Archivists state most digital content is not stable

Check out an interesting arcticle at CBC News pointing out how most digitial content today is not stable


In the article, those who maintain New Brunswick's provincial archives are concerned that much of the digital content produced today is not going to make it into the future.

The article points out how susceptible digital media is to damage whereas audio tape that had been submerged in floods was so swollen it went off the reel, but yet the data was recoverable. If a CD had one-tenth of one per cent of the damage on one of those reels, it wouldn't play, period. The whole thing would be corrupted and lost.

Archivists say the domestic digital formats available to the average consumer, such as standard CDs and DVDs, are not stable and were never intended to be used for long-term storage.

Archivists believe a safe and foolproof way to save digital material is right around the corner, but until then, it's up to everyone to do what they can to preserve their digital documents. They say that if you want to preserve your visual and audio memories, make copies of copies on digital, but always keep any analog originals.


Library CD/DVD theft ... tip of an iceberg?

Take a look at: http://www.record-eagle.com/2007/mar/15theft.htm

A man steals CDs from the library and sells them in a mall. How stupid, eBay is much easier :)

In my opinion, this scenario is only a start of a wave that will force libraries to take extreme measures to protect whatever media collections they have. As libraries try to compete and purchase "latest greatest" CDs/DVDs, this kind of rampage is to be expected, especially since selling these things has gotten to be so much easier. Furthermore, since copying CDs/DVDs is so simple, the lure of stealing a good CD and then selling it multiple times is great...

And...if you think RFID will stop it... then I have a certain bridge that's for sale...

Any thoughts?


The Message behind self service kiosk interfaces

Mark Hurst from the goodexperiences.com blog
"Digital user interfaces like websites and kiosks are especially telling, because they combine many aspects of the company - marketing, technology, branding, and the service value itself - into a small area of on-screen real estate. Customer-centered home pages tend to be made by the most customer-centered organizations."

Which begs the question: "How can I reflect that my library cares about the customer (patron) via their self-check experience?

Some librarians (and even boards!) think that by installing self-check you're losing contact with the patron experience, while blindly forging ahead with more books, more media, and less staff to do it with.

That's why we at LAT developed the interface we have. Because it DOES make a

No splash page, waiting for the patron to guess the next step...
we have a repeating Flash animation (friendlier, bigger, brighter) that can guide you through a transaction without words or sounds - even though we have them

8 languages to show the diversity of patrons that we care about all of them

and billboard & browser windows to help throughout the transaction.

By buying a FlashScan self check, you do more than just provide freedom for both patrons and librarians alike - you make statement that you care about them.

Ha! In your face, Blockbuster, Netflix, et al.!!!!

Now all Sluggo's library needs is an allCirc tm


Is "Self" in "self service" really negative?

As I was cleaning out my office file, I came across an old note, from Duncan Highsmith (the son of the founder of Highsmith Inc.,) that referred to a conversation that I had with him over drinks year ago about terms and terminology. He mentioned that the term "self checkout" for a library was a very negative statement - it implies that you are the one doing all the work. Almost like, the work which was done before by someone else, will now be done by you - "self".

I guess it stuck in my mind, as I recall our recent two hour internal meeting at the launch of our expanded product line (allCIRC) of how difficult it was to make sure that the name that we choose projects positive feeling, for both the end-users (patrons) and the library staff (administrators). The importance of "feel" vs. "function". This mentality expands to other things as well. I recall a number of visits to our booths at various library shows of folks that would dedicate more time to the color of the "wood finish" rather than to the overall value of the offering that we had.

I guess even in the library world, we still cling to the old cliches and do still judge the "book by its cover"... hopefully our new allCIRC will change that :)