OU to retrieve lost digitised data of 45k books
The server storing data of 45,000 books of OU library, which took five years of hard work of 35 men crashed wiping out all the digitized data recently.
• A few months back OU server for digitised books crashes
• Students forced to come to OU library
• A majority of students use library for preparation of competitive exams
• Library shelves gathering dust as students seldom read library books
Hyderabad: The server storing data of 45,000 books of OU library, which took five years of hard work of 35 men crashed wiping out all the digitized data recently.
The initiative of digital libraries was to provide universal access to public domain books. The project was supported by Carnegie Mellon University and 1 million books project of Digital Library India (DLI) to publish all the works of humankind, to make it accessible for free.
OU has been contributing some of the greatest collection of books since the library houses over 5 lakh books, which includes rare documents, manuscripts, innumerable theses, and stacks of documents.
“The server collapsed a few months ago, because of a technical bug and all the online files have been lost. Since then, the students have been visiting the library to access any of the documents. However, we managed to retrieve metadata and the backup is being made with the help of associated university and DLI.
It might take some time for us to get back the data back to the website. To avoid such threats, OU has also accommodated new backup servers. said assistant professor, Dr AS Chakravarthy of OU Library.
Digital library of OU has been using link http://oudl.osmania.ac.in for accessing the books which is dead now since the server collapsed. Presently, OU has provided alternative to foreign textbook publishers in collaboration with Pearson and Sage Publishers.
Nonetheless, the OU website when in working could not project a friendly interface, to browse content unlike DLI or archive.org.
6 lakh Indian books on archive.org
One of the world’s largest digital public domain library archive.org contains over 6 lakh Indian books in several languages.
Out of which 4 lakh books were contributed by Public Library of India and 1.5 lakh documents from the Gazette of India. The books were scanned in the span of 10 years from 8 countries where OU has contributed about 13,000 books.
Library books seldom read
Reading library books seems out of fashion in OU library, hundreds of students are seen spanning across the tables of library preparing for competitive exams. “It is a rare sight to find a student reading a book of the library.
They get their own books to prepare for competitive exams,” said Dr Chakravarthy. “The library has turned into a study hall, students don’t even look at bookshelves,” opined a student, Rajeshakher. “Although students come here every day, you can see the book shelves covered with dust and smudge,” said a caretaker of library.