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So I did a presentation at NDF on Digital Preservation.

It’s now available on Youtube. Probably like most folks I only managed to watch the first little bit. šŸ™‚

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When looking to accessĀ an article on ERIC I was pointed to this message:

ā€œDear ERICĀ Community, We have currently disabled access to many ERIC full-text PDFsĀ due to the discovery of personally identifiable information in some documents. A team is in place to check each PDF to see if it contains personally identifiable information. Due to the quality ofĀ many of the documents, a large portion of the search has to beĀ done by hand. This will take several weeks, but our primary concern is to protect the privacy of individuals. To minimizeĀ the burden on our users, we will prioritizeĀ searching the PDFsĀ that users request. If you would like to request a PDF to beĀ returned online, please fill out this form, which requires only the documentā€™s ERIC record number and your email address. Full-text PDFsĀ will be returnedĀ on a rolling basis. We will be posting the list of newly released documents here.

We are sorry for the inconvenience and want to thank you for bearing with us through this unexpected delay.

The ERIC Team.ā€

Now I hadnā€™t heard about this and wondered if others had?

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I thought I’d share this post with you. Its from Dick Eastman, an extremely tech-savvy genealogist.Ā 

He responds to an email from someone who is horrified that alot of the books in the FamilySearch Family History LibraryĀ are being digitised soĀ they can be put online, and the original hard copies aren’t being replaced on their shelves.Ā 

This Library/Research CentreĀ is “Mecca” for someone in my field (along with The Fred J. Reynolds Historical Genealogy Department in Allen County Public Library.)

For those who don’t know, FamilySearch is the genealogical organisation owned and run by the Church of the Latter Day Saints. Although they have their own reasons to do with their faith for genealogical research, they offer their resources/services worldwide free, to anyone regardless of their beliefs.

In their Granite Mountain vaults, they have millions of microfilms that are being digitised so they can be put online on their free website, and their books and serials in the FamilySearch Family History Centre are also being microfilmed so they can be OCRed. They are said to be running the world’s biggest digitisation project.

Anyway, have a read of this post and see what you think, and how it may relate to usĀ as librarians (or researchers) in the future:

http://bit.ly/OULrqU

As a researcher, I am excited about the possibility of being able to access such richness online. As a librarian, I have subdued mixed feelings about the “destruction of books”, even if it is for the “greater good”. I’m sure they have a preservation process for their most precious titles.

I thought the points discussed were thought provoking and not dissimilar to discussions we’ve all had – you might be interested inĀ his opinionsĀ about the digital versus “real” books debates that we are hearing and participating in!

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 16,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Webstock used to be my no-miss conference until this week. It’s like a combined rock festival and party for geeks – the learning and fun are intense and amazing. If Webstock was a keyword it would be “awesome”.

NethuiĀ was not a rock festival, and less of a party in terms of headiness. Yes, there were superstars like Lessig. Yes the were miraculous acts of collaboration like the special on-off licence for that audience in that room granted by the BBC for a one-off showing of their documentary The Virtual Revolution. You might have watched it, but you can’t say you’re one of the few people in the country who have done so legally. Both of those wonderful things were not what the three days were about – quite the opposite.

The three days were about New Zealanders coming together to look at the challenges of the future and start the conversation around the question, “What do we do now?” It is easy to be brave in an environment in which one’s heroes are on the stage. At Nethui, we were required to be the heroes, in all our everyday ordinariness, speaking in that drab accent we wince at when we hear it from our neighbours and carrying all of the feelings of cultural unworth we New Zealanders seem to cherish.

There are plenty of good summations of the event available – I recommend Russell Brown‘s usual solid effortĀ as a good starter for ten. You can even be a virtual attendee of large parts by viewing the videos collected here.

But if you weren’t there, and you had a question, answer or idea nobody else in the room did – then it wasn’t just you that missed out, it was all of us.

Don’t worry, libraries were well represented. In the last combined session on access, someone at one of the mics said the following:

“It’s not like you can go down to your local library for a lesson on how to use the internet.”

“Yes you can,” came a voice from the far side of the auditorium. I’m not sure who – but I have a suspicion it might have been a new friend from Dargaville. *waves* Whoever it was, they have my applause. *applauds*

When you’re “at the mic” you can often can only keep one thought in your head. “No, but you can’t just go your local library and…”

And then what you really should have been there for happened.

We, all of us from libraries, sitting wherever we were gave him the SHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!

Zippy Shut Up. by stev.ie
Zippy Shut Up., a photo by stev.ie on Flickr.

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I have done a couple of writing for the web courses and both of them have told me the same thing.

That you want to have lots of good white space on the right side of the screen. To do this they tell us that you should only justify the left hand margin and not the right. This is meant to make the page look nice for people to read. My problem is that I look at posts and pages like that and think how unprofessional. Nice neat justified margins on both sides of the text signifies to me that the editor has taken the time to tidy up the page. Below this post is one where I haven’t justified both sides, while this one is aligned fully. šŸ™‚

Which do you prefer? Is it just me being overly tidy? I am trying to work out in my head whether I should just go with what the course writers say or work to what I like. šŸ˜†

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