Generating Content from Local Color

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to be included in a project that focused on authors in the  county area. I found Karen Lenfestey to be easy-going, comfortable in front of the camera and well spoken. It is always a pleasure to work with professionals. Her books are available from the library and she regularly contributes to author workshops and panel discussions held at the library. It is this kind of content that adds to the user experience by highlighting local treasures. I think showcasing artists in the community personalizes the reader’s connection with writing, books and the authors themselves.


Chatting with the I.T. guy about storage

behold…the answer to all your problems. Hewlett Packard x1600

you find out the most interesting things….like how monstrous video files are (even when you have compressed the bujeezus out of them). At our current MPG2 settings one half-hour show takes up nearly a Gigabyte of space (900mb). The entire library’s ILS, mail system, staff storage, back ups, etc. fit nicely on a 6 TB server. We have that already in our playback system. We need storage….and lots of it. The other day my boss and I got a look at the new virtual server system that has just been implemented. What we saw was a rack with big ol’ storage devices, 48TB to be exact. That is what we want. The HPx1600, ladies and gents. You buy this and start packing it with 6Gig drives.

Hardware is easy. We need to establish our archiving practices before this behemoth ships. Naming Convention, Content Management System, Metadata, Controlled Vocabulary, Collection Development Policy, Accessibility. The list is a long one.

GarageBand WorkShop in YoungAdults

Last Wednesday saw the first ever YA GarageBand Workshop, happening from 7-8 PM. In it I used the department’s overhead projector to walk the participants through the main steps. The program was a blend of song writing theory and technical step-by-steps. Teens were given hands-on advice about the structure of songs such as the meaning of Verse and Chorus and the function of a Bridge, and insight into the workings of Apple’s Music Making Software, GarageBand. Each participant finished the workshop with a short song in MP3 format to share and save.

Did I ever PowerPoint on the importance of Metadata or what?

Me, Caroline Rubens, Colin Rhinesmith, Erik Mollberg

Yup, I went out on a limb and told a whole room full of gently dozing Alliance for Community Media attendees how I felt about Metadata and not one of them stood up, pointed a finger and shrieked “Imposter! I disagree! Dublin Core is CRAP! Don’t listen to her!” This is a small victory because I said some pretty racy stuff, like: “Don’t bother looking for digital video preservation standards because they haven’t got any.” The Library of Congress’ Fancy Pants Facility in Culpeper is migrating its SD video to JPEG2000. Which is nice, I guess. It might be a reality in 5 years when small time joints like PEG access centers can afford the cost of saving a file that has a very large bit rate.

“As to the question that opened this post – the “right” or “best” digital video file format for preservation – I teach a class for the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois about AV preservation and I get this question every semester. I answer the question by saying that there is no “one size fits all” format for digital video preservation.

Rather, the preservation professional must ask a series of questions about the workflow, size and means of their particular institution. There is also the issue of sustainability when choosing digital formats.” by this guy.

One of those questions about sustainability is “How do I know if any of this is worth migrating?” Here is an interesting Blue Ribbon Commission Report sponsored by e U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF Award No. OCI 0737721), the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the U.S. Library of Congress, the U.K. Joint Information Systems Committee, the Electronic Records Archives Program of the National Archives and Records Administration, and the Council on Library and Information Resources. This report talks about just such an issue on the large scale. So much of this digital content is so new that we don’t know how people are going to use it if they are going to use it at all.