Understanding Digital Libraries - 2nd Edition - ISBN: 9781558609242, 9780080481517

Understanding Digital Libraries

2nd Edition

Authors: Michael Lesk
eBook ISBN: 9780080481517
Paperback ISBN: 9781558609242
Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
Published Date: 2nd December 2004
Page Count: 456
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - Evolution of Libraries 1.1 Why Digital Libraries? 1.2 History of Libraries 1.3 Vannevar Bush 1.4 Computer Technology 1.5 Early Language Processing 1.6 The Internet and the Web 1.7 Summary Chapter 2 - Text Documents 2.1 Computer Typesetting 2.2 Text Formats 2.3 Ways of Searching 2.4 Web Searching 2.5 Thesauri 2.6 Statistical Language Processing 2.7 Document Conversion 2.8 Summary Chapter 3 - Images of Pages 3.1 Scanning 3.2 Image Formats 3.3 Display Requirements 3.4 Indexing Images of Pages 3.5 Shared Text/Image Systems 3.6 Image Storage vs. Book Storage 3.7 Large Scale Projects 3.8 Summary Chapter 4 - Multimedia Storage and Retrieval 4.1 Sound Formats: Vinyl, Tape, and CD 4.2 Pictures: GIF and JPEG 4.3 Color 4.4 Image Search 4.5 Automatic Speech Recognition 4.6 Moving Images 4.7 Summary Chapter 5 - Knowledge Representation Schemes 5.1 Library Classifications 5.2 Indexing: Words and Thesauri 5.3 Metadata 5.4 Knowledge Structures 5.5 Hypertext 5.6 Vector Models 5.7 XML and the Semantic Web 5.8 User-Provided Links 5.9 Summary Chapter 6 - Distribution 6.1 Books, CD-ROMs, and DVDs 6.2 Computer Networks 6.3 Information on the Internet 6.4 Grid Computing 6.5 Open Source and Proprietary Systems 6.6 Handheld Devices 6.7 Security and Cryptography 6.8 Privacy 6.9 Summary Chapter 7 - Usability and Retrieval Evaluation 7.1 General Human Factors Considerations 7.2 Text Displays: Fonts and Highlighting 7.3 Image Displays and Compression Systems 7.4 Web Page Graphics 7.5 Interface Controls: Menus and Keywords 7.6 Access Methods 7.7 Retrieval Evaluation 7.8 Page Ranking and Google 7.9 Summary Chapter 8 - User Needs 8.1 Overview 8.2 User Services 8.3 Acceptance in the Past: Why Not Microfilm? 8.4 Finding Library Materials 8.5 Web Searching 8.6 Performance Measurement 8.7 Need for Quality 8.8 Summary Chapter 9 - Collections And Preservations 9.1 Traditional Paper Collections 9.2 Traditional Preservation Problems 9.3 Digitizing Special Collections And Archives 9.4 Preservation Through Sharing and Distribution 9.5 New Materials and Their Durability 9.6 Emulation as a Preservation Technique 9.7 Summary Chapter 10 - Economics 10.1 Library Benefits 10.2 Traditional Economics and Economies of Scale 10.3 Scholarly Publishing Today 10.4 Models for Library Funding 10.5 Access vs. Ownership 10.6 Administrative Costs 10.7 Electronic Commerce 10.8 The “dot-com” Boom and Bust 10.9 The Future of Quality Information 10.10 Summary Chapter 11 - Intellectual Property Rights 11.1 History of Copyright Law 11.2 History of Patent Law 11.3 Access Regulation and Control 11.4 Technology for Intellectual Property Protection 11.5 Peer to Peer Systems 11.6 Summary and Future Research Chapter 12 - A World Tour of Digital Libraries 12.1 Information Policy, Not Industrial Policy 12.2 Multilingual Issues 12.3 Multicultural Issues 12.4 Text-oriented Projects 12.5 Images 12.6 Sound and Music 12.7 Video 12.8 3-D Images 12.9 Scholarship in Digital Libraries 12.10 Scientific Data 12.11 Access and Infrastructure 12.12 Summary Chapter 13 - Scope of Digital Libraries 13.1 Readers 13.2 Authors 13.3 Flow Control 13.4 Education 13.5 Science 13.6 Technology and Creativity 13.7 How Big Can They Get? 13.8 Summary Chapter 14 - Future: Ubiquity, Diversity, Creativity, and Public Policy 14.1 Dream to be Realized 14.2 Future Roles in Information Handling 14.3 Effect of Digital Technology on Universities 14.4 Digital Libraries and Society 14.5 Digital Libraries, Society, and Creativity 14.6 Public Policy Questions 14.7 Projections References Index


This fully revised and updated second edition of Understanding Digital Libraries focuses on the challenges faced by both librarians and computer scientists in a field that has been dramatically altered by the growth of the Web.

At every turn, the goal is practical: to show you how things you might need to do are already being done, or how they can be done. The first part of the book is devoted to technology and examines issues such as varying media requirements, indexing and classification, networks and distribution, and presentation. The second part of the book is concerned with the human contexts in which digital libraries function. Here you’ll find specific and useful information on usability, preservation, scientific applications, and thorny legal and economic questions.

Key Features

  • Thoroughly updated and expanded from original edition to include recent research, case studies and new technologies
  • For librarians and technologists alike, this book provides a thorough introduction to the interdisciplinary science of digital libraries
  • Written by Michael Lesk, a legend in computer science and a leading figure in the digital library field.
  • Provides insights into the integration of both the technical and non-technical aspects of digital libraries


digital librarians, researchers


No. of pages:
© Morgan Kaufmann 2005
Morgan Kaufmann
eBook ISBN:
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"Lesk is the senior and most knowledgeable author in the field. His dry humor and clear explanations, combined with his uncanny ability to uncover and address key ideas and problems, make this a "must read." --Edward A. Fox, Ph.D., Professor of Computer Science, Virginia Tech "Michael Lesk does for digital libraries what David Macaulay does for every day objects: he lucidly depicts how things work. In the digital world the ways things work is necessarily always in flux. In this second edition, Michael Lesk has done a masterful job of making us feel more at home with this flux." --Michèle Valerie Cloonan, Dean and Professor, Graduate School of Library & Information Science, Simmons College "Lesk's insights are distilled from a lifetime of pioneering activities in information retrieval, text processing and digital libraries, culminating in a most creative period at the National Science Foundation. He has written a book that brings these insights alive with well-chosen examples: facts and figures, tables and graphs. Digital libraries have not replaced books. This book illustrates why." --William Y. Arms, Professor of Computer Science and Co-Director of Information Science, Cornell University

Ratings and Reviews

About the Authors

Michael Lesk Author

Michael Lesk joined the computer science research group at Bell Laboratories after receiving his Ph.D. degree in Chemical Physics in 1969. He went on to manage the computer science research group at Bellcore, where he is now a chief research scientist. He is best known for his work in electronic libraries, but has worked in document production and retrieval software, computer networks, computer languages, and human-computer interfaces as well. Past chair of the Association for Computing Machinery’s special interest groups on Language Analysis and Information Retrieval, Lesk was Senior Visiting Fellow of the British Library in 1987 and is currently Visiting Professor of Computer Science at University College London. Lesk has been recently elected to the US National Academy of Engineering, in recognition of his contributions to UNIX applications, information systems, and digital libraries.

Affiliations and Expertise

Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA