Digital Libraries Overview and Globalization

Digital Libraries Overview and Globalization

Soh Whee Kheng Grace (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-879-6.ch058


Library digitization on a global basis is essential in the twenty-first century. The digital library development initiatives in most countries depend substantially on their national libraries. This chapter focuses on an overview of how national libraries of 14 countries in the Asia-Pacific region are involved in digital library initiatives. Most libraries participate in the collaborative efforts to build digital libraries with support from their government. Some focus on digitization and preservation activities, while others concentrate on digitization standards. Requirements for digital library implementation from a global perspective are essential. With the understanding of the current situation in Asia Pacific, we can understand the readiness of national libraries aiming for globalization in this part of the world, and action can be taken to achieve the aim. The globalization of digital libraries is what the world should be heading towards as we enter the next century.
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Overview Of Actions

There are 58 countries in the Asia-Pacific region (Foo & Theng, 2005), and these include countries in East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and Oceania. This section focuses on 14 countries, mainly four in East Asia—China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan; two in South Asia—India and Sri Lanka; six in Southeast Asia—Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam; and two in Oceania—Australia and New Zealand.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Protocol: A set of rules or standards that controls the connection, communication, and data transfer between two electronic devices or two computing endpoints.

Korean Machine Readable Cataloguing (KORMARC): A Korean standard for the representation and communication of bibliographic information in machine-readable form.

Infrastructure: The basic structure or features of a system.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR): The digital translation of images of handwritten, typewritten or printed text that is captured by a scanner into machine-editable text.

Middleware: The connectivity software that consists of a set of services that enables multiple processes interacting with one or more machines across a network.

Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI): An open organization engaged in the development of interoperable online metadata standards that support a wide range of purposes and business models.

Curation: The process of examining, testing, and selecting digital information to be included in a database collection.

Interoperability: The ability of different vendor devices to transmit data and exchange information, while having the total capability to process and act upon such information independently. This relies heavily on international standards.

Metadata: The structured data that describes the characteristics of a resource. It is data about data; a library catalog in digitized format.

Consortium: A cooperative arrangement among groups or institutions for a common purpose.

Digital Divide/Gap: The imbalance in resources and skills that create a gap between those people with effective access to information technology, and those without access to it.

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