Digitizing Audiovisual and Nonprint Materials: The Innovative Librarian's Guide

By Clark, Brian F. | Library Resources & Technical Services, April 2016 | Go to article overview

Digitizing Audiovisual and Nonprint Materials: The Innovative Librarian's Guide


Clark, Brian F., Library Resources & Technical Services


Digitizing Audiovisual and Nonprint Materials: The Innovative Librarian's Guide. By Scott Piepenburg. Santa Barbara, California: Libraries Unlimited, 2015. 94 p. $50.00 softcover (ISBN 978-1-4408-3780-7).

Anyone who works in a library knows that audiovisual materials can disintegrate and their playback equipment can quickly become obsolete. Does anyone remember the Betamax, or how about the laser disc? Digitization can be the solution to this problem. There are a handful of companies that will take care of this process for you, but if you are a do-it-yourselfer, then Piepenburg's new book, Digitizing Audiovisual and Nonprint Materials, is for you.

The best part is you do not have to be a rocket scientist to understand what Piepenburg has written. Anyone with a minimum understanding of technology can learn and follow the instructions in this book. The easy-to-read, conversational style book is a no-nonsense, step-by-step instruction manual. The author takes you through the entire process, starting with what to consider before taking on a project of this nature, the space requirements needed, the hardware and software required, and then focusing on both audio files and sound recordings as well as more complex video files. The book considers some of the more common audiovisual materials libraries have collected over the last half century, including "photographs, slides, records, cassettes, videotapes, and laserdiscs" (ix).

An entire chapter is devoted to hardware requirements and subsequent chapters provide greater detail about the hardware and software needed to capture a particular format, such as slides or sound recordings. In addition to the obvious hardware needs--computers, monitors, speakers, and scanners--the book covers other items most people probably have not considered, such as disc-labeling software. The author also discusses minute details such as how to name your files and where to save them (either on the computer's hard drive or backing them up to a larger separate storage device).

The book is divided into six chapters. The first two chapters cover such basics as things to consider before undertaking a digitization project, including some basic issues like space, lighting, and furniture. For example, if you are digitizing audiovisual materials, is there a secluded space where the noise and the music will not disturb staff and patrons? Is the electrical service adequate and does it have proper ventilation? Heat can wreak havoc on electrical equipment. Subsequent chapters are devoted to digitizing photographs and slides, capturing and editing sound recordings, and working with various video formats.

Each chapter ends with a checklist reiterating the important points. The book also has an eleven-page glossary. The book is very graphic intensive, with lots of pictures and charts explaining the various technologies and software needed for these types of projects. …

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