Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Time on task

What are you spending time on? Are you spending enough time to improve? (And...yes...I'm thinking about digitization, too, when I say this.)

I was at a Taoist Tai Chi workshop on Saturday and the instructor used the phrase "time on task." Being at the workshop was important because we were spending time working on the different moves (a lot of time), and that time helped us to improve.

My graduate students have each interviewed someone who is involved in digitizing materials. Among the questions they asked were questions about how the person learned about digitization. As you might expect, these people have spent considerable time:
  • Attending workshops
  • Reading journal articles, books, and online resources
  • Talking to others who are doing similar work
  • Experimenting or learning on-the-job
Each activity was important to the person learning the things that needed to be learned. All (or maybe most) acknowledged that the learning had to continue because things keep changing. They are continuing to spend "time of task" to improve their knowledge and skills.

Are you spending time learning more about digitizing materials? Are you spending time on task? If you are not, how do you change that?

Event: MW2006 (and its papers are now online)

Museums and the Web 2006
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
March 22-25, 2006

the 10th annual international gathering of the best in culture and heritage on the Web

Papers to be presented at Museums and the Web 2006 are now available on-line. Follow the links from the speakers list or click on any highlighted title in an Abstract to view the full paper text. (All papers will be available on-line before the meeting.) A printed volume of Selected Papers - including a CD of all submissions - is also available; see http://www.archimuse.com/publishing/index.html for details.

** Pre-Register for MW2006: March 10, 2006 Deadline ** http://www.archimuse.com/mw2006/register/index.html

Register for MW2006 before March 10, 2006 to take advantage of the reduced pre-registration rate. You can also register on-site. Download the PDF Registration Form from the web site before you come.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Google makes news again (National Archives Video Sections)

I just watched CNN and saw it cover this new collection that Google has done in collaboration with the National Archives. Google has a way of making news and bringing digitized content into the mainstream. The press release notes that this is a pilot project featuring 103 films from the audiovisual collections preserved at the Archives. No special software is needed.

Google Video includes video of all lengths, free and for sale, from a variety of sources. There is even a way for you to upload your own video (for free) and add it to the collection. At some point, Google hopes to make available to everyone to charge for people to watch their videos. That means that I could upload video of an event and then charge people to see it. (I wonder if a rating service will be in the works, so people know if the video is worthwhile?)

CNY Expertise database

The Central NY Library Resources Council last year created an expertise database. The site says:
Librarians are a generally modest bunch, and few would portray themselves as "experts." Most of those listed in this database were suggested to CLRC as "go to" people, knowledgeable people about library issues. We hope you agree.
The database includes people well versed in various aspects of digitization.

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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Call for Papers: International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications

International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications, 3 - 6 October 2006 http://dc2006.ucol.mx/papers.htm

One decade into its expansion, the World-Wide Web is reaching ever-broader circles of society, transforming how people learn about our rapidly changing world. A window onto a wealth of cultural resources, the Web is emerging as the locus of our collective memory, with profound consequences for the future of cultural memory institutions.

Metadata based on standards such as Dublin Core are a key component in the construction of Web-based repositories and e-learning environments in institutions such as universities, museums, government agencies, and libraries. DC-2006 -- the sixth in a series of conferences previously held in Tokyo (2001), Florence (2002), Seattle (2003), Shanghai (2004), and Madrid (2005) -- will be held this year in Colima, Mexico, 3-6 October 2006.

DC-2006 will cover a full range of topics related to standards and technologies for metadata. This year, the conference theme is "Metadata for Knowledge and Learning". This theme promises to be of particular interest to several distinct communities of practice:

Users of metadata standards relevant to e-learning, notably Dublin Core and Learning Object Metadata (LOM).

Creators of institutional repositories in cultural memory institutions such as universities, museums, and libraries, especially with regard to the "open access" movement.

Builders of intranet repositories and training environments in corporations and government agencies.

Users of related knowledge organization systems, such as thesauri, subject classifications, and corporate taxonomies.

Conference papers and workshop proposals are welcome on a wide range of topics, such as:

Metadata profiles for e-learning applications Metadata for knowledge and cultural memory environments Controlled vocabularies for content description Corporate enterprise metadata and taxonomies Metadata for accessibility Moving thesauri to the Semantic Web Community-driven vocabulary development Impact of social bookmarking on the metadata landscape Business models for educational metadata Vocabulary registries and registry services Innovative metadata services Metadata quality evaluation and metrics Automatic generation of metadata

The Program Committee would like to solicit contributions of the following types:

Regular Papers (8 to 10 pages) either describe innovative original work in detail or provide critical, well-referenced overviews of key developments or good practice in the areas outlined above.
Short papers (2 to 4 pages) describe a specific model, application, or activity in a concise format.
Workshop proposals (1 page) define the topic of workshop session, identify organizers, and describe a process for inviting and reviewing contributions. Paper submissions will be peer-reviewed by the program committee and published both in print and electronically in the conference proceedings.
All accepted papers must be presented at the conference by at least one of their authors.

Paper submission process should regard the following:

All papers must be in English or in Spanish (see last news).
All papers must be original contributions, i.e., not have been previously published or currently under review for publication elsewhere.
All papers will be peer-reviewed by the program committee and published both in print and electronically in the conference proceedings.
All accepted papers must be presented at the conference by at least one of their authors, who has to be registered before 15 July.
Papers must be sent full-text in PDF or DOC format, conforming to this style template.

Deadlines and important dates

Papers submission: 15 April 2006

Acceptance notification: 15 June 2006

Camera-ready copy due: 15 July 2006

Conference language

The official language of the conference is English, but we will provide simultaneous translation (English-Spanish) for keynotes, tutorials, and plenary sessions.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Event: Sofia 2006, 8-10 November, 2006 (and call for papers)

Sofia 2006: Globalization, Digitization, Access and Preservation of Cultural Heritage, will be held 8-10 November, 2006, at the Hotel Rodina, Sofia, Bulgaria. Sofia 2006 is part of an international conference series hosted by the School of Library and Information Management, Emporia State University, Kansas, the Department of Library and Information Sciences, University of Sofia, and Seton Hall University Libraries, New Jersey. Conferences have been held in Kansas City, Kansas (1995), Warsaw, Poland (1997), and Sofia, Bulgaria (2000, 2002, & 2004). The members of the Conference Organizing Committee invite you to participate in this biennial international conference that brings together experts concerned with the effects of globalization and change on the development of libraries, information infrastructure, and society.

You are invited to submit papers for presentation at Sofia 2006 on topics related to the themes of the conference:
  • Libraries, museums, archives, and record centers
  • Digitization and access
  • Intellectual property
  • National and international information policies and projects
  • Preservation
  • National libraries
  • Association initiatives
  • Library/information science education
  • Collaboration and cooperation
  • Digital libraries
Abstracts of no more than 150 words will be accepted via e-mail (please no attachments) until Saturday, 3 June 2006. Participants from Central and Eastern Europe are asked to submit their abstracts to Prof. Alexander Dimchev at dimchev_uni@abv.bg. Participants from the rest of the world are asked to submit their abstracts to Prof. Herbert Achleitner at achleith@emporia.edu. Notification of acceptance will be sent by 24 June. Accepted papers must be submitted by 14 October for inclusion in the conference proceedings.

Students are invited to participate in a poster session to be held parallel to the main conference. For more information, visit the Sofia 2006 website: http://slim.emporia.edu/globenet/Sofia2006/Index.htm.

Registration information can be found at http://slim.emporia.edu/globenet/Sofia2006/Registration.htm. Registration fees include the conference and pre-conference materials, meals during the conference, and pre-conference lunch and banquet. The Hotel Rodina is offering a special conference rate when booked through the conference registration.

Two optional tours are being arranged by Balkan Connections - a multi-day tour of archeological and cultural sites in western Bulgaria with the opportunity to visit libraries, and a day tour of Sofia. Both tours will take place prior to the conference and more information will soon be posted on the Sofia 2006 website.

Please circulate this announcement to other appropriate channels.

Thank you,
Rebecca Miller
Marketing Chair

Conference Organizing Committee Chairs:
Prof. Herbert Achleitner
School of Library & Information Management Emporia State University Emporia, Kansas, USA
E-mail: achleith@emporia.edu

Prof. Alexander Dimchev
Dean, Faculty of Philosophy
University of Sofia
Sofia , Bulgaria
E-mail: dimchev_uni@abv.bg

Prof. Howard F. McGinn
Dean of University Libraries
Seton Hall University
South Orange, New Jersey, USA
E-mail: mcginnho@shu.edu

In electronic age, Americans’ use of library services grows

The ALA has issused the following press release. It fits in with recent postings and conversations on library services and library outreach.

In electronic age, Americans’ use of library services grows

National study finds Americans value, see future need for public libraries

(CHICAGO) A new national study from the American Library Association (ALA) finds that Americans overwhelmingly are very satisfied with their public libraries, agree more public library funding is needed and believe public libraries will be needed in the future. Two-thirds of adult Americans (roughly 135 million people) visited their public libraries last year.

KRC Research & Consulting conducted the study, which interviewed 1,003 adult Americans in a national random-sample telephone survey conducted January 3-13. The estimated margin of error is +/-3.1 percent.

Libraries and librarians – as well as the services they offer – are clearly valuable to Americans. Findings show that:
  • Seven out of 10 Americans report being extremely or very satisfied with their public libraries – up 10 points from 2002.
  • More than 8 in 10 Americans (85 percent) agree that their public libraries deserve more funding – including 58 percent who strongly agree.
  • More than half of survey respondents (52 percent) believe $41 or more should be spent. Americans currently provide, on average, about$25 per year per person in local tax support for public libraries.
  • Ninety-two percent of survey respondents believe libraries will still be needed in the future – even with all of the information available on the Internet.
  • More than one-third of Americans put the benefits of libraries at the top of the public services list – as compared to schools, roads and parks – up 6 points from 2002.
The more frequent the user, the more satisfied she or he is with libraries. In fact, Americans’ use of library services has grown in almost every category – from taking out books (up 14 points) to consulting with librarians (up 7 points) to taking out CDs, videos and computer software (up 13 points) to attending cultural programs like speakers or movie showings (up 8 points).

Nearly all Americans (96 percent) agree that because public libraries provide free access to materials and resources, they play an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed.

“Because libraries offer free access to all — with help from professional librarians — they bring opportunity to all and are a vital part of a civil society,” said ALA President Michael Gorman. “Investment in libraries is an investment in education and lifelong learning.”

Sixty-one percent of library users report using the computer in some way – including checking the online catalog, connecting to the Internet and writing a paper or preparing a resume – when they visited the library.

African American and Hispanic adults are significantly more likely to use their public library for job searches or writing resumes than Caucasian adults.

“Public libraries are essential components of vibrant and educated communities,” Gorman said. “There are more than 16,000 public libraries in this country. I encourage everyone to check out his or her local library in person or online. Your library card is the smartest card in your wallet.”

Nearly two-thirds of Americans own library cards and report that taking out books and using computers/Internet are the top services they use in public libraries. The most frequent library users are women, younger adults (ages 25 to 44), college-educated adults and parents of younger children. Adults in the Midwest and West are more likely to have visited their public library than their counterparts in the South and Northeast.

For more information on this study, please visit www.ala.org/ala/ors/reports/2006KRCReport.pdf.

Library outreach: Is your library reaching out to you?

When I think of library outreach, my mind tends to think about the local libraries in my region and whether or not I can "feel" them.
  • Do I know that they exist?
  • How do I know that they exist?
  • Do they reach out to me (maybe something appears in my mail from them)?
  • Do I hear people talk about them?
  • Are they on the news or in the newspaper?
  • If I'm a library card holder, does that library make more of an effort to ensure that I use its services?
  • In terms of their digital assets, do I have any clue what the library has and what resources are new?
As you plan and implement your library's outreach activities, you should survey your service area to find out if you are indeed reaching them. You might even ask a very general question -- "Tell me what you know about the library?" -- then listen carefully to the responses. I bet you will learn a lot that will help you refine (or expand) your outreach activities.

This post is the last in a short series, since my workshop on "library outreach" on February 17. The other posts are:

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

National Library of Australia and Flickr team up

Going back through my saved items in Bloglines, I came across this post from digitizationblog on a library working with Flickr. PictureAustralia, which is hosted by the National Library of Australia, allows you to:
Search for people, places and events in the collections of libraries, museums, galleries, archives, universities and other cultural agencies, in Australia and abroad - all at the same time. View the originals on the member agency web sites and order quality prints at your leisure.
In addition, you can "take part in an exciting new initiative between Yahoo! and PictureAustralia. Why not upload your photos into www.flickr.com and then see them on PictureAustralia!" What a great way of expanding on digital content. The PictureAustralia web site says:
Each week we will collect the metadata (descriptive information) and the thumbnail images from our groups and load them into PictureAustralia, enhancing its value to researchers and the general public. The first load will occur the week following Australia Day 2006.
This will definitely be interesting to see how this develops and grows.

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Monday, February 20, 2006

Library outreach: measuring success

One of the questions that was raised on Friday had to do with measuring outreach efforts. If you go to a local store to do demonstrations of the library's databases and sign people up for library cards, how do you measure the event's success? One library, who does such efforts, says that they measure success by the increased usage of library services.

The traditional measurement of success for libraries are things like:
  • Number of library card holders
  • Number of books borrowed
  • Number of database searchers
  • Number of people who come into the library building
None of these truly measure the library's impact, especially when we begin to think outside of the box. How do you measure:
  • The impact on parents who can shop at the mall while their kids use the library branch that is located in the mall?
  • The economic impact of those who did career research at a library?
  • The joy of teenagers who go to a LAN party at a library and the impact of them "not being on the street"? (LAN parties are for playing networked computer games.)
  • The knowledge gained from using a library?
  • The decisions made from using consumer health information from a library? (BTW there is a project in the Albany, NY area that mails consumer health information to people's homes on-demand.)
  • The number of people who improved their lives because of something the library did?
  • The curiosity peaked from using digitized materials?
Anecdotal stories always help to communicate the successes. Given how library services are evolving, we need to do a better job of capturing those stories and finding new ways of capturing meaningful numbers, especially when we're delivering services to people outside of the traditional library setting.

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"Low cost" automated book scanner from Atiz

On Feb. 14, I received an e-mail message from Atiz Innovation that told me about their new BookDrive book scanner. I wanted more details and hadn't gotten them yet, but now I have some of those details courtesy of Gizmodo.

The Atiz book scanner is a desktop scanner and is portable. It will automatically turn the book pages, although there is no information about "how" it turns the pages and thus how well the scanner will work with fragile materials. It will reportedly scan 500 pages/hour. According to Gizmodo, the scanner will sell for $35,000. That's is of course more expensive than a manual book scanner and less expensive that the Kirtas automated book scanner (related posting). I'll be interested to hear more about this scanner and see a demo of it.

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Mind the Gap: Report reveals major gaps in long term management of valuable digital assets

The press release below was embargoed until 10 p.m. on Wednesday 15 February 2006. I received it on the Digital-Preservation discussion list.

Mind the Gap
Report reveals major gaps in long term management of valuable digital assets

A ‘state of the nation’ report today reveals that less than 20% of UK organisations surveyed have a strategy in place to deal with the risk of loss or degradation to their digital resources - despite a very high level of awareness of the risks and potential economic penalties.

With the release today of the report, Mind the gap: assessing digital preservation needs in the UK, the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) aims to help government, public institutions and private companies turn high awareness into concerted action.

The survey reveals that the loss of digital data is commonplace – it is seen as an inevitable hazard by some – with more than 70% of respondents saying data had been lost in their organisation. Awareness of the potential economic and cultural risks is high, with 87% recognising that corporate memory or key cultural material could be lost and some 60% saying that their organisation could lose out financially. In 52% of the organisations surveyed there was management commitment to digital preservation – but only 18% had a strategy in place. A pdf version of the report is available from http://www.dpconline.org/docs/reports/uknamindthegap.pdf

Prior to the survey, a number of high profile cases had helped raise awareness of the risks of digital data loss. In a recent judgement in the US, Morgan Stanley had more than $1 billion awarded against them as a result of their failure to preserve and hand over some documents required by the courts. The Securities and Exchange Commission in the US are also looking at fining the same bank over $10 million – specifically for failing to preserve email documents.

The data tapes from the 1975 Viking Lander mission to Mars were recently discovered to have deteriorated despite careful storage, and scientists also found that they could not decode the formats used and had to rely on the original paper printouts.

The BBC’s 1986 Domesday project is another example of the unique fragility of digital material. Designed to capture a picture of Britain in 1986, the collection of photographs, maps and statistical information was recorded onto 30cm laserdiscs. But less than 20 years on, the laserdiscs and player are obsolete. The date was only rescued thanks to a surviving laserdisc player and more than a year’s effort by specialist teams.

According to the DPC-commissioned report, the principal risks to digital material are: the deterioration of the storage medium; obsolescence of hardware, software or storage format; and failure to save crucial document format information (a common example is preserving tables of numbers without preserving an explanation of their meaning).

The report identifies 18 core needs, each of which has recommendations which will address them. Recommendations are addressed to organisations, government, and funding bodies. Among the key needs:
  • awareness of digital preservation issues needs to be more commonplace – particularly amongst data creators;
  • organisations need to take stock of their digital materials (55% of the respondents to the survey do not know what digital material they hold);
  • and projects need to be funded from the outset with the long-term value of the information produced and the cost of retention taken into account. There needs to be funding for more digital archives.
This UK Digital Preservation Needs Assessment study, carried out by the software services company Tessella, looked at digital preservation practice in government bodies, archives, museums, libraries, education, scientific research organisations, pharmaceutical, environmental, nuclear, engineering, publishing and financial institutions.

“Gone are the days when archives were dusty places that could be forgotten until they were needed” said Lynne Brindley, Chair of the Digital Preservation Coalition. “The digital revolution means all of us – organisations and individuals – must regularly review and update resources to ensure they remain accessible. Updating need not be expensive, but the report is a wake-up call to each one of us to ensure proper and continuing attention to our digital records.”

Dr Peter Townsend, Commercial Director of Tessella said: “It is critically important that organisations create long-term pro-active information management plans, and allocate adequate budget and resource to implementing practical solutions.” Dr Robert Sharpe of Tessella
added: “Organisations that create large volumes of digital information need to recognise the benefits of retaining long-term information in digital form so that these can be balanced against the costs of active preservation.”

Notes for Editors:

About the DPC: The DPC is a cross-sectoral membership organisation dedicated to securing the preservation of digital resources in the UK. It currently has 28 members and associate members: The British Library, the Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries (MLA), the Consortium of University Research Libraries (CURL), the Digital Curation Centre (DCC), Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), the National Archives, the National Archives of Scotland; the National Library of Scotland, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI); the University of Oxford, University of London Computer Centre (ULCC), Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS), the BBC Information & Archives, the Centre for Digital Library Research at Strathclyde (CDLR); the Corporation of London, Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC) , the Ministry of Defence, National Electronic Library for Health, National Library of Wales, Natural History Museum, Online Computer and Library Center (OCLC), Open University, Publishers’ Association, Research Libraries Group (RLG), Trinity College Library Dublin, the University of Southampton, UK Data Archive, and the Wellcome Library.

Previous DPC research: A DPC Members survey, which was undertaken in 2003, revealed details of volumes and formats of digital materials held by DPC members and the issue they faced in their preservation.

Additional work was undertaken to provide real-life scenarios of circumstances in which digital materials become vulnerable to loss. In 2005, the Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries, funded a sample survey of local and regional organisations in two regions. The report, Mind the gap: assessing digital preservation needs in the UK is the culmination of the two earlier surveys, and a more detailed, wider survey undertaken in 2005

About Tessella: Tessella Support Services plc specialises in the application of innovative software solutions to scientific, technical and engineering problems. Tessella has over 20 years of proven expertise in the area of reliable and authentic long-term preservation of electronic records, both for government and scientific organizations. In recent years a number of mainly academic and government organisations have been at the cutting-edge of facing up to the digital preservation challenge, and Tessella has played a key role in a number of the most practical of these initiatives.

Further information:
For DPC press enquiries and interviews please contact Anna Arthur, 0207
637 2994, anna@arthurleone.com

For Tessella press enquiries and interviews please contact Alison Smith, Marketing Manager, + 44 (0) 01235 546609, alison.smith@tessella.com www.tessella.com Maggie Jones Executive Secretary Digital Preservation Coalition Innovation Centre York Science Park Heslington YO10 5DG

e: maggie@dpconline.org
t: +44 (0) 1904 435 362

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Library outreach: Dealing with the technically challenged

At the workshop I did on library outreach, many of the examples I used had a technology component to them. But clearly, not everyone is as enamored with technology as many of us are. So what do you need to be aware of when reaching out to those who are technically challenged?

Remember to promote those traditional paper-based resources. Consider creating handouts that talks about what resources are available for specific types of questions, and have these handouts available in several places within the library. "Need information on...look at these resources." On that list, mention both the hardcopy and electronic resources. (Personally, I think it would be quite helpful to post information like this on the end of the stacks or even on specific book shelves.)

If you remove a paper-based resource and replace it with an electronic one, put a note on the shelf with information on who to talk in order to get help with the electronic resource. Make the notice as friendly as possible. Consider saying not just that someone will teach the patron how to use the electronic resource, but that someone is available to use the resource on the patron's behalf. Yes, that could mean more work for the library staff, but it will help the patron transition to the new resource and ensure that the person finds the information s/he needs.

Hold short workshops that introduce the technically challenged to the new technologies that the library is using. Do one technology per workshop so that the participants do not get confused. If possible make the workshops interactive, so that the participants can use the technologies. You might consider holding 20 - 30 minute workshops at lunchtime or late in the afternoon, so you can catch people during their lunch break and as they are on their way home after work.

If you believe that some people aren't even coming to the library because of the technologies, then go to where they are (assuming you can find them) and give workshops on their own turf.

Make the library a place where people can come to ask technical questions. You might partner with a computer users group and get them to hold "office hours" in the library on specific days so that people can come and ask questions. Many people have easy technical questions (yet challenging to them), so this could be a wonderful service. Yes, likely you'd need to set boundaries on what types of questions could be asked, how much advice the user group members could give, and that's okay.

As the library embraces more technology, we need to ensure that we don't leave any of our patrons behind. We need to do work for them, teach them, and help them so that they continue to have access to the information that the need.

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Google book search

diglet did a posting on Thursday (Feb. 16) about Google book search. It ties in nicely with a post I did in November about the poor quality of the scanning Google is doing. He writes that Daniel Clancy, Engineering Director for the Google Book Search Project,
...mentioned that Google was NOT going for archival quality (indeed COULD not) in their scans and were ok with skipped pages, missing content and less than perfect OCR -- he mentioned that the OCR process AVERAGED one word error per page of every book scanned!. The key point that I took away from this is that Google book project IS NOT an alternative to library/archive/archival/preservation scans.
When we digitize materials, we want to only digitize them once. Therefore, we want the digital asset that we create to be the best that it can be. I agree with Jim Jacobs of diglet that the libraries involved with Google should not be pleased with the quality that Google is turning out. (And neither should we.) If those institutions want archival quality scans of their books -- especially those older, fragile works -- they will need to digitize them again. If they want to preserve the full contents of the books, they will also need to digitize them again, since we know that Google efforts are not up to par.

Most disturbing was reading that Google is okay with the effort it is putting out. Let's hope that another book digitization project will show Google how it should be done.

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Friday, February 17, 2006

Library outreach: Reaching out to the elderly

Today I did a workshop entitled "Library Outreach, Redefined: It's a Wide New World." Participants came from across Upstate NY, even though the weather was changing and becoming lousy. The discussion was quite good and the panelists in the afternoon talked about very interesting activities.

Late the day, someone asked about reaching out to the elderly. The elderly are a group that can be forgotten. They become less mobile sometimes due to health issues and they may not drive. They don't like being out at night, often due to their changing eyesight. So what outreach services can you provide to this group and how to you find them?

Potential services?
  • Audio books
  • Large print books
  • Home delivery
  • Teach them to use some of the technologies their grandkids are using
  • Computer training
  • Book discussions
  • Help them create oral histories
  • Connect them with medical/health information
  • Create nostalgia events (events that focus on something that happened when this group was young)
How do you find them (or reach them)? Try:
  • Adult day care centers
  • Adult living facilities / nursing homes
  • Senior citizen centers
  • Meal delivery services (Meals-On-Wheels)
  • Rehabilitation facilities
  • Senior citizen housing
Additional hints:
  • If you are creating printed materials for this group, remember to use a larger typeface and one that is easy to read.
  • Use language that they will understand and examples that will make sense.
  • If you are trying to teach them about your online databases, digital library or digitized collections, be patient. This is still new territory for them. Don't try to cram too much in at once.
  • Remember that this group needs companionship, so create programs that have an element of that.

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Article: Digital Repositories in UK universities and colleges

Neil Jacobs has written an article entitled "Digital Repositories in UK universities and colleges" in February 16 issue of FreePint. Jacobs says that a "repository is a digital object store into which
material can be deposited." His article talks about:
  • Standards and interoperability
  • Academic research
  • e-Learning
  • Multimedia
There are many URLs and pointers to institutions involved in these types of digital repositories.

The section on standards and interoperability is short yet speaks volumes. It says: (with my emphasis)
Repositories only help people share digital resources where both the repositories and the resources comply with international open standards. In terms of repositories, the key interoperability standard is the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting, OAI-PMH, which enables metadata to be exchanged reliably. In terms of digital resources, the standards vary according to the domain, but include: Dublin Core and MARC for bibliographic data; IMS Learning Objective Metadata; and ISO 19115 for geospatial data. Packaging standards exist to create compound digital objects, integrating both files and metadata, including METS (Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard, IMS Content Packaging, and the MPEG 21 DIDL (Digital Item Declaration Language).
I really like that first sentence. Yes...a good document to read or even skim.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Thinking about the Millennials

Friday, I am giving a workshop on library outreach (Library Outreach Redefined: It's a Wide New World) in Binghamton, NY. This workshop -- and the presentation I'm doing at Computers in Libraries -- have gotten me thinking about the Millennials. Millennials are basically those people who are 24 years old or younger. (I must admit that social scientists do disagree on when the era of the Millennials began, but it was about 24 years ago.)

What I find very intriguing about the Millennials (in "rich" nations) are three things:
  1. How do they use technology? Actually, we might argue that they don't use technology. It is not a conscious-thing. The technology is normal, everyday, and integrated into their lives.
  2. Will they adapt to how we -- the non-Millennials -- use technology? No. Just like our parents and grandparents had to adapt to the technologies we use (thinking specifically of we "Boomers"), we must adapt to the technologies that the Millennials are using. It is how the generations work.
  3. Will the way Millennials use technology dominate? Of course! We might think that things will return to the way "things used to be", but the Millennials will survive us and how they use technology will dominate for years to come. (Or at least until the generation after them is having its impact.)
The electronic/hardware/software tools that the Millennials are using are very cool, or at least they are to me. And more tools are being developed. Many fall into a class called "social networking tools," e.g., instant messenger, online networks, blogs, wikis, photo sharing, etc. Yes, these are tools that we're using, but are we using them like a Millennial? Are they part of our everyday life? Are our friends and colleagues using them? (Do they even know what they are?) And what about the electronic gadgets? How many gadgets do you carry with you? (Or as the saying goes, what's in your bag?)

What does this have to do with digitization? Are we presenting the digital assets in a way that fit into the way the Millennials use technology? Are we letting them use the tools they like (and use) to access these digital collections? Or are we expecting them to adapt to our tools? Adapting digital collections to their tools will take time and it is something we need to be working on now.

And what about libraries? Many libraries are finding ways of attracting Millennials, but many are not. Outreach, then, may mean not only reaching out to attract others to the library, but also reaching out of our comfort zones in order find ways of connecting with the Millennials.

I think Friday's workshop is going to be very interesting...

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Event: The 3-D's of Preservation, March 8 - 10, 2006

The 3-D's of Preservation: Disasters, Displays, Digitization Symposium

Co-sponsored by the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the IFLA Preservation and Conservation Core Activity and IFLA Preservation and Conservation Section

Location: Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris
Date: March 8-10, 2006

For the announcement and more information see:

Event: The Sixth JISC/CNI Meeting, July 6 - 7, 2006

The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) are proud to announce:

The Sixth JISC/CNI Meeting to be held at the Moat House Hotel, York, UK on 6-7 July 2006

The meeting will bring together experts from the United States and the United Kingdom. Parallel sessions will explore and contrast major developments on both sides of the Atlantic. It will be of interest to all senior management in information systems in the education community and those responsible for delivering digital services and resources for learning, teaching and research.

Keynote speakers include:
  • Reg Carr, Director of University Library Services & Bodley's Librarian, The Bodleian Library
  • Lorcan Dempsey, Vice President, OCLC Professor Derek Law, University of Strathclyde
  • Clifford Lynch, Executive Director, CNI
Parallel sessions to include:
  • Digital Curation Centre
  • e-theses
  • Humanities
  • JISC NSF Digital Libraries in the Classroom projects Institutional repositories
Further information about the meeting, including timings and registration details, is available at:


If you have any questions regarding the meeting please contact the Events Team at:

Tel: +44 (0) 1225 386256; Fax: +44 (0) 1225 386838
Email: events@ukoln.ac.uk

Orphan works

In a post on Feb. 13, I mentioned orphan works. I did not note that the Library of Congress' study group on orphan works issued its report in January. The group concluded (page 7 of the report):
  • The orphan works problem is real.
  • The orphan works problem is elusive to quantify and describe comprehensively.
  • Some orphan works situations may be addressed by existing copyright law, but many are not.
  • Legislation is necessary to provide a meaningful solution to the orphan works problem as we know it today.
The group then recommended that the "orphan works issue be addressed by an amendment to the Copyright Act’s remedies section." The group then recommended text for this later in the 207-page report.

Let's hope that the government does act on this issue AND that other governments follow suit.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

FIS 1311: project profile: greenstone digital library software

Erin Murphy from Oakville, Ontario has published one of her class assignments in her blog. The assignment is a profile of Greenstone Digital Library Software. She's pulled together information from several sources and done a nice review of the software.

Her blog is part of a course requirements for her class at the University of Toronto.

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Copyright Office Requests Section 108 Comments

According to CopyCense:

The Section 108 Study Group of the Library of Congress seeks comment on certain issues relating to the exceptions and limitations applicable to libraries and archives under section 108 of the Copyright Act, and announces public roundtable discussions. The Federal Register notice (1) requests written comments from all interested parties on the specific issues identified in the notice, and (2) announces public roundtable discussions regarding certain of those issues, as described in the notice. The issues covered in the notice relate primarily to eligibility for the section 108 exceptions and copies made for purposes of preservation and replacement.

The Library of Congress says:
The Section 108 Study Group is a select committee of copyright experts, convened by the Library of Congress, and charged with updating for the digital world the Copyright Act balance between the rights of creators and copyright owners and the needs of libraries and archives.
Go to CopyCense for more details on the Study Group's efforts and ways for you to get involved.

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Monday, February 13, 2006

Event: Digital Preservation Training Programme

Digital Preservation Training Programme
Birmingham Conference Park, 20th – 24th March 2006

Booking is now open for the second Digital Preservation Training Programme. This is an intensive one week residential course to be held at Birmingham Conference Park, 20th - 24th March 2006.

Topics covered will include: planning and strategy, OAIS, tools, metadata, costs, risk management, legal issues, web archiving, access plus much more.

The pilot version of this training programme took place in October 2005 and received very positive comments from attendees and through a process of independent evaluation. Comments included:

“Overall an excellent series of seminars. Pre-course material was invaluable... I will be thoroughly recommending the course to colleagues.”

"The overall approach was good and I was positively surprised that it was a real workshop with hands-on exercises."

“...the most beneficial and well presented, thought out course that I've ever attended in 10 years as a professional.”

DPTP's development is funded by JISC under its Digital Preservation and Asset Management programme. The project is led by ULCC, working with its partners: the Digital Preservation Coalition and Cornell University. It builds on the excellent foundations of Cornell's Digital Preservation Management Workshop, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Places are limited to 24 to ensure a good presenter/student ratio and maximum participation from delegates. Booking is open to all and we welcome applications from elsewhere in Europe. Booking will close at 5pm Friday, 10th March.

You will be advised whether your booking was successful by email on the first working day following your request.

The full price for this course is £1100 but a reduced rate of £950 will be available to those that book before March 1st.

To book, please go to http://www.ulcc.ac.uk/dptp/bookingform.htm

If you have any queries regarding the course, please email dptp- admin@ulcc.ac.uk or go to http://www.ulcc.ac.uk/dptp/ for further details.

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Copyright & digital rights

That is the topic of this week's lecture that I posted to my graduate students. It is week #5 and we've discussed the basics of project management and material selection. (Project and material selection was done over a two week period, due to the amount of readings.) There were a large number of readings that they could have done for this week, but only two were mandatory. I told them to skim the rest.

As we know, copyright is an important factor when deciding whether or not to digitize materials. Many programs digitize works that are clearly in the public domain rather than going through the hassle to copyright clear materials. I predict, though, that our users will push us to digitize materials that are still copyrighted. Why? Because they will want to use these materials and will not understand why they are not available. In order to digitize these materials, we will need to create easier ways of copyright clearing them, especially those materials known as orphan works. Hopefully the copyright offices in each country will address this problem. Likely a project will just digitize (like Google) and either create a precedent by its actions or spark litigation that will create rules that can be followed. However this "path" gets created so that copyrighted works can be cleared more easily occurs, I hope it occurs soon.

Two of the students this semester live outside of the U.S. (Australia and Japan). The lecture did include some information that was directed towards them, but I'm sure they will be doing more learning on their own. Likely, too, they will teach the rest of us a thing or two about the copyright law in their countries.

For you information, the readings for this week are:
I also pointed them to two blog postings that might be of interest:

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CIL2006: The wiki

Computers in Libraries (CIL) has a good number of sessions focused on digitization-related topics. From the preliminary program, this does seem to be a great conference for anyone who is interested in digitization or digital libraries.

For those of us who are attending the conference, Meredith Farkas has created a wiki, where people can share information. This will be a great resource for those who has not been to CIL before.

And remember that I'll be at CIL. I'm presenting on Wednesday morning ("Failing to Innovate: Not an Option"), then doing a workshop on digitization planning on Saturday afternoon with K. Matthew Dames. If you're there, I hope you'll stop me in the hallway (or at a session) and say "hi."

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Friday, February 10, 2006

Reminder: Ways to read Digitization 101

This is just a gentle reminder that you can read Digitization 101 in several ways:
  1. You can come to the blog's web site and read it. If you're doing this, you might want to save the URL in your browser's bookmarks or perhaps make it a link on a toolbar.
  2. You can have new postings e-mailed to you through FeedBlitz (free). There is a place in the blog's sidebar where you can sign up for this service.
  3. You can read Digitization 101 through Bloglines (free). There is a button in the blog's sidebar that will help you do that.
  4. You can read Digitization 101 through Feedburner (free). There is a button in the blog's sidebar that will help you do that.
  5. You can just use the Atom feed to read it in any other RSS/blog reader.
Please use whichever method makes the most sense for you.

If you're reading Digitization 101 through Bloglet, please consider switching to FeedBlitz. FeedBlitz is a more stable service and you won't miss any of the postings (which seemed to occur with Bloglet).

Call for Proposals: 34th Museum Computer Network Conference

Call for Proposals - Deadline Approaching

34th Museum Computer Network Conference
Access to Assets: Return on Investment
November 8-11, 2006
Pasadena, CA

Proposal Deadline: February 16, 2006
Proposal Submission Forms: http://www.mcn.edu/conferences/

Nonprofit businesses such as ours need to stay current, and stay solvent. We must be able to answer the tough questions asked in these lean financial years. How do we ensure the investment made today, in staff time and equipment, will justify the expense? What are some innovative new ways to produce more value in a time of severe budget constraints?

How do we maintain and enhance access to our assets, whether they are assets in the broader sense, such as intellectual capital or even our institutionÂ’s presence on the Internet; or in the more defined sense, such as data and images?

Our program will focus on ways to evaluate and demonstrate effective return on investment in knowledge management technology, but MCN conferences are always open for presentations on any museum-related technologies and concerns in our fields. Accordingly, the Program Committee is seeking presentations based on current and planned activities or research that focus on one of the following broad areas of interest:
  • Digital Assets Management
  • Collection Information Management
  • Digital Rights Management
  • Electronic Publications
  • Imaging Technologies
  • Cyber Communities
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • Management Issues, including Funding
  • Membership and Fundraising
  • Multimedia and Streaming Technologies
  • Planning and Implementing Technology
  • Point of Sale and e-commerce
  • Research and Evaluation
  • Standards and Interoperability
Proposals will be accepted in one of the following three formats: panels, workshops, or roundtables. Each session must have a chairperson responsible for finding other speakers and coordinating logistics. All chairs must be affiliated with an institutional member of MCN or be an individual MCN member. Topics for the sessions should fall into at least one of the categories listed on the proposal form.

All proposals for sessions and/or workshops must be submitted on the Call for Proposals form. To obtain more specific information, visit the MCN website, http://www.mcn.edu.

Event: An Expedition to European Digital Cultural Heritage

The Austrian Presidency of the European Union invites to the international conference on the digitisation of cultural heritage:

An Expedition to European Digital Cultural Heritage
Collecting, Connecting – and Conserving?

21-22 June, 2006 | Salzburg, Austria

The conference starts from the practical challenges at collecting, connecting and digitally conserving cultural treasures and scientific information, and invites for an expedition to the vision of a common European digital cultural heritage space.

The conference thus builds on the efforts of the European Union to make the diversity of the European cultural heritage accessible to all citizens and to preserve it for future generations. It aims at contributing to the implementation of the Dynamic Action Plan for the EU co-ordination of digitisation activities, and at fostering discussion on the i2010 initiative for a European Digital Library.

Target groups are experts from cultural heritage institutions, public administrations, EU institutions and the economy. The conference is an event of the Austrian presidency of the European Union, organised by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and co-financed by the European Commission.

Dates: 21 June (10:00 a.m. - 5.20 p.m.) – 22 June (9:00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m.)
Venue: Residenz zu Salzburg

For full information on the conference such as programme, online-registration, accommodation and travelling advices, please visit the conference website at: http://www.kulturleben.at/dhc2006.

The conference is a co-operation of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Culture with Salzburg Research.

Gabriele Krisch
Salzburg Research Forschungsgesellschaft m.b.H.
Jakob Haringer-Strasse 5/III | A-5020 Salzburg
T: +43.(0)662.2288-252 | M: +43.(0)699.107 16 582|
F: +43.(0)662.2288-222

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Article: British Library launches new digitization project

Of interest is the technology the British Library is using. The article says that the technology supplied by System Associates "... is said to support a range of file formats. Incorporating a pan-zoom facility, the program can display images in a variety of different media, and create variations based on size, color, resolution and file type, which the user can then select."

Event: Vanishing Bits & Bytes: Preserving Information for the Future

Save the Date for this upcoming conference!

Vanishing Bits & Bytes: Preserving Information for the Future
May 8, 2006 Houston, TX
Registration to begin in March

For more information, see: http://resource.library.tmc.edu/Conference.htm

Do you create or maintain valuable information in digital formats?
Learn to plan for the future availability of that data!

Discussion of:
  • Theories and issues of digital preservation
  • Practical solutions to be implemented now
  • Clifford Lynch, Director of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI)
  • Victoria Reich, Director and co-founder of the LOCKSS Program
  • National Library of Medicine Representative
  • Houston area experts
Sponsored by:
  • Houston Academy of Medicine / Texas Medical Center; University of Houston;
  • Rice University

Kirtas introduced a manual book scanner

I hadn't noticed this previously, but Kirtas has introduced a manual book scanner that can be converted to be an automatic book scanner. The BookScan 800 can reportedly digitize 800 pages per hour, when operated manually. The press release, however, doesn't state if that is when the machine is operated manually or automatically. Only the page turning is done manually. The machine does still have some automatic features, like how it fluffs the pages and clamps the books.

If the APT 1200 machines sells for an estimated $120,000 and the new APT 2400 sells for $250,000 (according to someone who went to the ALA mid-winter conference), then how inexpensive is the BookScan 800?

The BookScan 800 has a list price of $89,000. Is comparable in price and technology to the Scribe machine developed by Brewster Kahle? (Or maybe the question should be is it lower in price yet with better technology?) [Actually the rumor is that the Scribe is lower in price and lower in quality, but that is just the rumor. I'd like to hear from someone who has a Scribe machine OR hear from Brewster Kahle -- or a rep -- about the machine.]

This is all very interesting...

Originally posted on Feb. 7. Updated Feb. 9 with additional information in blue. Post on the APT 2400 is here.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Article: Patent office to re-examine JPEG patent

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will re-examine the validity of the so-called JPEG patent held by Forgent Networks, an action that could deprive the company of its multimillion-dollar revenue stream.
Forgent gets about $1 million/year in reviews from its JPEG-related patent. If the USPTO rules against Forgent, that review stream could totally disappear.

Likely this case will not mean much to us (JPEG users), but could be a big deal for electronics and software companies (even some of the companies we deal with).

Social networking tools

I also blog for the Blogging Section of the Special Libraries Association Information Technology Division (SLA-IT). Today I blogged there about a presentation I'm giving tonight on social networking software and my thoughts on Millennials. Intrigued?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Event: LIFE conference

Bringing digital preservation to LIFE.

The JISC funded LIFE project reports its eagerly awaited findings on what it really costs to manage, store and preserve digital collections. In what will be an enlightening and informative one day conference, the project team will explain the challenges faced and the findings that have emerged.

The results of this groundbreaking one year study will provide a real insight into the range of issues that need to be considered for lifecycle management and will even go one step further by providing a framework within which you can work to apply a cost to your own digital collections.

This work should prove invaluable for anyone faced with the challenges of how to store and access digital content over time. By providing real-time figures for two major institutions (UCL and BL) the project findings will be both illuminating and will provide the foundations for future development work in this area.

LIFE conference - 20 April 2006 The British Library.
Venue - Conference Centre, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB

There is no charge for attending, lunch and refreshments will be provided, however please note we reserve the right to charge a fee of £50 to no-shows. All cancellations must be received within five working days

Keynote speaker: Eileen Fenton, Executive Director of Portico; the electronic archiving service supported by JSTOR, Ithaka, The Library of Congress, and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Other confirmed speakers and conference topics:
  • Helen Shenton, Head of Collection care; The British Library. The LIFEcycle model, from paper to digital
  • Neil Beagrie BL/JISC partnership Manager. Life cycle modelling, the background
  • Paul Wheatley, Digital Preservation Manager, Architecture and Development; The British Library. Modelling the digital preservation costs
  • Rory McLeod, Digital Preservation Manager, Collection Care; The British Library and LIFE Project Manager. Legal deposit of digital material case study
  • Dr Paul Ayris, Director of Library services; University College London. UCL e-journal case study.
  • Chris Rusbridge, Director of the Digital Curation Centre. Outcomes and the way forward- Panel discussion.
To view the full programme list, please follow this link. http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ls/lifeproject/confprog.shtml

To register for the LIFE conference, please follow this link. http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ls/lifeproject/conference.shtml

Monday, February 06, 2006

Outsourcing project work overseas

Each week I am contacted by one or more digitization vendors outside of the U.S. who would like to work on a project that is being outsourced. Their hope is that the project can be outsourced to them, no matter where they are located. Unfortunately, when an institutions is going to outsource the digitizing of its materials -- and those materials are historic, one-of-kind items -- it can be impossible to get the institution to consider outsourcing the work to a company that they cannot easily visit. It is an act of faith to send materials across country and more so to send those materials elsewhere in the world so they can be digitized.

When seeking digitization vendors, we tend to look at the companies in our own region to see what services are available. Institutions will look at the services themselves and the quality of those services. It is also important that the vendor is familiar with the type of materials that are to be digitized. For example, if you're digitizing fragile handwritten letters, you would want to work with a vendor who has worked with those types of material previously and can provide a reference for that work.

If there is not a vendor in the region for the type of work needed, then the institution will begin to look elsewhere and might then consider a vendor that is not nearby. Still there will be questions about quality, etc., and a need to be sure that the work will be done correctly AND the materials handled appropriately. There is always the fear of losing control of the materials, if they are sent a long distance away. And sometimes nothing can overcome that fear.

As vendors look to obtain projects from other geographic regions, they might consider the following:
  1. Create a web site (or web pages) that describe the work the company does and how it works with institutions that are not in the same geographic region. In other words, how does the company assure the institution that it can handle the materials appropriately, keep the materials safe and secure, and produce results based on known standards/guidelines?
  2. Post a descriptive list of work completed with information on the materials digitized and the type of institutions the work was done for. The company should be willing to provide the actually names of the institutions, and contact information, on demand when discussing project work with a new client.
  3. Post digitized content for people to review, so they can see the quality of your completed work.
  4. Consider using streaming video to show prospective clients what your facility looks like and a bit of your process. It's not expected that you should give away trade secrets, but as the saying goes "a picture is worth a thousand words."
  5. Write articles (or blog postings) about your work. Even better -- get a client institution to write an article about its project and how you helped with it.
  6. Recognize that being the lowest cost vendor may not be what institutions want. Talk about what makes your services special, besides your cost structure.
For vendors -- in the U.S. or elsewhere -- who are interested in participating in a digitization trade show, there will be one in Buffalo on May 24, 2006. You can read more about it here.

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Friday, February 03, 2006

Posting: UK librarians against DRM

Eli Edwards (Confessions of a Mad Librarian) is a librarian who is now working on her law degree. She generally blogs about intellectual property concerns that affect libraries and -- more specifically -- digital materials that libraries and their patrons use. Her schedule doesn't allow her to blog frequently, but when she does, you know it is something worth paying attention to. Today she posted about a BBC article that talks about digital rights management. Go ahead...follow the link and she what stood out to her about this article.

Report: Defining the research agenda for the next decade

The Digital Curation Centre (and its partners in the November 2005 workshop) has created a report from that event (21 pages). The introduction "Digital Curation and Preservation: Defining the research agenda for the next decade" says:
The workshop focussed on three main strands in parallel breakout sessions and group discussions. Each breakout group considered one of the following topics: Curation Services and Technologies, Drivers and Barriers (policy issues); and Data Life Cycle Management (process issues). Each session was chaired by a leading expert on the topic and the groups were asked to consider the topic in relation to the following categories: the scope and definition of each topic, the current state of play nationally and internationally; what the vision was likely to be over the next 5 to 10 years; what we needed to do to achieve this vision; what were the dependencies on which achievement of the vision would be based, and what were the priorities. The breakout groups are described in more detail in the Appendices; each group tackled and presented their work in the way which was felt to be most appropriate.

The results of all the groups are summarised in section 2. These are organised, for ease of reading, into three areas: (1) those topics which recurred in the groups, and which therefore deserve special note, (2) those which were specific to individual groups and (3) a number concerned with general policy and Infrastructure
The third topic -- Data Life Cycle Management -- is one where I hope they will do more work. The notes in the report on this section are brief, likely because this is an area that still very much underdevelopment.

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New blog: digitize everything

Michael Yunkin, the person who launched Digiwik, has a blog. The blog, digitize everything, only has one post thus far, but I'm expecting that this will be a good resource to follow and read. Given that Yunkin is the Web Content/Metadata Manager at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) Libraries, maybe we'll be reading good things here on metadata. (Maybe metadata tips, etc., for those of us who run away from "cataloguing.")

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Are we communicating the best ways possible?

Today has been an adventure in communications. It has been interesting to see what has gone wrong (and why) and then wonder if we're communicating the best ways possible. And...of course...what does this mean for us as we work to implement new projects (digitization or otherwise).

What went wrong today?
  • My e-mail was clogged by a message (likely a legitimate one) that had a 1 MB attachment. My computer couldn't download it and I finally had to deleted from the e-mail queue.
  • I received a voice mail message this afternoon, where the message wasn't clear and (I think) the person didn't leave a phone number or e-mail address so I could have contacted him back.
  • Tonight at a meeting of business professionals, I was reminded of how easy it is to get mired in tech-talk and details, sometimes when they aren't needed.
  • Tonight I was also reminded that some of the technology terms we use really aren't widely known. We -- you and I -- are not like the man (or woman) on the street.
So the lessons from today?
  • Use language that your users, coworkers and management will understand. This means that you may have to say things differently to each group and that's okay. It is important that they understand you.
  • Leave out the technical details, if your audience (especially patrons) don't need to know them. Keep technical explanations understandable.
  • When you're using technology to communicate, use the technology correctly. Use the correct etiquette.
  • "Tell them what you're going to tell them. Then tell them. Then tell them what you told them." Okay, that seems really odd, but the idea is that you build some repetition into your talk or explanation, since people often need to hear something new more than once in order to understand it.

My grad students are blogging

As part of their work for the class "Creating, Managing and Preserving Digital Assets," the students have to blog (syllabus). They will be blogging about digitization projects/programs that they find online. Several students have already posted. They will blog throughout the semester.

Why did I include this assignment?
  • I wanted students to view more projects online and think about how they were done.
  • I wanted to expose students to a social networking tool that has gained widespread acceptance and is an important tool in communicating ideas and information.
  • I wanted to challenge them to do something out-of-the-ordinary.
Feel free to look at the blog. You might even add it to your blog reader. And -- yes -- comment on their posts.