Libraries fast-track born to be digital message


The born to be digital message is taking centre stage, with an influential coalition of national and state libraries investing in community education campaigns this week.

The influential coalition of National and State Libraries Australasia (NSLA) has weighed behind a ‘Born Digital Week’ initiative that runs from 8th to 12th August across cities, towns, and regional areas.

This campaign highlights the importance of collecting and preserving digital content, while bringing citizens into the discussion, debate and participation around preserving digital content.

This content incorporates the 21st century digital data, together with media, and other information that is broadcast digitally, streamed, or held in computer files across government, industry and higher education.

Among the participants, Canberra’s award-winning National Library of Australia (NLA) is showcasing online interviews with expert speakers. These insights are shared around the collection, storage and sharing of digital content.

This NLA’s digital collection comprises 4.8 petabytes, or nearly 5 million gigabytes of information. This incorporates the earliest floppy disks and CD-ROMs, web sites built from 1995 onwards, and nearly 22 million pages of digitised records.

The NLA’s digital content includes a massive library catalogue, the Trove and Pandora collections, as well as a selection of Australian government web archives.


Explosion of digital content

This library is modernising its infrastructure to meet an escalating demand for digital content. The digital library infrastructure replacement program supports the collection, preservation and access to digital content. Once finalised, this initiative enables users to discover billions of items through the library’s online search and retrieval services.

Digital content includes books, journals, gazetteers, pictures, manuscripts, sheet music, and ephemera. This ephemera incorporates playing cards, postcards, dominoes, coin and paper money, lottery tickets, or office objects like paper clips, post its, or Rolodex cards.

The NLA’s digital resources pull together a large repository of e-publications, electronic archives, and web-sites. Since the first public web-site was published 25 years ago, there in an explosion of digital content. This content incorporates content within supercomputers exploring the universe to Facebook posts with friends.

The concept of ‘Born Digital’ explores questions around the collections, preservation en masse sharing of digital content. The NLA and other participating libraries are focusing on best-practices and collaboration to make knowledge more readily available.

Alliance partners galvanise peak libraries from key states. These libraries now focus on building digital skills, digital forensics, and managing the digital preservation life-cycles.