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Crossing Institutional Boundaries to Create Permanent Public Access for Government Information


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Presentation for the Academic Library Association of Ohio Annual Conference, 5 November 2011, Toledo, Ohio.

Presentation for the Academic Library Association of Ohio Annual Conference, 5 November 2011, Toledo, Ohio.

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  • Image on left: "Relocation of Japanese-Americans," 1943, Frontispiece Image on right: "The wartime handling of evacuee property," 1946, Table of Contents
  • Transcript

    • 1. Crossing Institutional Boundaries to Create Permanent Public Access for Government Information Shari Laster ( The University of Akron Catalina Oyler ( Five Colleges of Ohio Friday, 4 November 2011, 10:30 AM Academic Library Association of Ohio Annual Conference
    • 2. Digitizing U.S. Government Publications
        • An estimated 97% of new government publications are born digital. 
        • Legacy digitization projects have been ongoing since the dawn of the Internet.
        • List of current projects:
        • Value of distinct collections:
          • Browsability
          • Keyword Searching
          • Context
    • 3.  
    • 4. The Collection: War Relocation Authority
        • The WRA (1942-1946) was the federal entity responsible for the internment of Japanese-Americans and other individuals during WWII. 
        • Documents include reports, operational guides, publicity materials, and monograph research works published by the agency.
        • Print collection union list developed by Carol Singer (BGSU, formerly Kenyon College) in late 1980s.
        • Digitization initiated by Mary Prophet (Denison University) in mid-2000s following heavy course-related usage.
        • CONTENTdm didn't work, so files were distributed first by CD-ROM, and later by flash drive.
    • 5. The Plan: Ohio GODORT
        • Ohio GODORT's mission: 
          • "...promote the effective use of government information which is issued, published, or distributed in any format by all levels of government..."
        • Founded in 1981 to bring together government documents librarians from around the state.
        • The "it sounds like a good idea..." moment.
    • 6. The Tool: OhioLINK DRC
        • The Digital Resource Commons:
          • "OhioLINK recognizes the importance of increasing cooperation in the creation and sharing of digital collections"
        • Maintained by OhioLINK and OARnet in cooperation with OhioLINK's Digital Resources Management Committee .
        • An OhioLINK representative attended the Spring 2007 Ohio GODORT meeting to answer questions about collaboration.
        • In 2010, DRC expanded from 15 to 30 institutional instances.
        • Gwen Evans (BGSU), chair, worked with Coleen Parmer (retired, formerly BGSU), and agreed that Ohio GODORT would make a good test case.
    • 7. Digital Collections Working Group
        • Shari Laster (UA) volunteered to lead the project for Ohio GODORT.
        • Mission and scope:
          • bring together collections of digitized government documents to make them more accessible and useful.
          • accept federal, state, local, international, and non-governmental organization (NGO) documents.
          • all materials in this collection will be fully accessible to the public.
        • Determined that at least one member of DCWG, preferably the OhioLINK Site Administrator, must be from an OhioLINK institution and act as the DRMC Liaison.
    • 8. Digitizing the collection
        • Files from DU's previous digitization project in 2003-05
          • High quality (huge) TIFFs of each page
          • Various PDF versions and text transcripts
        • Each scan was evaluated
          • Quality varied across the collection
            • Some originals were copies (mimeographs)
          • Rescanned when necessary
          • Touched up images in the PDF version
    • 9. Files for our collection
        • High quality TIFF images of each page as the archival copy
        • Lower resolution PDFs of the entire document as access copy
        • Text transcripts embedded in the PDFs for keyword searching
          • Used OCR software on better quality documents
          • Process to add text transcript to an image PDF is cumbersome, had to balance desire for a perfect product with limited resources
    • 10. Describing the collection
        • Most original cataloging already created in-house by Denison University catalogers
        • Developed a qualified Dublin Core schema based on the DRC's metadata application profile  
        • Created a crosswalk for MARC to DC transformation based on the LC Crosswalk
          •   dc:identifier.govdoc --> 086
    • 11. Transforming metadata
        • Catalina Oyler (Ohio 5) brought technical expertise to the project for the metadata, branding, and batch load processes.
        • Modified a XSLT stylesheet from OSU and used MarcEdit for the transformation
        • Resulted in Dublin Core XML that could be used in the DRC batch upload process
    • 12. Developing the DRC
        • DRC instances come with a generic interface
        • Borrowed theme and simple modifications created a custom Ohio GODORT brand
          • Minimized volunteer time spent on coding
        • Created structure to allow for addition of more collections in the future
    • 13. Creating the collection
        • Added items in bulk using a process based on the DRC batch load process
        • Tweaked process to fit this collection
          • DRC batch loading uses Excel Macros
          • We added steps to replace some of the macro process
        • Trial and Error and troubleshooting to create a process that can be used for any future collections we add
    • 14. Outcomes
        • Documented our process and the files we used:
        • Created guide for a general MARC to DC process for other DRMC members to use:
        • Listed in Registry:
    • 15. Institutional support: key to project
        • Denison University
        • Kenyon College, Ohio State University
        • University of Akron
        • Five Colleges of Ohio
        • Bowling Green State University
        • Individual librarians supporting the project from an additional five institutions throughout the state
    • 16. How did we get buy-in?
        • Deputy/interim library director at Denison University.
        • Value of project, including training aspects, to tenure-track faculty librarian at University of Akron.
        • Meeting consortial priorities for Ohio 5.
        • Support of Ohio GODORT as a recognized organization.
        • Support from OhioLINK as example of cross-institutional cooperation.
        • FDLP mandate.
        • Opportunities for collaboration with GPO.
    • 17. Collaborative tool.
    • 18. Challenges and Opportunities
        • Keep everything moving forward!
        • Learning about technical components.
        • Difficult to involve everyone at one time.
        • More opportunities than time and resources allow.
        • Leadership development.
        • Training provides value beyond the individual project.
        • Find ways to divide and distribute responsibilities.
        • Prioritize; find the gems.
    • 19. What's next?
        • Complete this collection and list in the Registry
        • Find more documents for the WRA collection.
        • Future collections?
        • Partnership opportunities with GPO.