An Introduction to the March/April Issue
Welcome to the March/April issue of D-Lib Magazine. As I reviewed this issue I was struck by the scope of the articles. Three of the five look at the mechanics of building, maintaining, and displaying digital collections, the fourth looks at ways to engage users to help in digital collection management, and the fifth is an opinion piece on open access business models. Taken broadly, these three dimensions, building and maintaining the collections, connecting with users, and figuring out how to pay for it all, cover much of the territory that today makes up the evolving domain of digital libraries.
We lead off with an article from Italy describing D-NET, a software toolkit for federating distributed collections. The authors analyze sustainability, an important issue in collection management. The following article examines the use of Omeka, a digital asset management tool, and addresses its "strengths and weaknesses as a software platform for creating and managing digital collections on the web." A brief video introduction to the tool, which some may find as a useful preface to the article, can be found at http://omeka.org/files/movies/touromeka.mov.
The third article in the "how to" series reports on the Museum Data Exchange. It starts with a useful historical perspective, for those who might have thought the work on digital collections began with the advent of the web browser. The article reports on the detailed analysis of the tools and techniques used in the study, but concludes by looking at the policies, which are frequently more challenging than the technologies.
The fourth article looks at crowdsourcing and its potential use in libraries. The use of volunteer labor is familiar to many in the library arena, but this new phenomenon brings the potential of a many-fold increase in the productive connection between libraries and their users.
At the fifth position, we have an opinion piece from Don King, a distinguished statistician who has been examining publishing and library issues for many years. The position he arrives at may or may not be feasible, which he admits, but I think most will find his analysis at least interesting, and some will find it compelling.
Finally, don't miss our Featured Collection (I recommend the link to the color version and then on to the full resolution version) and our conference report, which gives another perspective on open access.
About the Editor