“Most people don't realize how important librarians are. I ran across a book recently which suggested that the peace and prosperity of a culture was solely related to how many librarians it contained. Possibly a slight overstatement. But a culture that doesn't value its librarians doesn't value ideas and without ideas, well, where are we?”
Neil Gaiman

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Week 5 Readings -- Data Compression, You Tube, and Imaging Pitt Project

The readings for this week covered a lot of territory...
Overall I felt the data compression article was fairly easy to grasp. The whole idea of lossless versus lossy compression makes inherent sense to me -- haven't we all spent enough time downloading files and e-mailing photos to be able to apply this theory to our own experience? I particularly found some of the information on audio interesting as I've downloaded a lot of music. Some of the music on the "free" sites is of low quality and the article does a good job of explaining how this can happen.

The second article was much more in depth and gave a deeper understanding of compression, but I was losing it a little bit with the algorithyms. I think I get the bottom line for where is is acceptable to use lossy compression and where it is unacceptable. Obviously you can't have a computer program download unless it is compressed with lossless compression or it won't work properly, but a photo may not have to be 100%.

The review of YouTube was interesting. I hadn't thought of it as a tool for libraries. Let's face it -- many of us are used to getting hysterical videos from friends via e-mail with YouTube links. My daughter and her friends did a short movie and posted it on YouTube. I watched the Republican and Democratic National Conventions on YouTube. Why not put a library tutorial on YouTube? Sounds good to me!

The First Monday article on the Imaging Pittsburgh Project was a wonderful review of the design of a digital library from the start to finish. What I found most interesting was that they were building a library of photographs primarily -- and a huge number at that! After reading the article, I went to the site and checked it out. It is pretty neat. I'd be curious to know if it is meeting the goals of each of the contributing members.


jean said...

I have to agree with you regarding the Imaging Pittsburgh project. Isn't that incredible? I thought this was so great and so interesting! Wouldn't it be a significant thing if every town/city would come together and gather such documents and photos to preserve their local history? I too went to their sit and looked through photos... and loved every minute of it. I hope we get to read about more projects like this one!

Theresa said...


I really liked the Imaging Pittsburgh article as well. I work over at the Heinz History Center in the Raul Jewish Archives and if liked the Pitt website, you might also be interested in the one for the History Center. http://www.pghhistory.org/lirary/Photographic_Web_Sites.asp. They have some great pictures from the area. I stumbled across some of them while working on an oral history project of Fifth Avenue businesses in the Uptown/Lower Hill District around the turn of the century. Really cool and interesting information.

Andrea said...

Melissa, first, thanks for commenting on my flickr fun! A fun fact... that "kid" balancing the kayak is my boyfriend, a fantastic entertainer who is currently on tour with Ringling Brothers Circus... check his out on YouTube. Search for "justlarry"

Now for the real commenting...

Speaking of YouTube, especially when it comes to drawing younger (teens and such) groups to the library,having library "commercials" on YouTube might be a fun way to grab their attention.

I didn't pay much attention to the audio compression info, because I don't deal with any downloaded music... I might have to start downloading some :)