Monday, February 24, 2014

Interlibrary Loan of E-Books

      There have been several articles in the past few weeks detailing the efforts of schools such as Duke, Texas Tech and Hawaii to facilitate the interlibrary loans of ebooks (for example, see ) . Hawaii is an especially interesting case, as interlibrary loan to the middle of the Pacific is a somewhat daunting process, which loaning e-books would almost certainly make easier. To that end, Texas Tech and Hawaii have partnered on Occams’s Reader , a pilot program for loaning e-books. The program currently works in concert with ILLiad and is limited to .pdfs. Given the current restrictions  of DRM on many published e-books, this limitation is understandable. The program begins in March and will run for a year.
            Additionally, Angela M. CarreƱo and Bill Maltarich have documented New York University’s E-Book strategy in their article in the lastest eContent Quarterly, “Aggregation, Integration, Cooperation: The Three Imperatives of New York University’s E-book Strategy”. ( eContent Quarterly1.2 (Dec 2013): 36-52. ) 
          There has been several papers on this topic in the last few years, including ones from Heather Wicht at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Joanne Percy at Eastern Washington,  and Xiaohua Zhu and Lan Shen from the University of Tennessee and University of Purdue, Calumet, respectively.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Digital Document Fixity?

As more law libraries are developing independent digital collections it is important to take into consideration the preservation of those documents for the future. One main component of this is to ensure that the files and corresponding metadata have not been corrupted. While many of us are fortunate enough to have a third-party system hosting our content that we can rely on to maintain the integrity of our documents, this isn’t something that is universally true. 

If you aren’t relying on a third-party system, and in many cases even if you are, you will want to maintain independent copies of your data. A good guideline to follow is the NDSA’s Levels of Digital Preservation. This tiered set of recommendations provides solutions for institutions of all sizes and allows you to start small and build up. Bear in mind that the goal is to develop these guidelines over time, so it’s a good idea to check back occasionally to see if they have been updated.

One of the central concepts of these guidelines is the idea of fixity, or stability, of digital documents. In essence fixity is information that can be used to confirm that unauthorized changes have not been made to digital content. NDSA has recently released a draft version of a Fact Sheet, Checking Your Digital Content: How, What and When to Check Fixity?, that helps identify the reasons behind identifying and then checking fixity, as well as several ways to go about doing so and where to store fixity data once it has been obtained.