Monthly Archives: May 2014

Virtual Reference Library

A Follow-up to My Posts on Digital Libraries

by Mark Sivy

For those of you who have been following my blog posts about digital libraries, I came across this article today on THE Journal website. It discusses a virtual reference library that has been made available to all Texas students. To see the full article with comments, please go to All Texas Public Schools Get Virtual Reference Libraries, Historic Archives.

Digital Library

Texas Public Schools Get Virtual Reference Libraries, Historic Archives

Beginning in mid-June, more than 9,000 schools in Texas will have free access to a virtual reference library and other resources, including two historic primary source archives from Adam Matthew Digital and 16 collections from Gale.

According to information released by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, the resources will be free to schools through the 2014–2015 school year, after which access will require schools to pay at a rate of $0.22 per pupil, should the choose to continue their subscriptions. The deal was made possible through funding from the Texas state legislature, which allowed TSL to reinstate the statewide program.

The resources include Adam Matthew’s The American West and American Indian Histories and Cultures; and Gale’s Student Resources in Context, GreenR, Literature Resource Center, Health & Wellness Resource Center, Gale Virtual Reference Library, InfoTrac Newsstand, National Geographic Kids, ¡Informe!, Opposing Viewpoints in Context, Kids InfoBits, Academic OneFile, Scribner Writers Series, Educator’s Reference Complete, Student Resource Center Junior, General OneFile and Twayne’s Authors Series.

Schools will be able to apply for free access beginning this month.

Additional details for Texas schools can be found on TSL’s site.

To see comments made on David’s article, please visit: All Texas Public Schools Get Virtual Reference Libraries, Historic Archives

Advertisements

Digital Library Planning

Digital Library Planning – Guidelines to Consider

by Mark Sivy

Digital LibraryIn researching existing literature for guidelines and suggestions on what is involved in planning for a digital library, there were a few resources that were particularly useful. There are many resources about what is involved in creating a digital library, from the Library of Congress’s Challenges to Building an Effective Digital Library to texts such as How to Build a Digital Library. Suiting my personal curiosities, I found the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (2010) publication Planning Tool for Developing a Digital Library of Monitoring and Evaluation Resources to be particularly useful and it serves as a basis for much of what I have presented below.

The following are considerations to be made when planning a digital library. Even though this post provides a basic set of guidelines and information for establishing a digital library, the final details will depend upon the actual planning and development process for a given digital library and will be determined by its target audience and needs.

1. Who Are the Patrons?

It is of great importance at the onset of the project to define the digital library’s target users. Once these users and their communities are identified, it is then essential to establish their needs, abilities, and access related to the library.

2. Collaboration

For the library concept to develop and eventually succeed it is essential to identify stakeholders and collaborators who will be instrumental in establishing and maintaining the library and in developing and applying the criteria for content inclusion and to acquire the holdings.

3. Operating and Managing

Determine the organization structure, operation, and sustainability of the library.

4. Digital Library Technologies

Identify and address issues related to the digital existence and operations of the library. This includes such considerations as hardware, software, meta-data structure, and converting non-digital media to digital media.

Digital Library Technology

5. Accessibility and Usability

Identify and address issues related to the usability of the library including functionality issues, the user interface, the user experience, and policies that govern the use of a digital library.

6. The Content

Decide upon the content and the materials to be contained in the digital library.

7. Maintenance

Determine what is needed for the short-term and long-term upkeep of the digital library.

8. Legal Concerns

Define and address the legal implications of providing materials in the library including copyrights, intellectual property rights, and fair use of materials.

9. Access and Security

Incorporates the issues to be addressed when determining who will access the library, how they will access it, and what security needs to be considered to safeguard the library and its patrons.

10. Support

Support requirements and mechanisms for the digital library and its patrons.

11. Professional Development and Training

Identify library staff and patron development and learning needs.

12. Communications / Media

Establish the means for internal and external communications such as announcements, notifications, contacts, discussions and feedback

13. Cost Implications

Identify the key factors affecting the cost of developing and maintaining a digital library.

14. Outreach

Create a social media plan, a marketing strategy and external partnerships.

Reflection Point – A library is not a luxury, but of the necessities of life. ~Henry Ward Beecher