Personal archiving : preserving our digital heritage Ed. Donald T. Hawkins | review

Personal archives | Digital preservation | Electronic records managment

Reviewer: Stephanie L. Gross, MSLIS


Personal archiving : preserving our digital heritagePersonal archiving : preserving our digital heritage by Donald T. Hawkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reviewer bio:

I am an academic librarian whose primary responsibility is to oversee the electronic reserves component of Springshare LibGuides. Recently I was appointed to serve on the task group to explore, report and advice the establishment of an institutional repository at my university. Having already read much literature concerning IR, I have begun widening my reading to include material that examines IR and its various components from a variety of viewpoints, academic, technical and personal.

Review:

This book is an anthology created by specialists in libraries, archives and technology. It is a rich, yet succinct, volume compiled as a primer for lay individuals who are involved in archiving personal material. Much of the focus is on preserving, organizing and sharing memorabilia. However, true to expectation, an equal emphasis is given to the preservation of digital files from various formats. Some attention is devoted to records management, although that is from a more introductory, philosophical perspective. What I believe to be the strength of this work is its practical advice to both lay and professionals alike. It is specific and technical enough to satisfy academic librarians who are not trained as archivists. Often we are tasked with aiding and guiding library users (students and faculty) in the preservation of their personal data. Those who are interested in understanding specific aspects of establishing and maintaining an institutional repository, including the compilation and promotion of best practices will certainly need to research further. However, this handbook does indeed list and annotate various resources (e.g. Library of Congress, Internet Archives) which is extremely helpful. There are two chapters dedicated to the preservation of email from faculty, scholars and researchers. Much is made of the chronic conundrum of “store and ignore”, benign negligence, concerning the backing up of files and precious data. The mandate to keep up with current technology, upgrading equipment and the appropriate hardware and software is underscored. (A pitch for able institutions to take on this responsibility is made, especially regarding work by scholars and communities.) Budgeting is given sufficient space to gain an appreciation of the magnitude of the demands on resources, both monetary and human. The final chapters look into the future, including intelligent discussions and projections relating to issues of ownership, copyright and social media. Although various software firms and websites are mentioned by name and have already disappeared by the time of this writing, their absence does not diminish the usefulness of their mention. The principles and philosophy of the services remain valid into the present.

Recommended audience:

Public libraries, academic libraries, special libraries, archives, museums

Recommended added subject heading:

Institutional repositories.
Digital libraries.

View all my reviews

BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google by John Palfrey [review]

Libraries | Advocacy | Digitization | Data preservation | Book review

Reviewed by Stephanie L. Gross, MSLIS

BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of GoogleBiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google by John Palfrey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reviewer bio:
I am an academic librarian whose main responsibility has been to establish and maintain a large database for electronic reserves. I have a solid background in public service, and have mentored library school students and recent graduates for over 10 years. I am conversant in issues relating to access and technology relating to digitization of materials as well as those born-digitally. Since I follow library news on a daily basis, I read this book more as a review of the known, while noting sources for future use. Most of those concerned digitization of material and aspects relating to institutional repositories. A second focus was based on a new work responsibility, that of personal librarian to undergraduate honors students.

Review:
This volume was written by a “feral” librarian with a law degree. It included the major areas where and how libraries are ever-relevant today: users, spaces, platforms, hacking, networks, preservation, education and copyright. Noteworthy highlights for me were the discussions of how some librarians and advocates are reinventing libraries while acknowledging their tradition roles in democratic society. Public, academic, school and special libraries were included. The ‘hybrid-ness’ of libraries is emphasized, along with the innovative factor of digitization of a variety of materials. Risks are involved when print is not saved to backup data. “Data rot” happens when technology fails, but also when newer forms outpace older, obsolete ones. Budgets are stretched to accommodate both digital and analog materials. The author calls for the ‘collaboration’ among librarians, the establishment of library networks, consortia, and private as well as public funding. The conundrum of copyright, data rights and collection policies was briefly examined.

Additional Subject headings might include:

Digital libraries
Web archiving
Digital preservation
Archival materials – Digitization
Library materials — Digitization
View all my reviews

Eulogy for the Information Age: The Future is Impact Not Access

Advocacy | Access | Impact | New Librarianship

 

What Library Will Create the First Real Website? (Please Stand Up)

Libraries | Websites | Catalogs

Matt Smith | August 2, 2017

It’s 2017 and the website of every single library in the country suffers from the same old, cruel, schizophrenic, UX nightmare dichotomy: the website and the catalog, the website versus the catalog. Two products, two experiences, two silos, two staff members behind them. Both are wannabees. The website is almost a catalog, and the catalog is almost a website. And together they are redundant, cluttered, confusing, and pointless to patrons.

The first library to figure out a true single user experience – that is to say, a real website – gets Library of the Year.

Scratch that.
Library of the Decade.

I truly believe that. We have come a long way, but we need to jump this hurdle. Our online presence – specifically the home page – is now more important than ever, more important than our physical space. With eBooks and eAudiobooks integrating into Search (sort of), with various providers like Overdrive, Hoopla, 3M, and Zinio – all of which are confusing to patrons; with online articles (if you can find them), online registration, online room booking, and online programs (and don’t get me started on online library cards which still don’t exist)….

Yeah, the website matters.

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Source: What Library Will Create the First Real Website? (Please Stand Up)

The Next Generation of Librarians

Internships | Mentoring | Public librarians | Library School

June 22, 2017

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A librarian mentor talks with interns in a speed-mentoring round at the Public Library Association’s Inclusive Internship Initiative kickoff in Washington, D.C. Photo: Tracey Salazar

“How do you find a library and a position that fit your skill set and put you in a place where you will be happy?”

“How do you overcome the difficulties and hardships that come along the way?”

“Why are conversations about race so difficult?”

These were only some of the insightful questions asked by the 50 teenagers participating in the inaugural cohort of the Inclusive Internship Initiative (III). Made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Public Library Association (PLA), the goal of III is to introduce high school juniors and seniors from a wide range of racial and ethnic backgrounds to careers in librarianship.

Equal parts academic seminar and career coaching, III’s kick-off event June 16 at the Library of Congress put library leaders on call to answer big questions. PLA President Felton Thomas opened by noting, “The traditional stereotype has been evolving for a number of years, but now more than ever, public libraries are providing services—summer lunches, passports, social services—that we couldn’t have imagined 10 years ago. Future librarians must understand that we are going through a generational transition of what it means to be a public librarian.”

Read more…

New ACRL Report Highlights Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success

Academic libraries | Higher education | Information literacy

What to do with your MLIS degree: Landing a job with an MLIS degree | LibGig

Career Advice | Library School | Employment

The library is dead, long live the librarian.

Libraries are not dead, of course. Or, to paraphrase another popular expression, “The reports of the library’s death have been greatly exaggerated”.

Yet the confusion and even fear I am seeing in current and recent MLIS (Master of Library and Information Science) graduates has motivated me to weigh in with some reassurances and ideas on jobs to pursue with an MLIS degree.

Rest assured, your MLIS training and skills are valuable

The amount of new digital content being created every day is beyond human comprehension. Book publishing stats are mind-boggling; with e-books and self-publishing, it seems like everyone is an author these days. Digitization has blurred the lines between data and content. Technology does a lot, but now more than ever, there’s a need for human guidance and intervention.

The letters “MLIS” may not directly connect you to job opportunities and that credential on its own may not mean much to some employers. Your job search won’t always be easy, and it will require thinking outside the box and self-promotion. But jobs are out there, and the training and capabilities your MLIS degree has given you are valuable and needed. Go forward with confidence in your ability to find the right opportunity. Read more…

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