SPEC Kit 335: Digital Image Collections and Services · 137
Selection Policies and Procedures
Selection Policies and Procedures -UA Libraries Digital Services Planning and Documentation
http://www.lib.ua.edu/wiki/digcoll/index.php/Selection_Policies_and_Procedures[8/7/13 7:00:28 PM]
4. Does the intellectual quality of the source materials warrant the level of access made possible by
5. Will digitization enhance the intellectual value of the material?
Current and Potential Users
There is some evidence that digitization always increases use, but current use is still an important
1. Are users consulting the proposed source materials?
2. Is current access so difficult that digitization will create a new audience?
3. Will electronic access to these materials enhance their value to users?
4. Does the physical condition of the originals limit their use?
5. Are related materials widely dispersed?
6. Are there librarians or archivists who might collaborate on the project?
7. Will digitization meet the needs of local users?
Organization and Descriptive Metadata
Metadata is also a necessary part of digitization. Descriptive metadata will enable users to find the
object via search and retrieval mechanisms other kinds of metadata will be needed for preservation,
administration, online delivery, and reuse. The creation of descriptive metadata generally takes 2/3 of
the time needed for any digital project.
No matter how important a collection might be, the collection must be organized and described before it
is ready for digitization.
1. Has the collection been organized and processed?
2. Are there MARC records or some other form of catalogued records for the collection?
3. Is there a finding aid -either paper or online?
If the collection has not been organized, organization should be completed before the collection
receives further consideration for digitization. If there is no form of description by way of a finding aid,
catalogued entries, etc., project planning and project costs will increase. In order to create a finding aid
or descriptive records, there must be ample documentation on the collection and the objects in the
collection, otherwise the necessary level of search and discovery can not be supported. Users require
factual description at the item level.
Existing description should be evaluated by the Metadata Librarian with regard to its quality and
potential for metadata harvesting. All description should be brought up to minimum standards for
shareable metadata before the digitization project has been completed this additional work may add
significant cost to the overall project.
Relationship to Other Digital Collections
It is important to contribute to "critical mass" of digital materials in the subject whenever possible. By
complementing existing online collections, the value of your collection will enhance the subject area
and, in turn, the user experience. The following questions can help guide selectors through this aspect
of decision making:
1. If published material, has it already been digitized? All? Parts of the collection?
2. Would cooperative digitization effort improve this project? Could you find partners?
3. How does this collection fit in with other digital collections? Will the whole be greater than the
sum of the parts?
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