Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Received via email...


We are are pleased to announce the Digital Futures Academy 5 day
training event:

Digital Futures Academy: Sydney, Australia.
1st - 5th February 2010

Digital Futures Academy: from digitization to delivery, London,UK
19th - 23rd April 2010

Book early as places are limited and early bird discounts are available!

Led by international experts, Digital Futures focuses on the creation, delivery and preservation of digital resources from cultural and memory institutions. Lasting 5 days, Digital Futures is aimed at managers and other practitioners from the library, museum, heritage, media and
cultural sectors looking to understand the strategic and management issues involved in developing digital resources from digitisation to delivery.

Digital Futures will cover the following core areas:
  • Planning and management
  • Fund raising
  • Understanding the audience
  • Metadata - introduction and implementation
  • Copyright and intellectual property
  • Sustainability
  • Financial issues
  • Visual and image based resource creation and delivery
  • Implementing digital resources
  • Digital preservation
Sydney highlights:
There will be visits to the State Library, NSW and the Powerhouse Museum
to see behind the scenes and receive expert presentations.

London highlights:
The visits will be tot he National Gallery and The National Archives to
see behind the scenes and gain expert advice and presentations.

Digital Futures aims for no more than 25-30 delegates and every delegate
will have the opportunity to also spend one-to-one time with a Digital
Futures leader to discuss issues specific to them. Digital Futures will
issue a certificate of achievement to each delegate.

The Digital Futures leaders are:
The leaders have over 30 years of experience in the digital realm between them. Other experts will be invited to speak in their areas of expertise.

What past delegates say about Digital Futures:

* "Excellent - I would recommend DF to anyone anticipating a
digitization program"

* "The team was exceptionally knowledgeable, friendly and personable."

* "Excellent, informative and enjoyable. Thank you."

* "A really useful course and great fun too!"

Digital Futures is run by King's Digital Consultancy Services and the Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London working in co-operation with Lyrasis, USA. Digital Futures Australasia is made possible with the co-operation of the Library of the University of
Technology, Sydney.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Podcast - BTB #121: Google Books Settlement: Update With Lois Wasoff

I listened to this podcast this week and found it very well done (Google Books Settlement: Update With Lois Wasoff). Chris Kenneally interviewed copyright lawyer and policy attorney Lois Wasoff for nearly 60 minutes about the Google Book Settlement in late September. At that time, changes were (and still are) brewing in the settlement. Wasoff does an excellent job talking about the history of the settlement, the constituents involved, the problems and opportunities, and where things currently stand. For those who haven't paid immense attention to all of the details of the settlement, this does a great job bringing you up-to-date.

BTW I really like the Beyond the Book podcast which is focused primarily on topics that are relevant to authors and publishers. Generally, the podcasts are around 25-30 minutes in length and they can be listened to online or downloaded to your computer or MP3 player.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Presentations from the iPres 2009 conference

The Sixth International Conference on Preservation of Digital Objects (iPres 2009) was in San Francisco earlier in October. As the same suggests, this conference was truly about preserving many types of digital objects, including virtual worlds. Most of the presentations are online and are informative, even if you can't hear what the presenter said.

The next iPres conference will be held in Austria, Sept. 2010.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Google Book Search Bibliography, v.5

Thanks to Charles Bailey, Jr. for his continued diligence in creating bibliographies on the Google Book Search project. Version 5 became available in September. Previous versions can be accessed here.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

SAA press release concerning Orphaned Works

Received via email...

CHICAGO-The Society of American Archivists (SAA) has issued Orphan Works: Statement of Best Practices, a 16-page report that provides what professional archivists consider the best methods to use when attempting to identify and locate copyright holders. The statement, which primarily focuses on unpublished materials because they are usually found in archives, is available on the association's website as a PDF at

"Orphan works" is a term used to describe the situation in which the owner of a copyrighted work cannot be identified and located by someone who wishes to make use of the work in a manner that requires permission of the copyright owner. Eight archivists and a recognized legal expert in intellectual property and copyright law developed the statement, based upon their experiences researching copyright status.

"We created this statement to provide archivists with a framework to discover what materials they hold are truly orphaned works, and in the hopes of empowering them to provide wider access and use of those materials as a result," said Heather Briston, chair of SAA's Intellectual Property Working Group.

The primary authors of the statement include Briston (University of Oregon), Mark Allen Greene (University of Wyoming), Cathy Henderson (University of Texas, Austin), Peter Hirtle (Cornell University), Peter Jaszi (American University) , William Maher (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Aprille Cooke McKay (University of Michigan), Richard Pearce-Moses (Arizona State Library), and Merrilee Proffitt (OCLC). Financial and administrative support was provided for this project by OCLC Research and the RLG Partnership.

More information on SAA's Intellectual Property Working Group can be found at:

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Article (op-ed): A Library to Last Forever by Google's Sergey Brin

To me, what makes this op-ed (opinion-editorial) piece by Sergey Brin interesting is the comments (and there are 90 of them). Commenters both support Brin's arguments and take exception to them. As for Brin's words, there are likely many parts that would make an interesting excerpt, but I picked this one:
But despite a number of important digitization efforts to date (Google has even helped fund others, including some by the Library of Congress), none have been at a comparable scale, simply because no one else has chosen to invest the requisite resources. At least one such service will have to exist if there are ever to be one hundred.
And your reaction?

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Article: Google's Book Search: A Disaster for Scholars

This topic has been in the news recently and this article does an excellent job discussion the metadata problem. The comments below the article are also informative.

The article's author, Geoffrey Nunberg, wrote:
Google's five-year head start and its relationships with libraries and publishers give it an effective monopoly: No competitor will be able to come after it on the same scale. Nor is technology going to lower the cost of entry.
And later goes onto say:
it's so disappointing that the book search's metadata are a train wreck: a mishmash wrapped in a muddle wrapped in a mess.
He then goes on to provide examples of the flawed metadata.

Later he writes:
And while Google's machine classification system will certainly improve, extracting metadata mechanically isn't sufficient for scholarly purposes. After first seeming indifferent, Google decided it did want to acquire the library records for scanned books along with the scans themselves, but as of now the company hasn't licensed them for display or use....
Digital content needs to findable. We don't have the luxury of look at a shelf of hardcopy books and manually looking at the indexes and table of contents in order to find what we want. Online we rely on metadata and computer generated information. If those are flawed or non-existent, then the content may be unfindable. And if we can't find it, then having it online is meaningless.

Ken Lavender asked me on Friday about this specific article, which he had seen and couldn't re-find. Thanks for finding it and sharing it with me!

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For my IST 677 students

100_0544In 2006, I wrote this seven-part series that talked through a proposal for a mythical digitization program focused on Harrisburg, PA. Now three years later, I'm sure that there are sections that I would now write differently and maybe some day I'll rewrite the series (or write a new one). For now, this give you an additional peek into the area that need to be considered when embarking on a digitization program.
  • part 1 -- Introduction
  • part 2 -- Material selection & products to be created
  • part 3 -- Obstacles & copyright
  • part 4 -- Digitization, standards & guidelines
  • part 5 -- Content management & metadata
  • part 6 -- Preservation
  • part 7 -- Marketing

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Need your help on non-U.S. sources to add to my resource list

I've published this resources list now for several years and it has always had a heavy U.S. focus. I'd like to make it more global and less focused on how we think in the United States. Please take a moment to look at the list and to suggest resources that you think should be added. All resources will be considered.

BTW the list currently carries a copyright notice, but I'll change it to a Creative Commons license when I include your suggestions.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Event: 4th International Conference on: Preservation and Conservation Issues in Digital Printing and Digital Photography 27-28 May 2010

Arrived via email...

4th International Conference on: Preservation and Conservation Issues in Digital Printing and Digital Photography
27-28 May 2010
Institute of Physics, London

Organised jointly by the IOP Printing and Graphics Science Group and the University of the Arts London (Materials and the Arts Research Centre - MATAR), in association with the Society for Imaging Science and Technology.

The 4th International Conference on: Preservation and Conservation Issues in Digital Printing and Digital Photography is being held in London on 27-28 May 2010. The two-day international confernce aims to examine progress in research of inks, substrates and processes for producing digital prints which may be subjected to archival storage.

The event is aimed at an international audience of photographers, conservators, preservation personnel, conservation scientists, and those working in the digital printing, ink and paper industries.

We are currently calling for technical, research papers and case studies. As with previous conferences, the proceedings will be published. For more information, please visit the conference website at the following link:

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Microfilm digitization

If you are interested in digitizing microfilm, here a few links that may be useful:

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Monday, October 05, 2009

Jill's Schedule: October & November

Fall 2001 on Rt. 13 in NYSI'll be "on the move" over the next month and speaking at:
The October 15 event is a nearly last minute addition to my calendar. I'm taking Karen Schneider's place, who is now in the middle of a move from Florida to California. Congrats Karen!

If you and I happen to be at the same event, I hope you'll tap me on the shoulder and say "hi"!

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Sunday, October 04, 2009

Interim Report: A future for our digital memory: permanent access to digital information in the Netherlands

I received this quite a while ago...sorry for the delay in posting.
The Netherlands Coalition for Digital Preservation has today made available to the international digital preservation community an extensive twenty-page summary of the results of the National Digital Preservation Survey held in 2009. The interim report, entitled in English A future for our digital memory: permanent access to digital information in the Netherlands, is available at

The report was discussed at a conference on September 18 in The Hague. Both the report and the conference were meant to inspire a strategic plan that will be published by the NCDD at the end of 2009. I look forward to the announcement of that!

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Friday, October 02, 2009

For New Yorkers: Have you asked?

On Tuesday, I attended a short workshop given by Libby Post of Communication Services on the ways public libraries in New York State are organized and funded -- association library, municipal public library, school district public library, special district public library. It was very educational and I wish more people had been there to hear her. This is stuff that you don't learn in library school or in some work situations.

Post is big on communication and branding. She believes in getting the conversation started early when a library is thinking of having residents vote on its budget, etc. And of course the more people who hear, understand and back the message, the better.

As a side note, one of our local politicians was also at the workshop (Al Stirpe) and he was impressed with Post's political savviness. Did I hear him say he'd like her to run his campaign?!

Promo for the State Librarian's visitOn Wednesday, Bernard Margolis, the New York State Librarian, visited the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. Margolis attended several meetings with faculty and give a lunchtime (brown bag) talk to 30+ people including many MSLIS students. I think it was a very productive day for Margolis and those who met with him. I suspect that students were surprised at the breadth of things and concerns under his purview.

State Librarian talking to library-focused faculty in the iSchoolSo what does "have you asked?" (in this blog post's title) have to do with this week? In several of the conversations was this idea that we need to ask people (patrons, funders) to get to know us and for their support. Unfortunately, asking can feel uncomfortable, but it can be amazing what will happen when you ask. People will engage you in conversation, listen to your concerns, find ways of supporting your ideas, and perhaps go out of their way in order to help you succeed.

So who should you be asking? The sky's the limit:
  • Ask your local and regional political leaders to attend an event at your library, museum or archive. Even if they don't come, they now have an awareness of you and that is a good thing.
  • Ask members of the Board of Regents to attend an event or speak at an event. They definitely need to know who you are.
  • Ask the State Librarian or members of his staff to interact with you on an idea or attend an event.
  • Ask anyone of the above to be on a panel, provide a keynote, talk to staff, etc.
  • Ask them to intercede on your behalf, when appropriate.
  • Ask if you can visit them or their staff.
  • Ask other members of the cultural heritage community to visit and interact with you. Don't assume that they know your circumstances and how you all might work together.
  • Ask your patrons/users for their support. Get them to interact with your political leaders on your behalf. As constituents, they have powerful voice.
  • Ask...whomever else comes to mind.
Addendum (10/4/2009): An iSchool news article about the State Librarian's visit is here.

Two conversations occurred afterward:
  • Are libraries services or stuff? Libraries are both. When discussing libraries, the conversation may lean more towards stuff (e.g., databases) depending on who the conversation is with and what the need is. For example, legislators may fully understand the services aspect of libraries, but not be as cognizant of the materials that libraries need in order to provide those services, and thus not be as willing to fund the "stuff".
  • What is the broadband speed that is being advocated for in libraries? Looking at my notes from the Opportunity Online Summit, the

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Thursday, October 01, 2009

Keeping Research Data Safe2 Costs Survey

Received via email...

The Keeping Research Data Safe2 project (KRDS2) funded by JISC commenced on 31 March 2009 and will complete in December 2009. The project is identifying long-lived datasets for the purpose of cost analysis (including social sciences and humanities research) and is building on the work of the first “Keeping Research Data Safe” study completed in 2008. The report from KRDS1 made a major contribution to the understanding of digital preservation costs by developing a cost model and identifying the major expenditure variables for preserving research data in the UK. The report focused on Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) but its conclusions are of value to other organisations which preserve research data.

KRDS2 is currently undertaking detailed analysis of available cost information from 3 of its project partners and aims to develop guidance for how cost metrics can be captured and applied in future from this.

In addition a survey proforma has now been added to the project website to help identify other research data collections with information on preservation costs and issues. KRDS2 invite you to contribute to the data survey if you have research datasets and associated cost information that you feel may be of interest to the study.

We anticipate that no organisation will have complete information on costs but most will have cost information in some areas. The aim of the survey is to compile an overview of what preservation cost information is collected.

The Survey proforma is available to download as an Acrobat form (requires Adobe Reader 8+ installed) or a Word form (requires Microsoft Word installed). The Survey proforma is available as a single main questionnaire or alternatively if you have multiple cost datasets you can complete a separate organisational cover sheet and multiple collection details as required. It should take less than 30 minutes to complete and KRDS2 is seeking responses (to by the end of October 2009.

Further information on the KRDS2 Project can be found on the project website. The outcomes of the study will be critical in developing preservation-costing tools and associated cost-benefit analyses and we would encourage everyone who can contribute to participate. If you have any queries on the survey or need further information before completing the form please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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JPEG2000 report commissioned by the Wellcome Library available online

The following arrived in email...

Wellcome Library to use JPEG2000 image format

The Wellcome Library, anticipating a growth in digitisation of library materials as it takes forward an ambitious digitisation program, recognises the value of efficiency in storing its digital content whilst maintaining the high levels of quality and open standards required for long-term preservation. However, JPEG2000 comes in a variety of "flavours" and comprises 12 "parts", as explained in the JPEG2000 specification.

Seeking to determine exactly which JPEG2000 format to use to meet the aims of long-term storage and accessible delivery services, the Library commissioned a report by Simon Tanner, Director of King's Consultancy Service (KDCS). The report was written in conjunction with Robert Buckley of Xerox Corporation, an expert in the technical specifications of the JPEG2000 format.

As a result of the recommendations and conclusions provided in the report, the Wellcome Library will adopt a "visually lossless" lossy compression to gain at least 75% storage savings in comparison to a TIFF version (depending on the type of material being digitised). The recommended compression parameters will produce an image with no visible difference in image quality, but the compression is irreversible - i.e. the original bit stream will not be possible to reconstruct. As the Library will be digitising physical items that can (if necessary) be re-digitised, it was considered an acceptable compromise.

Embedding multiple resolution layers and tiling will facilitate dissemination, allowing a single image file to address multiple needs (such as thumbnails, screen resolution, and print resolution). In future, the Library will incorporate a web delivery system that can exploit these characteristics to create on-the-fly derivatives that can be viewed through a browser or downloaded (e.g. JPEG and PDF).

The full report is available under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 2.0 license, and can be viewed and downloaded from the image viewer below (toggle full screen to read) or here.

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