Home-Grown Help: Digital Library Education for Staff


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  • Background – why/how this started -- Not professionally-trained librarians  no expectations to keep up with changes in cataloging
  • Background – why/how this started -- Not professionally-trained librarians  no expectations to keep up with changes in cataloging
  • Just because information exists about an object, we are not obligated to capture that information.
  • Heavier reliance on judgment when cataloging digital objects because of lack of definitive information, authority files, etc. Progress over perfection – easy to make changes later  doesn’t have to be perfect the first time around. Don’t expect things to be perfect.
  • While our two interns have been vastly different in terms of experience, both were considered to be extremely successful experiences – for us and for the interns.
  • Home-Grown Help: Digital Library Education for Staff

    1. 1. In-House Training for Digital Projects Abby Clobridge Bucknell University 2006 ASIS&T DL – ED Panel: Education for Digital Librarianship – Employers’ Needs
    2. 2. Bucknell University <ul><li>Approx. 4,000 students </li></ul><ul><li>Information Services & Resources – a merged library/IT organization </li></ul><ul><li>ISR: 90 FTE </li></ul><ul><li>Digital collection building activities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Help needed: metadata production, metadata clean-up, long-term sustainability for program </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Metadata Training Workshop
    4. 4. Metadata Training for Technical Services Staff <ul><li>Why? </li></ul><ul><li>Increase in pre-cataloged materials </li></ul><ul><li>Long-term plan to transition catalogers’ job responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Digital library production needed help </li></ul>
    5. 5. Metadata Training for Technical Services Staff <ul><li>Barriers for Training: </li></ul><ul><li>Money </li></ul><ul><li>Timing </li></ul><ul><li>Geography </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on how-to rather than theory </li></ul>
    6. 6. Introduction to Metadata Workshop Series <ul><li>In-house program specifically designed to teach technical services staff about metadata </li></ul><ul><li>Semester-long program </li></ul><ul><li>Reading assignments </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on practical knowledge needed to create metadata for digital collections </li></ul>
    7. 7. Strategy for Workshop Series <ul><li>Changes in information retrieval over past 20+ years </li></ul><ul><li>User search behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Digital objects </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction to major metadata schemes – Dublin Core, VRA Core 3.0 </li></ul>
    8. 8. Strategy for Workshop Series <ul><li>Using non-LC authority files </li></ul><ul><li>Working with locally-created vocabularies, thesauri, rules for description </li></ul><ul><li>Developing controlled vocabularies for specific collections </li></ul>
    9. 9. Strategy for Workshop Series <ul><li>“ Advanced” Tract: Metadata Librarians </li></ul><ul><li>Cataloging </li></ul><ul><ul><li>MARC, AACR2 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FRBR, RDA </li></ul></ul><ul><li>More technical information: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Relational databases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The big picture: project phases for building digital collections </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Overarching Questions <ul><li>Why is this different from traditional cataloging? </li></ul><ul><li>Why can’t we use MARC and AACR2? </li></ul><ul><li>Why don’t we use Library of Congress Subject Headings? </li></ul><ul><li>No authority files? No definitive source? </li></ul>
    11. 11. Hands-On Exercises <ul><li>Creating metadata for digital objects from our collections: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 1: in MARC using AACR2 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 2: in Dublin Core </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 3: in VRA Core 3.0 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 4: locally-created hybrid schemes. </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Hands-On Exercises <ul><li>Creating metadata for digital objects from our collections: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Images of art </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Materials from Special Collections </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Materials from the University Archives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Three-dimensional objects </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Hands-On Exercises <ul><li>Some issues to consider: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>user needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>part vs. whole </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital surrogates vs. objects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>cataloging without authority data </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Quantity, Usefulness, & Necessity <ul><li>Not necessary to be exhaustive. </li></ul><ul><li>Balance between what information is useful or necessary and what is excessive. </li></ul>
    15. 15. Traditional Cataloging vs. Metadata for Digital Objects <ul><li>Heavier reliance on judgment when cataloging digital objects. </li></ul><ul><li>Fear of “not enough.” </li></ul><ul><li>Progress over perfection. </li></ul>
    16. 16. Digital Projects Internship
    17. 17. Digital Projects Internship <ul><li>Anticipated need for further help. </li></ul><ul><li>Formal internship program. </li></ul><ul><li>Offered for credit or small stipend. </li></ul>
    18. 18. Job Posting: Digital Libraries Internship Bucknell University’s Information Services & Resources, a merged library and IT organization, is offering a paid summer internship for a library/information science student interested in learning more about digital libraries. This position is designed to provide experience in all aspects of an academic digital library/technology environment. Responsibilities will include (but not be limited to) assisting with digital image processing, metadata work, and other tasks associated with building a digital collection. During the summer of 2005, ISR will be building a large digital image collection to be used for teaching art history and related courses during the fall semester, so there will be opportunities for hands-on experience in a wide variety of areas.
    19. 19. Learning Objectives – Fall 2005: <ul><li>Understand different rationales for embarking on digitization projects – preservation of originals, increased access, storing born-digital materials. </li></ul><ul><li>Understand metadata standards, why they are used, and limitations within the pedagogical realm. </li></ul>
    20. 20. Learning Objectives Continued <ul><li>Understand end-user behavior for searching digital collections in an academic environment; understand metadata and its relationship to database searching; understand how the purpose of the project effects how the collection is built. </li></ul>
    21. 21. Learning Objectives Continued <ul><li>Understand preservation methods used in digital asset management; understand issues involved in long-term storage of digital assets. </li></ul><ul><li>Understand copyright issues involved in providing access to art images. </li></ul>
    22. 22. Internship – Work Accomplished <ul><li>Produced metadata for over 600 art images. Researched artists, artwork, locations in various databases and thesauri. </li></ul><ul><li>Oversaw process for student assistants who were scanning 500 images from University Archives. Prepared images to be scanned. Quality control for scanned images. </li></ul><ul><li>Created metadata for 500 scanned images from University Archives. </li></ul>
    23. 23. Second Intern – Summer 2006 <ul><li>Past experience working as a student assistant in the technical services unit of a small academic library. No formal training in metadata or digital libraries. </li></ul><ul><li>Preparing to start library/information science graduate program. </li></ul><ul><li>No real experience, but an aptitude and interest in cataloging and metadata. </li></ul>
    24. 24. Work Accomplished <ul><li>Under the supervision of the Metadata Librarian, worked to clean up metadata for 2000 records in one collection. </li></ul><ul><li>Assisted with the creation of an in-depth thesaurus tracing the changing names of campus buildings over the past 150 years. </li></ul><ul><li>Created original cataloging for additional images for the collection. </li></ul>
    25. 25. Benefits of Interns <ul><li>Free/cheap labor, high level of dedication, high level of interest. </li></ul><ul><li>Able to teach hands-on side of metadata. </li></ul><ul><li>General familiarity with organization of information, why data needs to be consistent. </li></ul>
    26. 26. Considerations <ul><li>Significant time on part of manager for mentoring, teaching, training. </li></ul><ul><li>Work can be monotonous – plan accordingly. </li></ul><ul><li>Level of commitment. </li></ul><ul><li>Be careful hiring – “I want to help, but I don’t want to do anything boring.” </li></ul>
    27. 27. Final Thoughts <ul><li>Building an in-house education program can be successful – although quite time-consuming. </li></ul><ul><li>Vastly different experience educating technical services staff, public services staff, and interns. </li></ul><ul><li>Further help from the LIS community would be appreciated… </li></ul>