The Real Paul Jones

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JCDL Keynote – Deanna Marcum of LC

Deanna Marcum of the Library of Congress gives the keynote here at JCDL. Good news is wireless access in all the conference meeting rooms and there is no charge.

“The Sum of the Parts: Turning Digital Library Initiatives into a Great Whole” Can there be a discussion of digital libraries without worrying over Google in various ways? — appearently not. American Memory project has grown to 9 million items from over 100 collections. Originally designed for school children but now 3.4 billion hits from all over the world by (as near as they can tell) from people of all ages. Various projects from Library of Congress discussed (whilst Jason Moore IMs me from Rhode Island to tell me about his new job at UC-Irvine where he will be Digital Services Manager at their Library). Now about starting and maintaining born-digital collections. Buncha stuff about Dspace which is called “a newly developed digital repository created to capture, distribute and preserver the intellectual output of MIT.” Project Gutenberg gets props. Digital Librares Federation has 600 collections. [frankly there are many many not in DLF for various reasons]. TEL (The European Library) still seeks a “single access point” [why do libraries still think like AOL? and why are they obcessed by portals? Why not be more open and more flexible? Funding? Egos? Nationalisms? Continentalism? Or ease of use?] DLF has 34 members in their Aquifer portal. A bit about Open Archive Initiatives. More about how portals are so wonderful [I’m much less sure about that — portals seem so AOL]. A “dream of a universal library” cited [bypasses Borges — is he too obvious?]
Four major things to allow for the universal library:

  1. Update copyright to allow better access and open the Commons. Jamie Boyle gets props for his fencing in the commons and enclosure essay. Fear of licenses supplanting copyright. Problems of extension. Database access problems. Need to protect fair use for public access. Public Library of Science and SPARC get props. As does J-STOR (which I love less because of their charging scheme blocks access). Fear of Google initiative — sorta. Publishers are up in arms — especially University Presses who should learn better. Section 108 study group (sec. 108 of copyright law) described as looking for balance. [but Google is forcing the issue] Orphan works not mentioned though.
  2. Ensure Long-term Preservation. Need procedures and techniques or we will experience massive loss of knowledge and of digital resources. NDIIPP is one attempt at helping this happen [UNC and ibiblio are working on an NDIIPP funded project now with open video. We are one of 8 projects in this area.]
  3. Link Libraries and Digital Collections. Open Archives gets props here. Metadata improvements and metadata sharing. $292K to DLF for Open Archives Initiative.
  4. Get more Funding. [love this one] Google Initiative is a result of lack of federal funding? Brewster gets noted for his concern of private control of public resources. But Google is serious about very large scale digitization (says Brewster who has his own massive digitization projects).

Question time:
Big institutions favored by these approaches. What about personal and unique collections?
[wikimedia projects are not noticed. that shows how much is missed here I think]
Gary Marchionini at the mike now. Asking about funding. “Let Google do it” vs national and international initiatives. [misses the obvious wiki answers. the wiki way is unmentioned at this conference so far. to me that’s the most interesting model and biggest growth area]
Organizations serve their members. This causes problems.
Copyright issues up now.
Digital divide questions up now. Stories of funding for collaboration projects in poorly served areas.
Postman and media education mentioned. Contextual access to information needed.

[The unnamed challenger is Wiki Commons. pj]


  1. Hi, Paul. Your reports from the conference were a real service for people who couldn’t make it. Thanks. As for the copyright angle, it would be helpful to educate John Edwards and get him to take a public stand on Bono and the DMCA and the other gems. This is indeed his territory. He was on the copyright-related Judiciary Committee, of course, and, yes, repressive copyright laws can interfere with economic development, his pet baby right now. I hope you’ll blog this matter and try to talk to him personally. My own thoughts are at . Good luck at this! – David

  2. re: Lack of Federal Funding, was there any discussion of the Digital Promise (, that was recently introduced to fund digitization? I’ve been surprised at how little discussion there has been in the library community.

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