Thursday, May 31, 2007

Smithsonian & copyright

I've been saving one blog post from Sivacracy on this topic to read and digest. Now Lolly Gasaway has written on this topic.
The Smithsonian is making digital images available of items in its collection. However, there is confusion over what a person's rights are in using these materials. Sivacracy sets up the controversy well, while Gasaway does a nice job of looking at what is really going on. Clear as mud, isn't it?

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Event:Digital Preservation Conference, Nov. 28-29, 2007

As announced on the IMAGELIB discussion list.

Save the Date! Digital Preservation Conference, Nov. 28-29, 2007 in Seattle

Preserving digital collections?

November 28-29, 2007
Seattle, Washington

PERSISTENCE OF MEMORY: STEWARDSHIP OF DIGITAL ASSETS A conference on digital preservation presented by the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) and co-sponsored by the OCLC Western Service Center.

Taught by a faculty of national experts, this two-day conference on digital longevity provides information about the latest developments in digital preservation to help you with the life-cycle management of your institution's collections.

Planning your fall budget? The conference fee has been set at $350.

Watch NEDCC's Web site for full conference details coming in early August.

Partial funding for this conference is provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

To receive a conference brochure when available, please email: Julie Carlson,

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Digitization vendors at SLA Annual Conference

According to the conference information online and a recent conference blog posting, these digitization vendors will be exhibiting at the SLA Annual Conference in Denver:
Given that it is not always obvious in a description what a company does, there may be more than these at the conference (and I hope there are).

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Event: The Second IEEE International Conference on Digital Information Management

As circulated through sigdl-l:

The Second IEEE International Conference on Digital Information Management
(ICDIM 2007)
Sponsored by IEEE and in Cooperation with ACM
October 28-31, 2007
Lyon, FRANCE Hosted by the "Institut National des Sciences Appliquees de Lyon (INSA-Lyon)"

The International Conference on Digital Information Management is a multidisciplinary conference on digital information management, science and technology. The principal aim of this conference is to bring people from academia, research laboratories and industry and offer a collaborative platform to address the emerging issues and solutions in digital information science and technology. The ICDIM will address a large number of themes and issues. The conference invites original research and industrial papers on the theory, design and implementation of digital information systems, as well as proposals for demonstrations, tutorials, workshops and industrial presentations.

We solicit original research and technical papers not published elsewhere. The papers can be theoretical, practical and application oriented on the following themes (but not limited to):

* Information Management
* Multimedia Information Systems
* Information Retrieval
* Natural Language Processing
* Digital Libraries
* Data and Information Quality Management
* Data Grids
* Data and Information Quality
* Database Management
* Web Databases
* Temporal and Spatial Databases
* Data Mining
* Web Mining including Web Intelligence and Web 3.0
* E-Learning, eCommerce, eBusiness and eGovernment
* Web Metrics and its applications
* XML and other extensible languages
* Semantic Web and Ontology
* Human-Computer Interaction
* Artificial Intelligence and Expert Systems
* Knowledge Management
* Ubiquitous Systems
* Peer to Peer Data Management
* Interoperability
* Mobile Data Management
* Data Models for Production Systems and Services
* Data Exchange issues and Supply Chain
* Data Life Cycle in Products and Processes
* Case Studies on Data Management, Monitoring and Analysis
* Security and Access Control
* Information Content Security
* Mobile, Ad Hoc and Sensor Network Security

Paper Submission
Submissions must be in an electronic form as PDF or MS Word files and should be uploaded using the conference website. Submissions should be 3000-4000 words long (approx. 4-6 single-space printed pages). Papers that fail to comply with length limit will be rejected. Submissions will be peer-reviewed by at least 2 qualified reviewers.

Selection criteria will include: relevance, significance, impact, originality, technical soundness, and quality of presentation. Preference will be given to submissions that take strong or challenging positions on important emergent topics. At least one author should attend the conference to present the paper.

The conference Proceedings will be published by IEEE and fully indexed by IEEE Xplore.

Important Dates
Full Papers: June 15, 2007
Proposals for Workshops and Tutorials: April 30, 2007 Notification of Workshop & Tutorial Acceptance: May 15, 2007 Notification of Paper Acceptance: August 03, 2007 Camera Ready Papers Due: August 17, 2007 Early Bird Registration: September 15, 2007 Late Registration: September 28, 2007 Conference Dates: October 28 - 31

Best Paper
The BayesiaLab award will be granted to the best paper in the fields related to data mining.

Journal Publication
Extended versions of the selected papers will be published in one of the following reviewed journals.

1. Journal of Digital Information Management (JDIM) (ISSN 0972-7272) 2. Journal of Information Assurance and Security (JIAS) (ISSN 1554-1010) 3. International Journal of Computational Intelligence Research (ISSN
4. International Journal for Infonomics (IJI) (ISSN 1742-4712) 5. International Journal of Internet Technology and Secured Transactions
(IJITST) (ISSN 1748-569X)
6. International Journal of Product Lifecycle Management (IJPLM) (ISSN:

Programme Chairs:
Youakim Badr, P (INSA-Lyon, France)
Pit Pichappan (Annamalai University, India)
Richard Chbeir (University of Bourgogne, France)

Programme Co-Chairs:
Ajith Abraham (Chung-Ang University, Korea)
Frederic Andres (National Institute of Informatics, Japan) Antony Satyadas (IBM, USA)

Workshops Chairs
Djamal Benslimane (Lyon 1 University, France) Zakaria Maamar (Zayed University, United Arab Emirates)

International Programme Committee
Abramowicz Witold (Poznan University of Economics, Poland) Agrawal Dharma (University of Cincinnati, USA) Alpaslan Ferda Nur (METU University, Turkie) Badard Thierry (Universite Laval, Canada) Badica Costin (University of Craiova, Romania) Baresi Luciano (Politecnico di Milano, Italy) Berkovsky Shlomo (University of Haifa, Israel) Biennier Frederique (Insa de Lyon, France) Boulanger Danielle (University of Jean Moulin-MODEME, France) Boulicaut Jean-Francois (Insa de Lyon, France) Bourque Pierre (Ecole de technologie superieure, Canada) Brunie Lionel (Insa de Lyon, France) C. Bhavsar Virendra (University of New Brunswick, Canada) CachedaSeijo Fidel (Universidad de a Coruna, Spain) Chandrasekhar Anantaram (Tata Consultancy Services) Chen Yuehui (University of Jinan, China) Corchado Emilio (University of Burgos, Spain) Corchado Juan (Universidad de Salamanca, Spain) Crestani Fabio (University of Lugano, Switzerland) Cuzzocrea Alfredo (University of Calabria, Italy) Damiani Ernesto (University of Milan, Italy) Dusan Husek (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Czech Republic) Elnaffar Said (UAE University, UAE) El-Qawasmeh Eyas (Jordan University of Science and Technology, Jordan) Fayolles Jacques (ISTASE University, France) Ferri Fernando (IRPPS-CNR, Italy) Flory Andr? (INSA de Lyon, France) Flory Laurent (University of Lyon 1, France) Franke Katrin (Gjovik University College, Norway) Frasincar Flavius (Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands) Gabillon Alban (Pau Univeristy, France) Gasevic Dragan (Simon Fraser University Surrey, Canada) Ghosh Hiranmay (Innovation Lab - TCS & Adjunct Faculty, India) Godart Claude (University Henri Poincare, France) Grifoni Patrizia (National Research Council of Italy, Italy) Grosan Crina (Babes-Bolyai University, Romania) Grosky William (University of Michigan-Dearborn, USA) Hacid Mohand-Said (University of Lyon 1, France) Hansen Preben (Swedish Institute of Computer Science, Sweden) Haraty Ramzi (LAU, Lebanon) HassanSafar Maytham (Kuwait University, Kuwait) Ishikawa Hiroshi (Shizuoka University, Japan) Jacobs Daisy(University of Zululand, South Africa) Jouffe Lionel (Societe Bayesia, Laval) K. Bhargava Bharat (Purdue University, USA) Kawatrakul Asanee (Kasetsart University, Thailand) Kazushi Ohya (Tsurumi University, Japan) Knapskog Svein (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway) Kosch Harald (University of Passau, Germany) Koukam Abder (UTBM University, France) Kozlak Jaroslaw (University of Science and Technology Krakow, Poland) Kretschmer Hildrun (Humboldt-University of Berlin, Germany) Kwasnicka Halina (Wroclaw University of Technology, Poland) Lu James J. (Emory University, USA) MarkowskaKaczmar Urszula (Wroclaw University of Technology, Poland) Morad Benyoucef (University of Ottawa, Canada) Mostefaoui Ahmed (University of Franche Comte, France) Muthaiyah Saravanan (George Mason University, USA) Narendra Nanjangud (IBM India Research Lab, India) N. Ocholla Dennis (University of Zululand, South Africa) Oria Vincent (NJIT, USA) Painho Marco (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal) Palade Vasile (Oxford University, UK) Palakal Mathew J. (Indiana University Purdue University, USA) Panda Brajendra (University of Arkansas, USA) Petit Jean-Marc (Insa de Lyon, France) Pokorny Jaroslav (FEE CTU Prague, Prague) R. Raje Rajeev (Indiana University, USA) Sanyal Sugata (Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, India) Shen Heng Tao (University of Queensland, Australia) Shoniregun Charles (University of East London, UK) Snasel Vaclav (FEECS, VSB-TU Ostrava, Czech Republic) Stanchev Peter (Kettering University, USA) Sung Y. Shin (South Dakota State University,USA) Thiran Philippe (Namur University, Belgium) Tiwary Uma Shankar (Indian Institute of Information Technology, India) VandeWeghe Nico (Ghent University, Belgium) Vangenot Christelle (EPFL of Lausanne, Switzerland) VargasSolar Genoveva (University of Zurich, Switzerland) Verdier Christine (University of Grenoble, France) Vijayakumar J.K. (American University of Antigua, Antigua) Yague Mariemma (University of Malaga, Spain) Yetongnon Kokou ( Bourgogne University, France) Yinghua Ma (Shanghai JiaoTong University, China)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Zeutschel book scanner and book copier

Announced earlier this month, the Zeutschel OS 12000 C is the book scanner and the Zeutschel OS 12000 is the book copier. Both use a book cradle and overhead scanning system. They are meant to be easy for anyone to use and seem to offer features to help those who are less skilled. Pricing is not publicly available, but I'm hearing that they are reasonably priced (considering how expensive a book scanner can be). The Crowley Company is carrying both machines in the U.S.

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Teleconference: Copyright in the Digital Age: An Update

Copyright in the Digital Age: An Update With John Berry, Kenneth Crews, Tomas Lipinski & Miriam Nisbet
Friday, June 1, 2007
Noon to 2 p.m. Eastern Time

Sponsored by ALA, this national teleconference will provide "an in-depth look at copyright issues facing librarians and educators in the digital age. This program expands on the highly successful copyright program aired in September of 2004, providing updates and new insights on international issues that impact the national scene. It promises to be both challenging and thoughtful."

You can go to the web site to order access to the teleconference. You might also want to check with libraries or consortia in your region to see if anybody is hosting a viewing of this.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Final Report from the PRESERV project

The final report (14 pages) from the PRESERV project was released in March and I still have not had time to read it. And seeing it in my RSS reader again, I know I have not posted it here. The web site describes PRESERV as:
a JISC project investigating and developing infrastructural digital preservation services for institutional repositories.
The report's executive summary states:
PRESERV has identified a powerful and flexible framework in which a wide range of
preservation services from many providers can potentially be intermediated to many
repositories by other types of repository services. It is proposed to develop and test this framework in the next phase of the project.
For more information, read the full report.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Video: A Fair(y) Use Tale

This is making the rounds on the Internet and is worth watching - educational and entertaining! I can see using this with young people (as well as adults) to help them become more aware of what copyright is.

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EMC Heritage Trust Project will fund local digital curation

Quoting the press release (my emphasis):
EMC [yesterday] announced $1 million donation of equipment, products and services to the Smithsonian. EMC information infrastructure technology will play an important role in establishing a common foundation for the digital preservation of – and Internet-based access to -- the Smithsonian's collections and research data.

EMC also announced the EMC Heritage Trust Project, which recognizes and supports projects in local communities around the world that are designed to protect this invaluable information and improve access to it. Any public or private local organization, institution, or any individual, may apply or be nominated for recognition and support. Examples include digital curation of the collections of a local library, museum or historical society; or of a significant private collection of music, letters, or art; or the archives and records of a local business, cultural, or educational institution. EMC Heritage Trust Project awards will include cash grants ranging from $5000 to $15,000.

Nomination forms and complete program details are available at All applications and nominations will be reviewed by a distinguished review committee chaired by Daniel S. Morrow, Chief Historian Emeritus, and founding Executive Director, Computerworld Smithsonian Awards and Computerworld Honors Programs as well as member of the Board of Visitors, School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina. Judging will be completed by January 30, 2008 and grant winners notified by February 14, 2008.

Application deadline is November 30, 2007.

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Why we no longer receive canceled checks/cheques

Digitization is happening all around us, without us noticing until something major happens. For example, banks have been digitizing (imaging) canceled checks for a while. This allows us to view images of our canceled checks online.

This year, things are going a bit further in the U.S. and images of checks may not be available online since they are being converted to electronic transactions at the point of use (e.g., grocery, discount, and department stores). For those of us that are used to getting checks back, this is a major change, but it is one we will adjust to -- information returning in a different form.

A different form.

So...instead of seeing the original item in an image format, people will get used to seeing the information (content) outside of the "container" that it was originally in. Given how information flows through and across the Internet and onto PCs, Blackberries, iPods, etc. many containers are already less important. Will there come a point -- well into the future -- where the containers will not matter at all? (And the containers -- books, photos, whatever -- will only be valued by very few people?)

I wonder what the crew of the starship Enterprise would say?

BTW I can hear screams from librarians and archivists as I type!

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Monday, May 21, 2007

I'm in serious catch-up mode &

Work since the beginning of the year has been like a growing glorious snowball rolling downhill! Notice that I use the word "glorious" so that you know that this is a good snowball. However, I'm now finding that I need to do a bit of "catch-up" before heading off to the SLA Annual Conference in less than two weeks, so my posts here may be slightly less frequent. (For those of you who live where there is no snow, when a snowball rolls downhill, it gets bigger and bigger.)

Last week, I did a digitization workshop that was co-sponsored by the Central NY Library Resources Council and the South Central Regional Library Council. The two councils (consortia) are doing a series of 10 workshops on digitization. I had the pleasure of presenting the first workshop in the series. In February 2008, I'll also have the pleasure of doing the last workshop in the series on marketing. Friday's workshop had nearly 40 attendees including a Benedictine monk! I made two promises at the beginning of the day -- to keep things interesting and to teach them something new (no matter what they already knew). Brother "B" said I delivered on both promises.

At the end of the day, I spent time talking with Steve Schneider, who is involved in Steve came to the workshop in order to hear what libraries are doing in terms of digitization. He, however, is interested archiving web sites and has worked on several projects including the Asian Tsunami, Election 2002 (and 2004), and the September 11 Web Archives. I was impressed to hear how they jumped into action on Sept 12, 2001 and began archiving web sites, realizing that what they were archiving would be of value to others later. WebArchivist is not part of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP), but certainly has things in common with that program.

In general, libraries are aware that they will need to collect and archive materials that are born digital, although -- in the grand scheme of things -- relatively few are thinking seriously about how to do it. Libraries are not yet focused on archiving web site proactively and the information that they contain (which will be lost if not archived). [See addendum below] Understanding why it could be important and then do it requires a leap of faith. "I'm going to do this because I know that in the future, I'll be glad that I did." Some organizations might be able to take that leap of faith more easily than others (and those organizations may not be libraries).

At any rate, talking to Steve made for a wondering end of the week conversation and I look forward to talking with him again! (Personally, I think he should do some presentations in this region on web archiving....)

Now...time to get back to my to-do list...

Addendum (4:30 p.m.): Ms. Molly has pointed out that librarians are involved in NDIIPP. And I have to admit that I've been to presentations done by librarians who are involved in NDIIPP. However, as I look out across the library community, they are the "exception." They are attached to organizations (or forward-thinking people) who understand the problem and are willing to act. Many librarians are not "there" yet.

Thanks for pointing out my error!

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Article: Saving Our Digital Heritage

This article is about the funding for the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) and it contains a lot of text that will make great quotes, such as:
Current estimates are that in 2006, 161 billion trillion bytes -- 161 exabytes -- of digital data were generated in the world -- equivalent to 12 stacks of books reaching from the Earth to the sun. In just 15 minutes, the world produces an amount of data equal to all the information held at the Library of Congress. While it is unrealistic to think that we will be able to preserve all the data produced solely in digital form, NDIIPP convenes top experts to help decide which at-risk content is most critical and how to go about saving it.
Funding for the program has been cut, so the article's authors (Jim Barksdale and Francine Berman) hope that Congress can be persuaded to restore the program's full funding. As they said:
It would be a national and a global shame if our most valuable born-digital knowledge, like the ancient holdings at Alexandria, were lost forever.

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Will students ignore your university if you don't digitize?

Do students care about digitization or do they care about access? Will students bypass your institution of higher learning if you don't digitize your collections?

Recently I heard a call to action that said educational institutions should digitize or they will find themselves being less desired by prospective students. However, students don't care where they information came from, they just want information. So if you can give them the information they need by digitizing your collection - great! If you can give them the information they need by licensing an appropriate digital collection - great! If you point them towards someone else's freely available collection, that's also good! If you spent money on other tools or services that will help them with their information quest, they'll like that too!

It is all about access. Students don't care where the information came from or how you acquired it. They only want to know that it is there when they need it.

The bottom line -- as you think about your potential digitization programs, don't forget to think about possible alternatives. If you looked at it from your users' point of view, is there an alternative that would give them the same "bang," but might cost less or be less of a hassle for you? It is worth thinking about. A better solution may come to mind.

BTW as I think of "access", I am reminded that "access" also tells us why students don't understand many library web sites. Those web sites are often designed so that the user has to know something about the information they are looking for. Is it a digital collection, a periodical, a book, or an article in a database? They don't care. In fact, those options just stand as barriers between them and the information they desire. And what do barriers do? They drive people away. (And this is why many libraries are rethinking the design of their web sites.)

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

ArchivalWare vs. CONTENTdm

Someone left a comment on this post and also send me an e-mail message. Her message said in part:
I was very happy to find your blog and other resources about digitization and wondered if I could ask for some advice.

We are a public library in Australia wanting to purchase a digital archiving system. The initial use will be for Local History material and our Museum's collection. We are a longstanding customer of Dynix (nowSirsiDynix) so we would like to get ArchivalWare from PTFS. It looks very suitable for our needs and we can afford it. The vendor has told us that this product is much more feature-rich than Unicorn's Hyperion (Sirsi's product), but we have not evaluated any other products such as CONTENTdm or DigiTool.

I saw that you have been getting familar with these products at various conferences and demonstrations.

I suppose my questions are:
  • It is easiest for us to just go with the Dynix-partnered product (at a very good price) as we liked it, we trust the vendor and their support but would you consider this a mistake?
  • Would you consider that all 3 products have basically similar features and functions?
Here is my response. If anyone has additional advice or ideas, please leave a comment. Both she and I would appreciate it.
ArchivalWare and CONTENTdm are frequently the final two products a project will review before selecting one. ArchivalWare claims that it handle textual documents better than CONTENTdm. The reality is that any product will have its pluses and minuses. PTFS has said that in head-to-head comparisons, their product comes out better than CONTENTdm. That is their point of view. I've not seen an independent test of the two products.

I believe that SirsiDynix announced some changes in February/March, so first I would ask that you contact your SirsiDynix rep and find out the status of the products you're using. I don't want you to select ArchivalWare, if a change at SirsiDynix makes it then a bad decision.

Many of the organizations that I know who are selecting CONTENTdm do so because of (1) others around them are selecting it, (2) they know/assume it will work with other OCLC products, and (3) they believe/trust in OCLC. Of course, the features matter, but then you must look at the "other stuff." I think you're following the same logic. ArchivalWare should integrate with your other SirsiSynix products. You already are using SirsiDynix and trust them (hence you trust their partners).

Feature-wise, every product is similar yet different. Since it will be unreasonable for you to install and try the three products you mention, I would suggest that you look at projects that have used those products and perhaps speak to (e-mail) the people involved. For example, used CONTENTdm and used ArchivalWare. (I know there are many others, but those two came to my mind quickly.)

You might make some inquiries on library-related discussion lists to see what other opinions are out there. I'll post this notes in my blog and maybe some people will comment there.

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Competing with Google & others

In their final assignment, my students had to decide if a mythical library should digitize part of its holdings or not. What was important to me were the premises they based their decision on and their thought processes. Had they learned enough to argue for or against?

Several decided that they would not digitize any of the old first edition books by famous authors because they felt there was a good chance that Google (or Microsoft or OCA or...) might digitize those books. Why spend money doing what you might be able to use through another source? I found that to be a very interesting argument and, I'm sure, there are real libraries with the same idea.

Assuming that the books are in the public domain, and held by institutions that are cooperating with one of the mass digitization programs, then they should be digitized and made available in full-text for anyone to use. So I searched Google Book Search for "Huckleberry Finn," knowing that an early edition should be in the public domain. What did I find? I found several later editions of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn that are available with a limited preview. I then looked for only books tagged as "full view books" and found ONE edition that is totally available. The edition was published by Plain Label Books (and who they are is a good yet unanswered question). Yes, this is the content of the book, so the content has been preserved, but you get the sense that the layout is not from an early edition, if fact it looks sterile like it has been retyped. using this limited test, I don't see a first edition copy of Huckleberry Finn search option to search library catalogues, I can easily find those libraries that have early editions of the book, although it would take some time to figure out who had the earliest edition according to this search (which uses in Google. Now the question becomes -- as a casual researcher -- do I care that a first edition is not available? No. Someone who is interested in the book -- the artifact -- itself might want to see the typeface, etc., online but likely would go to the institution for a better view. Using Google'sWorldCat). And I would think an early edition would be at Elmira College, but none pop out as being located there. (I'm guessing an early edition would be there, because of Mark Twain's association with that area.)

If a library wanted the content and did not care about the edition, then relying on Google (and others) may be possible. However, if that specific edition that the library has is important (perhaps because of notes in the margins), then the library should digitize it. If the library wants to make its materials known without digitizing them, then getting them catalogued in WorldCat would be quite helpful.

Deciding whether or not to digitize books is not a simple "yes" or "no." You need to think about "why" you want to digitize the books and consider what others are doing (so you don't perhaps duplicate effort). I would not only search to see what has been digitized, but I would also search those partner libraries to see what they own. And if possible, I might contact them to ask specifically if they were going to digitize the books that I had in mind.

The decisions are never as simple as we would hope...

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Monday, May 14, 2007

SBA honors a librarian

Apologies for "tooting a horn", but I wanted to share the news.

Each year, regional offices of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) give out awards to small businesses and to those perceived as being business champions. On May 11, 2007 the Syracuse Office of the SBA (which cover 34 Upstate NY counties) included among its award recipients a librarian. Me. I was honored as the Minority Small Business Champion for volunteering with several organizations in the greater Syracuse region. The nominations letter, written by Joe Anderson of SCORE, used words like "loves information" and brings "a wealth of information to the steady growing number of small-business owners that belong to SSEA [a local organization]." The nomination letter also mentions that I blog for two local groups. My blogging -- according to Joe -- records minutes and notes, and "grows the groups' consciousness."

Since April/May 2005, I have volunteered with Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (WISE) and now sit on the advisory board for the WISE Center (an SBA funded Women's Business Center). And I worked on the organizing committee for the South Side Entrepreneurs Association and am now the Board president for that group. In the last two years, I've run meetings, drafted by-laws, blogged, and worked in other ways to help put the SSEA on a solid foundation. Along the way, I've also volunteered for Junior Achievement and worked on the committee that launched the first Connections conference in Oswego (NY) for women.

The awards luncheon was wonderful! Six SBA Small Business Week Awards were given and many Small Business Excellence Awards. Each Small Business Week Award recipient received a statue. I also was given a flag from Congressman Jim Walsh that had flown over the U.S. Capitol. I am not sure where I'll display either item long-term. For now, both are in the "office lounge." (With an office in my house, that translates to being the living room.)

I feel very honored to have been chosen by the SBA, but I also feel challenged -- challenged to continue to help minority business find the success that they desire. Thankfully, it is a challenge that I'm willing to take on!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Nylink Annual Meeting: Day 2

The Nylink Annual Meeting ended this afternoon. This morning the keynote was given by Jim Robertson, Director of University Web Services, New Jersey Institute of Technology. His speech was entitled "From the Amazon to the North Pole: Touring Library Services in the Web 2.0 Era." (The presentation will be available here.)

Robertson talked about and the functionality that is available when you look at a book on its site versus the functionality available in a normal library catalogue. Amazon has done a wonderful job of making their pages open for participation. Their pages are 'beginnings' not 'dead ends.' [His annotated screen shots do a nice job of demonstrating this.] They foster community, provide added value and give actionable choices. He mentioned quickly the six characteristics of Web 2.0 (see section 5 here), which are:

  • Participative
  • Modular
  • Sharing
  • Communication
  • Smart
  • Trust

Amazon takes advantage of all six characteristics. Most library catalogues do not. Robertson did re-do the NJIT catalogue so that it did some of the things that Amazon did. Unfortunately, server problems forced them to back out those wonderful additions. When the system is migrated to new servers over the summer, he hope to re-do those additions and add in new capabilities that are now possible.

Robertson ended his presentation by created a mythical scenario for the North Pole Community College and how they make their catalogue more responsive. (This presentation has the same slides in it about the NPCC Library.) The bottom line is that creating a better catalogue is not difficult or expensive.

During the Q&A, someone asked about libraries that have created new catalogues that contain Web 2.0 technologies. Two that come to my mind are:

[5/14/2007 : Check out Danbury Library,]

Roy Tennant often speaks on this topic. (BTW He is just moving from CDL to OCLC.)

Robertson said that what we want in a library catalogue is not a system, but a platform and not features, but capabilities.

His presentation included his "manifesto," which I cannot find on his web site. We didn't have a chance to really read it during his talk, so I'm looking forward to see it when his presentation is online.

Finally, I'll end talking about Jim Robertson by giving you one final piece of information from his speech and that is...many young people see Facebook as being the web. Facebook gives them the capabilities that they want for interacting with other people and "stuff." It is how they communicate.

The panel discussion partnered myself with Christine Dowd (Apple Inc.) and John Weber (Skidmore College). Dowd started by showing a Apple video about the future of computing. What was interesting is that the video was actually from 1987. A few things envisioned have been realized, but some are still farther out into the future (although they seem do-able). She noted that young people view technology as being part of their normal environment. Weber called this "digital air." Young people (tweens, teens and college students) view many technologies as being so normal that they are not considered technology. For example, to them, PowerPoint is not technology, nor is a cell phone, iPod, or computer. They are like the air -- expected to be there.

Both Dowd and Weber also talked about gaming and its developing role in education. Gaming engages people and helps them learn. Gaming teaches problem solving. And studies have shown that students who learn a topic through a game, learn the topic much better.

John Weber talked about the Horizon Report which is produced by the New Media Consortium (NMC). The 2007 Horizon Report is available here. The report "highlights six technologies that the underlying research suggests will become very important to higher education over the next one to five years." One of the key things he talked about was the difference between being comfortable with technology and being literate. People are increasingly comfortable, but are they literate? How do we teach them to be literate? Read the Horizon Report for information the technologies to watch (32 pages).

Both Dowd and Weber mentioned virtual worlds and Second Life, so it was appropriate that I spoke last. While they had focused on many different things, I only talked about Second Life. My slide are here.

I'll skip details about the presentation and get to the two questions I always get: (This are my wordings of the questions)

  1. Do bad things happen in SL? Could there be crime? Is there law and order in SL? -- Yes, there has been virtual crime in SL. Although there are no police in SL, anyone can report a problem to Linden Labs, who will investigate. Yes, people do get kicked out of SL for improper activities.
    • Linden Labs does keep a tight control on Teen Second Life, which is only for teens ages 14 - 17. Any adult that wants to work on the "teen grid" must go through a real background check, and then is only given access to specific areas on the teen grid. A few librarians are working on the teen grid and only can go to the Eye4U Alliance Island to meet and work with teens.
    • On the adult grid, the islands that are allied with Alliance Library System -- referred to as the Information Archipelago -- are located in an area where there are no "mature" adult activities nearby.
  2. How do you know if the person you're talking with can be trusted? How do you know who you are talking with? How do you know who the person is a real life? -- You can check the person's profile in SL and see what it says. You can also just ask the person who they really are (then use an Internet search engine to see if you can find out more about the person). Actually SL is no different from real life. In real life, we don't know who we can trust, but we figure it out. (And don't say, oh that person is a..., I know I can trust a person in that profession without knowing any more about the person. We know that's not true.)

    I describe SL as being like a major metropolitan city (e.g., Paris). When you go to Paris, you want to visit the museums, shops, parks, concert halls, etc. So too in SL -- You want to visit museums, educational areas, libraries, malls, parks, theaters, etc. In Paris, you will need to talk to someone for a moment or two in order to find out if it is someone who can help you (or someone you want to hang out with) and it is the same in SL.

    I told the group to keep in mind who is already in SL (which include campaign outposts for John Edwards and Hillary Clinton). If they are there, we should be there too, at least to understand what this thing called Second Life is.

    Finally, Second Life is one of the 10 web tools that is predicted to influence the 2008 U.S. elections. For a list of the 10 web tools go here. If you don't know what they all are, spend time experimenting with them.

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    Wednesday, May 09, 2007

    Siva Vaidhyanathan & the library's role in the participatory media culture

    Siva Vaidhyanathan, assistant professor for Culture and Communications at New York University, was the evening speaker at the Nylink conference. His writings include Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How It Threatens Creativity and The Anarchist in the Library: How the Clash Between Freedom and Control is Hacking the Real World and Crashing the System. And he's been on the Daily Show. Wow! He drove up from New York City just to do this presentation and it was awesome. Some quick notes (these are not exact quotes...I couldn't write that fast):
    • Read/write culture (what we're experiences on the Internet now) trumps read-only culture (e.g., traditional media).
    • Despite copyright and the limitations that big media has tried to place on us, the read/write culture has happened.
    • People volunteer to create content, yet abide by generally accepted principles when they do it.
    • All culture is open source. * This is a concept he mentioned several times, so it is important. *
    • Open source is nothing new. It is how we have operated for centuries/millennia.
    • "Culture" is taking those things around us to building new meaning.
    • People search for the common text among them. He opened by mentioning the Buffalo Sabres. Later he said that by doing so, he built a relationship with those in the audience who are Sabre fans or who like hockey. (He joked that by mid-June, we'll all be Sabre fans.)
    • Web 2.0 allows us to communicate many to many, not one to many (which is what media has been doing).
    • He mentioned two types of tagging -- the child's game and the catalogue -- both are relevant to how tagging is occurring on the Internet.
    • When we use Google, et al, what is the nature of the transaction? And what are we giving up? Information? Privacy? Quality?
    • What does Google keep about you and for how long?
      • What is being collected? How is it being used?
    • Google knows lots about us, but we know very little about Google. We should be worried about the nature of our transactions with Google.
    • We are returning to an old form of being human (everyone connected and interacting).
      • Globally connected humans.
    • Siva made a distinction between cleverness and brilliance. He would argue that most of the content being generated on the Internet is clever, but not brilliant.
    • He said that Google Book Search "sucks". There is no quality control. Abundance of information is not the answer.
    • Google's web search is "good enough." It helps us get a handle on the growing Internet. It finds what people needs -- or gets them closer to what they need -- but should not be used for live and death decisions.
    • Libraries value:
      • Universal access
      • Community building
      • Respect for quality
      • Serendipity
      • Quite place to think
      • Respect for the patron -- trust, sensitivity, and confidentiality
    My notes do not do Siva justice. if you ever get a chance to hear him speak, take it. You will not be disappointed.

    BTW want to know how to pronounce his name? (MP3)

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    Participatory networks

    This afternoon David Lankes did a presentation at the Nylink Annual Meeting on "participatory networks." His presentation was entitled "Libraries as Conversation." Dave and I joked that we had to drive nearly three hours to see each other, when we actually probably live 20 minutes apart in Syracuse. It definitely was worth the drive to hear him speak on this topic.

    Dave's funny and informative presentation was born out of solid research on participatory networks, done with Joanne Silverstein and Scott Nicholson. All three teach at Syracuse University. Dave hits his first key point very early -- knowledge is created through conversations. What we have in our libraries, museums and archives are materials that help fuel those conversations. Our spaces hosts conversations. And we often facilitate the conversations.

    We tend to present things to our uses -- a web page, a digitized collection, a book -- and think that we're done, but we're not. If we want to help them learn and build knowledge, we need to help them interact with and talk about the materials, whether that be online or face-to-face conversations.

    Two other thoughts from his presentation:
    • People need to be active constructors of their knowledge.
    • They (the users) want tools that allow and facilitate conversation and participation.
    There is much to think about from his study, but the biggest question is -- when we create digital collections, how do we then facilitate conversations that will allow people to learn and build knowledge? And -- in this context -- what does the word conversation mean?

    I am not sure how many people are at this meeting (less than 100), but I've already had two good conversations about digitization. Very cool! Tomorrow I'm speaking on Second Life (not digitization) as part of a panel with Christine Dowd (Apple, Inc.) and John Weber (Skidmore College). The panel topic is "The Future is Here: Technology Trends and Opportunities."

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    Tuesday, May 08, 2007

    The end...or not

    For my students, it is the end of the semester. For me, the end is not here yet because I'm reading their last papers and final grades are due early next week. As you may remember, my students had to blog and they have completed their blog posts for the semester. 32 students created nearly 224 blog posts in which they looked at digitization programs and digitized materials that are on the Internet. I asked that the find and look at different programs, and then write about them. I knew, that as the semester progressed, that what they saw in the programs would change. At first, for example, some focused on the way the web sites were created and their usability. After the copyright readings and assignment, many focused on the copyright clearance and terms of use for different programs. Then some started noticing the content management systems being used or if the programs had mounted information about the standards, etc., being used.

    In workshops, I ask participants if they look at digitization programs online and always a number of heads nod up and down. I never, though, as how frequently they go and look at new programs. I know that in our busy work lives, it can be hard to find time to look at lots of different programs on a ongoing basis. These student blog posts given you a window into more digitization programs than you may have time to investigate on your own. By reading or skimming the posts, you'll find programs that match your interests or your ideas for your own institution. You'll find ideas to check out and things to bookmark.

    The blog also contains posts from the spring 2006 semester, which means there are more than 400 blog posts to read (and likely 99% of them do not duplicate programs/projects). So go, read, skim, dream, learn, and maybe post a comment. The content is there for you to use.

    5/9/2007: Corrected the URLs. My apologies for the typo. The blog is at Thanks to the reader who questioned the URL.

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    Pew: Internet Typology Test

    What type of information gadget user are you? Pew Internet & American Life Project has a quick test online that will help you understand your Internet typology. Try it. Then get those around you to try it. It might be interesting to see what you all learn about yourselves as individuals and as a group.

    Of course, there is a report that goes along with this and the 65-page report can be found here. PDF page 3 (or report page ii) lists briefly all of the group types, what percentage of the population they are, and what you need to know about them. Where are you on that table? And the members of your team? And...your users?

    mmm...maybe this emphasizes either why you all get along so well (when you talk about digitization or social networking tools or ...) OR why you are at odds over technology.

    P.S. (7:00 p.m.) -- I should have noted that I'm a "connector." I've already heard from one reader who is an omnivore. I guess I need to own and use a few more gadgets.

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    Monday, May 07, 2007

    NPR story on Stanford Center Advocates for Fair Use on Web

    This story aired this morning as part of Morning Edition (6 min. 30 sec.). Although not focused on digitization, it is worth listening to. NPR states:
    The Fair Use Project at Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society seeks to lay the groundwork for artists and academics to use copyrighted work without permission in certain situations.

    Book: Digital Audio Watermarking Techniques and Technologies

    Digital Audio Watermarking Techniques and Technologies is a forthcoming book from IGI Publishing. It is not listed on the web site, but is in one of the catalogues (catalogue page 28). The catalogue describes the book thusly:
    Digital audio watermarking has been proposed as a new and alternative method to enforce intellectual property rights and protect digital audio from tampering.

    Digital Audio Watermarking Techniques and Technologies: Applications and Benchmarks is a comprehensive compilation of the major theoretical frameworks, research findings, and practical applications. With inclusive coverage of the most authoritative research in the area, Digital Audio Watermarking Techniques and Technologies: Applications and Benchmarks will serve as a vital reference to researchers and practitioners in a variety of disciplines, including engineering, information technology, and digital audio. With value to a diverse range of users, this Premier Reference Source suits libraries in numerous settings.
    The 132 page book should be available in July 2007 and will cost $180.

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    Friday, May 04, 2007

    Book "scanners", conferences, and a rant

    I've received two e-mails in the last week from people interested in the Atiz BookdriveDIY and wondering what I know about it. The answer is "very little." I've not seen one live nor have a spoken with anyone who has. However, I know that the Atiz Bookdrive DIY is a machine that people are becoming more interested in, so hopefully more public information (reviews, comments) will soon be available.

    Book scanners (actually Atiz, Kirtas, etc. don't scan they digitally photograph) are of more interest to organizations these days, especially since lower cost machines are becoming available. Sadly, when manufacturers exhibit at conferences, they generally do not bring expensive machines with them, yet this is a prime opportunity to demonstrate to a curious audience the technology that they have. I can be costly to bring a machine...and it might get damaged...and... But imagine demoing your product in front of 2,600 people (CIL) or 5,000+ (SLA)? Imagine the buzz. Yes, you would be demoing in front of organizations who can afford your product (or can find the money by partnering with another institution or obtaining a grant). Better yet...these are people who are asked for recommendations from their colleagues (librarians, business associates, etc.).

    For those that will be at the SLA conference in June, I checked the list of exhibitors to see who will be there that manufacture/sell digitization equipment or provide digitization services. Here is a list of those that I found on the SLA web site, but there may be more:[1]

    [1] They are not categorized consistently and I couldn't find Kirtas in any category, although they are listed as an exhibitor.

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    Thursday, May 03, 2007

    Books on digitization

    Looking at the recent Neal Schuman catalogue, they are carrying several books related to digitization. You can view a list here which includes Building Digital Archives, Descriptions, & Displays: A How-To-Do-It Manual For Archivists & Librarians and Digital Preservation and the Future of Culture.

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    Wednesday, May 02, 2007

    Article: How to write an RFP for information products

    This article in Information Outlook is a detailed look at how to write an RFP. It includes good tables and sidebars. Useful for anyone who has not written an RFP as well as those who want to do it better.
    Helen Clegg & Susan Montgomery. How to write an RFP for information products. Information Outlook. June 2006 (v. 10, n. 6) pp. 23 - 33.
    Unfortunately, Information Outlook is not readily available on the Internet. SLA members can access through the SLA web site with their member IDs. The article is also available in the WilsonWeb database (Library Literature & Information Science). Many special libraries may also have a copy of this journal.

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    My May schedule

    Just a quick note to point out the calendar on the left side of Digitization 101 that shows the conferences and other events that I will be attending or speaking at in 2007. Where will I be this month?
    And in June, I'll be attending the Special Libraries Association Annual Conference in Denver, CO (June 3 - 6).

    I was scheduled to do a digitization workshop at the SLA conference, but it has been dropped from the conference calendar due to insufficient registrants. My experience tells me that there are still librarians who want and need to learn about digitization. Unfortunately, this conference in 2007 is not the place that librarians are seeking training on developing digitization programs. C'est la vie.

    Tuesday, May 01, 2007

    Adding comments to your digitized materials

    We now see programs that allow users to add comments to their digitized materials, like the Maine Memory Network (example). Allowing users to add comments is a great way of including their knowledge in the collection. Undoubtedly there will be a few people -- with long memories -- that would enjoy adding what they remember. (Genealogists, especially could have a heyday.)

    Although it may sound frightening, providing a way for users to comment on all types of materials could be useful in ensuring that information -- unknown to the group that mounted the collection -- is not forgotten. One of the best places for this might be in allowing users to add comments to materials that document history, whether it be the history of a family, community, a product, or a company. What tidbits -- lost from the records -- could be added?!

    As I think about this, I think of companies that are likely digitized their old records in order to create a knowledge management system. It is likely that they are digitizing the official documents kept as part of their document retention program. But those documents may not contain the "rest of the story" and the unsanitized version of what occurred during the product's life-cycle, for example. There could be comments added that would ensure that the company understood truly how it succeeded and reminded the company of what it shouldn't do again.

    Would you want to approve comments that are submitted? Yes and you would want the right to not display any that were deemed inappropriate. Notice I didn't say delete, since an inappropriate comment could still have information that you may want to retain. We know that some people could submitted damaging and incorrect comments, so you need to be able to deal with that. Any program that is allowing people to add comments should have public statement about how they will deal with inappropriate or erroneous comments.

    Finally, comments are useless if no one acts on them. If you accept comments, have someone review them and see what can be used from them. Who knows what you will find!

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    CONTENTdm Multi-Site Server

    The CONTENTdm Multi-Site Server is not a true federated search product. It does, however, allow CONTENTdm to search across several CONTENTdm installations and present the user with one list of search results (one hit list). As the web site says:
    The Multi-Site Server enables users to query multiple CONTENTdm Servers from a single search interface. Geographically remote organizations can create and maintain their own local collections and at the same time provide users with seamless access to cross collection searching on multiple CONTENTdm servers.
    This is not just for remote organizations. With many institutions installing CONTENTdm, the Multi-Site Server is a way for them to connect their collections together and create a larger digital presence.

    One place that is using the Multi-Site Server is the Mountain West Digital Library. It seems to work seemlessly, although the search can be slow. Results appear to be returned un-ranked, but appear to be grouped by collection.

    In addition, the Mountain West Digital Library is using ZContent (An Open Source Z39.50 Connection to CONTENTdm Digital Collection Management Software), which MWDL developed. You can read more about ZContent at

    It is always useful to see software in action and to be able to "bang" on it. If you're using CONTENTdm, you may want to check out the
    MWDL site and think about the advantages of the Multi-Site Server. For some, the product may be more appropriated than installing federated search software, although the product is limited to searching only CONTENTdm sites. (Some regions have so many CONTENTdm sites, that just connecting them together under one search umbrella could be quite useful.)

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