Monica Vladoiu
PG University of Ploiesti,

Digital Libraries (DLs)
DLs – not traditional libraries with bytes instead of books! DLs - not replacing traditional libraries! DLs - organized collection of information DLs – new tools for achieving human goals by changing the way the information is used in the world DLs – new ways of dealing with knowledge: preserving, collecting, organizing, propagating, and accessing it


Digital Libraries’ scope
DLs – have an immense range of applicability: exploring popular music or movies supporting instruction, education, and human development providing support for scientific research or topic-specific search preserving traditional culture helping propagate culture in a multimedia form and many more …


Digital Libraries’ definition
DLs – focused collection of digital objects, along with methods for access and retrieval, for selection and organization, and for maintenance of the collection digital objects include text, 2D- or 3D-graphics, animation, audio, video, simulations, dynamic visualisations, and virtual reality worlds the definition accords equal weight to user (access and retrieval) and librarian (organization and selection, and maintenance)

Librarian is essential
the librarian function are often overlooked by DL proponents who generally have a background in technology and approach this work from this perspective rather than from the viewpoint of library of information science

selection, organization and maintenance are central to the notion of a library

Terms to work with
data – recorded facts information – set of patterns, or expectations, that underlie the data knowledge – the accumulation of one’s set of expectations wisdom – value attached to knowledge

What to include in a collection?
all information is not created equal, and it’s the wisdom that librarians put into the library by making decisions about what to include in a collection and following up with appropriate ways of organizing and maintaining the information exactly these features distinguish DLs from anarchic mess that we call WWW

DLs need boundaries as well
DLs are libraries without walls, but they need boundaries • the very notion of collection implies a boundary: some things are in, while others lie outside it • every collection should have a well-articulated purpose, which states the objectives it is intended to achieve • every collection should have a set of principles, which are the directives that will guide decisions on what should be included and – equally important – what should be excluded 8/38

WWW, and websites vs. DLs
WWW - marked by lack of plan, order, or selection and organization; WWW - uncontrolled and uncontrollable Web site – even one that offers a focused collection of wellorganized material and provides appropriate methods of access and retrieval should not be considered a library libraries are storehouses where material can easily be added most well-organized web sites are created manually through hand-crafted hypertext linkage structure as adding new acquisitions to a physical library does not involve making rewriting on existing books, so it should be possible for new material to be included in a DL without any need for manual updating of the structures used for access and retrieval


what connects a new acquisition into the structure of a physical library is partly where is placed on the shelves, but more important is the information about it that is included in the library catalog this information is called metadata – data about data – this is equally important for DLs as well to be effective, metadata needs to conform to standards so that
• interoperability between different computer apps can be achieved • searchers can use a standard set of retrieval techniques to maximize their chances of finding the resources via a search engine


Traditional libraries –the oldest one which still exists!
Libraries are society’s repositories for knowledge Libraries are temples of culture and wisdom the oldest library is a collection of more than 2000 engraved stone slabs (steles), situated in Xi’an, an ancient walled city in central China with a long and distinguished history (established ca. 1100 A.D.) each stele stands 2 or 3 meters high and is engraved with a poem, story or historical record for example, Confucius’s works are here this collection gathers together the work of many calligraphers over a period of 3 millennia!

Traditional libraries – evolution (1)
over the years have evolved beyond recognition originally intended for storage and preservation, libraries have refocused to place users at the center, with increased emphasis on information exchange ancient libraries were only useful to the small minority of people who could read they were accessible within stringent limitations imposed by social conditions

Traditional libraries – evolution (2)
the public library movement took hold in the 19th century. Still, the libraries of the day had book stacks that were closed to the public the books were chosen from the catalog and then handed out over the counter in Europe, most libraries still operate this way however 20th century librarians came to realize the advantage of allowing readers to browse among the shelves and make their own selections open-access libraries became widely accepted in English-speaking countries

Traditional libraries – evolution (3)
the famous library of Alexandria is widely recognized as the world’s first great library long before that, Chinese written records began, having a history that extends to 18th century B.C. created around 300 B.C. the Alexandrian Library grew at a phenomenal rate and contained 200,000 volumes in 10 years before being burned it had 700,000 volumes more than 2,000 years would pass before any other library would attain this size the work of the acquisitions dept. was dramatic! 

Traditional libraries – the largest library today
The Library of Congress is the de facto national library of the United States; Its collections include more than 29 million catalogued books and other print materials in 470 languages more than 58 million manuscripts; the largest rare book collection in North America, including a Gutenberg bible over 1 million issues of world newspapers spanning the past three centuries, 33,000 bound newspaper volumes, 500,000 microfilm reels,4.8 million maps, and 2.7 million sound recordings 13/38

Virtual libraries to come
technology advance provides for surrogates to substitute for physical works technology advance provides for surrogates to substitute for physical works users can browse the collection using virtual reality but what really matters in libraries is information and knowledge

Legal aspects of DLs (1)
collecting information and making it widely available to others has far-ranging social implications builders of DLs must act responsibly and be aware of the legal and ethical issues that surround their particular application copyright is the place to begin access to the information in DLs is generally less controlled than it is in physical collections

Legal aspects of DLs (2)
putting info into a DL has the potential to make it immediately available to a virtually unlimited audience - this is great news! user: info around the world becomes available wherever s/he is author: a greater potential audience can be reached than ever before publisher: new markets open up that transcend geographical limitations .. but there is a flip side! 

Legal aspects of DLs (3)
authors and publishers ask how many copies of a work will be sold if networked DLs enable worldwide access to an electronic copy of it the nightmare is that the answer is one the threat for users is that publishers will adopt technical and legal means to implement restrictive policies governing access to information (e.g. imposing expiry date)

Legal aspects of DLs (4)
possessing a copy of a document certainly does not constitute ownership in terms of copyright law each document has only one copyright owner this applies not only to physical copies of book, but to computer files too, whether they have been digitized from a physical work or created electronically in the first place when one buys a copy of a document, one may resell it, but may not redistribute it

Legal aspects of DLs (5)
who does own a particular work? the initial copyright owner is the creator, unless the work is made for hire (=available for use or service in return for payment ) – in this case the employer or contracting organization owns it the owner can transfer/assign copyright to another party through a specific contract, made in writing and signed by the owner

Legal aspects of DLs (6)
copyright protection begins and ends at different times, depending on when the work was created in the U.S., older works are protected for 95 years after the date of first publication newer ones are protected from the moment of the fixation in a tangible medium of expression until 70 years after the author death works for hire are protected for 95 years after publication or 120 years after creation, whichever comes first

Legal aspects of DLs (7)
copyright law is complex and varies from one country to another most countries are signatories to the Berne Convention that governs int. copyright law most countries allow material to be copied for research purposes by individuals, a concept known as fair use making copies for distribution or resale is prohibited it’s not necessary to register docs for copyright – it applies automatically and regardless bearing or not ©


Legal aspects of DLs (8)
legal situation with regard to computer files, and particular docs published on the WWW is murky it is widely accepted that one can view web docs – after all that’s what they’re there for  note that docs are copied and saved behind scenes to improve performances in the comps’ world the “copy” is perhaps no longer appropriate for the foundation of copyright law

Legal aspects of DLs (9)
many DL project involve digitizing docs first, the builders should consider if the work to be digitized is in the public domain or if it attempt to faithfully reproduce a work in the public domain if the answer to either question is yes, then one may digitize that work without permission of course, the result will not be protected either, unless it is more than a faithful reproduction if the docs have been donated by the original copyright owner then they can be used in the DL

Legal aspects of DLs (10)
if the previous considerations do not apply, one should consider whether s/he can go ahead under the concept of fair use, from copyright owner’s point of view otherwise one needs permission from the © owner, provided that s/he is the original copyright owner! DL projects must be undertaken with a full understanding of ownership rights and with full recognition that permissions are needed for materials that are not in the public domain


Legal aspects of DLs (11)
looking at the situation from an ethical point of view helps shed light on fundamental issues:

• it is unethical to steel: deriving profit by distributing a book on which someone else has copyrights is wrong • it is unethical to deprive of the fruit of their labor: giving away e-copies of a book on which someone else has copyrights is wrong • it is unethical to pass someone else’s work as your own: making a DL collection without due acknowledgment is wrong • it is unethical to willfully misrepresent someone else’s point of view: modifying docs before including them in the collection is wrong 13/38

Collecting from the Web
DLs are organized collection of information the Web is full of unorganized information downloading parts of it in order to organize info into focused collection and make the material more useful to the others is a prime appl area for DLs search engines do so – they use software robots to download huge portions of the web and create indexes to them Web sites can safeguard against indiscriminate downloading by using robot exclusion protocol (comps that try to violate it will be punished with denial-of-service) now search engines automatically assume permission unless the provider has set up an exclusion mechanism 13/38

Archiving the entire WWW
the reason to do this is to offer services such as supplying docs that are no longer available and providing a copy of record for publicly available docs, in effect supplying the raw material for historical studies it raises interesting issues involving privacy and copyright (for ex. a person can erase previous info posted on the web about him or her?)


What could it happen inside DLs?
most DLs aim to provide more comprehensive searching and browsing services than do search engines. Like archives they most likely want to store docs locally, to ensure their continued availability DLs are more likely to modify docs as an aid to the user, least invasively by highlighting search terms or adding metadata, more invasively by re-presenting them in a standard format, or by producing computer-generated summaries of docs, or extracting keywords and key phrases automatically the builders need to consider carefully the ethical issues 13/38

DLs push the society’s frontiers
the world is changing DLs are pushing at the frontiers of society’s norms for dealing with the distribution of intellectual property
those who run large-scale Internet information services tell interesting war stories of people’s differing expectations of what is reasonable for the services to do some material is illegal and harmful and clearly inappropriate for public presentation (see violence and pornography) 13/38

Cultural sensitivity
most DLs are international more often they are produced by people from Western backgrounds, yet the majority of people in the world live in countries that have very different cultures (e.g. in Polynesian cultures representations of people, including pictures, are “tapu”, which means sacred, and is inappropriate for them to be on public display!) language is the vehicle of thought, communication, and cultural identity, so the DL users should be able to work in their most suitable language More, particular labels or icons may have strong undesired connotation (for ex. dogs are offensive in Arabic cultures) thus it is essential for DL developers to consider how their creation will affect others


Conclusion and discusions (1)
the information revolution supplies the technological power that drives DLs and fuels and unprecedented demand for storing, organizing and accessing information this demand is economically driven rather than curiosity driven as in days gone by if information is the currency of knowledge economy, DLs will be the banks where it is in indeed Goethe once said that visiting a library was like entering the presence of great wealth which was silently paying untold dividends

Conclusion and discussion (2)
A DL is not really a digitized library! DL’s software support users to search and browse the collection equally it supports librarians as they strive to provide appropriate organizational structures and maintain them effectively

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