Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Indus and Image Access, part 2

Monday's post (Indus and Image Access) led to me receiving more information on Indus, which I want to pass along.
  • The Bookeye scanners are manufactured by Image Access GmbH and marketed by ImageWare GmbH. Both companies are located in Germany.
  • Image Access, Inc. (the U.S. company) markets the Bookeye scanner with its own software called B-SCAN.
  • Indus markets the Bookeye scanner with the software developed by ImageWare called BCS-2. According to the president of Indus International, Ameen Ayoob, "its various modules...have integration for document delivery systems such as Ariel, Illiad and others."
  • Indus has placed its machines in many institutions, including several major universities in the U.S.
Ayoob agreed that anyone interested in the Bookeye should do a side-by-side comparison, if possible, in order to determine which setup is best for you.

Technorati tag:

Monday, July 30, 2007

Indus and Image Access

A couple weeks ago, I got a wonderful phone call from a gentleman at DLSG/Image Access, who had read my post about the digitization vendors at the SLA conference in June. In that post, I had mentioned that the BookEye scanner from DLSG/Image Access looked very similar to the Indus 5002C. I had wondered if they were the same machine and he answered that question for me. Both machines are manufactured by Image Access Computer GmbH. Looking at the Image Access Computer GmbH web site, you see Image Access, Inc. listed as a partner, while Indus is not. (That may or may not be a big deal.)

Okay...same hardware sold by two different U.S. companies, so what's the difference? The software. Image Access, Inc. is using the BSCAN software, while Indus uses different software with their machine. Supposedly, the BSCAN software is more friendly. In the walk-up/patron versions of the machines, the way they are physically setup is also different. (Indus is the Indus 5002C TST Walk-Up Kiosk System, while Image Access is the Knowledge Imaging Center.)

Which machine is better? I honest don't know. I have not done a side-by-side comparison of the machines. (If you have, please let me know.) Of course, each company thinks its version -- hardware, software and physical setup is the best. I would also think that each is sold at a different price point. (And we know that cost always factors in.)

I did not ask Indus about the number of machines they have sold, etc., so I don't have that information. The gentleman from Image Access volunteered that their machines was in a growing number of libraries across the U.S. (and the list sounded impressive). Since these machines are likely not cheap, I would think testing them out -- as well as talking to libraries who have them installed -- would be a smart move. And try for a side-by-side comparison if that would be helpful to you.

Technorati tag:

Friday, July 27, 2007

Digitizing college textbooks for disabled students

Although ebooks have not truly caught on, the ability to create an ebook can be the first step in making that book more assessable to disabled students. In "The Next Textbook? Finding—or Creating—Alternative Instructional Materials for College Students," Robert Martinengo wrote:
The most common use of e-text is the conversion of text to speech. This can be synchronized with the pages of a book, using a program such as Kurzweil 3000. Or the audio can be saved as wav or mp3 files, and played back on inexpensive consumer equipment. The quality of synthetic speech has improved dramatically in the last few years, and the proliferation of MP3 players makes this an attractive option for many students. New software such as eClipseReader and eClipseWriter lets users create their own navigable audio books, with links to page numbers and chapter headings.

Another use of electronic text is conversion to Braille...There are also methods to convert graphics in to raised line drawings.

Another quality of electronic text is its ability to be searched, highlighted, annotated, excerpted, etc. Vendors of assistive technology promote these features as powerful tools to aid students with disabilities with their studies.
As you can see, having the book in digital format allows other technologies to serve it to someone with a sight disability.

A recent article at the Daisy Consortium notes that Google is making its books more assessable.
The very special hidden link that is available from the full view now allows people who use access technology with their computers to read the text. Prior to this change, it was not possible, the views were images, not text. At the National Federation of the Blind's Annual Conference held on July 5, Dr. T.V. Raman, who is himself blind and who works for Google, said, "Consider this to be step zero of many steps that will benefit blind and print-disabled persons throughout the world." Indeed this is a significant step; having hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of books available to a population that thirsts for information, but which is blocked from using traditional mechanisms for reading, is without precedent and of extreme importance.
The author notes, however, that more needs to be done to make Google Books even more assessable to those with are blind or have a visual impairment.

Digitization is all about access. We tend to think of access to fragile materials or access to materials that are elsewhere in the world. We shouldn't forget that digitization allows people with disabilities to access materials that may have been in their community all along.

Technorati tags: ,

Changes / updates to Digitization 101

This morning I finally updated the template for Digitization 1o1 in order to take advantage of some "new" Blogger features.

In the left column, you will now see a feature called "Labels." Labels allows you to quickly and easily see blog posts that have been given the same label like "copyright." Labels have been added to blog posts since January 2007, although a few older posts have labels.

The "Blog Archive" also displays differently now. You can more quickly view and select post titles from the Archive.

Otherwise, I think the left-hand column looks a little cleaner.

I don't think my tweaking is done yet, but the more dramatic changes have been made.

If the blog does not view correctly (or seemingly correctly for you), please drop me a message at hurst {at} hurstassociates {dot} com Thanks!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Subscribe to Digitization 101

You can have Digitization 101 delivered to you daily, either though you favorite blog/RSS reader or through email. Just select one of the options below.

Subscribe to Digitization 101 in your favorite reader

Or get new posts delivered in email. Just enter your email address here:
Powered by FeedBlitz

Please note that your email address will never be shared with anyone! (I promise)


When a blog moves to a new URL, it can be difficult to know where it went to. Sivacracy.net moved this month from its home at NYU to its new home at Institute for the Future of the Book (IF:Book). Its chief blogger, Siva Vaidhyanathan is now on the faculty of the University of Virginia faculty and has been appointed the first fellow of the IF:book. (Hence the change in URL.) IF:Book noted that:

Siva is one of just a handful of writers to have leveled a consistent and coherent critique of Google's expansionist policies, arguing not from the usual kneejerk copyright conservatism that has dominated the debate but from a broader cultural and historical perspective: what does it mean for one company to control so much of the world's knowledge?

mmm...criticizing Google?!

At any rate, Sivacracy (which is team blog) often touches on topics that may be of interest to those curious about some of the broader issues that can impact digitization. If you're unfamiliar with the blog, feel free to take a peek at it.

Technorati tags: ,

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Paper: Forging cultural heritage collections online: The story of An American Tale

The Winner of the 2007 SLA IT Division Jo Ann Clifton Student Award was Nancy Bronte Matheny who submitted a paper on this project, Forging cultural heritage collections online: The story of An American Tale. Matheny wrote in the introduction:

In the heartland of 19th-century America, Missouri welcomed emigrants from states and countries, near and far, as the central crossroads of the nation. The digital collection, An American Tale: 19th-century Folkways to Missouri, was created by the author to document that migrant experience through the heritage of one individual, to understand the process of constructing a cultural heritage collection online.

The purpose of this paper is to reflect back upon the extensive planning and execution required to create, from the ground up, the digital repository of 3 migrant pathways to Missouri, to understand best practices in building an online digital collection.

The reader will learn in part 1.0 the initial goals of the project and the work which was undertaken. Part 2.0 will describe corresponding outputs from the effort, through a virtual tour of the finished collection. Part 3.0 will evaluate lessons learned from that endeavor.

Like the journey of early settlers to Missouri, the road to constructing a premier digital collection is fraught with danger: potholes, treacherous stream crossings, dangerous wildlife, bad equipment, limited funds, and all kinds of weather. Through lessons learned by the experience of the author, the reader may take away valuable lessons to begin the journey to building a premier digital collection.
This eight-week project was completed as part of a course she was taking at the University of Arizona. Included in her e-paper are screenshots and other information displayed in graphic form (like her budget).

This is an interesting read because you understand better what library science students are being challenged to do in graduate school. You also can read/understand the decisions
Matheny made as well as what she learned.

And what were her lessons learned?
1) planning is crucial, 2) experience counts, 3) choose wisely, 4) be flexible, and 5) keep a sense of humor.
By the way, "the The Joe Ann Clifton Student Award is presented to a library science student who has submitted an outstanding paper regarding the use of information technology. The award includes student membership in SLA for one year, expenses to attend the SLA Annual Conference, and publication in b/ITe." For students who may be interested in applying for this award, you can read last year's call for submissions here. I would assume that the requirements and deadlines will be similar in the coming year.

Technorati tag:

Digital scrapbooking

A few weeks ago, I received an email that mentioned digital scrapbooking. We've all seen -- and perhaps created -- scrapbooks that contain photos and other memorabilia. If that scrapbook exists only in digital form, then it is a digital scrapbook. Yes, there are software packages and web sites on this topic, and even a magazine.

When we digitize, we're concerned about the original work and trying to ensure that our digital surrogate matches the original work. We carefully consider whether we should do any altering of the digital object so that it is more usable. Sometimes we do; sometimes we don't.

With digital scrapbooking, there is not the concern about being true to the original. I see people talking about altering the photos -- perhaps highlighting, editing, or adding elements -- in a digital scrapbook. These scrapbooks can become enhanced memories -- better than the original. Yes, altering materials in a paper-based scrapbook was always possible, but you would generally be able to see the alterations. With digital scrapbooks, you may not always know how something was altered. What you see is what you get, but are you seeing and getting what really happened?

With digital scrapbooks growing in popularity, undoubtedly at some point someone will want to donate a digital scrapbook to a library, historical society or archive. Besides thinking about the digital format and issues surrounding that, the institution will need to consider if it is receiving history or art. Is it receiving a scrapbook that documents history (in the ways we look at scrapbooks from bygone eras) or should it only be considered a work of art, since you're not sure if the history displayed has been altered?

I don't know the answer to that question. I do know that figuring out the answer is going to cause a headache for someone.

Technorati tag:

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

JISC Content Symposium and subsequent Digitisation Conference Blog

JISC has launched a blog and other resources as a result of its recent conference. The one blog post says:
In July 2007 JISC held a two-day digitisation conference in Cardiff and the event was live blogged and podcasted. Here you can find links to all the resources from the conference, from Powerpoint presentations and audio to the live reports and conference wiki.
There is a huge amount of content on this site, with more to come, including podcasts.

Thanks to Stuart Dempster from JISC for telling me about this.

Technorati tag:

Monday, July 23, 2007

In Memoriam, Ray von Dran, Dean of SU's School of Information Studies

Ray von Dran
Ray von Dran
Many in the Syracuse University community were shocked this morning to hear that Dr. Raymond von Dran, Dean of the School of Information Studies, had died suddenly this morning in New York City at New York Presbyterian Hospital. (He had taken ill over the weekend.) Ray leaves behind his wife, Dr. Gisela von Dran, and a daughter, as well as many colleagues and friends.

Ray came to SU in 1995 after being Dean of School of Library and Information Sciences, University of North Texas. In August -- yes, in just a few days -- Ray was stepping down as Dean and was going on a year's sabbatical. After traveling extensively for a year with his wife, he was going to return in August 2008 to SU to teach, do research, and assist with fund-raising activities.

Under Ray's leadership, the School of Information Studies grew and flourished. The number of faculty increased as did the number of students. The number of courses also grew and new Certificates Advance Studies were implemented, including one in digital libraries. Within the last couple of years, the School had moved into a beautifully renovated building on campus, right on the quad (prime real estate).

Ray was a delight. Always smiling...always with a kind word. I last saw him on June 20 on a flight to Washington, D.C. Ray waited for me after we deplaned and we were able to chat for a few minutes as we walked to get our baggage. He was very happy and was so looking forward to his sabbatical. It sounded like the perfect vacation, and now one that he will not be taking.

Ray's death reminds me of two lessons. First, be sure to tell those people around you what they mean to you. Thankfully, at his going away reception in May, I did tell Ray about the positive impact he had on my life. Second, don't put off those things you want to do. Tomorrow may never come.

Related post from Remaining Relevant.

Addendum (7/26/2007): The family is not planning to hold calling hours or a formal service. There will be a memorial service on campus (SU) in September. In the meantime, there will be "Our Sorrowing for Ray von Dran” on July 30 in the I-School at 4 pm. The following day, which would have been Ray's 61st birthday, there will be “A Celebration of Ray’s Life” from 3 - 5 p.m. in Helroy. Both events will allow for memories to be shared and sorrow expressed with each other and the family.

Cards may be sent to the family in care of the I-School (c/o SU School of Information Studies, 343 Hinds Hall, Syracuse, NY 13244)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Article: Large Scale Digitization of Oral History: A Case Study

The University of Kentucky Libraries houses the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, which contains more than 6,500 interviews comprising over 12,000 interview hours. Transcriptions have been done of nearly half of the collection. In 2005, Uk embarked on a two-year pilot analog-to-digital conversion project. This article contains details about that project like cost information, what audio frequencies to capture and storage calculations. If you are working with audio, you may want to read/skim/bookmark this article.

Technorati tag:

Article: Actualized Preservation Threats: Practical Lessons from Chronicling America

We know that our digital content can become inaccessible due to problems with the media, software, etc. This D-Lib article talks about the preservation threats encountered by the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) team. It is interesting to read what problems they encountered and how it affected them.

Technorati tag:

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Article: The "Google Five" Describe Progress, Challenges

There are lots of gems in this article. First, how many libraries are not part of the Google Book Search (GBS) project? 25 as of the end of June.

Some article highlights:
  • "We're filtering out a lot of works that are not physically up to being scanned" (Harvard)
  • "there are many books rejected because of fragile conditions" (Oxford)
  • "seven to ten reference questions or interlibrary loan requests a week are generated by use of Google Book Search" (Stanford)
  • "Right now, to be frank, I don't find the retrieval in Book Search to be that impressive. There's a long ways to go." (Harvard)
  • "We'll define success as getting as much of our collection digitized as we can" (Oxford)
Read the entire article for more gems.

Given the feedback from the Google Five, is Google Book Search a success? Yes. They are seeing positives from their participation. Usage has increased and they have learned more about their collections. They know that it is not yet perfect, but they all seem to have hopes that perfection will come.

Technorati tag:

Transana for analyzing digital video or audio data

Many organizations are working with audio and video, trying to make them more accessible for their users. Some organizations are using Transana to help with this effort. According to the web site:

"Transana is software for professional researchers who want to analyze digital video or audio data. Transana lets you analyze and manage your data in very sophisticated ways. Transcribe it, identify analytically interesting clips, assign keywords to clips, arrange and rearrange clips, create complex collections of interrelated clips, explore relationships between applied keywords, and share your analysis with colleagues. The result is a new way to focus on your data, and a new way to manage large collections of video and audio files and clips."

To use Transana, your audio or video must already be in a digital format. What formats does Transana support?

Transana 1.0 through 2.12 work with MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and most AVI video, as well as MP3 and WAV audio. Starting with Transana 2.20, QuickTime MOV and MP4 formats are supported on both Windows and OS X, and Windows Media Video, WMV, and Windows Media Audio, WMA, formats are supported on Windows only.
Transana does not work automatically, though. A person must sit and listen/watch the audio/video and make notes in Transana. The end result could be specific clips created from this digital content that is made available to end-users. To see a sample of the entire process, you can watch screencasts on the Transana web site.

Transana has been downloaded more than 40,000 times (and those are unique downloads) and it is used by organizations around the world. It seems to be well-known within specific groups of people (i.e., those dealing with audio and video).

Development of Transana, an open source product, has been funded primarily by the Wisconsin Center for Education Research. The product was available for free, but starting this year, it is being sold (rather than being given away) in order to help continued development. The single-user version of Transana costs $50. The multi-user version of Transana costs $500.

I've not tried Transana, but have communicated with one group that has. I'd be interested in hearing from others who are using this. I'd especially like to hear what you're doing with the files you create with Tranana.

Technorati tag:

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Papers/presentation from the 7th International Web Archiving Workshop

The papers and presentations from the 7th International Web Archiving Workshop are now online. In the realm of "born digital," understanding and doing web archiving is a big deal. Much information has already been lost. The people involved in this event are striving for the best ways of preserving this content.

Technorati tag:

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Moving Images: Digitization for Access (Lot 49)

Peter Brantley writes in his blog, "This last Friday (the 13th!), at U.C. Berkeley, the Digital Library Federation was honored to host a landmark meeting of a group that we have labeled 'Lot 49' on the topic of moving image digitization. Our group's aim is to facilitate broader access to the incredible trove of film and video held in our archives, libraries, museums, broadcast stations, and other sources."

Later he wrote, "The motivation for our gathering was the belief that our institutions have a narrow but critical opportunity to draw ourselves together to draft a set of shared understandings that inform our dealings with future partners as a community, rather than a collection of individual actors. We seek to maximize the public good - not vaguely-perceived near-term institutional goals, but rather the larger goals of our organizations: to educate, to teach, to inspire, to inform, and to delight."

I encourage you to read his entire blog posting (rather than me quoting the whole thing here). This group has an interesting set of members and interesting ideas. This is definitely a group worth watching.

Technorati tag:


The Freedom and Innovation Revitalizing U.S. Entrepreneurship Act of 2007 (The FAIR USE Act) was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives in February 2007. It's goal is to:
To amend title 17, United States Code, to promote innovation, to encourage the introduction of new technology, to enhance library preservation efforts, and to protect the fair use rights of consumers, and for other purposes.
The American Library Association and others are encouraging libraries in the U.S. to ask their Congressional representatives to support this Act. In talking about it, the ALA web site says:

The Freedom and Innovation Revitalizing U.S. Entrepreneurship (FAIR USE) Act of 2007, H.R. 1201, was introduced on February 27. The FAIR USE Act is co-sponsored by Congressman Rick Boucher (D-VA), Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Congressman John Doolittle (R-CA). Libraries urge other Members of Congress to co-sponsor this important bill that would amend the copyright law.

Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) prohibits circumventing a technological protection measure placed on a copyrighted work to prevent access. There are very limited exceptions to the anti-circumvention provision and these exemptions sunset every three years under the current statutory scheme. At the end of 2006, the Librarian of Congress approved six exemptions from the prohibition on circumvention of technological locks. The FAIR USE Act makes these six exemptions permanent for uses that do not infringe copyright, for example, educational uses in a classroom.

Two of these exemptions are particularly important to the library community. During the rulemaking proceeding before the Library of Congress, the library community supported the exemptions for screen readers for the visually impaired and film clip compilations for college media studies classes. The Fair USE Act would ensure that these activities can continue in the future.

Additionally, the FAIR USE Act would extend the determinations of the Librarian of Congress in six narrow circumstances. For example, the Fair Use Act would extend the film clip exemption to all classrooms instead of just college media studies classes. It would allow access to public domain works, as well as works of substantial public interest.

The bill also would permit a library to circumvent technological protections for the purpose of preservation of works in a library's collection. Preservation is a critical function as libraries preserve our Nation's cultural and scientific heritage.

In addition to the provisions aimed at expressly helping libraries, the FAIR USE Act would codify the U.S. Supreme Court's 1984 ruling that a copying technology (in that case, the videocassette recorder) is permissible under the Copyright Act so long as the technology can be used for non-infringing as well as infringing purposes. The bill also would limit the availability of statutory damages against individuals and firms who may be found to have engaged in contributory infringement, inducement of infringement, vicarious liability or other indirect infringement.

For the full text of the FAIR USE Act, please follow the link below:

* FAIR USE Act of 2007 (PDF)

If you are not familiar with this Act, please consider reading more about it....and even talk to you representative about his/her thoughts about this Act.

Technorati tag:

Do you really need a plan?

This question comes up at workshops and in casual conversations about digitization. Is a plan really necessary? Can't we just "go" with what we've got in our heads on this project? We swamped -- how can we make time to do a plan?

There is the old saying -- plan your work and work your plan.

There is also the quote (attributed to Yogi Berra):
You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going because you might not get there. (My apologies to those outside of the U.S. who are unfamiliar with Yogi Berra and his unusual way of wording things.)
A plan tell you where you want to go with your project and the steps you need to take to get there. That is the essence of a digitization plan. However, in order to know where you are going, you must know where you are now, so the plan (the document) might also include information gathered on your current state as well as information you will need in order to implement a plan. With that information, the plan not only helps you plan your work, but ensures that the completed project will be want you want.

A plan also ensures that everyone on the project agrees on what the project is! You might think that your team agrees on what you are doing, but you really won't know for sure until you place something in front of them -- in writing -- that they have to approve (like a plan). When you say "we're implementing this plan -- nothing more, nothing less" then the hidden agendas and hidden tasks will start to emerge. (The "joy" of every project manager is having an approved plan, then -- in the middle of the project -- hearing of a critical task that was known by some, but not placed into the plan. The only way to avoid this is emphatically state upfront to your team that you will only fund and do what is in the plan.)

Yes, a plan takes time. There is no avoiding that. You can divide the work so that many people (a team) work on the plan. As another saying goes, many hands make light work. However, there should be one person whose responsibility it is to ensure that the plan is completed. That person will need to ensure that the other members of the team make their contributions to the plan. The person responsible will also need to ensure that the plan contains everything it needs and that it is approved by the team and by management.

How long will it take to write your plan? That varies by project. If you have all the information you need already, you might be able to write a plan in a few days. If you need to do research, then it may take longer. Some organizations combine their planning activity with training, awareness building, the gathering/adoption of standards and guidelines, and other tasks, which means that their planning process might take a year. I have also heard of projects that took even longer to create their plans. No matter how much time you spend on writing it, that time -- that activity -- will be valuable.

Finally, a plan is not cast in concrete. As the plan is being implemented, it may need to be changed with new or updated information. For example, your timeline might change as you gain experience during the implementation. You would then update your plan with the new timeline information. (Be sure to keep track of those changes, so you'll be able to know what the plan was originally and how it did change over time.)

Not convinced that you need a plan? Here is one last quote (just created): Your project exists if it has a plan.

Technorati tag:

Monday, July 16, 2007

Article: Library gives up on Killebrew photos

As the article states:

Half a million photographic negatives documenting Rocky Mount from the 1940s to the 1990s sit dormant in subzero temperatures in a Raleigh storage room.

Braswell Memorial Library's ambition to convert the Charles S. Killebrew collection into digital images outpaced its funding, resources and ability.

The collection is too massive for Braswell to store or convert to digital images, said Traci Thompson, Braswell's local history and genealogy librarian.

"We have the ability to do maybe a small digitization project, but not a large project like this," Thompson said. "I think that it just wasn't realized at first how large the collection was and how much room was needed."

Part of the problem is administering contract that the library has to sign with Charles S. Killebrew. Read the full article for the details.

The library says the acquisition of these negatives was good one, but that it just can't create the needed partnership at the moment in order to get them digitized. With this information now out on the Internet, I wonder if a partner will emerge that can help with with the digitization and contract administration?

Technorati tag:

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thinking about federated search again (still)

I'm giving a presentation at Internet Librarian on federated search and am beginning to write the summary that will go into the conference proceedings. During my part of the session I'm going to talk about the benefits of federated search, as well as the shortcomings. Shortcomings? mmm...are they shortcomings or are they instances where the library didn't do enough upfront to understand what they were getting (and what they needed in order to make it work)? I'll explore that in the session. And I'll give some tips for vendors who selling federated search products to libraries. It should be a lively session!

BTW the title of my part of the session is "Federated Searching Feedback: Walking the Talk?" (Session A105)

I do have two requests for you. First, let me know what interests you about federated search. This will help me as a prepare for my presentation. Second, if you know of any blogs that focus on federated search, please tell me (I haven't found any yet). You can leave a comment on this blog post with the information. Thanks!

Technorati tags: ,

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Book Restorer software

I ran across this piece of software recently and it sounds interesting. Book Restorer will take the materials you have digitized -- e.g., a book -- and help you create an ebook. As they say, it "allows you to simulate a book structure. " You can try out the product for free for 30 days (with some limitations on what you can do).

Nothing on the web site hints at the price for the product or how to purchase a full version. If anyone has used it, please feel free to leave a comment and tell us what it is like. It sounds cool, but is it?

Technorati tag:

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

S-Ox and digitization

{If you think this post is not for you, at least skip to the last paragraph.}

I received an email from a reader who asked a couple of questions, including:
During my day job, I work in IT change/project management and S-Ox [Sarbanes-Oxley] regulations play a large role in documentation decisions. Do you know if the S-Ox regulations also apply to the digitization field?
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 is meant:
To protect investors by improving the accuracy and reliability of corporate disclosures made pursuant to the securities laws, and for other purposes.
According to the U.S. SEcurities and Exchange Commission (SEC):
The Act mandated a number of reforms to enhance corporate responsibility, enhance financial disclosures and combat corporate and accounting fraud, and created the "Public Company Accounting Oversight Board," also known as the PCAOB, to oversee the activities of the auditing profession.
The effect is that ordinary investors have access to better information about the public companies that have invested in (or want to invest in). Information is more readily available and presented in ways that makes it more intelligible. Sarbanes-Oxley -- or S-Ox or SOX or SARBOX -- definitely impacts the documentation that a company keeps and how it makes that information accessible. But how does S-Ox impact digitization? Or vice versa?

First, I must admit to not having read all of the S-Ox rules and regulations, so I'm going to think about this from a practical -- common sense -- point of view.

As I think about what S-Ox is meant to do, I can see it would impact what information is kept and how it is kept. In the "how", Sarbanes-Oxley impacts a company's IT department because most of the data used to generate the reports required for S-Ox resides in systems under IT's control. But would Sarbanes-Oxley impact what a public company digitized from its older records? No. The Act is a forward-looking act (from the date when it became effective going forward). It doesn't -- as far as I can tell from reading documentation -- affect the past (prior to 2002).

Now I can hear many people saying, "so what? We don't care about S-Ox." True, you don't. But many of us are in environments that are impacted by government regulations. As we think about digitizing and placing materials online, we need to think about those regulations and how they might affect what we're doing. There are privacy issues (especially when dealing with medical records or student records), copyright concerns, and other things we may need to talk into account. In some industries/companies, it may be concerns over providing information to a competitor or accidentally releasing a trade secret. So whatever your project, step back for a second and think about the government rules and regulations that your organization needs to follow, then think about whether you need to be concerned about them when you digitize materials. Taking that extra step in your thought process may keep you out of hot water.

Technorati tag:

Survey on the creation of digital collections

Andrea Japzon has given me permission to post her message regarding this survey on the creation of digital collections.

From Andrea Japzon:
If you are currently working with digital collections in a cultural institution, I invite you to participate in an exploratory research study on the involvement of community members in the creation of digital collections.

The survey is located at:


The survey will take no more than 10 to 15 minutes to complete.

The purpose of this study is to explore the ways in which digital collections are providing the opportunity to create access to local public history collections through partnerships among libraries, museums, historical societies, and community members. Another objective of this study is to gather input from digital collections professionals about community building and information literacy instruction as part of digital collection creation.

This research is approved by the Institutional Review Board of Drexel University. If you have questions about your rights as a participant in this study, please contact the IRB at (215) 895-5849 or at research@drexel.edu.

Thank you in advance for the time and effort you extend on behalf of our research project. Your input is of great importance to its success.

If you have any questions, please contact Andrea Japzon by the phone number or email address listed below.

Andrea Japzon, Co-Investigator
Denise. E. Agosto, PhD, Principal Investigator 215-895-1930 Drexel University College of Information Science & Technology
3141 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Monday, July 09, 2007

Blind decisions

I was speaking to a software company last week and we talked about how organizations decide what to purchase. Unfortunately, many organizations do not have the time (and maybe money) to do product trials. Therefore, organizations base their decisions on what a company tells them, rumors/information from other sources, product reviews (if there are any), and price. However, no matter how much you read and talk, it does not take the place of a product trial. Testing one product -- or two or more -- with your own computers, data, employees, etc., will give you the information you need to be a better purchasing decision. Instead of making a blind decision, your eyes will be wide open. You will have seen and experienced those things that will really make a difference -- how the product works for you and your co-workers.

It does sometime seem that the more expensive a product, the less likely an organization is to trial it. Perhaps that is because there may be a cost to the trial. But wouldn't you rather do a trial than purchase something that you are going to regret?

And wouldn't you be able to justify the purchase more effectively if you have tried it?

Friday, July 06, 2007

Course: Seminar in Contemporary Issues Topic: Digital Copyright

Mary Minow will be teaching Seminar in Contemporary Issues Topic: Digital Copyright during the fall 2007 semester at San Jose State University. Because this is an online course and because SJSU is part of the WISE consortium (Web-based Information Science Education), this class is open to library and information science students enrolled at several other I-Schools.

I believe that there are few semester-long courses taught in library science programs on copyright, although copyright is often taught as part of another class. Given the need for information professionals to understand copyright and its impact on this work, Minow's course is truly needed. Her class should be quite full and with a waiting list!

Technorati tag:

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Draft standard for International Standard Collection Identifiers (ISCI)

The SAA Metadata discussion list carried this announcement on July 3:
A draft standard for International Standard Collection Identifiers (ISCI) is under review by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). It will establish a unique identifier for each archival collection and fond. The ISCI will provide a means for duplicate control with metasearch applications, and can be used with the standard collection description metadata element set (NISO Z39.91). You can access the draft at http://www.niso.org/pdfs/ISO_NP_27730ISCIandWD.pdf
The introduction to the draft states:
ISO TC46 has developed standard identifiers for a wide variety of entities. However, a standard identifier for collections and fonds has not been built. In the past there has not been a need for such an identifier, either, but the situation has changed. There is now a large number of collections and fonds and a broad range of organisations hosting them. These collections and fonds can be physical or electronic, partly physical and partly electronic, or virtual; they can be available either on-line in the Internet or off-line.

The need for identifying collections and fonds has emerged with introduction of metasearch engines, which do – or will – include collection descriptions as a means of helping the patrons to locate relevant information. An identifier is generally seen as one of the key metadata elements of collection description; while it is possible to use local identifiers, in an environment where global exchange of this kind of metadata is anticipated, usage of local identifiers is not a good option. Local collection or fond identifiers do not enable either efficient searching or duplicate detection.

The aim of this standard is to enable a system which requires neither a large – and expensive – international centre nor large national/ regional centres, even if tens or hundreds of thousands of collections and fonds are identified.
The working draft is 8 pages with the entire document being 16 pages in length. It already includes comments from some who have reviewed it. Additional comments are due by July 27, 2007 (and I assume due to the project leader named in the document).

Even if you are not interested in the details, you may want to take a look at this in order to see how a standard is proposed. Of course, if the standard is adopted, we may be learning more about it in the future!

Technorati tags: ,

OSTA and Ecma believe an optical disc/DVD archival test standard is needed

On July 3, the Digital-Preservation discussion list carried this press release. With DVDs being used more frequently, it is good to see these two groups addressing the problem knowing if a disc is of archival-grade quality. We all know that CDs and DVDs are more fragile than we'd like, so I hope the standard carries something about how long an archival-grade DVD will realistically last and under what conditions. THEN I hope manufacturers do a good job of communicating that information.

OSTA and Ecma International Announce Issuance of Optical Disc Archival Test Standard Needed to Promote Archival-Grade Media

The Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA) and Ecma International announced yesterday the completion of their co-development work to issue an industry standard for optical media archive life testing that targets recordable and rewritable DVDs. This standard will enable the industry to offer reliable archival-grade optical discs to help end-users select the media life expectancy best suited to their application requirements. The new standard was approved by the Ecma General Assembly on June 28, 2007, culminating an effort initiated in June 2006 in Sapporo, Japan, when Ecma International's Technical Committee 31 agreed to finalize a draft standard developed by various industry participants working within OSTA.

The document has been assigned the number ECMA-379, and may be accessed at the Ecma website for immediate review. Following this milestone, the standard will be transferred to ISO/IEC JTC1 SC23 under an established "fast track procedure." The earliest anticipated ISO/IEC version is December 2007.

"We announced this collaboration a year ago. The rapid completion of this program can be attributed to the sense of urgency within the optical storage community," said David Bunzel, President of the Optical Storage Technology Association. "End users need reliable media for secure, removable, portable storage of their important documents. Industry wide implementation of this standard will greatly assist them in their purchase decisions."

"Ecma is very pleased to have facilitated this standard development designed to assist the market in clarifying differences in optical media quality," said Istvan Sebestyen, Ecma Secretary General. "The TC31 committee was formed in 1983 having its charter as the development of 'Optical Disk and Disk Cartridge' standards and has since been the preferred venue for this activity. Virtually all of the CD and DVD read only and recordable/rewritable standards have been developed in TC31. Its members are the primary players in optical technology development and therefore it was an ideal place for the development of this media archival life test."

Manufacturers sponsoring and participating in the development of this standard included Fujifilm, Hewlett-Packard, Imation, MAM-A, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Ricoh, Sony, Toshiba, and Verbatim. The committee received strong support from related industry organizations, including Japan's CDs21 Solutions and the Digital Content Association (DCAj). Significant expert technical contributions were made by the editing team that included Drs. Mitsuru Irie (Osaka Sangyo U) and Kunimaro Tanaka (Teikyo Heisei U) under programs sponsored by CDs21 and DCAj, respectively.

"We at CDs21 Solutions feel fortunate that we were able to take part in this effort, where we were able to contribute our resources to the Ecma document with OSTA," said Takao Ihashi, Chairman of the Steering Committee of CDs21 Solutions. "Media life expectancy was also a main project at CDs21, where many active members were those who brought recordable optical discs to market, and were determined to establish a standard for enhancing the value of optical media for all end users, and therefore the timing of our collaboration was perfect."

Fred Byers of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) had this to say: "As a long time proponent of this development and an early contributor to the document, I am very pleased with the outcome. Optical disc applications are increasingly oriented towards long-life storage of computer and A/V data and this standard will help ensure that tested media will meet expectations."

"I3A believes that archiving of digital images is an underestimated issue for the global imaging industry," said I3A's President Lisa Walker. "We are very supportive of this proposal for a joint OSTA-Ecma standard for optical disc archive testing, which fulfills a critical consumer need to identify archive quality media to store their precious memories for the long term."

Victor McCrary, member of the National Digital Strategy Advisory Board (NDSAB) for the Library of Congress and Business Executive for Science & Technology at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory states, "this effort is an excellent example of government, industry, and academia working together to address the need for archival standards for optical media. Preservation of 'born digital' media is of the utmost concern for many of the parties involved in the development of this standard. I commend all involved for taking this important step in taking seriously the emerging global issue of digital preservation as its affects end-users at every level."

Since its formation in Sept. 2005, OSTA's Optical Disc Archival Testing (ODAT) Committee has consisted of a multi-national group of industry experts sharing this common goal. The ODAT Committee includes members of global manufacturers and representatives of optical storage products, university and government.

About the Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA)

The Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA) was incorporated as an international trade association in 1992 to promote the use of recordable optical technologies and products. The organization's membership includes optical product manufacturers and resellers from three continents, representing more than 85 percent of worldwide writable optical product shipments. They work to shape the future of the industry through regular meetings of DVD Compatibility, Commercial Optical Storage Applications (COSA), MPV, ODAT and UDF committees. Interested companies worldwide are invited to join the organization and participate in its programs by contacting an OSTA representative at (408) 253-3695, by fax at (408) 253-9938, or by addressing its Web site at http://www.osta.org.

About Ecma International

Since its inception in 1961, Ecma International (Ecma) has developed standards for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Consumer Electronics (CE). Ecma is a non-profit industry association of technology developers, vendors and users. Experts from industry and other organizations work together at Ecma to develop standards. Ecma submits its work for approval as ISO, IEC, ISO/IEC and ETSI standards and is a main practitioner of "fast tracking" of specifications through the standardisation process in International Standards Organisations (ISOs) such as the ISO and the IEC. Publications can be downloaded free of charge
from http://www.ecma-international.org/.

Technorati tag:

Event: INFuture2007: Digital Information and Heritage, Nov. 7 - 9, 2007 (Croatia)

According to the web site:
INFuture 2007: "Digital Information and Heritage" is the first in a series of INFuture conferences with the focus on digitisation and preservation in the heritage domain. The conferences provide a forum for information professionals who plan and design information systems for cultural heritage collections to discuss issues of relevant standards, creating policies or training.
An announcement has gone out that the summary submission deadline has been extended to August 20, 2007. As the email message said:
The scope of the Conference includes, but is not limited to the following topics:
  • Digitisation
  • e-Heritage and Preservation
  • e-Infrastructure
  • Identity in Electronic Environment and its Preservation
  • Information Science Education
  • Document Management in Business Applications and e-Government
Find more information on: http://infoz.ffzg.hr/infuture or e-mail to: infuture@infoz.ffzg.hr

Technorati tag:

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Event: International Conference on Digital Preservation , Nov. 1 - 2, 2007

As posted on the Digital-Preservation discussion list:

Conference Announcement: Tools and Trends International Conference on Digital Preservation at the occasion of the retirement of Johan Steenbakkers
1-2 November 2007, The Hague, the Netherlands Organized byThe Koninklijke BibliotheekNational Library of the Netherlands


On 1 and 2 November 2007, the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (National Library of the Netherlands, KB) is holding an international conference on digital preservation. The conference is organised at the occasion of the retirement of Johan Steenbakkers, the KB’s director of e-Strategy.

Tools and Trends will feature international speakers who will present newest developments of Tools for digital preservation and the latest Trends in long-term archiving.

The occasion

In 1998 the European project NEDLIB was launched. This project was one of the first international projects to take on the topic of digital preservation. Since then, a lot of progress has been made developing concepts, tools and even standards. Johan Steenbakkers, director of e-Strategy at the National Library of the Netherlands (KB), was the project coordinator for NEDLIB. He was the initiator of digital preservation research at the KB, starting already in the early nineties, and responsible for the development and implementation of the e-Depot. His retirement is a very good occasion to present recent developments in digital preservation: what have we accomplished since NEDLIB?

The programme

Thursday November 1 will focus on Tools in digital preservation. To ensure future access to our digital heritage, long-term storage is just the first step. Acquisition, selection, appraisal, description, maintenance, retrieval and representation of digital objects are all aspects of the process of digital resource management. Organisations that have the responsibility for the curation of digital material need tools that allow them to set up their preservation workflow. Current projects are working on the development of these tools and procedures and will present their work at Tools and Trends. Sessions will focus on characterization of digital objects, on preservation action (migration, emulation) and preservation planning. Projects that will present their practical developments include PLANETS and CASPAR.

Friday November 2 will be dedicated to Trends in digital archiving. With enormous speed, all types of communication and information have become digital. Different digital collections require different forms of curation and may also require different preservation levels. Tools and Trends has invited international experts to answer the question: What are the latest trends in long-term preservation of web resources, e-publications, scientific data and archival records? And, looking forward: How can we set-up and maintain links between digital collections, what are the similarities and differences in preserving different kinds of digital materials and how do different sectors collaborate and divide responsibilities? At the close of the conference, Friday afternoon, a more personal and informal ‘session’ is included for the retirement of Johan Steenbakkers.

Everyone involved and interested in digital preservation is invited to participate in Tools and Trends. In July, online registration will be made available and will be announced through this list.

For more information on the conference, please contact Shirley van Maren [shirley.vanmaren@kb.nl] and for more information on the programme, please contact Hilde van Wijngaarden [hilde.vanwijngaarden@kb.nl], Head Digital Preservation department of the KB.

Technorati tag:

Event: Meta-morphosis: a Film-to-Digital Institute, Sept. 12 - 13, 2007

This announcement was posted on IMAGELIB:


Are you interested in converting microfilm holdings into digital objects? Whether you plan to outsource this process or you plan to do this in-house, "meta-morphosis: a film-to-digital institute" is a professional development opportunity you will not want to miss.

University of Kentucky Libraries will be sponsoring this event again September 12-13, 2007 on the University of Kentucky campus in Lexington, Kentucky. The institute is two jam packed days that will help you get started or improve your current program. Highlights of meta-morphosis will include sessions on:
  • Collection evaluation
  • Microfilm evaluation
  • Good imaging practices
  • Quality assessment
  • Production infrastructure
  • Content management
  • Writing an RFP
  • Selecting a vendor
  • Managing workflow
Participants will have opportunities to get specific questions answered by experts and will have an opportunity to meet with vendors to see what services are available in the marketplace.

Comments from past participants...
"This was exactly what I needed to figure out what needs to happen with our project!" and "Thank you for a well-organized, highly informative two days! The size of the group was perfect for interaction."
Registration will be opening soon, so save the date if you are interested in attending. Seats will be limited and registration will fill quickly so if you are interested be prepared to register quickly. I will send out the link to registration soon. I hope you will be able to join us in beautiful Lexington September 12-13!

In the announcement, Mary Molinaro (Director, Preservation and Digital Programs University of Kentucky Libraries) said she would answer questions for anyone who is interested in the event.

Once I have the link for the event, I'll update this post.

Technorati tag:

Monday, July 02, 2007

Digitization vs. Digitalization

During the spring, I had a couple students who used the term "digitalization." I'd heard people use the term before instead of "digitization" and decide to finally look it up. According to the dictionary, "digitalization" is defined as "the administration of digitalis for the treatment of certain heart disorders ." It can also mean "to digitize," although the prevailing term for digitizing is "digitization." So...I told my students about the differences in the word. I've also added that information to my workshops.

Recently I have been using the new version of Ask.com and decided to see what appeared when I searched for "digitization." Lo and behold, one of the expanded search terms to use is "digitalization" and if you search that term, you do find many hits. At least one, talks about how digitalization should not be used. Some seem to be sites that include "digitalization" in their metadata, knowing that some people will search using that word instead of "digitization."

With this information in hand, now I'll need to change my tune. Yes, "digitalization" does relate to the word digitalis and can mean "to digitize." It is more correct (and less ambiguous) to use the word "digitization." However, if you are placing something on the Internet about digitization, you may want to also add "digitalization" to your metadata (as well as digitisation and digitalisation) to increase its findability.

Technorati tag: