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Copyright Gregory A. Mitchell and Adam C. Northam, 2008. This work is the intellectual property of the authors. Permission is granted for this material.

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Presentation on theme: "Copyright Gregory A. Mitchell and Adam C. Northam, 2008. This work is the intellectual property of the authors. Permission is granted for this material."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Copyright Gregory A. Mitchell and Adam C. Northam, This work is the intellectual property of the authors. Permission is granted for this material to be shared for non-commercial, educational purposes, provided that this copyright statement appears on the reproduced materials and notice is given that the copying is by permission of the authors. To disseminate otherwise or to republish requires written permission from the author.

3 Gen Next Meets Greatest Generation: Creating Community Through a Digital Library

4 Adam Northam Digital Collections Librarian Texas A&M University - Commerce

5 Greg Mitchell Director of Libraries Texas A&M University - Commerce

6 Academic libraries have experienced profound change. “Most people tend to overestimate the effect of technology in the short run, but underestimate its effect in the long run.” – Bill Gates

7 Transforming from the traditional model: Print resources Print resources Ownership of resources Ownership of resources Traditional services (reference, circulation, catalog) delivered in the building Traditional services (reference, circulation, catalog) delivered in the building Catering to a captive market Catering to a captive market

8 To a new model: Heavily electronic in format Heavily electronic in format Access, access, access Access, access, access Decline of traditional services to more distance, creating access tools, online delivery Decline of traditional services to more distance, creating access tools, online delivery Loss of the captive market Loss of the captive market

9 What then is the mission of the modern academic library?

10 James G. Gee Library and a Vision for the Future Boldly Going Where No One Has Gone Before...

11 Here’s a hint: “One important strategic idea is that libraries configure their IT services and activities to emphasize the distinctive expertise of their librarians, rather than simply concentrate on the size and character of the documentary collection.” Rob Kling Rob Kling “The Internet and the Strategic Reconfiguration of Libraries,” Library Administration & Management, 15 (3) Summer 2001,

12 Convergence of concerns The transformation of libraries to digital environment The transformation of libraries to digital environment An academic interest in preserving historical resources An academic interest in preserving historical resources Led to our creation of a digital library

13 What is a digital library? The use of a computer to store and make accessible library materials that are in digital format. The use of a computer to store and make accessible library materials that are in digital format. The materials may be text, images, sound, or video. The materials may be text, images, sound, or video.

14 Digital Libraries Two main types: Two main types: Collections of published or presented material, i.e., scholarly communication process Collections of published or presented material, i.e., scholarly communication process

15 Digital Libraries Two main types: Two main types: Collections of published or presented material, i.e., scholarly communication process Collections of published or presented material, i.e., scholarly communication process Collections of original or primary source material, i.e., special collections or archives Collections of original or primary source material, i.e., special collections or archives

16 Digital Libraries Although there is great incentive to change the scholarly communication process, it is the collections of original materials that most faculty want. (Ithaka study 2006) Although there is great incentive to change the scholarly communication process, it is the collections of original materials that most faculty want. (Ithaka study 2006)

17 Advantages of Digital Library 24 X 7 X X 7 X 365 World wide World wide Multiple simultaneous users Multiple simultaneous users Scalable Scalable Digital collection larger than physical Digital collection larger than physical

18 More Advantages... Encourages preservation of materials Encourages preservation of materials Increased visibility for the campus and for each of its partners Increased visibility for the campus and for each of its partners

19 Pilot Project Original idea: digitize WWII posters in our Special Collections Dept. Original idea: digitize WWII posters in our Special Collections Dept.

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22 Pilot Project Built on a shoestring budget, using existing staff and equipment Built on a shoestring budget, using existing staff and equipment Open source image database management software (Greenstone) on 2 computers Open source image database management software (Greenstone) on 2 computers Started with 2 staff members Started with 2 staff members Already had a digital camera Already had a digital camera Only expenditure: $40 for shop lights Only expenditure: $40 for shop lights

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24 Pilot Idea Develops Further As work began, the potential of digital collections quickly became apparent Idea expanded from WWII posters to include content of other item types: Photographs Documents Oral history video interviews of veterans and families

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26 Pilot idea develops further Also, expanding the project into other collections Historical, such as African American, agriculture, Cotton Belt Railroad Contemporary, such as faculty collections related to their research and instruction

27 Valuable lessons learned from the pilot project Open source software can have a steep learning curve for someone without some knowledge of HTML Became more familiar with metadata standards (Dublin Core)

28 More lessons learned... Became more familiar with scanning/digital photography/video procedures, standards & practices File formats (JPEG, TIFF, PDF, MP4) Copy photography (lighting etc.) Video processing (from comp. file to DVD)

29 More lessons learned... Learned the importance of hardware/software selection Must balance cost, performance, ease of use

30 What Resulted from the Pilot Initial plan was to create pilot to generate interest, use it as a tool to pursue grant funding—were given funds by university to fund first year of project instead. To effect change, people must agree with both the importance AND the urgency of the idea.

31 What Resulted from the Pilot We were able to upgrade to CONTENTdm database management software More user-friendly than open source Had access to professional user support 50 licenses gave the flexibility to partner with outside groups

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34 What Resulted from the Pilot We were able to buy more equipment 1 additional digital still camera 2 new digital video cameras 2 new workstations for video processing

35 What Resulted from the Pilot We were able to involve more people in the project Cataloging Dept. helped with consistent description of digitized items (Controlled Vocabs/LCSH for subject descriptors) Also helped determine essential DC fields to be included on each record University’s Marketing Dept. worked closely w/ library to develop a brand

36 What Resulted from the Pilot University’s Technology Services Dept allowed library to use existing server space for collection and backups Built our customized CDM collection page Provides technical support when needed

37 Goals we had Expectation: obtain 100 interviews, 600 images in first year Reality: currently have ca. 140 interviews, 1,800 images There is an incredible amount of previously untapped primary material.

38 More about goals...  Expectation: We initially thought technology would be relatively straightforward.  Reality: Steep learning curve for staff. Processing of materials quickly became a workload bottleneck.

39 More about goals...  Expectation: We were prepared to promote the project and actively seek out materials.  Reality: We have more than what we can handle, primarily by word of mouth. Support – and interest – in the project has been excellent from people in all walks of life.

40 More about goals...  Expectation: We thought that we were the Lone Ranger and would be building the collection by ourselves.  Reality: Local organizations and individuals were more than willing to collaborate. These collaborators became a network, with the university as the hub.

41 Benefits Through technology, we created a community of collaborators that: exhibits diversity exhibits diversity expands academic resources expands academic resources creates goodwill by building up local organizations. creates goodwill by building up local organizations.


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