Villanova University

Department of Computing Sciences

CSC9010 Digital Libraries

Professor:  Dr. Lillian N. Cassel

Semester: Fall 2007

Course Description:  Digital Libraries and other Web-Based Information Presentation : This special topics course will examine the general question of providing organized, efficient access to information through a web-based interface. The emphasis will be on Digital Libraries since this is a reasonably well-developed area that supports storage and presentation of a wide range of information types.

During the class, students will install and populate a digital library using the open source DSpace system. Built at MIT, this software has been widely accepted as a good start for digital libraries. The system is installed and running at Villanova, both in the Computing Sciences department and in the Falvey library. We have developed documentation in addition to what is available at the DSpace site. Students are free to choose their own type of content for their digital library. Examples include copies of work you have done, photos, songs, or any other kind of digital objects or a mixture of kinds.

There is a growing body of work investigating what makes a well organized and well implemented digital library and this will form the basis of this course. We will mix theory and practice to result in expertise and experience.

Course Goals:

Describe Web based information sources (Digital Libraries: Theory)
Contrast a digital library with other types of online resource collections. Enumerate the characteristics of a digital library that distinguishes it from a database or a web site.

Digital Library project (Digital Libraries: Practice)
Create something new in digital libraries.

Characterize Digital Libraries using the 5S model (Digital Libraries: Theory)
Streams, Structures, Spaces, Scenarios, Societies -- the 5 S's that encompass the characteristics of digital libraries. What do they all mean and how can they be used to build and maintain a working digital library.

Organize information in a digital library (Digital Libraries: Theory)
The role of metadata and other ways to describe digital library content

Recognize and Protect Intellectual Property (Digital Libraries: Theory)
Balancing the rights of the author with the desire to share information requires understanding of intellectual property rights. What can we put into our digital library? To whom can we make it available?

Digital Library services (Digital Libraries: Theory)
What besides content makes a library? How are these services expressed in a digital environment?

Install and configure a digital library (Digital Libraries: Practice)
You will install and configure a digital library so that it can hold information and present it to users, along with appropriate digital library services.

Information about the course management:

 Introduction :
Every indication is that the best way to learn is to be actively involved in discovery, in creating your own knowledge. As a result, your active participation is a fundamental requirement of this course. Each class session will involve some discussion. You will make at least one presentation in front of the class. If that idea makes you somewhat uncomfortable, take that as a sign that you need to overcome that feeling and become confident in your ability to speak to a group and to present your work and your ideas.

Additional information :
Attendance: I assume that every student will attend every class unless I have heard previously that you have a reason for missing class. In all cases, you are responsible to discover what has been done in the class you miss. Just keeping up with class by hearing about happenings from other students is not sufficient, however. Your input into our discussions is important. Your absence not only hurts you; it deprives the rest of the class of the valuable contributions you would have made. A part of the grade is reserved for active participation in every class session.

Some of your work will be submitted in written form. The quality of the writing will be considered in grading your work. Resources are available to help with writing well, and I will be glad to give you some asistance. I do recognize that for many people in this class, English is not your first language. I will consider that in evaluating your work. However, I will expect you to make a conscientious effort to write clearly and to present your ideas in a well-organized and understandable form. Villanova has a writing center where any student can obtain assistance with writing. I will be happy to lend assistance also. Learning to express yourself clearly will serve you well in future endeavors.

Grading Policy

Grades will be based on successful and timely completion of assignments and projects, and on active participation in class and in online discussions.

A graduate student who does what is expected in assignments receives a grade of B. Better work receives better grades. An A is quite possible, but does require exceptional work, not just meeting requirements.

Course Web Presence

There are advantages and disadvantages to the Blackboard course management system used at Villanova.  I prefer that my materials be open and accessible, so I will use this public web site.  We will use the Blackboard site from time to time to take advantage of tools that are there.  Be sure to log in to the course site and become familiar with its use.

Semester Schedule

The following calendar will be developed as the class progresses.  We begin with an approximate schedule of topics and readings for the class up until the Fall break week.


Link to Slides
Digital Libraries: What and Why
Class  Slides

The 5S model of digital libraries
DSpace, Greenstone and other open source packages for installing and managing a digital collection.
Class  Slides
First Reading due: "As We May Think" by Vannevar Bush
Content: The real thing and its description. Gathering content, classifying it. Metadata standards (including Dublin Core) and application to digital library content. Class Slides
Reading: Streams, structures, spaces, scenarios, societies (5s): A formal model for digital libraries
from the ACM Digital Library
Google Books, DL designs Class  Slides
DUE: Review of DSpace documentation, your group member list, Your XML schema in WebCT(Blackboard)
Access control and encryption Class  Slides- Encryption

Class  Slides - OAI
Reading: Arms, Digital Libraries Chapter 7 "Access management and security"
Reading: NINCH Guide Chapter 4 "Rights Management"
Discuss differences and similarities of these materials
User Interfaces and Usability Class  Slides
H.R. Hartson, P. Shivakumar, M.A. Pérez-Quiñones (2004) Usability
inspection of digital libraries: a case study. In International
Journal on Digital Libraries, v4(2), pp. 108-123. hartson-shivakumar-perez.pdf
Fall Break

Demonstration of completed DSpace installations.  Discussions of any problems and plans for the major project.

Any preferences for remaining classes?  We will discuss some options and select which to pursue.

Complete User Interfaces and Usability discussion -- interfaces for video materials. 

Slides from last class.

Visit - Chris Continanza - TA for the class - who will talk about more details of DSpace than most people will have discovered by now.

Visit - Mary Malone will talk about the construction of the Irish Music DL for last Fall's class.  This involves some interesting features that are particular to the collection, but are indicative of the way a DL is tailored to the content and the audience.
Chris's slides

Mary's slides

Quality in Digital Libraries. How to measure; what does it mean; how important is it Class Slides
Marcos André Gonçalves, Bárbara L. Moreira, Edward A. Fox and Layne T. Watson
"What is a good digital library?" -- A quality model for digital libraries
Information Processing & Management Volume 43 Issue 5 September 2007 pages 1416-1437
Copy of the paper from the author
Interim Reports on Project Progress (10- 15 minutes for each project.  Each team member to speak)

Logging in digital libraries

Digital Preservation, Archival Science and Methodological Foundations for Digital Libraries

Class Slides

Note:  From yesterday's Inquirer: A World Digital Library

Paper handed out and e-mailed -- Seamus Ross's keynote address at  ECDL 2007.  Concept maps due and will be used for discussion purposes
Josepha Lucia, Director of the Villanova Library to speak on the world of a real and substantial digital library environment.  I think you will be pleased to see what is happening right here!

Exploring Digital Libraries: Integrating Browsing, Searching, and Visualization
Class Slides
Paper handed out at class on 11/19
Super imposed Inforamation in the Digital Library context

 Semester Review and reflection

Project presentations


  1. CIS 661 - Digital Libraries:
  2. Copyright Management Center, IUPUI Indianapolis.  Checklist for Fair Use
  3. Cryptograms.
  4. Cryptograms - Letter Frequencies.
  5. Data Encryption Standard.
  6. Getting Permission.
  7. Giving SOAP a REST
  8. Gonçalves, M. A., Moreira, B. L., Fox, E. A., and Watson, L. T. “Quality Model for Digital Libraries�
  9. Gonçalves, M. A., Luo, M., Ali, M. F., and Fox, E. A. “An XML Log Standard and Tool for Digital Library Logging Analysis� In Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries, 6th European Conference, ECDL 2002, Rome, Italy, September 16-18, 2002, Proceedings
  10. Klas, C., et al "A Logging Scheme for Comparative Digital Library Evaluation� Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries, 10th European Conference, ECDL 2006, Alicante,Spain, September 18-20, 2002, Proceedings
  11. Library of Congress. American Memory Project
  12. Library of Congress. American Memory Project.  Map Collections.
  13. OAI For Beginners - The Open Archives Forum online tutorial:
  14. Sale, Tony.  Technical Specification of the Enigma.
  15. Sale, Tony.  Virtual Bletchley Park. The Breaking of Enigma by the Polish Mathematicians
  16. SOAP Version 1.2 Part 0: Primer
  17. US Copyright Office.  Copyright.
  18. Z39.50 An Overview of Development and the Future (1995)
  19. Z39.50 Resource Page: