Digitization projects come in many varieties and scales. This month, we’re highlighting some representative examples, ranging from Yale University’s mass digitization of public domain books (in consort with Microsoft) to a pharmaceutical company’s efforts to archive researchers’ lab notebooks, an essential repository of information for not only scientific documentation but also for assuring patent and trademark protection.
There are many ends, means, and alternatives for libraries considering a digitization project and how best to plan and manage it, regardless of the scale. Our contributors and columnists have learned as much from failure as success, and in this issue they share sage advice on both avoiding pitfalls and assuring success.
No issue of our magazine would be complete these days without at least a nod toward Web 2.0 technologies, so we’ve even included an article on building a digital photo repository that lets users tag and annotate the collection, adding to its value in the process and exploiting its “long tale.”
This issue also features a very valuable section on the digital repository that every library maintains—its own catalog—and the integrated library systems that not only help to maintain it but also help the library manage all operations.
Earlier this year, we managed to track down researcher Pam Cibbarelli (in a camper trailer then parked in the Grand Canyon) and convince her to repeat a study she had done many times for this magazine in the past. We are very happy that she said yes, and we are very pleased and proud to present her in-depth analysis of the current state-of-the-art in integrated library systems (ILSs), in an expanded Helping You Buy section.
Some ILS vendors have also contributed white papers on the subject in our sponsored content section.
It’s a jam-packed, valuable issue that we’re sure you’ll want to not only shelve in the stacks but have handy on your own bookcase. If you’re attending either our Internet Librarian International conference in London or Internet Librarian in Monterey, Calif.—both this month—feel free to pick up an extra copy, with our compliments, of course.
Dick Kaser, VP, Content