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technology trends

Challenges in Imaging

By Cory Lampert on May 8, 2007 8:39 AM | Permalink
I just returned from the School for Scanning 2007 in Minneapolis and was bombarded with a ton of information during the three days. One of the most interesting breakout sessions was with Franziska Frey from the Rochester Institute of Technology. In addition to discussing the changes in photography practice in recent times, Frey also discussed the imaging challenges that arise when digitization programs are confronted with an increasing amount of born digital materials. This issue has started to come up here at UNLV, with questions directed to me asking what resolution something should be scanned at so that a donor can deposit a digital copy of their materials in Special Collections. Our Campus Photo Services staff have noted a drastic drop in darkroom processing requests from campus, and nationwide there are fewer new photographers learning these traditional developing skills. Now that film is no longer being as widely manufactured, and photographic paper and chemicals are starting to disappear this kind of question will only come up more often.

Digital Collections and the Social Library

By Cory Lampert on January 10, 2007 3:36 PM | Permalink
5 Weeks to a Social Library is an online course that seeks to explain and demystify social networking software and highlight the practical applications of these new technologies in libraries. While I am not enrolled in the course, I have been watching to see how others are able to effectively incorporate blogs, wikis, Flickr, etc into a variety of useful library services. I have also joined the Social Library Lurkers wiki and will report on any interesting developments there. One question I am considering is at what point a social networking site is appropriate and when a digital library is necessary. The two have different characteristics and functions, but both require planning and organization to be useful. This also raises the issue of defining the different strengths of each medium and distingushing between a formal curated digital collection, an institutional repository (where items may be uploaded, reused, and/or stored), and a spontaneous collaborative online project via a wiki? (And distinguishing where a librarian's skills might best be used.)

Happy New Year!

By Cory Lampert on January 2, 2007 3:13 PM | Permalink
As the new year rolls around, many of us are making resolutions for 2007 and thinking about what the future may hold. I ran across an interesting piece from MSNBC's Cosmic Log that mentions predictions for five technology innovations that are most likely to be successful by 2012, five years from now. Of most interest to me was the idea of the 3-D Internet. After my own hesitant explorations into Second Life, a virtual reality world where libraries are providing services to students via avatars, I can imagine the potential for targeting new users who want to be awed by their video games and their library.