Hyperlinked Library MOOC assignment
Library Director’s Brief
Project Description Background and Purpose
Converting the Oral History Collection from Audio-cassette to MP3
The library can improve access to the oral history collection by converting the collection from cassette tapes to the MP3 digital format. Doing so will allow the oral history collection to be heard by our college community. Allowing the library to share these resources online instead of the ‘traditional’ way where the user would have to come to the library to access the oral history collection, which currently is the central location for accessing it. By using this method users can access this resource from virtually anywhere there is an Internet connection. By placing these resources in the places where users are discovering information there is a shift in discoverability and by having the MP3s on a local server managed by our IT Department would allow the library to manage the collection securely.
It is necessary, initially, to convert the oral history collection from cassette tapes (standard and mini) to the MP3 format in order to make the collection discoverable and preserve the collection for the college community.
While the cassette tapes have been carefully stored and because they are a magnetic medium, deterioration is inevitable. The MP3 format allows audio-only interviews to be made available online and discoverable through the library catalog WorldCat.
Industry standards suggest that audio-cassette tapes may last 10 years if properly stored, they will deteriorate over time in that time the tapes lose their magnetic properties. While the collection has been properly stored in a cool, dry environment away from light many items in the collection are approaching their 10-year anniversary placing the collection at risk
- MP3 Format
The MP3 audio format has been the de facto standard for online digital music files since the early 1990’s. MP3 files work with virtually every brand of portable digital device, which is why the term MP3 player was often used to describe such devices. MP3 is a digital audio codec; that is, it is a method of compressing and decompressing digitized sound. The MP3 codec shrinks the file by removing portions of the original signal considered to be basically inaudible so the file will be smaller there with virtually no loss of sound from the original cassette format.
WorldCat is the world’s largest network of library content and services. WorldCat libraries are dedicated to providing access to their resources on the Web, where increasingly people start their search for information. Using WorldCat users can search for books, music CDs and DVDs—all of the physical items they are used to getting from libraries. Users can also discover many kinds of digital content, such as downloadable books and audio and digital versions of rare items such as our oral history collection which is currently not available online.
A server is a computer or computer program that manages access to a centralized resource or service in a network. IT would provide specifications in order to be in compliance as the Servers’ duties would be to provide service to users over a network.
Once the conversion and cataloging has been completed library users can access the collection through the OCLC WorldCat interface. The collection will be added to our knowledge base. The WorldCat knowledge base is a database that combines data about our electronic resources and features that enable access to our content.
- About the Technology
Converting the cassette to MP3 will allow the oral history collection to be discoverable currently the collection sits in two file cabinets. There are no finding aids essentially making the oral history collection hidden and can only be used in the library with the assistance of library staff. Creating this will allow students and faculty to have independent access to the collection online whether they are on or off campus. Off campus, the collection will be accessed through the same authentication process that faculty and students currently use to access other library resources.
- About User Community
Students conducting research into local history or genealogy can use the oral history collection to learn about the lives of community members.
- Research and Support Resources
Havens, A., & Storey, T. (2013). From community to technology…and back again: Part 2, the networked library. NextSpace. Retrieved from http://www.oclc.org/publications/nextspace/articles/issue21/fromcommunitytotechnologyandbackagainpart2.en.html
MacKay, N. (2007). Curating oral histories: From interview to archive. Walnut Creek, Calif: Left Coast Press.
Oral History Association. Dickinson College. 2012. 11 Nov. 2013.
Oral History in the Digital Age. Institute of Museum and Library Services. 2013. 11 November 2013.
Sommer, B. W., & Quinlan, M. K. (2009). The oral history manual. Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press.
With the technologies, resources and planning that has been outlined above the library can successfully convert and make available to our student and faculty community the oral history collection online. Additionally, library faculty and staff are required to observe certain legal requirements in handling library resources. Legal considerations include copyright concerns and legal release agreements, to avoid violation of privacy issues. The library, which will be primarily responsible for the oral history project, will secure the transfer of the interviewee’s copyright interest to the college library. In most cases a legal release has already been signed conveying copyright to the college library.