Thursday, November 06, 2008

WLA 2008: The Role of Digitization in Enhancing Knowledge Discovery

Krystyna Matusiak from UW-Milwaukee Libraries presented a session on how the UWM libraries have gone about creating their digital collection. She provided the attendees with a number of tips, suggestions, and lessons learned.

The UW Libraries digital collection is comprised of 16 different collections, 35,000 objects that include photos (slides, prints, negatives), maps and text (yearbooks, monographs, manuscripts).

Strategies in Collection Building:
  • Single source collections
    • an entire collection is converted
    • works better with small collections
  • Selected by format
    • such as all maps or all photos
    • tip: if you are digitizing photos you might not to do everyone of them if there are photos that very similar
    • because this way makes sense it is often the chosen method
  • Hybrid projects
    • item are selected from several source collections
    • multiple formats integrated into one collection
    • this method is most popular with the user because it is based on a topic
Benefits of Digitization
  • Access
    • overcomes geographic and time boundaries
    • allows for access to rare collections
    • enables access to inaccessible formats such as film negatives
  • New ways of interaction with digital objects
    • full text searching
    • enhanced viewing
  • Preservation reformatting
    • reduction in handling of fragile or rare materials
    • preserving the content of deteriorating analog formats
Enhancing Knowledge Discovery
  • Provide an intellectual framework
    • theme
    • geographic location
    • time
  • Expand intellectual control
    • provide description of visual resources
    • assign subject terms
    • gather related images by categories
    • offer new pathways in resource discovery
  • Bring together disperse materials
  • Integrate multiple formats
Providing Contextual Information
  • provided a description of the item
  • point to related resources
Enhance traditional library roles
  • Is digitization just a conversion process?
  • Provide new sources for humanities scholarship
  • Bring together disperse materials
  • Expand intellectual control and enable findability
Create a New Model
  • Explore the potential of digital libraries
  • Address the information seeking behavior and learning styles of a digital generation
  • Create a new model for assisting and engaging users
  • Digital libraries tend to decontextualize information
  • Design of digital library systems
  • Balance between authority and user-oriented environment
  • Acceptance of users' active role and input
  • Collaboration with teachers, faculty, and subject experts
  • Resources

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