Saturday, December 6, 2014

9. Digital Library Planning and Implementation

इस ब्लॉग्स को सृजन करने में आप सभी से सादर सुझाव आमंत्रित हैं , कृपया अपने सुझाव और प्रविष्टियाँ प्रेषित करे , इसका संपूर्ण कार्य क्षेत्र विश्व ज्ञान समुदाय हैं , जो सभी प्रतियोगियों के कॅरिअर निर्माण महत्त्वपूर्ण योगदान देगा ,आप अपने सुझाव इस मेल पत्ते पर भेज सकते हैं -

9. Digital Library Planning and Implementation

P- 01. Digital Libraries*

By :Jagdish Arora, Paper Coordinator

1.0 Introduction

The developments in ICT, especially the web, have led to the creation of a growing number of digital library projects in world wide. Because of World Wide Web, access to the Internet has become part of our daily life and more users  need to search indexed collections. Due to information explosion,  fundamentally new technology is needed to support this new search and indexing functionality through in digital world.

Basically the purpose of digital libraries is to bring the efficient and effective search to the Net.

Digital libraries differ significantly from the traditional libraries because they allow users to on-line access to electronic full text documents, their associated images. Many digital libraries also provide an access to other multi-media content like audio and video. From the user point of view, digital libraries are systems that provide a community of users with coherent access to a large, organized repository of information and knowledge.

 Planning is a systematic process to create or development of any specific project. In the sense of digital library planning, a thorough study of the library’s existing system collection as well as the library’s vision is necessary to enable to prepare a good technology plan  and project proposal.

2.0 Definition of Digital Library

"Digital library is a library that maintains all, or a substantial part, of its collection in computer-processible form as an alternative, supplement, or complement to the conventional printed and microfilm materials that currently dominate library collections" (William Saffady)

"A digital library is a machine readable representation of materials which might be found in a university library together with organizing information intended to help users find specific information. A digital library service is an assemblage of digital computing, storage, and communicating machinery together with the software needed to reprise, emulate, and extend the services provided by conventional libraries based on paper and other material means of collecting, storing, cataloging, finding, and disseminating information." (Edward A. Fox)

"Digital libraries are organizations that provide the resources, including the specialized staff, to select, structure, offer intellectual access to, distribute, preserve the integrity of, and ensure the persistence over time of collections of digital works so that they are readily and economically available for use by a defined community or set of communities" (Don Waters).

A digital library is a collection of digital documents or objects. This definition is the dominant perception of many people of today. Nevertheless, Smith (2001) defined a digital library as an organized and focused collection of digital objects, including text, images, video and audio, with the methods of access and retrieval and for the selection, creation, organization, maintenance and sharing of collection.

Digital library, a global virtual library, is a library of thousands of networked electronics libraries. There will be a vast population of users scattered around the globe, who are able to access, easily and conveniently, the complete contents of thousands of repositories containing texts, images, sound recordings, videos, maps, scientific and business data, as well as hypermedia combinations of these elements.  The library must have a network based distributed system with local servers responsible for maintaining individual collections of digital documents.

The most basic form a digital library should encompass two functions such as:
a) Provide digital content to virtual, geographically dispersed users;
b) Pull in digital information electronically from outside sources irrespective of location.

3.0 Objectives of Digital Library

  • To collect, store, organise and access information in digital form via communication channels.
  • To meet the requirements of patrons by providing better services
  • To provide personalized and retrospective services in efficient way
  • To have large digitized databases
  • To save time of library staff by avoiding routine jobs
  • To provide coherent view of all information within a library in any format
  • To serve widely dispersed communities throughout the network
  • To minimize massive storage and space problem of large libraries
  • To reduce cost involved in various library activities.

4.0 Why Digital Libraries

  • to speed up the systematic development of the means to collect, store, and organize information and knowledge in digital form, and of digital library collections,

  • to promote the economical and efficient delivery of information to all parts of society,

  • to encourage co-operative efforts which leverage the considerable investment in research resources, computing and communications network,

  • to strengthen communication and collaboration between and among the research, business, government and educational communities, to contribute to the lifelong learning opportunities of all people.

5.0 Characteristics of Digital Library

The term digital library may mean different things to different people, but it is not merely a collection of electronic information. It is an organized system of digital information that can serve as a rich resource for its user community.

digital library emphases the equitable and timely access to a vast amount of  diverse resources in a shared mode in a given specialty, lifting traditional barriers of time and space. 

Digital libraries may have the following characteristics associated with them

1. Digital Libraries are the digital counterparts of traditional libraries and include both electronic (digital) as well as print and other (e.g. audio, video, graphics, animation etc) materials.

2. digital library owns and controls the information. It provides access to information, not just pointers to it

3. A digital library has a unified organizational structure with consistent points for accessing the data.

4. digital library is not single entity, it may also provide access to digital material and resources from outside the actual confines of any one digital library.

5. Digital libraries support quick and efficient access to a large number of distributed but inter linked Information sources that are seamlessly integrated.

6. Digital libraries have collections that ( I ) are large and persist over time; ( ii ) are well organized and managed; ( iii ) contain many formats ( iv) contain objects and not just their representation; (v) contain objects that may be otherwise unobtainable.

7. Digital libraries include all the processes and services offered by traditional libraries, though these processes will have to be revised to accommodate differences between digital and paper media .

6.1 Stand-alone Digital Library (SDL)

This is the regular classical library implemented in a fully computerized fashion. SDL is simply a library in which the holdings are digital (scanned or digitized). The SDL is self-contained - the material is localized and centralized.

6.2. Federated Digital Library (FDL)

This is a federation of several independent SDLs in the network, organized around a common theme, and coupled together on the network. A FDL composes several autonomous SDLs that form a networked library with a transparent user interface. The different SDLs are heterogeneous and are connected via communication networks.

6.3. Harvested Digital Library (HDL)

This is a virtual library providing summarized access to related material scattered over the network. . Examples of HDLs are the Internet Public Library (IPL).

  1. A HDL holds only metadata with pointers to the holdings that are "one click away" in Cyberspace.
  2. Developed by Library Professionals,  or Computer Scientists

7. Benefits of Digital Libraries

Digital libraries bring significant benefits to the users through the following features:

i. Improved access
Digital libraries are typically accessed through the Internet and Compact Disc-Read Only Memory (CD-ROM). They can be accessed virtually from anywhere and at anytime. They are not tied to the physical location and operating hours of traditional

ii. Wider access
A digital library can meet simultaneous access requests for a document by easily creating multiple instances or copies of the requested document. It can also meet the requirements of a larger population of users easily.

iii. Improved information sharing.
Through the appropriate metadata and information exchange protocols, the digital libraries can easily share information with other similar digital libraries and provide enhanced access to users.

iv. Improved preservation.
Since the electronic documents are not prone to physical wear and tear, their exact copies can easily be made, the digital libraries facilitate preservation of special and rare documents and artifacts by providing access to digital versions of these entities.

 Functional Components of Digital Library
Most digital libraries share common functional components. These include:

i. Selection and acquisition
The typical processes covered in this component include the selection of documents to be added, the subscription of database and the digitization or conversion of documents to an appropriate digital form.

ii. Organization
The key process involved in this component is the assignment of the metadata (bibliographic information) to each document being added to the collection.

iii. Indexing and storage
This component carries out the indexing and storage of documents and metadata for efficient search and retrieval.

iv. Search and retrieval
This is the digital library interface used by the end users to browse, search, retrieve and view the contents of the digital library. It is typically presented to the users as Hyper-Text Mark-up Language (HTML) page.

These mentioned components are the important characteristic of digital library, which differ it from others collections of online information. 

8. Planning

Planning involves identifying various tasks related to digital library collection, developing strategies, identifying required resources and formulating a timeline for accomplishing these tasks. In case, digital project is large one, you have to  conduct a feasibility study to assess the viability of the project before detailed planning. The outcome of the feasibility study could be a formal proposal for obtaining management approval or grant for the project.

The first step in planning a digital library collection development project is to specify the need for creating the digital library collection, its purpose and target user community. The purpose could be improving preservation of some rare or delicate materials, improving access to and the visibility of certain material or facilitating re-use of documents.

Need to define the sources for digital library collections and the key attributes of this sources ie. staff publications, working papers, theses, dissertation, project reports, audio and video lectures, songs and musical scores etc. There is also the need to specify what portion of the material is to be digitized and assess copyright restrictions. Define what type of collection is required whether  static or dynamic and also indicate the type of usages,  allow to  the users to adhere to.....

The conversion of the source materials available in hardcopy into a digital format is major task. There should be a clear cut statement about the related requirements and their processes, ie  How to convert the source material into required digital format.  What are the digitization requirements? The workflow involved in digitizing the source material.

There is the need to define how the project is going to be implemented and major milestones and time requirements.

8.1 Feasibility

First, it is necessary to conduct a feasibility study of the digital library project. The feasibility should  be established not only in terms of the availability of tools and expertise, but also the factors like volume/numbers of documents to be covered in the process of digitization target audience, demand for material to be digitised and users requirements. The study should also assess whether the library can take up the project in house or should it be out sources. 

8.3 Hardware and Software Planning

The requirements of hardware and software for the server and network components may be worked out with their financial implications and network components. Connectivity and bandwidth required for hosting the digitized collection  may also be planned. 

8.4 Human Resource Planning

Human resource needed to be worked out in terms of staff time involved, training of existing staff  and recruitment of new staff with desired skills. Human resource planning would depend on  whether the library is  going for in-house digitization  or for outsourcing  the process of digitization. The project management continues to be  an important issue even if  the digitization work is  out sourced.  The management of the project may be divided in groups with responsibilities defined . Communication between the groups and a reporting structure may be laid down to facilitate  unambiguous  communication among the groups and the staff     

8.5 Financial Planning

Financial planning is crucial. Identify the resources and money required for creating and maintaining digital  collections. Workout the required  budget for  information technology (IT) infrastructure for setting up and maintaining  the digital  collections, skilled  personnel,  migration cost from one medium to another and from one computer to another may be built in. Cost of hosting the services and their maintenance should also be planned.

9. Digital Library Implementation

Planning is followed by implementation. That is getting down to the actual  steps required to set up the collection. This means that there must be a need to obtain the management approval for the plan and the required resources before proceeding with the implementation.

There is a need to identify and designate a project manager to lead the implementation of the digital project. For large digital library projects, it is essential to have a full time project manager for the project period.

The Implementation of a digital library project involves the following activities.

i. Establish the project team
ii. Set up the Information Technology (IT) infrastructure
iii. Procure and install digital library software
iv. Finalize policies and specifications
v. Complete arrangement of workflow for digitization
vi. Set up the digital library collection site in case of Internet distribution
vii. Obtain copyright permissions and
viii. Release the digital library collection for use.

9.1 Promotion and Provision of Services

The digital library collection should be visible on web and easily accessible . Proper metadata creation link with full text articles/contents. Well defined display formats and other related on-line services in the organization. In addition to, or in the absence of remote on-line access to the digital collection, there is the need to explore other modes of providing access to the digital collection.

These may include:
i. Setting up local public access computers on the library Local Area Network.
ii. Provision of e-mail based services and 
iii. CD-ROM based distribution of the collection. 

10. Purchase of Hardware and Software

Choice of technology and the equipment required may be made. These include storage and back up devices, network equipment regained, software for search and access and other related items. The software may be acquired or developed in-house. The following steps may be followed in this regard;

i.)Acquire and install hardware and software;

ii.) Acquire and install the network required for hosting the digitised collection. Consider bandwidth requirements depend upon the media offered by the digital library. While simple text requires relatively low bandwidth to deliver content images and video require large bandwidth ; and

iii) Acquire and install other components.

10.1 Selection of Material for Digitisation and Born Digital

In the process of execution of the project, the first task is to identify, select, and to prioritise the documents that are to be digitised. If the organisation is itself creating contents, strategies are to be laid down to capture 'born digital' data. if the documents are available in digital form they can be easily converted to other formats. If the selected material is from external sources, IPR issues need to be resolved. It is necessary to obtain permission from the publishers and data suppliers for digitisation, if material being digitised is not available in public domain. Moreover, decision may be taken whether to OCR the digitised images. Documents selected for digitisation may already be available in digital format. It is always economical to buy e-media, if available than their conversion. Moreover, oversized material, deterioting collections, bound volumes of journals, manuscripts etc., would require highly specialized equipment and highly specialised manpower.

  • Developing institutional policies on selection for digitization
  • Assessing collections
  • Existing projects
  • When is it advisable not to digitization?

While selecting content to digitize the following aspects should be taken  care;

  • Copyright
  • Works in the public domain
  • Exception to copyright; library and preservation copying and fair use
  • Getting permissions to use copyrights materials
  • Potentially sensitive materials
  • Caretaking online content
  • Managing copyright of digital materials
  • Managing or restricting access

10.2 Placement and Training of Manpower

Since the entire job of developing and or maintaining a digital library is a highly skilled one, there should be no compromise or slackening in the quality on intake or selection of manpower for the job. Also, even if good quality manpower is positioned, they usually need training to upgrade and sharpen their skills for this job. So, necessary training, should form a component of the execution of the project.

11. Placement and Training Manpower

Since the entire job of developing and or maintaining a digital library is a highly skilled one there should be no compromise or slackening in the quality of intake or selection of manpower for the job. Also, even if good quality manpower is positioned, they usually need training to upgrade and sharpen their skills for this job. So, necessary training, should form a component of the execution of the project

12. Content Creation

The steps involved in content creation includes the following;
i) Conversion of datasets that are born digital for example, convert MS Word file into PDF;
ii) Conversion of the existing printed sections into digital format (digitisation) and;
iii) Identification of vendors if the digitisation work is to be outsourced

13. Execution of the Project

Once the equipment and software and other infrastructure facilities are installed of positioned, and the priorities of the documents for digitization laid down, the execution of the project starts.  The library may use digital library software like Green stone digital library, or Dspace, or E-print etc.

14. Conclusion

Digitization has opened up new audiences and services for libraries, and it needs to be integrated into the plans and policies of any institution to maximize its effectiveness. Digitization is a complex process with many crucial dependencies between different stages over time. Utilizing a holistic life-cycle approach for digitization initiatives will help develop sustainable and successful project.

It is hoped that the approach of the issues outlined, the software mentioned in this paper and the references to more detailed source and past project will contribute to the future success of initiating digitization of library resources. Implementation includes all activities after management has decided to automate the library and approved the plan. 

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