Get Down and Digital

Have you seen this month’s Computers in Libraries? – it’s all about digitization.  While I have not yet read it cover-to-cover, I will.  Especially Jane Monson’s article, “What to Expect When You’re Digitizing: A primer for the solo digital librarian.”

  • Lesson 1: Accept Your Limitations
  • Lesson 2: Free Software Isn’t Really Free
  • Lesson 3: Seek Outside Funding Sources
  • Lesson 4: Start Small and Simple
  • Lesson 5: Learn to Juggle, and Establish a Backlog
  • Lesson 6: Get Creative About Collaboration
  • Lesson 7: Realize That Progress Will Be Slower Than You Expect

We are still discussing the best possible solution for our libraries – some who want a database of cemetery headstones (genealogy), others who want a no-frills database (to scan copies AND original photos), and some who are most interested in the user interface and having a local brand.  I’m toying with the idea of a parallel approach.  Work with the Kansas Historical Society and kansasmemory.org to preserve ‘unique’ and ‘fragile’ artifacts and also use one our spare servers to host a ‘knowledge basket’ like Joanne’s kete.  I envision everything and the dog photos going into a regional (or local or county-wide?) kete, with the really cool stuff going into kansamemory.org.  There are more hoops to jump with kansasmemory, but if a library has some artifacts of interest to a state-wide audience, I think the hassle would be justified.  Plus, Liz would get to learn about installing kete, an open source software developed by our friends at <katipo> over in New Zealand.  Have a look at Orlando Public’s “Orlando Memory” project.

Adrienne at the Rossville Community Library spent some time with me on Friday digging through her storage room, where we found the perfect set of original photos to use for a pilot.  She even has an HP scanner that has high enough resolution to work with either solution we end up using.  I’m also working with Tonganoxie, Lyndon and Atchison to get something going.  The hope/goal is to apply for a 2011 Heritage Grant from the Kansas Humanities Council.

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