Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Notes from lecture given by David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States

David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, spoke at Syracuse University on March 28 on the topic of "Protecting National Security in an Open Government Environment: the Role of the National Archives".  What follows are my notes, which I hope capture his comments, as well as the Q&A, accurately. I wish I could have typed faster which he delivered his prepared remarks, because I know I missed valuable information.

Piece of trivia, Ferriero has three letters (reproductions) on the wall of his office that he wrote to three of our presidents (Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson).  David Stam, who introduced Ferriero, remarked at the ability of the National Archives to locate them. 

Ferriero is pleased at the progress that has been made in terms of making archival materials available to the public.  He hopes that people will avail themselves of the Archives' 44 locations across the U.S.

Several federals acts have strengthened the role of the Archives over the years.  The amount of information collected is staggering, including electronic records. (Ferriero noted later how little of created content the Archives actually collects.)

President Obama launched the open government initiative on his first day in office.  The Archives wants to open as many doors (and windows) to the Archives as possible.  Make more information available and in more efficient ways.  They are not waiting for people to come to the Archives, instead they are using social media to go to where people are online and put content there for them to find.  (Note the social media links on the Archives homepage.)

David FerrieroThe are engaging the public as citizen archivists, in recognition that we (the public) can strengthen the holdings of the Archives.  We may view items differently that those that work at the Archives, and see information that others have ignored (e.g., war plans written in Russian).  Every day new discoveries are made.  This collaboration between staff and citizen researchers is crucial. (He talked about this again later in response to a question.)

He said there is a delicate balance between providing documents to people versus protecting national security. Three groups work within the Archives on this:
  • The Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) - They handle FOIA requests. 
  • The National Declassification Center - Its job is to eliminate the backlog of documents waiting to be declassified.  Looking at those type of documents that people are most interested in first (e.g., UFOs and the Kennedy assassination).  At the moment, they are trying to make wholesale decisions on boxes, etc.  The web site will tell you what records are currently classified.
Looking at 32 CFR Parts 2001 and 2003 Classified National Security Information; Final Rule (after his talk) the types of records mentioned are:

(A) Military plans, weapons systems, or operations;
(B) Foreign government information;
(C) Intelligence activities (including covert action), intelligence sources or methods, or cryptology;
(D) Foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources;
(E) Scientific, technological, or economic matters relating to the national security;
(F) United States Government programs for safeguarding nuclear materials or facilities;
(G) Vulnerabilities or capabilities of systems, installations,
infrastructures, projects, plans, or protection services relating to the national security; or
(H) The development, production, or use of weapons of mass destruction.
  • Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) - There are more than 2000 classification guides used by the U.S. government.  Among this ISOO's work is to "standardized [controlled unclassified information] policies and procedures that appropriately protect sensitive information through effective data access and control measures."
In order to make more information available, they are working with volunteers who are willing to digitize records.  The Archives has the equipment, but people are needed to operate it.

[Comments below this are from the Q&A]

Question: With the problems we've seen oversees, what is the Archives doing to ensure the records remain safe?  They have 44 facilities, which helps.  Yes, there are vaults.  The most critical documents are highly protected.   He does not see a time when all of the content of the Archives will be digitized.

Ferriero has visited 27 of the facilities to talk to employees.  One of the issues that arises is always that people feel disconnected.  What can they do to ensure that all of the employees feel as if they belong to one organization?  Can the Archives look outside itself and learn from others?  Can it use social media to engage its employees?  Can it learn the emerging tools so it can advise others? Can they eliminate duplicate processes?  He is getting the staff involved in generating ideas and help create the "new agency".

What is the impact of Wikileaks?  It is an interesting heads-up.  Surprised that it hadn't happened sooner.  A large number of people have access to the system where the information lived. There is a lot of discussion (ISOO is included in it) to find solutions without "throwing the baby out with the bath water."

The ISOO staff are Archives staff - archivists and former national security personnel.  The only two criteria for keeping documents classified are national security and weapons of mass destruction. (See list above for more details.)

We know that the records of the Archives are not complete.  How does that influence Ferriero?  In the past, records have been lost due to fire, theft, etc.  The real problem now are electronic records. There is a high risk around those records because the digital environment is unstable.   Some records stay in an agency for 30 years before being sent to the Archives.  30 years in an unstable environment?!

Question about items missing from the Archives.  While it hit the news in the last year, it was old news.  Must be vigilant.  They have a records protection team to educate staff and put processes in place, e.g., checking people's bags when they leave a facility.

It is not just stealing stuff, but changing items that belong to the Archives.  One person allegedly changed a date on a pardon given by President Lincoln.

A government agency can approve the release of information.  It may not be the entire document, but may be a dedacted version of the document.

How do we compare to other countries? In his response he mentioned the International Council on Archives (ICA).  In terms of practice, we're close to those of Canada and the UK.  In terms of electronic records, we're slightly ahead of our peers.

Is there concern about federal records that may be in a private archive?  They do have legal staff that spends  time tracking down documents that belong in the National Archives.  Documents sometimes show up on eBay and in other places.

David FerrieroIs there an advocate in the system for throwing things away?  No.  The Archives only ends up with 1-3% of the records that are created.  Every agency has schedules for what is kept and what is sent to the Archives.

Queston about Ancetry.com.  Ancentry has a lock on the content for five year, then people can use it for free on the Internet from anywhere.  Content is available at the various Archive locations.

Citizen archivists are researchers (not archivists) who are using the Archives records and then telling the Archives what they are discovering that the Archives should know about.

The Archives budget has been cut.  David Ferriero has been working to educate Congress on the role of the Archives and its contents.

Between his comments and the Q&A, David Ferriero spoke for just over one hour.  The was a good turn out for the event from across campus and the event was recorded so that others can view it later.  I am not sure, however, when or how the recording will be made available.  (I'll try to follow-up on that.)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Link to all CIL2011 blog posts written by Jill

This blog post is mostly for my students, who I'll be talking to about CIL.
If you want to see/read all of the blog posts I wrote on the Computers in Libraries Conference, this link will show all of them to you.  (BTW I should be writing one more post to wrap things up.)

Webinar: Unraveling the Good Book Settlement Rejection, March 30, 12 noon (US Eastern Time)

This one-hour free webinar is being presented by the Copyright Clearance Center.  As their web site says:
As you very likely know, on March 22, Judge Chin issued his long awaited opinion in the Google Book Search settlement proceedings, rejecting the Amended Settlement Agreement (ASA) proposed by the Authors Guild, AAP and Google.
On Wednesday, March 30, 2011, 12:00pm EST, join copyright expert Lois Wasoff and me as we analyze this highly-anticipated decision, what it means for those affected by the proposed settlement, and what is likely to happen next.
To register for this free, one-hour event click here.
In his 48-page opinion, Judge Chin discussed the various objections before the court, including concerns regarding copyright, international law, antitrust, privacy and the class action/procedural aspects of the case – ultimately concluding that the ASA is not “fair, adequate and reasonable” as required for court approval of a settlement.
Judge Chin did, however, leave the door open for the parties to renegotiate and resubmit the settlement, urging them to consider adopting an “opt-in” rather than “opt-out” model which would ameliorate many of the concerns raised in the objections.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Video: Digital Media - New Learners Of The 21st Century

This 53 minute PBS video is described as:
Featuring the foremost thought leaders, innovators and practitioners in the field, Digital Media is a startling preview of a 21st Century education revolution.
While the video is focused on education, we might consider our libraries, etc., will participate in this and what digital content we might contribute to these learning efforts.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

CIL2011: Planning & Realizing the "Fourth Place"

SU spring 2009Yesterday afternoon, Paul Signorelli, Maurice Coleman and I did a session on Planning & Realizing the "Fourth Place".  Because Paul could not physically come to Computers in Libraries, he was going to Skype-in to do his portion of the presentation.  We checked with the Information Today IT staff in advance and knew that it should work, but that was before we all realized that the Washington Hilton's Internet connection sucked.  Thankfully, (1) this is a topic we had been discussing for months; (2) we had Paul's slides; and (3) Maurice had gone over the slides with Paul.  thus, Maurice and I handled the entire presentation, improvising when necessary.  Paul was eventually able to Skype-in and hear us, but we could not hear him. Amazingly - and likely because we're all professional trainers with a great idea - it all went well and was well received.  (You can read Paul's account of the event here.)

What is a fourth place? Ray Oldenburg’s idea of the Great Good Place tells us that home is the "first place" in our lives, while work is our "second place". Those are the two places where we spend the majority of our time and they are places where we should feel comfortable.  Places like Starbucks want to be our "third place"...that place where we hang out.  We envision the "fourth place" as being a place of learning.  Yes, libraries are a place where people may just hang out and they are a place of learning, but our vision of fourth place emcompasses what libraries could become (and some already are).

The idea of "fourth place" came up in a T is for Training podcast last August, when someone who called himself Walter Salem called into the program.  As  Paul wrote in his blog:
Salem was exactly what we were seeking: a person who is not involved in training but who expressed a passion for what libraries are, what they have been, and what they are becoming. While he was commenting via the audio portion of the program, a few of us noted via the typed chat that he seemed to be describing Oldenburg’s third place, and we actually suggested that to him. At that point, he corrected us by emphasizing that what he really loved was the sense of a place where he was surrounded by learning and the potential for learning, and that’s where we started translating his thoughts into something concrete for libraries and any other onsite or online community willing to use all the tech and human tools available to us.
Walter Salem wanted a space where all types of learning activities could occur, including activities that are noisy or messy.  He wanted the space to be outfitted with lots of stuff that people could use.  And he saw it as a place for collaborative learning.  Our minds raced and we understood how libraries could be this place for learning in ways that many libraries do not consider.

Consider gardening.  Where do you users go to learn how to garden?  Do they come into the library with plants and ask the reference staff to diagnose problems?  Do they bring in compost and ask staff to tell them why the process is going slowly?  No...someone who is wants to learn about gardening talks to another gardener.  Yes, the person may consult some books, but the real learning comes from interacting with people who have knowledge, the plants, and the earth.  The Northern Onondaga Public Library (NOPL) has created a LibraryFarm where people can check out a garden plot and learn.  The library supports the garden by loaning tools, providing space for discussions, etc.  It facilitates the learning activity, but is not directly involved in it  In other words, people are learning to garden from the library but from other LibraryFarmers.

There are other examples in and out of libraries that are similar.  There are libraries that loan cake pans and other items for hands-on learning.  A great example came up after our session.  One person mentioned that he had worked at a library many years ago where one of the staff members ran a bicycle chop shop on the weekends, out of view of the administration! 

My job yesterday was to get the audience thinking creatively about fourth place activities (especially those that are messy), as well as how to add space for it (e.g., shipping containers).  My slides are below for you to look through.  Feel free to ask me any questions you might have. Paul's slides are also below.  Maurice's are not yet online.  One of the things  we emphasized was to allow the users to define how the space was going to be used for specific activities and to allow them to run with their ideas.  In others words, get out of their way!  Be a facilitator of learning, but not necessarily the trainer (or even the person who defines exactly what learning will occur).  Help the get the resources they need, but don't then feel that you need to strictly control those resources.

I hope you will see the possibility of creating a fourth place for your community.  If you're unsure of the possibilities, but are intrigued by the idea, consider sharing these slides with your colleagues and then engaging in a real brainstorming session where you don't automatically censor the ideas. 

Finally, thanks to Information Today for allowing us to do this presentation.  A special thanks to JD Thomas and Bill Spence, who oversee the IT stuff for the conference.  You gave us advice and stood by ready to help.  And when the technology didn't work, you stepped back and allowed us to improvise and didn't worry about what we'd do!

Addendum (3/27/2011):  Julie Strange emailed me about folding shipping containers.   This is seen as a way of using less space for shipping empty shipping containers.  I don't know how the idea of them folding could be used "out in the wild" (e.g., when using a container as a building), but I'm sure somebody will think of something!

Paul, Maurice and I have been contacted since Wednesday by people who have follow-up ideas or who are seeking additional information.  We are thrilled to hear from all of you!  Let's keep the ideas flowing and the information moving!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

CIL2011: Topeka's QR Code Scavenger Hunt

The speaker was David Lee King from Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library.

They did the big read.  Gave away paperback books.  Had the book as an ebook.  Had related dinner theater, etc.  There was a QR code near the books in the library, which told you what you needed to do for the scavenger hunt.  The scavenger hunt was held around the town (outside of the library).   Two businesses adopted QR codes after hearing about it from the library.  When you were done with the hunt, you were entered into a drawing.

Promoted the QR code scavenger hunt with T-shirts and other items.

Did it work?
  • There was info on the QR code in their newsletter
  • Shared info on Facebook, etc.
  • News media picked up on it.
  • 300+ people started, but only 8 people finished.  Fingered that people didn't want to go all over the city and perhaps ask where the code was in an establishment. People may have felt obliged to buy something in the businesses and so didn't go.
  • Learned from it.
  • Now are using it to connect users to the library's mobile web app.

CIL2011: Going Mobile

Parts of this session turned out to be more technical that I anticipated, so my notes are minimal.

Putting You Library in the Hands of Your Patrons - Ronalee Ciocco and Jessica Howard from Gettysburg College
  • They started by doing research on mobile usage including looking at research from Pew Internet and American Life Project
  • Gettysburg College added free wifi which increased usage.  Usable is still growing.
  • Mobile use of the library's web site is increasing.  1% of their traffic comes from mobile devices (Feb. 2011)
  • Call numbers can be texted from the library's catalogue to someone's cell phone.  1000 uses per month.
  • Looked at other libraries mobile web sites to see what was possible.
  • There is already a mobile version of the college's web site.  Created with free software called iWebKit.  They college also developed an iPhone app aimed at prospective students.
  • What do users want?
    • Survey in spring and fall 2010
      • Most using iPhone and iPod Touch
      • What did they want to use? Renewing items and quick informational things
  • Marketing the site
    • Tent cards
    • QR codes - Google URL shortener to track usage
  • Lessons learned
    • Keep it simple
    • Start small
    • Be flexible
Shian Chang - Georgetown University (too technical for me...sorry)
 Kimberly Griggs, Oregon State University

CIL2011: Value through Longevity: File Format Migration Using Open Source Tools

Donna Scheeder, the track moderator said that one area that Lee Rainie (morning's keynote speaker) missed was that we can add value by preserving information.

Lisa Gregory and Jennifer Ricker - State Library of North Carolina

Tasked with preserving state digital publications forever.

  • Emulation
  • Migration - transferring the files to a stable format.
Small library, with a small staff & budget, and almost no IT support.  Have started doing some migration testing.  Focusing on using open source tools (free and well supported).

Currently using ArchiveIT for web harvesting, CONTENTdm and OCLC's digital archive.

Approaching to Migration Testing
  • What file formats do they have?  ~20 different file formats, including older file formats. Mostly text files.  Digitized and born digital files.  Included some corrupted files (they corrupted them).
  • Tools - Ffmpeg, Inkspace, PLANETS testbed, XENA, ArcMap/TerraGo.  Not all transformations were successful.  Tools where free, open source, documented, supported, audit trail/reporting, easy to use, and versatile. 
  • Expectations - no visual/auditory loss of content, no loss of metadata, minimal degradation in quality, etc.
Findings: (more details/tables in their presentation)
  • ffmpeg - not so successful with one file format
  • Inkspace - some font changes, but acceptable
  • PLANETS Testbed - many document file type.  Most worked beautifully.  Word 95 didn't work.  Converting to PDF/A did not work from some specific software packages. 
  • Xena - Many of the same tests that they did with the PLANETS testbed.  Similar results.
  • ArcMap and TerraGo are both proprietary software tools.  Worked.
Where are we now?
  • File format observations - Challenges that they expected and found
    • Complex and related files - No open source tool that could migrate these and keep the file relationships
    • Had trouble with files that had layers (e.g., Adobe Illustrator)
    • Proprietary formats that are not widely used (e.g., Microsoft Publisher)
  • Surprises
    • Audio-video formats have their own complexities
    • The files are huge
    • Frame rates, compression and codec, oh my! My want to find someone who already knows this stuff, rather than coming up to speed yourself.
    • PDF/A (argh!) -
      • 1A -1B restrictions plus  lower level of performance.  Better accessibility.
      • 1B - self contained, no external references, lower level of compliance, digitized materials, metadata required.  Could be 1B compliance with Adobe Acrobat, but not with open source tools.
  • Tools to have
    • FFmpeg
    • FITS
    • FLAC Frontend
    • Ghostscript
    • Inkscape
    • MPEG streamclip
    • PLANETS Testbed (RIP?)
    • XENA
  • More helpful knowledge
    • Free and open source has downsides
      • "Free in upfront costs
      • Might be developed by a single person or by hundreds
      • Learning curve can be steep
    • Documentation can be confusing or nonexistent
    • Can you rock the command line?
    • Build in time for stops along the road
      • Tool installation
      • Troubleshooting
      • General Googling for assistance
    • There are still unknowns
      • QA- what should we use / rely on?
      • How can we facilitate batch processing?
      • On the fly or scheduled bulk migration?
      • QA - how much should we do?
      • ARC to WARC?
    • Overcoming challenges to production implementation
      • Usual culprits - staff time, resources, IT restrictions, programming skills
      • Testing Archivematica by Artefactual Systems - OAIS complaint
      • Formal workflow descriptions - striving to be OAIS compliant
      • Tackling at-riskier files
        • Older files
        • Older formats
        • Obsolete formats
        • Databases
        • More work on A/V formats
They don't see emulation as being sustainable.

CIL2011: How Libraries Add Value to Communities

Lee Rainie from Pew Internet and American Life Project

Pew Internet and American Life Project is a fact tank - they generate information that is useful to others.

24% of people (U.S.) only have a cell phone only.  Higher for those under 30 years old.

First revolution - 79% American adults are using the Internet.  93% of teens.  Since 2007 that growth has been flat.  Very few new people are coming online.

Home broadband connections - 2/3 of American adults have broadband access at home. 4% have dial-up at home.  With the Administration's stimulus funding, will the numbers go up?  Pew will be doing a new survey to check that out.

Rural areas have continued to lag behind urban and suburban broadband use.

Demographic factors correlated with broadband adoption  (similar for wireless connectivity)
Positive correlations (in order of importance)
  • Household income of $75K or more per year
  • College degree
  • Parent with a minor child at home
  • Married or living with a partner
  • Employed full-time

Negative correlation (in order of importance)
  • Have a high school degree or less
  • Senior citizen
  • Prefers speaking Spanish in our interviews
  • Disabled
  • African American
 Consequences for info ecosystem
  • Volume
  • Vibrance
  • Velocity - information is coming more quickly on those things that the individual cares about.  What matters to me?  We are our own gatekeepers.
  • Valence / relevance
  Networked creators among Internet users
  • 62%  are social networking site users
  • 55% share photos
  • 33% create content tags
  • 14% are bloggers
  • 12% use Twitters
  • 4%-17%??? use location-sharing services - are working to get a better reading of this.  Next survey will ask several questions about this in order to get better data.
Big value-add by libraries
  1. Cover access divides - 44% of those living below the poverty line used library connections.  61% of those ages 14-24 used them for school.  54% of poor senior citizens used library connections for health and wellness.  63% used library connections to help others.
  2. Cover participatory divides
  3.  - 60% of library connectors use them for social purposes.  42% for education purposes.  37% health and wellness purposes.
Relevancy and digital literacy are primary factors for not going online
  • Relevancy 48%
  • Price 21%
  • Usability 18%
  • Availability 6%
  • Other 7%
Second Revolution 

Cell phone owners - 85% of adults - cell phone adoption around the globe has been faster than other technologies.  40-45% of cell phone owners use their cell phones to connection to the Internet. 57% of adults have wireless connectivity.

35% of Americans have apps on their devices, but fewer use the apps. 

The web is really good for who, what, when and where.

Apps provide more focused information from trusted sources. 

The web is still good for lots of people wide ranging queries and interactions).  The apps world is good for navigating an inhospitable environment.

Data from January -
  • 55% of adults own laptops
  • 50% of adults own DVRs
  • 45% of adults own MP3 players
  • 42% of adults own game consoles
  • 7% of adults own ebook readers - Kindle
  • 7% of adults own tablet computer - iPad - doubled in 6 months
The wireless environment has changed people's sense of place and presence - anywhere, any device, any time -> Alone together

Big challenge for libraries - People used to come to us, but now we need to go to them.  The library as place becomes the library as a placeless resource.

Our value-add is "how" and "why" in regards to apps vs. web vs. traditional resources.  Help people access real-time information.  Augmented reality is a space where we can help to provide context of the information.  People do still value libraries as a sanctuary (quiet space).

Social networking revolution 

The social networking population is more diverse than you might think.  Half of all Americans use social networking sites.  Big growth rates for those over age 50.

Positive Correlation
  • Under age 30
  • Female (overall)
  • Male (frequency)
  • Parent with a minor child at home
  • Some college
  • Urban

Negative Correlation
  • Senior citizen
  • Rural
  • Non-cell users
Big social impacts
  • Online social networks + ubiquitous mobility (FOMO - fear of missing out)
  • It is your social dashboard
  • Pervasive awareness of what is going on in your world (i.e., your friends) - May find out that our friends are not just like us.  People can form networks on the fly.

Value-adds for libraries

1. Can be embedded in people's networks
  • Attention zones
    • Intervene when people want to do deep dives (in a topic).  
    • Be available when people's attention moves to an area where we can help. 
    • Info-snacking
    • Day dreaming - fading - give people permission to be in this space
  • Media zones
    • Social streams
    • Immersive
    • Creative / participatory
    • Study / work
2. Can be nodes in social networks
  • As sentries  - word of mouth matters more
  • As information evaluators - they vouch for/discredit a business's credibility and authenticity
  • As forums for actions - everybody's a broadcaster / publisher
Cosmic big value-add by libraries
1. Can be teachers of new literacies
  • Screen literacy - graphics and symbols
  • Navigation literacy
  • Connections and context literacy
  • Skepticism
  • Value of contemplative time (think I typed this correct)
  • How to create content
  • Ethical behavior in new world
2. Can help fill civic gaps

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

CIL2011: Community Tagging by Cataloguing Staff

Suzanne R. Graham, Cataloging Services Librarian, University of Georgia School of Law Library
Can our users get where they need to go?  Community tagging helps to solve this.

The things Suzanne wants to look at for tagging were:
  • things that were unindexed - Moving to new software, information had been lost  How could tagging help recover this?  (e.g., genre headings)
  • users had unsuccessful searches - She can get a report of searches with no direct hits.  Niche searches.
  • things that were unintuitive (unintuitive cataloguing)  - e.g., adding "NAFTA" to records about that treaty.
  • places where user had tagged - look where broader tags might help.  She runs reports in her system to find places like this need to be enhanced.
New tags are placed in the 655 field.  That field is shown in the software's tag cloud.

Focus on access.
Be efficient, effective  and reversible.

Gretchen Caserotti, Head of Children and Teen Services, Darien Library

They are using SOPAC2 for their catalogue.

Kids do everything in a keyword approach / Amazon mentality

For example - Eight grade students are required to read a memoir, but how do they find the right memoir?  The catalogue returns 760+ hits, so how do they get to something more appropriate?  She had staff go into the catalogue and tag two books each with the tag "middlesex memoir" to create a list of pre-selected titles.

Kids are using tagging to keep track of their summer reading - what they read and/or what they want to read.  Having unique tags for each kid isn't a problem and it makes it fun for the students. 

Young people are willing to jump in and get their hands dirty.  We need to let them.

Question - How do you get staff to participate in tagging?
Answer - Limit how much you are asking staff to do.  Can the do one each?  Keep it bit size.  Over time, they will realize that it is not difficult.
Answer - Tags can create a cheat-sheet that the reference librarians can use when the desk is busy. 

Question - How do you prevent people from creating inappropriate tags?
Answer - You can't, but you'll find those tags  You can delete if you need to...and they haven't needed to.  User reviews seem to be fun and honest in terms of whether people are pro or con.

Question - Are adults tagging at Darien?
Answer - Yes, some users are engaging with the materials, e.g., writing reviews.  She thinks that they are also tagging.  Her focus, though, is working with kids.

Question - Can they identify individual patrons from their tags?
Answer - They could track back to figure out who the registered user is, but they don't (Suzanne).

CIL2011: Random Thoughts

The Computers in Libraries Conference (CIL) is back in the Washington Hilton after fives years at the Hyatt in Crystal City, VA.  When the conference moved to Crystal City, people mourned for the Dupont Circle ares of DC and familiar territory.  Then we got used to Crystal City and the Hyatt. Now we must become reacquainted with the Hilton and Dupont Circle.  For example, the Hyatt's lobby and bar area was great for lobbycon (the informal conference in the lobby).  The Hilton's lobby is much more upscale and isn't conducive to sitting on the floor with beer and laptops in a big informal meeting.  The Hilton does have a cool outdoor terrace and that is becoming the informal gathering space here, in good weather. 

This year, we will all re-learn the Hilton and the area around it.  Next year, we'll be old-timers in this location and we'll hit the ground running!

Gaining consistent access to wifi has been a challenge.  Information Today builds a wireless network at CIL, but I think the Hilton's Internet "tube" cannot handle all of the people here who have laptops, cell phones, iPads, etc.  It is rumored that the Hilton spent $15 million renovation this hotel.  If true, couldn't they have installed an Internet network/connection that would carry them into the future?

Food-wise, I want to put in a good word for Thaiphoon, where 18 of us (the T is for Training crew) went for lunch.  Dinner was at Raku on Q St. NW (between Connecticut and 19th) and is also very good.  Both are reasonably priced.

Monday, March 21, 2011

CIL2011: Innovative Marketing Tools and Strategies

The speakers are Stacy Bruss and Nancy Allmang from the Information Services Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Their library always did marketing, but decided to branch out.  The bought "Podcasting for Dummies" to learn how to do podcast.  They used a small classroom and Audacity to record the podcasts.  Since the files were MP4, they added rotating photos to give the listener something to watch.  The podcasts were one minute in length.  But since they were spending so much time on audio podcasts, they decided that they should do video podcasts (vodcasts).

The first vodcast cost $5000 and took 7 months (Lab Liaison Program) [4+ minute].  It was done by others in the organization, who had the expertise to do it.  The podcast has a narrator, video from NIST employees, and text.  Understanding what was done with that podcast, the library was able to understand how to do their own faster and cheaper.  They used a Macbook and a video camera.  Their first video - on their own - was actually more exciting then the one that was done for them.

Tips -- Voice overs should be done later.  Add photos to make it more interesting.  Keep the videos short.  Save in two separate formats - one for streaming and one for downloading to iPods.

How else could they use videos?  Use videos in new employee orientation.  Hopefully get people to remember more about the library.  The video shows people the physical space...and we know that photos are worth a thousand words.

How else are they promoting the library?
  • Cork board outside the library
  • Posters from conferences
  • LED text board
  • Digital display board - may be PowerPoint slides.  Reader should see the slides change.  Change perhaps every 4-7 seconds.
BTW one tool being used for this presentation is PPTplex.  It is also something the use for their marketing materials.

They are experimenting with adding other video to their digital display.  For example, how to access specific databases. They are using Camstudio.

They are dong videos to promote internal workshops and training sessions.

Use multiple channels to get across the same message, since not everyone will pay attention to the same marketing channel.

You should repeat marketing messages.  People need reminders.  BTW Need to repeat messages without people realizing that you are repeating,

They are using Presi.com to create moving- non-linear - presentations, and then placing them on the video display.

Now are using animated videos created with XtraNormal.

Finally, they are doing cross promotion.

CIL2011: Search tips from Mary Ellen Bates

Mary Ellen Bates gives phenomenal search tips for the various search engines (e.g., Google, Yahoo, Bing)!  Rather than trying to give you notes, go and get her presentation which will be available at http://www.batesinfo.com/extras/.  You also may be interested in some of her past presentations. 

What strikes me is how the Internet search engines continue to add features that help people do better searches, yet most people don't know about them (or use them).  Which is why people should take a class or workshop on effective search techniques (hint...I'm teaching a class on this at SU in the fall).  The other things that strikes me is that some of these features are what we (librarians) use in fee-based services...especially those services that have not dumbed down their search interface.

BTW have you heard of DuckDuckGo.com or Blekko?  Yeah...this is why Mary Ellen rocks.

CIL2011: Monday mornings keynote (not!)

1992 participants in CIL this year including exhibits, speakers, etc. Will go over 2000 with onsite registrations.  People from:
  • 44 states plus DC
  • 14 countries outside the US
The keynote presenter from Google tried to take the red-eye to get here for this morning's session and failed!  The flight ran late, so Roy Tennant, Dick Kaser,Stephen Abrams and Marshall Breeding filled in admirably.  Roy was the moderator. (He will speak during lunch, however, and it will be streamed and archived.)

First question – What are some of the implications they see with the new players in the ebook environment?

Marshall – Wasn’t long ago that digitizing the world books was inconceivable. But you can’t count on Google for everything! Google has the resources to go into the world’s best libraries and digitize them. A world changing phenomenon. He looks at it from the aspects of discovery. You can now search across books. Search for and search inside. The challenge is this search aspect. The discoverability is more exciting.

Stephen – What are the unintended consequences? Is this really about books? What are the consequences of putting all of these books online? Immersive entertainment experience versus the information finding experience. Disaggregation of books. What is the difference between chapters, books, articles? The books are discoverable, but it is the ability to search in that will change things.

Dick – Analogies to the journal digitization that occurred. There was a controversy when the first libraries signed with Google. Remember that Google is a vendor. Interested in the impact of digitization on what libraries do. With this content outside of the library catalogues, what is left for the library catalogue to do?

Libraries can digitize materials from their community and from their online collection – data, archival records. National Archives received money from Ancestry.com…so getting money from companies is not out of the question.

Roy – Years ago, he argued that the Library of Congress would not be fully digitized. He is now willing to eat his hat!

Stephen – Why do you digitize books? Demand Media has said (1) To put advertising within reading. (2) Use the books to control search engine results. In an advertising-based company (Google), why digitize books?

Marshall – Libraries have more books due to the books that are digitixzed. Enticing for smaller libraries. Have to do a “deal with the devil” in order to do it. Thinking of the Google Book Settlement, do libraries get what they want and need?

Internet Archive approaches digitization in a more library friendly way. Yes, libraries have to pay for part of the digitization that the Internet Archive does. However, the results are more frienedly. WE need to find the right deals that benefit libraries and library users the most.

Dick – What is the sttus of the books being digitized by Google? Can we really see the content from all of the books? Are some books still under copyright protection?

The publishers are digitizing books very rapidly. There is a vast rush to digitize books and make them available to ereaders. There is an ebook standard. Also HMTL5 – more flexibility.

Stephen – Sometimes in 2011 the Supreme Court will make a decision about the in-copyright books being digitized by the Google Books Project. The Google Books Project will limit access to the content at the libraries who have access to it. Libraries will need to pay for additional access –printing/saving. This is a major disruption in the force.

Roy – Harper Collins – the ramifications of leasing access to content.

Dick – IN the Netherlands the 26 loans is seen as fair. (odd) Lending ebooks scares publishers.

Marshall – Libraries are based on legal models that apply only to books. What is the library’s role when things are streamed? What is the library’s role with things are published digitally? There is a real struggle between what the publishers are worried about and what the libraries understand how to do. Most books will soon be in digital form.

Dick – ebooks are in place in many research centers. Lack of DRM.

Stephen – The Harper Collins solutions is a version of whack-a-mole. The two biggest publishers won’t let libraries have their ebooks at all (i.e., Simon Schuster). Why are we upset with Harper Collins? There are others that we need to be concerned with.

Obama Administration announced that it is going to refocus on copyright.

Roy – What kind of impact of having these massive collections of ebooks will have on our print collections? Can we ship more books to storage? Can we get rid of a few?

Marshall – A shift in how we handle backfiles. Put things in remote storage. The working collections will become smaller. The vast amounts of materials, if discoverable, will be available in some way. Long form readng is different than reading articles.

Stephen – Do I want Amazon to control what goes on an ereader? Do we want Apple to control how we read/comment on books? Do we want someone to have that type of power? How many libraries would allow one person to ban a book? Yet we allow Jeff Bezos to ban books. Why is the library profession silent on this issue?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

CIL2011: Different models of learning spaces

During the Computers in Libraries Conference (CIL), I'll be speaking on Wednesday on "Planning & Realizing the Fourth Place.  What is a fourth place?  It is a re-imagining of the spaces we use for learning activities.  The session description says:
With the rise of learning commons and collaboration laboratories (COLABs), people are using space differently in order to engage in learning. Rather than a third place as defined by Ray Oldenburg, these fourth places are becoming where people go to participate in specific learning activities. Paul Signorelli discusses the difference between third and fourth places, and how this learning fourth place is different than the library settings we’re used to creating. Maurice Coleman and Jill Hurst-Wahl outline how a library can create a fourth place using existing or recycled space (e.g., shipping containers) as well as the library services and resources that would support fourth place activities. Included is an interaction brainstorm about partnerships the libraries can pursue in order to bring this vision to reality.
The fact is, this is not something futuristic; we're already doing it.  Our goal then is to get people to think more creatively and to let go of some of the stereotypes of what a learning space is.

With that in mind, I want to share a story of one recent learning activity.  On March 9, there was a brown bag session at Syracuse University on scholarly impact.  (The term "brown bag" infers that people should bring their  own lunch or snack to eat while listening to the speaker.)  The group that put together the session wanted the session to have a different level of impact than a normal in-person brown bag session.  A Twitter hashtag was created and used prior to the session to promote it.  A video camera was used to stream the session live on Ustream.  A person (me) in the room was designated to follow the chat conversation in Ustream and to tweet updates during the session, as well as monitor the Twitter hashtag for comments.  A Twitter-fall was projected behind the speakers, so that people in the room could see the tweets.  The result was that the packed room (30+ people) were joined by 16+ people in Ustream and an unknown number of people following in Twitter.  Questions were asked via Twitter and Ustream from North Carolina and Illinois.

You may consider that example to be fairly normal.  In fact, there are learning sessions happening all the time that are similar to that.  At CIL, Maurice, Paul and I are going to push the envelope further - blow the wall off of normal! - especially in regards to how libraries can think about creating learning "spaces".   We've even thought differently about how we're giving the presentation, since Paul will be giving his portion live from California.  Our session is Wednesday at 2:45 p.m. (session A304).  If you're at CIL, please stop by.

Videos from the Personal Archiving Conference 2011

45 videos from the Personal Archiving Conference are available through the Internet Archive.  This blog post contains links to additional content (blogs, photos, etc.) from the event.  This is definitely a well documented conference!

Looking through the conference schedule, I see many interesting sessions that consider the mountains of content that we are creating and the problems (or opportunities) it is creating.  I'm glad that a group is thinking about this. (Of course, everyone should be thinking about this!)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Digitization at the New-York Historical Society: Manuscript Collections Related to Slavery

Since my students are profiling digitization programs, I thought I'd do one too.  Most digitization programs introduce use to content that causes us to go "oh...wow!"  So it is with this collection from the New-York Historical Society.

Founded in 1804, the New-York Historical Society (N-YHS) library has a tremendous collection of archival material. 
Collection strengths include local history of New York City and State; colonial history; the Revolutionary War; American military and naval history; religions and religious movements, 18th and 19th century; the Anglo-American slave trade and conditions of slavery in the United States; the Civil War; American biography and genealogy; American art and art patronage; the development of American architecture from the late 18th to the present; and 19th and 20th century portraiture and documentary photographs of New York City.
The collections include 2 million manuscripts, 500,000 photographs, 400,000 prints, 350,000 books and pamphlets, 150,000 architectural drawings, 20,000 broadsides, 15,000 printed maps, 10,000 newspapers and 10,000 dining menus. Among the historic icons are manuscript maps drawn by George Washington’s cartographers in the field, Robert Erskine and Simeon DeWitt (1778-1783); Napoleon’s authorization for the Louisiana Purchase (1803); and Grant’s handwritten terms of surrender to Lee (1865). (Library intro)
One of its collection strengths - in the N-YHS museum and library - is material related to slavery. The N-YHS has had museums exhibits on slavery using material from its collection.  It has also had an exhibit of modern art create in response to slavery.  In 2010, the New-York Historical Society library released a new digital collection, Manuscript Collections Related to Slavery. This online collection offers...
...access to fourteen of the most important collections in the library’s Manuscript Department relating to the institution of slavery in the United States and the Atlantic slave trade. They include account books and ship manifests documenting the financial aspects of the slave trade, legal documents such as birth certificates and deeds of manumission, and political as well as polemical works. They range from writings by the abolitionists Granville Sharp, Lysander Spooner, and Charles Sumner, to the diary of a plantation manager and overseer of slaves in Cuba, Joseph Goodwin, and that of a former slave in Fishkill, N.Y., James F. Brown. Other personal papers include two works by John Clarkson concerning his involvement in the settlement of Sierra Leone by free blacks, and a journal describing the travels of two Quakers in the West Indies, Mahlon Day and John Gurney. The site also provides access to the archives of abolitionist organizations such as the New-York Manumission Society and the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, as well as the records of the African Free School, documenting the education of free blacks in early nineteenth-century New York.
Digital Collection Management Software: Delving into the collection, you can tell that N-YHS is using CoNTENTdm.  Not quite as obvious - unless you look at the title bar in your browser - is that N-YHS is part of Digital Metro New York, though the METRO New York Library Council.  Hence, even though this is a standalone program, N-YHS cooperated with METRO when it came to digital asset management.

N-YHS, like many other CONTENTdm users, has added functionality and pages "outside" of CONTENTdm.  The one feature that catches my eye is the way you can view a collection's description by clicking on a photo.  It is "below the fold" on the collection's homepage, so you need to scroll down to use it.

Copyright: The N-YHS digitized materials that are believed to have no known copyright restrictions.  I suspect that they have been careful to not digitize materials that might have privacy concerns.  What occurred during and after slavery was legal in the U.S. is not always a story that people want told and I can imagine that there are situations that are might be deemed private.

Terms of Use: The Historical Society has a Conditions of Use Statement for the entire collection.  In addition, each individual metadata record contains a rights management statement.  You do have to view the page description for the item that you are viewing in order to see the individual rights statement, which is not the default view.

The Look: As you go through the N-YHS web site, you will notes that there is not one consistent look (design) across the site.  In addition, N-YHS is using several pieces of software for its digital assets.  Hopefully, the organization will be able to standardize its look in the future, so that the brand has a consistent image.  Placing the digital collections, if possible, in the same digital asset management software will also give them the same look and feel, the same functionality, etc.  Users would then be able to search easily across collections.

The Collection is Always Open: The New-York Historical Society has been renovating its building. At the moment, the galleries are closed (February 1 - November 10, 2011), however the library is remaining open during most of the renovation. In addition, those that do not want to travel to New York City's Upper West Side can access this collection and other online.   In addition, 60,000 of its museum objects are in an online emuseum. But that brings me to...

Discover Happens Elsewhere: If you search for for "new york" slavery in your favorite search engine, other sites and collections will appear in the first 10 hits, but likely not this manuscript collection. Therefore, another area I would suggest N-YHS improve in is discovery.  Look at what sites, etc., a found first in a search, then contact those sites and ask them to link to the manuscript collection.  Even if a few of those sites add links, a searcher's ability to find the Manuscript Collections Related to Slavery increases.

Finally, this is a collection that deserves to be explored.  I hope you'll take a moment and take a look.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Me & the book at Computers in Libraries - Monday, Mar. 21, 5 p.m.

On Monday March 21 at 5 p.m., I'll be in the Neal-Schuman booth at the Computers In Libraries Conference (CIL) talking to people about The Information and Knowledge Professional's Career Handbook: Define and Create Your SuccessNeal-Schuman is the U.S. distributor of the book. If you are at CIL, please stop by to say "hi" and to see this work that was a major effort for me in 2010.  If you are interested in purchasing the book, Neal-Schuman will be offering a 20% discount to those that purchase the book at CIL. If you order the book at CIL, but have it shipped to you, Neal-Schuman will give you a 10% discount.

I have had several people comment that the book would be useful to anyone, not just information and knowledge professionals.  I agree!  With that in mind, I would suggest that you consider ordering a copy for your library.  You and your staff would likely benefit from the book, as well as your patrons.  And having the book in the library makes it more affordable for everyone.

The book remains available through other booksellers including Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble (online), and Woodhead Publishing (Chandos).

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Video: Copyright on Campus

The Copyright Clearance Center has released this video (6.5 min.) to help educate people on the use of copyrighted materials on a college campus in the U.S. The video is available for non-commercial use. You can download versions of it from the CCC web site.  The video provides a lot of information in a short period of time.  It is a good resources for making people aware of the issues and should be followed up with more information.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Press release: i2S to acquire a majority interest in Kirtas Technologies

I've been waiting Kirtas for a number of years and have interacted with some of its employees, so this announcement is of personal interest to me.  There is also a newspaper story about the deal from the Rochester (NY) Democrat & Chronicle, which offers some additional details. 

Paris, 3 March 2011

i2S to acquire a majority interest in KIRTAS TECHNOLOGIES
i2S to take a position in the United States, consolidating its leadership in the document scanning market.
i2S announces that it has entered into a stock purchase agreement to acquire a majority interest in Kirtas Technologies Inc, based in Rochester, New York, USA. The world leader in robotic bound-document digitization systems, Kirtas will complement the i2s Scanning unit’s product line, its distribution network, its customer profile and its strong presence in the US market.
The alignment with Kirtas reinforces the i2S Scanning unit
By aligning products and services with Kirtas, both companies will benefit from immediate synergies:
  • The combined resources of the two companies makes them a leading player in the worldwide scanning market.
  • Increased market coverage through the combined distribution networks, geographical zones, market knowledge and customer profiles.
  • Increased depth and breadth of current and future scanning systems and software.
Future synergies in the high-potential market for content digitization
  • With this strategic investment in Kirtas, i2S acquires a position in the U.S. which will enable it to reinforce its approach to American libraries and forge new partnerships with digital content and Internet players.
  • The United States was the source of the major paradigm shifts in digital and Internet history and i2S will take advantage of advances by Kirtas and POLINUM, such as KirtasBooks.com, as part of its strategy to become a key player in the emerging market of digital asset development. i2S’ third-generation digital library Divvalib, launched in October 2010 by Amanager, could be integrated into KirtasBooks.com, the site created in 2009 to scan and circulate books in e-Pub format and provide on-demand printing. KirtasBooks.com has distribution agreements with a number of university libraries, making more than one million titles available via their Digitize-on-Demand model.
  • Republishing relationships with institutions such as Boston Public Library and with Barnes & Noble.
Kirtas: the world leader in robotic bound-document scanning systems
With an installed base of over 200 units in 35 countries, Kirtas represents nearly 70% of the world market for robotic scanners. In 2010, Kirtas sold over 40 units of its robotic digitization systems.
Kirtas has been at the forefront of the digital revolution and has gained experience managing several major scanning projects: beginning in 2006 the company was selected by Microsoft for the "Live Book Search" project, whose goal is to scan works from U.S. public and university libraries, including Yale and Cornell Universities, in strict compliance with copyright laws. Kirtas carried out the digitization of 150,000 books between 2006 and 2008.
i2S: world leader in scanners for bound documents
i2S is the world's leading producer of scanners for bound documents and large formats. The group relies on an indirect network of 40 distributors throughout the world, with 1,600 scanners installed in 80 countries. The Group addresses three market segments: Cultural Heritage, Self Service and international service provision (Global Services).
Cultural Heritage covers cultural and administrative assets and heritage collections (libraries, archives, museums, foundations, publishers).

Self Service corresponds to work environments, library reading rooms, school and university documentation centers, print centers, government and business.

Global Services - international players who project-manage large-scale scanning programs related to their original business, including large equipment manufacturers, IT service providers and telecom operators.

With the establishment in late 2009 of the public-private R&D consortium POLINUM* (*Operational Platform for Digital Books) dedicated to the promotion and interoperability of digital content, i2S, as the project coordinator, positioned itself as a leader in accessing information in the growing digital-knowledge economy. 

The group's parallel strategy is to acquire the technological building blocks that will complete its range of scanners and image processing software. This was the goal of the 2009 acquisition of the Amanager company, which specializes in online multimedia content production applications.

Kirtas Technologies, Inc : Roger O’Brien, CEO roger@kirtas.com; Mike Maxwell mmaxwell@kirtas.com
i2S Group: Jean-Pierre GERAULT – Chairman of the Board : jp.gerault@i2s.fr
Agn├Ęs B. MAULEON – Marketing & Communications Manager: a.mauleon@i2s.fr
i2S Inc: Etienne LAMAIRESSE – CEO: e.lamairesse@i2s.fr

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Google Art Project

One of my students found this program and it is impressive.  Imagine being able to walk through an art museum without physically being there?  That is what Google allows you to do.  Google used its street view technology to make this happen.  While street view isn't the easiest thing to use, it does give you a capability not found elsewhere.  Go ahead...try it out!

Since reading my student's blog post, Kenneth Crews has also blogged about the Google Art Project from a copyright perspective.  My student has also followed up with a blog post about copyright and terms of use in regards to the program. 

While I'm thrilled that Google has done this, I do wonder about its motives.  Is this just a cool use of street view? Is this an experiment (project) or something that Google will truly stick with (program)?  Is Google purposefully expanding its domain/reach?  And...what is the catch?  mmm....

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Wayback Wednesday:The IST 677 blog

Cafe au lait and Beignets at Cafe du MondeLooking back through my blog posts, I can see that I've mentioned my SU class - IST 677: Creating, Managing and Preserving Digital Assets - a few times.  Often it has been to tell you that my students are blogging about digitization program (example, example). 

In past semesters, every blog post was about a different digitization program.  This semester, each student is selecting a program and then blogging four times about that program.  At the end of the semester, the student will then write a wiki page about the program.Specifically:
  • Post #1 – Introduce the program. What is the focus of the program? What types of materials have been digitized? Who is the audience for the program? How was it funded (if known)? You may include comments on the site itself and its usefulness. 
  • Post #2 – Copyright concerns. Every digitization program must consider copyright. From what you can discern, how has copyright affected the selection criteria for this program? What questions do you have about its treatment of copyright? Has the program adequately communicated copyright and “terms of use” to its users? What should it be doing differently?
  • Post #3 – Metadata and search. Discuss how the program has described its digital assets. Do the descriptions and metadata help or hinder the user? Is the search capability easy to understand and use? What concerns or recommendations do you have?
  • Post #4 – Digital preservation. Most digitization programs do not consider digital preservation (or long-term access) until a disaster occurs. From the information available, is the program involved in any digital preservation? What digital preservation concerns do you have about this site? What  recommendations do you have in terms of digital preservation?
  • Wiki Contribution: You will take the information from the four blog posts, as well as any additional information you believe is relevant, and edit it into one wiki page for the Digital Libraries Wiki. The amount of content on the page will be whatever you deem appropriate.
I hope you'll take time to look at the blog, read what the students are saying, and leave comments. I'm sure they would appreciate reading your thoughts.

The current IST 677 blog is not where students have always blogged for this class.  Those sites include:

Want to dig into the archives yourself?  Use the "popular labels" on the right side of the blog OR use your favorite Internet search engine to search this site (e.g, site:hurstassociates.blogspot.com plus whatever terms are relevant to you).