The increasing prevalence of digital information systems and technologies compels libraries across the globe to update systems and provide users with a digital experience outside the confines of the structural library, providing useful benefits to the user while creating new areas of concern such as digital information preservation.
Developing Sustainable Digital Libraries: Socio-Technical Perspectives presents a compilation of articles discussing the benefits and challenges of digital information and library digitization. Scholars from around the globe investigate web application development, techniques for digital conversion, composition of digital libraries, digital environments, and much more. This reference work proves valuable to the study and enhancement of digital information systems and technologies, and in assisting practitioners in the implementation and building of such systems and applications.
PrefaceDigital information has occupied a central place in our lives today. Libraries are acquiring digital information and providing access to users. Most of the information accessed today is digital, Internet playing an important role in the process. Even analogue information is being converted to digital for ease of access and use. Digitisation that was initiated as project in different institutions is now gaining ground. Libraries are digitizing their collections to make their presence felt outside the physical environs of the library. With all the benefits of digitized information, there are certain issues that invite discussion. Preservation of digital information, the phenomena of digital divide are some of these that are being discussed in professional circles. The present book is a compilation of articles on different aspects of digital information. Contributors in the book are from different fields and diverse backgrounds. A blend of young and old, the theoreticians and practitioners have contributed to the book.
The book, Developing Sustainable Digital Libraries: Socio-Technical Perspectives is spread over 17 chapters. The first chapter “Building Sustainable Digital Libraries,” by Dr. Tariq Ashraf and Ms. Puja Anand sets the background for the theme. It dwells on the concept, development, issues and achievment of digital libraries. It also discusses the role of DL in learning.
The second chapter by Dr. S.C. Jindal, “Digital Libraries and Scholarly Communication: Issues and Perspectives,” examines various components of scholarly communication in the context of digital technologies as being applied in libraries. It highlights the role of digital environment in research. The Chapter provides both a historical and contemporary perspective of digital library movement and discusses issues like sustainability and preservation. The author observes that research libraries have begun to take on the provision, organization and preservation of digital information with the same long-term commitment they have made for print materials.
Chapter 3 and 4 focus on the technological aspects of digitisation. Anyone interested in knowing the details of the techniques and equipments for digitizing would find these two chapters of use. A student learning digitization as well as a librarian interested in digitizing his/her library will find useful tips in these two chapters.
Blogging as a tool to outreach users in academic libraries is the subject of chapter 5. It is an important component of digital libraries, that allows for timely two-way communication of information, bibliographic instruction, and news. It discusses the history and value of blogging. There are some case studies of blogging that demonstrate its use in libraries.
“Web 2.0 and Social Web Approaches to Digital Libraries,” by Dr. Arun Kumar Chakraborty, analyzes the integration of social annotations – uncontrolled user-generated content – into digital collection items. It briefly summarizes the value of annotations and finds that there is conceptual room to include user-generated content in digital libraries that they have been imagined as forums for social interaction since their inception, and that encouraging a collaborative approach to knowledge discovery and creation might make digital libraries serve as boundary objects that increase participation and engagement. Chapter 7 by Manisha Saksena, “Information Preservation and Information Services in the Digital Age,” discusses the strategies of storage and preservation. Information services in the digital age and their benefits have also been discussed.
David Giaretta dwells on the challenges of digital preservation, infrastructure needed in preservation. The chapter discusses the OAIS reference model for preservation. Also discussed are the threats and challenges to preservation. There is a description of the implementations of tools and infrastructure components to support repositories in their task of long term preservation of digital resources, including the capture and preservation of digital rights management and evidence of authenticity associated with digital objects .
In their chapter, “Digital Reference and Information Services in Digital Environment,” Shantanu Ganguly and Shweta Pandey begin with an important concept, information literacy which assumes importance in the era of digital information. After presenting a review of literature on digital reference service, issues in digital reference service are discussed. E-publishing which has a bearing on digital reference services has also been discussed. Web enabled reference services and marketing digital services also find a place in the chapter.
Chapter 10 by Bharat Kumar presents a description of digital repositories in India. It provides a comparative picture of the scope and software used in different digital libraries in India. Digital Library of India and Traditional Knowledge Digital Library, two important digital libraries, have been discussed at length in the chapter. The chapter, “Collaborative Digital Library Development in India,” by Dr. Anup Kumar Das and others addresses and documents some of the prevailing social networking issues affecting Indian digital library initiatives, particularly the collaboration patterns among participating institutions as well as funding agencies. It also tries to identify social relationships amongst the networked institutions in terms of nodes and ties. The chapter critically appraises the formation of a formal social network in the DLI project embracing local memory institutions across the states of India as well as the funding agencies.
There are a number of advantages of digtising information. But a serious issue that has cropped up due to it is the unethical use of information. Intellectual Property Rights ( IPR) has come up as one of the most important and debated issues due to digital information. The chapter discusses all the issues in detail.
Preserving cultural heritage by digitizing information is one of the major advantage of digitization. Dr. Ramesh Gaur in his chapter, “Facilitating access to Indian Cultural Heritage: Copyright, Permission Rights and Ownership issues vis-à-vis IGNCA Collections,” presents an overview of the problems involved in accessing and providing services based on digitized heritage collections.
Chapter 14-17 discuss issues related to empowerment of the masses by digitizing information. Digital divide is a serious issue affecting the society due to unequal access to information. Different issues related to digital divide as well as overcoming the same have been discussed in different contexts by authors in these chapters. Examples of libraries putting efforts to overcome digital divide have been given. Efforts by the Government in this regard by establishing information kiosks and knowledge village centres have also been discussed.