Digital Library Digest: November 20, 2012

Posted by Vicky Zeamer on November 20, 2012 in Digital Library Digest.

Town proactively grows digital library through scanning initiative, “Digital Donation Day”

“Valerie Ruth of Hampshire has spent years putting together scrapbooks that have become testimonials of life over the decades in her hometown.

“I’ve used a lot of sticky pads,” said Ruth, who with husband Orris owned the old “Chuck’s Pub” in Hampshire. The pub was renamed “The Kave” after the couple’s son, David Ruth, took ownership in 2008.

“Her effort — a collection of photographs of old Hampshire, pub customers, plus documents such as birth certificates and more — now will become part of the town’s collective memory, as the Ella Johnson Memorial Public Library District in Hampshire builds digital collection archives with images of residents’ historical items. Ruth was among those who attended “Digital Donation Day” Saturday morning at the library.

“About six to eight residents brought in their photo albums and scrapbooks so volunteers from the library’s Tree Climbers ancestry group could scan them on the spot.

“What they brought was prodigious,” said library reference specialist Kelly Sheahan, who coordinated the event.

“For example, the library obtained photographs of the old Starks Corner service station and the people who worked there decades ago, Sheahan said.

“It’s a corner of the district that we don’t have anything for. It was fantastic,” she said.”

From  Elena Ferrarin’s article for The Daily Herald, Residents add to Hampshire library digital collection

Vacuum cleaners and scanner parts… a DIY robotic book scanner is unveiled 

“Recently a Google engineer unveiled a do-it-yourself (DIY) robotic book scanner. As reported by The Verge, Dany Qumsiyeh and a team of colleagues constructed it out of sheet metal, scanner parts, and an ordinary vacuum cleaner to build a page-turning scanner that only requires human intervention to put a book on the device. Scans are automatically sent to a connected laptop. “After a quick 40-second setup,” states the article, “it can digitize a 1000-page book in a little over 90 minutes.”

“But perhaps even more amazing is that they have open sourced the plans and patents, thereby providing anyone the ability to do the same thing. Clearly, putting this together takes skills that many of us don’t have, but what it likely means is that some enterprising business will start making the robotic book scanner to capture a market heretofore not well served by scanners that cost tens of thousands of dollars.

“It should likely be pointed out that although the scanner only cost a reported $1,500 to build, that does not include the time to construct it, which was labor “donated” through the 20-percent time Google employees get to spend on projects of their own choosing. Therefore, it’s anyones guess as to what a commercial version might cost, although labor costs might be at least partially recouped by wholesale sourcing of parts, economies of scale, etc.

“In any case, it seems like a major breakthrough in the cost of mass digitization, since it will likely bring robotic scanning down to a cost that many organizations — and even individuals — can afford.”

VIEW a video of the contraption here

From Roy Tennant’s post on The Digital Shift, A $1,500 DIY Robotic Book Scanner

JSTOR and Wikipedia team up to offer benefits of open access information for top Wikipedia contributors

“One of the challenges facing the volunteer editors of Wikipedia is finding reliable sources to use as reference material — in our last editor survey, 39 percent named this as one of the largest problems hindering their contributions. The need was especially pronounced among our most active volunteers, who make hundreds or thousands of edits per month.

“To address this issue, the Wikimedia Foundation is collaborating with JSTOR, a service of the not-for-profit organization ITHAKA, to provide 100 of the most active Wikipedia editors with free access to the complete archive collections on JSTOR, including more than 1,600 academic journals, primary source documents and other works. Theauthors who will receive accounts have collectively written more than 100,000 Wikipedia articles to date. Access to JSTOR, which is one of the most popular sources on English Wikipedia, will allow these editors to further fill in the gaps in the sum of all human knowledge.”

From Steven Walling’s post on Wikimedia, JSTOR provides free access to Wikipedia editors via pilot program

Qatar, a founding parter of the World Digital Library, to build a Qatar National Library online

“Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development has officially launched the project to build the new Qatar National Library (QNL). The announcement was made by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, the Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, at a prestigious multi-media event held at the Student Center of Hamad Bin Khalifa Universitythis evening, in the presence of the QNL project team and a number of distinguished international guests.

“As a national resource, the library will preserve the rich archival heritage of Qatar and the cultural legacy of the Arab World accumulated over the past centuries. Yet, while embracing the country’s tradition and heritage, the QNL will provide a bridge to the nation’s future as a knowledge economy, in line with Qatar National Vision 2030.

“As a founding partner of the World Digital Library, QNL will provideinnovative facilities for exploring interaction between devices and human beings to promote new ways of learning.QNL will operate a Qatar Reference Service and provide access to over 60 online databases and websites and will have over 300 public computers, wifi and multi-media production studios. QNL will partner with British Library to digitise 500.000 records relating to Qatar.An ‘eHub’ will make millions of electronic books and documents accessible at the touch of a fingertip, and it will not even be necessary to visit the library in person, as the archive will be accessible remotely through a mobile phone or other handheld device.”

From an article on Albawaba Business, Her Highness Sheikha Moza announces the launch of the Qatar National Library project

Louisiana state cuts all state-level funding for public libraries 

“Citing budget concerns, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed a $25-billion budget that eliminates almost $900,000 in state funding for its libraries. In a statement, the governor’s chief budget aide, Paul Rainwater, said, “In tight budget times, we prioritized funding for healthcare and education. Operations such as local libraries can be supported with local, not state dollars.”

“On Thursday, Library Journal took a look at that assertion. What they found was that while some local parishes may be able to cover the funding gap, others will feel the loss. Rural parishes will face a particularly daunting challenge.

“One of those parishes is Concordia, located on the Louisiana-Mississippi border. Library Journal spoke to the Concordia Parish Library‘s director, Amanda Taylor.

“There’s no longer a food stamp office; there’s no longer a social security office. In our rural parish, a lot of our people have low literacy skills and very few computer skills. They come to the library because all of that has to be done online. There are some offices in some bigger areas but there’s no mass transportation and a lot of our people do not have transportation to a place that’s two hours away. A lot of our people have children in the military and they come to email their children that are all over the world on these bases. And almost all of the companies require you to do a job application online, even if it’s just for a truck driver who doesn’t need to be great at computer skills, so it is very important that we offer this service.”

From Carolyn Kellogg’s article in the Los Angeles Times, Louisiana state library funding has been eliminated

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