Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Article: Out of Fear, Colleges Lock Books and Images Away From Scholars

Many colleges now have the ability to digitize a wide variety of collections for broad use but frequently back away. And that reluctance harms scholarship, because researchers end up not using valuable documents if they can't afford to fly to a distant archive to see them.

Good to see this topic addressed in the Chronicle of Higher Education.  It is worth reading (or skimming) the entire piece.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Information about careers in digital asset management

Henrik de Gyor has recorded two of his blog posts that provide information about careers in digital asset management (5:30 minutes and 4 minutes respectively).
You might also be interested in this one (3:34 minutes):

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Videos on "Copyright and Commerce"

The Copyright Clearance Center and its Beyond the Book podcast hosted a session recently on "Copyright and Commerce". The session was video recording and is available online. Very much worth listening to or watching.

Marybeth Peters, 17 minutes

Jon Baumgarten, 15 minutes

Tim Jucovy, 10 minutes

Monday, May 23, 2011

Article: A Moment in Time Preserved 163 Years, Newly Accessible

It is worth reading the entire article. Here an excerpt:
The library had the original eight polished silver plates, each 6 ½ inches by 8 ¼ inches, in storage for over 60 years. Now it has raised about $150,000 to preserve and safely display the irreplaceable plates in special housing at its main building downtown.

As part of the project, the library has also installed two giant touch screens that use digital microscopy to zoom in on high-resolution images from the entire two-mile stretch of riverfront. The Eastman House, with the aid of a Getty Foundation grant, bought equipment to magnify the panorama’s imagery by 16 times. A few individual zooms can be magnified 32 times. 
The library's press release is here.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Article: Google Shuts Down Ambitious Newspaper Scanning Project

Yes, Google is shutting down one of its digitization efforts.  In a statement to Search Engine Land, a Google spokesperson said:
Users can continue to search digitized newspapers at http://news.google.com/archivesearch, but we don’t plan to introduce any further features or functionality to the Google News Archives and we are no longer accepting new microfilm or digital files for processing.
Google's efforts were in partnership with several North American newspapers, ProQuest and Heritage Microfilm, according to a 2008 news report.

In reporting on Google's decision, the Boston Phoenix wrote:
News Archive was generally a good deal for newspapers -- especially smaller ones like ours, who couldn't afford the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars it would have cost to digitally scan and index our archives -- and a decent bet for Google. It threaded a loophole for newspapers, who, in putting pre-internet archives online, generally would have had to sort out tricky rights issues with freelancers -- but were thought to have escaped those obligations due to the method with which Google posted the archives. (Instead of posting the articles as pure text, Google posted searchable image files of the actual newspaper pages.) Google reportedly used its Maps technology to decipher the scrawl of ancient newsprint and microfilm; but newspapers are infamously more difficult to index than books, thanks to layout complexities such as columns and jumps, which require humans or intense algorithmic juju to decode. Here's two wild guesses: the process may have turned out to be harder than Google anticipated. Or it may have turned out that the resulting pages drew far fewer eyeballs than anyone expected.
The lesson is that jumping on the Google bandwagon can be good thing, if the wagon keeps on moving. A lesson that those involved in Microsoft's book digitization program also learned the hard way.

Addendum (10:53 a.m.): Gary Price at INFOdocket wrote a good piece on this.  Price noted:
New leadership is in place at Google and new leadership can often bring changes. This is likely one of them.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wayback Wednesday: Looking at the future of libraries [Important for New Yorkers]

The timing of Seth Godin's blog post about libraries on Monday was fortuitous because Monday I was part of a discussion on that topic at the Regents Cultural Education Committee in Albany, NY.  There are indeed many discussions occurring on what libraries will or should be in the future.  Even though there is no agreement, all of the discussions are very necessary so we can get every idea and every option out on the table.

To that end, the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries began last year to solicit input in order to "develop and recommend to the Board [of Regents] a 2020 vision for library services and an innovative plan for ensuring the greatest access to information for all New Yorkers."  Our public work on this began at the NYLA conference last November.  This spring, we asked people to repond to 10 questions and nearly 100 responses were received from individuals and organizations.  A timeline has been developed for seeking additional input and then developing a draft - and final - plan.  While we will keep the Regents in the loop along the way, we have promised to have our final plan to them by May 2012 and ready for their approval.  All of this work is in an effort to update the statewide plan developed in 2000.

On Monday, Norm Jacknis, John Hammond, Sara Kelly Johns, John Monihan, Mary Mary Muller, Louise Sherby, Jerry Nichols and I met with Regents Tilles and Dawson (chair and past chair of the Cultural Education Committee) and Regents Cea, Norwood and Cottrell, who are not part of the committee but who were compelled by the topic to attend the meeting. (As is often the case, there was a competing meeting, which some CE committee members needed to attend.) While it is clear that the Regents are interested in a positive future for our libraries, it seems - to me - that the articulation of that future needs to place libraries firmly and obviously in context with the other educational activities (and changes) occurring in the state.  While you may think that this is obvious already, then consider that the connections need to be blatantly obvious not only to the Regents but to all of the other stakeholders (including members of the education and business communities). 

As they have in the past, the Regents connected libraries in the discussion to other cultural heritage and educational organizations, as well as other cultural activities.  Like us, they don't see libraries as standalone entities.  They do want those connections to be meaningful and visible.  It is as if they are throwing their arms wide open and (in their best Southern drawl) saying "y'all".  Recognizing that libraries are entwined in their communities with other organizations, etc., the Regents have asked that we solicit input for the 2020 vision from a wider cross-section of people and we'll do that.

Seth GodinBack to Seth Godin, who is fueling a public and heated discussion on libraries.  This time, people are agreeing with him, but some don't agree totally with him.  Allow me to pull some highlights from his blog post.  Godin wrote:
A librarian is a data hound, a guide, a sherpa and a teacher. The librarian is the interface between reams of data and the untrained but motivated user.
He then spent a lot of time talking about books, which makes me wonder if he understands what libraries actually do.  But then he  wrote:
The library is no longer a warehouse for dead books. Just in time for the information economy, the library ought to be the local nerve center for information.
The next library is a place, still. A place where people come together to do co-working and coordinate and invent projects worth working on together. Aided by a librarian who understands the Mesh, a librarian who can bring domain knowledge and people knowledge and access to information to bear.
Thankfully, Godin ends up advocating the type of libraries that we all want.

As you ponder about Godin's blog post and the future of libraries, here are excerpts from some of our colleagues:

Whether it's a library, museum, shop, or government office, it's the people who work there that create a connection to the information and value of the institution, one person at a time.
Bobbi Newman:
We ARE fighting for the future of the librarian as a producer, concierge, connector, teach and impresario, but we know to do that we need books. We need the information contained in those books, so we DO need “clever ebook lending solutions”. Information is not free, it costs. One of the many roles of the public library is to ensure that all people have access to that information.
Nancy Dowd:
I know many of you may feel we are already doing these things. We’ve been calling libraries community centers and offering tech support and classes, but I think Seth is calling for a new mindset. He isn’t asking us to improve what we are doing, he is suggesting that we need to change the core thinking of what we do, re-imagine the core purpose of why libraries exist. Revamp our perceptions from “people should” to “people are” by accepting that the changes in technology are changing the needs of people. It isn’t that we need to add a tech center, it’s that we need to change our mindset. Don’t be disappointed that people aren’t reading; embrace communication as a fluid process that encompasses all mediums- print, visual, auditory. People are free to use whatever medium they chooses to use to communicate the ideas. Don’t be worried that people aren’t using the “best” resources; understand that information needs are relevant to the solutions people are seeking. Don’t defend the need to remain the way we are because we must provide internet access or books to the poor, look beyond to see a world where connections are the commodities that people will need to succeed. 
Buffy Hamilton:
My takeaway from Godin’s post is that we may not all agree on the details, but the value of these kinds of posts is that they can initiate and sustain conversations about how we can better improve the work we do and the roles we play in better helping our communities. 
Diane Cordell:
Change is not only an option, change is an imperative. Don't just get your feathers ruffled: inquire, assess, learn, adapt. Evolve.
Wayback Wednesday posts are meant to surface information from previous blog posts in order to keep that content alive.  This one, however, is a reminder that this topic is not new to Digitization 101.  Related Digitization 101 blog posts:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Podcast interview with Jack Van Antwerp on digital asset management

Henrik de Gyor does weekly podcasts on digital asset management. All are interesting (especially the recent ones that provide career advice). This one (12 min.) struck me as being a great overview of the benefits of a DAM in a way that most people would understand.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Call for Contributions: iPRES 2011, Nov. 1-4 in Singapore

I received this in email. Oh, how I wish iPRES was streamed live...

Call for Contributions

iPRES 2011 - 8th International Conference on Digital Preservation of Digital Objects
November 1-4, Singapore

iPRES, the main international conference on digital preservation, is calling for proposals for original full and short papers, panels, workshops, posters and demonstrations.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
  • Domain-specific Challenges (Cultural Heritage, Technical and Scientific Processes and Data,
  • Engineering Models and Simulation, Medical Records, Corporate Processes and Recordkeeping, Web
  • Archiving, Personal Archiving, e-Procurement, etc.)
  • Systems Life-cycle (Requirements, Modeling, Design, Development, Deployment and Maintenance)
  • Trusted Repositories and Governance (Risk Analysis, Planning, Audit and Certification, Business Models, Cost Estimation, etc.)
  • Case Studies and Best Practices (Processes, Metadata, Systems, Services, Infrastructures, etc.)
  • Innovation in Digital Preservation (Novel Challenges and Scenarios, Innovative Approaches)
  • Added-value of Digital Preservation (Emerging Exploitation Scenarios and the Long-Tail of Digital Repositories and Archives)
  • Training and Education
  • Theory of Digital Preservation
Call for Papers - iPRES 2011 invites submissions for full and short papers reporting on novel previously unpublished work. Full papers are expected to report innovative research work, while short papers are expected to present new relevant challenges and work in progress. All papers will be peer-reviewed by at least 3 members of the scientific Program Committee. The accepted papers will be published in the iPRES2011 proceedings (in digital).

Call for Posters and Demonstrations – Submissions are encouraged for a special session that for posters reporting emerging issues or work in progress, and also for demonstrations of innovative systems.

Call for Panels - Proposals for highly relevant panels are welcome. Panels are expected to be important community building actions, by promoting discussions on relevant issues and be presented by provocative expert panelists willing to engage with the audience.

Call for Workshops - Proposals for workshops, to be held after the main conference, are welcome.

Instructions for Submissions
  • Proposals for full (8 to 10 pages) and short (4 pages) papers, and for posters or demonstrations (2 pages) must be submitted to the electronic submission system according to the conference’s template:
  • Proposals for workshops or panels must be submitted by the workshop or panel chair, by email, to ipres2011@gmail.com
  • Proposals for panels must detail the subject, the intended experts’ panel, and the proposed model of interaction with the audience (this is going to be a key detail in the evaluation of the proposals).
  • Proposals for workshops must detail the subject to be covered, the process for the call for participation, the important dates, the duration, and the proposed organization and scientific committees.
  • 15 June 2011 - Workshops proposals due
  • 01 July 2011 – Full and short papers, posters and demonstrations proposals due
  • 22 August 2011 – Panels proposals due
  • 28 August 2011 - Acceptance notification
  • 15 September 2011 - Camera Ready Full and Short Papers
  • 30 September 2011 - Early Registration
Previous iPRES Conferences: http://rdd.sub.uni-goettingen.de/conferences/ipres/ipres-en.html

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Reports on maximazing the effectiveness of your online resources

Stuart Dempster sent this message to me a while ago and now having flipped through the three documents, I'm sorry that I didn't get this blog post up earlier.  There may be nothing startling here, except the recognition that we do owe it to our funding agencies to use every option to ensure that our online resources are broadly used.

Maximising the effectiveness of your online resources

The proliferation of computing and network devices has meant that, over the past 10 years, the internet has become the primary driving force in the access, use and engagement with information. Easy access for all to simple social networking and the explosion in interconnectedness has also turned marketing on its head forever.

In an age when media, business, government and almost every aspect of modern society vies for the users’ attention, how can we ensure that the resources that are being created through public funds reach and engage with their constituent audiences?

The reports, guides and case studies below summarise the key principles in maximising your online effectiveness and present a condensed version of the highly successful series of workshops commissioned by the Strategic Content Alliance and undertaken by JISC Netskills in 2010. Pictures, videos and materials from the workshops which supplement this work can also be found at: http://scamore.eforum.org/cgi-bin/default?section=about