Monday, July 29, 2013

Technology Watch Reports: Preservation Metadata (second edition)

The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) has release its latest in the series of topical Technology Watch Reports.  The email announcement said:

The second edition of ‘Preservation Metadata,’ written by Brian Lavoie and Richard Gartner, focuses on new developments in preservation metadata, since the last report, made possible by the emergence of PREMIS as a de facto international standard.

Specialists in the field of electronic information provision for digital preservation at OCLC Research and the Centre for e-Research at Kings College London, Brian and Richard pick up from the first edition of the report, reminding us ‘it is no exaggeration to assert that preservation metadata, and the PREMIS Data Dictionary in particular, have become part of best practice underpinning responsible long-term stewardship of digital materials.’

The report goes on to outline key implementation topics that have emerged since the publication of the PREMIS Data Dictionary, including community outreach, packaging, tools, PREMIS implementations in digital preservation systems and implementation resources.

Neil Beagrie, Director of Charles Beagrie Ltd and Managing Editor of the DPC Technology Watch Reports praises the new edition, noting that it “is a deservedly popular report first published in 2005 …extensively updated to reflect developments over the past eight years in preservation metadata practice.”

Adrian Brown, Director of the Parliamentary Archives concurs, calling it ‘an excellent report, clearly and accessibly written, neutral, thorough, and fulfilling the brief. It is likely to be of interest to the DPC membership, and also to a much wider audience.’

The report will be well received by digital preservation practitioners interested in learning about the key developments in preservation metadata, especially as these developments concern the PREMIS Data Dictionary; and will appeal to anyone seeking to learn more about the general topic of preservation metadata.

The not-for-profit DPC is an advocate and catalyst for digital preservation. The coalition ensures its members can continue to deliver resilient long-term access to digital content and services through knowledge exchange, capacity building, assurance, advocacy and partnership. Its primary objective is raising awareness of the importance of the preservation of digital material and the attendant strategic, cultural and technological issues. The DPC Technology Watch Reports support this objective through an advanced introduction to topics that have a major bearing on its vision to ‘make our digital memory accessible today.

The second edition of ‘Preservation Metadata’ is the latest in the state of the art Technology Watch Reports that give an advanced introduction to ensuring that high-value and vulnerable digital resources can be managed beyond the limits of technological obsolescence.

Read Brian Lavoie and Richard Gartner’s report ‘Preservation Metadata’ by downloading from the DPC website now:

Friday, July 26, 2013

Article: Publishers Have Paid $166 Million to Settle E-book Claims

If you have not paid attention, then you likely don't know that there has been litigation over the consumer price of ebooks and whether there has been price fixing. In a Publishers Weekly article:
According to a recent filing, publishers have paid a total of $166,158,426 to settle state and consumer e-book price fixing charges, including an additional $3,909,000 to settle consumer claims in Minnesota.  (Full article here.)
Beyond the Book has a podcast on the verdict in the Apple lawsuit, which is worth listening to (13 minutes). The person interviewed in that podcast, Andrew Albanese, has written a book on this topic entitled The Battle of $9.99: How Apple, Amazon, and the Big Six Publishers Changed the E-Book Business Overnight, which is an ebook ($1.99).

These lawsuits have nothing to do with copyright; however, the price paid for an ebook does impact the copyright fees that might be paid to an author.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Looking Back…as a director on the SLA Board

This blog post was written for the SLA blog and was published on July 22, 2013.

Saying goodbye to anything you've done that long is hard. - Angela Ruggiero

In January 2011, I (Jill Hurst-Wahl) joined the SLA Board of Directors after being elected by you. I joined already knowing much of what the Board was discussing, because I had been keeping my eyes and ear open, and because as a Board candidate I had been able to listen to the Board meetings for several months. I knew that I was joining a Board that had work to do!

Brent Mai, SLA2012During my first year on the Board (2011), my biggest challenge was learning how things really operate in the Association. No matter how much you know about a group, how it really works may not be known. What is the delineation of duties between the Board and the staff? Who sets policy and who implements those policies? I learned that “who” depends a bit on the “what”, and that the most important point is that the Board and staff agree.

In 2011 and 2012, Cindy Romaine and Brent Mai had the Board develop a strategic agenda for the Association, and many you have been working with us on it. That agenda ends in 2014, and clearly our efforts in those areas will need to continue. If we stop strategizing, if we stop trying to improve, then we will no longer be. (That is a good motto for us as individuals as well as us as an association.)

Jill Hurst-Wahl & Mike WalshNow in 2013, I’m in my third year as director and the work has not slowed down. In each year, some things have been constants. There have been long and productive face-to-face meetings at Leadership Summit and the Annual Conference, as well as meetings held by conference call during the other months. You may be surprised at the amount of work that can occur during the 1-1.5 hour calls. (Agenda? Check. Robert's Rules? Check. Prework? Check.) Each year, we become liaisons to various units, we proctor division board meetings, and we talk to a lot of members. We hear your questions, concerns, joys, and desires. What we hear informs our meetings and our decisions. You may be surprised that SLA members talk to us about SLA business while we’re attending non-SLA events, so we are always “on the clock”, always working.

Joint Cabinet MeetingAt the Annual Conference, every member of the Board talks with exhibitors in the INFO-EXPO to get feedback on the event and to thank them for their participation. Those conversations help us understand aspects of how the conference is going, that may not be obvious, and have given me an opportunity to talk to companies that I might not have otherwise. The downside is that there are other companies that I would like to visit in the INFO-EXPO and can’t find the time to do it. I’m looking forward to Vancouver, when the time I spend in the INFO-EXPO will be my own!

Fountain at Pat O'Briens Courtyard RestaurantWhen I ran for the Board in 2010 and spoke to you in New Orleans, I talked about SLA being my family and the desire to make things more transparent. While there is always room for improvement, our activities and those of the entire Association are indeed more transparent. I’m thankful to Cindy Romaine, Brent Mai and Deb Hunt – and especially grateful to Den Trefethen and John DiGilio - for their efforts to make that happen.

Yes, you are still my family! These past three years have been my attempt to give back to you the support and hope that you have given to me. Like any family, we have our rough moments and, like any family, we find ways to pull together and pull through. And especially like any family, our best conversations happen over food! So I’m looking forward to sharing a meal or a cup of coffee (er…wine?) in Vancouver with you. I’ll be “off the clock” and ready for what comes my way!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Podcast: Digital ‘No Sale’

In this Beyond the Book podcast about  Capitol Records v. ReDigi, Inc., attorney Devereux Chatillon explains for CCC’s Chris Kenneally what Section 109 of the Copyright Law does and how a digital "sale" is different.  This podcast introduces the listeners to several sections of the U.S. Copyright Law.  While it is helpful that the listener has some copyright law knowledge, this podcast may be serve as a useful tool for demonstrating that there is more to know about the law then you might think.

This 24-minute podcast can be heard (or downloaded) at

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What I'm reading this summer

Often at conferences there is that "what are you reading?" moment, when people talk about what they are reading for work or for pleasure. (Beth Tribe is a good one for starting that conversation.) Since that conversation didn't happen at my conferences so far this year, I thought I'd start the conversation here.  This is what's on my table or device this summer...

First, Dave Lankes has created a MOOC (massive open online course) on new librarianship that opened on July 8 and I'm one of the instructors. (Details) The book being used for the MOOC is Expect More: Demanding Better Libraries For Today's Complex World, which is available in digital and paper formats.  This is a very readable book geared primarily for library supporters and the communities that libraries serve.  Library staff, who read it, should recognize the challenge that they are being given.  That challenge?  Meet the expectations of your communities, because they expect more than what you are likely offering.

To go along with  Expect More, I've also got Dave's The Atlas of New Librarianship  in front of me.  I'm not reading it from cover to cover, but doing as many others have...referring to it as we talk about "new librarianship."  [BTW Ruth Kneale and I wrote the agreement on special libraries that is in the book.]

The avid gardener is me is reading - slowly -  Mike McGrath's Book of Compost.  This is actually a quick, short read, but I'm stretching it out and thinking about the sections as I deal with my own compost.

On the audio front, I've been listening to podcasts by RN Future Tense as I walk from my car to campus, which is much further distance than you can imagine. Future Tense covers a wide range of topics and I find the format engaging.  I often refer people to specific podcasts because of their excellent content.

I'm also got Testimony queued up on my iPhone.  This is the first album that I've purchased purely in digital format, which is a huge move for me.  (Remember when we would intently read album covers, and marvel at their cover and label art?)  Mayo - composer, arranger, singer, saxophonist - has produced a nice companion for those long walks back to my car after a full day at work.

So...your turn!  What content - books, podcasts, etc. - are you consuming?

Monday, July 08, 2013

#SLA2013 : Looking Back at the SLA Annual Conference

Living Desert Zoo and GardensMy June was dominated by the SLA Annual Conference in San Diego and an extended stay in California.  I did not blog as much as I had hoped, partially due to my responsibilities as a member of SLA's Board of Directors and partially because I wanted to enjoy the moments.  Indeed California provided many wonderful moments!

Like Lucy in Peanuts During the conference, I was a presenter in three sessions:
  • The Experts Are In: One-Off Career Advice (panel)
  • Make the Most of a Difficult Situation: Solutions to Get You Through (presentation/discussion)
  • Leading From the Library: How Can I Be A Leader When _______________? (panel) 
The Experts Are In. (c) The Photo Group 2013 – All Rights ReservedIf you look closely, you'll see a theme.  Each was a session geared for professional advice.  In "The Experts Are In", a team of us did one-on-one sessions with attendees, who signed up on the spot.  Each person had 8 minutes to state their problem/opportunity/concern and to receive input.  Each advisor remained busy for the entire session! "Leading from the Library" was a panel, where people could ask questions.  "Make the Most of a Difficult Situation" was me leading a session, where people could ask questions about their situations and the entire room of approximately 60 people brainstormed solutions. (I also provide tips that can be used in any situation.)  Yes, we come to conferences to learn and to network...and sometimes we also seek advice about our sticky situations.  Who better to get advice from than those who have already walked in our shoes?

Keynote speaker - Mike Walsh
Think big. Think new.
Think quick. - Mike Walsh

Can You Hear Me Now?:  Mike Walsh didn't utter those words, but they did come to mind.  Walsh, our keynote speaker, spoke about changes that are occurring in how we all do business, as well as those changes that are on the horizon.  And it occurred to me that he has not been the first - nor will he be the last - to give us a call to action.  My concern is - do we act on the call?  The excuses that people give vary, but often include "I don't see how it relates to libraries or to me."  We are still talking about James Kane, who spoke at the conference in Philadelphia (2011), yet have we heeded his call to action?  Oh...yeah..."it's difficult."

There is a story of a new minister, who gave his first sermon in his new church on a Sunday morning.  The next Sunday, he gave the exact same sermon, and the congregation felt that perhaps the minister had gotten confused, because he was new, so they didn't say anything.  The third Sunday, he gave the exact same sermon and this time the congregation said something. "You've given the exact same sermon three Sundays in a row," they said.  His response, "I'll keep giving the same sermon until you actually listen to it!"  At our conferences, we're hearing variations on the same theme, but are we really listening?

Mission San Juan CapistranoNothing Like Seeing the Real Thing: I grew up in a house that didn't have a keyboard, which says something about my age.  While I have adapted quite well to the tech that I carry, I do like to see things "in the flesh" (or in real life).  Much of my trip to California was taken up with all that real life had to offer, including visiting two of California's mission churches from the 1700s.  When they talk about the Mission San Diego de Alcala moving from - what is now - the Seaport Village area to its current location, the distance becomes more real when you travel it (even by trolley). 

There is a car commercial that mocks our current obsession with online.  In it, the customer looks up from his phone and says that the car looks so real.  While was is real may be the digital asset, should not forget the reality of the non-digital world around us.

SLA - Final Thoughts: San Diego is an excellent location for a conference!  The convention center is next to the Gaslamp District, which is full of restaurants and hotels.  The city is very walkable and who can complain about the weather?! 

It seems that every convention center has an odd layout and San Diego's is no different.  I think the layout may have caused less mingling, but that's just speculation.  (The view from the "back" of the convention center is awesome, by the way!) 

The hallways review of sessions seemed to denote that overall the sessions were good and that people were learning from them.  Attendees need to go home with new knowledge, in order to provide to bosses and coworkers that the expense was worthwhile.  I don't think SLA disappointed!

For me, this was my final conference as a member of the SLA Board of Directors.  Next year, in Vancouver (BC, Canada), I'll go back to being one of masses. I'm looking forward to seeing the conference again from that point of view!

More Digitization 101 SLA2013 blog posts: