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Digital Public Library of America

Digital Library Digest: April 11, 2013

European Commission welcomes Member States’ endorsement of EU Open Data rules

The European Commission welcomes endorsement by the EU Council’s ‘Coreper’ committee (EU Committee of Member States’ Permanent Representatives)of the Commission’s effort to open-up public sector data for re-use across Europe (see IP/11/1524).”

“Once fully implemented into national law, the revision of the 2003 Public Sector Information Directive would make all generally accessible (that is, non-personal) public sector information available for re-use. Developers, programmers, businesses and citizens will be able to get and re-use public sector data at zero or very low cost in most cases. They will also have access to more exciting and inspirational content, for example including materials in national museums, libraries and archives.”

“European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes said: “Opening up public data means opening up business opportunities, creating jobs and building communities. I welcome the Council’s agreement to this culture change.””

“The proposed new rules now need to be formally approved by the European Parliament.”

“Background: Public Sector Information refers to non-personal data produced, stored or collected by public sector bodies. Studies show that wider availability of public data could boost economic activity by tens of billions of euros per year across the EU.”

“When fully implemented, proposed new rules would:

  • Create a genuine right to re-use public information, not present in the original 2003 Directive;
  • Expand the reach of the Directive to include libraries, museums and archives;
  • Establish that public sector bodies can charge at maximum the marginal cost for reproduction, provision and dissemination of the information. In exceptional cases, full cost recovery (plus a reasonable return on investment) will remain possible;
  • Oblige public sector bodies to be more transparent about charging rules;
  • Encourage the availability of data in open machine-readable formats”

From a European Union press release on Europa, Commission welcomes Member States’ endorsement of EU Open Data rules

Extending the Arc of Publishing: Preprints at PeerJ

“This month the open access journal PeerJ launched a new preprint server where scholars can post papers prior to submission for formal peer review and publication. Preprints are common in many disciplines, but have been unusual in the biology and biomedical areas that PeerJ focuses on. The culture of biomedicine and the academic overlap with highly competitive and potentially lucrative biotechnology and biopharm firms have retarded pre-publication release of results.”

“Pre-print servers are part of a growing trend. Over the last few years, the breadth of scholarly communication has begun to dramatically expand to support a life-cycle trajectory extending from the publication of small pieces of the research process in “nanopublications,” to the publication of pre-prints, and subsequently publications of record, often with post-print versions. With the launch of its preprint server, PeerJ hopes to capitalize on the growing comfort with pre-publication review and commentary that is increasingly accepted as a normal part of the publication lifecycle.”

“I was able to do a Q+A with the founders of PeerJ this last week, Pete Binfield and Jason Hoyt, to ask them more about their motivations.”

“PW: Why are you launching a pre-print server now?”

“PeerJ: Three reasons really:”

“Firstly, “Green Open Access” and the role of repositories are very important issues these days. The demand for Green OA is coming from both the top and bottom, and if you look at it, then the peer-reviewed portion of Green OA is covered by institutional repositories, but the ‘un peer-reviewed’ or draft versions of articles (i.e. the pre-prints) really have no major venues (at least not in the bio/medical sciences). So we view PeerJ PrePrints as one solution to that demand.”

“Secondly, academic journals themselves started out as non peer-reviewed venues for the rapid communication of results. Peer-review came about later on, evolving over centuries, to create something which has certainly introduced many positives for science. Still, ‘preprints’ also have many benefits that we no longer get to enjoy, because peer-review has come to dominate peoples attitudes towards what deserves to see the light of day. Now that more and more scientists are comfortable with the sharing attitude of the Internet (in part encouraged by the rise of Open Access), and as the costs of ‘preprinting’ are really quite low, it seemed like a good time to return to the roots of scholarly communication. Both peer-review and preprints have important roles to play in the ecosystem.”

“And thirdly, we believe that we are finally seeing a desire from the Bio and Medical communities for a service like this, but with no viable venue to meet that need. Just in the last year or two, we have seen biologists start to use the arXiv preprint server more (even though it really isn’t set up for their areas); we have seen services like FigShare and F1000 Research launch; and we have heard from many academics that they are eager to submit to something like this.”

From Peter Brantley’s article for Publisher’s Weekly, Extending the Arc of Publishing: Preprints at PeerJ

New Hampshire libraries say they’re busy in electronic age

“IF EVERYONE is using smart phones, e-readers and laptops for everything, do we still need public libraries?”

“Actually, New Hampshire librarians say they’re busier than ever.”

“State librarian Michael York noted library visits statewide were up 34 percent from 2006 to 2011, when more than 7.5 million visits were recorded.”

“There were 780,318 registered library patrons at New Hampshire’s 234 public libraries in 2011. And libraries held 38,392 programs that year, which 644,229 attended.”

“Kingston, Portsmouth, Jackson and West Lebanon all have new libraries, and new buildings have been approved in Sunapee, Durham and Bethlehem, according to the state Department of Cultural Resources.”

“For greying baby boomers, many offer lectures by scholars, concerts, book talks, travel programs and art exhibits.”

“There are writing, cooking and anime clubs for teens, story times for younger kids and family movie nights. There’s free computer use and wi-fi access, and meeting spaces where community organizations gather.”

“And when the power goes out, librarians say, their buildings are filled with local residents looking to warm up and charge their electronic devices.”

“Last Friday, nearly all 18 public computers in the reading room at the Manchester City Library were in use before 9 a.m. One man was looking for a truck to purchase, while a young woman and her tutor worked on an assignment.”

“Downstairs, children’s librarian Karyn Isleb was leading a dozen toddlers through a fast-paced hour of reading, songs and physical activity.”

“Kaitlyn Woods of Manchester comes every Friday with her 18-month-old son, Samuel.”

“”He gets to socialize with the other kids,” she said. “Obviously, reading is very important, so it gets him exposed to books at an early age.””

“And as a stay-at-home mom, she said, “It gets me out of the house.””

“Woods recalls picking out books at the library when she was a child, but doesn’t remember these kinds of programs. “It does seem they’re more focused on outreach to the community, trying to get people inside the library,” she said.”

From Shawne Wickham’s article for Union Leader, NH libraries say they’re busy in electronic age

NBC Sports sees move from New York City to new Stamford, CT  facility as chance to preserve video library

NBC Sports Group is hoping to preserve its historic video archives before the library falls victim to the effects of time.

“The network that was a pioneer in covering the National Football LeagueMajor League Baseball, the Olympics and myriad other sports, has hired a New Jersey company to digitize, catalog and store the group’s film and video library, representing up to 400,000 hours of sports-media content.

Darryl Jefferson, vice president of digital workflow at NBC Sports, said the division of Comcast Cable took advantage of its move from New York City to a new facility on Blachley Road in Stamford to hire Deluxe MediaRecall of Northvale, N.J., and tackle the project.

“”While the historical preservation of our media and reduced physical storage costs are welcome byproducts of such an enormous undertaking, the most compelling reason for NBC Sports Group to complete this migration is to reduce in-production turnaround times of critical deliverables to nearly zero,” he said. “With our new facility in Stamford, we engineered for true, file-based production, whether at our studios or in remote locations.”

“Jefferson estimated that NBC’s sports library goes back 52 years, but much of it cannot be reviewed because the needed equipment could not be found.

“”To lose this to deterioration would be a shame. This allows us to access the material instantly,” said Jefferson, adding that archival video is used to provide context to a telecast. A digital record makes the process less labor intensive and time consuming.

“The digitizing process has been an eye-opener for Jefferson because it has uncovered material that he didn’t know existed, including a short clip of football great Jim Brown going through a practice.

“”It’s exciting, but to see him so young — honestly, it was humbling,” he said.

“Deluxe, which has a staff of 2,000, is encoding to a digital master and applying metadata for all NBC Sports’ media. As the digital migration is completed, the new master files are imported into the group’s advanced media asset management system for search, discovery and file-based workflow delivery on a global basis.

“”We’re capturing about 9,000 hours of content a month. We are honored to be working alongside Darryl and his team to preserve and make readily available NBC Sports Group’s valuable content,” said Dan Glasser, general manager of Deluxe MediaRecall, a division of Deluxe Media Services. “Preservation of this is absolutely critical. I love sports. I saw early footage of Super Bowl IV. It’s the re-discovery of the players and moments that were part of your youth. It’s a wonderful project to work on.”

“Transferring the material from videotape and film to digital is essential, but just finding original material is challenging, said Daniel Durbin, director of the Annenberg Institute of SportsMedia and Society at the University of Southern California.

“He recalled trying to obtain sports film and video from KTLA in Los Angeles and was disappointed to learn that most of it had been discarded. Much the same has occurred across the nation.

“”The vast majority of broadcasts are long gone. The volume of the content that has been lost is tragic. NBC should be applauded for saving some of this history,” he said. “NBC is aggressively going after media platforms to monetize their content. It’s important to go digital now. This is important for historical research.””

From Richard Lee’s article for Stamford Advocate, NBC Sports sees Stamford move as chance to preserve video library

Iowa City library begins digital library effort

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — From piles of old photos showing an evolving downtown, to a Depression-era filmstrip focused on the debate over a proposed new high school, workers at the Iowa City Public Library are finding their latest project to be as timely as it is historical.”

“Library staff are scanning photos and processing film from Iowa City’s early years to establish a new digital history collection — a Web-based archive launching later this spring intended to preserve and highlight local historic and cultural materials.”

“The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports ( ) it will include a trove of photos from the city’s urban renewal efforts of the 1970s and early 1980s, when 10 square blocks of downtown buildings were razed, in part making way for the pedestrian mall and Old Capitol Town Center. The digital library also will feature a film from the 1930s titled “Does Iowa City Need a New High School?” — a strip made by a group leading the campaign for the construction of what would become City High.”

“With the future of Iowa City’s downtown and the possibility of a third high school among today’s hot-button issues, the old photos and movies will be of interest to more than just historians, the project leaders hope.”

“”We’d like to create a resource that expands our collection in a different way, but also one where it becomes more interactive with the community,” said librarian Candice Smith. “We want something that will be accessible for everybody, but also reflective of them. It’s a new way to reach out and get material, but also make some different connections with our community.””

“The library received a grant from Iowa City’s Noon Lions Club — a group that once included late local historian and Press-Citizen columnist Irving Weber — to purchase scanning equipment and set up a content management system. The Johnson County Historical Society provided the library with hundreds of negatives, prints and slides for the project, and librarians have spent the past year scanning and cataloging the materials.”

“The first batch of photos to be included in the digital library will focus largely on downtown Iowa City, from the turn of the century through urban renewal. The library hopes to expand that scope in the future.”

“I think it’s an area that’s going to grow,” said Maeve Clark, the library’s adult services coordinator. “People will be clamoring for more than we can do initially, but I think we can also get a corps of volunteers who can help us. There are a lot of things that I could think that could be an outgrowth of this.””

From Josh O’Leary’s article for SFGate, Iowa City library begins digital history effort