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Rising to Digital Challenges


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Presentation at 2008 Best Practices Exchange, Helena, MT

Published in: Education, Technology
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Rising to Digital Challenges

  1. 1. Rising to Digital Challenges Roy Tennant
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Digital Challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Rising to Them: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discovery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Digitization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Born Digital Content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cooperation </li></ul></ul>
  3. 7. Discovery
  4. 8. Our Users… <ul><li>Have lives </li></ul><ul><li>Prefer to avoid pain </li></ul><ul><li>Satisfice </li></ul><ul><li>Seek efficiencies </li></ul><ul><li>Are diverse </li></ul><ul><li>Need one thing one day and another the next (their needs are also diverse) </li></ul>
  5. 15. Melvyl
  6. 19. The Demise of the Local Catalog <ul><li>Discovery increasingly happens at the network level (e.g., Google, WorldCat) </li></ul><ul><li>Even when it happens at the local level, few want to limit their search to only books </li></ul><ul><li>New finding tools are making traditional library catalogs obsolete </li></ul><ul><li>NOTE: Libraries still need a library management system, but it won’t be the way users find things </li></ul>
  7. 20. Classic ILS ILS Acquisitions Circulation Serials Catalog Searching happens at library terminal Tightly integrated components
  8. 21. New World Order Library Collections and Services Acquisitions Circulation Serials Google Searching happens anywhere Open WorldCat Metasearch Others Others Loosely integrated components Discovery layer disaggregated
  9. 22. Holdings Circ status ILS Holdings and circ status
  10. 27. Why This Makes Sense <ul><li>Users often want to find everything they can on a topic, but ranked displayed in useful ways </li></ul><ul><li>Users prefer to search in one place rather than many (Only librarians like to search…) </li></ul><ul><li>Most ILS’s lack cool new features that already exist in some of these new systems </li></ul>
  11. 28. Digitization
  12. 29. Sources <ul><li>This report —> </li></ul><ul><li>My own (checkered) experience </li></ul>
  13. 30. <ul><li>“ There’s an illusion being created that all the world’s knowledge is on the web, but we haven’t begun to glimpse what is out there in local archives and libraries. Material that is not digitized risks being neglected as it would not have been in the past, virtually lost to the great majority of potential users.” - Ed Ayers </li></ul>
  14. 31. <ul><li>How do we achieve web scale? </li></ul>
  15. 32. <ul><li>Not the way we’ve been doing it! </li></ul>
  16. 33. The Way We’ve Been Digitizing <ul><li>As special projects, not ongoing programs </li></ul><ul><li>As if preservation was the purpose </li></ul><ul><li>With painstaking professional description </li></ul><ul><li>Segregated in carefully crafted silos unexposed to web discovery </li></ul>
  17. 34. <ul><li>Access vs. Preservation— Access Wins! </li></ul>
  18. 35. Access Wins! <ul><li>No one has been throwing away originals…so preservation needs are best served by them </li></ul><ul><li>Only by surfacing presently ignored collections can we justify their preservation </li></ul><ul><li>We will likely be able to go back do it again </li></ul>
  19. 36. <ul><li>Programs not projects </li></ul>
  20. 37. Programs Not Projects <ul><li>Digital capture must be embedded in our basic procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Hand-crafted digital presentations are largely ignored — we must expose our collections systematically in web search engines </li></ul><ul><li>Forget “special projects” — it’s long past time to make this a basic part of our everyday work! </li></ul>
  21. 38. <ul><li>Describing special collections: engage your community </li></ul>
  22. 39. Describing Special Collections <ul><li>Do not describe everything in painstaking detail </li></ul><ul><li>Start with basic description, then… </li></ul><ul><li>… allow serious researchers to contact you for more detail, and… </li></ul><ul><li>… engage your user community with adding to the descriptions </li></ul>
  23. 43. Exposure
  24. 44. Impact: Exposure Flickr: Top 50 LC: Top 6000
  25. 47. What LC Has Accomplished <ul><li>Higher profile of its collections </li></ul><ul><li>Community engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Corrections and additions to metadata </li></ul><ul><li>Sparked discussions and elicited personal histories that relate to photos </li></ul><ul><li>Higher visibility for the LC blog </li></ul>
  26. 49. From: Social Classification and Folksonomy in Art Museums: early data from the tagger prototype a paper for the ASIST SIG-CR workshop on Social Classification , November 4, 2006, by Jennifer Trant
  27. 50. <ul><li>Quality vs. Quantity — Quantity wins! </li></ul>
  28. 51. Quality vs. Quantity <ul><li>The perfect has been the enemy of the possible </li></ul><ul><li>Any access is better than none at all </li></ul><ul><li>Instead of measuring cataloger/archivist output we should be measuring impact on users </li></ul>
  29. 52. <ul><li>Discovery happens elsewhere </li></ul>
  30. 53. Discovery Happens Elsewhere <ul><li>People don’t discover our content by coming to our lovingly crafted web sites (can you say “Google”?) </li></ul><ul><li>We must work hard at exposing our content to web crawlers, OAI harvesters, and other aggregators </li></ul>
  31. 66. Born Digital Content
  32. 67. Capturing Digital Publications <ul><li>Form partnerships </li></ul><ul><li>Look for ways to jack into the publication pipeline </li></ul><ul><li>If possible, provide technological support to the publication process, thereby assuring capture </li></ul>
  33. 78. Cooperation
  34. 79. The Power of Cooperation <ul><li>Only through cooperation can we put libraries at the network level at web scale </li></ul><ul><li>Realize that even in our differences we have many points of commonality </li></ul><ul><li>We must focus our efforts on maximizing impact for all </li></ul>
  35. 81. What To Do <ul><li>Use your library as a user would </li></ul><ul><li>Find out what your users want and need </li></ul><ul><li>Understand what technologies offer </li></ul><ul><li>Think imaginatively about how to apply these technologies to library services </li></ul><ul><li>Seek ways to expose your content and services wherever your users are found </li></ul>