Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Blog post: 7 of the Coolest Natural Sounds (digitized!)

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a blog post with links to the  7 of the Coolest Natural Sounds. This a blog post celebrates the completion of their digitization program and gives us an aural adventure.  The descriptions will spark your interest, including "Most likely to be mistaken for aliens arriving."  By the way, there are all different lengths, with one being long enough to provide a natural audio backdrop during a meeting.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Jill's 2013 Travel and Presentation Schedule

Cafe au lait and Beignets at Cafe du Monde2013 is already looking like a busy one!  Will our paths cross?
  • January 22-25, ALISE, Seattle, WA - This is my first ALISE, so if you're going to be there, please let me know.
  • February 5-6, SLA Board of Directors Meetings, Dallas, TX - This is prior to the SLA Leadership Summit and includes an open Board of Directors meeting on Wednesday morning. (Open means that we hope SLA members will attend!)
  • March 20-22, Kentucky Library Association Joint Spring Conference, Lucas, KY - I will be giving the closing keynote on Friday morning ("Reading and Writing in the Age of Ebooks").
  • April 8-10, Computers in Libraries Annual Conference, Washington, DC - I will be giving a presentation on Monday (with two others) on" Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)".  On Tuesday (8 a.m.), I will co-lead an unconference session on "Enabling Innovation."
  • June 9-11, SLA Annual Conference, San Diego, CA - I will be giving a presentation on Tuesday entitled "Make the Most of a Difficult Situation: Solutions to Get You Through," which will include a lively discussion. 
  • Sept. 25-28, New York Library Association Annual Conference, Niagara Fall, NY - I have no memory of this conference ever being held in September, so this should be quite interesting, especially in terms of getting LIS students to attend.  (This is very early in the semester and leaves little time to rallying the students to go.)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Project Web Site for a Digitization Internship

When Leo Stezano worked on his internship, he developed a web site to explain to others what he was doing.  Often the culmination of an internship experience is a paper or presentation.  It's nice to see someone create a piece like this

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Open Source Repository Management: Hydra

I was talking to a colleague Monday, who mentioned Hydra. As the site says:
Hydra is not just a repository software solution.  Rather, we see it as having three complementary components:
  • there is a vibrant, highly active community supporting the work of the project which shares an  underlying philosophy behind all that it does
  • there are design (and other) principles involved in constructing a successful Hydra “head” for use with compatible digital objects, and of course,
  • there are the software components, the Ruby gems, that the Hydra community has constructed which are combined together to provide a local installation
Hydra lists 12 partners on its web site, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Penn State and Stanford.  From his report, Hydra is easier than DSpace, etc.  He said that modules from Hydra are easy for another institution to implement.

If you've used Hydra, what do you think of it?  If you haven't used it, is it something you'd consider testing out?  Why? Why not?

Addendum (1/11/2013): I was asked on Twitter if Hydra is being used for institutional repositories and the answer is "yes".  It is also being used for images libraries, media collections and more.  See this page for more info.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Canada: Balanced Copyright (Copyright Modernization Act)

In my holiday reading was one item that noted that Canada had modernized its copyright law in 2012.  Those familiar with copyright law in Canada will know that it needed to be brought up to date, so congratulations to them for doing so!

The Canadian government has created a very informative web site about the changes in its copyright law.  For those who are affected by this law, this is a good place for you to understand it. For those of you unaffected by it, you may want to look at this site just to see what a wonderful job they've done with it!  Perhaps the U.S. Copyright Office should use this as one of its models as it looks to revamp its web site.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Legal Issues in Mass Digitization: A Preliminary Analysis and Discussion Document (2011)

Copyright Symbols
In the fiscal 2013 U.S. Copyright Office budget request, the Office states that (emphasis added):
It will work with Congress on a number of major studies and policy developments, including orphan works, revisions of certain exceptions to copyright (including for libraries), mass digitization policy, and final work on small claims solutions for copyright owners (with a major study due to Congress in October 2013).
In 2011, the U.S. Copyright Office published "Legal Issues in Mass Digitization: A Preliminary Analysis and
Discussion Document" (97 pages). That document and other background material are available at  While this may not be information that you need, I can tell you that the appendices in the preliminary discussion document caught my attention.  I can see using a couple of them in my upcoming class.

2011 Study: Federal Copyright Protection for Pre-1972 Sound Recordings

Copyright SymbolsFrom what I can tell, this study - completed in December 2011 - has not resulted in any proposed federal legislation, likely due to 2012 being an election year and then our Congress being focused on the country's finances.  Still, I think this is a good site to bookmark because it compiles useful information in one spot, including a survey of U.S. state criminal laws that impact sound recordings. Let's hope that the U.S. Congress address this, and other copyright issues, in 2013.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Let digitization experts be like weeds

Zen GardenI have been reading the book Weeds: In Defense of Nature's Most Unloved Plants, in which Richard Mabey extols these plants that we call "weeds" and talks at length about how they have spread themselves around the earth.  For those of you with pristine lawns, I now know that you should fear the mail carrier who walks from one lawn to another, carrying seeds on the soles of his shoes from who-knows-where!

Weeds - those plants that we don't want in our yards - have the uncanny ability to mold themselves to the environment so they will flourish.  Weeds adapt constantly.  It is as if they raise their heads, look around, and then decide what form they should take in order to live in their new environment.  In some cases, they seem to move toward a specific environment that is perfect for them.

In a couple of weeks, I'll begin teaching "Creating, Managing and Preserving Digital Assets" as I do each spring.  This year, I'm teaching it in the classroom, rather than online.  In this face-to-face version, I'm going to incorporate student-led discussions that are fueled with content from blog posts and podcasts.  I'm also looking forward to challenging our ideas of what digitization is and where it well as how we can help.

Along the way to Cannery RowAlthough digitization programs have multiplied over the years, there are still cultural heritage institutions that have not gotten involved.  We do to get more organizations involved, often through one-off projects.  For example, here in Central New York, library and information science (LIS) interns are working with the Central NY Library Resources Council to digitize materials from several collections.  This has been a win-win situation for the cultural heritage institutions and for the graduate students.

Even though there are institution uninvolved in formal digitization programs, digitization has been adopted by many organizations and people, likely without them realizing it.  The ability to convert something into digital form occurs daily and effortlessly, even in some of those institutions that cannot digitize their historical materials.  How?  Those multi-function "printers"that we all have. They have spread like weeds and we have all adapted to them!  People have them at home and in the office, and they are moving content into digital form without - for example - understanding the implications around finding those items later or ensuring that they are preserved.

We all can digitize, but we all do not have access to someone to teach us how to care for our assets.  Those teachers - people knowledgeable in digitization - need to find the right environment for spreading what they know.  They need to find cracks in the conversations to insert information that will help someone take care of their digital files.  And we need to get the information the people where they are, whether that be at home or in the office, because that is where they are engaging in this activity.  Since we seem to think that everything can be solved with social media, is there a way of using social media for this?  For example, when a person shares a photo (e.g., Instagram), could that person gain access to tips on how to ensure that photo lasts a lifetime? Could we would with manufacturers to build information into those multifunction devices (or supply it through those devices)?

mmm...have I just come up with a class project?

U.S. Copyright Office study in process: Remedies for Copyright Small Claims

Copyright SymbolsSince this is a study that is in process, there is no telling if it might result in a formal change or not.  I do, however, like that the Copyright Office is considering the impact on copyright owners if they want to file an infringement lawsuit, especially when "the prospect of a modest recovery may not justify the potentially large expense of litigation." As the web site says:
Congress has asked the Copyright Office to study the challenges of the current system for resolving small copyright claim disputes, as well as possible alternative systems. Specifically, the Office is to undertake a study to: (1) assess the extent to which authors and other copyright owners are effectively prevented from seeking relief from infringements due to constraints in the current system; and (2) furnish specific recommendations, as appropriate, for changes in administrative, regulatory and statutory authority that will improve the adjudication of small copyright claims and thereby enable all copyright owners more fully to realize the promise of exclusive rights enshrined in our Constitution. The Office will provide a report on this study by the end of September 2013.

Article: Copyright, Patents, Trademarks: The Outlook For 2013

Copyright SymbolsThis article written by Alexandre Montagu and Thomas Walsh says that these are the areas worth watching in 2013 in terms of copyright:
  • Do individuals have the right to resell digital works?
  • Is a DVR service that allows customers to skip commercials legal?
  • Can individuals access broadcast television over the Internet?
Read the full article for the details.