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Tips For Surviving Digitization In a Small Organization. Notes From The Trenches Renée DesRoberts The First Time Digitizer NEA Spring Meeting • March 28-29, 2008 Salve Regina University • Newport, Rhode Island. To start, a little about us & our program….

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tips for surviving digitization in a small organization

Tips For Surviving Digitization In a Small Organization

Notes From The Trenches

Renée DesRoberts

The First Time Digitizer

NEA Spring Meeting • March 28-29, 2008

Salve Regina University • Newport, Rhode Island

to start a little about us our program
To start, a little about us & our program…
  • A free, public library founded in 1863
  • Photograph collections dating from about 1870 to present
  • Scanning in concert with Maine Historical Society’s Maine Memory Network since 2006
  • Currently about 1,500 scanned images (99 of which loaded into MMN)
  • No dedicated staff (we scan as need/ability arises)
what can a small shop gain by digitizing posting images online
What can a small shop gain by digitizing & posting images online?
  • You can reach a broader audience.
  • You can improve & enhance access to your holdings.
    • Especially true for rural or “isolated” institutions.
  • You can connect to other organizations (nationally & internationally) with similar or complimentary collections.
things to think about when planning your project
Things to think about when planning your project
  • Project size
  • Project staff
  • Project duration
  • Budget
  • Presentation
  • Technical requirements
  • Creation of Procedures
tip project size it is okay to start small
Tip: Project size -It is okay to start small!!!!
  • A small pilot project will help you determine your abilities & needs.
  • You do not have to purchase expensive software & equipment to start out.
    • We use: Adobe Photoshop Elements (±$100.00); Epson Perfection 4180 Scanner (±$200.00); and an Iomega 60GB Portable Hard-Drive (±$60.00) for back-up storage.
  • Posting a few images on your website or blog is a reasonable start in promoting your collections.
  • Be realistic & don’t take on more than you can handle.
tip procedures naming conventions matter
Tip: Procedures -Naming conventions matter!
  • Think about a naming convention that you could use for the whole collection, even if you are just digitizing a few pieces.
  • Each item should have a UNIQUE name.
    • This can be numeric, descriptive, or whatever works for your collections & organization.
  • Written procedures for names make a big difference
    • when you have multiple people doing the work, AND
    • when you have an on-going or long-term project.
tip staffing recruiting managing volunteers
Tip: Staffing - Recruiting/managing volunteers
  • Younger volunteers (high school & college age):
    • are technologically savvy and usually require little training.
    • often have community service requirements for school or civic groups.
  • Create a work log to manage multiple workers.
    • For example: our work log has space for volunteers (or staff) to write down the item scanned, the electronic file name, and initials of the person doing the work.
  • Keep written procedures with the work log for easy referral by volunteers (or staff).
you don t need to reinvent the wheel
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel…
  • If you can join an existing consortium (such as Maine Memory Network), then do so – they will help you get started & supply the technical support you will require. Otherwise…
  • Contact your state archives, state historical society, or local college/university with digitization programs in place for advice.
  • There are many listservs & discussion groups (SAA Visual Materials Section, NEA Discuss, or the new http://lonearrangers.ning.com) where you can post questions.
  • Pick up a book or guide…(check out SAA’s publications on digitization & digital preservation, as well as the resource list provided by this panel!)
slide9

Tips for Surviving Digitization

in a Small Organization.

Renée DesRoberts, MSLIS

McArthur Public Library

270 Main Street

Biddeford, Maine 04005

207-284-4181

email: rdesroberts@mcarthur.lib.me.us

web: http://www.mcarthur.lib.me.us

blog: http://backblog.wordpress.com

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