Digital Public Library of America Sends Out Call For a Beta Sprint

Earlier today, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Steering Committee put out a call for a “Beta Sprint” to bring to the surface “innovations that could play a part in the building of a digital public library.” From the announcement:

The Beta Sprint seeks, ideas, models, prototypes, technical tools, user interfaces, etc. – put forth as a written statement, a visual display, code, or a combination of forms – that demonstrate how the DPLA might index and provide access to a wide range of broadly distributed content. The Beta Sprint also encourages development of submissions that suggest alternative designs or that focus on particular parts of the system, rather than on the DPLA as a whole.

Slidecast of David Lewis’ “Collections Futures” Talk

At the 2010 Annual RLG Partnership Meeting, David Lewis (Dean of the IUPUI University Library) gave a talk entitled “Collections Futures”. I’ve followed David’s ideas since we crossed paths a few years ago; his ideas on applying Clayton Christensen’s disruptive innovation theories to libraries ring true to me. This presentation is in part an update on his earlier work on this theme and an expansion to include new ideas from Clay Shirky and John Seely Brown.

With David Lewis’ permission and in keeping with the Creative Commons license he used to publish the work, I have synchronized his slides and the audio recording using Slideshare.net. That effort is embedded below and is available on the Slideshare site.

Online Editions of Out-of-Print Books Result from Library/Press Partnership at Univ of Pittsburgh

Late last month, the University of Pittsburgh Press and Library System announced a joint effort to revive 500 titles with online and print-on demand access. I originally found this via a post on the Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education (CITE) blog. Since we have been ramping up discussions here in Ohio about ways OhioLINK can be an aggregation point for efforts at the four university press services in Ohio, I was interested to read about this and learn more.

Google Book Search Settlement: Reviewing the Notice of Settlement

Beyond the public pronouncements of the Google Books Settlement1 are the documents that form the meat of the agreement. The full text of the proposed settlement agreement is 141 pages plus another 162 pages of appendices. The Proposed Notice of Class Action Settlement itself — a summary of the complete settlement — is 38 pages, and is what is reviewed in this post. (The proposed settlement agreement may be covered in a future post.) The Notice of Settlement is chock full of interesting nuggets and hints of even more interesting things in the complete summary agreement. Even the printed version of the summary posted here is about 10 pages long.

Google Book Search Settlement: Introduction, Public Announcements

Announced today was a settlement between Google and the plaintiffs — the Authors Guild, the Association of American Publishers and individual authors and publishers — in the class action lawsuit about materials scanned for the Google Book Search application through the Google Book Search Library Project. This posting on DLTJ includes a brief summary of the agreement and links to the primary source public announcements and documents. Subsequent postings to DLTJ will include analysis and commentary on the agreement.

Seeking Details About Mystery Discovery Layer Company

There is a message floating around the net with a link to a survey about “a completely new online resource discovery service.” There is no identifying information information on the survey; obviously the entity that commissioned it wants to remain private. I, however, want to know who this organization is. (I have some questions to ask.) Think of it as a game — a treasure hunt of sorts. Speculations welcome, either publicly in the comments or privately.

The message going around says:

Subject: REMINDER: Take a library survey – you may earn a $100 Amazon voucher

Espresso Book Machine Print-on-Demand

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Espresso Book Machine version 1.5

The recent announcement by the University of Michigan Libraries about the first-in-a-library installation of an Espresso Book Machine from On Demand Books has caused quite a stir in the blogosphere. And rightly so. Given Michigan’s leadership in the area of digitizing books in the public domain, it is little wonder that they would take the next step towards a print-on-demand solution for students that want to own a hard copy of their own.

The Espresso Book Machine (EBM) might also of interest here in Ohio. OhioLINK is building a repository of recent current-year books that we license from publishers. One wonders, with the addition of an add-on license fee to the copyright owners, whether we could use such a machine to print on-demand books from current titles. On Demand Books is obviously thinking along the same lines; in April they entered into a partnership with Lightning Source Industries, which enables the EBM to print from Lightning Source’s catalogue of over 500,000 in-copyright books. The EBM can also access nearly 400,000 public domain books through their relationship with the Open Content Alliance.

A Catalog for the “Next Generation” or the Current Generation?

Are we building the “next generation” catalog for us (librarians) or our users? As a read a report from the Next Generation Summit Search Interface Working Group of the Orbis/Cascade Alliance, I have to wonder. Portions of this report are dated1 other portions are timeless. In particular, this section from page 2 (emphasis added):

How do we define “next generation”?

Riding the Waves of Content and Change

Waves of change are crashing on the shores of the library profession. New media, new tools, new techniques, and new expectations collide to cause excitement, anxiety, confusion, and concern. It may be difficult to determine where we are and where we are going. At our present crossroads, it is useful to view the pressures and effects of change on our services as a matrix of commercial versus local on one axis and physical versus digital on the other. Interesting observations about the nature of content and our reaction to it can be made at the intersections of commercial and local with physical and digital. This essay uses these intersections to examine the waves of content coming to the library and our ways of managing it.