Using DASH! For Digital Repositories


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Presents a case study on how Jarrett Library at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, Texas, has been using ebrary’s DASH! (data sharing fast), to create searchable databases of content. The case study explores the possibilities that are made available by the use of DASH!, including multiple types of information sharing with other libraries, openly on the Internet, and also how it is used for creating proprietary digital repositories. The case study concludes with the reasons why DASH! will continue to be used by the ETBU library as well as what has been most useful in regards to DASH!, including the availability of usage statistics, the low cost, and ease of use.

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  • East Texas Baptist University, also known as ETBU, is a small, private Christian University located in the rolling hills and hardwood and pine forests of northeast Texas in the city of Marshall. At least half of the current campus was technically part of the Louisiana Purchase and the proximity of the area to both Arkansas and Louisiana makes it part of what is known as the Arklatex. Most radio and television comes out of Louisiana, not Texas. Indeed, Marshall is closer to Shreveport, Louisiana than to Tyler, Texas; it is closer to Little Rock, Arkansas than Houston, Texas. As a result East Texas Baptist University and the surrounding region are affected by events in Louisiana, and to a lesser extent Arkansas, as well as the state of Texas.
  • Founded in 1912 as the College of Marshall, the institution was a junior college until 1944 when it became a four-year institution and its name was changed to East Texas Baptist College. In 1984 the name was changed to East Texas Baptist University. The school has been affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas since its founding, one of nine in the state including Baptist University of the Américas, Baylor University, Dallas Baptist University, Hardin-Simmons University, Houston Baptist University, Howard Payne University, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and Wayland Baptist University.
    East Texas Baptist University currently offers only baccalaureate degrees, although it is anticipated that a recently submitted level change application will be approved with Master’s programs in education and religion being offered by 2011. The curriculum is liberal arts with some professional programs in business, education and nursing. It is a residential campus and the student FTE has averaged 1150 over the past five years.
  • Over the past decade the need for a digital repository at ETBU became more apparent for a variety of reasons. First and foremost is the centennial celebration which will begin in 2011 and extend into 2012, making the historic documents located in the library archives and in other offices around campus prime candidates for digitization. Because of the increased emphasis on this event there has been more interest in the organization of the entire special collections and archives and the need for the conservation of fragile materials held therein. Increased emphasis on research has also highlighted the need for a repository promoting faculty and undergraduate honor student research and a method for sharing that research with the rest of the academic community, as well as the need for a repository for graduate research as those programs begin in 2011. There was also a greater need to publish research for undergraduate students not involved with an honors project.
  • repository, and they were not unique to the situation at ETBU. These included staffing, time, equipment, licensing issues if outsourcing the work, and of course the main problem that affects the rest: cost versus available money. The cost factors were further inhibited by prohibitions against ETBU or its departments accepting any type of federal funding by the University due to annual gifts by other foundations. This includes federally supported groups such as National Endowment for the Humanities and Institute of Museum and Library Services, both of which have contributed a great deal of money for digitization projects over the years.
  • These roadblocks also showed us what was needed from a system: ease of access, ease of use, and an easy integration with our existing collections and information sources.
  • Terence K. Huwe called for something similar in 2005 when he gave three wishes for digital repositories. The first wish was “to see far more integration of born-digital, or ‘built’ content with traditional library collections and services.1 The second wish was to “for dynamically generated pages that show related documents…pages that point at related resources would add greater context to each document with its specific contents.”2 His final wish was for more of us to “get serious about creating and using repositories as key elements in our overall information ecologies.”3
  • One of the options was to outsource the work of digitization and several companies were investigated. Yet that too was problematic. First of all, materials would most likely have to be sent off-site; not the best option for rare and/or fragile materials. Cost would have been a factor of course, but another issue was that of licensing and hosting of the materials. Would the materials be hosted on an ETBU server (cost of the equipment plus staff to maintain it) or would the vendor host (on-going cost)? What might happen if at some point there was a decision to switch to another resource? Would the existing formats work on another system or could they be easily converted? Would the formats be easy to migrate as technology changed?
  • One consideration to starting a digital repository that didn’t involve currently available (and costly) software or outsourcing was to work with the very talented IT department at ETBU and come up with some type of home-grown version. This, however, would have had to wait on other priority projects within the University before it could even be planned. In addition the learning curve for each person involved would be very steep.
  • Another option was really a hybrid of the first two. We would do the work, but using software developed by an outside entity. Again, our main issues were staffing, time, and the cost of such software. In addition we still had the questions of where would the digital repository be located? Would we purchase another server to house the resources or would it sit elsewhere? Would we actually need to keep the information in two places – on our own server for master copies copies and another server to actually house the items being made available to the public?
    By the summer of 2009 we had seen the digital repositories of both Baylor and Hardin-Simmons at two of the annual meetings of the Texas Baptist Academic Librarians. Both had a wide range of projects and both had the benefit of receiving major grants allowing the purchase of equipment and the allocation of staff. It was obvious that the ETBU Library was still very far away from developing repositories of that caliber, not to mention owning the equipment needed and having the human expertise. There was a need to begin somewhere, even if not on as grand a scale.
  • During the summer of 2009 the Library was informed that limited free access to OCLC’s CONTENTdm Quick Start would be forthcoming, due to the current FirstSearch subscription. This was an exciting opportunity, but as so often happens, time became more of an issue due to the resignation of one of the librarians and the subsequent decision to freeze that same position for budgetary reasons. Once again the digital needs were put on hold in order to keep up with day to day activities.
  • In January 2010 a brief article appeared in the Infotech section of Library Journal entitled “Ebrary Offers Self-Service PDF Platform.”4 It went on to describe the soon to be released DASH! product which would allow libraries to upload PDF content to the ebrary platform. Three things about the article caught our attention. First of all, the content would be available on an interface that was already familiar to our user base, as we had been subscribers to ebrary since 2001. Secondly, the service would be available to us for free. Lastly, “while the service is not designed to be the primary outlet for any school’s digital collections, it may prove attractive as yet another means of exposing an institution’s digitized contents…”5 which meant we could use it exclusively or as a secondary source for digital collections.
    Not long afterwards email was received from ebrary announcing the product and offering training to anyone interested in trying DASH! Registration was made for the first scheduled training session and when the time arrived it took less than an hour to complete. In addition, it was obvious that DASH! was very easy to use. Once training was completed our site was set up with a login and password. While waiting for that a decision was made on what materials would be added first. Several things came to mind, but it was decided to contact the author of the Free Bible Commentary web site, former ETBU professor Dr. Bob Utley.
  • Using DASH! For Digital Repositories

    1. 1. A CASE STUDY OF THE EAST TEXAS BAPTIST UNIVERSITY LIBRARY Using DASH! For Digital Repositories Cynthia L. Peterson Director of Library Services East Texas Baptist University Marshall, Texas The Charleston Conference Thursday, November 4, 2010 3:00 P.M.
    2. 2. 150 miles east of Dallas 220 miles north of Houston 42 miles west of Shreveport, LA 190 miles southwest of Little Rock, AR 272 miles southeast of Oklahoma City, OK East Texas Baptist University (ETBU) is located in the rolling hills and hardwood and pine forests of northeast Texas. Half of the campus was technically part of the Louisiana purchase. This part of the state is called the Arklatex and television & radio news comes out of Louisiana, not Texas. Marshall is closer to Shreveport, LA than to Tyler, TX and closer to Little Rock, AR than to Houston. Location
    3. 3. Background Information Chartered in 1912 under the name College of Marshall. Junior college with an academy (high school) Name changed to East Texas Baptist College in 1944 and became a four-year college Name changed to East Texas Baptist University in 1984 and took on a university structure of schools.  Founded 1912  Private university affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas (one of 9 in the state)  Baptist University of the Américas  Baylor University  Dallas Baptist University  Hardin-Simmons University  Houston Baptist University  Howard Payne University  University of Mary Hardin-Baylor  Wayland Baptist University  Baccalaureate only – anticipate Master’s programs in 2011  Liberal arts with some professional programs  Residential campus  FTE Students, Fall 2009: 1116  FTE Faculty: 75
    4. 4. C E N T E N N I A L C E L E B R A T I O N I N 2 0 1 2 A S S I S T W I T H O R G A N I Z A T I O N O F A R C H I V E S C O N S E R V A T I O N O F C O N T E N T O F F R A G I L E M A T E R I A L S N E E D F O R R E P O S I T O R Y F O R F A C U L T Y R E S E A R C H N E E D F O R R E P O S I T O R Y F O R H O N O R S P R O J E C T S N E E D F O R R E P O S I T O R Y F O R F U T U R E G R A D U A T E R E S E A R C H Why Does ETBU Need A Digital Repository?
    5. 5. STAFFING ISSUES TIME EQUIPMENT COST What Was Keeping Us From Starting A Repository?
    7. 7. “ T O S E E F A R M O R E I N T E G R A T I O N O F B O R N - D I G I T A L W I T H T R A D I T I O N A L L I B R A R Y C O L L E C T I O N S . ” “ F O R D Y N A M I C A L L Y G E N E R A T E D P A G E S T H A T S H O W R E L A T E D D O C U M E N T S … P A G E S T H A T P O I N T A T R E L A T E D R E S O U R C E S W O U L D A D D G R E A T E R C O N T E X T T O E A C H D O C U M E N T W I T H I T S S P E C I F I C C O N T E N T S . ” F O R M O R E O F U S T O “ G E T S E R I O U S A B O U T C R E A T I N G A N D U S I N G R E P O S I T O R I E S A S K E Y E L E M E N T S I N O U R O V E R A L L I N F O R M A T I O N E C O L O G I E S . ” Three Wishes for Digital Repositories Huwe, Terence K. “My Three Wishes for Digital Repositories.” Computers in Libraries. (April 2005): 32-34.
    8. 8. Possible Solutions to the Problem  Outsourcing  Benefits  Staffing issues solved  Time issues solved  Conversion to other formats as technology changed  Possible problems  Materials sent off-site  Licensing?  Hosting of repository  Later migration – would it convert?
    9. 9. Possible Solutions to the Problem  System developed at ETBU by IT Department  Benefits  Cost could be lowered  Customized for our needs  Possible problems  Time-consuming  Lower University priority  Steep learning curve
    10. 10. Possible Solutions to the Problem  Hybrid – software developed by outside entity, work done in-house  Benefits  IT Department would not have to spend their time developing system  Under our control  Possible problems  Staffing  Time  Cost  Hosting
    11. 11. Two Choices Appear: Number 1  Summer of 2009 – notified that we would have limited free access to CONTENTdm Quick Start due to FirstSearch subscription  Staffing issues are exacerbated by resignation of librarian and decision to freeze position until 2011  Still needed a scanner  Additional software (CONTENTdm Project Client) needed  Learning curve – training involved several different sessions over several hours  Responsible for all metadata input
    12. 12. Two Choices Appear: Number 2  January of 2010 – ebrary announced DASH!  Uploads PDF files – easy conversion of documents if not already in that format  Training took less than an hour  Extremely easy to use  No additional software required  No additional cost for ETBU Library – free to libraries that subscribe to Academic Complete (also College Complete, Public Library Complete, and Government Complete)  Complete full text indexing through system – only some metadata would have to be added by ETBU Library
    13. 13. Decision to Try DASH!  After looking at the preparation needed it was decided to try DASH! for first foray into digital repositories  Next major decision was where to start? What collections could be added with little or no effort on our part?
    14. 14. Collections to Add  Free Bible Commentary by Dr. Bob Utley  Annual Scholar’s Luncheon Programs  Inauguration of Dr. Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver  Honor’s Projects  Yearbooks  Government Documents
    15. 15. Free Bible Commentary Dr. Utley - former professor of religion at ETBU Already assisting him by cataloging the resources Files were already in PDF format Benefits to ETBU More readily available to students because of full text searching Statistics are available showing usage of individual titles Makes the commentaries more widely available through sharing with other ebrary subscribers
    16. 16. Free Bible Commentary Ebrary search results on “bob utley” Results list is just like that for other ebrary materials
    17. 17. Annual Scholar’s Luncheon Program Since December 2002 the Scholar’s Luncheon has been annual event honoring faculty who have published, presented, or performed during the previous academic year. The next luncheon is scheduled for December 17, 2010.
    18. 18. Annual Scholar’s Luncheon Program In this case the search was on faculty member “bill mills” who teaches computer science and MIS topics in the business school. The search on his name gives us hits on many of the programs from the past seven years.
    19. 19. Annual Scholar’s Luncheon Program This is the section containing Bill Mills information from the 2006 Program. Note that the search terms are highlighted within the document.
    20. 20. Inauguration of Dr. Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver On October 2, 2009 Dr. Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver was inaugurated as the 12th President of ETBU.
    21. 21. Accolades in the form of letters and certificates were sent by organizations and individuals from around the state and nation. These were scanned and assembled as a “book” in PDF format, then added to ebrary through DASH! Inauguration of Dr. Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver
    22. 22. Inauguration of Dr. Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver This is the page showing the certificate from Texas Governor Rick Perry in recognition of Dr. Oliver’s installation as President of the University.
    23. 23. Inauguration of Dr. Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver The program for the installation service was also scanned and added via DASH!
    24. 24. Honors Projects At ETBU the honors project leading to graduation with distinction is a four- semester program of original research directed by faculty in the student’s academic major. Before DASH! the recently completed honors projects were simply listed on the University web pages and the only organization comes from a catalog record added to TigerCat.
    25. 25. The Martian The Martian is the official yearbook of ETBU.  First volume dates back to 1918, the first year classes were held at the College of Marshall.  First volume scanned was that of 1919.  Scan completed in March 2010 and the download onto DASH! was completed in April 2010.
    26. 26. Picture Distortion 1 Picture Distortion 2 The Martian 1919 Faculty Pages - Distortion Problem Encountered
    27. 27. The Martian of 1919 - Faculty Although there were some distortions and skewing of pictures this is an example of a page where that did not occur. Because of these discrepancies it is suspected that the cause is the scanning quality and not DASH! itself. This theory will be tested once a better scanner is purchased.
    28. 28. DASH! CONTENTdm  Pages load quickly  File size is not an issue when downloading  Indexing is processed by DASH!  No additional software required  Pages load more slowly  File size is limited – some files must be loaded in parts  Indexing is manual or with an OCR scan  Software required for downloads and editing DASH! vs. CONTENTdm: The Martian
    29. 29. Government Documents Public domain so no copyright clearance needed Ability to house a divergent group of publications in one place Full text is indexed during processing Usage statistics can be gathered
    30. 30. Why Try? Why Keep Using? The reasons to keep using DASH! are the same reasons to try in the first place. 1. Availability  Timing was perfect  Already ebrary subscribers 2. ebrary interface  Proven  ETBU Community already familiar 3. Fully indexed  Full text searchable  Metadata can be added 4. Usage statistics  COUNTER compliant  One report for all ebrary materials, including DASH! 5. Ease of use  Online training took less than an hour  No special software needed  Each document receives a permanent URL allowing easy sharing of links 6. Cost  Free as a current subscriber to Academic Complete 7. Opportunity to add to the knowledge base  Great opportunity for all libraries, but especially smaller academic institutions where the emphasis is teaching  Opportunity for ETBU to establish a publication outlet as well as an archival repository
    31. 31. In Conclusion Jarrett Library at East Texas Baptist University will continue to use DASH! as a viable method of producing a digital repository and highly recommends the product to other libraries, large or small, who are looking at an effective method to create digital repositories.
    32. 32. DASH! Demo Demo of DASH! from both the private and publicly available channels  Jarrett Library (private) channel  ETBU (public) channel
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