When librarians face the challenges…

I think we have had very interesting discussions based on our knowledge and experiences about how to manage the digital materials as librarians this week. Here are some of my thoughts.

I think if the community of a library is big, different formats of digital materials should be needed. Like the example of the Minnesota Historical Society Library that has been talked about by Brian in his post, Wisconsin Digital Collection has also provided different copies of every digital image. So images in smaller or bigger size is available to the users. When I made the tutorials for cataloging the digital images, I was asked to use some of them as examples and made them as clear as possible. Since they have four different sizes of each image, I will always use the largest one in the tutorial.  Also, if the community contains different age groups, I think the size of the images and texts matters, too. So, maybe small libraries could preserve and provide one copy of the digital materials, then give the links of multiple choices in larger databases or organizations to the users. Thinking about DPLA, will that be a kind of service that it wants to provide in the future?



3 responses to “When librarians face the challenges…

  1. With the same master copy, I believe many software tools in the market are able to generate copies of varying resolution on the fly. Just like YouTube is able to deliver different streams of the same video based on users’ choice of quality.

    • But I am wondering if the librarians will be more worried about the preservation and maintenance of them. Or is that possible for librarians to say that we can provide other formats to users when needed?

      • Good point yiwenw. (Hi btw and I hope you are doing well!) To what point do librarians need to supply users with different formats and what is reasonable? Even a small library would have problems keeping up with the ever-changing formats (although they are pretty stable now). I would say that asking a patron what they are using the image for would be the first thing. Perhaps they just *think* they want it in a TIF when a JPG would do just fine. Then again, for historians and other researchers, it is important for old documents/images to be the highest quality if the nuances and details are to be seen.

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