76 · Survey Results: Survey Questions and Responses
acceSS and diScovery challengeS
22. Please briefly describe up to three challenges your library has faced in providing access to born-
digital materials (e.g., arrangement and description, copyright, confidential content, etc.) and how
the library has addressed that challenge. N=53
Access and Discovery Challenges Word Cloud
Ability to manage access based on a wide and changing variety of licensing and access restrictions. Technical
infrastructure to manage access to restricted content beyond our IP range has not yet been developed. The policies and
tools for authenticating off-site users have not been developed.
Adopting/developing descriptive standards and standard workflows for describing born-digital materials. Integrating
descriptions of born-digital materials with analog materials. Handling confidential materials with appropriate access
All manual process. We do not have a digital repository system that enables us to provide access to born-digital
collections over the Internet. Most access must be provided on-site on non-networked computers. This is an inefficient,
cumbersome, and slow process. Skilled staff are responsible for setting up computers upon patron request. Limited
description. At this point, only some staff are comfortable describing born-digital collections. This leads to limited
description of those collections that may be limiting use. Also, lack of appropriate tools to undertake description,
particularly in the past. There is no infrastructure to manage user permissions (if there were an online access system).
Appropriate platforms to manage and deliver content (work in progress).
Arrangement and description of born-digital materials is an ongoing challenge, since current practices were developed
primarily to deal with non-digital materials. Our new Digital Special Collections Librarian will be tasked with developing
best practices for arrangement and amending current description practices to suit born-digital materials. Provincial
privacy legislation creates challenges in providing access to born-digital university archives. This challenge may be
addressed over time through implementation of a university recordkeeping metadata standard, which will facilitate
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