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Video Transcripts

This page contains the transcripts of the 10 videos for this course.

Digital Libraries 1: Overview to Digital Libraries

From iphones and ipads to laptop computers, today’s library user may never enter a library building. I download music from Freegal and enjoy digital books from Overdrive. I use electronic databases to explore geneaology databases and build my online courses. Digital libraries have become part of my everyday life. What about you?

This Digital Libraries course was designed for all library types and focuses on both existing digital collections (e.g., e-book and e-magazine subscriptions, databases, streaming video, digital music) and services that become part of any library’s “virtual presence”.

The course also examines building digital collections from scratch such as digital photo collections, oral history collections, scientific specimen collections, institutional repositories, and others that become part of a library’s original content offerings. It will also investigate management and evaluation strategies as well as important issues associated with digital libraries.

Finally, the course will explore possible futures as we shift from an emphasis on physical collections to one of digital collections. What’s the impact on the role of the librarians and library services?

When you look at today’s libraries, you begin to see how much overlap there is among library types (i.e., school, academic, public, special). It’s important that all librarians learn from each other rather than getting entrenched in one library world. This is particularly true in the area of digital libraries.

Beyond traditional library areas, librarians, archivists, and museum personnel all need to collaborate for digital collections to be a success. In addition, it’s essential to keep in mind the many other potential players from historical society volunteers to scientific data curators who are interested in everything from personal archiving projects to scientific repositories.

Although I love the look and feel of physical books on a shelf, digital collections will play an increasingly important role in all library settings. The Internet is already changing how people use all library types.

While most libraries continue to house traditional print materials, even this aspect of libraries is changing. Some new libraries are fully digital and contain no physical books at all.

Before jumping into the course materials, it's important to agree upon some basic definitions. As an emerging area in librarianship, many of the terms are still in flux.

We're all familiar with libraries. For the purpose of this course, we'll define a library as a collection or collections of creative and informational sources such as books and other materials selected, organized, and maintained for use in study, research, or leisure. Services are provided that facilitate access and use of materials to meet user needs. The emphasis is generally on current, up-to-date materials. The increase in electronic materials has made it possible to access library resources from anywhere, anytime.

There are many definitions of digital library. While some are simple, others are more detailed. The term can mean different things to different people.

For the purposes of this course, a digital library will be defined as an organization which identifies, selects, manages, and provides access to information sources through well-organized digital collections along with providing a variety of services to support user interests and needs.

Although definitions vary, it's useful when the library defines the mission of its digital library.

Digital collections house the information sources provided by digital libraries. These collections may contain a wide range of digital objects including texts, images, audio, video, and many other types of materials.

Many digital collections use specialized software to organize their digital objects. Both open source and proprietary software is available. We’ll use both in this course.

While some digital libraries are simply collections of digital objects, others provide a wide range of online services. What differentiates digital libraries from digital collection is the services they provide. For instance, the Louisiana Purchase: A Heritage Explored provides a wealth of resources to support users including teacher guides.

In some cases, digital libraries are portals for access to multiple digital libraries and their collections. While they may provide access to collections they developed and maintain themselves, they also coordinate a consortium of digital libraries or maintain digital library partners for access to many more digital libraries and collections. The Digital Public Library of America is an example.

Beyond their traditional roles, librarians are partners, publishers, and producers.

Librarians are partners. Whether working with state department representatives to access electronic databases or collaborating with the local historical society on heritage digitization projects, librarians rarely work in isolation. Increasingly, librarians are reaching outside their library to develop strategic partners to build high-quality, dynamic digital collections and services. While school and academic librarians work with faculty members to build quality learning experiences, medical librarians may be collaborating with physicians on data curation projects.

Librarians are publishers. Libraries are seeking new ways to build their digital collections and expand access to information. While some projects may involve publishing the work of students and faculty members, others could involve meeting with scientists to share research findings or connecting with corporate executives to share company information.

Librarians are producers. Increasingly, libraries are on the front-lines of product development. From cool widgets to high-end open source software, many libraries are involved in creating and sharing tools that help make libraries more effective in the digital age. Through exciting digitization projects, librarians are also producing a wide range of digital objects across disciplines.

Digital libraries are important and have the potential to change the world. In the past, only those living close to a library building could experience the power of a library's information sources. Today, digital libraries can be accessed from the most rural counties of America and the most remote areas of the world. Children in Africa can read ebooks and adults in the remote regions of Alaska can study for a college degree. Scholars from around the world can read the latest scientific papers in their field the instant they are uploaded to their library's digital repository. Teens around the world can all enjoy the same popular music.

Although digital libraries are here to stay, there are challenges to digital librarians and librarianship. Two immediate challenges include access to digital content and making access to digital libraries affordable. In addition to accessing digital content, digitization of locally available information sources is a challenge.

With the rise of digitization, library, archive, and museum professionals are finding that their missions and activities often overlap. Terms like digital preservation, digital objects, and digital collections are all part of their everyday conversations. Increasingly, end-users users are unaware of difference between a special collection, an institutional repository, and an online exhibition. In many cases, a mixture of institutions sponsor digitization projects bringing together the expertise of people across fields. This blurring of the lines among organizations is providing many opportunities for collaboration.

It's a time of tremendous change for those involved with libraries, archives, and museums. The key to success for libraries, archives, and museums is collaboration. Over the long history of archives, libraries, and museums, these institutions have come together at different points in time for specific purposes, so it makes sense that digital initiatives might once again unite these groups.

We access digital libraries through a variety of devices. Beyond the work of librarians, the study of digital libraries runs deep into a variety of long-established disciplines including library science, information science, and computer science. It's important to acknowledge these connections as we try to bridge the gap between theory and practice.

To better understand the elements of digital libraries, researchers developed the 5Ss of digital libraries including streams, structures, spaces, scenarios, and societies.

Streams are simple and complex information flows such as text, images, and multimedia.
Structures specify organizational aspects such as metadata and collections.
Spaces define views of components such as indexing and visualizing.
Scenarios detail the behavior of services such as searching, browsing, and recommending.
Societies are those responsible for the services including humans and technologies.
ses.png file

Over the past couple decades many digitization and digital library projects have emerged. The National Digital Platform is a new initiative from Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and many other visionary partners.

Digital libraries can be organized by the locations they serve. While some are international or national projects, others are organized at the state or regional level. Be sure to explore digital libraries in the following categories:
Massive Digital Libraries. Massive digital libraries play an essential role in the transformation of libraries. Most other libraries make use of the resources developed and organized by these huge libraries.

National Libraries. Countries around the world have developed high-quality national libraries and archives. Many of their resources are available through online collections.

State Projects. Many states provide digital library services. These generally include a mixture of subscription-based services along with state-specific resources and services. While some of these online services call themselves "digital libraries", others use terms such as virtual library or online library to describe themselves. In most cases, users enter their local public library card number to access subscription-services. From local newspapers to historical photographs, many of these state programs provide access to a wide range of digital collections focusing on state-specific information from the state library, state archives, and other agencies.

Regional Projects. Across the United States, organizations are collaborating on regional projects.

Others. Besides those digital libraries tied to a particular location, there are many other project-based collections to explore.

From the smallest school libraries to the largest academic and public libraries, digital collections and services are becoming the norm across the United States. You'll find examples of digital libraries within the traditional library types including public libraries, school and academic libraries, and special libraries. Although not libraries, digital repositories are often under the umbrella of an institution's library.

Digital libraries and collections can be found across content areas. From science collections that contain images of lichen specimens to art archives with scanned paintings, today's digital libraries much more than ebooks, ejournals, and streaming music. Whether selecting digital content for creating your own collections or evaluating digital collections for inclusion in your digital library, it's important to consider the wide range of information that might meet the needs of information seekers.

Digital Libraries 2: Collection Development and Digital Preservation

This week’s materials are divided into four parts: Collection development in digital library settings, existing digital content in digital libraries, digitization projects, and the preservation process.
(create a graphic and go through each of the four parts)

The skills in developing physical library collections easily transfer to the digital library environment. However, digital libraries also have some distinct differences.

Digital libraries provide access to a wide range of information sources to meet the content needs of users. When building digital library collections, librarians may make use of existing collections (e.g., database subscriptions, ebook collections, music services) or build new collections (e.g., institutional repositories, heritage collections, local science data sets) to meet the needs of library users. Librarians often think of building historical photo collections or scanning local newspapers. However, there are many more potential projects across disciplines that can bring useful content to public users.

Those users interested in business may make use of online databases to access industry information or the latest business journals. However, local business people might also be interested in local regulations and topics related to state taxes. A librarian may build a pathfinder to help users access locally relevant information. Working with area merchants, a librarian may even build a digital collection to share information about how area residents can "buy local" rather than traveling to another city or buying online.

Library users interested in areas related to humanities, social science, and history can make use of the many digital archives, ebook collections, and government websites already available in these areas. However working with the local historical society, the library may build a local history collection where organizations can share their digital objects. Or, work with the local art museum digitizing and sharing their works of art. Get local bands together for an online, heritage music project that digitizes local music across generations.

Beyond the many subscription-based and free online resources related to science and technology, there are many local opportunities to build digital collections. Librarians might collaborate with university faculty on building a digital collection that identifies and maps local invasive species. Or, work with the local 4-H project on building a digital collection of local laying hens and their eggs as part of a "eat local" project. A database might contain information from the library's seed bank.

Content curation is the process of identifying, selecting, organizing, managing, and providing access to information sources. Digital content curation focuses specifically on digital assets.

Before you begin the development of a digital library, it's important to consider the purpose of the library and its potential users. It's also necessary to think about the digital objects and the technology required.

From collection development policies that define the scope of the library's collections to policies related to acceptable use, most of the library's general policies should apply to the digital environment. However, it's likely that new policies will also need to be created to meet the specific needs of this distinct setting.

While some members of the public may think of digital libraries as simply providing access to ebook collections, a wide range of digital resources are available in quality, digital libraries. It's the responsibility of the librarian to identify, select, organize, manage and process access to these materials. Libraries users area just beginning to discover the value of digital library content.

From selecting from among database vendors to creating web pathfinders on specialized topics, digital librarians must be content curators. Content curation in the digital library environment involves identifying, selecting, organizing, managing, and providing access to high-quality information sources.

While often associated with organizing websites using social media tools like Delicious, Diigo, FlipBoard, LiveBinders, Paper.li, Pinterest, ScoopIt, and Storify, this term also applies to making other types of digital resources more managable for end users. Librarians might make ebook recommendations, pre-select a set of digital objects from a large digital collection, or provide access to a streaming video service that addresses a particular library audience need.

Much of the content for digital libraries comes from subscription services. While some of these services are paid for through individual libraries, others are licenses acquired through state agencies or consortium purchases. It's likely that you learned about many of these services in other courses, so we won't spend much time on subscription content services. However, it's a good idea to review some of the most popular information sources. Although they are primarily used by school and public libraries, they also provide the foundation for many academic library collections. If you go to the IUPUI databases, you'll notice that many are sponsored by the INSPIRE state-wide network.
Britannica Library
EBSCOhost Databases (e.g., Academic Search, Auto Repair Reference Center, NoveList, Points of View, Primary Search, Science Reference Center, Student Research Center, TOPICsearch)
Gale Databases (e.g., Biography in Context, ChiltonLibrary, Global Issues in Context, InfoTrac, Literature Resource Center, Science in Context)
LearningExpress Library (e.g., test prep, career guidance)
Mango Languages
OverDrive eBooks & Audiobooks
OneClickdigital Audiobooks
ProQuest Databases (e.g., Ebrary, NewsStand)
World Book
Zinio Digital Magazines

Let's explore some categories of digital content often found in digital library collections.
Audio Collections
Databases and Journal Collections
Electronic Book Collections
Image Collections
Grey Literature Collections
Video Collections

Audio Collections. Audiobook listening is up. In 2014, 14% of adults listened to an audio book. From podcasts to streaming music services, your digital library is likely to include audio collections. Many libraries provide access to subscription-based services in addition to providing links to popular free, online audio collections. Some libraries provide access to music services. Most subscription services limit the number of downloads that users can make in a particular time frame.
(show freegal, librvox)

Databases and Journal Collections
Particularly for scholarly activities, periodicals, databases, and indexes are essential information resources. However from business people to retirees, many people enjoy reading magazines and newspapers for pleasure too. Many reference resources are available by subscription or free online. There are many excellent reference websites that can be built into pathfinders for specific topics of interest.
(show Credo Reference, Gale Virtual Reference Library, and Oxford Reference Online)

Multi-subject databases contain a wide range of materials including journal articles, monographs, primary sources, and reference works. Aggregators provide access to multiple databases using a single interface.
(show EBSCO, Gale, LexisNexis, and ProQuest )

Magazines have always been popular in libraries. Today, many libraries are using specialized magazine services to bring popular periodicals to readers.
(show Flipster, Zinio for Libraries)

Electronic Book Collections
When some people think of libraries, books immediately come to mind. Digital libraries are also filled with books, but in a digital form. E-reading is on the rise. The percentage of American adults who read an e-book has risen from 17% in 2011 to 28% in 2014.

Regardless of which report you read, e-books are becoming a significant digital library resource. One approach to the purchase of e-books is demand-driven acquisitions.

When ebooks first emerged on the market, libraries had a difficult time acquiring licenses. Although the process is now much easier, many issues make the process of ebook selection and management difficult. One of the most concerning issues relates to long-term access to ebooks. In many cases, libraries purchase subscriptions rather than ebooks themselves. In other words, the library doesn't own the ebooks. When the subscription runs out, the books are no longer available.

Many ebook services exist. Your choice will be determined by many factors including audience, library type, and existing subscriptions. It's important to understand what you're buying when you purchase an ebook license. How many people can access the ebook simultaneously? Will it be available forever or only for the length of the subscription?
(show images from collections)

Image Collections
From historical maps and photographs to contemporary works of art, some library users are seeking image collections. Digital libraries are likely to feature both general and subject-specific image collections to meet the needs of library users.

Some digital libraries provide consolidated access to resources from multiple collections to build a focused collection. An example is the King County Snapshots. It incorporating images from a dozen different digital collections.
(show images from collections)

Grey Literature Collections
Many important research findings are published first and only as technical notes, conference proceedings, electronic communications, projects reports, and other lesser-known works. Traditional finding aids may not be effective in locating and accessing these materials. These types of documents are known as "grey literature" or "gray literature". Grey literature includes materials not formally published through traditional commercial publishing channels. Many government documents fall under the category of grey literature.

Video Collections
Many libraries provide access to streaming services depending on the needs of their audience.
(show images from collections)

Licensing digital content can be a time consuming process. Use tools to help negotiate this process.

Traditionally, libraries have used an outside-in model of collection development. The library purchases or licenses materials such as books and journals from vendors that can be made available to local audiences. However there’s been a recent shift toward an inside-out approach where libraries seek out original content available within the institution such as special collections, scholarly research, and other locally produced materials. These are then shared with the outside world.

All types of libraries develop digitization projects for varied purposes. It’s essential to consider the audience and purpose for the collection.

School and public libraries work both independently and collaboratively on digitization projects.

School libraries often operate with limited staff and small budgets. In addition, their educational mission dramatically impacts the types of digital projects that fit with the needs of their clients. Schools are often involved in school and local history projects that can be connected to social studies classes. They also work to community projects involving literature, nature, history, and special events.

With a community service mission, public libraries often focus on local projects that impact specific areas of the community. Project vary widely from small rural initiatives to large urban projects and often involve multiple partners including schools, businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations.

Let's explore a few categories of digital projects involving school and public libraries.
Event Collections
Yearbook Collections
Digital Heritage Projects
Oral History Projects

Many academic and special libraries have been building digital collections for decades. However recently, libraries have begun extending their reach beyond their existing archival materials. Some programs now maintain an entire library program dedicated to digitization.

Look for digitization projects in the following areas:
Art preservation
Cultural heritage
Scientific data
Scholarly communications
Data collections
Grey literature

While some libraries may work independently to create digital collections, others may prefer to partner with established digital libraries. Collaborations are essential for many digital projects.

The Mountain West Digital Library provides documents to assist in the formation of partnerships. For instance, libraries may choose to become member repositories.

Realistically, you may not be able to house your own digital collections. Instead, consider contributing to larger projects, then link to these resources. Be sure to select large projects that are likely to remain online.

Digitization is the process of making collections available to users, while preservation focuses on ensuring long-term access to digital materials. While these two activities complement each other, they also connect to the traditional roles of librarians vs. archivists. When working through the digital preservation process, it's important to consider these to different perspectives. Librarians will likely be most interested getting as many materials available to the public as soon as possible. They're also interested in making every item easier discoverable by end users. However, archivists will encourage librarians to slow down and think about the long-term implications of every step in the process. They're most concerned that every item will be available in both physical and digital form for a long time into the future.

From books to DVDs, libraries are accustomed to doing inventories of physical materials. However, it's equally important to inventory digital assets. The Digital Preservation section of the Library of Congress website contains useful resources for digital preservation projects.

The library of congress developed an easy-to-use process for digital preservation.
(make a graphic)

Identify - what digital content do you have?
Select - what portion of that content will be preserved?
Store - how should your content be stored for the long term?
Protect - what steps are needed to protect your digital content?
Manage - what provisions are needed for long-term management?
Provide - how should your content be made available over time?

Regardless of the model you choose to follow during the digitization process, it's essential to consider standards. An Open Archival Information System (or OAIS) is an archive that consists of a community of people and systems working to preserve information and make it accessible. The term also refers to the ISO OAIS Reference Model for an OAIS. The reference model shown in the graphic below provides a framework for long term digital information preservation and access. It consists of three elements: ingest, store, and access

Digital Libraries 3: Digital Objects

This week’s readings are organized into two sections. First we’ll define terms related to digital objects. Then, we’ll explore each material type.

A digital object consists of a file plus metadata. In this section of the course, we'll focus on the creating the file.

While the focus of this course is on digitization and preservation of digital objects, it's important to consider what happens to an object once it's been digitized. From historical photos to floppy disks, these items need to be carefully preserved.

From catalogs to newsletters, information sources are increasingly “digitally born”. This shift from print to digital formats presents unique challenges in terms of preservation. Auction catalogs are an example. The Frick Art Reference Library (FARL) houses one of the largest collections of art sales catalogs in the world. Although they continue to receive paper catalogs for their collection, resources are increasingly being born-digital.

Digitization is the process of converting objects into a digital file.

Digital conversion is the act of transforming analog signals such as waves, tones, and lines into dots or bit streams to produce a digital file.

An important aspect of digital object creation revolves around selecting the best file format for the particular project need.

There are many strategies for preservation including preserving the original, emulating the original, migrating the software and records, or converting the records.

From photographing Hopi pottery to scanning a Revolutionary War era map, the process of creating digital objects is exciting, but also time-consuming. Let’s explore the resources necessary to produce digital objects as well as explore the many material types that might be part of a digitization project.

From scanners and digital cameras to huge hard drives, librarians need to consider the equipment necessary to complete a digitization project. Each situation is unique. High school students might use an iPhone on a tripod to photograph school trophies, while academic library technicians might use a sophisticated imaging system to capture a 360 view of an ancient Peruvian artifact.

Increasingly, academic libraries are establishing centers for digital activities. Many collections house materials of a variety of types including texts, images, audio recordings, and video recordings.

In most cases, digitization is only a small part of a librarian's job. Support is needed to make a digitization project a success. While there may be a need for highly technical support in some areas of a project such as setting up web servers, volunteers with little technical background make be able to assist in activities such as scanning.

Consider collaborating with other libraries or members of the community.

Whether scanned a photograph or converting an old audiotape, it's important to follow strict standards in producing files.

Let’s explore specific material types
Artifacts and Realia
Sound Recordings
Video Recordings
Mixed Media
Digital Born Materials

Artifacts and Realia
Three-dimensional objects are often incorporated into digital collections. Because we don't want to confuse the concept of "objects" with "digital objects," let's use the terms artifacts and realia to describe this category of items. From ancient coins to animal bones, a library may be involved in digitizing a wide range of artifacts and realia.

Many digital collections contain images including photographs, lantern slides, posters, postcards, satellite images, and other graphic items.

Sound Recordings
Whether recording bird songs out in nature or converting a vinyl phonograph record, there are many ways to generate digital sound objects.

From journal articles and books to letters and other written communications, the text category is large. While some people use the term "printed materials," this approach leaves out items that are digitally-born and may never be "printed" on paper. Unfortunately, the term text doesn't adequately describe those items that include photographs, drawings, and other visual elements. However, for the purposes of this section of the course, we'll just use the term text.

Video Recordings
Also known as "moving images," video collections are emerging as an exciting and rapidly changing type of digital collection.

Mixed Media
Not all materials fit nearly into the categories of artifacts/realia, audio, images, text, video. For example, how do you preserve the first version of the Oregon Trail software from the 1980s?

Some types of projects can generate many different types of digital objects. For instance, an oral history project may generate audio, video, photographs, and text transcriptions.

Many projects involve digitizing items that contain a variety of material types. For instance, a scrapbook may contain realia (e.g., concert tickets, 4-H ribbons, coins, diplomas), images (e.g., county fair poster, prom photos, vacation postcards), and texts (e.g., play programs, love letters, acceptance letters). Although each item will become a separate digital object, they may also be considered a single work and shared as a single PDF file. Decisions must be made about whether to consider items like this as single items such as an ebook or as multiple individual digital objects.

From seed bank collections to game collections, libraries sometimes end up digitizing very unusual items.

Digital Born Materials
From preserving email communications and Facebook postings to library website pages, there are many digital-born objects that should be considered when building a collection.

Digital Libraries 4: Organization and Representation of Information

This video provides an overview of how all the elements that librarians use in organization and representation of information work together to create digital objects that are stored and accessed in digital collections.

Metadata is simply "data about data". It's descriptive information about an object that is used for resource discovery. Metadata provides digital identification of items, helps organize resources, and supports preservation.

Metadata provides information about creation of the item, purpose, time, date, creator, location, and much more. For a digital image, metadata might include the size of the file, the color depth, the image resolution, the date of creation, the photographer, and other information such as a description.

In some cases, metadata is automatically generated by the software used for content management such as file-sizes and indexing. However in most cases, a human must describe the item such as titles, authors, and abstracts.

There are three major categories of metadata:

Descriptive metadata is used for resource identification and discovery. It also facilitates indexing and selection. Information such as author, title, publisher, subject headings, and keywords are used for discovery. Common schemas include Dublin Core, MARC, MARXML, and MODS.

Structural metadata describes how the elements of an object are organized including the internal structure of information resources. For example, it might state how pages are ordered to form chapters in a book.

Administrative metadata provides information that assists in the management of resources. It may include file type, creation date, and software for creation. It might also include rights management, preservation information, and technical data describing the physical characteristics of a resource.

Metadata becomes useful when both the contents and context of data files are described. For instance, metadata about a web page may include the tools used to create it, the language used it write it, and the links to similar pages.

Digital asset management systems and digital library content management systems have built in metadata creation tools. Examples include CONTENTdm and Omeka.

When you combine a digital file with metadata, you have a digital object. Standards have been established for different materials types. People are most familiar with cataloging books and other texts. However, metadata may be written into an audio, image, video, or other type of file. Photographic Metadata Standards govern metadata related to images.

The rest of this video will explore dozens of options for metadata standards. You'll want to apply those standards that make the most sense for your situation. Some general considerations include:
Ease of Migration. It's likely that you'll need to move your digital objects to a new system every few years. You need an approach that allows for each migration.
Interoperability. You want digital objects to easily be connected from one system to another to allow for cross-collection searching.
Persistence. You want digital objects to be easily accessible to end users.
Re-usability. You want digital objects to be able to be used for multiple purposes.

Metadata structure standards used by digital libraries include in MARC 21, Dublin Core, EAD and TEI. RDA is used inconjunction with MARC 21 and Dublin Core for many digital projects.

You're probably most familiar with MARC, so we'll start here. The Machine-Readable Cataloging (MARC) standards housed at the Library of Congress are a set of digital formats for the description of items. The current family of standards is known as MARC 21. In addition to the format for bibliographic records, this version includes formats for authority records, holdings records, classification schedules, and community information.
(show example from world cat)

MARC and Digital Libraries

MARC is the format used for library catalogs. The value standards for MARC are now RDA (Resource Description & Access) for most libraries. Online Public Access Catalogs (OPAC)s are about the only systems that use MARC data. The OPAC is an important element of today's digital libraries. In most cases, they include traditional print materials, but also access to electronic materials including by physical items (e.g., books, DVDs) and digitally born items (e.g., ebooks, streaming video, audiobooks)

Resource Description and Access (RDA) is "a set of content standards for cataloging materials held in libraries and other cultural institutions. Items are described in four areas: work, expression, manifestation, and item. RDA has replaced AACR2 for describing items. It's used along with MARC in OPACs.

The Dublin Core focuses on object description. Most librarians use some version of Dublin Core metadata. In some cases, users have tailored metadata to meet specific needs of projects or collections. However, it's important to have a common layer of descriptive data to make browsing and searching across all object types doable.

Dublin Core is commonly used system for digital collections and is built into many digital asset management systems such as CONTENTdm and Omeka. It is particularly effective for cross-collection searching and sharing. It's also good for cross-domain discovery. Metadata sharing is also easy. Dublin Core is particularly good for novice metadata creators and simple collections. Dublin Core is the schema you're most likely to use when creating a digital collection.

the EAD Document Type Definition (DTD) is a non-proprietary standard for encoding used in archives, libraries, museums, and other repositories.

EAD is maintained by the Society for American Archivists. If you're working on a collaborative project with an archivist, it's likely that you may apply this standard. Since EAD can be produced from MARC and Dublin Core, it's a common format for porting data.

The Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) is an international interdisciplinary standard intended to assist libraries, museums, publishers, and scholars in representing literary and linguistic texts in digital form to facilitate research and teaching. If you're going to be dealing with lots of text documents such as literary texts and letters, it's likely you'll be using the TEI standard. It's often used in digital humanities projects.

In addition to the key standards already discussion, many additional standards apply specifically to digital libraries and are maintained by the Network Development and MARC Standards Office of the Library of Congress.
AudioMD and VideoMD
Open Archives Initiative
VRA Core
(use the images from the course page)

It's likely you'll encounter many more standards depending on the digital collection you're building. If you're dealing with works of art, you'll probably use CDWA: Categories for the Description of Works of Art. If you're working with video, you'll want to consider MPEG: Moving Picture Experts Group.

Controlled vocabulary offer pre-selected words or phrases rather than presenting a free form natural language vocabulary. This approach reduces the likelihood of inaccurate results.
(show images from thesauri)

From Library of Congress Classification (LCC) to the Dewey Decimal System (DDC), you learned about classification systems in your cataloging class. According to Reitz (2014), classification is "the process of dividing objects or concepts into logically hierarchical classes, subclasses, and sub-subclasses based on the characteristics they have in common and those that distinguish them." While you probably connect classification with OPACs, classification systems are also used in many digital collections.

Subject indexing is particularly important in digital collections. For instance, subject indexing is critical for the effective use of images. However, there are challenges in both creating and using these indexes for accessing images.

Beyond the basics, many new standards and guidelines are emerging that will increase the discoverability of digital objects. The Semantic Web "provides a common framework that allows data to be shared and reused across application, enterprise, and community boundaries". The standards promote common data formats and exchange protocols, specifically the Resource Description Framework (RDF).

It's hoped that the Semantic Web will be able to integrate across content, applications, and systems. Unfortunately, the Semantic Web remains vast, vague, and uncertain. Although it faces challenges, it has a huge following that's likely to grow are more practical application emerge. Digital libraries are already using aspects of the approach including URI identifiers, XML syntax, and RDF data interchange. Increasingly, taxonomies such as OWL are being integrated.

Semantic enrichment involves adding meaning to data through the addition of information. These additions may include information such as geographical coordinates and links to external resources. As library collections become more connected, these types of enriched data become more powerful.

Linked data is about making connections between related data using the semantic web.

With all the different standards, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. To maintain sanity, it's essential to create a set of guidelines you and your staff can apply when creating metadata for items in your collection. A Metadata Application Profile (MAP) provides a detailed description of metadata elements that will be applied in a particular digital collection.

Digital Libraries 5: Information Architecture

The video will focus on software for digital libraries. While some projects may require technical skills in setting up servers, installing software, and writing code, most digital projects are likely to use "turnkey applications" that are "ready to go".

Most digital libraries maintain a user-friendly website along with a discovery interface. Sometimes these are both supplied by the same vendor. In other cases, they're two separate systems. In addition, they may maintain many digital collections. Sometimes these digital collections are interconnected.

Let's explore digital library websites, discovery services, and digital collection software platforms.

When digital library users want to "go to the library", they need a user-friendly entry point to the Web. They want an attractive library website that will address their wide range of information needs. Users expect to be able to find what they need in three clicks or less.

In many cases, the digital library website is also used as the general library website. In other words, the "digital resources" aspect may be limited to a particular area of the website. However in other cases, the entire website may be dedicated to digital objects.

Users should be able to easily determine how to access electronic databases, download ebooks and audiobooks, stream music and videos, or search digital collections. They should also be able to ask a librarian for help, receive reference assistance, or find answers to library program questions.

One of the primary challenges of building digital library websites relates to digital services. If it's difficult to use the website to download e-books or use electronic databases, they're not likely to be used. NYPL and partner libraries across the country are testing innovative library policies and practices with funding from IMLS while adopting new technologies in order to create improved user experiences borrowing eBooks from libraries.

How will users search, browse, select, and access the digital content they seek? Whether a user is seeking an ebook, a journal article, or an historical image, digital library users expect an intuitive and easy-to-use interface to assist them in locating information. The ability to easily access content is essential to the success of a digital library.

Web-scale Discovery Services are tools that seamlessly search across local and remote content for useful results. Although this sounds great, there are challenges to implementation. For instance, proprietary-content providers would prefer that their customers use their discovery services. In other words, OCLC, EBSCO, ProQuest, Ex Libris, and other don't always play well together.
(share images of discovery software)

Many different software tools are available for creating digital collections. It's unlikely that you're going to build your own software platform. Instead, you'll probably choose a turnkey, content management system that's ready to go.

Keep in mind that many large institutions may use many of these software tools for different purposes. For instance, The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries uses CONTENTdm for their Image & Multimedia Collections, but they use DigitalCommons by bepress for their Digital Repository needs.

Let's explore the options in alphabetical order.

DigitalCommons http://digitalcommons.bepress.com/
DigitalCommons is a hosted, cloud-based, open access repository solution that uses bepress (Berkeley Electronic Press) software. This is a commercial rather than an open source solution. Users pay an annual license fee.

Rolling the software and hosting into one package makes Digital Commons much easier for libraries with limited on-site support. The relatively low price makes it accessible to many mid-sized institutions, however it may still be too expensive for smaller libraries.

ContentDM http://contentdm.org/
ContentDM is the most popular commercial, digital collection management software solution. It provides tools for organizing, managing, and searching digital collections online. A number of licensing levels are available based on current collection size and future plans. A hosting service is also available.

Because of the connection with OCLC, CONTENTdm the choice of many public and academic libraries. those libraries that already have a relationship with OCLC will find this to be a seamless solution for digital collection needs. However, smaller libraries may find it expensive. Because of its popularity, many online resources are available to learn how to use this software. We'll be using this package for creating our prototype digital collection.

DSpace http://www.dspace.org/
DSpace software is a turnkey institutional repository application. It's used by academic and research libraries as an open access repository for managing their faculty and student output. Many organizations use the software to host and manage their repositories. Used by over 1000 organizations worldwide, it's a popular open that's easy to use. According to their website, "it is free and easy to install "out of the box" and completely customizable to fit the needs of any organization." Keep in mind that one of the key features of DSpace is the ability to have submitters deposit their own files into the system. When selecting software for a digital library, think about whether this is a service that should be available to users.

Although DSpace is the most commonly used as a tool for building and managing institutional repositories, it's also used for other purposes. For instance, it can be used to develop image, audio, and video repositories. It can also be used for museum materials, government records and reports, subject-area content, and learning resources. Multi-organizational consortium are also using it for federated repositories. The key is whether you want users to be able to add to the collection.

Fedora http://www.fedora.info/
FEDORA (Flexible Extensible Digital Object Repository Architecture) is a framework for building digital repositories. As an architecture for storing and accessing digital objects stored in METS-encoded XML, it includes a set of APIs for access to the repository. Fedora is NOT a complete management, indexing, discovery, and delivery application. Instead, it's intended provides the management layer for digital objects. It's intended to be used in connection with other applications for digital preservation and archiving.

Practically, Fedora software is best used by someone with technology support who can match it with the other elements needed to create the type of digital collection necessary to meet library needs.

Omeka http://omeka.org/
Omeka is an open access software platform for publishing digital collections online. It's a project of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. Omeka.net allows uses to host their collections, research, exhibits, and digital projects.

Omega is a great choice for small libraries with limited funds. You can get started with the software using their free hosting service with no financial investment other than your own time. On the other hand, it's not as sophisticated as some of the other options. We'll be using this tool for sharing out digital objects.

Many other open-source and commercial solutions exist.
(use logos from the page)

In some cases, digital libraries involve the public in assisting with projects. They may also provide tools for notetaking and other research functions. There are many software tools that can be used to extend the digital library experience.
(use logos from the page)

Beyond the basics, many digital library developers are creating systems that address important issues related to digital objects and collections. Although the specifics of these tools and approaches are beyond the scope of this course, they provide help digital librarians see the potential for building smarter digital libraries.
Complex Objects
Content-based Image Retrieval
Geospatial Information

So, what tools do people use in the "real world"? In most cases, libraries end up using a combination of software. From Internet Archive to Flickr, there are many excellent digital projects underway. Why reinvent the wheel? Depending on the mission of the digitization project, it might make sense to build an ebook collection in Internet Archive or create a photo collection in Flickr. Particularly for school and small public libraries, joining an existing project makes sense. Keep in mind that even very large organizations use these existing tools. Check out The Commons for many institutions working with Flickr.

Even small libraries can participate in Internet Archive's program.

In the past, many institutions maintained their own servers and software. However increasingly, libraries are looking outside their institution for hardware, software, and storage support.

Digital Libraries 6: Information Access and Use

This video will explore users, information-seeking behavior, user experience, and usability issues in the digital library environment. Then, consider ways to promote access and active engagement with digital library content.

Before jumping into matching information seekers with digital objects, librarians need to understand the different types of information seekers, their needs, and their behaviors.

Not all information seekers are alike. Race, national origin, religion, age, sex, gender identification, sexual orientation, handicap, marital status, political affiliation, belief, veteran status, and many other factors can impact information needs and information seeking behavior.

From smartphones to tablets, people have grown accustomed to the use of technology for all types of information activities. Whether downloading ebooks or searching a digital collection, use of the digital library requires a wide range of technology skills. This can impact the ability of some users to access information sources.

Rather an using broad categories to pigeonhole information users, it can be useful to develop personas to help you visualize library clientele. A persona is a fictional character invented to represent a particular type of user that might use information sources and services in a similar way (Lidwell, Holden & Butler, 2010). User personas may describe the goals and behaviors of a group of users based on real-world traits and characteristics. These personas can be used to help librarians as they anticipate user needs, develop websites, and market materials.

Whether working with faculty and students in an academic setting or connecting with a more general audience in a public library, it's important to know your audience. Developing personas can be an effective way to think about the needs of groups of individuals.

Personas are often based on scholarly research or locally collected data about actual users. The result is a 1-2 page description that contains goals, needs, interests, and behaviors of this type of individual. The development of personas is often one step in designing effective user interfaces in a digital library environment.

It's important to survey library users to determine their needs. In some cases, data can be collected directly from the digital library website. However, general surveys can also be useful.

Many library users enjoy the experience of browsing books on the shelf and paging through individual titles. Digital librarians are seeking ways to bring that rich, multi-sensory experience to the online environment. The University of Utah's Marriott Library Bridging the Gap program is addressing the issue of user experience. Their goal is to bring users closer to digital objects.

It's important to ask users what they think about the usefulness of digital collections.

Most digital libraries maintain guidelines for the development of the websites that provide access to digital collections. Many libraries develop guidelines and policies for publishing digital collections.

One way that librarians increase the usability of their digital library is by providing users with strategies for making use of their digital resources. While some librarians provide tips lists or PDF guides, others include video tutorials and other resources. Keep in mind that many digital libraries use the same underlying search tools, so you may be able to adapt resources you find online for your own project.

Libraries may establish a wide range of online services to meet the needs of digital library users such as
live chat
text messaging
email assistance
telephone help line
bibliographic instruction
pathfinders and subject guides
manuals and help guides

In addition to the search bar and advanced search options provided by most digital libraries, some libraries provide more advanced search portals. These portals provide a focused search based on the type of digital collection being accessed. The Geospatial Information portal features geospatial tools to connect with digital objects.

While digital collections traditionally contain digital objects that can easily be identified individually using a database and search tool, some developers have chosen to create an interactive interface for browsing items.

Let's explore some different approaches to browsing and digital object discovery. From maps and timelines to word clouds and games, many digital collections are building in dynamic elements that immerse users in digital objects and build an interactive experience.

Some digital collections provide an attractive or engaging image that serves at a focal point for exploration.

Maps are an effective way to help users explore place-based digital objects.

A timeline can be used to help users locate digital objects from particular points in time.

Game interfaces actively engage users with digital objects from the collection.

From lesson plans to interactive activities, some digital collections build in teaching and learning resources into the collection.

Some digital collections embed digital objects into a reference book environment. The encyclopedia, handbook, or almanac format is often used for these types of projects.

If you've ever gone to Google Books and been frustrated by the limited preview available, then you understand concerns regarding information access and digital libraries. Beyond copyright issues, limited access is a concern for other reasons.

In the "real world", libraries have a perception problem. Many people aren't aware that digital libraries even exist. Once they find the website splash page, users may not know how to find what they need. It's not enough to purchase subscriptions to content or building digital collections. Librarians must get to know the needs and information-seeking behaviors of their users. Then, design engaging experiences that meet their needs.

Digital Libraries 7: Digital Library Services

Beyond providing tools for accessing digital objects, answering traditional reference questions, and offering online programs, digital libraries provide a wealth of other online services. In some cases, these services mirror traditional programs such as face-to-face book clubs moving online. However, there are also entirely new opportunities for librarians to provide services to their users. For instance, heritage projects connect local library users with their past through providing digitization assistance on a range of personal and community projects.

From book clubs to digitization projects, this page explores digital library service areas. Consider the following service areas as you think about options for today's digital libraries (Kirchner, 2015)
Digital archiving and preservation
Data management
Use of multimedia resources
Information discovery
Scholarly communications
Digital humanities

From online book clubs to self-paced instruction, digital libraries do much more than simply provide access to downloadable books and electronic databases. Some programming possibilities include:

Online Book Clubs. Clubs are available of readers of all ages. Young adult book clubs are particularly popular with teen readers. However, a growing number of adult online book clubs also existing. Some of these opportunities take a blended approach mixing face-to-face with online interaction. Many libraries also participate national clubs or use social media tools like GoodReads. The Mock Book Awards online club are particularly popular. Check out Allen County Public Library Mock Book Awards.

Reading Programs. Some libraries participate in online reading programs that encourage children to read such as Book Adventure. Public and school libraries often collaborate in reading programs such as Accelerated Reader and Reading Counts.

Self-paced Learning. From language learning software such as Mango Languages to "how-to" videos, many libraries provide opportunities for learning.

Special Needs Services. Audio Reading Services create digital digital recordings of the news and other materials for those people who have visual or reading impairments.
(Allen county PL)

Online Exhibits. Some libraries are creating online exhibits focusing on different aspects of their digital collections such as local history. For instance, the Austin History Center provides a series of Online Exhibits exploring local treasures.

What do reference services look like in a digital environment? To provide high-quality service in an online environment, it's necessary to examine the shift in user needs and expectations.

Whether trying to download an ebook or search a complex database, it's easy for users to become frustrated. While some users lack basic technology skills, others simply can't locate what they need. Librarians need to ask library users about their experiences and carefully design their website to address the real-world needs of their clients. This might involve creating a Frequently Asked Questions page to accompany a digital resource such as music downloads, building a video tutorial to assist electronic database users, or creating "help sheets" for common step-by-step procedures such as using a scanner.

Beyond the library website, mobile technology has become an important aspect of a digital library's service. Whether riding a subway train in an urban area or a horse out in a rural area, users want access to digital information. Like the library's website, the library's mobile presence must address the needs of users.

While some digital libraries simply provide searchable access to digital objects, others have worked hard to provide quality services associated with their digital collections. I call these enhanced digital collections. For instance, some public libraries establish online centers to assist users in accessing digital resources.

Many librarians develop materials to support students and teachers interested in using their resources. For instance, American Journeys uses its highlight section to feature digital objects on a timeline.
(use screens from many examples)

Some digital libraries provide tools to assist users in recalling standard searches, taking notes, or sharing results.

I'm interested in cookbooks from the last 19th century.
Where can I find photographs of Mount Rushmore being built?
I'm looking for articles from the local newspaper from the 1960s.


Sometimes a digital collection can be found to meet the needs of a library user. However, in other cases you may only be able to find a few digital objects from a number of digital collections.

For instance, Indian art ledgers are fascinating. However, very few exist. They're found in archives, museums and library collections around the world. The following six items could be part of a "mini-collection" you build into a pathfinder on a very focused topic.
(share the ledger pages)

Massive digital libraries are a great place to go to locate digital objects for pathfinder projects. They often contains access to a wide range of resources from many different collections. For instance, you could create an "Oregon Trail" pathfinder containing a dozen diaries written along the Oregon Trail. Or, you could build a "Transcontinental Railroad" pathfinder featuring photos from various collection that show work on this famous railroad. Linking to images from various science digital collections, you could build an invertebrate digital collection for a biology course.

Libraries of all types are becoming involved with digitization projects. In many cases libraries are setting up centers or stations to provide users with the training and equipment they need. While these stations are sometimes self-contained, they may also be part of a larger initiative such as a Maker Program.

Whether helping third graders scan fall leaves for a digital science collection or working with the medical school faculty on creating a digital repository to house genetics research, librarians play an important role working with students and teachers. Increasingly, libraries are providing services for those seeking to share their scholarly communications.

Many digitization projects involve K-12 and college students. Spruce Mountain High School teachers developed a hands-on history program involving juniors and seniors collaborating a local history center. It was just one of ten similar community projects shared at the Maine Memory Network.

Our lives are full of information. What role can librarians play in helping individuals preserve these important personal items? It's not necessary to make large investments in hardware and software for high-quality personal digital projects. Consider setting up a couple digitization stations. Or, extend your Maker Program to include technology to support personal digital information needs. Many social media tools such as Flickr can be used to house projects developed by individuals or small groups. In addition to working with the general public, many academic libraries are working with their faculty on personal archiving projects in the academic environment including adding to institutional repositories.

In many cases, library users think of digital collections as focusing on historical photos and "old stuff." However, increasingly community collections include digital-born items as well as heritage materials.

Digital preservation events are growing in popularity. Engle suggests four steps in hosting a Personal Archiving Day event including planning, organizing, publicizing, and running the event.

Some library users would like to volunteer to be involved with library collections. Many digital libraries encourage users to submit their materials for inclusion. These types of user contributions are becoming increasingly popular.
(share visuals of examples)

Libraries are increasingly using social media to create a culture of participation around their digital collections. Scientists are using social media services to advance their scholarship. Think about how social media can be used in library services
(use logos from services)

Libraries 8: Management and Evaluation

Librarians managing digital libraries have a tough job. Not only do they need to manage the day-to-day operation of the digital library, but they also must supervise an array of digital projects.

Managing a digital library involved much more than building subscriptions and building digital collections. Lots of work goes into planning and managing a digital library.

The cost of a digitization project can be enormous. A number of new tools can help with planning. The Library Digitization Cost Calculator aggregates available data on the cost and time to perform tasks related to digitization.

You can't do everything yourself. In some cases, you'll use staff to assist in digitization projects. In other projects, you'll collaborate with other departments or even other libraries.

According to Reitz, assessment is the "quantitative and qualitative measurement of the degree to which a library's collections, services, and programs meet the needs of its users, usually undertaken with the aim of improving performance.” As an emerging and constantly changing area of librarianship, digital library assessment is essential to create and maintain a high level of quality.

Some idea for data collection include (Teruggi, 2010).
online surveys
feedback inbox
login analysis
focus group surveys
user testing panel
expert analysis

When users access the library’s resources, a wide range of data can be collected. This data can be useful in examining who uses the collection and how it is used.

A wide range of standards can be applied to digital library environments. It’s useful to complete self-assessments against the standards to ensure that practices reflect the latest standards.

Evaluation involves making judgments about quality based on criteria and evidence. It's useful to have others look at your digital library and collections to determine whether the library is meeting it's goals.

Do your library users know you exist? Half the battle is making your digital library visible to users so it can be used. Learn more at the course website.

Digital Libraries 9: Issues

How do I ensure that all users have access to digital library resources and services?
What steps need to be taken to plan for potential disasters?
How do I protect the privacy of my digital library users?
These questions all explore digital library issues. Let’s explore eight issues.
Accessibility Issues
Legal and Copyright Issues
Ethical Issues
Big Data and Data Curation Issues
Disaster Planning Issues
Privacy Issues
Security Issues
Sustainability Issues

Accessibility Issues
The digital divide continues to be a problem in many areas of the United States. Depending on your library type, it's important to consider whether your library users will be able to gain access to your digital library.

School and public libraries are obligated to provide services for all users regardless of their disability. Whether providing audiobooks for visually-impaired library users or captioning video content for deaf or hearing impaired digital collection users, librarians must address the needs of persons with disabilities.

Legal and Copyright Issues
The copyright information provided by librarians in regard to their digital collections varies widely. Your website should contain your Rights Management Policy (RMP).

The Densho Digital Repository contains "thousands of historic photographs, documents, newspapers, letters and other primary source materials that tell the story of the Japanese American community, from immigration to the WWII incarceration and its aftermath." This project did an excellent job addressing concerns about copyright.

Ethical Issues
In addition to the legal aspects of copyright, it's also important to explore ethical considerations when building collections.

Big Data and Data Curation Issues
Many libraries are becoming involved in projects that involve big data and data curation. Librarians need an understanding of data management planning, research data lifecycles, data curation, data tools, data sharing, and data repositories.

Disaster Planning Issues
Natural disasters can easily destroy both physical and digital data. Be sure your library is ready for disaster. From electrical storms that shut down servers and fry hard drives to floods that corrupt data and destroy preserved archives, disasters can cause a variety of problems for digital collections. Libraries need a disaster plan that covers both physical collections as well as digital collections. While some libraries build in digital resources, others forget about this important aspect of their collections.

Privacy Issues
Does the library keep track of the ebooks I've read?
Does the library know what topics I've been searching in electronic databases?
Can the library be asked to turn of ereading records?
These and other questions related to privacy may not seem like a big deal. However, as more tools for tracking library users become available, personal privacy will become an increasing concern.

Digital librarians have a need to collect information about digital library use to improve services and show evidence of the impact of new technologies. However at the same time, they also need to respect the desires of library users to keep information private.

A growing number of digital libraries are creating policies related to privacy. ALA's website contain resources for Developing a Library Privacy Policy.

Security Issues
From professional hackers invading university servers to authorizing users, security is a growing issue for digital librarians.

Sustainability Issues
Will our ebooks disappear if we don't renew our subscription?
How do we provide support for a growing user base?
How do we gain funding to support our digital library?
These are just a few of the questions related to sustainability that will continue to arise as more and more libraries build a digital presence.

Digital Libraries 10: Futures

Today’s youth will never know a world without digital libraries. What does tomorrow hold?

From the Digital Public Library of America to Europeana, there are a growing number of massive libraries. Will these huge digital libraries continue to grow? Will other new libraries join them? What's the future of the massive digital library?

Over the past several years, we've seen a growing number of libraries, archives, and museums working together. We've also seen disciplines come together to form new fields and interdisciplinary approaches. What's the future of collaboration and connections?

Digital humanities is a great example of an emerging area that brings disciplines together. Digital humanities applies technology to address humanities questions, share and analyze primary source materials, and explore materials in new ways.

Another growing area connects science, digital scholarship, data centers, and libraries.

The combination of library science, information science, computer science, and other areas related to technology are causing a boom in our understanding of the organization and representation of information. Linked data is just one example of the growing inter-connectiveness of information.

Although few libraries have gone totally digital, are digital libraries the future? How will paperless libraries and online resources impact the user experience? Researchers are just beginning to look at the impact digital libraries are having on end users.

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