Digital Library Digest: April 4, 2013

Posted by Vicky Zeamer on April 4, 2013 in Digital Library Digest.

Free Library puts its digital collection within arm’s reach at a Philadelphia train station

“PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Septa commuters will be able to pass the time on trains this month with a good book, thanks to a “virtual” library.”

“Today, at Suburban Station, Septa and the Free Library of Philadelphia were celebrating the upcoming National Library Week (April 14-20) by featuring what is believed to be another Philadelphia first: a virtual library at a train station.”

“There are now 76 brightly colored virtual library boards on the Suburban Station platform, at 16th Street and JFK Boulevard, with library folks ready to demonstrate the ease with which you can access the library’s digital collection.”

“Free Library president Siobhan Reardon (in photo) says riders will find a sample of 80,000 e-books, 8,000 audiobooks, and 1,000 author podcasts at the Suburban Station kiosk throughout the month of April.”

““The virtual library at Suburban Station is just one of the many ways that the Free Library is expanding beyond our physical walls,” she said.”

“SEPTA riders can access the materials by scanning a QR code or by going to the library’s web site,

From Steve Tawa’s article for CBS Philly, Free Library Puts Its Digital Collection Within Arm’s Reach at a Septa Train Station

Extensive collection of international history declassified now searchable online

“WASHINGTON — The Wilson Center today launched a new Digital Archive of declassified official documents from nearly 100 different archives in dozens of different countries that provide fresh, unprecedented insights into the history of international relations and diplomacy.”

“The new website – – features uniquely powerful new search tools, an intuitive user-interface, and new educational resources such as timelines, analysis from leading experts, and biographies of significant historical figures. The Digital Archive will continually expand with new documents, translations, and analysis as they become available.”

“Newly released documents from the Digital Archive are featured today in a lead article on Foreign “‘Face’ and ‘Something Delicious,’” about what Mao and Stalin’s first meeting reveals about Xi Jinping’s visit to see Vladimir Putin. The article was also posted in translation on major Russian and Chinese websites.”

“Other documents in the Digital Archive include:”

“Records from Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrei Gromyko’s journal, showing North Korea was eager to start a nuclear program as early as 1958, and that their request for Soviet scientific aid would “undoubtedly be considered in a favorable spirit.””

“Israeli-South African military letters from South African archives quoting Israel’s “iron determination” not to allow Arab nations to possess nuclear weapons, and demonstrating the surprising closeness that existed between some members of the Israeli and South African militaries during the 1970s and early 1980s.”

“Sino-Indian communications following the 1969 Sino-Indian border clashes. The Digital Archive is the only online source for Indian government archival documents.”

“Records from a high level Soviet-East German intelligence meeting in which KGB chief Yuri Andropov candidly reflects on the challenges and economic burdens posed by the new Reagan administration on the Soviet Union, and bluntly describes Soviet attempts to derail the 1981 Polish Solidarity movement.”

“Lengthy Chinese records of Mao Zedong and Che Guevara’s first meeting in November 1960.”

“The new Digital Archive has been designed from the ground-up to make these historical document collections available to the broadest possible audience, from high school students through world-renowned scholars. Thousands of official documents from dozens of governments are now accessible through intuitive searching with filters such as location, date, subject, or language. Users can also browse topics by exploring themes or collections like the Database on Inter-Korea Relations and popular subjects such as the Warsaw Pact or the Cuban Missile Crisis.”

From a Wilson Center press release, Extensive Collection of Declassified Materials Now Accessible, Searchable in New Digital Archive

Flipping the Classroom: A revolutionary approach to learning presents some pros and cons

Back in 2007, two high school science teachers in Woodland Park, CO, decided to try a “crazy idea.” “We said, ‘What if we stopped lecturing and committed all our lectures to videos?’” says Jon Bergmann, now the lead technology facilitator at the Joseph Sears School in Kenilworth, IL. He and fellow educator Aaron Sams posted their short films—15 to 20 minutes long—for students to watch at home. (Parents could also look and say, “Oh, I see how the teacher wants it done!” says Bergmann.) Their goal? “Do what’s best for your kids,” says Sams, who went on to coauthor Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day (ISTE, 2012) with Bergmann.”

“”Flipping the classroom lets school become a place for talking, doing group projects, and getting individual help from teachers—and lets home become a place for watching instructional videos. “The class time that would have been spent on the stand-and-deliver lecture model is now spent working on problems,” says Robert Adhoot, a math teacher who started videos four years ago. “The teacher walks around and helps everyone. It’s not a get-out-of-jail-free card for teachers not to teach.” It’s also not a way for kids to get out of doing anything at home. “Flipping what the kid does means they do the work ahead of time, come to class, and debrief,” explains Michelle Luhtala (aka theIndispensable Librarian), head librarian at New Canaan High School in Connecticut.”

“Aside from the technology involved, it’s not necessarily a new idea. “In the 1970s, when I was a classroom English teacher, I flipped my classroom, and I didn’t even know it,” says Doug Johnson, the director of media and technology for the Mankato Area Public Schools in Minnesota. “I’d ask my kids to read the text at home, and then I’d use the class time to discuss the lesson. Now, instead of asking kids to read, we’re asking them to watch videotape lessons. I sense this is something like old wine in a new bottle.””

“Ideally, flipping the classroom gives kids “a personalized learning experience,” says Wade Roberts, CEO of Educreations, which makes a free iPad app that more than 150,000 teachers are using to make interactive video lessons. “The end goal is personalized education. The flipped classroom is just a means to that end.” Students can use the videos to learn at their own pace—any time or place, says Roberts. “These students can replay their teacher’s explanation of a new concept as many times as they need to without fear of holding up the rest of the class.” (Educreations’s website includes a feature that notifies teachers when kids ask questions.)”

From Karen Springen’s article for the School Library Journal,  Flipping the Classroom: A revolutionary approach to learning presents some pros and cons

First sale doctrine cited in case over the reselling of digital goods

“A federal judge is declaring as unlawful a one-of-a-kind website enabling the online sale of pre-owned digital music files.”

“ReDigi, which opened in late 2011, provides a platform to buy and sell used MP3s that were once purchased lawfully through iTunes.”

“The case weighed the so-called first-sale doctrine, the legal theory that people in lawful possession of copyright material have the right to resell it. U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan, ruling in a suit brought by Vivendi’s Capitol Records, said the doctrine did not apply to digital goods.”

“Saturday’s decision (.pdf) comes as online retailers such as Amazon and even Apple have patented platforms for the reselling of used digital goods such as books, music, videos and apps. Judge Sullivan’s ruling, if it withstands appellate scrutiny, likely means used digital sales venues must first acquire the permission of rights holders.”

““The novel question presented in this action is whether a digital music file, lawfully made and purchased, may be resold by its owner through ReDigi under the first sale doctrine. The court determines that it cannot,” the judge ruled.”

“The reason, the judge ruled, is because copying, or an illegal “reproduction” of a music file, takes place, despite ReDigi’s claims to the contrary.”

““Because the reproduction right is necessarily implicated when a copyrighted work is embodied in a new material object, and because digital music files must be embodied in a new material object following their transfer over the internet, the court determines that the embodiment of a digital music file on a new hard disk is a reproduction within the meaning of the Copyright Act.”

“Capitol Records, claiming ReDigi was a “clearinghouse for copyright infringement,” sued the Massachusetts-based startup and was seeking up to $150,000 in damages per track. The judge agreed with the label’s claims of direct, contributory, and vicarious infringement of Capitol’s reproduction rights, and said ReDigi had no fair-use defense to the infringement.”

“ReDigi said its customers had a right to upload their purchased iTunes files (.pdf) into ReDigi’s cloud. ReDigi claimed no copy of the file was made. And, under ReDigi’s technology, the original uploaded file that is sold cannot be accessed by the seller any more through ReDigi or via the seller’s iTunes account.”

“The judge, however, ruled that “the laws of physics” proved otherwise when it comes to copying files.”

“ReDigi’s technology cannot stop customers from file sharing or copying iTunes music purchases before they had uploaded them to the service.”

From David Kravet’s article for, Reselling Digital Goods Is Copyright Infringement, Judge Rules

Web Exhibit: The Art and Science of Book Conservation

“A web version is now available of the current Crerar Library exhibit: Under Covers:  The Art and Science of Book Conservation.  The physical exhibit is showing in the atrium of Crerar Library and will run until October 11, 2013.  “

“Description: Conservators at the University of Chicago Library keep collections safe and intact for future scholars by combining traditional craft with a knowledge of current research on processes of deterioration. Under Covers:  The Art and Science of Book Conservation reveals the techniques conservators use to preserve and repair materials in the state-of-the-art Conservation Laboratory in the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library. The exhibit explores issues affecting modern and older library materials and shows conservators employing the newest scientific research in their work.”

“This exhibit coincides with the American Library Association’s Preservation Week (April 21-27, 2013).  It will run March 26 – October 11, 2013.”

“More information about Crerar exhibits is available here:

From a press release in the University of Chicago Library News, Under Covers: The Art and Science of Book Conservation – new web exhibit

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