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BY KIMBERLY JACKSON
LIS 670 – SPRING 2013
WHAT WE WILL COVER TODAY
• What is a digital library?
• Timeline of the digital library
• How do you digitize a book?
• Types of digital libraries
• Digital preservation
WHAT IS A DIGITAL LIBRARY?
Digital libraries are libraries where the collections are
stored electronically, or in digital format and are
accessed from the internet or a computer. (Greenstein
BASIC HISTORY OF THE DIGITAL LIBRARY
EXAMPLES OF DIGITAL LIBRARIES
• California Digital Library
• Google Books Library Project
• Gutenberg Project
• Open Library
HOW DO YOU DIGITIZE A BOOK?
Books are typically digitized by
using an overhead scanner which
creates an image of each page,
which is then OCR’d (Optical
Character Recognition) for full
searching, then uploaded and
made available on a digital library.
TYPES OF DIGITAL LIBRARIES
• Consumer Focused
• Activist Centered
ACADEMIC DIGITAL LIBRARIES
• Provide open access to materials for research
• Academic/Course reserves
• Digitized collections
• Preservation of rare, medium-rare and born digital items
• Some collections require student/faculty log-in, while others are open
FREE/PUBLIC DIGITAL LIBRARIES
• Access to materials throughout the world for users with Internet
• Selection is limited to items which are not under copyright
• Usually created by volunteers as a non-profit organizations
• Books/items can be uploaded and edited by individual users
• Social networking option is often included.
CONSUMER FOCUSED DIGITAL LIBRARIES
• Provides free books
• Provides books which are under copyright limitations, but can be
• Social networking is a key feature for sharing
• Books can be read directly on the site
• Wireless delivery
• Easily downloadable in various formats
ACTIVISM FOCUSED DIGITAL LIBRARIES
• Open access for anyone who can read and has Internet access
• Free to search, use and download
• Primarily in English, but some collections are in other languages
• Supplement formal education
INTERACTIVE DIGITAL LIBRARY
• Virtual library such as Second Life
• Interactions are similar to a real-life interaction in a library
• Great for people with disabilities or who are homebound
• Good for users who are familiar and comfortable with Second Life
• Makes books available for use online or downloadable electronic
• Helps to prevent further damage to damaged books
• Protects rare books which cannot be handled regularly without
• Helps to maintain collection of libraries which have issues with brittle
• Researchers from all over the world can access materials without
• Cost effective for libraries on a limited budget
• Gives more access to users, especially third world countries
• Access is usually free
• Not limited to just a computer, but also smart phones and tablets
• Preserves materials for future generations
• Maintenance costs can be high
• Experienced digital archivist’s salaries may be too high for library
• Software obsolescence
• Bit Rot
SOME QUESTIONS TO PONDER…
• Do you think that digital libraries solve Bush’s information overload
• What ways do you think digital libraries are helping to preserve
• Do you prefer reading books digitally or in print?
Bush, Vannevar. "As We May Think." The Atlantic Monthly, July 1945: 8.
Google Books. n.d. http://www.google.com/googlebooks/library/index.html (accessed April 8, 2013).
Greenstein, Daniel I., Thorin, Suzanne Elizabeth. "The Digital Library: a Biography." Council on Library and
Information Resources. December 2002. http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub109/pub109.pdf (accessed
April 9, 2013).
Hart, Michael. The Gutenberg Project Mission Statement. n.d.
(accessed April 8, 2013).
Internet Archive. Open Library: One Page for Every Book. n.d. http://www.openlibrary.org/ (accessed April 9,
Lesk, Michael. "Why Digital Libraries?" Michael Lesk's Grade Crossing on the Information Superhighway.
n.d. http://www.lesk.com/mlesk/follett/follett.html (accessed April 9, 2013).
St. Clair, Raj Reddy and Gloriana. The Million Book Digital Library Project. December 1, 2001.
http://www.rr.cs.cmu.edu/mbdl.htm (accessed April 8, 2013).