August 2020 – Water Ford
 

Month: August 2020

Using Online Libraries to Preserve Our Heritage

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Heritage refers to traditions and features or qualities of life that have existed for an extended period and passed on for succession. They could include beliefs, lifestyle, buildings, material possessions, and a host of other essential things. They are legacies that connect a group of people or society to earlier generations.

Heritage can be either tangible or intangible. The tangible ones are buildings, monuments, land, sculptures, paintings, handicrafts, etc. The intangible ones include music, stories and folklore, poetry, dance, drama, cuisine, spiritual practices, and traditional knowledge systems.

Importance of History

Many people still think of history as a collection of names of people and dates of events. That’s why there are still arguments about the relevance of history to modern society. History is so much more than that because it involves the framework used to build our communities, both literally and figuratively.

It’s the preservation and passing down of this vital knowledge that promotes understanding of our world. Historians have done essential work, and some concerned citizens have even formed organizations like the Waterford Foundation to preserve American history. There are numerous things to learn from the past and traditions that need to be appreciated.

Widespread Internet Use

The internet started in 1983 and evolved to become what we know it as today. The invention of the World Wide Web popularized it and now serves as a chest of information. It’s now something that various people around the world use every day. We’re now so used to its availability that we can hardly go through our daily activities. The purpose spans from work and education to stay in touch with family.

In the past decade, the internet’s global penetration has increased exponentially worldwide. That means the digitization of all historical information will meet an already existing online audience. Therefore, anyone can access whatever data about their heritage that they need wherever they are in the world.

The Advent of Online Libraries

There’s no clear documentation of the exact time of the creation of the first online library. However, we know that the idea behind it is the enablement of quicker access to stored files and books. It started with the aim of using technology to improve existing libraries to promote their inclusion in the world’s advancement.

The founders wanted a system where the knowledge previously possessed by specific individuals would be automatically available for those who need it. One of the earliest ones was a database of abstracts, texts, and citations of educational writings made obtainable online. Following that, there were numerous digital library models put forward by different schools and organizations. They all eventually culminated in the founding of Google.

Benefits of Digitized Libraries

Digitization provides libraries with lots of beneficial features that make their existence essential in our society today. It includes media formats like audios and videos that otherwise would scarcely be in a library. The content may either be locally stored or accessed remotely using computer networks. We’ll discuss a few of these benefits.

Easy Accessibility

Digitization involves converting analog information, which in this case is written, to digital format. Unquestionably, that makes it more easily accessible. It opens it up for a broader audience to learn and appreciate. People can even get archived files that would be difficult to obtain within minutes or less. Consequently, it aids the preservation of world heritage for future generations.

It’s also available round the clock to use these resources at any time, unlike the standard libraries that have a closing time. It then helps us appreciate how lots of concepts and even random things, including household appliances like faucets, have evolved. There’s also no fear about the degradation of materials from too much handling.

No Limitations of Physical Space

Books and files take up a lot of space, limiting the number found in a physical library depending on its size. However, digital libraries are not as limited by storage space. Therefore, it allows for the availability of much more information. Another advantage is that different people in different locations can access the same book or file simultaneously without any clash.

Lower Maintenance Costs and Increased Value

Although digitization doesn’t completely cut the costs of running a library, it reduces it to a certain extent. That’s because it decreases some of the expenditure sources like staff salaries, rent or mortgage payments, buying new books, and general maintenance. Also, the technology involved helps to provide improvements that may sometimes come at no cost.

Resources to Use

The proper functioning of digital libraries requires numerous resources. They have to put much work into the conversion of materials to digital format. There’s also the setting up of the site to make it both device and user friendly. The framework has to be able to contain as much information as it needs. That’s why they make use of web hosts and virtual private servers like Vultr.

Another essential resource for online libraries is the software. Various software packages exist for this purpose, and you must choose a design that supports your desired features. Also, metadata must be intact. It involves the appropriate cataloging of data to allow a classification system that enables easy searching.

Taking Appropriate Advantage

Online resources don’t eliminate the necessity of having physical libraries and museums and preserving historical landmarks. They provide an added advantage by increasing the accessibility of the already available resources. This knowledge is crucial so that people can work in line with it to achieve all the possible benefits.

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