Week 5 Digitization, Formats and Standards

Hi Everyone

Eric and I will be the discussion leaders of this week.

Here are our thoughts of this week’s discussion:

(1)The file types of digital images in the libraries (Lossy&lossless)
After understanding all kinds of the digital images, how do you think that librarians could benefit from them?
I am asked to use the Tiff type of images in the document delivery in Mills Music library. Obviously, librarians want to provide the best digital copies in the document delivery service. 
Can you think about the other services in the libraries that could use other types of images with smaller size? How do librarians choose between lossy and lossless types?

(2)Scanning
The DIY scanner is very interesting. It let me think about the scanning experience I have had in WTS(Wisconsin TechSearch). Sometimes the binding of a book is tight, so it will damage the print book a little when users try to scan the words clearly. So what do you think about the CDP’s scanning standard?
I like and agree with the CDP that the purpose of digitization should beyond access. Is there any other purpose that you think is important to the libraries and users?

(3)Challenges for librarians
Librarians usually work on the standard of metadata and searching services in the digital projects. In Liu’s article, it says that the standard differs from project to project. What do you think is the most important thing when the librarians are digitizing their collections? For small libraries, since they always have local collections, they may have different concerns on the standards.

Looking forward to the discussions!

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2 responses to “Week 5 Digitization, Formats and Standards

  1. Having dealt with a lot of images in computer science, web design/development, and now in digital archives, there are uses for all types and sizes of images. Off the top of my head, I can think of:
    a. Lower quality/size for slower internet connections or perhaps for images where people can purchase a higher quality image. I think WHS does this.
    b. Thumbnail quality is important for collections.
    c. Best-for-mobile-viewing quality.
    d. HD for those who primarily view images on a HD monitor or tv.
    2. Digitization can close the gap between the haves and the have nots – but only if the have nots are the haves of internet access.
    Librarians can also use digital copies to free-up space by digitizing books that are not as in demand as they used to be (but check the copyright!). Digitization can also provide libraries with backup copies of heavily-used items that are in danger of being damaged beyond repair. It might be a good way to keep copies of earlier editions of textbooks, dictionaries, almanacs, and other resource materials.
    3. The key to digitization projects are – standardization, standardization, standardization! Even if you are not using a metadata schema that incorporates standardized language, it is so important to keep it clean and uncluttered. It can save so many headaches later on. Another important feature is to revisit your metadata periodically. It need not be often – maybe just every 5 years or so. Language changes and in order for your collection to be found and used, the language must be applicable to contemporary times. Need some examples?
    – Images that are tagged with the word ‘gay’ – I am thinking of perhaps a digital collection of postcards from an earlier era when ‘gay’ meant something different than it does now.
    – Items that are tagged with labels that are now offensive. I am sure there are tons of items with the metadata label of ‘squaw’ which is taking on pejorative aspects. The Census Bureau just decided a couple of days ago to no longer use ‘Negro’ to identify African-Americans. They conducted a study and found that it has pejorative aspects and most African-Americans no longer identified with the label. Look how much they could have saved if they would implement a language policy that is revisited once in a while.

    Okay, I am sure I have monopolized the comment thread long enough.

    • Good points about the digital images and standardization! I think I have become more interested in digital images and cataloging now. 🙂

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