Problems with my Proposed Collection

December 8, 2008

I’ve made a list of possible problems with my proposed digital collection, discovered as I wrote my paper.  (Please ignore the unnecessary bolding, I’m not sure that I like the new WordPress as well as the older version.  I copy and pasted this in and it did that on its own. )

1.  Obtaining permission for digitizing popular manga titles – I blogged about this a little earlier, but when I attempted to probe two manga companies about their future participation with libraries in the digitization of their titles for the collection.  Unfortunately they did not answer the two emails I sent.  The questions I asked were only basic questions so I would hope that library professional would be able to get a little more information but I’m not sure.   

2.  Digitizing Options – As I was writing about creating the collection I realized that there were different options available for digitization and the library would have to either do the digitizing in house or outsource it.  What type of digitizing would be the best for manga?  Would additional copyright permissions be required if the library decided to let another company do the digitizing? 

3.  Collection Maintenance – In a normal collection, when a book is no longer popular or hasn’t been checked out for a year or two, then librarians will often choose to pull it from the collection to make room for something new.  How does that work in the case of a digital collection?  I consider manga to be like popular fiction with a high demand when it’s new but possibly a renewed interest later on if there is an anime series or movie produced based on the original manga story.  This is why it is hard for me to make a plan for weeding out unpopular titles from the collection; they may not be unpopular for long.  My second problem is that the librarians have paid time and money to make digital copies of these manga, possibly more money than if they had just bought the physical copy at the store so it seems like a waste to just delete titles and then maybe have to make another copy if it becomes popular again.

4.  Funding – I did a little research on possible grants to fund the collection and then discussed asking the library board and city for additional funds for the library.  The reason why I couldn’t be too specific about how much money I need is because without the initial permission and a final decision on what type of digitizing equipment or company will be used it is hard for me to put a dollar sign on anything.    

I believe those were the main problems that popped up.  Some of them seem to be interconnected which shows me again how creating a digital collection is an intricate process that can’t be accomplished in a week, or maybe even a month.


What I’ve learned this semester

December 2, 2008

Over the course of this semester, I have learned a lot of scanning technologies, blogging, the cost of creating a digital collection, and what actually goes in to creating one.  I also learned about the digital collections that are available out there.  There were a lot of them that I had never heard of before so this is a plus for me. 

As I was writing about my proposed collection, I found it fun to look up information about the different scanners and digital readers that would be necessary for the digital manga collection to be created and function to the benefit of the patrons.  I think the assignment helped me to see what building the collection would really entail although I couldn’t get through the the publishers I wanted to talk to in order to see if they would even  cooperate in the future.  I wish someone would create the collection so I could use it.  🙂 

One reverberating theme seems to be that we must create these digital library collections in a way that they can be used in the future.  In thinking on how to do this, I guess I would have to say that librarians shouldn’t just create a special software to make their collection because if it is the only version of that software and it isn’t compatible with other software then it will probably render the collection obsolete if something ever goes wrong with it.  

Even though it was a pilot course, I think I got a lot out of the class.

Maintenace and Digital Collections

November 29, 2008

When writing about my proposed digital collection I began to think about collection maintenance.  Every item that is in a digital collection required time and money to get there. 

In the case of my collection, digital manga, if I have to pay for copyright and licensing permissions along with the fee of digitizing a book what happens when it’s not popular and I have to make room for another book?  The digital copy belongs to the library, so I could just delete it.  But do I want to? 

Time and money was spent on digitizing that one book as well as purchasing the physical copy, not a cheap prospect.  From what I’ve seen, they usually run from $7.00 – $10.00 per book and then add on the price for digitization and property rights.  Do we want to just delete it now? 

I don’t think I want to but then what do I do witch the digital copy that I don’t want anymore?  Can I legally sell it to a patron who can download it onto their computer?  Can I store it somewhere else, maybe on another server designed for that purpose?  This is a hard question for me to answer because in this digital collection, things are going to come in and out of popularity with new items being released every day.  What do you do with the leftovers?

Contacting Copyright Holders

November 24, 2008

Earlier this semester, either Dr. Martens or the textbook mentioned how hard it is for people to get in contact with copyright holders to gain proper permissions.  I’ve been having similar issues because I have tried twice to contact two different Manga companies to ask them about possible digital copies of their books as well as other questions and they have neglected to answer my emails.   I’ve filled out the little forms they have on their website for properly submitting queries and they haven’t responded.   

This is annoying because I feel that their responses would work very well in my paper, specifically in allowing me to know if my imaginary collection could every be created.   I feel for the people trying to get copyright permissions.  I find it ironic that when people actually want copyright permission, it is hard for them to find, but on the other hand if they neglect to gain proper permissions they are more likely to get in trouble for it.   How do the little people get in touch with the big companies and publishers?  That’s what I’d like to know.

More on Copyright

November 21, 2008

Because I felt a little insecure in my knowledge about copyright, I looked for a reliable resource to answer some of my questions.  My search ended at the website of the United States Copyright Office.  According to this resource “literary works, musical works and accompanying words, dramatic works and accompanying music, pantomimes and choreographic works; pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works; motion pictures and other audiovisual works; sound recordings; and architectural works” can all be protected under copyright. 

The next section discusses things that can’t be covered by copyright.  I looked there because I wanted to see if “usefulness” was mentioned.  To qualify for copyright protection, an item must be in a written down or fixed format.  It can’t just be an idea.  It needs to be unique, not something similar to another item.  Copyright does not protect: “Ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, discoveries, or devices, as distinguished from a description, explanation, or illustration” (2006).  Common knowledge items can’t be copyrighted either. 

Thinking again about the “usefulness” factor (useful items can’t be copyrighted), did Lesk mean to say that things a person uses everyday, like a phone book, aren’t eligible for copyright protection? 

Maybe I’m finally understanding things a little better.

Copyright, Etc.

November 17, 2008

As I read the chapter for this week I realized there is a lot of information about copyright and intellectual freedom that I didn’t know.  I was suprised to find that copyrights cover things that must not be useful, but they are supposed to be creative.  This confuses me because what is the point of protecting something if no one will want to use it?  Books are copyrighted so that people don’t copy their contents and redistribute them without paying the author and publisher.  People make copies of things because they are useful to them.  Maybe I misunderstood the author on this point.   

I also found it interesting that some font types (Times New Roman, etc.) are copyrighted.  Thank goodness those who write their papers in certain fonts don’t have to pay.  That would be expensive.  Although we may pay when we buy the software with the font included.  Yet another thing I’m not sure about.  I might have to look that up.   

The differences in copyright laws between different countries is also an interesting thing to look at.  I think it’s interesting that a book can be under copyright in England but that same book is not under copyright in the United States.   I think it was funny that complaints from American authors caused foreign authors to receive royalty payments from American publishers.  They didn’t care until they started losing money.  It’s a sad “all about me” way to look at things. 

That’s all for this week, I feel like I was rambling.

Library of Congress Sustainability Factors

November 3, 2008

I decided to search for some more information on preservation and other factors concerned with digitization of materials for digital libraries.  The Library of Congress has an entire website dedicated to digital preservation.  This posting will only cover information about the 7 Sustainability Factors they have come up with.  Here’s the link to the article if you want to check it out:

The Library of Congress has developed 7 Sustainability Factors which apply to digital formats

1. Disclosure: I was a little confused by this one so here’s a quote: “Disclosure refers to the degree to which complete specifications and tools for validating technical integrity exist and are accessible to those creating and sustaining digital content. Preservation of content in a given digital format over the long term is not feasible without an understanding of how the information is represented (encoded) as bits and bytes in digital files. ”

2. Adoption: is the current form of the digital object widely used?  This influences how long it will be before the object is obsolete because of format. 

3. Transparency: the ability of the digital object to be analyzed; certain formatting can enhance the ability to change the object over to a new form if necessary in the future. 

4. Self-documentation: deals with the metadata included with the digital object instead of separately where the metadata could be lost some how.  When the metadata is included, the digital object remains useful later on.  

5. External dependencies: refers to a dependence on a certain program or software to view a particular digital object because of its format.

6. Impact of patents: patents on specific digital formats can cause objects to be obsolete if great expense and laws keep them from being changed over to newer, more useable, formats. 

7. Technical protection mechanisms: technical protection such as encryption can prevent digital objects from being changed over to different formats which is necessary for the increased lifespan of the object. 

I thought this was interesting, but maybe a little confusing in some parts because of the technical jargon.

Farenheit 541

October 19, 2008

I’ve had this posting in my head since the week before Comps but I had to study so here it is:     

I was talking to my dad via cellphone and we were discussing digital libraries.  He startled me by saying that he didn’t really believe in digital libraries but then he clarified a little.  He asked if I had ever read Farenheit 541 and I said no.  He hasn’t read it either but he knows the general gist of the story.  Apparently the fire fighters are going around burning all of the books in the world because books create ideas and someone has decided that people should not be able to form new ideas.  It’s a scary thought.  

My dad then said that he doesn’t believe in fully digital libraries where the original copies of things (scanned or digitized) are destroyed because if something happens and a hacker goes in and changes the words of an important doctrine, we won’t know what the original said and this could cause huge problems.  Now I want to read the book to see how it turns out.  I had no idea that it had such a connection to the digital libraries of today and in the future.

Libraries of the Future

October 12, 2008

Today I was searching Google Scholar for articles concerning digital libraries because my preferred topic, network topologies and digital libraries, didn’t turn up any results in the library databases.  In the process, I stumbled across an article, Going Digital: a Look at Assumptions Underlying Digital Libraries (a link to the pdf version is available at the top of the page). 

I found the article very interesting because it discussed the idea that libraries usually hold fixed items, such as books, and digital libraries have the potential of holding items that may be constantly updated and therefore more fluid than the ordinary book.  One of the past Comps questions asked a question about the future of libraries and what current beliefs or actions may harm the progression of libraries.  I think that the idea of fluid rather than fixed items in the library may be one of these. 

To summarize, the authors proposed three assumptions held about digital libraries:

1.  Digital library collections contain fixed permanent documents

2.  Digital libraries are based on digital technologies

3.  Digital libraries are to be used by individuals working alone

The first two assumptions make sense to me but I’m not sure about the third assumption.  This article was written in 1995 but I feel that it still applies today. 

Levy, David M. and Catherine C. Marshall. Going digital: A look at assumptions underlying digital libraries. Communications of the ACM. 38(4) (April 1995): 77-84.

The Future of Libraries by Thomas Frey

October 12, 2008

I was searching for my digital libraries and I stumbled across the DaVinci Institute and an article by Thomas Frey, the Executive Director of DaVinci Institute.  Thomas Frey has written article, “The Future of Libraries: Beginning the Great Transformation” and I thought it was relevant to our field as well as Digital Collections. 

The article touches on 10 trends influencing the future of libraries: 

Trend 1 – Communication systems are continually changing the way people access information

Trend 2 – All technology ends.  All technologies commonly used today will be replaced by something new

Trend 3 – We haven’t yet reached the ultimate small particle for storage. But soon

Trend 4 – Search Technology will become increasingly more complicated

Trend 5 – Time compression is changing the lifestyle of library patrons

Trend 6 – Over time we will be transitioning to be a verbal society

Trend 7 – The demand for global information is growing exponentially

Trend 8 – The stage is being set for a new era of Global Systems

Trend 9 – We are transitioning from a product-based economy to an experience based economy

Trend 10 –  Libraries will transition from a center of information to a center of culture.

Frey seems to hold a positive opinion about the future of libraries, and some of his predicitions are pretty interesting.   

Here’s the link if you would like to check the article out: