Collection Development in Digital Libraries

premiumlexicographerInternet and Web Development

Dec 8, 2013 (3 years and 6 months ago)


Collection Development
in Digital Libraries

Matt Woronko


a digital library?

Library where items are stored in digital formats as
opposed to the analog form

Content may also be stored locally or accessed
remotely in a computer network

Examples include Project Gutenberg, Google Book
Search and Carnegie Mellon’s Million Book Project

One of the first steps: The Gopher

Useful tool that organized Internet access points in a

Linked users to other catalogs, internal directories and

Collection development librarians wanted to use the
software to provide subject access to article databases
and journals

journals and e

As technology progresses, digital journals and books
have seen popularity booms

Journal examination usually consists of available file
formats, print functionality and saving options

Tools for maintaining info about contracts, purchase
orders of e
books are being developed as the e
collection advances

Librarian staff have also become negotiators and
familiar with legal aspects of electronic content

Putting together an outline

Few libraries actually have a written policy regarding
items to be digitized

Replacements not only preserve items but also
increase access

Harvard process has been used by many because it
presents a more detailed attack than many others

Three step procedure

Proposed by Diane Vogt O’Connor on how to develop


creators, donors, researchers and more
choose items


review the nominations and make
determinations about weeding items


committee ranks items based on value, use
and risk


Not everything can be nominated because of high
costs and limited budgets

Another factor is stakeholder concerns and legal issues

Lastly, the items are examined to be institutionally


Compare the nomination and de
selection list to see if
any overlap

Some items may be decided to be digitized later, when
better or appropriate technology is developed

Process is aimed at weeding inappropriate items,
leaving best candidates for digitization


Items are ranked by value, use and risk

Value is broken down into informational, administrative,
artifactual, evidential and monetary levels

Risk is scored similarly with levels of low, medium and

Use is categorized the same way

Some examples

University of Texas has three broad categories for

Purchased or licensed material such as electronic
journals or databases

Formatted material from non
copyright print and analog
sources or reformatted from copyright sources

Links and pointers to Internet resources of significant
value which are added to the databases

Selection criteria goes through four review levels

California Digital Library

Three primary goals remain the same for all ten

The user base

Programs that will be supported

Resources available to support those users and programs

Library also uses list of 18 principles for acquiring and
licensing digital formats including licensing standards

Columbia Digital Library

Purpose is to collect information to satisfy the needs of
the Columbia community

Favors Internet and World Wide Web resources
because they’re easy to use

Libraries not only have protocol for archives but also
consortium purchasing and digital conversion

Almost the same but not

Subtle distinctions appear out of different policies

Examples of UT, CDL and CU prove libraries focus on
their own branch and system’s needs

All libraries want balance and encourage a plethora of
resources over variety of majors

But each has its own interests from practicality issues
to promoting the school to specified research goals

Developing a collection from the

Crawling websites adds a challenge to developing

Online material often found includes recordings, posters
and bookmarks

Use of Archive
It to specify selected sites, frequency of
crawls and amounts to be captured

Server space can get quite large, in addition to setting up
the proper metadata terminology

Who else can help us?

One group is the information technology (IT) crowd

IT department can help fix mistakes in databases early on
rather than later

They can also educated staff on hardware and
appropriate software

The department can also know what info can’t be
extracted from online resources and how to get the most
out of software that does

Digital means changes things

Do librarians collect journals by the title or do they go
with a group of well acclaimed articles?

Digital development means more libraries can and
have remained in contact

Change has occurred from one journal vendor to
negotiating through consortiums, billing clerks and
learning the technology

Make sure that we’re seen

Make sure infrastructure allows things to be picked up
by search engines

Use RSS feeds as a sort of teaser back to the

Allow the interface to provide quick access to library

A content management system maintains consistent
design and allows edits from a single location

Reach out to everyone

Subscribe to diverse content databases such as Ethnic
News Watch and Bibliography of Asian Studies

Tell aggregators diversity and literacy need to be focal
points in their products

Computer and literacy skills should be focused on as
interfaces are developed

In the future

Collection development is a good blueprint for all
libraries, analog or digital, even if it isn’t perfect

Digital world presents unique challenges that many in
the field have already encountered

New experiments and research will continue to lead to
better and more effective ways at developing