Our PCs a digital library? Is every PC owner a digital librarian?

For one of my classes, groups are suppose to build and manage a digital collection of “information packages” using Contentdm. It’s almost like a miniature digital library. It got me thinking about how much digital content we all have on our computers and how, in a way, we each have created our own digital library, thus becoming digital librarians. We all probably have the following on our computers: Word documents, PDF docs, HTML files, graphics, photos, music collections, audiofiles, video, bookmarked web sites, cookies, viruses(?), personal data, browsing history, format/display settings, clipboard items, etc. It’s also interesting how we all try to organize and manage all of this information using folders, creating hierarchies of folders, specifying locations (desktop, folder, recycling bin, etc.). We create metadata by naming these files and folders that we create. We also control that information because we, ourselves, make the decisions on what is collected (i.e. saved), what it is named, where it is stored, when it gets deleted, who has access to it (user names and passwords–admin. rights).

So are our computers a digital library? Are we digital librarians? Well, let’s take a look at the definition of a digital library. Arlene Taylor in her book The Organization of Information defines digital libraries as “a collection of information packages in digital form that are selected, brought together, organized, preserved, and to which access is provided over digital networks for a particular community of users.”

I would say that we each fit that definition pretty well. Congratulations.


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