Using Massive Digital Libraries: A LITA Guide

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ALA Neal-Schuman
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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the Authors
  • Reviews

Some have viewed the ascendance of the digital library as some kind of existential apocalypse, nothing less than the beginning of the end for the traditional library. But Weiss, recognizing the concept of the library as a "big idea" that has been implemented in many ways over thousands of years, is not so gloomy. In this thought-provoking and unabashedly optimistic book, he explores how massive digital libraries are already adapting to society's needs, and looks ahead to the massive digital libraries of tomorrow, covering

  • The author's criteria for defining massive digital libraries
  • A history of Google Books and the Very Large Digital Library, with a refresher on the initial protests of the scholarly communication community
  • Practices of massive digital libraries, and how traditional libraries are evolving to integrate their presence
  • A comparison of the collection development approaches of Google Books and HathiTrust
  • Library applications, such as MDL for research in digital humanities, catalog integration through the Google Book API, Culturenomics, and the Google Ngram viewer
  • Case studies of library projects with Google Books, with analysis of aspects such as legibility of scans, metadata accuracy, culture, and diversity

Providing a solid grounding on the concept of massive digital libraries, and their strengths and weaknesses as digital information tools, this book will help librarians understand how they function and what we can expect in the future.

Part 1 - Background
1 A Brief History of Digital Libraries-or, How Did We Get Here?
2 Massive Digital Libraries-or, Where Are We?
3 Major Party Players and Their Characteristics-or, Who's at the Party?
4 Impact on Librarianship-or, How Do I Deal with This?
Part 2 - The Philosophical Issues
5 The Copyright Conundrum-or, How Is This Allowed?
6 Collection Development-or, How Did I Get This?
7 Collection Diversity-or, Why Is This Missing?
8 Access-or, Why Can't I Get This?
Part 3 - Practical Applications
9 Using MDLs in Libraries-or, To What End?
10 Four MDL Studies




Andrew Weiss

Andrew Weiss is the Digital Services Librarian at California State University, Northridge's Oviatt Library. His professional areas of expertise include scholarly communication, digital repository development and open access advocacy. His past research has focused on digital libraries, digitization and open access publishing. He also has great interest in Japanese culture, literature, and its history of librarianship.

Library and Information Technology Association (LITA)

The Library and Information Technology Association (LITA), a division of ALA, educates, serves and reaches out to its members, other ALA members and divisions, and the entire library and information community through its publications, programs and other activities designed to promote, develop, and aid in the implementation of library and information technology.

"A detailed and valuable study of MDLs. The issues and themes covered are relevant to all libraries in the early 21st century that are affected by the digital revolution – and that surely is all of us."
— Australian Library Journal

"This is a compact read on the essential paradigm shifts in the way modern society accumulates, produces and distributes information, and ultimately offers practical ways the library profession can embrace change and use MDLs to enhance learning and ensure access to information."
— Against the Grain