A Library of the Future
Penn State and HP have teamed up to digitize a vast amount of information which includes photos, scientific studies, videos, animations and research papers. A Digital Library Infrastructure team (part of ITS) has been working with HP on establishing a system that can handle a enormous amount of data in a way that is convenient for users. Although such a system may seem to be fairly a simple venture, the head of the Digital Library Infrastructure team, Mark Saussure explains the complexity:
Digital library platforms will change, but our first priority will always be to provide students and faculty with access to the information they need. Needs such as these, in addition to the needs of faculty, staff, and our research partners at other institutions all need to be taken into account. With all these interrelated roles, being able to find information now, and long into the future, is just as important as how we store it.
The Digital Library Infrastructure team has been evaluating different systems for keeping track and displaying the digitized information and has decided on a system called XAM (eXtensible Access Method). HP will help to design an infrastructure than can be expanded in the future as the library gets larger and the needs of the user change. The system could possibly be in the hundreds of terabytes or several petabytes in size.
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