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Musings of a librarian, former archivist, musician, bibliophile, and tech-obsessed.

Entries in Digital Preservation (14)


The most exciting Monday in a while!

If you follow me on twitter, you know I was tweeting the ARSC conference from Wednesday to Saturday. I spent part of last night and this morning following new people on twitter, and then came upon a message saying "Congrats" with a link from Ars Technica. It posted Sunday evening, after I had signed off from the digital world to decompress after a long week. I knew this article was coming, but I didn't know when.

I feel honored that I was asked for this interview, out of my many qualified colleagues, and I thank Chris from Ars Technica for taking the time over two months, and especially for getting the technical parts so perfectly! That's not always easy in our field! We may be doing a follow-up article on some of the specific technologies in digital libraries and archives once things calm down a bit (I need to catch up on real work after being out for about a week). If there is a follow-up, I'll post it when I can!


My Day at @LibraryCongress

Here are my notes from the symposium, Transitioning to a Digital Future, from LC last week. Any mistakes are my own, and probably resulted from me trying to type too quickly and keep up with the conversation. I don't think that the official transcript is posted, yet, and I will link to it when it is.


A Day at LC

Tomorrow, I will be joining many librarians and archivists in the area at the Library of Congress's Transitioning to a Digital Future Symposium. From their site: "The symposium will bring together senior managers from the National Archives, Smithsonian Institution, National Park Service, the Library of Congress, the Council on Library and Information Resources, and various foundations. Speakers will provide their perspectives on the preservation needs, priorities, and challenges in managing the core collections of the federal government in the 21st century, as well as opportunities for collaborative solutions and possibilities for funding." I'll be meeting some of my LC friends and WRLC colleagues there, and learning about how we can conquer the digital world together! Look for me--I'll be the archivist tweeting and taking notes on an ASUS Transformer!


More in the Cloud

More people are looking to the Cloud as a viable back-up solution for personal files, as discussed in my previous entry. This article was featured in ProfHacker in the Chronicle of Higher Education. If academics are talking about something, you know it's reached the masses!

Yet another article from NPR, today, this one distrusting the cloud because the person has put too much personal stuff in an "untrusted" virtual space. When something crashes, he loses access to everything.

I have a problem with someone saying that their information on the internet is all on a "cloud." The primary reason I take issue with this is that most of the information is hosted on virtual servers, not true clouds. When one server goes offline, it affects the integrity of the network. The online servers are then over-stressed by the typical amount of users that are spread out over more servers, normally, which causes more servers to go down and the site/network/etc. to crash. Crashes can also happen through physical problems; for example, there is a mass power-outage in the geographic region as the host servers. When the DC area experienced massive power outages during the rain/wind storms after snowpocalypse 2010, many locally-hosted sites had problems.

The difference between this and a cloud is that a true cloud stores identical information on multiple, geographically separated servers. This way, when one server goes offline, the network isn't stressed by more users. If it's the server with your information that went down, there's another copy of your information on another server across the country, and you can still get what you need.

This is the very big difference to virtually-hosted information and cloud-hosted information.

I host this website on a cloud-based host. Yes, when a local server goes down, the load time might be .8 seconds instead of .1 seconds, but I can still access my site. Clouds have the potential to revolutionize data storage and retrieval, but only if people know what they actually are...


Digital Curation Hits Mass Media

In this article by Mashable, a popular UK technology blog, they discuss the book Curation Nation by Steven Rosenbaum which highlights the need for curation of consumer-created digital files. Not only does he address something that's very real in the electronic age, he addresses a key issue facing all digital archives and libraries. I've just added this to my reading list!