Library:Digi-group Summer Sessions 2010

From UBC Wiki

Welcome to Digi-Group Summer Sessions 2010! Digi-Group was a support staff-initiated training and development program in UBC Library Technical Services offered in the summer of 2010.


A core team of five Library Assistants volunteered to plan and organize a series of short sessions on various topics related to digitization for all the staff members at the Technical Services. TS Management Group (TSMG) approved the plan and sponsored a 8-week program in July-August 2010.

TSMG allowed two hours per week per LA to plan and facilitate the summer's eight presentations. The LAs broke this time into a one-hour prep meeting and a one-hour presentation each week.

The LAs early on decided that the form of the summer's presentations would be organized as follows:

  • seven presentations on topics related to digitization and a final wrap-up session
  • an LA would choose a topic, find a speaker, book a room and act as facilitator for the presentation
  • to encourage involvement, a "passport" would be issued to participating staff. Attendees to a presentation would receive a stamp and for the wrap-up, anyone with four or more stamps would be included in a draw for a $50.00 main prize and other secondary prizes (TS Head, Mani Madewan, allocated $100.00 for prizes and up to $100.00 for refreshments over the eight-week summer series)
  • at the end of the summer, the experience would be documented and stored in a places accessible to others in the Library who might want to emulate the project

Session #1: cIRcle

Our speaker was Julia Thompson (cIRcle Digital Repository Assistant) from cIRcle, UBC’s Open Access digital repository and digital archive for scholarly output materials. Julia works with Hilde Colenbrander, the cIRcle Co-ordinator, and Tara Stephens, the cIRcle 2010 Olympics & Paralympics Librarian in the cIRcle Office at Koerner Library.

With the help of the UBC Library community and its partners, the cIRcle Office captures and archives the scholarly output materials from the UBC community. It also strives to ensure that all cIRcle items, i.e. cIRcle content, is made openly accessible, and preserved for future generations.

Some key factors presented included:

- types of cIRcle materials (who contributes to cIRcle) - copyright regarding cIRcle submission materials - receiving & archiving cIRcle licenses - facilitating cIRcle community & collection set-up - creating metadata - demo of uploading and reviewing files for submission & completion - creating metadata

cIRcle presentation by Julia T. and Bilkiss K.: File:CIRcle July 8.pdf

Session #2: File Formats

On July 15th, Robert Stibravy (Digital Initiatives Librarian) spoke about the file formats used in the process of digitizing documents at UBC Library. He described how the various files formats are used, the role each plays and what to consider when choosing the “right” format. Proprietary vs. non-proprietary formats, longevity, storage, preservation and file management were touched on. He also explained how some formats are “lossless” while others are “lossy”; meaning some files compress without loss of data while others loose data with each compression (i.e. with each "Save"). Rob also looked to the future of Digitization at UBC Library, asking the question “What do we want to be?”.

Brief overview of RAW, TIFF & JPEG: File:FileFormatsDigitalInitiatives.pdf

Rob Stibravy's presentation: File:Ts file formats presentation.pdf

Session #3: Scanning

This was a nice little field trip to IKLBC. The session was given by Larisa Halishoff (Digitization Project Coordinator) and Michael Conroy (Digitization Project Coordinator). We all walked over to the old entrance of IKLBC and walked down to the basement where the scanners are set up. This was more of an interactive session, we got to view various types of scanners such as the: Book scanner Cradle scanner, ideal for fragile materials Multi-page feeder flatbed scanner, ideal for flat and single paged materials large-format scanner, for items such as maps, newspapers, etc. and some other ones as well. Mani was at this session, and both of us had the opportunity to use the book scanner, we scanned a book, watched as they cropped and formatted the pages, added some metadata, and went through the OCR (Optical Character Recognition) process. OCR software can recognize non-Roman characters as well. Ex. Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew They also talked a little bit about file formats. All in all, it was a very interesting session. I think we all learnt a lot.

This document was the handout for the session on Scanning. File:Image Capture 101.pdf

Session #4: Licensing & Copyright

On July 29th, Hilde Colenbrander (cIRcle Co-ordinator) presented information licensing and copyright. Some of the information was general in nature, while other information focused on what was required by cIRcle before items could be accepted into the repository. She spoke about Open Access (partially a response to rising journal prices) and the Creative Commons license. She described copyright as being a bundle of rights automatically ascribed to the Creator of something. These rights can be signed away to others, such as Publishers. She also spoke about two tools for Authors dealing with Publishers: SHERPA & RoMEO. These tools describe levels of copyright policy with regard to self-archiving. cIRcle tries to deal with “Green” and “Blue” level publishers that allow the Author to submit a copy of their work to the repository. All submitters to cIRcle are required to sign a “Non-Exclusive Distribution License” that allows the submitted work to be freely accessible on the internet. However, if a publisher has an embargo period, that trumps the NEDL and the submitted material must be suppressed for the prescribed length of time.

In Canada, copyright is viewed as the life of the Author plus 50 years. Currently, there is a bill before Parliament (Bill-C32) that is intended to revise Canadian copyright laws.

Hilde Colenbrander's Presentation: File:Copyright 29 July 2010.pdf

Session #5: Archives

On August 5th, Erwin Wodarczak (Archivist & Web Site Administrator) delivered a presentation about University Archives and the UBC Digitization Project which began in 1995 with its aim to provide greater availability and accessibility to UBC digital collections. His presentation covered the physical handling, scanning practices, and metadata description of items being digitized.

A wide array of this digital content includes photographs/images, artwork, manuscripts, bookplates, letters, UBC annuals/yearbooks and other publications such as UBYSSEY, UBC Reports, and the TREK Magazine (formerly Alumni Chronicle). Interestingly, it also includes some documents via CDs and binders as well as audio visual files like DVDs, etc. Unless otherwise indicated, UBC Library owns the copyright to its digital collections.

In the spring of 1995, the UBC Digital Collections’ website was officially launched and, in 1996, it began with 1,250 images to more than 67,000 images to date--representing historical photographs ranging from senior UBC administration and faculty members (such as Frank Buck) to campus buildings and much more. The UBC Digital Collections’ software used is ContentDM (currently controlled by OCLC (Online Computer Library Center, Inc.)) and is searchable by Zapier Search (an open source tool offering better search capability with its own open source online community for technical support assistance when required).

Interesting Archives' Fact - Did you know? Frank Buck was a UBC faculty member and landscape architecture responsible for many of UBC landscape architecture staples recognized on campus from UBC’s earliest days to the present [i.e. The Frank Buck digital collection was one of UBC Archives’ early digital collections that became available.]

Image of University Archives' homepage: UniversityArchives-a.jpg

Session #6: Metadata

On August 12th, Susan Andrews (Principal Cataloguer) presented a talk entitled “Metadata and 'its' evolving use in libraries.” (“Its” is in quotation marks because “metadata” is strictly a plural noun.) Susan began her presentation with the explanation that metadata is data about data and walked us through the history of its use in libraries. From a 17th-century catalogue of rare books to the card catalogue, libraries always worked with metadata in the form of library catalogues.

With the advent of MARC format, metadata became online. Susan showed us how MARC, developed especially for libraries, was revolutionary in that once stored, the data could be indexed many times and be displayed in many different ways online.

Susan went further to discuss metadata for communities beyond the library. She talked about very popular Dublin Core with its very few rules and usefulness for web resource descriptions. She also discussed Qualified Dublin Core, which is commonly used for institutional repositories. She drew our attention to more metadata examples, such as MODS, VRAcore, EAD and ONIX. The last stop in the survey of the evolution of metadata was Web 2.0. She explained how “metadata gets personal” with such examples as RefWorks, Library Things and Zotero.

Susan concluded her presentation with her insight into the future direction for libraries. The importance of metadata grows as libraries have started combining metadata and inviting user participation in their catalogues and websites.

Susan Andrews' presentation: File:Metadata.pdf

Session #7: Preservation

On August 19th, Bronwen Sprout (Digital Initiatives Librarian) delivered the presentation, "Digital Preservation". Bronwen provided the TS Digi-group attendees with an overview of digital preservation (which is, the "active management of digital information over time to ensure its accessibility (policies, strategies, [and] actions"). She defined how digital preservation and any lack thereof impacts and raises challenges for libraries, archives, and other institutions. She also identified some key strategies being used along with the best practices for managing current and future digital collections.

Bronwen made reference to and explained some important digital preservation and management terminology such as TDR (Trusted Digital Repository), OAIS (Open Archival Information System), TRAC (tool for audit certification for TDRs), LOCKSS network (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) between UBC and other COPPUL members in Western Canada. Other content-focused systems also mentioned were CONTENTdm, DSpace (cIRcle's software platform), OJS (Open Journal Systems) to name a few examples.

For an animated look at the importance of digital preservation regarding digital collections, be sure to check out the video showcased at the beginning of Bronwen's presentation provided below.

Bronwen Sprout's presentation: File:DigitalPreservation ts.pdf

Session #8: Wrap-up

The wrap-up session was a re-cap by facilitators of all the presentations that had happened over the summer. Passports with four or more stamps were put into a box and winners were drawn between re-caps. After the re-cap, participants and organizers socialized while informally discussing the information learned over the summer. Positive feedback encouraged everyone involved think about similar, future events.

Final Notes

Over the eight weeks of the Digi-group Summer Session, there were 161 attendees at the presentations and wrap-up. Almost every session was "sold out" (the room was at or over capacity). There were even a few people turned away due to lack of space... some from outside the Technical Services Division.

This experience was not only a direct learning experience for anyone attending the sessions, but also an indirect learning experience for the LAs who organized the topics, made the room bookings and recruited the speakers. Knowledge picked up along the way included:

  • use of Google Docs and creating slide presentations
  • being a facilitator
  • organizing meetings
  • taking notes during presentations
  • operating projector equipment
  • self-training on the UBC Wiki

The time allocated to the LAs was two hours a week: one hour for a prep meeting, one hour for the presentation itself. This time proved insufficient to organize everything, and so much was done -and willingly- on the group members' own time.

Everyone involved, from organizers to participants, found this to be a positive experience and would gladly get involved in similar projects in the future.

Digi-group Summer Sessions 2010 home page[[1]]