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Creating my Digital Collection December 5, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — deli76 @ 12:06 am

Creating my digital collection was enjoyable for me. And creating is my key word.  My collection was revolved around helping a beginning piano teacher. I shared tips I had learned along the way, demonstrated some theory and technique, and had images of some of the different types of pianos that people play on.

I was able to involve some people to help me. There is a music store in town and they were wonderful to me. As Teresa pointed out, the collection took more time to put together than I anticipated. One of my goals was to have different formats of material as a part of my collection. For the most part I achieved this. I had documents, scanned images, photo images and video images as a part of the collection. I wanted to have some audio as well but I did have some of this as a result of the video.

I want to share what I came to discover as I did the video. The file format that was downloaded on the computer was AVI. When I attempted to download this to OMEKA, my videos were stalling big time. I figured out it was due to the size of my file. All of my files exceeded the 10 MB size. However the videos came out better on the computer after I downloaded them than what they were on the camera. I could see the image better and I could hear the voice better. But I wanted them to go on the OMEKA collection so I had to figure out a way to downsize the size of the video.  I went on Google and put in AVI which led me to the discovery that I could convert these to a different file format.  So then I attempted to find some freeware which I did find which is Prism Video Converter. I converted my videos to an mwv file format. It compressed the file to almost 8 MB but it was still too large to be downloaded on OMEKA. I had done some searching on other converting software prior to this and did find 4U AVI MPEG Converter. This is a trial version. Trial versions do not allow you to view the whole video clip. They allow you to view a percentage of it and when you purchase the software then you can see the whole clip. Of the trial software I checked this one let you view the most. It allowed me to see 60%, so I adjusted my video to account for this and was able to put most of what I wanted to on the OMEKA site. The software I experimented with was easy to use, so that was good. The MPEG files ranged from 2-5 MB and this was an agreeable size for OMEKA. My question now is 8MB of video equivalent to 8MB of still images?

I also discovered I could download more than one photo to a file and still download it. I downloaded the scale and was able to download all 7 images in the same file on OMEKA. I did a lot of experimenting and learned things along the way. I also experimented with Google Sites, but did not like how the set-up was. If I had more time to really delve into it, I probably could have figured out more things. Experimenting allowed me to learn so now I feel more comfortable creating a digital collection.

 

Copyright December 2, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — deli76 @ 3:16 am

Every class I have taken in the MLIS program has touched on some aspect of copyright and fortunately the more I deal with the subject the clearer some aspects are becoming. When I did my digital collection project, I needed to request copyright permission from Alfred Publishing to use some of their material. I had my choice to submit my request via mail, fax or e-mail with e-mail being the fastest way to do this. Unlike Claire who had problems with her copyright request I received my reply within a day or two.  They had different types of copyright requests and I did a web-posting request as my project was going through the OMEKA site.  Alfred was specific in the information they wanted to process the request for copyright permission.  I also had the opportunity last year to request permission to use on on-line source for parents I was working with. This response came back quickly and there was no charge for the material. However, in Claire’s defense I have also contacted a company about seven years ago requesting a copyright regarding an out-of-print item and I never did hear from the publisher. So I think it depends on the company you are dealing with and perhaps even the importance that copyright is to them.

I was surprised at what Alfred charged me for the copyright. It was more than the original product by quite a bit. Part of the reason for the expense may have been due to the fact that it was going to be a web request. Some of the information requested was if the material could be downloadable and if the material was password protected. Beings it was going to be a source available through a web site, although limited, there is always the chance that someone could locate it and download it and use it.  So in effect, I may be paying for someone else who is not willing to request the copyright. This is all conjecture on my part, but it makes sense to me as this is what happens in other venues. Requesting many copyrights would be expensive which would provide the incentive for people to copy illegally. Unfortunately the Internet is a prime target for copyright violations because of the ease of downloading material. There are sites that restrict downloading and this would protect the creator of the site.  The future of the copyright issue and the Internet will be one worth keeping tabs on.

I understand the concept behind copyright; however; publishers need to be willing to work with people and not make it as difficult for the consumer as Claire pointed out in her blog (Miller 2008).  They need to respond to the request in a timely manner and not make the cost of copyrighting something prohibitive.

 

Resources:

Alfred Publishing Company.  2008. Licensing and permission requests.  http://www.alfred.com/ alfredweb/front/General.aspx?pageid=143&catid=48.

Miller, Claire. 2008. Contacting copyright holders.  http://librarychick08.wordpress.com/.

 

 

International Children’s Digital Library November 30, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — deli76 @ 10:16 pm

Lesk introduced me to a site that I wanted to explore more which is the International Children’s Digital Library (Lesk 2005). I am fascinated with this site. There are many books available for children to read on-line a couple of which I read. Some of the books are translated, some are not. Denslow’s Humpty Dumpty is available in four languages. Some books are bilingual such as Grandma and Me at the Flea Market by Juan Felipe Herrera. This is a site that can be used in conjunction with topics that children may be studying in school, especially in relation to learning about other cultures. The top three translations for this site as of now are English, Persian and Malaysian (Thomas 2008). 

In addition to access to children’s books, there are research articles some of which discuss children’s impact on usability of digital resources. I perused a couple of articles. One is about the readability of scanned books from a child’s eye in a digital library. There are some points that are brought out as one thinks about designing a digital library to be readable. After all the purpose of a digital library is to be used and read. Scrollbars are a detriment to the readability of an article. It is hard enough for adults to use them and think of what this is like from a child’s eye view.  Many children’s books are illustrated so scrolling really diminishes the effectiveness of the illustration especially if it is a full page illustration. Another issue this article addresses is font type and size. There are some fonts designed to be read on screen such as Georgia and Verdana and others that are designed to be read in print such as Arial and Times New Roman. The type size that most young readers like is size 14 as opposed to 10 or 12 (Quinn, et al. 2008). This is something I discovered as well when I was trying to find Bibles that 3rd graders would read. The print in the gift version is too small for them and if you want the child to read the book, it makes more sense to provide a book in a print size they will read.

The other article I perused was a case study of twelve eight year old children who used the ICDL during this time, the impact it made on them and how they view the library. This study was done over a four year span. Some of these children had not used a library before this and some of them did not read. As a part of the study the children were asked to review the books, draw pictures and participate in interviews. They were all given a tablet PC from which to read the books and a local version of the ICDL in case the Internet was not available; however they were encouraged to use the Internet version if possible. After using the ICDL they tended to read and read a variety of books, they talked about books and their cultural horizons expanded. They also expressed their opinions about physical books vs. the on-line book. Many of these children preferred to hold the book in their hands and think that the physical and the digital library can definitely co-exist. They see the physical library as a place where one can read and socialize with friends. They did like to do the on-line searching. Technology can serve as a bridge to books (Druin et al. 2007).

The search tools provided on this site for the children are different than the search tools I would tend to use. They had a simple search and an advanced search, but the terms are different and there is more guidance is the use of these search tools. One thing that was missing was a search box on the initial page. There is information on the site about the project itself, ways to use it, how to contribute to it, links to articles about the site and I as I said before research that is happening as a result of this site.

This is a good site and one that I would have put in my top ten if I knew about it at that time. It is a wonderful site for children’s and adult librarian’s to add to their favorites. The reason I add adults is because many adults are learning languages and this is a good resource for them.

 

Resources:

Druin, Allison, Ann Weeks, Sheri Massey, and Benjamin B. Bederson. 2007. Children’s interests and concerns when using the International Children’s Digital Library: A four country case study. In Proceedings of the 7th ACM/IEEE-CS joint conference on Digital Libraries. 167-176. New York:  ACM.

Lesk, Michael. 2005. Understanding Digital Libraries. 2d ed. San Francisco. Morgan Kauffman Publishers, Elsevier.

Quinn, Alexander J., Chang Hu, Takeshi Arisaka, Anne Rose, and Benjamin B. Bederson.2008. Readability of scanned books in digital libraries. In Proceedings of the Twenty-Sixth Annual SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. 705-714. New York: ACM.

Thomas, Jeffrey. 2008. Kids help design International Children’s Digital Library: Top holdings in English, Persian and Mongolian.  “American.gov.” http://www.america.gov/st/educ-english/2008/September/ 200809181459141CJsamohT0.2946283.html (accessed November 30, 2008).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Digital Is Here To Stay

Filed under: Uncategorized — deli76 @ 1:39 pm

As I read chapter 12 in Lesk’s book, I am reminded of how developing digital resources is a top priority of many nations including the underdeveloped nations. Even though this textbook was published in 2005 and probably written 2003-2004, I think this is still a priority despite the economic conditions we are facing in 2008-2009. I think the technological advancements keep digitalization of material in the forefront. Even though the initial cost may be high the cost of producing material digitally is cheaper than producing it other ways.

Lesk writes about how the United States government provided the stimulus for the information delivery industry as we know it today.  Many of the once government run information services are now private information retrieval services (Lesk 2005).  One company I am familiar with that ran this track is Elsevier’s Lexis-Nexis on-line service.

Digital is here to stay because of the services it offers its users. Preservation, immediate knowledge, the ability to store data, the ability to transform data are a few reasons digital will remain. National libraries have the capacity to preserve their language which could have become lost in the age of globalization. National or local libraries can preserve the history of their land or region digitally. This act of preservation can help to make sure the originals are kept intact but yet available to the public.  People can view the original without having direct access to the original. It also provides a way to permanently store items that are deteriorating and it provides the capacity to digitally restore a deteriorating original.

Digitalization can also improve the quality of the image of the object. I experienced this first hand as I worked on my digital collection. I took a video on the camera. When I transferred it to my computer it used an AVI file. The clarity of the picture and of the sound was both improved from the display and sound that were on the camera. 

Stumbling blocks to digitalization include copyright, financial investment, maintaining confidentiality and user access.

 

Resources:

Lesk, Michael. 2005. Understanding Digital Libraries. 2d ed. San Francisco. Morgan Kauffman Publishers, Elsevier.

 

Collaboration and StoryCorps November 18, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — deli76 @ 4:55 am

As we have gone through this semester we have been encouraged to collaborate with others about our experiences with digital collections, what works, what doesn’t work, insights, etc. However; collaboration is an important aspect of creating digital collections. What one person deems as important, another contributor may see as unnecessary. Thus the need for digital collection policies. Decisions have to be made about what to include and what not to include or do they?

There is an on-line digital collection of people’s stories. It is the same principle and yet different from the journal collection that was in someone else’s blog earlier this semester. This is an audio source.  You get to hear the stories from the person and you can hear more than the words. You get to hear the emotion behind the words. As I blogged a while back about the long tale in regards to images, the purpose of the long tale is to tell the story behind the image. In this case you get to hear the story. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects there is. There are stories regarding national events such as September 11, 2001 and Hurricane Katrina. There are stories regarding different aspects of life such as growing up and work.  One story that struck me was the story of a man who was in an orphanage who felt like he was a book in a library that potential parents checked out for a couple of weeks and then took back if they didn’t want him. 

StoryCorps is on public radio and on the web. Its mission is to honor and celebrate each other’s lives through listening. The participants get a free CD of their story and their story is archived at the Library of Congress. Telling one’s story is a gift that everyone can do and this digital collection provides this opportunity. There are no Web 2.0 features on this site except for a few comments that are posted on the home page about what StoryCorps has done.

Site:

http://www.storycorps.net

 

 

The Digital Library vs. the Physical Library November 15, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — deli76 @ 3:14 pm

I read an article about how the way information procurement is changing on the academic campuses. The article speaks to how students now tend to use the Internet for their information sources rather than the library. Before the Internet libraries were seen as the source for information. Now they are one avenue for a person to use as a source of information. It goes onto state that most patrons use the library for reading e-mails on their terminals, socializing with friends, or using group studies.  Then it says that librarians now will have to have skills in marketing, systems and a new competitive attitude (Ross and Sennyey, 2008). The article then states the ease of access is more important that the quality of information and this disturbed me (Ross and Sennyey, 2008). I feel one of the purposes of a quality college or university education includes the ability to decipher what is good, better and best information. In another class I took there was discussion about how deep students would look for their information. How far down the Google line would they go before they decided they had enough information? Part of this problem is due to the proliferation of information that is being made available and one can only deal with so much information. There are some quality digital resources available, but less than half of students use an on-line library whereas most students use Internet search engines and they prefer to use the search engines (Ross and Sennyey, 2008). How would a patient feel if they knew the doctor they was going to provided them with the information about their condition based on ease of access rather than quality information? Some of the information garnered as a result of ease of access may be incorrect, thereby putting the patient’s health or life at stake. Somehow the use of digital libraries needs to be brought to the attention of students as the walk to the physical library is not happening as much. Somehow professors need to teach students how to access quality information some of which may be available on Google and Web 2.0 and expect students to use quality information.  But at the same time students need to take responsibility for using quality information and to realize this information may not always be googlized or web 2.0ized. However; collaboration will help in keeping the bar high for quality information if the users expect this. Use of quality digital information and use of the physical library and the resources offered will help to ensure that quality information is being accessed.

Another disturbing find in this article is one that has been addressed throughout the semester by various people. This is the access vs. ownership issue and the preservation of information that is accessed. How long does information need to be kept? In a physical library the librarians decide. In a source that is rented, the provider or vendor decides. What guarantees do we have regarding that information that is needed will be available? As digital access becomes more mainstream space issues in the physical library will have to be addressed. Instead of not having enough space, we may be looking at having too much space. This will affect the economics of the library because the library will have to create reasons for students to use their resources – become competitive.

This article is geared toward the academic libraries, but will the same hold true for the public library? The public library is a place where people come for recreational reasons as well as academic reasons. The public library is a town center for many communities as they have meeting rooms, comfortable chairs, and lounge areas of which some have a small café or coffee shop. It becomes a place where social interaction does take place. In addition the public library is a place where anyone can access information regardless of income, education level, ethnicity or age.

 

Resources:

Ross, Lyman and Pongracz Sennyey. 2008. The library is dead, long live the library! The practice of academic librarianship and the digital revolution. The Journal of Academic Librarianship. 34 (2): 145-52.

 

Economics, Information and Access to Information November 12, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — deli76 @ 4:23 am

Throughout many of the courses I have taken in the Library Science department, there have been discussion of the information divide and the importance of information in the economic sense. We as a nation have progressed through the agricultural revolution, industrial revolution, technological revolution and are in the midst of the information revolution. All of these revolutions define how we as a nation are economically maintained.

Now that we are in an economic crisis, will this determine how we will go economically? Will people turn to the digital world if they are struggling to put food on the table even if this information will help them? Will the priorities of spending change? Will the government cut the support of libraries and other sources of provision of information for the people?  Some libraries in this country have already closed their doors due to lack of financial support.  How will this affect the spending that is going to create and sustain the digital world?

The digital world is worldwide and many countries are developing their digital infrastructure. Information provides power to those who access it. Will lack of funding slow this effort or will the governments decide this is important enough to pursue? Which services will not be offered when funding is routed to support digital information resources being made available to the people?

These are just some issues to think about as people and governments decide how the pie is going to be cut. Will the digitalization of information be affected? Maybe. We as a people need certain things. The bottom line is that we will make sure the survival needs are met first. After this we can decide which other needs need to be met. And access to information is one of these needs. Digital information is mainstream in many areas of our world and is becoming mainstream in other areas. Digital access provides the means for people in remote areas to become informed.  I think this needs to be a priority as people and governments figure out their financial situation.