Building Digital Libraries, Second Edition

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the Authors
  • Reviews

Whether you’re embarking on the challenge of building a digital collection from scratch, or simply need to understand the conceptual and technical challenges of constructing a digital library, this top-to-bottom resource is the ideal guidebook to keep at your side, especially in this thoroughly updated and reworked edition. Demonstrating how resources are created, distributed, and accessed, and how librarians can keep up with the latest technologies for successfully completing these tasks, its chapters walk you step-by-step through every stage. Demystifying core technologies and workflows, this book comprehensively covers

  • needs assessment and planning for a digital repository;
  • choosing a platform;
  • acquiring, processing, classifying, and describing digital content;
  • storing and managing resources in a digital repository;
  • digital preservation;
  • technologies and standards useful to digital repositories, including XML, the Portland Common Data Model, metadata schema such as Dublin Core, scripting using JSON and REST, linked open data, and automated metadata assignment;
  • sharing data and metadata;
  • understanding information-access issues, including digital rights management; and
  • analyzing repository use, planning for the future, migrating to new platforms, and accommodating new types of data.

This book will thoroughly orient LIS students and others new to the world of digital libraries, and also ensure that current professionals have the knowledge and guidance necessary to construct a digital repository from its inception.

Examination copies are available for instructors who are interested in adopting this title for course use.


Chapter 1    Getting Started
Should You Build a Repository?
Selling the Project
Getting Your Repository off the Ground

Chapter 2    Choosing a Repository Architecture
Questions to Ask before Choosing an Architecture

  • Who Are the Users and What Do They Need?
  • What Types of Collections Will It Contain?
  • How Are Assets Acquired?
  • What Rights Management and Access Controls Do You Need?
  • How Does the Repository Handle Preservation?
  • How Will the Repository Be Managed?
  • Other High-Level Platform Decisions

Building the Requirements List

  • General
  • Metadata
  • Automation
  • Access Control
  • Resource and Data Management

Chapter 3    Acquiring, Processing, Classifying, and Describing Digital Content
Planning Workflow
Collection Development
Acquiring Content

  • Object Requirements
  • Transform
  • Kick the Can down the Road
  • Outsourcing

Organizing Content and Assigning Metadata
Structuring Content

  • Crowd-Sourcing

Resource Identification
Setting up Workflow
Batch Processes
Rights Management
Protecting the Integrity of Resources

Chapter 4    Preservation Planning
What Is Digital Preservation?
Preserving the Content and Context, Not the Medium
Why Preservation Doesn’t Happen
The Maturity Model
Preservation File Formats
Cloud-Based Digital Preservation Services

Chapter 5    General-Purpose Technologies Useful for Digital Repositories
The Changing Face of Metadata
XML in Libraries

  • XPath
  • XForms
  • XSLT
  • XLink
  • XQuery
  • XML Schema
  • Why Use XML-Based Metadata
  • XML Is Human-Readable
  • XML Offers a Quicker Cataloging Strategy
  • Multi-Formatted and Embedded Documents
  • Metadata Becomes “Smarter”
  • Metadata Becomes “Connected”
  • Not Just a Library Standard

Data Manipulation

  • Programming Languages
  • Programming Tools
  • Software Tools

Application Development

  • REST (Representational State Transfer)
  • SPARQL (SPARQL Protocol and RDF Query Language)
  • SRU (Search and Retrieval via URL)
  • Code Management

Future of Software Development

  • Mobile Application Development
  • Applications Continue to Become More Micro
  • Deeper Reliance on Interpreted Languages and JavaScript

Sharing Your Services

Chapter 6    Metadata Formats
Metadata Primitives

  • MARC
  • Dublin Core
  • MODS
  • METS
  • IIIF
  • Domain-Specific Metadata Formats
  • Embedded Metadata Formats
  • PCDM (Portland Common Data Model)
  • Semantic Web


Chapter 7    Sharing Data—Harvesting, Linking, and Distribution
The Evolving Role of Libraries
Metadata Doesn’t Want to Be Free . . . If It Did, It Would Be Easy
Linked Data
Sharing Metadata

  • XSLT
  • XQuery
  • Metadata Crosswalking


  • OAI-PMH Verbs

Facilitating Third-Party Indexing
Metadata Repurposing

  • The Oregon State University Electronic Theses Process
  • The Oregon State University Libraries: Automatic Data Transfer of Digital Content between the Digital Archive and the HathiTrust


Chapter 8    Access Management
Access Control Mechanisms

  • Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)
  • Single Sign-On (SSO)
  • Central Authentication Service (CAS)
  • Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML)
  • Shibboleth
  • OpenID
  • OAuth and Social Media Authentication
  • Athens
  • Active Directory
  • Internal Authentication
  • IP-Based Authentication
  • Vended Authentication

Implementing Access Control

Chapter 9    Thinking about Discovery
Unpacking Discovery?
Federated Search and Digital Libraries
Why Think about Discovery
Current Research
Searching Protocols

  • Z39.50
  • OpenSearch

Linking Protocols

  • OpenURL
  • DOI (Digital Object Identifiers)
  • Search Engine Support

Evaluating User Needs

  • Developmental Needs
  • User Needs


Chapter 10    Planning for the Future
Providing Information That People Need
Libraries’ New Roles
Learning from the Past
Adapting to Change
Consolidation and Specialization
The Shared Environment
Federated Vocabularies


Kyle Banerjee

Kyle Banerjee has twenty years’ library experience, extensive systems knowledge, and has planned and written software to support ILS, digital collections, and resource-sharing system migrations since 1996. He coauthored two other textbooks about digital libraries and has written numerous articles on library automation.

Terry Reese, Jr.

Terry Reese is the head of digital initiatives at the Ohio State University Libraries. Over the past seventeen years, his research interests have centered on the changing nature of library metadata and the ways in which this data can be reused and transformed in different contexts. He is the author and creator of MarcEdit, a cross-platform library metadata editing tool that is designed to lower the technical barriers for users working with various forms of library metadata. He is the coauthor of Building Digital Libraries (2008), and author of numerous other publications.

"Helpful for readers of all levels of digital experience ... The authors take a large and complex topic and clearly cover its most important points, balancing general information with specific details on the latest technologies. The first edition was written 10 years ago, and this edition is extensively rewritten and includes many important updates."
— Doody's Collection Development Monthly

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