A Will and a Way
While some opine and others whine that libraries have no useful purpose in the Google age, others see plenty of opportunities for libraries to make a difference in their communities.
In this issue of Computers in Libraries magazine, we take a closer look at efforts to digitize and provide access to local collections, an area where most public and many academic libraries will find they have a strategic advantage over the large, comprehensive digital collections that may other wise be available on the net.
Two cases in point are presented in this issue, each involving a special collection: the Zine Collection at Barnard College and Berklee’s music archives.
Differentiating yourself from the crowd is certainly one way to stand out in today’s virtual library landscape. Another way to make a difference is to gain strength in numbers by sharing resources, especially if you can figure out in the process how to make the resource discovery process more Google-like for your users.
We also have a great case study about doing just that: It’s the story of how South Carolina Library Evergreen Network Delivery Services (SC LENDS) consortium cleaned up its discovery layer by deduping its shared records. And they said it couldn’t be done!
As always, technical challenges do abound in projects of this kind. But as my gray-haired mother always said—and as this month’s authors confirm—where there is a will, there is always a way. May you find your direction in this month’s edition of CIL.
Dick Kaser, Executive Editor