Magazine article Computers in Libraries

Dramatic Digitization Stories. (Editor's Notes)

Magazine article Computers in Libraries

Dramatic Digitization Stories. (Editor's Notes)

Article excerpt

In today's rush to get everything up on the Web, you have to stop and think about exactly what to post. Every library that has a Web site has had to decide what to put up and what not to. Think back to what you were posting first. Did you start with a simple page--maybe just your logo, hours, address, and a staff list? Then it probably wasn't long before you made a list of "related resources" that site visitors could link to. And how long was it until you had figured out how to put your bibliographic holdings, or your entire OPAC, online? And now that you probably have all that mastered, what are you adding to the site next? News feeds? Personalized pages or alerts? Special collections?

Every library has a part of its collection that is totally unique. Maybe it's something famous from that area of the world, or a collection of papers that was a gift, or some artwork. These unique collections are often considered for Web sites for several reasons: 1) the number of people who could access them online is far greater than the number who could visit them in person; 2) they promote study and collaboration for people all over the world; 3) they keep objects from being handled too often; and 4) they preserve the objects in another format.

So it's a simple idea, right? Just choose what's most unique to you or most valuable to others and scan it in and put it up. Easy enough maybe--for text. But what if your collection includes sculptures, posters, crumbling photographs, audio recordings, notebooks thick with handwritten pages, interactive museum displays, and other things that you can't simply slip onto your small scanner? …

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