Cross-Departmental Focus

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The '''Digital Planning Group''' is composed of Associate Deans from Collections and the Office of Library Technology, Head of Web Services, Head of Cataloging and Metadata Services, Head of Digital Services, and University ArchivistsFrom time to time others are invited to present or to work on committees, as we draw on expertise throughout the libraries to further the Digital Services effort and maximize the use of our products.
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The '''University Libraries Digital Programs Planning Group'''  
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shapes and develops policies, decides new directions and initiatives, and helps to prioritize and plan the overall direction of the digital program within the University Libraries.  The digital program is concerned with digitizing selected primary source materials of historical interest, and providing online access. 
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Membership consists of representatives of Web Services, Cataloging and Metadata Services, special collections, Digital Services, and the UA Libraries Associate DeansMembers enlist the input of other departments in the UA community as needed.
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Recaps of recent meetings are available online:  [[Digi_Plan Recaps]]
 
Recaps of recent meetings are available online:  [[Digi_Plan Recaps]]
  
  
The '''DigiPres Conversations group''' focuses on planning for long-term access, developing policies and procedures to see us through format changes, storage and content management issues.  This group includes the University Archivist and Curator of Southern History and Life Collections, Head of Web Services, Associate Dean of Library Technology, Head of Cataloging and Metadata Services, Metadata Librarian Shawn Averkamp, Head of Digital Services, and  our Digitization Manager.
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The '''DigiPres Conversations group''' focuses on planning for long-term access, developing policies and procedures to see us through format changes, storage and content management issues.  This group includes the curators from Hoole Special Collections, Head of Web Services, Associate Dean of Library Technology, Head of Cataloging and Metadata Services, Head of Digital Services, and  our Digitization Manager.
  
 
Recaps of recent meetings are available online:  [[Digi_Pres Recaps]]
 
Recaps of recent meetings are available online:  [[Digi_Pres Recaps]]
  
  
The '''Delivery Metadata group''' works on issues around metadata development across departments.  This group includes the Head of Cataloging and Metadata, the Metadata Librarians, Head of Digital Services, Digitization Manager, and Digitization Specialists.  
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The '''Delivery Metadata group''' worked on issues around metadata development across departments.  This group initially included the Head of Cataloging and Metadata, the Metadata Librarians, Head of Digital Services, and Digital Services staff.  However, it then expanded to include archivists and archival staff, and topics can include anything of interest that may impact the work of those present. Currently this is the "Metadata Forum" convened monthly by the metadata unit.
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Recaps of the early meetings are available online:  [[Delivery_Metadata Recaps]]
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Recaps of recent meetings are available online:  [[Delivery_Metadata Recaps]]
 
  
  
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== Projects ==
 
== Projects ==
  
'''The Association of SouthEastern Research Libraries (ASERL) Collaborative Digitization Project'''
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===The Association of SouthEastern Research Libraries (ASERL) Collaborative Digitization Project===
  
 
In Autumn 2008 a collaborative effort was proposed to provide online content to material representing "The Intellectual Underpinnings of the American Civil War."  This collection is to consist of materials published between 1850 and 1865 that informed the public consciousness as America approached the battle between the North and the South.  Access to the content would be timed to coincide with the April 12 2011 sesquicentennial of the start of the Civil War.
 
In Autumn 2008 a collaborative effort was proposed to provide online content to material representing "The Intellectual Underpinnings of the American Civil War."  This collection is to consist of materials published between 1850 and 1865 that informed the public consciousness as America approached the battle between the North and the South.  Access to the content would be timed to coincide with the April 12 2011 sesquicentennial of the start of the Civil War.
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This was a truly collaborative project, and we successfully submitted 52 collections for inclusion in the ASERL project in a timely manner.  That website is now live at http://www.american-south.org/.  Searching across our 52 submitted collections is available via http://american-south.org/institutions/alm/search/ .
 
This was a truly collaborative project, and we successfully submitted 52 collections for inclusion in the ASERL project in a timely manner.  That website is now live at http://www.american-south.org/.  Searching across our 52 submitted collections is available via http://american-south.org/institutions/alm/search/ .
  
== Metadata Comparison Test ==
 
 
In the Digital Planning Meeting on 10/10/08, we decided on a pilot project to test the feasibility of:
 
# Special Collections staff grouping content and providing general descriptive metadata about the group
 
# Digital Services digitizing the content, adding minimal metadata (identifier, box and folder location, notes of damage, number of pages)
 
# Metadata Unit adding the caption or title and description for each item
 
 
As the discussion around this proposed project evolved, we determined that we needed to know to what extent it would matter to the user who creates the item-level metadata.  If the resulting usability of the content does not differ, or is improved by the metadata unit creating the descriptions, then it makes sense to move the burden of this work to that unit.  If, however, the usability of the content is hampered by descriptions being provided by those not familiar with the content and context, then we need to find ways to provide more assistance to the archivists.  They are not currently staffed sufficiently to provide item-level descriptions for content to be digitized.
 
 
Early in 2009, Donnelly Walton (Archival Access Coordinator)  and Marina Klaric (Archival Technician) selected two comparable image collections and two comparable text collections from manuscript holdings at Hoole Special Collections Library.
 
 
The manuscript collections selected were:
 
1) the Cahill Family Papers:  305 handwritten letters (1115 scans)
 
2) Berman Family papers: 337 mostly handwritten letters (975 scans)
 
 
The image collections selected were:
 
1)  the George Nichols Photos (115 images)
 
2) the Kappa Alpha Photos (164 images)
 
 
The archivists proceeded to process the collections.
 
 
The initial plan was that the archivists would create item-level descriptions for Cahill and Kappa Alpha and the Metadata Unit would create item-level descriptions for the Berman and Nichols collections.  Both groups would track the time involved, for comparison. 
 
  
After the archivists finished their work, Digital Services digitized the materials, and then the Metadata Unit took a turn at creating item-level metadata for Berman and Nichols.
 
  
In this process, we ran into some issues. 
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=== Metadata Comparison Test ===
* We realized that the Digital Services staff were not instructed to capture physical dimensions of images, and the Metadata Unit could not do this after digitization.
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* Cahill and Kappa Alpha were arranged to the item level (chronological or alphabetical order) but described to the folder level.  Nichols and Berman were arranged and described to the folder level within each series, with no arrangement within the folders. The archivists tried to do just series level arrangement, but since they had to look at every item, the result was folder-level arrangement.
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* Digitizing the Berman papers without even a minimal spreadsheet, left Digital Services staff confused as to where to begin. Sometimes what they selected as an item was only a portion of an item, and when the Mary Alexander (Metadata Unit) went to describe it, she discovered the errors.  This required much back and forth between the Metadata Unit and Digital Services to sort out the issues and rename the files appropriately:  a waste of time and energy!
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* During digitization of the Kappa Alpha collection, Amanda Presnell noted content which was not suitable for online delivery (permissions issues).  After investigation, it was determined that this collection should indeed not go online.  Again, a waste of effort and time.
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The resulting comparison of time spent in processing, digitization, and description is assessed in this document:
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This was an effort to determine whether it is to our benefit to transition item-level metadata creation from the archivists to the metadata librarians.  Time and other costs needed to be weighed against the usability of the resulting descriptions.  Involved in this group were archivists (Donnelly Walton, Martha Bace), Digital Services personnel (Jody DeRidder, Jeremiah Colonna-Romano) and Cataloging and Metadata personnel (Janet Lee-Smeltzer, Mary Alexander).  (More information is available here: [[Metadata Comparison Test]].)
  
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=== Cost Recovery Task Force ===
  
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On February 9, 2009, Dean Pitschmann assigned a cross-departmental task force to review analog and digital reproduction pricing at other universities and recommend a cost-recovery fee structure for all mediated reproduction services.  This task force was composed of archivists Jessica Lacher-Feldman and Clark Center, Manager of Administrative and Fiscal Affairs Harriet Deason, and Jody DeRidder (Head, Digital Services).
  
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This group researched reproduction pricing at Indiana, University of Michigan, NCSU, UIUC, South Carolina, Georgia, University of Minnesota, NY Public Library, Florida State Univ., Michigan State University, UCLA, Chicago Public, Enoch-Pratt, North Carolina, Vanderbilt, LSY, SUNY (Albany), Wisconsin, and UVA.  After analyzing results and extensive discussion, the group sent recommendations to the Dan on June 3, 2009.  Questions were fielded through August 2010.
  
*  Item divisions differed between the two groups.  Where one group included an enclosed document from a letter as a separate item, the other group included it as part of the letter that enclosed it.
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The finalized results went live in November 2010 as [http://www.lib.ua.edu/libraries/hoole/reproductionhoole.htm Hoole's Reproduction Services] web page.

Revision as of 09:10, 14 December 2012

The University Libraries Digital Programs Planning Group shapes and develops policies, decides new directions and initiatives, and helps to prioritize and plan the overall direction of the digital program within the University Libraries. The digital program is concerned with digitizing selected primary source materials of historical interest, and providing online access.

Membership consists of representatives of Web Services, Cataloging and Metadata Services, special collections, Digital Services, and the UA Libraries Associate Deans. Members enlist the input of other departments in the UA community as needed.


Recaps of recent meetings are available online: Digi_Plan Recaps


The DigiPres Conversations group focuses on planning for long-term access, developing policies and procedures to see us through format changes, storage and content management issues. This group includes the curators from Hoole Special Collections, Head of Web Services, Associate Dean of Library Technology, Head of Cataloging and Metadata Services, Head of Digital Services, and our Digitization Manager.

Recaps of recent meetings are available online: Digi_Pres Recaps


The Delivery Metadata group worked on issues around metadata development across departments. This group initially included the Head of Cataloging and Metadata, the Metadata Librarians, Head of Digital Services, and Digital Services staff. However, it then expanded to include archivists and archival staff, and topics can include anything of interest that may impact the work of those present. Currently this is the "Metadata Forum" convened monthly by the metadata unit.

Recaps of the early meetings are available online: Delivery_Metadata Recaps



Contents

Projects

The Association of SouthEastern Research Libraries (ASERL) Collaborative Digitization Project

In Autumn 2008 a collaborative effort was proposed to provide online content to material representing "The Intellectual Underpinnings of the American Civil War." This collection is to consist of materials published between 1850 and 1865 that informed the public consciousness as America approached the battle between the North and the South. Access to the content would be timed to coincide with the April 12 2011 sesquicentennial of the start of the Civil War.

Participation in this project required a collaborative effort here at the University of Alabama, which was coordinated primarily by Digital Services. As a member of the technical committee, Jody helped explore options for shared delivery with other institutions. She also wrote software to analyze the date ranges of existing online collections, to inform the choices made by the archivists. The archivists (primarily Donnelly Lancaster Walton, Archival Access Coordinator) then selected the appropriate content and remediated the collection information; and Digital Services staff digitized the selected materials.

The Metadata Unit (Mary Alexander and Shawn Averkamp) remediated the selected content to conform with the metadata requirements of the project. Marcia Barrett (Catalog Librarian for Special Collections) added creator and subject headings to the collection records. Tonio Loewald (OLT programmer) developed OAI (Open Archives Initiative) repository functionality to support harvesting of the selected materials for inclusion in the shared database. Clark Center (University Archivist and Curator of Southren History & Life Collections) described the repository and provided contact information. Jody submitted collection records and shared web sites and information as they became available. All participating faculty (archivists, metadata librarians, and digital services) tested the OAI implementation prior to release.

This was a truly collaborative project, and we successfully submitted 52 collections for inclusion in the ASERL project in a timely manner. That website is now live at http://www.american-south.org/. Searching across our 52 submitted collections is available via http://american-south.org/institutions/alm/search/ .


Metadata Comparison Test

This was an effort to determine whether it is to our benefit to transition item-level metadata creation from the archivists to the metadata librarians. Time and other costs needed to be weighed against the usability of the resulting descriptions. Involved in this group were archivists (Donnelly Walton, Martha Bace), Digital Services personnel (Jody DeRidder, Jeremiah Colonna-Romano) and Cataloging and Metadata personnel (Janet Lee-Smeltzer, Mary Alexander). (More information is available here: Metadata Comparison Test.)

Cost Recovery Task Force

On February 9, 2009, Dean Pitschmann assigned a cross-departmental task force to review analog and digital reproduction pricing at other universities and recommend a cost-recovery fee structure for all mediated reproduction services. This task force was composed of archivists Jessica Lacher-Feldman and Clark Center, Manager of Administrative and Fiscal Affairs Harriet Deason, and Jody DeRidder (Head, Digital Services).

This group researched reproduction pricing at Indiana, University of Michigan, NCSU, UIUC, South Carolina, Georgia, University of Minnesota, NY Public Library, Florida State Univ., Michigan State University, UCLA, Chicago Public, Enoch-Pratt, North Carolina, Vanderbilt, LSY, SUNY (Albany), Wisconsin, and UVA. After analyzing results and extensive discussion, the group sent recommendations to the Dan on June 3, 2009. Questions were fielded through August 2010.

The finalized results went live in November 2010 as Hoole's Reproduction Services web page.

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