Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Digitization 101: 2008 Year in Review

New Year's Eve BallAs has become my tradition at year-end in recent years, I'm stopping to take a look back and a look forward. What has stood out to me in 2008?
  • Google: (posts on Google)
    • continued to grow its books digitization program by adding more collections/libraries to it.
    • branched into digitizing magazines.
    • joined an effort to digitize newspapers.
    • added photos from Life magazine to its image collection.
    • settled issues related to copyright and its book digitization efforts.
  • Microsoft ended its book digitization efforts (post).
  • A side-by-side demonstration of four automated book scanners was done in Germany (post, post). Since most organizations could never do that, it was good to see a group take on the task. Also good to see that a report to be written on it.
  • JPEG2000 has gained wider acceptance. (related posts)
  • "Digital preservation" discussed as not being the correct term. Should we instead use words that describe the outcome not the process? (post)
Personally, I need to mention a few things, too:
  • My work on the New York State Regents Advisory Council on Libraries. This has taught me things about libraries, library support agencies, and state budgets that I would have never learned otherwise. (posts)
  • Writing Federated Search Report and Tool Kit for Free Pint. This report took much effort and thankfully has been well-received. (post)
  • The changes coming to my work life in 2009. Actually, when you teach at the college level, there is a lot of work that must be done before classes begin, so I've already been working at my new job, but officially begin in a few days. I am definitely looking forward to the balance and interplay of teaching and consulting. (post)
And what do I see for 2009?
  • Google will continue to grow. I do wonder if/when Google will find itself with the same fate as DEC, IBM and others (fallen and no longer relevant).
  • Organizations and government entities will start to ask questions (more loudly) about the wisdom of relying on major corporations for creating, managing and preserving digital assets.
  • More organizations will cooperate to build sustainable digitization programs. Not only will libraries, museums and archives cooperate, but for-profit organizations will also find it useful to collaborate (on digitization, equipment and software development, and digital archives).
  • Shifting budgets will cause organizations to be more creative. An unusual benefit of a down economy is that organizations turn to more creative solutions; solutions that they would ignore in good economic times.
  • Unfortunately, many small organizations will still be unable to digitize materials that deserve broader access. I keep waiting for something that will help all small organizations jump on the digitization bandwagon...and waiting...and waiting.
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Finally, may you have a Happy New Year! I know that 2008 has been a tough year for many people and organization because of the economy. At the moment, 2009 looks like it will throw us more challenges. However, may you and your organization find ways of getting through 2009 with your sanity, budget, etc. intact.

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1 comment:

vilu said...

A very happy and peaceful New Year!