Monday, June 7, 2004
Special Libraries Association 2004 Annual Conference News Division
Rob Robinson, director of National Public Radio's library, began with an overview of the materials in the NPR library collection, including program notes, reel-to-reel tape, and CDs. He introduced some issues with different formats during the introduction. Nothing is permanent and news librarians should plan for migration, he emphasized.
Their best practices:
Archiving is the end of a long process. Many news librarians work with many legacy systems. NPR has difference systems for production, archiving, text, etc. They use Dalet for production, but something else for archiving. CNN uses Pinnacle for editing, but archiving on video tape because of the size of digital video. CNN catalogs on customized databases. XM Satellite Radio uses Dalet for everything. Digital asset management (DAM) software includes Radioman, BullDog, and Artesia.
The deterioration of tape and sound is a major problem. Presto is a European organization dealing with format issues related to this problem. The European broadcasters are cooperating with commercial broadcasters to save their archives.
Archiving is both preservation and access. Good cataloging and transcripts aid in access. Equipment is important, too. They catalog piece by piece. Better speech to text software would help with the archiving tremendously. CNET recently published an article about NPR's speech-to-text work.
They've been digitizing their programs for about eight years to make them available on the Web site.
Rob suggests considering our role as archivists in our jobs. Depending on what our roles are, we can figure out what we need to do:
Question: Does NPR save letters from the public?
Answer: No, we don't. We thought about doing it some years ago, but we do not do that. It is a huge project. We don't have the person-power to do that.
Last Updated: 06/07/04