January 22, 2016

Public libraries share their digitization success stories

From ALA member news

CHICAGO— Digitizing your collection is not only a great way to increase access to your materials, it also engages patrons on a whole new level and helps communicate your library’s value. But with staff time and resources already spread thin, it can be a challenge to plan and undertake a digitization initiative. The good news is that public libraries across the country have done just that. In “Digitizing Your Collection: Public Library Success Stories,” published by ALA Editions, author Susanne Caro and contributors Sam Meister, Tammy Ravas, and Wendy Walker share lessons and tips for success, showing the way to getting your collection online. With succinct and practical guidance that can be adapted to any size institution, this book

  • explains why public libraries should take digitization seriously, listing key points that can be used to get stakeholders on board;
  • points out what you should consider before undertaking a digitization project;
  • discusses copyright and other access-related issues;
  • shows how public libraries are handling funding and finding collaborative partners;
  • shares ways that libraries have used digitization projects for community outreach and to promote collections; and
  • offers advice on marketing and media.

Caro is the government document librarian at the University of Montana, Missoula. She has presented at library conferences regarding how to access digitized educational resources. Previously she was the state document librarian and coordinator at the New Mexico State Library where she planned and implemented the creation of a digital collection of El Palacio magazine, the oldest museum publication in the country, dating back to 1913. Meister is currently the preservation communities manager at the Educopia Institute. He is also currently an instructor in the Society of American Archivists’ Digital Archives Specialist Certificate Program and an instructor in the Library of Congress’s Digital Preservation Outreach and Education Program. Ravas is associate professor and visual and performing arts librarian at the University of Montana, Missoula. She has presented at library conferences and other workshops regarding copyright and higher education. Walker worked for four years as the digital collections and metadata services librarian at the Henderson District Public Libraries and is now the digital initiatives librarian at the University of Montana.