"public access" entries

Meet the Scanners!

The International Amateur Scanning League is off to a roaring start, newly equipped with official Government ID badges and starting to rip. I'm pleased to report that things are going swimmingly, and volunteers have successfully ripped the first 42 DVDs. Procedures have been worked out for volunteers to sign up for times on a spreadsheet, get a large number of blanks from the National Archives staff, and leave their completed DVDs at the reference desk to be sent back to Public.Resource on a weekly basis. We were also pleased to learn that there are currently over 3,000 DVDs at the College Park facility, more than twice the number we had expected.

International Amateur Scanning League

The International Amateur Scanning League is an experiment in crowd-sourced digitization with a goal of making more broadly available 1,500 DVDs from the National Archives and Records Administration.

A National Scan Center: A Public Works Project

A small fraction of our stimulus package in the United States should be invested in a National Scan Center, a 5-year effort to scan paper, microfiche, audio, video, and other works across the government, with a particular focus in reducing the digitization backlog faced by agencies such as the National Archives.

Computerization in Nilekani's Imagining India

Imagining India: The Idea of a Renewed Nation promises to occupy a central position in discussions about India as well as the world economy this year. Author Nandan Nilekani can speak with quite a bit of authority on computers, having founded and led Infosys, an early success story in modern Indian commerce and a major player in the historic rise of outsourcing. Particularly relevant to this blog are the book’s observations on computers’ role in the economy and society.

Philadelphia Closing 11 Library Branches

The financial crisis is having a huge negative impact on many public sector services, including libraries. From Publishers Lunch (subscription required): As municipalities across the country face large gaps in their budget, Philadelphia is taking "drastic new steps" to face the "economic storm" that include closing 11 of the 54 branch libraries that comprise the Free Library of Philadelphia….

A Call for Tiered Access to Google Book Search Terminals

Peter Brantley says proposed public access (pdf) to Google Book Search library terminals is too restrictive, particularly in areas serving underprivileged populations: This is not an economic matter; it is a social foundation. A library is a refuge; you can provide solace in that refuge, and a promise for a different and better kind of future. It is morally incumbent…