Posted tagged ‘Digitization’

Flickr Pools

December 18, 2008

The Library of Congress has just released their report on the pilot program in which they uploaded a couple thousand photos from their archive onto Flickr.  By all accounts the project has been declared a huge success.  According to the report “the photos have drawn more than 10 million views, 7,166 comments and more than 67,000 tags”.  These are simply astonishing numbers!

And now the NYPL is following suit.  I’m incredibly jealous, coming from a library with a large photo archive that we will likely never get around to indexing fully.  These project are a great way to both fill in metadata, and to ensure these materials are discovered and utilized, and I’m hoping the results of the LoC’s project will inspire others to do the same.

Advertisements

Digitization Part 2

November 1, 2008

 

Library Scientist

Library Scientist

I’m a little late posting this due to an epic fail by my Internet connection yesterday.  Anyway, yesterday was the WMRLS Digital Barn Raising, on behalf of the Digital Treasure project.  I was there doing my best John Hodgman impression as a resident expert (albeit on cataloging and copyright issues instead of hobos and spam).  

It being Halloween and all I opted to resurrect my library scientist get up.  Really I just don’t get enough excuses to wear the lab coat.  The workshop went very well and it made a nice counterpoint to the larger digitization event on Tuesday.  Plus I managed to get through my whole portion with only one look at my note cards.  So I think I’m getting better (but I can handle criticism).  Besides my bit on copyright there was also a nice overview of what Digital Treasures has to offer, their success to date and how to use Dublin Core (not to mention the correct subject heading for cupolas).  The whole made for another great WMRLS workshop and a very nice finish to one of my more hectic weeks.

Introduction to Library Digitization

October 28, 2008

I’m back from the very successful Introduction to Library Digitization Conference put on by the MLA’s Technical Services Section (OK, that’s enough self-promotion).  We had a great turnout, with a surprisingly diverse audience (still not sure how the University of Vermont even learned we were holding the event), and one of the most well prepared groups of speakers I’ve ever seen at a conference.  

I’ll post more later once the presentation slide get uploaded, but in the meantime:

The day started with an excellent (and practical) introduction to the subject by Gregor Trinkaus-Randall.

His presentation was followed by Mary Piorun and Lisa Palmer from the UMass Medical library, who then showed how to apply the lessons gained from the first session to a specific project.

After a nice lunch Andrew Epstein gave an amazingly comprehensive (for an hour long talk) rundown of US copyright law, including how the law is likely to change, thanks to the Orphan Works act.  Incidentally I’ll be speaking on the subject on Friday and now have to try my best not to copy his talk (I had my notes done last Thursday, I swear) since there are at least three people who will have been at both events.

Finally, there was a panel discussion featuring Leone E. Cole from the Watertown Library, Kathy Foulke from Connecticut History Online, and Dodie Gaudet, Kristi Chadwick & Jeffrey Monseau from the Digital Treasures project.  Honestly, this presentation was a little rough as there was enough information for 3 presentations (more on Digital Treasures Friday) and we ran out of time (sorry Kristi).  But the session was still very informative and I thought it did a lot to show how the attendees could start working on their own projects sooner rather than later.

All in all it was a great event, it’s just a shame that it’s started snowing now (it’s only October!).

Public Appearances

October 27, 2008

I’m going to be incredibly busy this week.  For starters today is the Grand Reopening of the Athenaeum.  If you’re in the area please stop by for the Festivities.

Tomorrow is the MLA Tech Services Section Introduction of Library Digitization event at the Worcester Public Library.  We’ve got some great speakers, I’m particularly looking forward to the copyright talk on digital copyright in the 21st century.  I’m hoping I’ll be able to hear some of it in the midst of running around doing tech support for the event.

And then on Friday is the WMRLS Digital Barn Raising, where I’ll be doing my best John Hodgman impression as one of a few resident experts for the workshop.  I’ll also be giving a short talk on copyright there, so I’ll be taking a lot of notes on Tuesday in preparation.  I promise to try my best not to be too snarky during my talk.  Oh and I’ll probably be in costume.

Getting Involved

September 22, 2008

I’m back from a long weekend and a short MLA meeting and it’s time for a sales pitch.

To anyone who has read this site frequently it should come as no surprise that I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the professional organizations.  I think my main issue with them is that I have a vague feeling of unfulfilled potential (with the exception of advocacy of course, they are good at that) coming from many of them.  But there’s also the more general concern that they are too geared towards the larger libraries at the expense of everyone else.

The solution is simple, do what you can to make your voice heared, starting with joining your local organization.  I’m still new to this but my short time in the MLA has been one of the more rewarding experiences of my career to date.  It’s a place where a newcomer like me is welcomed completely and where the interests of a mid-size public library like mine can be given equal weight with the concerns of a giant like the BPL.

Finally, a shameless plug.  On October 28th the MLA will be holding a full day program entitled Introduction of Library Digitization.  If you are in the Worcester area I highly recommend attending.  There will be presentations of funding sources, technical considerations, copyright law, and examples of projects from all types of libraries.  I hope to see some of you there next month.

Copyright vs. the Law UPDATE

September 3, 2008

As a follow up, the Times has just published a great write up of Malamud’s one man crusade to protect the public domain.

 

Back in May I wrote about Oregon’s copyright claims on its laws, which are exactly the sorts of things that belong in the public domain if anything do.

Now Carl Malamud (via BoingBoing) has begun a personal crusade to make these documents available.  His latest effort was to scan and publish the entire text of California’s 38 volume code of regulations.  He’s ready for a legal battle over his actions, and I wish him the best of luck.  This is a fight worth having, I only hope sanity will prevail.


Losing the public domain

April 15, 2008

Boing Boing has managed to find a way to anger me first thing in the morning today. Thanks to research conducted by public.resource.org the Government Accountability Office has sold exclusive rights to its legislative history to Thomson West (a company that has probably changed ownership again in the time its taken me to write this).

It sounds like the driving reason behind this sale was actually about using Thomson West’s resources to digitize the contents 2,595 linear feet of shelving and not about the profit. I can sort of forgive that, but the fact remains that a part of the public domain has been sold off to a private organization, and I can’t help feeling like a horrible precedent has been set here.