Friday, February 22, 2008

The Source: news about digital libraries and library innovations from around the web

Introducing The Source

Canadian Digital Information Strategy - Responses now posted

From Library and Archives Canada

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has announced that the responses received to the Draft 2007 Canadian Digital Information Strategy are posted.

Readability of Scanned Books in Digital Libraries (Note: PDF)

From the Human-Computer Interaction Lab, University of Maryland

Displaying scanned book pages in a web browser is difficult, due to an array of characteristics of the common user’s configuration that compound to yield text that is degraded and illegibly small. For books which contain only text, this can often be solved by using OCR or manual transcription to extract and present the text alone, or by magnifying the page and presenting it in a scrolling panel. Books with rich illustrations, especially children’s picture books, present a greater challenge because their enjoyment is dependent on reading the text in the context of the full page with its illustrations. We have created two novel prototypes for solving this problem by magnifying just the text, without magnifying the entire page. We present the results of a user study of these techniques.

Enhancing Readability of Scanned Picture Books (Note: PDF)

From the Human-Computer Interaction Lab, University of Maryland

We describe a system that enhances the readability of scanned picture books. Motivated by our website of children’s books in the International Children's Digital Library, the system separates textual from visual content which decreases the size of the image files (since their quality can be lower) while increasing the quality of the text by displaying it as computer-generated text instead of an image.

The Metadata Coalface for Digital Repositories (Note: PDF)

From the VALA2008 14th Biennial Conference and Exhibition

In this paper we examine a range of metadata-related issues facing the developers and maintainers of digital repositories in Australia. We discuss metadata developments in the areas of digital preservation, repository interoperability, and collection-level discovery services in the context of a range of innovative repository projects designed to improve metadata creation, management and sharing within the Australian higher education and research sector.

Claim your space: re-placing spaces to better meet the needs of the Net Generation (Note: PDF)

From the VALA2008 14th Biennial Conference and Exhibition

The challenge for the Reid Library at The University of Western Australia was the transformation of a 1960s building into a welcoming space, with services and facilities appropriate for a more technologically demanding generation. A key issue was how to balance the continuing need for access to physical collections with the rapidly expanding demand for new kinds of learning spaces and facilities oriented towards on-line and collaborative learning and research. This paper outlines the approach taken to identify client needs (both physical and virtual), define and propose new service models, and transform learning spaces, while maintaining access to physical collections.

Do we remove all the walls? Second Life librarianship (Note: PDF)

From the VALA2008 14th Biennial Conference and Exhibition

Over five hundred librarians worldwide are experimenting with providing library services in the Multi User Virtual Environment (MUVE) called Second Life, including a small group of Australian librarians who constructed the Australian Libraries Building. This paper describes the interface and capabilities of a MUVE, the evolution of the Australian Libraries Building and the library objects built and scripted within it. It suggests some professional advantages for librarians who experiment within Second Life and the technical and managerial considerations of setting up a library presence there. It concludes by describing how Second Life library services have evolved, as librarians better understood the potential of the MUVE interface.

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