CHICAGO — Some have viewed the ascendance of the digital library as some kind of existential apocalypse, nothing less than the beginning of the end for the traditional library. But Andrew Weiss, recognizing the concept of the library as a "big idea" that has been implemented in many ways over thousands of years, is not so gloomy. In his thought-provoking and unabashedly optimistic new book “Using Massive Digital Libraries: A LITA Guide,” published by ALA TechSource, he explores how massive digital libraries are already adapting to society's needs and looks ahead to the massive digital libraries of tomorrow, covering:
- his criteria for defining massive digital libraries;
- a history of Google Books and the Very Large Digital Library, with a refresher on the initial protests of the scholarly communication community;
- practices of massive digital libraries, and how traditional libraries are evolving to integrate their presence;
- a comparison of the collection development approaches of Google Books and HathiTrust;
- library applications, such as MDL for research in digital humanities, catalog integration through the Google Book API, Culturenomics and the Google Ngram viewer;
- case studies of library projects with Google Books, with analysis of aspects such as legibility of scans, metadata accuracy, culture and diversity.
Weiss is the digital services librarian at California State University, Northridge's Oviatt Library. His professional areas of expertise include scholarly communication, digital repository development and open access advocacy. His past research has focused on digital libraries, digitization and open access publishing. He also has great interest in Japanese culture, literature and its history of librarianship.
The Library and Information Technology Association (LITA), a division of ALA, educates, serves and reaches out to its members, other ALA members and divisions, and the entire library and information community through its publications, programs and other activities designed to promote, develop, and aid in the implementation of library and information technology.