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					  Digital Asset Management (DAM) and Institutional Repository (IR)
                 programs at other liberal arts colleges
Prepared for IRC by the DAM Task Force

Dickinson College
Contact: Rafael Alvarado, Director of Academic Technology
Systems: CONTENTdm (costs $9,800 - $19,800 initially, $1,666-$3,366 annually)
          IKON (built in-house)
          Blackboard (similar to WebCT; has storage capacity)
Staff: There is no staff designated to handle asset management, but Rafael likes the idea.
Everything is left to Academic Technology. The end user is in charge of metadata input
and upkeep. There is nobody in-house to cover digitization.

Dickinson College, with roughly 2,500-3,000 students, uses CONTENTdm alongside
their custom built system, IKON. In addition, faculty use Blackboard (similar to
Skidmore‟s WebCT) for storing digital objects. Rafael‟s comments on their systems:

           o CONTENTdm
                 very simple data model
                 supports complex objects
                 they use this mainly for books and images but not much more
                 mostly for curated collections
           o IKON (built in-house)
                 Images, video files, etc.
                 adds meta data
                 various groups on campus use it to store & sort images
                 very freeform
           o Blackboard
                 not quite DAM, but their faculty use it as such

Dickinson investigated, but chose not to join the NITLE DSpace pilot project. They felt
that the project did not offer enough space for storage.

When asked about criticisms of their DAM program, Rafael feels that their DAM systems
and services should be more centralized. He also believes that asset management "should
be like digital plumbing" and he feels that every project must be started from scratch.

Five Colleges of Ohio consortium
Contacts: Alan Boyd, Assoc. Director of Libraries, Oberlin College
          Scott Siddall, Assistant Provost, Director of Instructional Technology, Denison
Systems: CONTENTdm (early-adopters in CLAC received a 50% discount – cost
approximately $5,000 initially and $1,000 annually)
          Fedora (free, requires local development)
Staff: One person devotes half their time at Oberlin, while Scott Siddall, with student
help, maintains CONTENTdm collections at Denison.
We spoke with Alan Boyd and Scott Siddall about the Collaboration with Technology Program
(CTP), a project funded by a Mellon Foundation grant to Denison and Kenyon from 1999-
2005. It was conceived as a faculty development program to enhance learning through the use
of technology. The DAM Project (one of many projects funded by CTP), aimed to identify
opportunities for the Five Colleges (Denison, Kenyon, Oberlin, Ohio Wesleyan, Wooster) to
meet DAM needs consortially.

The Five Colleges held meetings in 2000 and 2002 to identify and discuss common interests.
They selected CONTENTdm as an initial digital asset management system (CONTENTdm
was already being implemented at Denison). The initial software acquisition was funded by
Mellon using a vendor agreement negotiated by the Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges
(CLAC). They then held a meeting to train staff in CONTENTdm and metadata standards.
Training costs were subsidized by library directors at Five Colleges. A trainer was brought in
from CONTENTdm (OCLC) to work with librarians and some IT staff. There was little
faculty involvement in the training. The training was highly successful at familiarizing staff
with the CONTENTdm interface, making it much easier to support pilot projects. Each
campus then defined one CONTENTdm project as a pilot study, to be interlinked with
CONTENTdm‟s multi-site server.

According to Alan and Scott, the initiative “fell down” and never successfully sustained
across the Five Colleges. Unlike the other four colleges who share a common catalog
(CONSORT), Oberlin maintains control over its own catalog. This has fostered some
political/administrative isolation and Oberlin is not currently an active consortial
participant in DAM related issues. Kenyon implemented several projects, as did
Denison. The other colleges did little or nothing and abandoned the project. Alan and
Scott cited a lack of interest and resources. Faculty and staff at these other institutions
did not then, nor are they now, seeking support for DAM. As a “service” provided by
Library or IT staff, it could not be sustained given competing demands for time.

Currently at Oberlin:

CONTENTdm is used for specific, small-scale projects including slide collections and photo
archives. Faculty are directly involved only to the extent they have ownership for a particular
project. CONTENTdm is supported, monetarily and administratively, by the Library. The
East Asian specialist in the library (a new hire or hire in progress) is devoted half-time to
CONTENTdm, supervising student “programming” (support for particular projects using
CONTENTdm). Boyd is “not sure how this is going to work.” There does not seem to be a
broad sense of institutional need - nor a coherent vision - for DAM at Oberlin and it efforts
seem modest.

Rather than continue with the Four Colleges consortium on DAM-related issues, Oberlin is
working with OhioLINK, which is establishing a statewide server for Institutional Repositories
using Fedora. Oberlin anticipates using CONTENTdm for local collections and specific
management of discrete projects only. (In some respects, this sounds like Hamilton‟s two-
tiered system, except that the formal IR component is not local but consortial).
Currently at Denison:

CONTENTdm is administered and supported directly by the Assistant Provost (Siddall). Six or
seven major collections (largest: AH slide collection of 20K images) are managed with
CONTENTdm, each with its own set of metadata standards. CONTENTdm was chosen
because the export routines are robust, allowing complete export of metadata, thumbnails, and
full images. It is also cheap.

Student workers digitize materials and faculty customize metadata using Dublin Core. Siddall
cannot imagine ever needing to hire anyone, even part time, to help coordinate this effort.
Stake holders are few and he can easily manage the existing collections himself. Faculty and
other stake holders use their own, ad hoc approaches and seem satisfied. It seems as though a
full scale needs-assessment was never done and Siddall agrees that ignorance largely explains
the lack of pressure.

At some point, specific collections may be uploaded into OhioLINK (see above), using the
institution-specific interface that is being developed with Fedora. Denison did use ArtSTOR
for one collection (on a trial basis) but quickly abandoned it since it was slow and much less
direct than the CONTENTdm system that was already available on campus.

Hamilton College
Contact: Ken Herold, LIS Director
Systems: CONTENTdm (costs $9,800 - $19,800 initially, $1,666-$3,366 annually)
          Fedora (free, requires local development)
Staff: Currently unstaffed. DAM committee recommended a coordinator position, but it was
not funded.

Hamilton underwent a process very much like ours, and issued a series of
recommendations in 2006. Ken‟s technology group in the library had already been
working with Fedora, although their needs-assessment process concluded that
CONTENTdm was the preferred product for the college. As a result, they are pushing
forward with both Fedora for long-term preservation and ContentDM for collection
management and classroom use of digital assets. A huge amount of information about
their DAM committee is available at . It
includes all of their documents, as well as analyses of various systems.

In their final report the DAM group recommended a position very similar to ours – a
point person and manager to partner with faculty and staff on building digital collections.
Funding for the position was denied. At this point they have installed both ContentDM
and Fedora, but the ContentDM system is empty.

After the new staff position was scratched from their plan, a group of library
technologists (2 FTE, including Ken) and academic technologists (5 FTE) agreed to
volunteer as a DAM support group. However none of them have had the time or
coordination to do any work and Ken does not foresee this changing. Now they are
retooling an old project (called “Hill Teams”) in which librarians and academic
technologists are paired up to provide support for individual courses as a team. While
this project had never been very active, the hope is that by folding DAM support work
into the teams more work will get done on digital collections.

Liberal Arts Scholarly Repository (LASR) at Carleton College
The Liberal Arts Scholarly Repository (a consortium consisting of Amherst College,
Carleton College, Connecticut College, Dickinson College, Macalester College,
Middlebury College, Simmons College, and Trinity University).
Contact: Ann Zawistoski, librarian, Carleton College
Systems: Formerly Longsight (Fedora?), moving to NITLE DSpace (cost costs minimum
$7,750 initially, $3,750 annually).
Staffing: Unknown; We only spoke with Ann at Carleton College about her experiences.

The Liberal Arts Scholarly Repository (LASR) was founded by Carleton College,
Dickinson College, Middlebury College, and Trinity University as a way to explore
institutional repositories at liberal arts institutions. We spoke with Ann Zawistoski, a
librarian at Carleton College who participated in the initial planning of the LASR project.

She worked on institutional repository (IR) pilot projects involving storing student theses.
For about 2 years she tried out a few different vendors, and developed some preliminary
work-flows and policies, and then put together the process for evaluating the vendors for
their IR. During the pilot phase, she would contact graduating Seniors from the
participating departments and ask them to complete a consent form and send an
electronic copy of their thesis. Then she would create the Dublin Core metadata and add
the paper to the repository. It was not very formalized and she thinks that going forward,
they will formalize the process a lot more.

Following a RFP sent to various IR vendors
(, the group at
Carleton evaluated the vendors based on their criteria. They chose a system hosted by
Longsight, a company specializing in hosting open-source academic software systems.
In early 2007 the LASR repository is moving to the NITLE DSpace repository.

At Carleton, the work is mostly done by the cataloging / metadata librarian and the
library technology coordinator. They also have help from someone on the college's web
team to help with some of the more technical aspects and to do communication with the
Longsight vendors.

Saint Lawrence University
Contacts: Eric Williams-Bergen, Science Librarian
          Catherine Tedford, Director of Richard F. Brush Art Gallery
Systems: CONTENTdm (costs $9,800 - $19,800 initially, $1,666-$3,366 annually)
          DSpace (costs minimum $7,750 initially, $3,750 annually)
Staff: 13 member „working group‟ and plans to hire a temporary metadata cataloger
Eric Williams-Bergen, along with Catherine Tedford are overseeing and coordinating a
working group of dedicated staff (IT, library, & art gallery staff) whose task it is to deal
with all aspects of DAM at Saint Lawrence. There is no specific position, such as a
Coordinator of Digital Assets, and no plans for one in the future. He indicated that the
institution and the various stakeholders were happy with the distributed model they have
adopted. Faculty members learn about various initiatives through word-of-mouth, as
there is no formalized procedure for making known what services are available. Instead,
each member of the working group (13 members) is conversant with all of the projects
and whom to direct new queries or potential projects.

SLU has been using CONTENTdm for several years, but only has about 12 collections
input thus far. Each of these collections is small, ranging from the tens of objects to the
hundreds. Eric indicated that part of the problem with growing collections has been the
lack of metadata standards, especially when trying to incorporate personal collections of
faculty. For now, the art gallery utilizes the CONTENTdm database to its fullest and is
embarking on a new collection of photography to be added once a temporary metadata
cataloger is hired. He was very clear on the importance of adopting and implementing
campus-wide (if possible) metadata standards, color standards and protocols for scanning.
Since the adoption of standards has been slow on campus, Eric and other team members
have focused some of their energies toward introducing faculty to low-level tools for
organizing their data and images, such as Adobe Lightroom, Apple Aperture and
Google‟s Picasa program.

In addition, SLU has joined a consortium of liberal arts colleges in the LASR/NITLE
DSpace Pilot project, though they have yet to include anything in DSpace.

SLU also participates in the NITLE sponsored initiative CODEX and is interested in any
collaborative partnerships with peer institutions. (As an aside, Eric deals with GIS at
SLU and may be a good contact for some of the issues we confront here at Skidmore. He
was also very interested in collaborating).