Friday, October 13, 2006

Weekly readings - 13 October 2006

What Is Needed to Educate Future Digital Librarians. Youngok Choi, Edie Rasmussen. D-Lib Magazine. September 2006.

Educating digital librarians has become an important agenda item. The role of libraries has changed with the new digital environment. Educational programs need to be created to prepare future digital librarians for libraries. Some of the new roles include positions similar to Digital Initiatives Librarian, Metadata Librarian, Digital Preservation Librarian, Digital Imaging Specialist, Digital Technologies Development Librarian, and others. New skills identified fall into areas such as Technology, Library related skills, and others, such as communication and interpersonal skills, project management, presentation, and grant writing. Findings include:

·Digital libraries are collaborative in areas from computing systems to traditional library functions.

·Digital library jobs will be very attractive to the next generation of library professionals

·Major tasks include management, leadership, and website-related tasks. Monitoring the practice and standards of current digital libraries, is critical.

·Soft skills, such as communication and project management are needed in digital librarianship. Digital librarians must adapt to change and continue to learn.

·Education programs must emphasize skills and competencies and technical and information skills.

Skype's Venice Project Revealed. Steve Rosenbush. BusinessWeek. October 5, 2006.

Skype is unveiling its latest product, a web site that combines TV and video with the interactive tools of the internet. The site should be available by the end of the year. They are trying to convince media and TV companies to place their full-length content on the network, but adding content will also be open to anyone. The site is designed to work within the intellectual property rights system. It is based on peer-to-peer technology, in which the infrastructure comprises user PCs, not central servers. The videos are streamed to the computers, not downloaded.

Moving towards shareable metadata. Sarah L. Shreeves, Jenn Riley, and Liz Milewicz. First Monday. August 2006.

Shareable metadata is metadata which can be understood and used outside of its local environment by aggregators to provide more advanced services. Sharing metadata and the resultant aggregations benefit users, particularly those users whose subject interest cuts across disciplinary boundaries. Aggregations also benefit the institutions sharing the metadata. Institutions can no longer assume that users know about their online collections and remember to visit them. By allowing their metadata to appear in places outside of the original collection, institutions increase the number of access points to the items in their collection and expose their collection to a broader audience. Problems include:

·Inconsistency within a single collection.

·Too much information.

·Lack of key contextual information.

·Lack of conformance to technical standards.

Shareable metadata is different from in house metadata; it should be human understandable, and quality data, thought that does not mean complex. The following characteristics are particularly important:

·Content is optimized for sharing.

·Metadata within shared collections reflects consistent practices.

·Metadata is coherent.

·Context is provided.

·The metadata provider communicates with aggregators through direct or indirect means.

·Metadata and sharing mechanisms conform to standards.

At the most basic level, institutions who contribute metadata through whatever means should consider the content and consistency of their metadata. Implementing shareable metadata may be a slow process that is conducted as institutions work with new collections, but the ability to think critically about the shareability of ones’ own metadata and the commitment to make the necessary changes will be key for the next stage of effective digital library services.

Arius3D Canada Inc.: University College London, Petrie Museum to Digitize Collection. News Release. Oct. 5, 2006.

Arius3D provides digital archiving solutions. It is the only three-dimensional measurement system that simultaneously captures color and geometry from real world objects. It is affected by ambient light, so it provides an accurate and precise image. Once an object's image is captured it can be redeployed in a multitude of resolutions and in a range of file formats.

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