How To Build A Digital Library

Identity (Digital Library)

The Internet, in particular the World Wide Web, lends itself well to anonymous access. Rather, it lends itself to the appearance of anonymous access. In practice, as many people have discovered to their cost, users are often more identifiable than they realize. Anonymous use Librarians have always been concerned about protecting both freedom of expression […]

Working with Digital Collections

What is the point of your digital collection? Or, more precisely, why would anyone want to access the content? The beauty of libraries is that, no matter how you answer such questions, it is impossible to predict who will find your collection useful, or when, or how. The variety of possible interactions leads to the […]

User Contributions (Digital Library)

Ask not what your library can do for you, ask what you can do for your library. Paraphrased from President Kennedy’s inaugural address, 1961 Although the ALA Bill of Rights in Figure 2.1 asserts that libraries are forums for information and ideas, we have seen that libraries are really providers of services and users are […]

Presentation: User interfaces (Digital Library)

From People to Presentation Having reviewed the people in digital libraries and the roles they play, now we turn to presentation and what global users experience when interacting with digital libraries, which they invariably do through a Web browser. Recall the definition of digital library from topic 1. The definition begins by stating that a […]

Presenting Textual Documents (Digital Library)

If you want to build a digital library, the first questions that need to be answered are: What form are the documents in? What structure do they have? How do you want them to look? Documents, Topics, sections The book shown in Figure 3.1, Village-Level Brick making, is from the Humanity Development Library mentioned in […]

Presenting Multimedia Documents (Digital Library)

Next we consider multimedia documents: audio recordings and photographic images; video, which includes both image and audio components; and musical objects that can be presented in several different forms. Sound and pictures Some years ago, the public library in Hamilton, New Zealand, the small town where we live, began a project to collect local history. […]

Document Surrogates (Digital Library)

Traditional libraries manage their holdings using catalogs that contain information about every object they own. Metadata, characterized in topic 1 as "data about data," is a recently coined term for this information. Metadata is information in a structured format and its purpose is to provide a description of other data objects in order to facilitate […]

Searching (Digital Library) Part 1

Electronic document delivery is the primary raison d’etre for most digital libraries. But searching comes a close second—in particular, searching the full text of documents. Conventional library catalog searches are restricted to metadata, but digital libraries have access to the full content of the objects they contain. This is a great advantage. Figure 3.10: Document […]

Searching (Digital Library) Part 2

Query interfaces The search pages we have seen have minuscule query boxes, implicitly encouraging users to type just one or two terms. In reality, most queries contain only a few words. In fact, studies have shown that the most common number of terms in queries to Web search engines is—zero! People just hit the search […]

Metadata Browsing (Digital Library)

Browsing is often described as the other side of the coin from searching, but really the two are at opposite ends of a spectrum. One dictionary defines browsing as "inspecting in a leisurely and casual way," whereas searching is "making a thorough examination in order to find something." Other dictionaries have more verbose definitions. According […]