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Building Sustainable Digital Collections: Challenges & Opportunities. A Presentation for the Digital Collection Coordinator position at the University of Oregon by Kate Ball Temporary Digital Projects Librarian, University of Oregon June 8 th , 2007. Sustainability.
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Building Sustainable Digital Collections: Challenges & Opportunities A Presentation for the Digital Collection Coordinator position at the University of Oregon by Kate Ball Temporary Digital Projects Librarian, University of Oregon June 8th, 2007
Sustainability • Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary: • To give support to • To maintain or keep up • To bear the weight of • To allow or admit as valid • To support by adequate proof
Key Concepts in the Sustainability of a Digital Collection Program • Supporting the mission & goals of the institution • Supporting targeted end-users’ needs • Planning for ongoing preservation and management • Interoperability of content and metadata • Resource allocation to ensure lasting accessibility
What comprises a Digital Collection Program? • According to NISO’s A Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections. http://www.niso.org/framework/Framework2.html • Collections • Groupings of digital content. • Objects • Individual images, documents, or other units of digital content. • Metadata • Descriptive, technical, administrative, and rights-related information about digital collections and objects. • Projects • Strategic plans with specific goals and timelines.
Collection Level Sustainability • Does the project enhance the aims of the institution and satisfy the greatest needs of end-users? • Consultation with Subject Specialists. • Collaboration with outside partners and user groups. • Does the institution have the resources in place to develop and maintain the collection? • Digitization equipment, storage space, & human resources to produce, catalog, and maintain digital collections. • Is a system in place to document the ongoing functionality of the collection? • Automatically generated reports and usage statistics. • User-group studies and qualitative analysis.
Object Level Sustainability • Maintaining master preservation copies as well as access/use copies of digital objects. • Storage space for archival preservation copies. • Establishing standards for digitization. • Selecting specifications and formats that support interoperability, migration, and reusability. • Creating and documenting naming conventions that provide unique identifiers for each digital object. • Institution-wide naming conventions. • Conventions that follow best practices & standards such as ISO. • Drafting specific naming guidelines at the onset of each project and linking them to archival storage of preservation copies for enduring sustainability.
Sustainability of Metadata • Designing robust metadata from the initial stages of a project to accommodate future developments of complex public interfaces. • Strong provisional metadata at the time of uploading. • Planning of more extensive descriptive fields that can be added over time. • Adhering to metadata schema and standards that promote interoperability & metadata cross-walking. • Mapping complex & customized schemas to widely-used standards such as Dublin Core for harvesting aggregates like OAIster. • Use of standardized data dictionaries, controlled vocabularies and information standards such as Library of Congress Subject Headings, Thesaurus of Graphical Materials, and ISO date formats. • Balancing detailed description with cost-effectiveness. • Maximizing the usefulness to the end user with efficiency in description and maintenance.
Sustainability of Digital Projects • Thorough planning and analysis at the onset of new digital projects. • Establishing estimated size and storage requirements prior to embarking on digital projects. • Developing and documenting naming conventions and metadata fields. • Allocating ongoing resources to support not only development, but also continued maintenance of digital collections. • Establishing specific goals and a timeline of milestones. • Entering into projects with a strong vision of the finished project. • Setting deadlines and goals for stages of the projects such as initial pilot project stage and timeline for final product. • Transforming projects into programs over time. • Documenting workflows and best practices to incorporate into a lasting digital collections program. • Establishing partnerships and lines of communication to facilitate the planning of new digital projects within a robust digital collections program.
Meeting the Challenges: Highlights of Sustainability at UO • Cross-training of traditional catalogers to make digital projects a routine part of workflows. • Working toward a programmatic approach to development and maintenance of digital collections. • User-driven collection development. • UO Office of the President - http://boundless.uoregon.edu/digcol/clark/index.html • Scholars’ Bank communities - https://scholarsbank.uoregon.edu/dspace/community-list • Dublin Core mapping for OAIster. • Gertrude Bass Warner photo in ContentDM. • OAIster record of same object. • New Sports History Website. • A shining example of interoperabilty. • Bowerman & Prefontaine in ContentDM • Bowerman & Prefontaine in Leadership & Legacy
Future Directions:Opportunities for Increased Sustainability on the Horizon at UO • Solidification of institution-wide naming conventions. • Establishment of a standardized process for initiating new digital collections in collaboration with Systems, Subject Specialists and outside partners. • Development of workflows for incorporating patron scan requests into public ContentDM collections. • Digitization Equipment Task Force analysis of potential resource-sharing centralized scanning facility.
Final Thoughts on Meeting the Challenges and Opportunities of Sustainability • Encourage collaboration and shared investment in digital collections. • Establish strong partnerships across departments and within greater academic community. • Be flexible and creative – plan for the unexpected.
Sustainability References • Besser, Howard. “The Next Stage: Moving from Isolated Digital Collections to Interoperable Digital Libraries.” First Monday. http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue7_6/besser.index.html • Council on Library and Information Resources. Building and Sustaining Digital Collections: Models for Libraries and Museums. August 2001 http://www.clir.org/PUBS/reports/pub100/pub100.pdf • Gill, Tony & Miller, Paul. “Re-inventing the Wheel? Standards, Interoperability and Digital Cultural Content.” D-Lib Magazine. Vol. 8, No. 1 (January 2002) http://www.dlib/january02/gill/01gill.html • Library of Congress. Sustainability of Digital Formats -- Planning for the Library of Congress.http://www.digitalpreservation.gov/formats/sustain.shtml • National Information Standards Organization. A Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections. 2004 http://www.niso.org/framework/Framework2.html • Smith, Abby. “Issues in Sustainability: Creating Value for Online Users.” First Monday. http://firstmonday.dk/issues/issue8_5/smith/index.html • Waters, Donald J. “Building on Success, Forging New Ground: The Question of Sustainability.” First Monday. http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue9_5/waters/index.html