Wednesday, October 31, 2007

IL2007: Liz Lawley (final keynote)

Liz dressed as one of her World of Warcraft avatars and there will be photos on Flickr of her and her avatar.

Here are some highlights:
  • Is World of Warcraft (WOW) the new "golf"?
  • WOW is built so that people are successful early, while they learn.
  • She wonders how we can make the real world more like games.
  • Five stages of the Massively multiplayer online game (MMO) player:
    • Entry
    • Practice
    • Mastery
    • Burnout (from repetitive tasks)
    • Recovery
  • Games like WOW allow for:
    • Collecting
    • Points
    • Feedback
    • Exchanges
    • Customization
  • Second Life is a solution in search of a problem.
  • Second Life doesn't give you ways to be successful in the same way you are successful in a game.
  • Why can't learning be as much fun as games?
  • How come we'll do repetitive tasks in a game, but not (happily) in real life? Repetitive tasks allow us to build expertise.
  • Some selling situations (Tupperware salespeople) have the feel of gaming. Who is the top sales person? Get prizes (or applause) for your accomplishments.
  • Some things can be seen as a game. For example, who has the most friends in LinkedIn? Who has the highest page rank in Google? And check out Google Smackdown.
  • Passively Multiplayer Online Games -- the game is built into the fabric of everyday life. Look at Chore Wars.
  • There is almost nothing that can't be turned into a game, but it requires thought.
  • Her slides will be in her blog.

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IL2007: Joe Janes

WOW! Joe is an Associate Dean in the iSchool at University of Washington. He is dynamic, funny, informative, provocative, and thought-provoking. And he has a great, infectious laugh!

On Tuesday morning, Joe gave the keynote. He did not use any PowerPoint. He talked to us about "Reference 2.0: Ain't what it used to be...and it never will again." Joe used a variety of quotes from literature (including old literature from previous centuries) and talked about how reference evolved over the years.

The way we think about reference has got to change. Why?
  1. Ever more digital world.
  2. Horizontal searching (searching across subjects).
  3. Federated search.
  4. People need to find wholes and parts (e.g., whole articles as well as specific paragraphs).
  5. Need to develop different levels of service for those who use many digital/electronic "things" and those who do not. (The split is nearly 50/50.)
  6. We need to be where our users are. That means we need to be both digital and analogue. We need to be somewhere and everywhere.
Our younger colleagues may be frustrated because we're not as digital as we should be. Joe encouraged those people to "hang in there" and to teach the rest of us about being more digital and to help us think about reference in a digital world. Then he told the mature members of the audience to teach our younger colleagues about print resources (our secret weapons), and to remind them that what we know is still relevant. (In the 1980s, we weren't just running around in loincloth, we developed systems and techniques that are still relevant.)

Joe also implored us to explore our strengths are librarians. Yes, we have strengths and he talked about them.

While Joe didn't leave us PowerPoint or notes for us, so we all know have the same info from his talk. However, his talk was audio recorded and is available from Information Today. I suspect that others have blogged his session, so we can all learn from ALL of the notes that were taken (like this one).

BTW I did take more notes, but this (above) is what -- a day later -- makes sense.

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IL2007: Content Management Systems (CMS)

Ruth Kneale just finished a great presentation on CMS and how she decided what to use for her organization. She is blogging about her experience in selecting and installing CMS at:

This means that we can learn as she learns. We don't have to wait for her to publish a case study!

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IL2007: Cyber Tour of Second Life

I did a 15 minute cyber tour of Second Life to a standing room only (SRO) crowd in the exhibit hall. I showed people part of Info International Island and even interacted with a couple of people there. Yes, the tour was live! For some, this was their first look of SL running in real time. (BTW there is no other way of running it, although can see videos -- e.g., videos on YouTube by Ohio University and NOAA -- and pictures of SL.)

During the cyber tour, I told them five things I thought they should know:

  1. A basic Second Life account is FREE. It is amazing how much you can do if you have a basic account. However, you cannot own land and cannot buy/sell things. Is that a stopper? No, not for many of us. I'm on a free account and have done presentations in SL and taught classes in SL.
  2. The residents are making SL what they want it to be. Linden Labs, who created SL, aren't building it. It is people who have SL avatars that are building the places, products and services.
  3. There are no formal governments in SL, but there are simple rules to keep things civil. Really "the rules" try to get us to play nice consistently and to "do unto others as we want others to do unto us." Other than that, Linden Labs is following the rules of the U.S., which is where the company is located. For example, gambling is no longer allowed in SL, since gambling for money on the Internet is not legal in the U.S.
  4. In order to run SL, you need a computer with lots of memory, a good video card, and a high-speed Internet access. Some people find that they cannot run other programs when they run SL, and that is something they had to figure out for their setup.
  5. People from all walks of life, socio-economic status, physical abilities, interests and time-constraints are active in SL.
Afterwards, I got several questions. SL seems to always generate questions! I suspect a few people will contact me later with even more questions.

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IL2007: Gaming

Jenny Levine did a thought-provoking session this morning on gaming. Her presentation will be available at

Here are some quick notes -- things that stood out to me:
  • Gamers are both men and women of all ages.
  • 77 million boomers are gamers
  • 90 million up to age 35
  • People of different ages, etc., can "come together" around gaming
  • Gaming allows people to do with video / online games things that they can't do in real life
  • Games allow people to learn by doing
  • People who play games are used to multiple ways of getting things done (no right answer)
  • In games, you can try various things/tactics until you succeed.
  • Book reading is generally solitary. Game playing is not. It is social.
  • There are "literacies" involved in gaming.
  • Some of the skills employers say they need their employees to have in the 21st century can be learned through gaming.

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IL2007: Second Life, part three

The final session on Tuesday concerning Second Life had Kelly Czarnecki and David Lee King talking about working with teens on Teen Second Life. Some thoughts included:
  • Teens and adults need to know the basics before taking on a project
  • Projects may take longer than expected
  • Teens can get very engaged when working in a virtual world
  • Projects can be focused on a specific school or activity (e.g., teen digital bookcamp)
  • how do you assess your work?
  • Who handles the money in SL?
  • Hands-on learning creates engaged students
Tomorrow (Wednesday) I'm doing a 15-minute Cyber Tour on Second Life at 12:30 p.m. For those who have not really seen it, this will be an opportunity to see what a virtual world looks like (as well as ask questions).

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IL2007: Gadgets and more

The Tuesday evening event was on gadgets. The evening event is serious yet fun, and rowdy. I believe the presentation will be available at and on the IL2007 web site. Gadgets mentioned included: (hopefully names are spelled correctly)
  • Wifi detector shirt
  • Asustek Internet radio
  • High-density storage solutions (no specific product)
  • Archos 404 camcorder
  • Palm Centro
  • iPhone
  • Wireless SMS keyboard
  • Manylion password manager
  • Cable cat
  • Canon snap concept
  • Sunray SX2
  • Blackjack
  • Meebo Firefox sidebar
  • Touchscreen wireless patient forms clipboard
  • MyGo cane
  • Formate war update (not a product)
  • E-ink based ebook reader
  • iGo everywhere85
  • Vudu
  • May the Force be with you feet
  • HP: Cloudprint
  • Skitch &
  • iPod video goggles
  • Instant messaging
  • Wireless iTMS
  • Pop-open cate (not sure that is correct at all)
  • Recycling washer and dryer
  • Gigdget Gadget case
  • Wattson
  • Solar charged Electro bike
  • Canon Rebel XT
  • Blackle
  • GreenPrint software
  • Staple-less stapler
  • One laptop per child
The second part of the session was done by the Delft Public Library men, who showed rough edits from a documentary they are doing on American libraries. Very engaging. They even shot some video during the session that might be included in their documentary. They are blogging and posting interviews, etc., online at Shanachie Tour.

BTW during the evening event, a 5.9 earthquake occurred about an hour north of here (9 miles north on San Jose). I didn't feel it, but the wireless network in the conference area was temporarily affected. Bill Spence (from Information Today) and I both feel cheated. We were in California for an earthquake, but felt nothing. Bummer.

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We are social people and what is so cool about coming to any conference is the people. Connecting with old friends (way too many to name), making new friends (Sandra, Joe...hopefully more), and finally meeting face-to-face those that I know from one of the social networking tools (JJ, Michael, Casey, John, Joshua, Sarah, Kitty, Barbara, Amanda, and Karen). Amazingly no one looked quite like their photos or my imagination.

What is important about all these people is their knowledge. No one can know everything. We each need the knowledge of the others around us. And the knowledge of this group is truly amazing! The conversations have been about technology, libraries, what we have in common, and much more. The informal learning opportunities have been as powerful as the formal ones.

To everyone here...I look forward to keeping in touch with you, learning from you, and seeing you in the future.

BTW One more day to go! Will it be as amazing as the others?

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

IL2007: Second Life, part two

More notes from the Second Life track:
  • Micki McIntyre talked about health/medical resources/sites in Second Life, e.g., Center for Disease Control, National Library of Medicine, and the American Cancer Society. There are also support groups in SL. In addition, there is the Support for Healing Island and Healing Island.
  • Some people with disabilities are using SL and finding it beneficial. [related blog post] People with disabilities find camaraderie and a place where they can do things there that they cannot do in real life (RL).
  • There are spirituality sites in SL. There are recreations like the Mosque at Chebi and Sistine Chapel. there are places that have real congregations like Wings of Hope and bFirst Unitarian Universalist Church.
  • Micki's handouts are at Additional resources at
  • Derry McMahon Elisabeth Marripodi talked about virtual training hospitals.
    • Why?
      • Immersive environment
      • Interactive
      • Controlled environment
      • Can be scripted
    • What do they do? e.g.,
      • Case presentations
      • Discussions
      • Patient scenarios
    • Drawbacks
      • Unreliable Internet connection
      • Unpredictable problems in-world
    • Other
      • Combine virtual and real resources
      • Can do disaster preparation training (without a real disaster)
      • Can create custom designed learning environments
Updated: 11/03/2007

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IL2007: Second Life, part one

This morning, there were two sessions on Second Life and virtual worlds.
  • Lori Bell spoke about what virtual worlds are, why we (librarians) are in Second Life. She also talked briefly about librarians getting involved in another virtual world geared for children called Whyville.
  • Shawn McCann spoke about being an Immersive (Gaming) Librarian.
  • Jeremy Kemp gave a presentation about the work San Jose State University is doing in SL.
  • I (Jill Hurst-Wahl) spoke about the tools needed to build virtual communities [presentation]
  • JJ Jacobson talked about supporting communities in a virtual world and specifically groups were role-playing is important (e.g., an idealized Victorian community). [presentation]
  • Kate Fitz, a law librarian, gave an interesting presentation on the work she is doing in SL as well as some of the legal issues that have been raised about SL. [presentation will be here]
  • Rosemary Arneson is an academic librarian who talked about the work her library is doing in SL and what she'd like to do in the future. One thing she wants to build is a virtual wetlands/swamp to highlight that type of environment and teach why they need to be saved.
  • Michael Sauers talked about some of the issues/problems/concerns with SL. We tend to say that it is all "rosey", but it isn't.
The audience asked good questions, both publicly and privately. I think people got a lot out of the presentations and hearing from people who are using SL (and who are willing to point out concerns).

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IL2007: Notes from Monday

Tom Hogan started off the day by welcoming people to the 11th Internet Librarian and the 8th in Monterey. He said that 48 U.S. plus Washington D.C. are represented at this conference. There are also people from 11 foreign countries. In total there are 1,554 people attending, including 102 exhibitors and 67 people who are attending the exhibits only.

The phrase "Internet Librarian" was first used in June 1993. What is the retronym that describes a non-Internet librarian? Excellent question! He's asked people to put suggestions on the evaluation forms.

Lee Rainie, from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, did the keynote, "2.0 & the Internet World." Lee always has lots of data...too much to takes notes on. Thankfully, his presentation will be online on the IL2007 site. I would also encourage people to check out the Project's web site and read materials there. Their stuff is always very readable. (Once I get more time, I may place some info from his talk online. 11/26/2007 -- Well, I guess I not going to get any notes online from his talk. His presentation, though, is here.)

Sarah Houghton-Jan and Aaron Schmidt did a session on "Online Outreach: 2.0 Marketing Strategies for Libraries." Their presentation -- and most others -- will also be on the Information Today web site. They talked through many tools/strategies for getting the word out about a library: (categories)
  • Search engine findability
  • Library directory listings
  • Blog search engines
  • Wikipedia
  • Wikimapia
  • Community web site info
  • Blogs and forums
  • Presence where it's warranted
  • Social review web sites
  • Q&A sites
  • Blog geo-search engines
  • Online phone directories
  • ..and more..
They did mention many specific tools which are listed on their slides.

"Putting Evidence-Based Practice to Work" presented information from Frank Cervone and Amanda Hollister. The key is -- to me -- is that (1) we know how to gather the evidence (and its not hard) and (2) it allows us to make better decisions about the content of library web sites (which was the focus of both presenters). Evidence-based practice has come to us out of the medical community. It is a more accurate -- less emotional way -- of making decisions, since you are making those decisions based on evidence (information). There are many workshops on this topic, so information professionals who need to acquire this skills should be able to learn it.

Meredith Farkas and Joshua Petrusa did a presentation on "User Generated Content." Their presentation and other information is here. Why do user generated content?
  • We don't know everything
  • Insufficient metadata exists (so let others help build it)
  • Findability and refindability
  • Stories people tel about items are of value
  • Interaction leads to personal connections
  • People are doing it!
Why shouldn't you do user generated content?
  • No control
  • Multiple terms are used to describe the same thing (no authority control)
  • People tag selfishly (content is self-centered)
  • People tag incorrectly
  • Cheap cataloguing but harder to do accurate retrieval
Frank Cervone and Jeff Wisniewski did a lively presentation about "What's New with Federated Search." Research at their institutions has shown that users are using federated search software and that usage is increasing. In addition, people are looking at full-text that they receive from their searches, although it is not known if the users like the articles.

They note that there continues to be consolidation in the industry and vendors swapping the tools that they are using. The slide they used to demonstrate this became a jumbled mess! Companies/products mentioned during the presentation included: (there may have been more)
  • SirsiDynix
  • Innovative
  • VTLS
  • Muse
  • TLC
  • WebFeat
  • Vivisimo
  • Aquabrowser
  • Grokker
  • Autonomy
  • Siderian
  • dbWiz (Simon Frasier Univ. Lib.)
  • Keystone DLS (Index well as their newer product)
  • LibraryFind (Oregon St. Univ. Lib.)
  • Federated search for articles --> federated search for OPAC and articles --> federated search for all content
  • Number of vendors is shrinking
  • Open source is increasing
  • Progress on standards
  • Resources migrating to XML format feeds (XML gateways)
  • More holistic approach to content
  • More affordable turnkey solutions
  • Data pre-processing options
  • Visualization and clustering
  • Greater possibility for off-site hosting
As part of the session "Federated Searching Feedback, "I spoke on "Federated Searching Feedback:Walking the Talk?" This presentation was born out of the conversations I've had over the last year with libraries and federated search companies. I've found that companies don't want to provide "too much" information about their products, so it can be difficult to quickly and easily learn the details that you want to know.

Besides talking about the benefits and shortcomings of federated search, I also gave advice to libraries and federated search companies. Advice for federated search companies included:
  • Talk to people (everyone) about your products
  • Use language we understand -- don't use "your own terminology" that doesn't relate to anyone else's terminology
  • Provide screenshots & explanations -- especially of key/unique features
  • Be more transparent
  • Talk openly about how you price, even if you won't talk openly about your prices (e.g., full-time employees, full-time students, number of connectors, etc.)
  • Help us compare “apples to apples”
  • Realize our growing sophistication -- our requirements are changing
The trends I mentioned included:
  • Clustering
  • Visualization
  • Incl. OPAC & Internet sources as a norm
  • Open source
    • dbWiz (Simon Frasier Univ. Lib.)
    • Keystone DLS (Index Data)
    • LibraryFind (Oregon St. Univ. Lib.)
    • OpenSite Search
  • More installations
  • Built-in to database products, not separate software
  • Ability to search across databases from one product automatically
Finally, Sarah Williams and Angela Bonnell talked about the feedback they gathered on their installation of their federated search product ("Federated Searching Feedback From Usability Testing & Focus Groups"). They presented interesting data and I'll post a link to their presentation once I have it. (11/2/2007: Their presentation is here.)

09/29/2008: Corrected URL for federated search presentation to:

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Monday, October 29, 2007

IL2007: What's Happening in IL Space?

The Sunday night event was at the Monterey Public Library and was an intro to several themes that are going to occur at the conference.

Jeremy Kemp, Lori Bell and Kitty Pope talked about Second Life.
  • Jeremy talked about how San Jose State University is using Second Life. They got into SL early and have been innovative. What was a bit disappointing is that their space in SL seems to really mirror their RL space.
  • Lori and Kitty talked about the work the Alliance Library System has been doing in SL. There are 37 library and partner islands. There are 50+ libraries in SL. There are 600+ library people in the Alliance SL Google Group and 700+ working in SL, most on a volunteer basis. And these are people from around the world.
Aaron Schmidt talked about gaming. It's a $11 billion industry. Games are about content and learning. He believes that libraries should support gaming and talked about events that libraries could hold for all age groups.

Amanda Etches-Johnson talked about a couple tools that libraries are using to provide more services to their patrons. For example, becoming an Amazon affiliate or doing readers advisory through Facebook ("I Read" Facebook Application).

These were all quick 10-minute presentations. Teasers. Then there was a wine and cheese reception that allowed us all to talk and mingle before heading to dinner.

How many people were there? I didn't count, but definitely more than 100 I think.

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IL2007: Federated Search Exhibitors and Sessions, a heads-up

Looking at the final conference program, these exhibitors and sessions may be of interest to those who are using federated search as part of their digitization programs:

Federated Search Companies
  • Deep Web Technologies
  • Serials Solutions
  • WebFeat, Inc.
Federated Search Sessions
  • A104 - What's New with Federated Search
  • A105 - Federated Searching Feedback
  • B201 - Building a Corporate Digital Library

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

IL2007: Workshop wrap-up & Sunday thoughts

Yesterday, I was part of a team that did a three-hour workshop entitled Libraries on the MUVE in Second Life (SL). The other members of the team were:
  • Kitty Pope (Kitty Phillip in SL), Executive Director, Alliance Library System
  • Barbara Galick (Puglet Dancer in SL), Executive Director, Cullom-Davis Library, Bradley University
  • Tom Peters (Maxito Ricardo in SL), Founder, TAP Information Services
  • (My avatar name in SL is Jillianna Suisei.)
The handouts for the workshop will be online later this week at

From the workshops I've done on SL, there are several things people often want to know. A few of these questions were raised yesterday:
  • What equipment is needed to do SL? The info is on the SL web site...but good to have better than what they state.
  • Do you need to pay to do SL? No
  • How do I know who these other avatars are in real life? Look at their profiles and/or ask.
  • How much does it cost to own land in SL? The land prices are on the SL web site. Not-for-profits can receive a 50% discount. There are also monthly maintenance fees. All of these fees go to purchase and maintain server space.
  • How much does it cost to construct buildings in SL? Well, often people will volunteer to do construction, which means the labor is free. However, if you need to pay someone, then the costs can vary, likely based on the person's skills and the time required to do the building. Buildings can be inexpensive ($50 - $500) or very expensive (multiple thousands of dollars). It was noted yesterday that one person charges $2,000 to do terra forming (forming islands to specifications).
  • How much time do people spend "in" SL? That really varies. The consensus is that spending a lot of time upfront learning the commands, etc., is very important. After that, it depends on a person's preferences.
How many people are active in SL? I like to raise that question. Generally, at any given time, there are 30,000 - 50,000 avatars in SL. In the last 60 days, 1.4 million avatars have logged into SL. However, you'll notice that there are more than 10 million registered avatars. This morning, Stephen Abram mentioned over breakfast that many avatars go into SL around 5 times and then quit. Why? I believe it is because SL is not intuitive and not easy to learn. People may also not understand what the benefit is for them.

How many virtual worlds are there? Tom Peters has been keeping track and has a list now of 50+ virtual worlds. Some are geared for young children, which means that kids are growing up understanding this technology. How will that influence there interface preferences, etc., when they are adults?

One of the other breakfast topics with Stephen was federated search. Are there federated search software options we have now reflective of what federated search will be when in grows up? No (and glad to see that Stephen and I agreed on this). Federated search is in its infancy. It has to change (grow up) in order to do what we really want. (I'm talking about federated search tomorrow at the conference, so I'll talk more about this after that.)

We also talked about digital asset management software. Although there are many software solutions, many people play "follow the crowd." As our parents all said...if your friends jumped off a cliff, would you do it too? Okay...following the crowd can be good, but when it comes to DAM software, we hope that people would not feel pressured to do what everyone else is doing and rather make the correct decision for their specific situation.

Today is actually a "free day" for me, so I've walked, eaten too much, and done lots of talking. As for food...last night dinner was at The Grill in Carmel. Lunch today was at Old Fisherman's Grotto on Fisherman's Wharf. Right now I'm at Cafe Noir (free wifi) drinking coffee. Cafe Noir is a cafe in a movie theater lobby. The smell of popcorn is a bit overwhelming! Tonight there is an event at Monterey Public Library.

Finally, I want to introduce you to my other blog (eNetworking 101: The Blog), which is very new. This blog will focus only on social networking tools. Part of this post is also going to get posted there. I've been blogging in various places about social networking tools and was persuaded that I needed to create my own site on the topic, so I did.

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

IL2007: Saturday morning

For the next several days, I'll be attending Internet Librarian 2007 (IL2007) in Monterey, CA, and I'll be blogging the conference. Yesterday was a travel day (three flights). This morning, I've walked around Monterey and tried to get my bearings. I found the public library, a cute little state park, and gone to Fisherman's Wharf.

Internet Librarian is a sister conference to Computers in Libraries (CIL), which is held in the spring "in" Washington, D.C. I've not been to Internet Librarian before, but I suspect that it will be similar to once person said...aren't the Internet and computers synonymous these days?

For anyone who is reading this and who is attending IL2007, here are a few pieces of info that you'll want to know:
  • Plumes Coffee Shop (near Subway and Jamba Juice) has free wifi. There are other places that have free wifi, but this one is really close to the Marriott. (Marriott charges $9.95/day or $2.95/15 min. in one of its restaurants.)
  • The Monterey Public Library is a short walk from the Marriott on Pacific (Ave/St). It is open Saturday and Sunday afternoon, and has Internet access. There is a fun session there Sunday night for conference attendees.
  • As you walk from the Marriott to the Public Library on Pacific, there is tiny State Park (Larkin, I think) that is worth stopping to see.
  • Lots of interesting-looking places to eat on Fisherman's Wharf, including one place that looks like an outdoor clam bar.
  • And if you haven't found it, there is a wiki for the conference at with lots of good info.
Wait...anything digitization-related happening at the conference? Yes. I'll mention that stuff later (after I've poured through the conference program again). There are, for example, at least two sessions on federated search, which some programs are installing.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Videos on LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe)

Here is a video of Karen Schneider, the Free Range Librarian, using eggs to demonstrate the value of using LOCKSS to preserve digital content. She also talks about format migration.

There is also this video that shows how to setup a LOCKSS box. Okay...the video isn't very exciting and that's the point. Setting up a LOCKSS box is straightforward and easy.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Event: Metadata and Digital Library Development, Jan. 9 - 10, 2008

Metadata and Digital Library Development: an ALCTS and Library of Congress Workshop
January 9-10, 2008
Philadelphia, PA

Description: In an applied, exercise-based context, this two-day workshop introduces practicing catalogers to metadata implementation considerations and processes in a digital library development context. The goal of the workshop is to prepare attendees to serve as metadata specialists in digital library projects.

Topics covered will include:
Data and functionality
Metadata conversion and mapping
Creating data workflows
Digital library development teams
Additional Information: This workshop is part of the “Cataloging for the 21st Century” continuing education series, which offers practicing catalogers instruction in bibliographic control practices that will help them continue to play a significant role in shaping library services in the emerging digital information environment. Check the web site for more info at: OR:

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Monday, October 22, 2007

And thank goodness for LOCKSS (more about RLG DigiNews)

Vicky Reich, Director LOCKSS Program, contacted me to say that RLG DigiNews has been preserved by LOCKSS Alliance Members. As the LOCKSS (lots of copies keeps stuff safe) web site says: [emphasis added]
From The Editors. "For more than a decade, RLG DigiNews provided a reliable source of current information about developments and research results in digital imaging and digital preservation from an applied and problem-solving perspective. The content included in-depth articles describing innovative approaches, providing lessons learned, and recommending next steps; FAQs on organizational and technological topics; highlighted websites on emerging technologies and trends; and special features like conference reports and document reviews. This bi-weekly online publication documented the milestones and progress of an emergent digital preservation community, from shortly after the publication of the seminal 1996 report, "Preserving Digital Information," forward. When we announced that RLG DigiNews would be transitioning into a redesigned OCLC publication, we received numerous notes from readers, many of whom expressed concern about the future of existing content, much of which is of ongoing interest to and actively linked to by educators, students, practitioners, and researchers engaged in lifecycle aspects of the digital cultural heritage. Given their interest in long-term availability and our own, we were very pleased to be contacted by the UK Open LOCKSS team about preserving RLG DigiNews and we enthusiastically embraced meeting the publisher requirements for adding content to LOCKSS. We hope that you will add RLG DigiNews to your LOCKSS box." Robin Dale, Associate Editor, 1997-2007; Anne R. Kenney, Editor/Co-Editor, 1997-2007; Nancy Y. McGovern, Co-Editor, 2001-2006
Vicky noted that the materials are saved in a LOCKSS box just as they were published and with the same URLs. If you are unfamiliar with LOCKSS (lots of copies keeps stuff safe), check out this page.

So here we have a valuable asset in the digitization community being preserved using one of the digital preservation strategies that was surely mentioned in the journal! Very cool!

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Thank goodness for Google's cache

I wanted to point someone to the 1999 article that Steve Puglia wrote for RLG DigiNews, but the URL no longer works and the article doesn't seem to be on the OCLC web site (remember OCLC and RLG have combined). However, I was able to pull up a cached version of the article in Google. We can argue that the cache version should not exist because it violates copyright...but at the moment, I'm just glad it exists because it provided access to something that I needed.

The lesson -- we can't avoid Google.

Addendum (1:45 p.m.): An anonymous reader pointed me to this RLG DigiNews archive on the OCLC web site and the Puglia article is here. Unfortunately, the old URL doesn't point to the new URL, or even to the archive in general. As a point of trivia...While the old URL rank #1 in Google, the new URL (or pointers to it) rank below #60.

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Photo of digitization lab being used by Open Content Alliance

In this New York Times article is a photo of a digitization lab being used by the Open Content Alliance. The lab contains 10 book scanning machines, which are all visible in the photo.

I always look for little tidbits of info in these articles that are different that what I've seen before. Brewster Kahle has said that they can scan books at a cost of $10 each. However, this article states:
It costs the Open Content Alliance as much as $30 to scan each book, a cost shared by the group’s members and benefactors...
Who pays for the digitization?

Libraries that sign with the Open Content Alliance are obligated to pay the cost of scanning the books. Several have received grants from organizations like the Sloan Foundation.

The Boston Library Consortium’s project is self-funded, with $845,000 for the next two years. The consortium pays 10 cents a page to the Internet Archive, which has installed 10 scanners at the Boston Public Library. Other members include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brown University.

We also get updated information on the number of organizations participating in OCA's book digitization efforts:
The group includes more than 80 libraries and research institutions, including the Smithsonian Institution.
The article is mainly about the difference in the agreements Google and the OCA are signing with the libraries. The OCA agreements have fewer restrictions on how the libraries use their digital copies. Google, for example, insists that copies cannot be used with another commercial service, but does allow the books to be rescanned and then used more broadly.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

The Florida Memory Project

I mentioned this Florida Memory Project in yesterday's blog post and several workshop participants today wanted to be sure that I knew about it.
Featuring over 137,000 digitized photographs from the State Archives of Florida, the Florida Photographic Collection is the most complete online portrait of Florida available--one that draws its strength from family pictures, the homes of Floridians, their work, and their pastimes.
In includes both photos and videos.

What's interesting about it?
  • It includes photos that the Project is asking people to identify them.
  • It has lesson plans for use in the classroom.
  • There are finding aids that describe materials that have not been digitized. (see page bottom)
  • The "Writing Around Florida" seems very unique. " The Writing Around Florida program hopes to foster an appreciation of Florida's heritage by encouraging writers to utilize the State Archives of Florida's rich and extensive photographic collections."
  • There are obvious ways throughout the web site to contact a librarian (email form or live chat). There is even the option to contact a librarian in your region rather than someone at the State Library.
  • You can order prints or copies of video.
  • You can receive collection materials through an RSS feed. I tried this, but am not sure what I'm receiving through RSS and why. And I can't find documentation on the web site.
  • The search box at the top of the screen is actually uses Google Custom Search. The Photographic Collection uses SirsiDynix software. Nothing on the web site clues you into if the SirsiDynix software is just used on the Photographic Collection or if it is used elsewhere. This is another place where documentation would be helpful.
If there is documentation on the site that I'm missing, I hope someone will tell me (perhaps someone from today's workshop). One other change I would suggest is that they provide more details on the Disclaimer and Copyright Information page. More details would help their users understand better was they (the users) can legally do and when they need to seek permission (and from whom).

One person who mentioned this site to me today wondered what I thought of she knows. Interesting site and project, but could use more explanatory text (something that many projects needs, I bet).

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

"Just Read, Florida"

That text is on the top of a building on Tallahassee, FL and is the view from my hotel room. Tomorrow I'm giving a digitization workshop for the Florida-Caribbean Chapter of the Special Libraries Association. There are over 50 people registered for the workshop and, hopefully, the threat of bad weather (thunderstorms) doesn't deter people from attending. Today there have been tornadoes in Pensacola (two hours west).

I have no idea what digitization programs are going on in Tallahassee, but I hope that I'll find out in the next two days. A quick Internet search found the Florida Memory Project, which was done by the State Library and Archives of Florida (which I should be able to see from my window, too). What is unfortunate, it that I've seen nothing in the hotel or around the city that tells me of the online resources that are available. If I wanted to read about Florida or see images of Florida, where should I go online? Yes, I've griped about this before. It seems to me that projects that contain local history should market themselves to tourists and those who are passing through the area. I won't have time to tour museums, etc., here but I would have time to tour a digital collection about local history, if I knew that it existed.

Perhaps projects could find sponsors to help them place marketing materials in hotels. Or how about "ads" in publications aimed at tourists that tell people of the online resources that are available?

The bottom line is that our projects need to be more visible.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Discussion of the JPEG 2000 standard

My post on Oct. 4 started a productive conversation in email and by phone about JPEG 2000. My plan is to post more here about JPEG 2000, so that a larger number of people understand the the JPEG 2000 standard better. Unfortunately, when one talks about standards, the conversation migrates to intense technical aspects, so I hope to be able to provide information on JPEG 2000 in a way that is more accessible to everyone. (This will take time to do, so please be patient.)

Tim Vitale and Ron Murray did follow-up posts yesterday to the IMAGELIB discussion list on this topic and the conversations that have occurred. Tim's summarizes what occurred over the last 1+ weeks and Ron's provides some additional information. Tim has reported that he is going to design some "exquisite bit of torture for J2K" lossless compression and report back on his work. It is clear that this testing will help to clear up some of the possible misinformation about the standard.

I want to thank Tim, Ron and several others who have participated in the email conversation on this topic. It was indeed a conversation that included lots of sharing, which was extremely beneficial to all. I know we'll continue to be in contact as we find ways of making more information on JPEG 2000 available to people (in a way that is easily understandable).

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Article: Google Book Search Libraries and Their Digital Copies

In the April 2007 issue of Searcher magazine, Jill Grogg and Beth Ashmore wrote an excellent article entitled "Google Book Search Libraries and Their Digital Copies." Of course, given how quickly Google has brought on new partners, parts of the article were outdated before it was published, yet it provides wonderful details on the partners that existed when the article was written.

Grogg and Ashmore pointed out that the libraries involved with Google (as of early 2007) had all been involved in digitization programs before Google. Univ. of Michigan (UM), for example, had been digitizing materials since the late 1980s. Prior to Google, for example:
  • UM had digitized "141 text collections with 25 million page images online, plus 3 million pages of encoded text and 89 image collections containing approximately 200,000 images."
  • UM and Cornell had collaborated on the Making of America project that had provided "access to hundreds of volumes of American primary sources from 1850 to 1876."
  • New York Public Library had created the Digital Gallery with more than 520,00 images from its four research libraries.
  • Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison had "made available...close to 2 million pages of content with full range of subjects..."
  • University of California Libraries and the California Digital Library has provided "access to over 170,00 digital images and 50,000 pages of documents about California."
But what are the libraries doing with their digital copies received from Google? The authors wrote that "some library administrators are still weighing option about how to use their library digital copies." The sheer number of library digital copies requires thinking and planning...and perhaps order to ensure that access is provided in a way that works now and for the long-term. It could be that organizations such as OCLC will help provide access to these digital copies. The article noted that OCLC was planning a pilot program to link to digitized book titles from WorldCat. It is safe to say, that the digitization work will go on for years and that it may take years to figure out how all of these texts will be made available to people not only at the original institutions but elsewhere in the world.

"Google Book Search Libraries and Their Digital Copies" is a long and well-written article. If you are interested in this project, and its issues, I would encourage you to read the full-text. There is definitely more in the article than I can quote/discuss here.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Press release: 3D Scanner May Save Vanishing Languages from Extinction

The press release states:
Fragile field recordings of American Indian speech and song gathered in the early 1900s may be saved for future generations through breakthrough technology supported by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The Institute is funding the research and development of a 3D optical scanner through a $507,233 interagency agreement with the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)...
Most people are probably unaware of the number of wax cylinders that are in existence. Since playing them can ruin them, these new technologies will allow the sound to be digitized without harming the original cylinders.

In talking about the technology, the press release goes onto say:
The new 3D system builds on a 2D system also developed by the Berkeley Lab called IRENE (Image, Reconstruct, Erase Noise, Etc.), which gathers digital sound from grooved discs (flat recordings such as traditional 78 rpm shellac disc records) by illuminating the record surface with a narrow beam of light. The flat bottoms of the groove -- and the spaces between tracks -- appear white, while the sloped sides of the groove, scratches, and dirt appear black. The computer turns this information into a digital sound file and corrects areas where scratches, breaks or wear have made the groove wider or narrower than normal. IRENE then “plays” the file with a virtual needle without damaging or destroying the original media. The technology was adapted from methods used to build radiation detectors for high-energy physics experiments.
Very cool!

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Oct. 15: Blog Action Day

I find it interesting to see all of the blog-related holidays or events that have cropped up over the last few years. This is a testament to the power of this form of communication. This year, Blog Action Day is focusing on the environment. Very fitting given the focus that the world has had on the environment this year. And accidentally timed perfectly to occur after Al Gore and UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change jointly won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize last week.

What does digitization have to do with the environment? The one thing I can think of is that by placing digital surrogates on the Internet, not only can more people view the materials, but they do not have to travel to see the materials. That saves gas and helps the environment. Can anyone think of another way our work helps the environment?

I do wonder, though, about the energy efficiency of the equipment we're using in our programs. Are the manufacturers of the equipment thinking of ways to save energy? That's a questions I'll have to start asking them at trade shows.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Video that teaches Copyright Law

This is an 18-minute video from 2006, that as William Patry said:
explains a great deal about the history of sampling and the later encounters of those who sample with copyright, through one famous drum break. Well worth listening to, and yes, I think the clip is making fair use of the excerpts it utilizes to tell the story: if this isn't a transformative use, I don't know what is.
You really don't need to watch the video. So do something else and just listen to the audio. I guarantee that you'll learn the history of a drumbeat that you hear every day. You'll also find yourself thinking about Fair Use, derivatives, and innovation.

What does this have to do with digitization? Digitization of the drumbeat increased its use. Digitization provided a means for derivatives to be created quickly and easily. Digitization allowed this beat to become something we all recognize.

Were the uses of the drumbeat that we all recognize in violation of copyright? Could the original artists have protected their creative work? Should they have? Or is it more important that we be able to use what has been created previously in order to fashion new works? hope you know the questions I'm going to ask. How do you want your works used? If someone is able to create something magnificent using parts of your stuff, how will you decide if the use was fair? Or will you stifle innovation in order to protect your copyrights? (However, you answer those questions are correct. And everyone will answer them differently.)

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The Creative Commons: Use 'em, Support 'em

Support CC - 2007Founded in 2001, the Creative Commons continues to have an impact on how we share our creative works. The licenses they have created -- which allow some rights to be retained by the creator, while sharing other rights -- have give us the ability to do what many of us wanted to do all along. As the Creative Commons states:
We use private rights to create public goods: creative works set free for certain uses. Like the free software and open-source movements, our ends are cooperative and community-minded, but our means are voluntary and libertarian. We work to offer creators a best-of-both-worlds way to protect their works while encouraging certain uses of them — to declare “some rights reserved."
Why should you care? It is important that you tell your users what they can do with the materials you are creating as part of your digitization program. There are wonderful examples of terms of use statements around, but we should not forgot that we can also employ a Creative Commons license. The licenses are easy to setup and use. It only take a couple of minutes. Honest...I just created a new license last night and it was painless...and FREE!

{brief public service announcement} If you are already using a Creative Commons license OR using materials that have a Creative Commons license, you might want to further support the Creative Commons organization. The Creative Commons is 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable corporation in the U.S, that relies on donations and grants. They are doing good work and every little bit of financial aid helps them continue the work.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Press release: School at Syracuse researchers improving access to digital resources

Interesting news was released yesterday from Syracuse University's School of Information Studies (the iSchool). The Institute of Library and Museum Services Building Digital Collections program is providing $191,000 to the iSchool's Center for Natural Language Processing (CNLP) and a team from Digital Learning Sciences (DLS) at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO to:
integrate three digital library tools and services to create a new hybrid, computer-assisted cataloging system, the Metadata Assignment and Search Tool (MAST). MAST will enable libraries and museums to describe and disseminate their digital materials -- whether they are photos, drawings, historical records or school lesson plans -- efficiently.

Another part of this project will link these newly catalogued materials to state-level educational standards, which in turn will increase access to these digital resources for teachers and their students.
You can read the complete press release for more details.

Anything that can help metadata creation to be done more quickly will be greatly appreciated. Metadata creation can be time-consuming and expensive, if one is creating metadata from scratch. Having a computer analyze the materials and assign the metadata not only would speed up the process, but could ensure better consistency. The system will allow for human review, which will help many people to feel comfortable with the process as well as catch errors.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Rumors of microfilms' death have been exaggerated

Bennett Lovett-Graff has a long blog post on micropublishers that he wrote back in March. We tend to this the microfilm is going out of style, but Lovett-Graff reminds us that:
microfilm is a preservation medium, capable of lasting hundreds of years with proper care; it is relatively inexpensive to duplicate; although cumbersome to use, the basic technology to view the data is simple, requiring little more than a light and a lens; security of the original material from theft or wear and tear is supplied without having to restrict access; the space savings is very real and for libraries in metropolitan areas the saved opportunity costs formidable.
He then talks about companies microfilming materials from library and other collections for free in return for the rights to sell the microfilm. Who would have thought that it is still profitable to sell microfilm!

Is digitization impacting the creation of microfilm? Not as much as people anticipated. If you want to create microfilm in order to sell it (and thus providing better access to the information), then digitization makes the materials available in a better format. However, many are creating microfilm for its preservation qualities and that business is not diminishing as quickly as anticipated.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Press release: Sun Preservation and Archiving Special Interest Group (Sun PASIG)

As posted on the Digital-Preservation discussion list.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. October 8, 2007 -- Sun Microsystems, Inc. today announced the formation of the Sun Preservation and Archiving Special Interest Group, Sun PASIG, to bring together global leaders in government, broadcasting, education, and library services to share best practices for digital archiving.

Addressing the need for better collaboration on best practices around global standards in large data set and metadata preservation, the Sun PASIG will help provide support for organizations challenged with preserving and archiving important research and cultural heritage materials. Founding members of the Sun PASIG include The Alberta Library, The British Library, Johns Hopkins University, University of Oxford, Stanford University, The Texas Digital Library, and other leading global libraries and universities.

“We are trying to meet the needs of the evolving ‘cybrarian’ community that is grappling with storage and data management, workflow, and high-level architecture trends in the area of preservation and archiving,” said Art Pasquinelli, Education Market Strategist, Global Education and Research, Sun Microsystems.

At globally located semi-annual meetings, group members will share knowledge of storage technology trends, services-oriented architecture and software code, and discuss best practices of both commercial and community-developed solutions. Working groups will hold discussions on architectures, use cases and business drivers, storage, access and security, and operating policies, with the goal of providing common case studies and solutions for digital archiving. The Sun PASIG will focus on both collaborating with leading institutions in the EPrints, Fedora, and DSpace communities to create replicable solutions and exchanging expertise on global developments around the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) architecture model.

“Libraries and universities around the world face a common problem: how to best capture and archive valuable knowledge. Global discussion is the first step towards finding solutions that meet institutions’ individualized preservation needs,” said Michael Keller, University Librarian, Director of Academic Information Resources, Stanford University. “With the formation of Sun PASIG, we are looking forward to working with our peers to discover and create the best digital preservation options available, from infrastructure to interfaces.”

Sun currently collaborates with leading institutions like the University of Oxford to develop infrastructures for digital repositories. Sun is working with the University of Oxford in the development of the library's digital asset management system (DAMS) which will be based on Sun's advanced storage technologies. The DAMS will be used to provide long-term preservation of its digital collections, including a million 19th-century books digitized for the Bodleian Library as part of the Google Libraries Program.

The next Sun PASIG meeting will be held in Paris, France, November 14-16. For more information on Sun PASIG, go to or contact Registration for the November 14-16 Sun PASIG conference in Paris is available at

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Sun Microsystems develops the technologies that power the global marketplace. Guided by a singular vision -- "The Network is the Computer" -- Sun drives network participation through shared innovation, community development and open source leadership. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the Web at

Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Java, and The Network Is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.

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Blog post (and more): the really modern library

the institute for the future of the book (if:book) is seeking comments. They have said:
We're in the very early stages of devising, in partnership with Peter Brantley and the Digital Library Federation, what could become a major initiative around the question of mass digitization. It's called "The Really Modern Library."
Over the next 30 days, they will be holding invitation-only brainstorming sessions in Los Angeles, London and New York. Their goal is "to shed light on the big questions about future accessibility and usability of analog culture in a digital, networked world." Many questions are posed in the blog post, including those that will be discussed during the brainstorming sessions. Several of the general questions are:
  • How might we bring the records of our culture with us in ways that respect the originals but also take advantage of new media technologies to enhance and reinvent them?
  • How does the digital network change our relationship with analog objects?
  • What does it mean for readers/researchers/learners to be in direct communication in and around pieces of media?
  • What should be the *social* architecture of a really modern library?
A few comments have been left on the blog post. It would seem to me that more people could contribute to this discussion by leaving well thought out comments. Charles Bailey has suggested that if:book create a wiki or use CommentPress to gather and refine ideas. However they do it, this is a topic that touches many people and institutions, so I hope many people can be involved in the conversation.

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Friday, October 05, 2007

NYS Regents Advisory Council on Libraries

In September, I was appointed to a five-year term on the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries here in New York State. The Council has three goals which can be summarized as "monitor, advise and communicate." Although my term did not start until Oct. 1, I was able to observe the Sept. 28 meeting of the Council (or RAC), which was held in New York City. It was a pleasure to meet the other members of the Council, include those whose terms were expiring. It was eyeopening to see what the RAC discusses. We discussed many topics including what might be proposed for library funding this year in the NYS legislature, and I'll have to admit that it will take a while to understand what comes out of what budget. We also talked at length about the New York Online Virtual Electronic Library (NOVEL), which has been in existence in NYS for several years. NOVEL provides all New Yorkers with FREE access to fee-based databases that cover:
NOVEL is now part of the Statewide Internet Library, which may in the future include digitized and other materials. NYS has a rich history that has left many artifacts and documentation. Native people, including the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), have a long history in NYS. Europeans first explored NYS in 1524 and have impacted this region ever since. New York City was the first capitol of the United States. And things like the Erie Canal impacted the growth of the nation. From the consulting work I've done across NYS, I know that there is much that could be digitized that would provide more access to NYS history to students, genealogists, researchers and tourists. As I sit on this Council, I look forward to being part of the conversations about the growth of the Statewide Internet Library and what it might contain. Of course, I hope that it will grow to contain digitized materials, but I also know that several factors will go into that decision.

My first official meeting as a Council member is Nov. 30. I know I have some learning to do before that meeting. I am sure that we'll talk about NOVEL and the Statewide Internet Library again and look forward to where that conversation takes us.

And I promise that as I learn things that may be appropriate to mention here, I'll do so.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

JPEG2000 -- A follow-up post to "Articles on long-term file access..."

[10/5/2007, 1:45 p.m. please see addendum below as well as note the inserted new text.]

I received an very interesting email comment on the post I wrote entitled "Articles on long-term file access and digital preservation." It was pointed out the the Vitale article reportedly contains some inaccuracies as well as out-of-date information on JPEG 2000. I obviously don't know the details of JPEG 2000 as well as Ronald J. Murray (Digital Conversion Specialist at the Library of Congress) does, and so I appreciate him taking the time to give me his perspective. (I've since also heard from Tim Vitale, who wonders what the specific inaccuracies are.) Ron Murray pointed to two resources for learning accurate information about JPEG2000:
  • JPEG 2000 in Archives and Libraries,
  • JPEG 2000 related blogs at Disruptive Library Technology Jester, (Peter Murray, the Jester, also contributes to the first site.)
The Charles Olson Research Collection, on which Ron Murray consulted, used JPEG2000 and there is a case study on that web site about their use of JPEG 2000. The web site for the project notes that:
To our and his knowledge, the Delmas-supported CHARLES OLSON'S MELVILLE PROJECT is the first project in an academic library or archives to use this new image standard.
Ron Murray said that people in the library & archives communities generally don't have the engineering and mathematical literacy in order to understand JPEG 2000's capabilities. He, however, encourages us to read more about the format and become comfortable with it.

If you have had experience with JPEG 2000, please leave a comment and tell us about it. Please take a moment to teach us what you've learned. (Or if politics prohibit you from leaving a comment, email me at hurst [at] hurstassociates [dot] com)

ADDENDUM (10/5/2007, 1:45 p.m.): I want to publicly apologize to Tim Vitale for not checking with him first before publishing this post. That was bad etiquette. Evidently different communities are arguing over JPEG 2000 (JP2K) and whether or not it should be adopted. Here are my questions:
  • Are there specific uses that people are disagreeing over such as JPEG 2000 for video?
  • Is the problem/concern when JPEG 2000 is used instead of a TIFF, rather than just being a replacement for the JPEG file?
  • Is the problem that the library community determined to use this format, no matter what?
At this point, I would enjoy hearing from others who have knowledge and experience with JPEG 2000. I have been given the name of someone who worked on the original committee and guess I better quickly contact him for his opinion!

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Blog post: Virtually Ideal

Sally J. pointed me to this long blog post on the creation of virtual machines (e.g., emulation). Is this a great idea that will be worthwhile in the long run or will be like asbestos (a great idea that turned out to be harmful)?

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