Understanding Digital Libraries

Understanding Digital Libraries

2nd Edition - December 2, 2004

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  • Author: Michael Lesk
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080481517
  • Paperback ISBN: 9781558609242

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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

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

Product details

  • No. of pages: 456
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Morgan Kaufmann 2004
  • Published: December 2, 2004
  • Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080481517
  • Paperback ISBN: 9781558609242

About the Author

Michael Lesk

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

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