedious but crucial and your heirs will appreciate your considerate forethought.

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011

    Report: The Bookends Scenarios - Alternative futures for the Public Library Network in NSW in 2030

    I am not sure where I ran across this report, but it seems like something others might be interested in.

    This 64-page report is the output of a strategic planning project.  It "provides a framework for the NSW public library network to monitor trends and developments in society that will inevitably have an impact on our future services and customers."

    Tuesday, August 09, 2011

    Save My Memories: Digital Photo Storage

    Five members of the International Imaging Industry Association have created this educational web site geared toward end users.  The site is divided into five categories:
    • Learn
    • Prepare
    • Protect
    • Recover
    • Resources
    While you may not have use for this site, you may not of a user (perhaps a friend or family member) who would benefit from seeing it.  Go ahead...pass it along!

    Universal Photographic Digital Imagins Guidelines, v. 4.0

    These guidelines (four pages) are not specifically for a digitization program, but they still may be useful.  At least worth taking a look at.

    Article: What Big Media Can Learn From the New York Public Library

    If you haven't read or skimmed this article - published in June 2011 - then you should.  Here is a teaser:
    The library clearly has reevaluated its role within the Internet information ecosystem and found a set of new identities. Let's start from here: One, the New York Public Library is a social network with three million active users and two, the New York Public Library is a media outfit.

    Friday, August 05, 2011

    Event: Digital Preservation Training Programme (DPTP), London (UK), Nov. 14-16

    I've received several inquiries recently about digitization-related workshops and what's available.  I generally post anything I receive that is a multiple day event. If you are looking for something shorter, check with your state/province library or regional library consortium to see if they know of an event you can attend (perhaps a webinar).

    We invite you to book your place on the next Digital Preservation Training Programme (DPTP) in London, 14th - 16th November 2011. Please book now to guarantee your place: http://bit.ly/DPTP_NOV2011.

    The DPTP is a modular training programme, built around themed sessions that have been developed to assist you in designing and implementing an approach to preservation that will work for your institution. Through a wide range of modules, the DPTP examines the need for policies, planning, strategies, standards and procedures in digital preservation, and teaches some of the most up-to-date methods, tools and concepts in the area. It covers these topics via a mixture of lectures, discussions, practical tasks and exercises, and a class project. (The course does not, however, offer hands-on training with any of these tools, and is not an 'enabling' course).

    The course is aimed at multiple levels of attendee: people from technical and archival professions come together, to learn the same standards and methods for digital preservation. The overall aim of the course is critical thinking, assessing ways of acting and planning at an organisational level.

    Bookings for the DPTP should be made via the ULCC online store. Please note that currently only payment by credit/debit card is fully automated online, and this would be our preferred method of payment. However, if you require to be sent an invoice, please see the 'more info' tab on the DPTP booking page for further information.

    The training is £650 + VAT

    Please see the links below for further information:

    DPTP online: www.dptp.org

    Tuesday, August 02, 2011

    Low cost digitization

    Sometimes I start a blog post and then never finish it. This is one of those. This announcement arrived in March and it has been sitting patiently waiting to be reformatted and published.

    The project web site says:
    The online finding aid serves the primary point of entry to the online material. This provides users with the same context, provenance, and order as encountered by a researcher perusing the analog materials in the reading room. Additionally, this workflow provides quick and efficient online access to content, at a remarkably low cost. Out cost of digitization throughout the project (including administration and the usability study) was less than $1.87 a page. Creation of minimal item-level metadata is automated through the software, saving time and money.
    The actual scanning was completed students under the supervision of a staff member.

    More information about the project and processes can be found on its wiki page.

    Completed UA Libraries Grant Project Provides Model for Low-Cost Digitization of Cultural Heritage Materials

    The University of Alabama Libraries has completed a grant project which demonstrates a model of low-cost digitization and web delivery of manuscript materials.  Funded by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the project digitized a large and nationally important manuscript collection related to the emancipation of slaves:  the Septimus D. Cabaniss Papers.  This digitization grant (NAR10-RD-10033-10) extended  for 14 months (ended February 2011), and has provided online access to 46,663 images for less than $1.50 per page: http://acumen.lib.ua.edu/u0003_0000252.

    The model is designed to enable institutions to mass-digitize manuscript collections at a minimal cost, leveraging the extensive series descriptions already available in the collection finding aid to provide search and retrieval.  Digitized content for the collection is linked from the finding aid, providing online access to 31.8 linear feet of valuable archival material that otherwise would never be web-available.  We have developed software and workflows to support the process and web delivery of material regardless of the current method of finding aid access.  More information is available on the grant website:
    http://www.lib.ua.edu/libraries/hoole/cabaniss .

    The Septimus D. Cabaniss Collection (1815-1889) was selected as exemplary of the legal difficulties encountered in efforts to emancipate slaves in the Deep South. Cabaniss was a prominent southern attorney who served as executor for the estate of the wealthy Samuel Townsend, who sought to manumit and leave property to a selection of his slaves, many of whom were his children.  Samuel Townsend’s open admission to fathering slave children and his willingness to take responsibility for their care, combined with the letters from the former slaves themselves, dated before and after the Civil War, will inform social and racial historians. Legal scholars will be enlightened by Cabaniss' detailing of the sophisticated legal mechanism of using a trust to free slaves. Valuable collections such as this have a promise of open access via the web when the cost of digitization is lowered by avoiding item-level description.

    Usability testing was included in the grant project, and preliminary results indicate that this method of web delivery is as learnable for novices as access to the digitized materials via item-level descriptions. In addition, provision of web delivery of manuscript content via the finding aid provides the much-needed context preferred by experienced researchers.