Thursday, 26 September 2013

LIB 121: Week 5 (September 24, 2013)

I’m not sure what the rest of the semester has in store, but I feel like the information about file management might be the most portable knowledge set for me. The key to all of the topics was the importance of “responsible” file management. I scanned a great deal of the photographs at Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum for various researchers, saved the JPEG in a random file folder and never looked back. If I was going to make the best use of my time, I would have chosen the appropriate scanner settings to create a TIFF file for preservation, a JPEG file for access, and a GIF file for posting thumbnails on our website. I also would have named the files according to a prescribed format and stored them in a place that my colleagues could access. Our discussion included a description of lossless versus lossy file types, bit depths, and pixels; which had been explained to me many times before but digital scans gave a concrete example of their applications. When we were talking about Photoshop and proprietary software file types, all I could think about was how frustrating iTunes’ “.aac” file extensions could be when I was not using an Apple music player. There are so many consequences of digital obsolescence when we invest in file types that are not open or popular. Linda recommended that we stick to these open file types (TIFF, JEPG, PNG, GIF) because there will be a better chance for us to access them in perpetuity. As for file naming strategies, the methodology seems endless but the most important aspect is documentation, if no one knows the logic, it won’t be replicated. The idea that all of the work would have to be renamed or ignored is a scary enough notion to make me record every step in my process.      

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