AL IDEAS David Meresman

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Digitizing the Library

The idea I submitted in class was to digitize all of the books tapes and DVDs in the library and make them accessible from all computers on campus. The next part of the idea was to repurpose the library space that would no longer need to be used for books and DVDs. I thought about what could make the library more social, and I decided that a cafe would be best to create an environment for collaborative work. I also for fun decided that there should be a 24-hour rave going on as well.

The general responses were that people liked the idea of digitizing the books, tapes and DVDs but they would miss the books. People suggested using smart paper to recreate the experience of reading a book. Some people liked this while others did not. Everyone liked the idea of making the DVDs and VHS accessible at all times from student computers.

Based on this I would think that we should keep the books in the library. On the other hand the DVDs and VHS could be digitized quite easily (although not necessarily legally). The books could still be digitized with a huge benefit to everyone including the people who would not want to read the books on their computers. This would mean that people could search the entirety of books instead of just the titles and various tags connected to them. This can be partially accomplished through simply searching google books but would benefit from possibly eased copyright restrictions because it is the schools own library. Also the digitized books could be added to the google books database.

David - Ooh ooh! Is there some way we can do that with the DVDs? OMG that would be amazing. The ability to access things from outside the library is a compelling one, as well as the idea of "tagging" the books. I was one of the people who said I would miss the books, but I'd be interested to find out what the rest of campus thought about it. I also wonder how it would be done. I mean would my job as a student worker be changed to scanning every page of every book as it came in? How long do you think it would take for us to digitalize the whole library? Maybe, instead of late fees, if you return a book late you have to scan it into the database. - Jess


The idea I thought would be the most interesting to implement would be Preston’s Bluetooth idea. I really like the idea of walking through the library and getting a text message about a book that is nearby that I might like. I like the idea of possibly using what books you have checked out previously being used to help decide what books to recommend, sort of like netflix or amazon recommendations.


This idea in a way has already been started. I found an article in the Washington Post about the plan for a world digitized library. A website where all human knowledge is digitized in 7 different languages and free. The website should actually be up by 2009. -Hannah Wolfe