The National Archives of Australia developed and maintain Vroom – Virtual Reading Room ( Vrroom is like many systems in that it provides access to archival collection records and digitized materials. To those, Vrroom has added educational and contextual materials for a number of the items. Also, items are presented together in groups with more educational context for the group of items; thus, people can learn more about specific things/people/etc as well as the larger context for those items in relation to other items all in context together. From this description, Vrroom may seem like many educational websites. It is, but it is also an excellent example ofRead More →

UNESCO’s Global Open Access Portal (GOAP) lists many important Open Access initiatives and programs. One of those listed is the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC), for which the University of Florida is the technical partner. There’s more on GOAP below and more on dLOC on the dLOC site (, which is a cooperative digital library for resources from and about the Caribbean and circum-Caribbean. dLOC provides open access to digitized versions of Caribbean cultural, historical and research materials currently held in archives, libraries, and private collections. Global Open Access Portal The Global Open Access Portal (GOAP), funded by the Governments of Colombia, Denmark, Norway,Read More →

The University of Florida Libraries joined the HathiTrust Digital Library to expand digital access to orphan works, as announced July 14, 2011. As of July 19, 2011, the Orphan works list from the University of Michigan is now live. Much of the news on HathiTrust is focused on access to the digitized materials. That’s important and great work, but the orphan works list and clearing rights to make them accessible is enormously important work. Even if HathiTrust was only using the digitized materials as part of the components to power the orphan works list, it would be an excellent use of resources. Libraries and culturalRead More →

“Why Linked Data is Not Enough for Scientists” is an excellent article dealing with the very real and very complicated factors, over and above access, that impact data reuse. “Abstract—Scienti?c data stands to represent a signi?cant portion of the linked open data cloud and science itself stands to bene?t from the data fusion capability that this will afford. However, simply publishing linked data into the cloud does not necessarily meet the requirements of reuse. Publishing has requirements of provenance, quality, credit, attribution, methods in order to provide the reproducibility that allows validation of results. In this paper we make the case for a scienti?c dataRead More →

International Publishers and Librarians Agree to Enhance The Debate on Open Access Geneva/The Hague 20 May 2009 – For immediate release A joint statement released today by the International Publishers Association, the International Association of Scientific Technical and Medical (STM) Publishers, and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) calls for a more rational, evidence based debate on open access. It encourages experimentation and piloting of new concepts and ideas, whilst acknowledging that the differences in the different academic disciplines and publishing traditions may lead to differentiated approaches and business models in support of authors. The joint statement is intended to move theRead More →

The American Historical Association has a recent blog post over the problems caused by the lack of access to certain newspapers during transition from “Paper of Record” to Google’s news archives. The blog post notes: Regrettably, this proves yet again Roy Rosenzweig’s warning to the profession six years ago about the “the fragility of evidence in the digital era.” While it may be beyond our capacity to adjust copyright laws and the behavior of large corporations (however well meaning), as a profession we can and perhaps should develop new habits for working with digital materials—by copying down information when we see it online, and notRead More →

Before the Internet made information access faster and easier (and it continues to improve), libraries were already mass-sharing information through interlibrary loan. Interlibrary loan is such a simple concept–libraries share books with other libraries–but it was and continues to be carefully planned and implemented to ensure availability and access through cooperative collection plans, lists of records and methods for disseminating them (National Union Catalog, publishing bibliographies of what books were where), and agreements to make sure users know about the materials in order to request them. Thanks to interlibrary loan systems everywhere for making information available and accessible. Making information findable, available, and usable isRead More →

I’ve stolen the title of this post from Shawn Rider’s article “Why Nintendo Gets It” because the title explains the whole point of this post and because of the parallels between Google and Nintendo. Nintendo gets it because they understand that games are about playability more so than technological innovation and because they understand that innovation can be  evolutionary or sustaining as well as disruptive. Evolutionary or sustaining innovations build incrementally on existing structures, but disruptive innovation changes the whole landscape. The 8-bit NES to the Super Nintendo was an evolutionary or sustaining innovation, largely technological, but that technology enabled longer and deeper games. TheRead More →

Last week, UC Santa Barbara announced that they received a massive collection of aerial photography, valued at $14.3 Million, from Pacific Western Aerial Surveys of Santa Barbara. The collection includes more than 500,000 aerial images of 65 major metropolitan areas in the United States at the turn of the 21st Century (1999-2002). This is really amazing, especially so because UCSB Map & Imagery Library is home to the Alexandria Digital Library (ADL), so these materials will be preserved and accessible in the future.Read More →