As an individual coming to the library field without a tech background or much library experience I found this week’s readings very useful. I have occasionally felt as if I was walking into the middle of a conversation, not sure what all of the technical aspects meant or how they related to libraries. The first reading on the file types as well as the lecture was helpful in understanding the differences.
All of the files types I believe highlight the importance of using open standards as much as possible when creating a digital library. From past week’s readings we know in early digital library creation the goal was to just get the information on the Internet for access. But getting back to the roots of librarianship as places of preservation digital libraries are now also looking to protect for future use. It really is vital to understand the technical side of how images are created and saved so we are not trapped using commercial products which may someday disappear.
Our discussion leaders asked about smaller libraries creating their own standards. I think the largest barrier to national standards is technical knowledge. I imagine most librarians want to create great digital collections but I smaller libraries may be limited in their technical resources. I think the best thing libraries can learn is basic, easy to understand standards. Standards are more likely to be used if the reasons behind them are understood. As pointed out by the interview, those outside of the library field were confused why all the hassle of standards and various file types. It is just as easy to have confusion within the library field for those new to digital library collections.