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Apla Conference Pres

by University Librarian at University of Technology, Sydney on Jul 25, 2007

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Presentation given on 26 July 2007 to the Association of Parliamentary Libraries of Australasia Conference at Parliament House in Canberra

Presentation given on 26 July 2007 to the Association of Parliamentary Libraries of Australasia Conference at Parliament House in Canberra

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  • malbooth Mal Booth, University Librarian at University of Technology, Sydney When we looked at our need for a DAMS, we quickly realised that it must facilitate access to its assets to the web and it therefore would need to talk to a web content management system (WCM) that will also facilitate distributed publishing for the web. As far as our museum is concerned, preserving things digitally and putting them into a management system is not the end of the story. In addition, people use web content, digital assets and other resources in many different forms of communication, publication and presentation. These outputs and other corporate records need to be managed by a central electronic document and records management system (EDRMS - which we do not have currently). Implementing those three integrated systems (DAMS, WCM & EDRMS ) meant that we were now looking at an ECM. Any DAMS must be easily able to service and operate with a number of other major corporate systems.

    We knew from the outset that in addition to the above basic system needs, we needed an automated Workflow, so that also became part of the ECM.

    And for many years here we have sought one central or 'federated' search application that would be able to allow users of our website to search for digitised content and catalogue records across our entire website. We currently provide our users with online access to a lot of content, but it is via several different repositories: tens of thousands of static pages; a museum content management system; a library management system; our National Archives catalogue ('RecordSearch'); and sundry digitised databases that provide biographical data as well as access to digitised unit diaries and (Australian) official histories from the major 20th century conflicts. Our federated search application will assist users to discover, browse and use what they want across our entire collection and all catalogues.

    Given all the work we've put into this and the challenges that we have identified but are still to confront I am now convinced we have done the right thing in terms of our future. It does seem that no one system was fully able to account comprehensively for our digital preservation needs in terms of off-the-shelf systems or software, but we have outlined what we need (in terms of a 'Trusted Digital Repository') and our implementation partners are now scoping a system accordingly. Dealing with preservation metadata will also prove to be a major challenge, but at least we will make a start in the right direction. Of course, the ECM just provides some system tools and I believe that we will still need human intervention from digital curators and conservators to manage these collections just as the more established professions manage our physical assets.

    Compromise is something we always wanted to limit, but it is going to be an issue we will need to deal with sensibly and practically if we are to make progress.

    Now, the products we have selected to use for this are as follows:

    The Interwoven ECM product suite we will use includes:

    WorkSite NT and Interwoven Records Manager (EDRMS),

    MediaBin (DAM),

    TeamSite (WCM), and

    Autonomy (Federated Search).
    6 years ago
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  • malbooth Mal Booth, University Librarian at University of Technology, Sydney A couple of years ago, my colleagues in the National Collections branch were advocates for just getting a new DAMS up and running as we were almost frustrated by the lack of workflow and a permanent functioning DAMS that could store and manage what to us at least are large digital preservation programs in which we've invested relatively large amounts of time and resources.

    If you look through our website you'll probably find about 1.5 million pages of digitised records available through various databases as well as around 230,000 digital images of various collection objects from planes to photos and art images. Another complicating factor for us is that we must deal with three different management systems as we are a museum, a library and an archive and for various reasons there is no existing single system that can manage all of those collections.

    We were convinced by some wise IT colleagues here of the worth of looking at these challenges in a more strategic and holistic perspective. Consequently, we have opted to be a little more patient and head towards a full ECM.
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  • malbooth Mal Booth, University Librarian at University of Technology, Sydney Links used in this presentation:

    AWM home page http://www.awm.gov.au/

    Units diaries online http://www.awm.gov.au/diaries/

    Private records currently online (eg) http://www.awm.gov.au/findingaids/process.asp?collection=private&item=100days

    Official Histories online http://www.awm.gov.au/histories/index.asp

    ReQuest http://www.altarama.com.au/awm/reft000.aspx

    Blogs

    http://blog.awm.gov.au/1917/

    http://blog.awm.gov.au/lambert/

    http://blog.awm.gov.au/focus/

    http://blog.awm.gov.au/lawrence/

    http://blog.awm.gov.au/lawrence/

    Encyclopedia http://www.awm.gov.au/encyclopedia/index.htm

    War Memorials Australia http://www.skp.com.au/memorials2/default.htm

    Podcasts feed (RSS) http://www.awm.gov.au/podcast/index.asp
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  • malbooth Mal Booth, University Librarian at University of Technology, Sydney Avoiding missed opportunities

    •Learning to compromise – adjust targets and use good enough when appropriate (the 80:20 principle)

    •The rest of the world won’t wait and it isn’t appropriate for us to make them wait for our content (nobody is really that unique)

    •Positioning yourself to be able to take advantage of advances in IT – getting over the initial sea-sickness and becoming used to the dynamism of info technology and the opportunities in economies of scale and ‘commoditisation’

    •Mapping out a thousand issues or reasons not to digitise, eg. the scale of the problem, lack of standards, storage needs, broadband speeds, inequality of access, expense, technological challenges isn’t helpful at all. It just delays the inevitable and prevents you from learning and gaining useful experience with this technology.

    Is IT your weakest link?

    •Do they say yes before no?

    •Do they always have at least six great reasons not to do anything?

    •Will they respond with ‘What a great idea! How can we help?’

    •Are they partners/allies in your quest or running interference?

    •How can you help turn them around?

    •Remember: Technologists care about technology — users care about content
    6 years ago
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  • malbooth Mal Booth, University Librarian at University of Technology, Sydney Ready to go context

    Provided in its original visual form – why re-invent the wheel or force someone to look at ugly HTML pages?

    Original indexes have proved adequate

    User tagging of content being considered

    Good example of a cheap project that delivered an ongoing popular service without being even 95% accurate from an OCR perspective
    6 years ago
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  • malbooth Mal Booth, University Librarian at University of Technology, Sydney Can openness to broader user involvement in things like folksonomies and wikis allow you to provide levels of description and context you’d only ever dreamed of? Is malicious intent really that big a risk and how do we know before we try it? 6 years ago
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  • malbooth Mal Booth, University Librarian at University of Technology, Sydney Our use of blogs & reasons why (promoting activities and informing people about exhibitions; decreasing institutional voice & revealing the people who work here; providing readable context; revealing hidden collection treasures; revealing and promoting our exhibitions and other activities)

    Trusting staff and our curators to author, manage and administer blogs – is it THAT radical?

    Distributed authoring/generation of content as opposed to centralised control – those responsible writing the context!
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  • malbooth Mal Booth, University Librarian at University of Technology, Sydney We also have extensive image digitisation programs covering our photographs collection and to provide digital images of our art and military heraldry and technology collections, but in this presentation I have concentrated on the paper based library and archival collections and innovative services on our website.

    We have made a decent start on digitising our sound collection and are currently considering the digitisation of our film collection

    Shown here clockwise from the left: new professional visual editing workstations; high resolution scanners; high resolution large format digital printers
    6 years ago
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  • malbooth Mal Booth, University Librarian at University of Technology, Sydney RefTracker (ReQuest) ask-a-librarian and knowledge base application 6 years ago
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  • malbooth Mal Booth, University Librarian at University of Technology, Sydney TIFF or JPEG; 300 or 600 dpi; metadata (nobody is perfect)

    In-house or outsource – experiment & learn

    The preservation principle (use-neutral scanning) – there are always exceptions/compromises (eg. captured Japanese documents - scanned at a lower resolution for speed of delivery)
    6 years ago
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