Ramping Up: Evaluating Large-scale Digitization Potential With Small-scale Resources

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Digital Library Perspectives


Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.





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Purpose: Digital library managers are faced with growing pressure to digitize materials efficiently on a larger scale. This paper aims to address the staffing and other resources needed to evolve smaller scope operations into teams capable of outputting larger-scale production. Design/methodology/approach: Much of the current literature focuses on philosophy of these projects and issues of metadata and user access. In contrast, this article seeks to supply the much-needed practical information for digital library managers who need to take immediate action to meet new mandates and reach higher target goals within the constraints of limited resources. Findings: The author will provide an overview of resources needed to increase digitization output and provide an analysis of three key resources that can be targeted by digital library managers in a range of environments. These resources will be examined with practical advice given on how new staffing configurations, outsourcing of materials and high-efficiency equipment can be implemented in phases. Originality/value: This paper examines the gap between smaller-scale digitization and successful large-scale projects, and offers several possible scenarios for organizations to consider as they choose to move forward in a way that suits their goals. The focus of this study is neither on the rationale for large-scale digitization nor on the detailed specifications for large-scale digitization workflows. Rather, it will outline the types of resources (internal and external), decision points and specific practical strategies for digital library managers seeking to start ramping up the production. © 2018, © Emerald Publishing Limited.


Academic libraries; Digital libraries; Digitization; Large-scale digitization; Management; Workflow



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