Digital Library Digest (Double Edition): May 4, 2012

Digital Library Digest (Double Edition): May 4, 2012

Posted by Ben Naddaff-Hafrey on May 4, 2012 in Digital Library Digest, Featured.

ALA posts on DPLA West.
“Sari and the other panelists focused on the top priorities of libraries. Basic access and affordability are essential—a library must be able to obtain ebooks and at a reasonable price or there is no real access. But while these characteristics are necessary, they are most certainly not sufficient: Librarians are critically aware of the need to ensure appropriate access for everybody (including those with physical disabilities or other requirements), protect patron privacy, and ensure long-term archiving and preservation of titles.”
From Jazzy Wright’s post on District Dispatch, “ALA at DPLA West”

Internet Archive writes open letter to publishers offering to buy books.
“By buying eBooks from you, we hope to continue the productive relationship between libraries and publishers. By respecting the rights and responsibilities that have evolved in the physical era, we believe we will all know how to act: one patron at a time, restrictions on copying, re-format for enduring access, and long term preservation.

We understand these are early days, and prices will evolve.  What we would like to do, however, is not lose the relationship libraries have built up with publishers just because we are now buying and lending electronic books rather than physical ones.

Our checkbook is open.   Please sell to us.”
From Brewster Kahle’s post on the Internet Archive Blog, “We Want Buy Your Books! Internet Archive Letter to Publishers”

Mediashift writes about the role of libraries in the Digital Age.
“The mission and responsibilities of libraries may be in flux due to Americans’ ever-increasing use of digital information sources, but Becker points out that it’s the same as it ever was: ‘Libraries have long been at the front lines of providing people with access to new formats for reading and new technology, whether when switching from scrolls to the familiar book format, to newer trends in e-reading.’”
From Jenny Shank’s post on PBS’s MediaShift, “What is the Role of Libraries in the Age of E-Books and Digital Information?”

Harvard releases nearly all of its library data.
“‘This is Big Data for books,’ said David Weinberger, co-director of Harvard’s Library Lab. ‘There might be 100 different attributes for a single object.’ At a one-day test run with 15 hackers working with information on 600,000 items, he said, people created things like visual timelines of when ideas became broadly published, maps showing locations of different items, and a ‘virtual stack’ of related volumes garnered from various locations.”
From Quentin Hardy’s post on the New York Times ‘Bits’ Blog, “Harvard Releases Big Data for Books”

3M enters the market with library e-book and e-reader lending program.
“Is there room in the library e-book field for a competitor to Overdrive? Wired reports that tape and media manufacturer 3M thinks so, and is launching a library e-book lending initiative called the 3M Cloud Library with 40 publishers (including Random House, HarperCollins, Harlequin, and Wiley) and over 100,000 titles.”
From Chris Meadows’s article on TeleRead, “3M launches library e-book and e-reader program” 

Nicholas Carr writes about the DPLA.
“Also unsettled is the critical question of how the DPLA will present itself to the public. David Weinberger, a Berkman researcher who is overseeing the development of the library’s technical platform, says that no decision has been reached on whether the DPLA will offer a ‘front-end interface,’ such as a website or a smart-phone app, or whether it will restrict itself to being a behind-the-scenes data clearinghouse that other organizations can tap into. The technology team’s immediate goals are relatively modest. First the group wants to establish a flexible, open-source protocol for importing catalogue information and other data (such as records of how often books were borrowed) from participating institutions. Then it aims to organize that metadata into a unified database. And next it wants to provide an open programming interface for the database, with the hope of inspiring creative programmers to develop useful applications. Palfrey says that he expects the DPLA to operate its own public website, but he is wary of making any predictions about the functions of that site or the degree to which it may overlap with the online offerings of traditional libraries. While he hopes that the DPLA will be more than a ‘metadata repository,’ he also says he would consider the effort a success even if it ultimately provided just the “plumbing” required to connect diverse and far-flung collections of materials.”
From Nicholas Carr’s article for the MIT Technology Review, “The Library of Utopia” 

Some visual notes from DPLA West and the liveblog we kept during the proceedings.

Photo: Servers at the Internet Archive, the host of DPLA West. Taken by Joseph Mornin.

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