Digitisation for dummies

This is great. Brewster Kahle speaks well and from experience. It isn’t an academic theory. I like the way he breaks down the challenge into a manageable, fund-able, do-able program. Some other observations that made me clap and cheer wildly:

  • Boston Public Library’s “free to all” statement that is carved in stone & that of the Carnegie Library “Free to the People” (do we really want to be different when we push our content online?);
  • producing the best we have to offer;
  • not sending stuff you love to India for scanning (we didn’t either);
  • aiming at US$0.10 per page, or as he says the same cost as Xeroxing;
  • not scanning pages that will end up looking like a fax (or worse still a print-out from microfilm) – scan in colour for the look of the book;
  • the convergence of, on one side the library world (starting with out-of-Copyright and out-of-print material) and on the other side the publishers (eg. Amazon) starting with what is currently in print; and
  • favouring public (free, universal access) over private (locked up) digitisation programs (me too).

So, watch this for yourself. Even if you are not looking at digitising books, there is a lot in it. TED.com hits the mark yet again.

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