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Digital Libraries

Essay by   •  September 28, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,179 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,546 Views

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Table of content 1

Digital Libraries 2

What is a Digital Library, how would you define a digital library? 2

Functional components of a digital library 3

Evolution of digital libraries 4

Factors facilitated development of digital libraries 4

Key benefits and limitations of digital libraries 5

Benefits 5

Limitations 5

Digital libraries examples 6

Open source digital library software 6

DSpace 6

Summary 7

References 8

Digital Libraries

What is a Digital Library, how would you define a digital library?

According to my research there is no clear definition for Digital Library. It should be "collection of documents in organized electronic from, available on the Internet or on CD-ROM (compact-disk read-only memory) disks, but meaning "Digital Library" is too broad to define in my opinion. Many definitions could be similar but there are some differences after all. Database can be called digital library, also some online collection of movies, music, etc. can be also called a digital library.

ODLIS (Online Dictionary of Library and Information Science) which is designed as hypertext reference resource for library and information science professionals, university students, and users of all types of libraries.

WTEC (World Technology Evaluation Center) which can be defined as set of services for capturing, cataloguing, storing, searching, protecting and retrieving information services.

As R.David Lankes (professor and Dean's Scholar for the New Librarianship at Syracuse University's School of Information Studies, the director of the library science program for the school and director of the Information Institute of Syracuse) stated: "The more we know about digital libraries, the harder they are to define"

Functional components of a digital library

Digital objects - can be a data sets (table of results, genomic information) or multimedia types of objects such as images, animations, sounds, music performances. However all of these have to be "born digital" or go through the process of digitization. All of those mentioned object should have also copyright overheads which will protect intellectual property rights.

Staff - skilled and trained digital librarians. Digital objects are described, structured, summarized through cataloging process carried out by librarians and information is stored in catalogs.

Software - browsers, HTML tools, Databases, OCR, Imaging, Indexing, Browsers and document manipulation tools. These tools are used for storing, cataloging, indexing digital objects. Linking is another big part of this process, all digital objects has contain appropriate links so you can follow these links from cited works (or vice versa)

Hardware - servers, desktops, capture devices, storage and backup. For first time storage systems a ready to handle enormous collections of text, audio, video files etc. Recent development of processors and supercomputers is aiding those systems to handle all the operations on global base.

Evolution of digital libraries

1938 - H.G.Wells dreamed of world encyclopedia where human knowledge would be available everywhere "complete planetary memory for all mankind"

1945 - Vannevar Bush - vision about scholar consulting any book by taping its code on a keyboard. He eventually comes up with "Memex" machine - mechanical device based on microfilm technology based on combination of links between pieces of information, personal notes and notes from colleagues.

1950 - MARC (Machine-Readable Cataloging entering the library services in form of punched card applications.

1994 - Digital Libraries Initiative established through funding by the National Science Foundation, Advanced Research Projects Agency and National Aeronautics and Space Administration in the Unites States. (Initial grant of 24.4 million USD)

Factors facilitated development of digital libraries

First of all there was a demand for information, more and more people and institutions require more and more information on daily basis. Especially younger generation is not to keen to visit traditional libraries due to fact its time-consuming and searching for particular object in traditional library can be difficult. Another factor is storage capacity.

There is no traditional library in whole world that can possibly store same amount of information as traditional library. Compare to traditional libraries, digital libraries are cheaper to maintain. As last but not least factor would be environmental

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