Saturday, August 08, 2015

Tech Review: Biodiversity Heritage Library

The BIODIVERSITY HERITAGE LIBRARY website contains an interesting digital collection as well as two games to help the website verify the accuracy of OCR scanning.
The digital library contains free access to biodiversity knowledge. With nearly 100,000 titles and over 160,000 volumes, it contains millions of pages of taxonomic literature. While many of the materials aren’t likely to be of interest to K-12 youth, there are some interesting items that could be woven into art and science classes.
The BHL Blog is a good place to go for specific items of interest to youth. For instance, a children’s librarian’s Taming the Wild post shared some cool social media posters made from images from the collection. The blog also hosts a podcast featuring key collections such as their SHARK WEEK collection. It’s available at iTunes.
A good place for youth to start is at the Flickr stream. When students find an image of interest they can learn more by exploring the entire report or book.
The website’s two purposeful games help the library verify the automated information mined when objects were digitized. The Smorball game asks users to type the words they see as quickly and accurately as possible to help coach their team to victory. The Beanstalk game involves users in typing the words presented to them correctly in order to grow their beanstalk.
The Biodiversity Heritage Library is a great way to introduce youth to digital collections in the sciences.
To explore the website, go to
Go to the Taming the Wild blogpost at…/taming-wild-social-me….