Friday, February 15, 2013

Newspapers are archived at libraries, Part 2

In her response to the first part of my post on obsolete technology for LIBT 115, a  classmate highlights the importance of “Library 2.0.”

She points out that many people use libraries to access daily news; “most probably don’t realize the staff training, selection, maintenance, access issues, and high costs related to providing digital periodicals.”

Her comments seem an ideal starting point for the second part of my post, which concerns digital content.

As I see it, here are some issues related to digital curation. First is a question of ownership. Does the library physically own its collection or does it negotiate access for its patrons the way it does with a database subscribership?

If the latter, are multiple publishers’ offerings grouped in a single point of access? Or must the library negotiate individually with each digital publisher?

Do the publishers distribute their digital content across systems that are proprietary? Or can a common reading device access multiple publications? In addition to maintaining digital items in their collections, will libraries make available the reading devices too?

As news publishers continue their shift away from print newspapers toward multi-platform digital content, libraries will need to address new ways to preserve history for future generations.

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