Digitization at Makerere University Library

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					  Digitization at Makerere
University Library: Feedback
     of the UT Training
           Miriam Kakai
     Librarian II, Main Library

è Background
     l   Purpose of UT trip and the expected output
è Basic   Definitions
     l   Digitization, Digitize, Digitizers, etc
     l   Electronic documents
è Digital    Projects
     l   Basic facts, Opportunities, and Challenges of
     l   The Digital Life Cycle, Selection of collections for
         digitization, and Conclusion
è Purpose of Trip to the University of Tennessee
   l To participate and learn from their well established digital library
è What was learnt
  l The technology in use at UT (especially in the systems and
    production units). This depends on what is targeted for
  l Metadata design and creation and the digital life cycle as a whole

è Expected Output
   l To Initiate a pilot digital library project at Makerere University
     Library (with the current infrastructure in perspective)
   l Seek funding for bigger projects
               Basic Definitions
è Digitization    (As a noun)
      l   Conversion of analog information into digital
          information.      Digitization, synonymous with
          scanning, is the conversion from printed paper, film,
          or some other media, to an electronic form where
          the page is represented as either black & white dots
          or color or grayscale pixels.
      l   As a result of digitization, we get or capture digital
          images. Digitization is the primary way of storing
          images in a form suitable for transmission and
          computer processing.
      Basic Definitions cont…
è Digitize   (A verb)
      l   Put into digital form, as for use in a computer
è Digitizer   (A noun)
      l   Any device used to convert analogue signals into
          digital signals
è Electronic    documents
      l   Documents that have been scanned or were
          originally created on a computer. We note that
          documents become more useful when stored
          electronically because they can be widely
          distributed instantly, and allow searching.
Basic Facts on Digital Projects
è   Capturing digital resources: This can be done from
    manuscripts       (handwritten),     text      materials
    (typescripts/printed text, books, journals, newspapers),
    images (photographs, transparencies, posters), graphics
    (cartographic & teaching materials), sound, motion, data
    (census numeric data, GIS spatial data, clinical data).
è   Hardware & software requirements: Different hardware
    & software may be used to digitize the different materials.
    In each, the procedures may differ, but there are basic facts
    that are essential to know in all. These will be mentioned
    here in brief.
          Basic Facts continued
  The following are the important things to note when digitizing:
è Production    settings (creating the digital objects)
   l   Bit depth (color channels)
   l   Resolution [pixels per inch (ppi) or dots per inch (dpi)]
   l   Tonal range, etc
è Storage   and file size
   l   Master image and file types
   l   Deliverables (thumbnails, web-images, access-images)
è Access    and Delivery, etc
   l   (i.e. how to access & retrieve the digital objects, plus
       many other small aspects)
    Digital Project Opportunities
è Useful digitization allows for the creation or conversion
  and then storage of any form of information into a
  surrogate, portable platform-independent form that permits
  subsequent searching, analysis and reproduction of the
  information in multiple forms without permanent change
  to either the original artifact or the master digital file.
è Digitization may allow librarians to manage collections
  and provide services more effectively, or to provide
  traditional services such as copying or interlibrary loan at
  lower costs or at less risk to the collections
 Think of the other opportunities and increase the list!!!
       Digital Project Challenges
è Conversion     challenges
   l   Sheer mass
   l   Laborious process
   l   Organization, i.e. Following standards and technology for
       cooperative efforts.
è Storage    challenges
   l   Cost of storage
   l   Fragility - the physical media on which digital information is
       stored is not eternal (i.e. migrations needed frequently)
   l   Integrity - digital information is exposed to user changes,
       distortion, and dis-information in the distributed WWW.
           Challenges continued
è Creation challenges (works born digital)
è Retrieval challenges
   l   Dependency on devices
   l   Obsolescence - the technology keeps changing over time and
       thus the need for constant migration
   l   Legalities like rights of access, copyright, etc
è Acceptance     challenges
   l   Weighing whether the digital information will be useful
   l   Whether it will be wanted, etc

 Think of more challenges and increase the list!!!
      Digital Project Life Cycle:
n    Get/Pick a project - Using selection guidelines
n    Plan the Project - By giving a detailed project specification
3.   Production design: This involves
      l Metadata design and instructional guidelines for data entry.
      l Digitization design, i.e. Standards, scanning settings, color
        management, and guidelines on training sessions for
4.   Production - Create the digital objects and metadata, observe
     quality control, clean-up, and create deliverables
5.   Delivery - Choose a delivery mechanism, i.e. The technology,
     and publicize the resources
6.   Maintenance & Evaluation - Maintain the collection and
     preserve the digital files.
          Note The Following
è Deciding   on what information resources to digitize is
  a policy issue that has to be dealt with within the
  institutions Collection Development Policies. (Thus, a
  Digital Collection Policy is an essential).
è There are a number of decision-making processes
  required of librarians when embarking on digital
  conversion projects and some of what we are going to
  focus on today are typical selection policy questions
  that have arisen in the digital information
  environment. Make your decisions on what collections
  to consider as we go along.
          Selecting Collections for
     Six question will be considered here, though there are more
 n     Intellectual & physical nature of the source materials
      a. What is the copyright status of the materials?
      b. Does the intellectual quality of the source material
         warrant the level of access made possible by
      c. Will digitization enhance the intellectual value of the
         ATTENTION: ...

These questions are used as a guide to help library managers focus on
what collections to digitize, with the basic reasons why they are selected.
        Selecting Collections for
          Digitization Cont...
2.    The number & location of current and potential
     a. Are the materials being used as much as they might
        be when digitized?
     b. Is current access to the proposed materials so difficult
        that digitization will create a new audience?
     c. Does the physical condition of the material limit their
     d. Will the proposed digital files be of manageable size
        and format?
     e. Will digitization address the needs of local students?
          Selecting Collections for
            Digitization Cont...
3.    The current & potential nature of use
     a.   What approach to digitization will facilitate the user’s
          nature of work or how do students use the existing
          source materials?
4.    The format and nature of the proposed digital
     a.   What digital qualities will be considered essential?
     b.   Does the technology catch up with the needs? What
          type of hardware should be used for the conversion?
     c.   If the original sources are to be retained, can they
          withstand the digitization process?
          Selecting collections for
            Digitization Cont...
5.    How the digital product will be described, delivered
      and archived (managed over time)
     a.   How will users know that the digital file exists?
     b.   How will the digital product best be delivered to
     c.   How will the integrity of the digitized data be
     d.   What are the long-term intentions for the digital files?
        Selecting collections for
          digitization Cont...
6. Projections of cost in relation to benefits
     a. The costs of creating electronic resources vary
        considerably, but the following can be considered:
          l   File size and the associated storage needs
          l   Processing requirements
          l   Labor requirements, etc
è   Projects based on careful review, analysis and planning can
    yield electronic resources that are functional and faithful to the
    original sources, and that support new kinds of research. A
    detailed plan of work is the most essential aspect in


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