Case studies of DAM projects at other colleges.doc


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Case studies of DAM projects at other colleges.doc

  1. 1. Digital Asset Management (DAM) and Institutional Repository (IR) programs at other liberal arts colleges Prepared for IRC by the DAM Task Force Dickinson College Contact: Rafael Alvarado, Director of Academic Technology Systems: CONTENTdm (costs $9,800 - $19,800 initially, $1,666-$3,366 annually) IKON (built in-house) Blackboard (similar to WebCT; has storage capacity) Staff: There is no staff designated to handle asset management, but Rafael likes the idea. Everything is left to Academic Technology. The end user is in charge of metadata input and upkeep. There is nobody in-house to cover digitization. Dickinson College, with roughly 2,500-3,000 students, uses CONTENTdm alongside their custom built system, IKON. In addition, faculty use Blackboard (similar to Skidmore’s WebCT) for storing digital objects. Rafael’s comments on their systems: o CONTENTdm  very simple data model  supports complex objects  they use this mainly for books and images but not much more  mostly for curated collections o IKON (built in-house)  Images, video files, etc.  adds meta data  various groups on campus use it to store & sort images  very freeform o Blackboard  not quite DAM, but their faculty use it as such Dickinson investigated, but chose not to join the NITLE DSpace pilot project. They felt that the project did not offer enough space for storage. When asked about criticisms of their DAM program, Rafael feels that their DAM systems and services should be more centralized. He also believes that asset management "should be like digital plumbing" and he feels that every project must be started from scratch. Five Colleges of Ohio consortium Contacts: Alan Boyd, Assoc. Director of Libraries, Oberlin College Scott Siddall, Assistant Provost, Director of Instructional Technology, Denison Systems: CONTENTdm (early-adopters in CLAC received a 50% discount – cost approximately $5,000 initially and $1,000 annually) Fedora (free, requires local development) Staff: One person devotes half their time at Oberlin, while Scott Siddall, with student help, maintains CONTENTdm collections at Denison.
  2. 2. We spoke with Alan Boyd and Scott Siddall about the Collaboration with Technology Program (CTP), a project funded by a Mellon Foundation grant to Denison and Kenyon from 1999-2005. It was conceived as a faculty development program to enhance learning through the use of technology. The DAM Project (one of many projects funded by CTP), aimed to identify opportunities for the Five Colleges (Denison, Kenyon, Oberlin, Ohio Wesleyan, Wooster) to meet DAM needs consortially. The Five Colleges held meetings in 2000 and 2002 to identify and discuss common interests. They selected CONTENTdm as an initial digital asset management system (CONTENTdm was already being implemented at Denison). The initial software acquisition was funded by Mellon using a vendor agreement negotiated by the Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges (CLAC). They then held a meeting to train staff in CONTENTdm and metadata standards. Training costs were subsidized by library directors at Five Colleges. A trainer was brought in from CONTENTdm (OCLC) to work with librarians and some IT staff. There was little faculty involvement in the training. The training was highly successful at familiarizing staff with the CONTENTdm interface, making it much easier to support pilot projects. Each campus then defined one CONTENTdm project as a pilot study, to be interlinked with CONTENTdm’s multi-site server. According to Alan and Scott, the initiative “fell down” and never successfully sustained across the Five Colleges. Unlike the other four colleges who share a common catalog (CONSORT), Oberlin maintains control over its own catalog. This has fostered some political/administrative isolation and Oberlin is not currently an active consortial participant in DAM related issues. Kenyon implemented several projects, as did Denison. The other colleges did little or nothing and abandoned the project. Alan and Scott cited a lack of interest and resources. Faculty and staff at these other institutions did not then, nor are they now, seeking support for DAM. As a “service” provided by Library or IT staff, it could not be sustained given competing demands for time. Currently at Oberlin: CONTENTdm is used for specific, small-scale projects including slide collections and photo archives. Faculty are directly involved only to the extent they have ownership for a particular project. CONTENTdm is supported, monetarily and administratively, by the Library. The East Asian specialist in the library (a new hire or hire in progress) is devoted half-time to CONTENTdm, supervising student “programming” (support for particular projects using CONTENTdm). Boyd is “not sure how this is going to work.” There does not seem to be a broad sense of institutional need - nor a coherent vision - for DAM at Oberlin and it efforts seem modest. Rather than continue with the Four Colleges consortium on DAM-related issues, Oberlin is working with OhioLINK, which is establishing a statewide server for Institutional Repositories using Fedora. Oberlin anticipates using CONTENTdm for local collections and specific management of discrete projects only. (In some respects, this sounds like Hamilton’s two- tiered system, except that the formal IR component is not local but consortial).
  3. 3. Currently at Denison: CONTENTdm is administered and supported directly by the Assistant Provost (Siddall). Six or seven major collections (largest: AH slide collection of 20K images) are managed with CONTENTdm, each with its own set of metadata standards. CONTENTdm was chosen because the export routines are robust, allowing complete export of metadata, thumbnails, and full images. It is also cheap. Student workers digitize materials and faculty customize metadata using Dublin Core. Siddall cannot imagine ever needing to hire anyone, even part time, to help coordinate this effort. Stake holders are few and he can easily manage the existing collections himself. Faculty and other stake holders use their own, ad hoc approaches and seem satisfied. It seems as though a full scale needs-assessment was never done and Siddall agrees that ignorance largely explains the lack of pressure. At some point, specific collections may be uploaded into OhioLINK (see above), using the institution-specific interface that is being developed with Fedora. Denison did use ArtSTOR for one collection (on a trial basis) but quickly abandoned it since it was slow and much less direct than the CONTENTdm system that was already available on campus. Hamilton College Contact: Ken Herold, LIS Director Systems: CONTENTdm (costs $9,800 - $19,800 initially, $1,666-$3,366 annually) Fedora (free, requires local development) Staff: Currently unstaffed. DAM committee recommended a coordinator position, but it was not funded. Hamilton underwent a process very much like ours, and issued a series of recommendations in 2006. Ken’s technology group in the library had already been working with Fedora, although their needs-assessment process concluded that CONTENTdm was the preferred product for the college. As a result, they are pushing forward with both Fedora for long-term preservation and ContentDM for collection management and classroom use of digital assets. A huge amount of information about their DAM committee is available at . It includes all of their documents, as well as analyses of various systems. In their final report the DAM group recommended a position very similar to ours – a point person and manager to partner with faculty and staff on building digital collections. Funding for the position was denied. At this point they have installed both ContentDM and Fedora, but the ContentDM system is empty. After the new staff position was scratched from their plan, a group of library technologists (2 FTE, including Ken) and academic technologists (5 FTE) agreed to volunteer as a DAM support group. However none of them have had the time or coordination to do any work and Ken does not foresee this changing. Now they are
  4. 4. retooling an old project (called “Hill Teams”) in which librarians and academic technologists are paired up to provide support for individual courses as a team. While this project had never been very active, the hope is that by folding DAM support work into the teams more work will get done on digital collections. Liberal Arts Scholarly Repository (LASR) at Carleton College The Liberal Arts Scholarly Repository (a consortium consisting of Amherst College, Carleton College, Connecticut College, Dickinson College, Macalester College, Middlebury College, Simmons College, and Trinity University). Contact: Ann Zawistoski, librarian, Carleton College Systems: Formerly Longsight (Fedora?), moving to NITLE DSpace (cost costs minimum $7,750 initially, $3,750 annually). Staffing: Unknown; We only spoke with Ann at Carleton College about her experiences. The Liberal Arts Scholarly Repository (LASR) was founded by Carleton College, Dickinson College, Middlebury College, and Trinity University as a way to explore institutional repositories at liberal arts institutions. We spoke with Ann Zawistoski, a librarian at Carleton College who participated in the initial planning of the LASR project. She worked on institutional repository (IR) pilot projects involving storing student theses. For about 2 years she tried out a few different vendors, and developed some preliminary work-flows and policies, and then put together the process for evaluating the vendors for their IR. During the pilot phase, she would contact graduating Seniors from the participating departments and ask them to complete a consent form and send an electronic copy of their thesis. Then she would create the Dublin Core metadata and add the paper to the repository. It was not very formalized and she thinks that going forward, they will formalize the process a lot more. Following a RFP sent to various IR vendors ( LASR/RFPEval/lasrrfp.html), the group at Carleton evaluated the vendors based on their criteria. They chose a system hosted by Longsight, a company specializing in hosting open-source academic software systems. In early 2007 the LASR repository is moving to the NITLE DSpace repository. At Carleton, the work is mostly done by the cataloging / metadata librarian and the library technology coordinator. They also have help from someone on the college's web team to help with some of the more technical aspects and to do communication with the Longsight vendors. Saint Lawrence University Contacts: Eric Williams-Bergen, Science Librarian Catherine Tedford, Director of Richard F. Brush Art Gallery Systems: CONTENTdm (costs $9,800 - $19,800 initially, $1,666-$3,366 annually) DSpace (costs minimum $7,750 initially, $3,750 annually) Staff: 13 member ‘working group’ and plans to hire a temporary metadata cataloger
  5. 5. Eric Williams-Bergen, along with Catherine Tedford are overseeing and coordinating a working group of dedicated staff (IT, library, & art gallery staff) whose task it is to deal with all aspects of DAM at Saint Lawrence. There is no specific position, such as a Coordinator of Digital Assets, and no plans for one in the future. He indicated that the institution and the various stakeholders were happy with the distributed model they have adopted. Faculty members learn about various initiatives through word-of-mouth, as there is no formalized procedure for making known what services are available. Instead, each member of the working group (13 members) is conversant with all of the projects and whom to direct new queries or potential projects. SLU has been using CONTENTdm for several years, but only has about 12 collections input thus far. Each of these collections is small, ranging from the tens of objects to the hundreds. Eric indicated that part of the problem with growing collections has been the lack of metadata standards, especially when trying to incorporate personal collections of faculty. For now, the art gallery utilizes the CONTENTdm database to its fullest and is embarking on a new collection of photography to be added once a temporary metadata cataloger is hired. He was very clear on the importance of adopting and implementing campus-wide (if possible) metadata standards, color standards and protocols for scanning. Since the adoption of standards has been slow on campus, Eric and other team members have focused some of their energies toward introducing faculty to low-level tools for organizing their data and images, such as Adobe Lightroom, Apple Aperture and Google’s Picasa program. In addition, SLU has joined a consortium of liberal arts colleges in the LASR/NITLE DSpace Pilot project, though they have yet to include anything in DSpace. SLU also participates in the NITLE sponsored initiative CODEX and is interested in any collaborative partnerships with peer institutions. (As an aside, Eric deals with GIS at SLU and may be a good contact for some of the issues we confront here at Skidmore. He was also very interested in collaborating).