Friday, April 16, 2010

Digital Preservation Matters - April 16, 2010

State Of America's Libraries Report 2010. American Library Association. April 11, 2010.

Interesting report about libraries. As the recession continues, Americans turn to libraries in ever larger numbers for access to resources for employment, continuing education, and government services. The local library has become a lifeline of resources, training and workshops. Even in the age of Google, academic libraries are being used more than ever. During a typical week in fiscal 2008, academic libraries in the United States had more than 20.3 million visits, answered more than 1.1 million reference questions, and made more than 498,000 presentations to groups attended by more than 8.9 million students and faculty, increases over the previous years. Over 43% of libraries provide access to locally produced digitized collections.


A National Conversation on the Economic Sustainability of Digital Information. Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access. April 1, 2010. [Silverlight video.]

This page has the agenda and video presentations from A National Conversation on the Economic Sustainability of Digital Information, a recent meeting hosted by the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access.

BRTF's Featured Agenda and Presentations:

  • Research Data, Daniel E. Atkins, Wayne Clough,
  • Scholarly Discourse, Derek Law, Brian Schottlaender,
  • Economics of Collectively-Created Content, George Oates, Timo Hannay
  • Commercially-owned Cultural Content, Chris Lacinak, Jon Landau
  • Economics of Digital Information, William G. Bowen, Hal R. Varian, Dan Rubinfeld
  • Summary by Clifford Lynch.


How Tweet It Is!: Library Acquires Entire Twitter Archive. Matt Raymond. Blog. Library of Congress. April 14, 2010.

The Library of Congress is digitally archiving every public tweet made since Twitter started in 2006. "Expect to see an emphasis on the scholarly and research implications of the acquisition." Amazing to think what we can "learn about ourselves and the world around us from this wealth of data. And I'm certain we'll learn things that none of us now can even possibly conceive." The Library of Congress has been archiving information from the web since 2000. It now has more than 167 terabytes of web-based information, including legal blogs and political websites.


Library of Congress: We're archiving every tweet ever made. Nate Anderson. Ars Technica. April 16, 2010.

Comments about the Library of Congress archiving tweets:

  • There's been a turn toward historicism in academic circles over the last few decades, a turn that emphasizes not just official histories and novels but the diaries of women who never wrote for publication, or the oral histories of soldiers from the Civil War, or the letters written by a sawmill owner. The idea is to better understand the context of a time and place, to understand the way that all kinds of people thought and lived, and to get away from an older scholarship that privileged the productions of (usually) elite males."
  • Digital technologies pose a problem for the Library and other archival institutions, though. By making data so easy to generate and then record, they push archives to think hard about their missions and adapt to new technical challenges."


Aligning Investments with the Digital Evolution: Results of 2009 Faculty Survey Released. Roger C. Schonfeld, Ross Housewright. Ithaka. April 07, 2010. [37p. PDF]

An excellent report for academic libraries especially, Faculty Survey 2009: Strategic Insights for Librarians, Publishers, and Societies, that looks at faculty attitudes towards the academic library, information resources, and the scholarly communications system. A few quotes from the report:

  • Faculty most often turn to network-level services, including both general purpose search engines and services targeted specifically to academia.
  • Of all disciplines, scientists remain the least likely to utilize library-specific starting points;
  • Network-level services are increasingly important for discovery, not only of monographs and journals but archival resources and other primary source collections.
  • The library must evolve to meet these changing needs.
  • 90% of faculty members view the library buyer role as very important, 71% and 59% now view the archive and gateway roles as very important, respectively. Archiving is the 2nd highest role.
  • Despite the reported declines in importance of all the library's roles other than as a buyer, the 2009 study saw a slight rise in perceived dependence on the library
  • The declining visibility and importance of traditional roles for the library and the librarian may lead to faculty primarily perceiving the library as a budget line, rather than as an active intellectual partner.
  • Faculty members most strongly support and appreciate the library's infrastructural roles, in which it acquires and maintains collections of materials on their behalf.
  • Faculty members sense of the significance of long-term preservation of electronic journals has steadily increased over time
  • Effective and sustainable models for the preservation of electronic journals must be developed
  • Scholars, regardless of field, indicate a general preference that digital materials be preserved.
  • Less than 30% of faculty members have deposited any scholarly material into a repository; nearly 50% have not deposited but hope to do so in the future
  • Faculty attitudes and practices are at the strategic core. Greater engagement with and support of trailblazing faculty disciplines may help develop the roles and services to serve faculty needs into the future. The institutions that serve faculty must also anticipate them, both to ensure that the 21st century information needs of faculty are met and to secure their own relevance for the future.

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