The RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives in the UK & Ireland: Outcomes and Perspectives
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  • Modeled on US/Canada survey published a year ago.Delighted to be invited to work with RLUK.Will focus on RLUK data rather than entire UK/Ireland survey population.Will note comparison with US/Canada results where noteworthy.
  • Space: lack of for collections, quality of facilities in various ways. Also top challenge in US.Outreach: seeking broader audience, challenges of being visible, providing excellent service to users.Preservation: physical. Much higher attention to this than in US other than the challenges of AV and born-digital.Born-digital: #2 in US.Digitization: #3 in US.
  • SCs are labour intensive, e.g. we lack capacity for self service, unique material requires unique description, digitisation leads to alternatives and additions rather than substitutes). This is a key challenge – how can we identify resources for new activities, when we still do the more established ones?Special collections staff are working in new ways, carrying out new activities. Some of this requires new skills and it certainly needs new attitudes. Survey respondents report the challenge of juggling and balancing the competing demands on their time . The comments about “outreach/promotion [vs] curatorial work”, and “balancing *core* professional demands (such as cataloguing and conservation) and with [outreach] activities” suggest that further culture change is required – to what extent is outreach seen (or not?) as a “core” professional duty by SC staff? And none is this is going to stop – the SC landscape will continue to evolve and we must be agile in responding to further change.
  • There is an imperative to exploit SCs. The good news is that use of all types of material in the reading room is increasing (more than half of respondents stated that the use of SC by all types of user has increased over the past decade), but this isn’t enough. We can’t afford to be passive and need to reach out to existing and new audiences. Outreach was the most frequently mentioned challenge. We need to raise awareness of the potential of SCs and to improve access and discoverability.
  • Is this at all a priority for RLUK library directors? Huge emphasis on increasing spcoll resource sharing in US.
  • "Scan and Deliver“, released last month, 9investigates policy issues related to patron-initiated digitization of materials.Steps in user-initiated digitization – review, decide, scan, and deliver – have a spectrum of tracks for workflow.
  • Hence our current project on baby steps: need to help libraries get started.
  • To start out, we recognized that different people may have entirely different things in mind when they use the term born-digital. So we identified nine different types of born-digital material (you could no doubt, add more). There’s a document, but those of you with short attention spans (or who’d like to see OCLC Research staff make fools of ourselves) may want to view the video on our YouTube channel.
  • User expectation of access to digital content is very high. The survey report states that “there is a near universal sense that comprehensive digitisation of special collections is not only desirable, but an obligation. The drive to digitise comes as much from outside SCs as within”. We are currently, however, a long way from satisfying this need. Digitisation ranked 6th in the challenges.
  • In US 38% said they had done large-scale, but follow-up indicated that few had actually achieved results at scale or impressive rates of production.
  • “Shifting Gears”argues for scaling up the digitization of special collections, with a particular focus on adopting a “just do it” attitude towards digitization. Its recommendations are intended to help special collections keep pace with mass digitization of books. As we increasingly share a collective collection of books, it will be our special collections that distinguish cultural repositories. We can hide those treasures in our backlogs or behind custom portals -- or we can push them out into the light of day.Some of the advice sounds quaint now, but it was important to say – and important for RLG to say, since we had been advocates of the “you only get one chance so scan at the highest quality possible” approachhttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Shift_stick.jpgGear shift stick of my Mazda Protege SE 1999. Public domainhttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MUTCD_W4-3.svgMUTCD W4-3 merging traffic sign From: Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways - 2003 Edition. Public domain
  • Some parts of the process need to be routinized in ways that speed the throughput and allow the overall project to succeedAs institutions begin programmatically digitizing collections, they will want to incorporate innovative approaches. "Rapid Capture”looks at the moment of actual digitization of a variety of formats and highlights approaches that capture at scale. We identified some innovative ways to accelerate throughput.There are 9 vignettes + 2 bonus stories. They describe quite succinctly: What they did, how they did it, and the result.Report came out earlier this month, here are some highlights.Montage compiled by Ricky Erway from images used with permission.  forthcoming
  • Digitization of special collections can be inhibited by concerns about IP or privacy rights. The 2010 “Well-Intentioned Practices” document establishes a community of practice for digitization of unpublished materials based in risk analysis and adoption of fair use. The primary responsibilities of cultural materials repositories - stewardship and support for research and learning - require us to provide access to materials entrusted to our care. This document establishes a reasonable community of practice that increases and significantly improves access to collections of unpublished materials by placing them online for the purpose of furthering research and learning. Although it promotes a well-intentioned, practical approach to identifying and resolving rights issues that is in line with professional and ethical standards, note that this document does not concern itself with what individuals who access particular items may do with them. While the document was developed with US law in mind, it is hoped that the spirit of the document will resonate in non-US contexts. If your institution has legal counsel, involve them in adopting this approach; after the approach has been adopted, only seek their advice on specific questionshttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Charles_Metcalf_DESA_ceremony.jpgUnited States Air Force. "DAYTON, Ohio (10/27/2009) -- Members of Boy Scout Troop 236, Christ United Methodist Church, Kettering, Ohio, post the Colors during the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award presentation at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)“ Public domain
  • Higher than US/Canada for every format other than born-digital, which is roughly the same.

The RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives in the UK & Ireland : Outcomes and Perspectives Presentation Transcript

  • 1. The RLUK/OCLC Survey ofSpecial Collections andArchives in the UK & IrelandOutcomes and Perspectives Jackie Dooley OCLC Research RLUK, Newcastle 16 November 2012
  • 2. Overview • “Big-picture” outcomes • “Major challenges” cited by respondents • Recommendations & commentaryRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 2
  • 3. The overarching challenge? “Demonstrating the value of SC to the University in tough times, and the need for improved engagement with research and learning …” “Keep pace with and even drive research and academic agenda within the University but also the wider world of scholarship.” --Survey respondentsRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 3
  • 4. Big-picture outcomes • Alignment of special collections with institutional missions and priorities is an ongoing challenge. • The special collections sector is undergoing amajor culture shift that mandates significant retraining and careful examination of priorities. • Philanthropic support is limited, as are special collections librarians’ fundraising skills. • Use of all types of material has increased across the board.RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 4
  • 5. Big-picture outcomes, cont. • Management of born-digital archival materials remains in its infancy; upper management must actively support this important work to ensure progress. • Users expect everything in libraries and archives to be digitized; national strategies for digitisation of rare and unique materials are therefore needed. • One-third of archival collections are not discoverable in online catalogues. • Many cataloging backlogs have decreased, while some continue to grow.RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 5
  • 6. “Most challenging issues” * 1. Outreach (writ large) 2. Space & facilities 3. Born-digital materials 4. Collection care 5. Cataloging & archival processing * Based on respondents’ answers to final survey question.RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 6
  • 7. Project recommendations Please note that these … … were initially formulated by the authors and then significantly revised following discussion at the UDC symposium in Aberdeen, March 2012. … do not entirely reconcile the significantly different perspectives of RLUK directors and special collections practitioners. … are in rough order of perceived important 1) by section/topic and 2) within each section. … are not a set of actions officially endorsed by RLUK or intended for RLUK action. (The UDC report forthcoming in March 2013 will fulfill that need.)RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 7
  • 8. Recommendations: Staffing 1. Analyse the array of duties performed by special collections staff and identify the new skills and expertiseneeded to move the profession forward in alignment with institutional missions. 2. Develop a plan to provide educational and development opportunities in areas, both traditional and emergent, in which skills need enhancement across the sector.RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 8
  • 9. Staffing “Training and acceptance of the changinglandscapeof special collections.” “Culture change—shifting focus and priorities of curators, from “back of the house” to “front of house.” “Keeping up with the ever-increasing and diversifying demands on the service.” --Survey respondentsRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 9
  • 10. RLUK number of staff Permanent Temporary Total FTE FTE FTE Professional 11.4 3.4 14.8 Mean Support 7.9 2.4 10.3 Total 19.3 5.8 25.1 Permanent Temporary Total FTE FTE FTE Professional 6 1.9 7.9 Median Support 4 1 5 Total 10 2.9 12.9RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 10
  • 11. RLUK change in number of staff 16 15 14 14 Fewer staff now 12 No change 10 More staff now 8 Not sure 8 7 6 6 5 4 4 3 2 0 Professionally qualified Support staffRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 11
  • 12. RLUK change in allocation of staff time 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 4 3 Administration 23 1 6 9 Curatorial 16 1 4 5 User services 23 0 1 5 User education and outreach 26 0 4 7 Cataloguing printed materials 18 2 9 2 Cataloguing/processing archival formats 21 0 0 2 Technology and/or digital services 26 3 Decreased No change Increased No staff in this areaRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 12
  • 13. RLUK education and training needs 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Archival processing 7% Born-digital materials 84% Cataloguing and metadata 32% Collection development 23% Foreign languages 45% Fundraising 55% History of the book 23% Information technology 45% Intellectual property 55% Management/Supervision 36% Outreach 42% Preservation 23% Public relations 39% Public services 7% Records management 29% Teaching 36% Other 13%RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 13
  • 14. Recommendation: External funding 1. Developa set of arguments to assist institutions with development of external sources of funding in support of special collections.RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 14
  • 15. External funding “Obtaining funding for core activities, eg cataloguing, as opposed to capital funding for short term projects, is a major challenge.” “Getting to grips with digitisation priorities is dependent on external funding.” “Currently in sub-standard temporary accommodation, pending fundraising for new premises.” “Cataloguinghas specifically increased due to project funding.” --Survey respondentsRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 15
  • 16. Recommendations: Outreach & user services 1. Develop an outreach toolkit, including case studies illustrating best practices, to build skills for presentation, promotion, and engagement with special collections. 2. Develop pricing models, templates, and shared policies for user-initiated digital scanning to encourage consistency across the sector.RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 16
  • 17. Outreach & user services “Outreach: promoting the interest and potential of our collections for study and research” “Lack of awarenessof what [special collections] can offer both within the parent organisation and the wider community” “Keeping abreast with discovery and access technology” --Survey respondentsRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 17
  • 18. RLUK presentations Number of Percent n Mean Median Presentations of Total College/University 849 37% 29 22 courses 29 Others affiliated with 288 12% 10 6 responding institution 29 Local schools 28 219 9% 8 2 Local community 28 427 18% 15 6 Other visitors 29 529 23% 18 10 Total 2,312 100% 81 46RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 18
  • 19. RLUK use of social media 25 20 20 No current plans to 19 19 implement 17 17 Will implement within 16 a year 15 15 Using now 14 14 13 13 12 12 12 11 11 10 7 6 6 5 5 5 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 2 2 0 Note: Numbers of respondents.RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 19
  • 20. Interlibrary loanRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 20
  • 21. RLUK average charge for a digital scan Service not No charge More than 15 offered 8% Pounds 3% 10% 0.01-3 Pounds 23% 6.01-15 Pounds 32% 3.01-6 Pounds 24%RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 21
  • 22. Managing User-Initiated Digitization in Special Collections and ArchivesRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 22
  • 23. Recommendations: Born-digital materials 1. Define the basic steps involved in initiating a program for managing born-digital archival materials to assist libraries that have not yet begun this work. 2. Investigate the feasibility of extending broadly across the sector the adoption of successful technical environments for managing born-digital materials that have been developed by a small number of UK institutions.RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 23
  • 24. Born digital Summary analysis for the U.S./Canada survey: • Undercollected • Undercounted • Undermanaged • Unpreserved • Inaccessible In the U.K./Ireland: alas, the same.RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 24
  • 25. Born digital “Until [active collecting] happens, the ability to develop the capacity to manage such resources will not be addressed.” “Lack of support from senior management who are put off from even discussing the matter due to potential cost implications.” --Survey respondentsRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 25
  • 26. RLUK born digital strategy development 50% 45% 42% 40% 36% 35% 30% 25% 23% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 0% Yes In preparation Not yet Not applicable to our institutionRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 26
  • 27. RLUK impediments to born digital management 100% 90% 80% 70% 61% 61% 58% 60% 50% 40% 36% 32% 30% 23% 23% 20% 10% 3% 0% 0% 0%RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 27
  • 28. Demystifying born digital • Audio • Databases • Email • Institutional records • Manuscripts • Moving images • Photographs • Publications • Social media • Static data sets • Textual documents • Video games • Websites • Works of art American Heritage Center … and moreRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 28
  • 29. RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 29
  • 30. RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 30
  • 31. Recommendations: Digitisation 1. Develop both a national strategy for continued digitisation of special collections and a national gateway for discovery of digitized content. As part of the strategy, identify sustainable funding strategies and international partners with which to collaborate. 2. Develop cost-effective models for large-scale digitisation of special collections that take into account the special needs of these materials while also achieving high productivity.RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 31
  • 32. Digitisation “Special collections are in danger of being left behind with….increasing expectationthat everythingwill be available online.” --Survey respondentRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 32
  • 33. RLUK large-scale digitisation Not sure 6% No plans 9% Projects completed 47% Intended in future 38% Definition: Systematic reproduction of entire collections using streamlined productionmethods to enable production at scale while accounting for special handling needs.RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 33
  • 34. Digitization for AccessRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 34
  • 35. Seeking digitisation production at scaleRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 35
  • 36. Well-intentioned practice for putting digitized collections of unpublished materials onlineUnited States Air Force. "DAYTON, Ohio (10/27/2009) -- Members of Boy Scout Troop...at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force“ Public domain RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 36
  • 37. Recommendations: Archival collections 1. Convert print archival catalogues using affordable methodologies to enable Internet access. Develop approaches to modifying existing descriptions that strike a balance between incurring overheads and being effective for discovery. Develop tools to facilitate conversion from local databases. 2. Develop a shared understanding of the goals, characteristics, and benefits of “simplified archival processing.” 3. Establish a methodology to assess unprocessed archival collections and develop a plan to make the national collection more fully accessible.RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 37
  • 38. RLUK Internet access to finding aids 100% 97% 90% 88% 84% 80% 78% 70% 60% 50% 47% 40% 30% 28% 19% 20% 13% 10% 6% 0% 0% Note: Percentages of respondents.RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 38
  • 39. RLUK archival finding aids Internet Non-Internet None 64% 24% 14%RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 39
  • 40. RLUK use of simplified archival processing 100% 90% 80% 70% 66% 60% 50% 40% 30% 22% 20% 13% 10% 0% 0% We do no archival processing Yes, for all processing Yes, for some processing NoRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 40
  • 41. Recommendations: Metrics 1. Determine the potential value and uses of metrics for reporting core statistics (e.g., collection size, users, outreach efforts, catalogue records) across the sector. If warranted, define categories and methodologies and encourage their use across the sector.RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 41
  • 42. Metrics Metrics could improve our ability to realiably measure and compare things such as … • Who uses special collections (faculty, students …)? • How much material do they use? • Which types of material do they use? • Size of collections in various formats • How much material have you digitised?RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 42
  • 43. Recommendations: Collections 1. Define key characteristics and desired outcomes of meaningful collaborative collection development, and encourage collaborations in areas of national significance 2. Scrutiniselocal collecting policies to determine how well they reflect the institutional mission and can feasibly be implemented.RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 43
  • 44. RLUK use of secondary storage Yes 41% No 56% In planning stages 3%RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 44
  • 45. RLUK collaborative collection developmentRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 45
  • 46. Recommendations: Cataloguing & metadata 1. Collaborate to share expertise and create metadata for cartographic materials to enable improved discovery of the national collection. 2. Build on the findings of RLUK’s “hidden collections” survey of print materials to identify national cataloguing priorities.RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 46
  • 47. Online catalog records • Printed volumes: 84% • Archives/MSS (collections): 72% • Manuscripts (items): 61% • Cartographic: 43% <<<<<<<<<<<<<<< • Visual: 49%+ more in collections • Audiovisual: 47%+ more in collections • Born-digital: 27% + more in collections Note: percentages of online records, not of respondents.RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 47
  • 48. RLUK change in size of backlogs 45 40 40 Decreased 35 No change Increased 30 29 27 Not sure 25 No materials of this type 20 15 14 13 10 9 5 5 5 1 0 0 Printed volumes Other formatsRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 48
  • 49. Recommendations: Collection care 1. Further inflect the COPAC collection management tool to meet the requirements of special collections. Investigate its potential for determining priorities for preservation and other management activities across the national print collection. 2. Take collective action to share resources for cost- effective preservation of at-risk audiovisual and born-digital archival materials.RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 49
  • 50. RLUK collections care needs 45 41 No materials of 40 this type Not sure 35 34 High 30 28 Medium 25 25 24 Low 22 22 22 21 21 21 20 19 18 No problems 17 15 15 14 14 13 13 12 12 10 7 6 6 5 5 5 5 4 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 Printed volumes Archives and Cartographic Visual materials Audiovisual Born-digital Objects (3- manuscripts materials materials materials dimensional)RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 50
  • 51. Recommendations: Building community 1. Identify beneficial ways in which to build productive relationships across the diverse community of special collections libraries that participated in this survey.RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 51
  • 52. The non-RLUK survey population • 14 universities • 9 independent research libraries • 5 public libraries and archives • 5 royal colleges • 4 museums • 4 learned societies • 4 church institutions • 2 colleges • 2 conservatoires • 1 national botanic garden (Kew)RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 52
  • 53. Thank you! Jackie Dooley dooleyj@oclc.org @minniedwRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, Newcastle, 16 November 2012 53