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National Digital Library

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I was asked to kick off a set of 7x7 talks for the National Library of New Zealand as they tried to figure out what the "National Digital Library" should be and do. I threw a few grenades in a …

I was asked to kick off a set of 7x7 talks for the National Library of New Zealand as they tried to figure out what the "National Digital Library" should be and do. I threw a few grenades in a provocative talk.

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  • Transcript

    • 1. National Digital Library Nat Torkington
    • 2. (1) The context
    • 3. 7. Purpose of National Library The purpose of the National Library is to enrich the cultural and economic life of New Zealand and its interchanges with other nations by, as appropriate,— (a)collecting, preserving, and protecting documents, particularly those relating to New Zealand, and making them accessible for all the people of New Zealand, in a manner consistent with their status as documentary heritage and taonga; and (b)supplementing and furthering the work of other libraries in New Zealand; and (c)working collaboratively with other institutions having similar purposes,
    • 4. 7. Purpose of National Library The purpose of the National Library is to enrich the cultural and economic life of New Zealand and its interchanges with other nations by, as appropriate,— (a)collecting, preserving, and protecting documents, particularly those relating to New Zealand, and making them accessible for all the people of New Zealand, in a manner consistent with their status as documentary heritage and taonga; and (b)supplementing and furthering the work of other libraries in New Zealand; and (c)working collaboratively with other institutions having similar purposes,
    • 5. 7. Purpose of National Library The purpose of the National Library is to enrich the cultural and economic life of New Zealand and its interchanges with other nations by, as appropriate,— (a)collecting, preserving, and protecting documents, particularly those relating to New Zealand, and making them accessible for all the people of New Zealand, in a manner consistent with their status as documentary heritage and taonga; and (b)supplementing and furthering the work of other libraries in New Zealand; and (c)working collaboratively with other institutions having similar purposes,
    • 6. 7. Purpose of National Library The purpose of the National Library is to enrich the cultural and economic life of New Zealand and its interchanges with other nations by, as appropriate,— (a)collecting, preserving, and protecting documents, particularly those relating to New Zealand, and making them accessible for all the people of New Zealand, in a manner consistent with their status as documentary heritage and taonga; and (b)supplementing and furthering the work of other libraries in New Zealand; and (c)working collaboratively with other institutions having similar purposes,
    • 7. 7. Purpose of National Library The purpose of the National Library is to enrich the cultural and economic life of New Zealand and its interchanges with other nations by, as appropriate,— (a)collecting, preserving, and protecting documents, particularly those relating to New Zealand, and making them accessible for all the people of New Zealand, in a manner consistent with their status as documentary heritage and taonga; and (b)supplementing and furthering the work of other libraries in New Zealand; and (c)working collaboratively with other institutions having similar purposes,
    • 8. NLNZ’s Digital Activities • Collect, preserve, protect, and share cultural heritage ... ONLINE. • Supplement other libraries ... ONLINE. • Work collaboratively with other institutions sharing purpose ... ONLINE.
    • 9. (2) The Internet
    • 10. The greatest machine yet devised for making copies
    • 11. Two-way
    • 12. Groups and conversations
    • 13. Connects people across space and time: open source, crowdsourcing, ...
    • 14. End-to-end principle: innovate at the edges
    • 15. Platforms (APIs, widgets, gibberish)
    • 16. The Cloud
    • 17. Cloud = making something someone’s else’s problem over the Internet
    • 18. “we don’t have all the smart people”
    • 19. “create more value than you capture”
    • 20. (3) Fit
    • 21. Lot we can do • Digital acquisition (harvest) • Digital preservation (scanning) • Digital access (web, audiovideo, APIs, CC) • Digital collaboration and support (groups, cloud)
    • 22. (4) Harsh reality
    • 23. We gots no $
    • 24. There’s more offline work than we can do.
    • 25. $ are rivalrous
    • 26. Revenue is scarce and speculative
    • 27. Government departments are frightfully conservative
    • 28. Sod it
    • 29. (5) Let’s dream
    • 30. Vision All NZ’s literary+ heritage digitally findable, usable, and preserved for generations to come.
    • 31. Google digitises everything • Because you can’t afford to do it any other way. • Because other nations are doing it and we don’t know what the benefits will be. • What if it all goes horribly wrong? Stop doing nothing because you’re afraid of doing something. Just stop it.
    • 32. Distributed Proofreaders improves it • Scans by anyone aren’t great. • OCR is crud. • Crowdsource corrections and updates.
    • 33. Turnbull’s backlog cleared by the crowd • Boxes without descriptions for individual items • We can fix that!
    • 34. Search and tagging makes it findable • 1.5 million books • 1 million photos • 60,000 maps • Umpty maps, drawings, paintings, and ephemera
    • 35. A Useful Corpus Fuels Research • The country has a useful corpus of meaningful text • Universities and polytechnics build programmes around it: computer vision, natural language processing, search, user interfaces • New Zealand becomes world leader in these disciplines
    • 36. Free content spreads NZ culture • Out of (c) works go online • Someone else profiting is a success • Inefficient to charge for it • Promote NZ culture to NZ and • ... we get the world for free
    • 37. NLNZ catalogue is built for the web http://natlib.govt.nz/photo/ http://natlib.govt.nz/photo/18236 http://natlib.govt.nz/book/ http://natlib.govt.nz/book/183745 • Survives software change • Gives people something to talk to • Lets you collect links
    • 38. Platform Services • Libraries: you don’t have to do it yourselves • Scan your stuff too • Hook into our proofreading • Value proposition: We’ll host it for you, you just worry about content.
    • 39. (6) Some keys
    • 40. Core competency of IT
    • 41. Digital integrated, not segregated
    • 42. We can’t do it all ourselves
    • 43. Another competency will be partnerships
    • 44. You shouldn’t do it all yourselves
    • 45. This isn’t about you
    • 46. It’s about all New Zealand
    • 47. Thank You

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