Wednesday, January 27, 2010

More from Seth Godin on libraries

Earlier this month, marketing guru Seth Godin wrote a blog post that was not well received by many librarians including me.  Given his words then, I was very interested to hear these words spoken during a December 2009 podcast that I just listened to:
The things that are most valuable in our lives have always been free.  You know go to the library and read something.
And that is in the middle of a longer discussion on the positive value of free!

So which does he believe - that libraries are of value or that they deliver services that no one wants?

Also of interest to me was hearing in that Seth Godin is from Buffalo, NY.  Maybe the libraries of Buffalo should invite him back for a discussion about his view on what they do.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Association for Recorded Sound Collection (ARSC)

For those of you that are working with sound recordings of any kind, this might be an association that you'll want to to investigate.  According to the web site,
Founded in 1966, the Association for Recorded Sound Collections, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and study of sound recordings—in all genres of music and speech, in all formats, and from all periods.
Among the topics of interest to members of ARSC are digitization and copyright.

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

New DPC Technology Watch Report: File Formats for Preservation

An announcement from December 2009 from DPC.

The DPC is pleased to announce the addition of a new report to the DPC Technology Watch Report Series: File Formats for Preservation, written by Malcolm Todd of The National Archives: [URL corrected, 1/24/2010]

The selection and manipulation of file formats has long been seen as an important element within digital preservation strategies, especially data migration. However there are different and to some extent competing grounds for selection of file formats. The proliferation of formats, the need to provide long term access to data embedded within files and the role of the file as a container for encoded information create subtle tensions for preservation managers.

This new report provides an extensive account of the challenges that format management creates for long term access and it provides concrete recommendations which can inform preservation strategies. Rather than making generalisations about the merits of common formats, it presents repository managers with the tools they will need to develop nuanced advice specific to their own requirements. It goes on to contribute the implications on file format selection of archival science viewpoint arising from recent research in the UK and North America into a wider digital preservation discourse.

Author, Malcolm Todd explained 'There have been many pronouncements on file formats either from research projects or preservation services. There is broad consensus on criteria such as the transparency of a format or extent of its use, but not on how such criteria can be compared. In my view, these criteria can only be assessed by considering the drivers for preservation. So, asking 'which format is most effective for preservation?' leads us back to asking 'what is it that we want to achieve through preservation?', in terms of informational characteristics, user needs and expected useful life'

'The question of file formats is central to preservation planning and relevant to everyone who is interested in the long term management of data.' Commented William Kilbride, Executive Director of the DPC. 'Experience shows that poor choices can lead to expensive complications for access and effective or actual data loss'.

'Malcolm has presented us with a thoughtful analysis of the field, leading to concise and practical conclusions. I'm grateful to him for producing this report and I expect that it will be influential.'

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Upcoming CIP events

As received via email.Check the CIP web site for registration information.

Registration for this upcoming workshop ends on January 25.

Google Book Search in Depth.
Dates: February 1-12, 2010 (Register by January 25).
Instructor: Peter Jaszi, J.D., Faculty Director of the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic and Professor of Law at the Washington College of Law at American University.

Prof. Jaszi's workshop will consider the various elements of and objections to the Google Book Search settlement -- with emphasis on how they affect libraries -- including the controversy it provoked, the proposals to settle that controversy, and the objections those proposals have evoked. Moreover, the workshop will analyze the extent that culturally valuable mass digitization projects may be justified under the fair use doctrine.

Guest chatters include:
  • Brandon Badger, M.A., Product Manager, Google Inc.
  • Jonathan Band, J.D., PLLC.
  • Pamela Samuelson, J.D., Director, Berkeley Center for Law & Technology, and Professor of Law, University of California Berkeley Law School.
  • Jeffrey Cunard, J.D., Managing Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.

Detailed Description and Course Objectives:

SIGN UP TODAY: [Secured Server].

Upcoming Workshop:
Fred von Lohmann, J.D., Senior Staff Attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is the instructor of the next workshop titled P2P File-sharing on Campus: Legal Controversies and Emerging Solutions which runs from March 1-12. This workshop will bring you up-to-date on the legal issues surrounding peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing, emerging solutions (such as the music industry's Choruss licensing offers), and the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA). Learn more at

Copyright Certification:
Advance your career with the new certification program Copyright Leadership in Higher Education.  Certification begins with the core course Foundations in Copyright Management and Leadership, which will be offered March 29 - May 21, 2010.  Participants in the certificate program also take one elective workshop.  Register for certification today and receive either upcoming workshop as your elective at no additional charge. Learn more at

CIP Symposium: June 22-24, 2010, Washington, DC.
Hybrid (c): Sustaining Culture in Copyright.
Come to the symposium for the latest on copyright and stay for the ALA Annual Conference (June 24-30).
Register now at

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Martin Luther King Jr. and digitization

In 2006, a group of Atlanta business and civic leaders  raised $32 million to purchase 10,000 documents from the family of Martin Luther King Jr.  Those documents are now housed at Morehouse College, which Dr. King  graduated from in 1948.  Looking through the materials on the Morehouse web site, I am very pleased to see this:
The Collection is stored at the Robert W. Woodruff Library where it is being digitized and archived.
Because there has been limited access to the collection in the past, this is very good news!  And I'm glad that I found it today (Martin Luther King Jr. Day).

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

News about archives and libraries in Haiti

The Facebook page for the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) is carrying some news about the libraries and archives in Haiti.  A message posted their from Library Director Francoise Thybulle reports "The building of the National library is safe,the shelves and holdings have shifted...we will prevail ... our building is the only one standing in the whole area".  Photos within that group page show satellite images of a few of the buildings both before and after. 

I began thinking this morning about Haiti's history and culture, hoping that somehow pieces of the past had survived somewhere.  The few messages in this Facebook group have given me hope.  Now resources will be needed to ensure that these cultural heritage materials remain safe and available for future generations.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Article: One document at a time: Small scale digitization projects

Presented at the International Association of Aquatic and Marine Science Libraries and Information Centers (IAMSLIC) conference in 2007, the abstract says:

The members of this panel have been involved in small scale digitization and each has taken a different approach. Though we vary in strategy and processes, we have found that digitization and archiving can be accomplished even on a very tight budget, and can be juggled into your workday if need be. Our experiences demonstrate that other IAMSLIC members can dive into their digitization interests right from their desks. 
The 11 page documents discusses digitization at Oregon Institute of Marine Biology (OIMB), Oregon State University Libraries and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Qidenus Robotic Book Scanner to be demoed at ALA Midwinter Conference

Between Jan. 15 - 19, those attending the exhibits at the ALA Midwinter Conference in Boston, MA will be able to view the Qidenus Robotic Book Scanner Pro TT  in action.Reportedly, this is the first time this scanner has been exhibited in the U.S.  I'll be anxious to hear reports from anyone who sees it.  (Maybe someone will post video online of it?)  ALA is offering free exhibit hall passes.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Article: Digitization: How Many Best Practices, Guidelines, and Standards Do We Need?

Last year, I was asked to write an article for NISO's Information Standards Quarterly (ISQ).  What began as an article turned into an opinion piece for the fall issue.  I hope you will read "Digitization: How Many Best Practices, Guidelines, and Standards Do We Need?" and leave comments with your thoughts on the topic.

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Saturday, January 09, 2010

Seth Godin and libraries

I'll admit it -- I've read books by Seth Godin, followed his blog, and even asked him a question at the SLA 2008 conference.  I like him, but I'm concerned about his recent blog post about libraries.  He wrote:
They can't survive as community-funded repositories for books that individuals don't want to own (or for reference books we can't afford to own.) More librarians are telling me (unhappily) that the number one thing they deliver to their patrons is free DVD rentals. That's not a long-term strategy, nor is it particularly an uplifting use of our tax dollars.
Godin's words have not fallen on deaf ears (e.g., here, here). However, given the number of people that read his blog, we'll have to raise our voices loudly to ensure that our message that libraries are needed is heard.

Yes, Seth (if I may call you that), libraries do house books that people don't want to own. Instead, they want to borrow them, along with other materials.  And if you hadn't noticed, libraries are providing a ton of information online -- including access to materials that they are digitizing -- that people are indeed accessing.  We haven't been solely about books for a very long time.

We already do a lot of training.  We train users to use online tools, computer programs, and information resources.  People use our training to help them understand how to use the computer to find a job opportunity and then complete the online job application.  Students of all ages use their public libraries to locate information. Some, who lack computer access at home, use the computers at the library in order to work on assignments, etc.

We also provide community space.  200 years ago, many communities used the town square as their common space.  Now one of the last community common spaces available is the library.

Seth, it is likely that you heard about the SLA Alignment Project when you spoke in Seattle and maybe that has colored your view of libraries.  Libraries and librarians are indeed changing.  We're outside of the library and using our skills in different areas, especially in corporations.  Some librarians are now embedded in specific departments.  Even some academic librarians are embedded in classes and departments.  But this does not deminish the importance of a room, a bulding or an institution called "a library". did say that, "The information is free now. No need to pool tax money to buy reference books."  While lots of information is free, you evidently would be amazed at how much isn't.  I know, you are giving away books and making a lot of content available on the Internet for free.  You are still the exception and not the rule.  There is a tremendous amount of content that people need that libraries purchase on their behalf.  Here in New York State, our State Library spends millions of dollars each year in order to license databases for all New Yorkers to use through their libraries (or via

Seth, you don't allow comments on your blog posts, but I know you track who has linked to your blog.  I hope you'll follow the links to your "The future of libraries" blog post and read what people are saying.  Given the power that your blog has, maybe you'll consider doing a follow-up post about what you have heard and learned.

Finally, given that I'm on a statewide committee that focuses on libraries, I'd be more than willing to put you in touch with people -- even our State Librarian -- so you can hear more about what libraries are doing. Call me.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Event: Digital preservation tools for repository managers, starts Tuesday 19 January 2010, Southampton, UK

Received via email.

Digital preservation tools for repository managers, starts Tuesday 19 January 2010, Southampton, UK

This free practical course is designed for repository managers and presented by expert tutors, in five parts - covering organisational issues, costs, description, preservation workflow, and trust - between January and March 2010, in the UK. You are invited to sign up now for this distinctive new course, which culminates in a ground-breaking tutorial on joined-up tools for preservation management workflow for repositories.

Each module will give extensive coverage of chosen topics and tools through presentation, practical exercises, group work and feedback. This course will, uniquely, specialise in working with tools optimised for digital institutional repositories.

The first module will be held in Southampton on 19 January. Further modules follow on 5 Feb, 2 Mar, 17-18 Mar and 30 Mar. The modules each last a single day, apart from module 4 on the preservation workflow, which will last two days and includes an evening social event.

The course is presented by the JISC KeepIt project in association with Digital Curation Centre, and the European Planets project.

Find out more

Digital preservation, the ability to manage content effectively and ensure continued access over time, is an implicit commitment made by an institution to those who deposit their important and valuable content in its repository. It’s also an asset for a repository to be able demonstrate to its users good quality content management processes embracing digital preservation.

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Event: Short-Term Training Course on Design and Development of Digital Libraries using DSpace

Received via email...

Short-Term Training Course on Design and Development of Digital Libraries using DSpace
15-19 February 2010
Organized by
Training Division
National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources (NISCAIR)
New Delhi, India

Broad course contents:
  • Digital Library: Concepts and software
  • Metadata: Overview
  • Linux: An OSS Operating System
  • DSpace: Overview, Installation
  • Administration: Communities, Collections, Items, Groups, ePeople, Work Flow
  • Customization, Authorisation,
  • Backup & Restore,
  • Metadata Harvesting,
  • Case studies, etc.
COURSE FEE for participants from:
India Rs. 2000/= (Without Accommodation); Rs. 2600/= (With Accommodation)
SAARC/ Vietnam US$ 130 (With Accommodation) Other Countries US$ 180 (With Accommodation)

How to apply: Application form is available at or can be obtained by sending an email to Filled in application form along with the appropriate course fee is to be paid by Demand Draft drawn in favour of "Director, NISCAIR" and sent to In-Charge (Training), Education and Training Division, NISCAIR, 14-Satsang Vihar Marg, New Delhi - 110067

Dr. Narendra Kumar,
In-Charge, Training Division,
National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources (NISCAIR)
14, Satsang Vihar Marg
New Delhi-110 067
Tel: +91-11-26965094/+91-11-26863617
FAX: +91-11-26862228
E-mail: training[at]; narendrakumar[at]
Further Details:

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

CDS Invenio

Add this to the "I should have mentioned this earlier" category. I heard about this in Switzerland and finally found the paper I had written it on.

As the web site says:
CDS Invenio (formerly CDSware), the integrated digital library system, is a suite of applications which provides the framework and tools for building and managing an autonomous digital library server. The software is readily available to anyone, as it is free software, licensed under the GNU General Public Licence (GPL). The technology offered by the software covers all aspects of digital library management. It complies with the Open Archives Initiative metadata harvesting protocol (OAI-PMH) and uses MARC 21 as its underlying bibliographic standard. Its flexibility and performance make it a comprehensive solution for the management of document repositories of moderate to large size.

CDS Invenio was developed at CERN, which is both maintaining and using the product. According to the web site, CERN manages over 500 collections with the software. More than a dozen scientific institutions worldwide are using the software. At the sites listed that are using Invenio, you can see that it is being used to house bibliographic records, full-text documents and digitized materials.

Invenio's features page uses phrases such as "Google-like" and "Amazon-like" which would intrigue anyone!

Although the Invenio homepage has not been updafed since 2005, the software has been updated in the last two years and some of the pages have been updated in the last six months.

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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Digitization 101 Resource List (Nov. 2009)

It has taken me too too long to get this updated resource list online, because of my schedule. Besides including new resources, I've added a Creative Commons license to it. I hope you will use this resource list and also respect its license. If you have any questions about it, please contact me.

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