Information Explorers versus Editors

A post by Bill Harris at “Dubious Quality” with the title Information got caught up in my Technorati filter for disruptive change in libraries. Geoff Engelstein, a colleague of Bill’s mentioned this in an e-mail:

We were a generation of information explorers. They [Geoff’s thirteen– and eleven-year-olds] are a generation of editors.

The context is a reflection on Bill’s part of the trials and feelings of success when conducting research: “you’d have to pull out a rack in the card catalog according to the alphabetized subject and flip through the cards. If you got lucky, the title of a book or a brief description would point you in the right direction. Then you had to actually find the book, skim through it, and hope that you’d find some information.” Bill even includes a link to a bibliographic instruction page showing how an actual card catalog works.

Planning a digital preservation assessment using TRAC:CC and DRAMBORA

OhioLINK is engaged in building a “trusted digital repository” on behalf of its membership. As we build it, we want to have an understanding of what “trusted” means, and so we are engaging in an audit process to assess whether we can claim to be trustworthy. This process is panning out to have four major phases:

  1. Research common and best practices for preservation.
  2. Evaluate the OhioLINK policies and processes against common and best practices.
  3. Perform a gap analysis between where we are now and where common and best practices suggest we should be.
  4. Propose and adopt policies and processes that get us closer to the ideal common and best practices.

This is a report at the end of phase 1. Earlier this year, two major reports were released that address how one measures a “trustworthy repository.” The two reports are summarized below, followed by a recommendation.

Data Visualization: Depth, Breadth, and Malleable

In case you haven’t run across yet, I encourage you to carve out about 45 minutes of a day to do so. Even before going to the URL above, your first stop should be this 20 minute video by Hans Rosling — professor of global health at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute — from a TEDtalk last year. 1

How US Airways Became My Airline-of-Last-Resort (And Why You Should Never Fly With Them, Too)

I will never fly U.S. Airways again, if I have a choice. A competing airline’s ticket is going to have to be substantially more expensive for me to even consider U.S. Airways as an alternative.

Demonstrating the Mouse’s Absurd Copyright Practices by Using the Mouse’s Work

Professor Eric Faden of Bucknell University demonstrates principles of fair use to give an overview of U.S. copyright principles in A Fair(y) Use Tale — a 10-minute video in five acts. Using clips from dozens of Disney films, Faden gives the historical perspective and underlying principles for copyright law in the United States. This is a great conversation starter for discussions about changing copyright — not only for its content, but also for its use of media from the very corporate interest that has had a big hand in the ongoing march towards indefinite copy rights. Wired Magazine’s blog also has a commentary on the video.

Seeking Information about Regional Digitization Centers

I’m looking for information about the formation and management of regional digitization centers for one of the OhioLINK strategic task forces. For our purposes, a “regional digitization center” is a place that has the hardware, software, and human expertise to convert a variety of media to digital form. (We’re primarily looking at small format imaging, but could also include broadside imaging, audio capture, and video transformation.) There is plenty of information to be found about the services that centers provide and even more evidence of regional groups wanting to create these centers, but precious little about the operation of the centers themselves. (As in zilch in professional literature searches, and only a few hits via general web searching.) The kinds of things I’m looking for are:

NDIIP Update: Requests for Funding and Other Activities

Activity still continues on the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIP). There were two stories in Washington DC newspapers in recent weeks. The more interesting of the two came from the May 16th Washington Post in a column by Jim Barksdale and Francine Berman called Saving our Digital Heritage. Barksdale — of Netscape Corp. fame and now a member of the NDIIP advisory council — and Berman make a brief but impassioned plea for restoring the NDIIP funding that was rescinded earlier this year. (The other article, in the Washington Times, (“Saving the digital record”, 25-Apr-2007, article no longer available online) oddly praises the program but makes no mention of the funding rescission.) And I heard today from an “Unnamed Washington Source” that the leadership at the Library of Congress will seek to have some, if not all, of the funding restored as part of a future continuing resolution. (Hopefully one that won’t get vetoed.)

Creating Participatory Digital Libraries

“Participatory Digital Libraries” is the name of a talk Paul Jones, Director of, gave this morning at OCLC’s Kilgour Auditorium. Known as “The Public’s Library,” ibiblio is a large, diverse digital library. His talk offered insight on how ibiblio works and commentary for applying the same successful techniques in library projects. This is a summary of the key points of his talk; errors of transcription and omission are undoubtedly my own.

Digital Archives in Action

Where Do I Fit? Pew Thinks I’m a “Connector”

So here is my role on the internet — a Connector: “Connectors combine a sense that information technology is good for social purposes with a clear recognition that online resources are a great way to learn new things.” That definition comes from the Typology of Information and Communication Technology Users by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. How close did the definition come to my view of myself? Here is the “connector” definition picked apart sentence by sentence.

The Connectors’ collection of information technology is used for a mix of one-to-one and one-to-many communication.

HitchHikr Page for ALA 2007 Annual Conference

Following in the footsteps of last year’s annual conference and the midwinter meeting earlier this year, there is now a conference tracking page on the HitchHikr service for the 2007 Annual Conference in Washington DC. The URL for the tracker is:

From this one page, you’ll be able to discover blog postings and Flickr pictures related to the meeting. If you have a blog of your own, be sure to add the ‘ala2007’ tag to your postings so they will be picked up by HitchHikr. (If your blog software doesn’t offer tagging capabilities, just put this piece of HTML code — <a href="" rel="tag">ala2007</a> — anywhere in the body of your blog posting.) If you post pictures to Flickr, assign the tag ‘ala2007’ and HitchHikr will find them. Share this information with bloggers and Flickr users to maximize the usefulness of our HitchHikr page!