How could we preserve a park for future generations? Actually, this discussion pertains to a person who has taken photos on a park, documenting a history of a park during specific time periods. The end result is a book that contains a pictorial documentary of an amateur naturalist’s ten-year travel throughout Lake Artemesia. Due to an increasingly large number of buildings being built, with the result of less natural areas being saved, deer and other wildlife have started to move into human neighborhoods. What happened to their natural areas? Ten years ago, an amateur naturalist started to walk in different parks around the Maryland area. He pointed out wildlife and plant life that I would never have noticed if I were walking around the park while listening to my mp3 player as I would exercise. He had shown me how to stimulate my mind with the life all around me. This amateur naturalist wanted to find ways to document information about the park through pictures in case it were destroyed due to floods and other natural/unnatural events. After ten years walking through Lake Artemesia in Berwyn Heights, Maryland, Ulysses Weldon developed a four-step process to capture different aspects of a park (https://sites.google.com/site/lakeartemesiapark). This process could be expanded upon to fit many other parks that we never would want to forget.
There are 3 steps for creating a Library Services Platform, a type of library management system. Breeding stated that a library services platform is “designed to manage both print and digital content, tend to be deployed using cloud computing technologies, and make more use of knowledgebases for more efficient resource management”. The following are three steps to do this.
As we explore the 21st century, we need to realize that the library is composed of paper and digital formats. The digital books started off as public domain paper documents. On the Internet’s predecessor, Arpanet, Michael Hart created the oldest and largest digital library in 1971. He named it Project Gutenberg. It was going to contain all public domain books in electronic format for free to anyone who wanted to download them and read them (https://archive.org/details/gutenberg&tab=collection ). “Its goal, formulated by Mr. Hart, was “to encourage the creation and distribution of e-books” and, by making books available to computer users at no cost, “to help break down the bars of ignorance and illiteracy.” http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/09/business/michael-hart-a-pioneer-of-e-books-dies-at-64.html?_r=0). This digital library now houses more than 30,000 books in 60 languages. The categories for this library are: “light literature,” “heavy literature” and reference works to the general reader. It also contains a few copyrighted books that are reproduced with the permission of the copyright owner. Ann Gilliland, one of the professors of the “Copyright for Educators & Librarians Course” stated that, “Material that is not in copyright, and or that is not copyrightable, and is free to use, is in the public domain” (Duke University, Emory University & The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).
Recently, I have encountered many librarians who are worried about libraries becoming bookless (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/would-you-work-bookless-library-lorette-weldon) institutions. Many have forgotten that libraries are primary centers or repositories for collections of books and any other sources of data to be made available at no cost to the general public.
Over 70 years ago, Vannevar Bush (http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1945/07/as-we-may-think/303881/) proposed “memex”. This was to be a device about the size of a desk which could store all the books, records, and communications, of an organization, on some type of media from which this data could be retrieved. Dr. Bush had no means to realize his suggestion. However, the suggestion was a theoretical proposal for what has become the hypertext system and digitization of data for today’s storage means. Hence, I view the World Wide Web, the cloud, and all other digitized storage means as adjuncts to the modern library.
One Size Fits all
Let’s first look at the classic definitions of a library. These definitions restrict the term to a collection of information resources which are kept for consideration and not for sale. An examination of libraries will reveal some private and public have different characteristics. A private library may include a personal home and some institutional libraries. Public libraries could include everything from mobile units to educational structures.
Different libraries require different staffing, funding, and storage spaces. A home library can be limited to a few books and no staff. There is no dedicated fund for a large collection of electronic records stored in an ILS, collection development, computer programs, and staff. You may find these in the public and institutional libraries.
What if you lived in a world where no books existed, at least during the summer? In Utah, on July 29, 2015, the twelve year-old, Matthew Flores, could only read books when he was at school but his school was closed during the summer (See NBC Nightly News). He did not have books at home. One day, Flores was reading grocery ads out loud. He was heard by his mailman, Ron Lynch. Flores told him that he did not have bus fare to go to the library and his father had to use the family car to go to work. The only thing to read were ads. Lynch posted the boy’s problem on his Facebook page and it went viral. Now, Lynch delivers donated books to Flores by the truckload. His house has a collection of books. By the looks of the donated books in his house, they have no specific subject area. They are not cataloged but Flores intends to read ALL of the books that come to his home.
As pointed out above, there can be barriers to reading books. Is there a way to break those barriers for those who cannot afford transportation to get to the library? In Texas, Nelson Wolff wanted to give the “economically disadvantaged” access to technology that would allow them to have a chance to read as many books as they wished. Through this public sector project, Wolff (with his team) built the BiblioTech. BiblioTech is one of the first bookless public libraries in America. Its first library branch opened on September 14th, 2013. Its mission is “to bridge literacy and technology gaps in San Antonio and surrounding areas by establishing a community presence at the physical locations as well as an online presence through the digital collections and resources” (bexarbibliotech [dot] org).
Could this be a way to bring more customers to the library by breaking the accessibility barrier through wireless access to the collection through the customers’ own smart phones and tablets? Would you work in a bookless library?
Biblio Tech. About. Retrieved from bexarbibliotech [dot] org.
Donatich, J. (n.d). Why Books Still Matter. Journal Of Scholarly Publishing, 40(4), 329-342.
Pittman, E. (2014). NELSON WOLFF. (cover story). Government Technology, 27(2), 14.
Tan, Avianne (July 29, 2015). Utah Boy Who Asked for ‘Junk Mail’ to Read Gets Over 500 Book Donations. Retrieved from abc news online.
Editor’s Note – this article first published in Computer Savviness – and republished with the author’s permission.