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Our Digital Island. Tasmanian responses to the digital age. State Library of Tasmania Community Knowledge Network Department of Education. Today’s talk:. Living in a digital world How we have responded Challenges and benefits What it means when we really do go digital. Part 1

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our digital island

Our Digital Island

Tasmanian responses to the digital age

State Library of Tasmania

Community Knowledge Network

Department of Education

today s talk
Today’s talk:

Living in a digital world

How we have responded

Challenges and benefits

What it means when we really do go digital

Part 1

Tasmanian responses

Tasmania Online


Indexing Tasmanian information

tasmanian responses tasmania online
Tasmanian responses: Tasmania Online

Tasmania Online started in 1996

Home grown software, pragmatic approach

A librarians’ approach:

A-Z title, Subject index, Category groupings, quality indexing

Currently over 11,000 web pages indexed

Became government portal in 1997

part of www.tas.gov.au (which we also manage)

tasmania online
Tasmania Online

Still the only State to provide such a service

Used extensively, even in a Google world

over 1 million use of links

The basis for many other services – “knowing our webspace”

Our Digital Island


Preserving Tasmanian websites

tasmanian responses our digital island
Tasmanian responses: Our Digital Island

Conscious of the web as a place of valuable content

1998 – began to selectively capture Tasmanian websites

Supported by our legal deposit legislation

we can be proactive and don’t need permission

so far have PC-based software

.5FTE dedicated to process

our digital island1
Our Digital Island

Approx 2272 web sites available on ODI

We provide quality indexing and public access

Not a preservation system, just a capturing one

Strong links between Tasmania Online and ODI

Service Tasmania Online


Indexing and accessing Tasmanian government information

service tasmania online
Service Tasmania Online

Liaising with government, leveraging our expertise

The government of Tasmania wanted to provide an online channel to government services for Tasmanians

consolidated government shops and phone access

Chose State Library of Tasmania to develop the online equivalent and then provide as a service

tasmanian responses service tasmania online
Tasmanian responses: Service Tasmania Online

Developed special software in 1999 to do this

no wrong way to access info


based around tasks, subjects, people, life events

approximately 4000 government websites across 3 tiers

SLT was able to develop and utilise Tasmania Online skill sets and operations to provide the service efficiently

STORS – Stable Tasmanian Open Repository Service


Preserving Tasmanian information

tasmanian responses stors
Tasmanian responses: STORS

The challenge of legal deposit

Legal deposit, since 1984, has covered ‘everything’

SLT wanted a way to make digital acquisition easier

Business model around publisher contribution

easy, fast, stable URL, publication lifecycles

Basic preservation capabilities


Promoted mostly to government agencies

The reality is that use is sporadic

Proactive capture may be better

ODI coverage and overlap at times adds confusion

But – we have over 7000 items preserved

Part 2

Challenges and benefits

new sites how do we know
New sites – how do we know?


Staff – newspapers, cars, publications ….

Daily link checking of existing sites

Monitoring software

Seed list of about 160 URLs

State, Local and Commonwealth Government pages

Updated every 2 hours

List of new URLs added

value adding
Value adding

Specialised searches

Search engines

Early pickup

Clustering of data

Informed citizens

seed lists tasmanian domain captures
Seed lists Tasmanian “domain” captures

Not just .tas.gov.au

NLA Australian whole of domain captures

Tasmania Online links may be helpful





Part 3

Our Digital Lives

information is becoming transient
Information is becoming transient

We know about the new web in an abstract way

social networking

the beginnings of a new media form

not just a new format but a new way of doing things


“Blogging feels old. Publishing today is all about The Flow.” Steve Rubel http://www.micropersuasion.com/2009/06/so-long-blogging-hello-lifestreaming.html

information is becoming contextual
Information is becoming contextual

Information has no boundaries

Authorship becomes collaboration – e.g. Sharepoint

Forget “document like objects”

Google wave “built around a different model of how communication—and collaboration—take place. With Wave, users create online spaces called “waves,” which may include multiple discrete messages and components—“blips”—that constitute a running, conversational document.http://www.educause.edu/Resources/7ThingsYouShouldKnowAboutGoogl/188963

How do we capture an environment?

Like archivists, the context now matters for information

highlighting the reality of it all
Highlighting the reality of it all:

It’s sobering but we don’t live forever

and it is something we can’t ignore

this highlights it isn t just a game
This highlights it isn’t just a game

What happens to that digital information and presence when we are gone?

It has value

It needs preservation

not just preserving a PDF or a word document

context and environment – how?

but it is hard
But it is hard

The first of two possible responses:

Yes we’ll do it!

The library is a broad and encompassing social institution

If all we do is the easy stuff, we have failed

We must do it right – understand it first, then business process it

the ‘correct approach’ – doomed to fail?

Or, it is moving so fast, we’ll do what we can now

Doing something is better than doing nothing

not our business
Not our business

The second possible response:

No we won’t do it!

The library is an institution focused on heritage value

It is not our business – unimportant, ephemeral

“After dissecting over 3,000 tweets from more than 350 Twitter users’ status updates the professors concluded that 80% of users are “meformers,” or “Me Now” status updaters.” Rutgers University Professors Mor Naaman and Jeffrey Boase

It could be our business, but technologically impossible

Context now means everything, and we can’t capture everything

how should we respond
How should we respond?

In the old days everyone knew what libraries were about, and collection policies answered questions of detail

Now collection policies are going to have to answer the big questions as well

Reviewing / defining our purpose as libraries

what type of media

for what purpose

for how long

for whom

Go back to basics: redo our collection policies from the ground up – define our goals and objectives in the digital age

the digital world
The digital world

To summarise

The implications are profound for libraries

Information is changing

becoming transient and contextual

We have to decide what our role is

Can your library answer this question:

Does a tweet matter?

If Yes – good answer

If No – good answer

If ‘it depends’ – bad answer

If “what’s a tweet” – time to retire

Thank you

Lloyd Sokvitne

Senior Manager (Digital Strategies)

State Library of Tasmania,

Community Knowledge Network


(03) 6233 7943

Carmel Denholm

Senior Cataloguer (Metadata)

State Library of Tasmania,

Community Knowledge Network


(03) 6233 7586