15. August 2012 13:44
The World Library Book Beat Blog
Volume 2, Number 9
Wednessday, August 15, 2012
by John Guagliardo
Founder, World Public Library
World Public Library’s Noah’s Archive Project
One of the newest projects that World Public Library is working on is the Noah’s Archive Project. It is an initiative to preserve and save a master repository of the World’s Knowledge. The projects mission is to create and archive of the World’s most diverse repository of the written knowledge.
All of man’s most profound thoughts and insights have been carefully preserved in written artifacts throughout the ages. Noah’s Archive Project will strive to acquire a digital facsimile of every artifact of knowledge that has ever been written and keep it safe in an on-line perpetual access model for the entire world to access via the World Wide Web.
The inspiration of this project came from the 'Doomsday' Seed Vault, the World's Most Diverse Repository of Food Crop Seeds. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a secure seed-bank located on the Norwegian frozen mountains. It was launched in 2008 to protect the world's food crops and save the seeds from extinction. Imagine the wisdom of our ancestors and all of humankind similarly preserved.
The Noah’s Archive Project will provide a safety net against accidental loss of diversity often seen with traditional physical object preservation. While the popular press has emphasized its possible utility in the event of a major regional or global catastrophe, it is certainly more common to lose rare artifacts due to disintegration of time, mismanagement, accidents, mold, paper rot, funding cuts, then to natural disasters. In recent years, countless national museums and libraries have been destroyed by war and civil strife. Our best estimate is that approximately 5,000,000 one-of-a-kind books, manuscripts, and scrolls that have been loss this century, never to be seen again. With so many threats, politically unstableness or environmentally, to artifacts of knowledge, it is an eventual certainty that unless such an Arc of knowledge is created we could be in danger of losing millions more irreplaceable objects.
The location for the World Public Library Noah’s Archive server vault has been selected to be in a decommissioned WWII military underground bunker, deep in the hills of above Kaneohe Military Base in Hawaii. It was built to protect Kaneohe Marine Core Base from the re-invasion of the Japanese. The walls are 23 inches thick, the ceiling is 19 inches thick and the entire facility sits on a 4 foot thick cement slab 175 feet above sea level, 150 feet into the mountain and 230 feet under the mountain.
The island of Oahu is the ideal location for The Noah’s Archive. It is a stable environment, remote but still readily accessible. In 2003 the island became the hub for all fiber optic cabling across the Pacific Ocean. These cables represent the internet connection between Asia and America.
Did you know?
Great Chicago Fire 1871
- 3 million books destroyed
San Francisco Earthquake 1906
Nazi Book Burning 1933-1945
- 5/10/33 day of book burning, 25,000 books burned in a single day
- 4 Million Books Destroyed
Iraq War 2003
- 10 Million Books Destroyed
- 1 Million Documents
- Iraq National Library & Archive destroyed
- University of Baghdad Library destroyed
- Al-Awqaf Library destroyed
- Library of Bayt al-Hikma destroyed
Hurricane Katrina 2005
Egyptian Revolution 2011
Svalbard Global Seed Vault
Battery Bunker 405
Battery Bunker 405 Schematics
Trans-Pacific Optical Cables
To learn more about this Project visit NoahsArchive.org
8. August 2012 20:16
||The World Library Book Beat Blog
Volume 2, Number 8
Wednessday, August 8, 2012
World Public Library Nears 3 Million Titles
Founded in 1996, the World Public Library Association is a global coordinated effort to preserve and disseminate classic works of literature, serials, bibliographies, dictionaries, encyclopaedias and other reference works in a number of languages and countries around the world. Its branches, designed specifically for the needs of a different type of reader, are the World Public Library, (General Public eBook Portal, http:WorldLibrary.net), the School eBook Library
, (Kindergarten to High School Student eBook Discovery Portal) and the World eBook Library
, (Academic and Research eBook Portal) With the World eBook Library nearing the three million volumes milestone, ACCESS talked by email with its Executive Director John Guagliardo and Michael Hart, Executive Vice President, Department of Public Relations for the World Public Library, to learn more about this remarkable collection. ACCESS: Are you booklovers who became businessmen or businessmen who became booklovers?
We are definitely not businessmen. We are bibliophiles, teachers, and librarians. John, our Executive Director, had worked as a school teacher for years and was the President of the Hawaii Library Association (American Library Association’s Hawaii Chapter). John Guagliardo:
I think much of our library’s popularity amongst readers is because we aren’t too concerned if our decisions make business sense, but rather sense to what a reader would want. Far too often businessmen are more concerned with the bottom line, what is profitable, and not what is important for folks who are simply looking for a good book to discover. ACCESS: How many books do you have?
Currently the World Public Library shelves about two million eBooks. We are in the process of adding another one million. We should have all three million eBooks available by the end of 2011. ACCESS: All in English?
Our library has eBooks in over 300 different languages. You can view the count of how many titles are in each language by using the drop down menu in our Advanced Search form. We have some 500,000 eBooks in languages other than English and a few hundred thousand more non-English tiles to be added soon. In addition to PDF eBooks, we also have over 21,000 MP3 audio eBook files. All audio eBooks are recorded performance readings, downloadable and are excellent to listen to while on the go. ACCESS: All titles are available for all formats?
All of our eBooks are in PDF file format. We specifically chose this file type because it is the universal standard for all computers, PDA, Smart Phones, and eBook readers. Apple and Amazon have both been very generous and donated a number of their devices to us to make sure our eBooks display beautifully on their eBook readers. ACCESS: What’s so great about old books from obscure writers?
Great question. I love discovering the obscure writers, the lesser known the better. I often find that writers that are commercially successful have dumbed down their writing so as to make it more palatable to the widest possible audience; while the lesser known writers will write with a higher sense of artistic integrity. Although not appealing to all, such works are most essential for researchers and academics, hence the writers remain obscure because of the limited audience. ACCESS: Which is the most successful part of the world for the World Public Library?
Believe it or not the greatest proportion of eBook downloads come from Asia and a significant percentage of them are to smartphones. In addition, we have long been aware that since there are billions and billions more cellphones than computers, our market for phones of all varieties, is much larger than anyone else expected. ACCESS: Are there any downloading issues for individuals or libraries?
The only problem we have is since other eLibrary portals don’t allow downloading and prohibit portable eBooks; folks aren’t too familiar with how to add PDF eBooks and MP3 audio eBooks to their PDAs, smartphones and other devices. To help with this we are making a number of ‘How To’ tutorials showing how easily it is to download and use portable PDF eBooks. ACCESS: Are orphan works an issue? How are they dealt with?
When you say “issue” with orphaned works, I assume you mean copyrighted works whose rights holders can no longer be found. We really don’t include too many titles we go out and get ourselves. We act more like a library instead of a publishing company where we provide shelf space for others to fill. Most of our works are provided to us direct from contributors and publishers, so we don’t pursue acquisitions of new titles that are from unqualified sources. However, the protocol that we would follow for such cases are the guidelines set by the U.S. Copyright Office’s Report on Orphan Works.
John Guagliardo, Executive Director, World Public Library
Mhchael Hart, Executive Vice President, World Public Library
ACCESS: Do present copyright laws hinder World Public Library collection development?
Absolutely. Project Gutenberg and World Public Library have been big advocates against the current US and European copyright laws and the lobbying of media companies and the publishing industry who pushed it through. We have been telling folks about the problems with copyright laws for years. Michael and I can talk about this issue all day. I will just say, check out Michael’s series of newsletters
on the history and stifling problems of copyright today. M.H:
To keep my response short, I’ll identify the series of major copyright laws that created the system we, here, in the US, are stifled with today, and why. 1709, The Statute of Anne, created solely to stifle The Gutenberg Press and its ilk. 1831, The US Copyright Act of 1831 stifled the 1830 fast steam press. 1909, The US Copyright Act of 1909 stifled the new electric presses. 1976, The US Copyright Act of 1976 stifled the new Xerox machines. 1998, The US Copyright Act of 1998 stifled the new internet publishing. As you can see, each of these truly major technological innovations that could have brought the entire public domain to the masses liberating the wisdom of our ancestors was subsequently stifled by copyright law. Today the U.S Copyright protection starts in 1923. It is no coincidence that that protection starts just before the creation of Mickey Mouse (created in 1928) and publication of Winnie the Pooh in 1926, each one of which grosses huge amounts for Disney. [The Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA) of 1998 is also known as The Mickey Mouse Protection Act – Ed.]
ACCESS: Is World Public Library related to large scale digitization projects such as Google Books and Project Gutenberg?
J.G: The World Public Library works with all publishers and independent digitization projects, creating strategic alliances and mutually beneficial partnerships to encourage contributions to our virtual shelves. For example, the World Public Library and Project Gutenberg have a long standing symbiotic and synergetic relationship.
M.H: I am the founder of Project Gutenberg and the inventor of eBooks and have worked with John on these projects since 1999 when, as President of the Hawaii Library Association, he invited me to speak at their Annual Meeting. We have been working together ever since. Google made their publicity blitz with Google Books exactly one year after meeting with the Project Gutenberg staff along with most other general eLibraries at Google World Headquarters. A fair number of Google Books are simply derivative copies of Project Gutenberg’s books that have been rebranded.
ACCESS: What are the sources of the collection?
We receive eBook donations from the whole world, learning more and more about that world as we do so. I would have to say the total number of people who contributed an effort to these collections of eBooks is approaching 300,000 if it hasn't already passed that number. ACCESS: In the Asia-Pacific, what does working with the iGroup bring?
We are very excited to be represented by iGroup. We would love to bring more eBooks to Asia and with the iGroup’s help I’m sure it will happen. I have pushed, pushed and pushed for years to expand our library’s eBooks beyond the early boundaries of English and the United States. The iGroup brings technology and marketing skills to the World Public Library as well. Our library doesn’t have any marketers. Getting the word out isn’t our core competency. Our focus is on the reader’s experience and creating new and innovative ways to engage the reader’s imagination. ACCESS: What is the World eBook Fair?
M.H: The World eBook Fair
is a reflection of our strong commitment to bring the most eBooks to the most people worldwide. Our growth curve for this effort has been truly phenomenal. The First World eBook Fair had 300,000 books available; in 2008, the Fair doubled to 600,000 books; and in 2009, it offered 1,250,000 books. This year World eBook Fair offered 6,500,000 eBooks! ACCESS: What new developments we can expect in the coming year?
We are planning to announce our effort to create an eLibrary of one billion eBooks this coming year. ACCESS: Finally, what are your thoughts on Google Books?
We were here long before Google and have quite different policies about indexing, cataloguing and downloading so there isn't all that much relationship to Google Books in terms of changing us.
J.G: The World Public Library is a unique type of discovery technology. Our portals and eBooks are specially designed to both balance the academic researcher’s needs for discovering relevant complex correlative information and the recreational reader’s need to find an enjoyable place to discover a good book. World Public Library eBooks are unlike other online eBooks as all our eBooks are also portable. Our signature editions of digitally remastered works, have ‘text-search’ capability, text readability, optimized page dimensions for mobile device and printing, and are upgraded with display metadata. We feel that our Signature Editions eBooks will engage readers like no other books can. Additionally, from a library’s standpoint, World Public Library empowers libraries with OPAC integration tools, MARC database resources, Counter Compliant Statistics, and exportable patrons’ usages reports. Read more about the World Public Library in its weekly newsletter.
This interview was completed just before the death of Michael Hart on 6 September, a man whose vision has changed the world.
1. August 2012 22:35
The World Library Book Beat Blog
Volume 2, Number 7
Wednessday, August 1, 2012
Project Gutenberg Launches Repository for Self-Published Works
by Barbara Quint
Posted On July 16, 2012
The generous souls at Project Gutenberg opened a new venue supplementing their traditional collection of public domain classics. (And, by the way, that collection of usually all the works, even minor ones, of major authors and the major works of minor authors now runs more than 40,000.) But what about contemporary works, particularly by people who have not found or perhaps do not want to go with traditional publishers? Now Project Gutenberg has opened a separate collection and discovery area for such works referred to as a Self-Publishing Portal. Anyone can access and search the site to view and/or download documents. If the reader chooses to register with Project Gutenberg, as all the authors have, they can participate in the Authors Community Cloud Library and post comments, feedback, ratings, and reviews. A book details page and Wall will attach this social network style input for other readers to see.
According to John Guagliardo, long-time volunteer at Project Gutenberg and a director of the Gutenberg Consortia Center, as well as of the World Public Library Association, the new service stems from years of receiving “tons of requests” from unpublished authors. In fact, the new service has been in development for more than 4 years, according to Guagliardo. Michael S. Hart, the late founder of Project Gutenberg, had the new service ready to launch in August 2011. His sudden, tragic death at that time led the Gutenberg team to temporarily shelve the launch. The official launch on July 4, 2012 may have a sentimental connection to the date of what Gutenberg people consider the first ebook ever, Hart’s offering of a digitized Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1971.
In any case, the new service fits with Project Gutenberg’s stated mission of encouraging “the creation and distribution of electronic books.” The new Portal represents the first time that Project Gutenberg has produced a service focused solely on the distribution of ebooks, rather than their creation through digitization of paper books. Again all access is free and open to all and contributing authors pay no charges either. Registration is only required for inputting to the system—both for authors and commenting readers. All postings are monitored “and offensive or indecent postings will not be approved.”
Authors interested in posting to the Self-Publishing Portal upload documents in PDF format. This is the only format that the new service will use. The announcement of the new service alludes to the compatibility of PDFs with iPad, Kindle, and other e-readers. Some commentators have questioned the Kindle compatibility, but Guagliardo pointed out that only the earliest versions of Kindle (Kindle 1 and Kindle 2) required a proprietary format. Since Kindle 3’s appearance 3 to 4 years ago, Guagliardo observed, PDF compatibility has been no problem for people buying the later versions of the e-reader. Speaking of formats, though ebooks are clearly the focus of the new repository, Guagliardo stated that they also accept other content formats such as MP3, for example, an author submitting a reading as an audiobook, and standard video, for example, to present an interview with an author or a discussion group session.
For readers accessing the Portal/Library, two search options are available, like the two available on the main Project Gutenberg site. According to Guagliardo, one search engine focuses on the metadata attached to ebooks, e.g., author, title, subject, summary, while the other searches the full text. The metadata search engine operates immediately when an item is added to the collection, while full-text coverage may take a couple of weeks. The full-text search engine service comes as a donation to Project Gutenberg of the Anacleto search engine from a company called Tesuji operating off servers in Italy. Though both search engines will work for the Self-Publishing Portal, Guagliardo indicated that Project Gutenberg had no plans to merge discovery services for the two collections. Such a change would require careful and, possibly, lengthy consideration by committees representing the community of Project Gutenberg volunteers.
Authors who contribute to the new repository retain all their rights to their works. Guagliardo repeatedly stated that Project Gutenberg had no ownership nor any transfer of ownership (e.g., through a perpetual license). The content is not public domain, nor even necessarily offered under a Creative Commons license. If an author chooses to submit their ebook to another repository, that is their choice. If an author finds a commercial publisher and chooses to withdraw their ebook from the Project Gutenberg site, that too is their choice. If an author wants to revise their work and submit a new version, Project Gutenberg will comply. But whatever resides on the Project Gutenberg Self-Publishing Portal is there to be shared with readers “for personal study and non-commercial sharing.”
Due to some previous attempts to handle requests for self-publications, the Project Gutenberg Self-Publishing Portal already has nearly 700 ebooks on its “virtual shelves.” More on the way? We’ll see.
Barbara Quint is contributing editor for NewsBreaks, editor-in-chief of Searcher, and a columnist for Information Today.