Thursday, April 02, 2015

Digitization Challenges – A Discussion in Progress

Digitization Challenges – A Discussion in Progress. Merrilee Proffitt. Blog. OCLC Research. March 23, 2015.
There are challenges faced by libraries digitizing collections, such as dealing with born digital materials, storage and preservation, web harvesting, and others. Their recent discussion looked at these topics:
  • Metadata: Item-level description vs collection descriptions. The challenge is digitizing archival collections at the item or page level when the descriptions are at a collection level. How can we engage scholars to help with the description if the resources are outside the library?
  • Process management / workflow / shift from projects to programs. There are challenges to establish workflows to meet different needs. Some are transitioning from projects to programs.
  • Selection – prioritizing users over curators and funders. "Many institutions are still operating under a model whereby curators or subject librarians feed the selection pool" even though surveys indicate selection should move towards directly serving the needs of the users.
  • Audio/Visual materials. Making these available is a concern because differing levels of interest, high costs, reformatting capacities, and need for accompanying transcriptions. 
  • Access: are we putting things where scholars can find them. Are collections discoverable from Google or the institution? What are the users' experiences in using the collection?

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