Museums and libraries are taking advantage of advances in technology to move their rare and unique collections online. What most institutions learn quickly is that digitization is the easy part. As grant funding rarely covers ongoing operations, the larger challenge is to develop a successful strategy to make sure the digitized collections remain accessible and relevant over time.
In January 2014, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and Ithaka S+R offered a free web seminar that brought together leaders of the eight cases profiled in the recent study funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), Searching for Sustainability: Strategies from Eight Digitized Special Collections. In the interactive session, the project leaders and team members discussed the strategies they have employed to build the audience, infrastructure, and funding models necessary to maintain and grow their digital collections for the long term.
Video of the web seminar is now available on ARL’s YouTube channel. Answers to questions raised during the seminar that could not be addressed during the time allotted for the event can be found on the Ithaka S+R blog. Please use the comment feature on the blog to pose additional questions about Searching for Sustainability and the case studies.
The Association of Research Libraries (http://www.arl.org) is a nonprofit organization of 125 research libraries in the US and Canada. ARL’s mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations.
Ithaka S+R (http://sr.ithaka.org) is a strategic consulting and research service provided by ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping the academic community use digital technologies to preserve the scholarly record and to advance research and teaching in sustainable ways. Ithaka S+R focuses on the transformation of scholarship and teaching in an online environment, with the goal of identifying the critical issues facing our community and acting as a catalyst for change. JSTOR, a research and learning platform, and Portico, a digital preservation service, are also part of ITHAKA.