Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Blog post: Google’s Nine Year Shopping Spree, Illustrated

The TechCrunch blog post and original graphic from Scores.org are both worth looking at since the text and comments do not mirror each other.  What is fascinating is that Google has acquired SO much more than any of us realize, and this list is not complete.  For example, it's acquistion of the Papers of Record is not shown. And it does not show partnerships, which is what has impacted Google's digitization efforts.

You'll wonder about the colors, etc., and what it all means.  There is a key at the top.  Blue seems to signify that the acquisition was integrated into Google's offerings.  Note that some companies were acquired and left on their own.

By the way, someone has constructed a table showing the acquisitions of Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Amazon, whom we might now want to call the 'big four'.

Google Acquisitions.
Research by Scores.org

Monday, August 30, 2010

Podcast: Digital Asset Management implementation with Henrik de Gyor

In this 15-minute interview Henrik de Gyor talks about digital asset management implementation with Aric Allen (createasphere). If you are interested in what digital asset management (DAM) can do for you, this podcast offers a very good introduction. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Event: Archiving 2011

Received via email...

IS&T is pleased to announce the Archiving 2011 Call for Papers. 

The deadline for submitting presentation abstracts for Archiving 2011 to be held May 16-19, 2011 in Salt Lake City, Utah, is October 17, 2010.  A PDF of the Call for Papers can be found at www.imaging.org/ist/conferences/archiving.

The IS&T Archiving Conference brings together a unique community of imaging novices and experts from libraries, archives, records management, and information technology institutions to discuss and explore the expanding field of digital archiving and preservation. Attendees from around the world represent industry, academia, governments, and cultural heritage institutions. The conference presents the latest research results on archiving, provides a forum to explore new strategies and policies, and reports on successful projects that can serve as benchmarks in the field. Archiving 2011 is a blend of invited focal papers, keynote talks, and refereed oral and interactive display presentations. Prospective authors are invited to submit oral and interactive presentations by the October 17th deadline.

Proposed program topics include:
·         Preservation of and Access to Digital Assets
  • Strategies and tools for dealing with file format obsolescence
  • Metadata for preservation and discovery
  • Collaboration and cooperatives in digital preservation
  • Digital curation micro-services and modularity
  • Design, development, audio and certification of trusted repositories
·         Technical Processes: Imaging, Metadata Creation, Workflow
  • Effective imaging methodologies & processes
  • Indexing items for specialized audiences
  • Crowd-sourcing metadata creation
  • Archival file formats and compression
  • Color management in capture and display
·         Digital Curation
  • Prioritizing collections for digital archiving
  • Intellectual property rights management
  • Models for funding and sustaining digital collections
  • Digital curation education and training
  • Content authentication of digital assets

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Event: Digital Preservation Training Programme

 Received via email...

Bookings now open for Digital Preservation Training Programme

University of London Computer Centre announces that the next Digital Preservation Training Programme (DPTP) will take place from 4th-6th of October 2010, at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London.

The DPTP is an intensive 3-day course designed for all those working in institutional information management who are grappling with fundamental issues of digital preservation. It provides the skills and knowledge necessary for institutions to combine organisational and technological perspectives and develop an appropriate response to the challenges that digital preservation needs present. DPTP is operated and organised by the University of London Computer Centre with contributions from leading experts in the field.

Bookings for DPTP are now open at the ULCC online store. Please note that currently only payment by credit/debit card is fully automated online, and this would be our preferred method of payment. However, if you require to be sent an invoice, please see the 'more info' tab on the DPTP online booking website.

The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) is again generously offering three fully funded scholarships so that DPC members and associates can participate in the DPTP October 2010. For further details of eligibility and the application process, please see the DPC website.

Please see the links below for further information:

DPTP online: www.dptp.org
Booking: http://bit.ly/dptpOCT10
DPC website: www.dpconline.org

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Event: MCN 2010

As received in email...

Registration for MCN 2010 is now open!

From museums to libraries,
From conservation to future technologies, From building communities to museum ethics, From case studies to the great debates of our age:
MCN 2010 is what YOU make it!

Help us keep Austin weird at Halloween: MCN 2010, October 27-30th (fun, costumes and instruments strongly encouraged)!

I/O: The Museum Inside-Out/Outside-In opens with a huge range of workshops to raise the bar on your professional skills, followed by three action-packed days of programmed sessions and a parallel ThatCamp Un-conference to cater to every interest and specialist topic. Learn, teach and share while playing the MCN 2010 ARG, crawling Austin's pubs, jamming to jazz during our silent auction, and touring Austin's great museums and amazing bat caves. Check out the full program on our Conference Wiki http://mcn2010.pbworks.com/Conference-Program!

Registration fees:

MCN Members: Earlybird: $450.00 | Regular: $500.00
Non-Members: Earlybird: $550.00 | Regular: $600.00 Student / Emerging Professional Members: Earlybird: $200.00 | Regular: $250.00
Daily: (members and non-members) Earlybird: $250.00 | Regular: $250.00 Guest Registration: Earlybird: $105.00 | Regular: $105.00 Half-Day Workshop Fee: $100.00

Earlybird Registration Deadline: Friday, September 24, 2010. Register Today!

Follow us @mcn2010 (twitter)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Experience before training, part 2

My blog post on Aug. 13 has generated several comments, a discussion on the  Archives and Archivists email list, private emails and a Meebo chat session.  I guess it touched a nerve!

While several people noted that graduate programs require internships where students receive experience, the heart of the blog post is about having students obtain experience BEFORE they enter grad school.  As Rebecca commented, "experience does help give some perspective prior to school."  Peter noted that "[s]uch work experience would give people a better idea of what the profession is like."  In an email exchange, it was suggested that any type of work experience would serve a student well because it would provide knowledge about organizations, customer services, etc.  Indeed, a hiring manager would want a candidate to have some work experience in order to prove that the candidate can/will work!

A few students (or recent graduates) felt that it was difficult to obtain an internship.  The fact that an organization has to create an appropriate internship then supervise the intern can make them a bit harder to find.  It should be noted that some institutions truly rely on interns in order to move new projects forward.  Ben comments that some internships contain more clerical work than they should, but I have to wonder if that could be because students haven't had enough practical experience?

However, in obtaining experience before entering a graduate program, a person might volunteer in a cultural heritage organization doing whatever needs to be done.  No matter the job, that person is going to get a "peek behind the curtain" and have a better understanding of what that type of organization does.  Some institutions are also very reliant on volunteers and so a person should be able to find an opportunity.  If a person wants to be a corporate librarian, will he be able to volunteer in a corporate library?  No, but he could volunteer in a library somewhere. 

A couple people noted in email their long history of working in libraries  (or archives or museums, if appropriate) while a student in school (before entering a graduate program).  These people did clerical/paraprofessional work, obtained basic knowledge about library operations, and better understood if they were making the correct career choice.  Once they graduated with their master degree, these people became candidates with experience that made them more attractive to employers. While they might not have had extensive professional experience, they each could point to a track record.

Cool signWill it always be practical to obtain experience before someone enters training? I suspect that candidates for the  Culinary Institute of America (CIA) program sometimes say that they cannot obtain six months of experience upfront. However, the school continues to grow, so what we see as a potential barrier perhaps helps people truly understand if this is the correct path for them. And maybe it weeds out those that don't want it bad enough.

Finally, I want to point to part of the CIA's mission statement: (emphasis added)
We teach our students the general knowledge and specific skills necessary to live successful lives and to grow into positions of influence and leadership in their chosen profession.
The CIA's mission statement acknowledges that anybody can work in the profession, but their graduates are expected to rise to positions of influence and leadership.  We might take that six months of work prior to entering the program as proof that a person can work in the field.  The training then moves the person beyond just working in; it positions the person to do more...to be more.  Shouldn't we want the same of our graduates?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Jill's alternate to the 2014 Beloit College Mindset List

Welcome to SU!
Each year Beloit College releases its mindset list about incoming freshmen.  For some reason, this year's list of what has impacted their mindset didn't seem to contain things that I thought were relevant, so I'm creating my own.

Incoming college/university freshmen were born in 1992.  Here are some other things that you need to know about them:  (My apologies for the list being a bit U.S.-centric.)
  • When Facebook was originally launched (2004), they were too young to use the service. 
  • They are as old as AOL's international email gateway (announced in 1992).  By the way, in October 1992, AOL boasted having 200,000 subscriber households. 
  • The short message service (SMS or texting) was begun the same year they were born.  
  • They were born after the first Gulf War (1990-1991).  The current war in the Iraq and Afghanistan is the only war many of them know.
  • They don't remember George H.W. Bush as president of the U.S. (1989-1993). (8/23: Corrected George's middle initials)
  • They have only known three presidents of the United States: Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.  (8/23: Corrected George's middle initial)
  • Debit cards have always been an option when paying for goods and services.
  • Television
  • Black and white television is something their grandparents watched.
  • Cars have always has loads of safety features.  (A car without seatbelts? Never!)
  • Nelson Mandela has always been free.  He was released from prison in 1990.
  • William Shatner is recognized for acting in commercials and not from his work in Star Trek.
  • England's Prince Charles has only been married to Camilla Parker Bowles.
  • They don't know how to use a typewriter and don't understand any typewriter references (like carriage return).
  • In the United States, walking to elementary or high school is something their parents might have done.
  • CNN has always been a major news network (founded in 1980).
  • The idea of receiving news through limited forms (e.g., morning newspapers, radio, and morning/evening TV news programs) is a very odd concept.
  • ESPN has always been a major sports network (founded in 1978).
Let's assume that the parents of these freshmen were born between 1964-1974. That means the parents:
  • Were born after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
  • May not have strong memories of the Vietnam War.
  • May not remember the race riots of the 1960s that impacted many cities in the United States.
  • Depending on where they were born, may remember black-and-white television.
  • Were born before the introduction of the IBM and the Apple computers.
  • May have a recollection of a personal computer that was called a "black" Apple.  (Made/sold by Bell and Howell, if my memory serves me correct.)
  • May remember the oil crisis of the 1970s.
E pluribus unumMaking some assumptions about when the grandparents of our freshmen were born, it is likely that their grandparents were not alive during the Great Depression, but that they were raised by people who were.  Those who lived through the depression were thrifty people.  They saved everything - money, string, bottles, etc.  They did without things that we consider necessities in order to live within their means.  They reused things that we're now learning to reuse (again).  Their children  - the grandparents of our freshmen - learned about being thrifty, but grew up in an era of abundance (and their parents wanted them to enjoy an abundant life).  The grandparents of our freshmen passed their enjoyment of abundance onto their children - the parents of our freshmen. Our freshmen are torn between what their parents are used to and the current economic reality.  In my mind, they may become generation that is associated with the Great Recession of the early 21st century.  Sadly, they are too far removed from the generation that went through the Great Depression to be able to learn from them.

Now it's your turn...when you think about our incoming freshmen class - born in 1992 - what events, technologies, etc., do you think has impacted their mindset?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Article: Digital copycats: Personal digitization of books catching on across Japan

Quoting the article:
Referred to in Japan's Internet community as "jisui," (literally "cooking one's own meals"), the process involves feeding pages of a book through a scanner one by one to turn a work into digital form. Boosting the popularity of personal digitization is the emergence of portable devices such as Apple's iPad.
If this is the trend in Japan with 20% of surveyed iPad using doing it, I expect it will become a trend elsewhere.

And what about copyright?  The article notes that this is violation of copyright in Japan, but that the law is out of step with practice. 

Thanks to Michael Porter (LibraryMan) for pointing me toward this article.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Community, Collaboration, and Learning: Time for the Fourth Place

Twice a month, a growing number of library trainers participate in the recording of the T is for Training podcast and I join in when my schedule allows.  This past Friday, we were joined by someone named Walter Salem, who does not work in a library and who somehow stumbled across our live conversation.  As it turned out, Walter is the library user and advocate that we all want.   He believes in the education value of libraries and see them as a place to go in order to better yourself.  He is a person who soaks up information and wants to enable others - especially young people - to do the same, and he sees libraries playing an active role in that.

To Paul Signorelli, this sounded like what writers Ray Oldenburg and Frans Johansson would call the "third place".  As Signorelli describes, "our first place is our home, our second place is where we work, and our third place is the treasured community meeting place where we, our friends, and colleagues come and go."  For many years, local coffee shops, diners and general stores were the third places in our communities.  In some communities, it might have been the town square or a city park.  Recently, libraries have been vying for the title of third place.  We want libraries to be as important to people as home and work.  We want libraries to be the meeting place, the coffee shop, the learning spot for the community.  However, based on our conversation on Friday, perhaps we should be thinking of a "fourth place".

During our talk, which occurred both in voice (which you hear on the podcast) and typed chat (which is not saved), Maurice Coleman defined a fourth place as "a community gathering place for social learning".  While this could be a library, this could also be a community center or some other space either in the real or virtual world.  It needs to have resources -- people, books, computers, etc. -- to connect people to the knowledge that they want to acquire.  It is a place that "serves as and inspires communities of learning." (Signorelli)  In my mind, it is an active place where furniture, etc., can be moved around to support the conversation and learning that is occurring.  It is community study, basement and garage where learning, activity (doing) and conversation intersect.  And as people come-and-go, there is the ability to transfer knowledge as well as build upon what others are able to contribute.  It is a place where the only rule is "to learn".  Rules around being quiet, noisy, writing on the walls, etc., don't exist.  I suspect that most libraries would not tolerate being the fourth place that I envision.  However, a library could facilitate the creation of a fourth place and be one of the resources that is available to fourth place users.

During the podcast, we began to brainstorm possible fourth places based on physical spaces that we've seen, and this brainstorming will continue.  Given that this is a permanent (or semi-permanent) space with both a permanent and transient set of users, I mentioned a coffee shop in Austin, TX that is literally an open-air space on a street corner with a limited amount of table seating.  What really stood out in my mind about this shop was that people did see this as a "third place", and that it also had an educational element to it because people left books there for others to read.  Since it is outdoors, I could imagine a quick lesson on bike repair taking place over a cup of coffee or perhaps time spent identifying nearby birds and flowers.  While this is not my idea fourth place, it has a kernel of what I would be looking for.

Container StructureI also mentioned that we have an abundance of shipping containers in the U.S. (and likely in any country that imports more than it exports).  If we wanted to create spaces specifically to be fourth places, we might use shipping containers.  Every community has empty space that could fit a shipping container!  And yes, there are being used to create homes and work environments (video), so this is not a crazy idea.  Every community would likely outfit their fourth place shipping container differently depending on the needs of the community.  It might contain books, tools, gadgets, and a table/chairs for conversation, consultation, and collaboration.  Users would need to understand that rearranging (or re-outfitting) the fourth place for a new learning need was okay, just as we re-arrange our garages for the task at hand. 

Paul, Maurice, myself and others involved in T is for Training have promised to flesh-out this idea of a fourth place more.  Paul has already done good deep thinking on topic, which is worth reading.  Personally, I'm thinking that we might need to design a fourth place and maybe even test one out! 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Experience before training

Breakfast at the Apple Pie Bakery CafeMonday afternoon I had the pleasure of touring the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, NY.  Our tour guide (a student) not only told us about the facility but also about the very intense program of study.  What I found quite interesting is that each student is required to spend six months "preparing food using fresh ingredients in a paid or non-paid position in a professional kitchen, banquet facility, hospital kitchen, soup kitchen, or other non-fast-food facility" in order to understand the realities of working in the food service industry. Students then enter the program with an idea of what their work days will be like after graduation. In addition to the work experience received before entry into the program and the mandatory "externships" (what most would call internships), every student is also required to work in one of the five CIA restaurants just before graduation.  And if that isn't enough to get students to understand the workday, classes are held at times when work is generally done in food service. (Classes start very early in the day and end late.)  By the time they graduate, they know exactly what they have gotten themselves into!

Many incoming library and information science program -- no matter the university -- have never worked in a library.  They don't know what type of services libraries offer or the types of resources they contain.  They know that there is something about the library work environment that is attractive to them, even though they are unsure of what the work entails.  (I wonder if the same is true for those that are attracted to archives and museums?)  These students learn about their future work environments as they progress through their studies, with the hope that they understand enough of the environment before graduation.

As I heard my tour guide at the CIA talk, I wondered what would happen if library and information science programs required incoming students to have paid or volunteer experience before matriculating?  What type of "leg up" would that give students as they approached their studies?  How would that change what was taught?   Would we have fewer students?  Would they have a greater interest in specializing?

I have more questions than answers, and I know that they are questions that I'll continue to ponder...and maybe I'll test some ideas on my colleagues.  I think this may influence how I talk to those that are interested in an LIS program.  Yes, it is a great profession, but perhaps you should test the waters before enrolling; you'll be smarter about your future career path.

Article: Project Gutenberg on quest to digitize 1 billion books

It is likely that you know the project (Project Gutenberg), which  began on July 5, 1971.  Since 1971, thousands of volunteers have transcribed and scanned public domain books for it.  The Project provides those books -- over 33,000 at this point -- on the Internet for free, with books being available for use on a wide variety of PC and mobile devices.  In this LA Times article, Michael Hart discusses his new goal - 1 billion ebooks!
He scratched his math, based on various premises, down into an e-mail. His vision for a larger digital reading ecosystem includes all e-books, whether from his own organization or others or from for-profit ventures including Google's.
That is a bold goal doable, as he calculates, if scanned books are also translated into other languages and thus not 1 billion unique titles.

Think of it...1 billion books available online.  Even if some of those are not totally free, that is still more books available to a person through his/her computer than from most local libraries.  That would put a tremendous amount of knowledge at the fingertips of those with Internet connections.  For them, the trick will be getting them to find, access and use the books, because that will not be automatic. For those without Internet connections, the need will be providing the resources they need so that these books are not out of sight and unavailable.

Yes...I know...these will mostly be books in the public domain and thus not recent works. But we should cherish, use and learn from them anyway, because there are put of our heritage and culture. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Videos from Digital Archives: Navigating the Legal Shoals, April 16, 2010

Columbia Law School hosted a day-long symposium on April 16, 2010 entitled "Digital Archives: Navigating the Legal Shoals".  They actually video recorded the entire day and those videos are now available.  Presentations included:
  • If Only We Could Reach the Shoals: Barriers to Archives Digitization
  • Copyright Issues and Section 108 Reform
  • Copyright Issues and Issues Beyond Copyright  
  • How Do You Make a Decision When the Legal Answer is “Maybe”?
I see a few of my favorite people were involved in this including Peter Hirtle, Kenneth Crews and Ricky Erway.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

WebJunction Resources on Digitization & Preservation

For those compiling lists of resources on digitization, this site from WebJunction is one you might want to add to you list.  There is a lot more here than initially meets the eye.

Monday, August 09, 2010

METRO's Digitization LibGuide

The Metropolitan NY Library Council has a libguide (bibliography) on digitization.  The guide include links on planning, image manipulation, copyright and more.  Missing is information on software (collection management systems).  Currently, METRO is using CONTENTdm and Omeka, although some if its members may be using other software.

I believe that this guide was recently updated, which is always good to see.  Often resource lists are placed online and then forgotten which leads to broken links and outdated information.

METRO has been very active in digitization for a number of years.  It recently released its book Digitization in the Real World, which contains case studies of small and medium-size organizations that have embarked on digitization program.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Blog: No More Outsourcing: Digitization Now

This morning, Misty contacted me through Meebo for a quick chat and it turns out she is blogging about digitization.  An archivist in Ontario (Canada), her passion is thinking about and creating do-it-yourself (DIY) digitization systems.  Misty has already written very thoughtful (and likely thought-provoking) posts on the subject, even though her blog is just two months old.  If you are interested in DIY as a strategy, you'll want to add her blog to your reading/skimming list.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Book: Digitization in the Real World

The Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) has published the book Digitization in the Real World. The 592-pages book includes "more than 30 examples of successful efforts to digitize historically significant materials at leading libraries in North America." Edited by Kwong Bor Ng, Jason Kucsma, the book includes examples from Columbia, Yale, and the American Museum of Natural History. According to METRO:
The new book is the first to present case study examples of small and medium-sized digitization projects, with information developed by practitioners for practitioners.
METRO notes that the book is available at online vendors including www.lulu.com (now) and www.amazon.com (beginning in September).  The print version is $60. The full text book is also available for electronic download for $10.  Bulk orders are available by contacting METRO (jkucsma at metro.org).

METRO is a multi-type library consortium that serves New York City and Westchester County.  METRO has been working with its members on a variety of digitization programs for about 10 years.