The increasing use of technology to locate and access appropriate information
resources implies that those resources are either created in digital format or
converted to digital format. Several areas of digitization that the university
has explored could be better coordinated for improved access. These include
- media streaming (both audio and video)
- e-reserves (scanning articles, book chapters, documents, images, etc.)
- electronic records retention (transcripts and other student records)
- presentations (integration into PowerPoint, video presentations, Web presence,
or Instructional Management Systems [WebCT] course materials).
In addition, the university could expand digitization to new areas to facilitate
- e-theses (proposal submitted to Graduate School)
- e-archive of faculty publications ("pre-prints" and limited distribution
of scholarly articles)
- e-portfolios (MnSCU and other ongoing e-portfolio initiatives)
- digital archives (historic texts, diaries, papers, photographs, etc., in coordination
with local/regional libraries, historical societies, and museums)
All of these areas are critically important as SCSU increases its use of, and
dependence on, alternative delivery methods for instructional and research resources,
especially via the World Wide Web.
In the next five years, the university should
- inventory existing digitization initiatives and evaluate their effectiveness in
fulfilling the institutional mission
- address the digitization needs and expectations to support
- dissemination of research (global: theses; local: faculty publications)
- access to fragile (archival) resources
- long-term sustainability and persistence of university records
- collaboration with regional libraries, archives, historical societies, museums
and related organizations
- commit appropriate resources (hardware, software, staff) to fulfill existing and
evolving digitization initiatives based on institutional priorities
- expand exploration of streaming technologies and their applications within the
curriculum and other university arenas
- work within the framework and best practices set by the Minnesota Digital Library
- ensure that the electronic records archives will authentically preserve and provide
access to any kind of electronic record produced by or for SCSU, free from dependency
on any specific hardware or software
- ensure that digital items are accessible and that digital materials available are
communicated to the university community.
Specific Actions and Timeline
TLTR will establish a digitization committee comprised of the people from LR&TS
(including the systems librarian, the university archivist, and appropriate technologists),
from CIS, and other faculty, staff, and administrators to accomplish the goals.
The committee may decide it needs to establish subcommittees to pursue the various
goals. The committee(s) will follow the standard timeline (see 5.0) for carrying
out and reporting on specific actions.
To accomplish the goals, considerable financial, technical, and personnel resources
could be required. Personnel resources are potentially the most costly and most
difficult to characterize. Because digitization is an evolving and improving field,
vigilance and currency with best practices and with available technologies are
paramount in planning and creating effective, useful programs that use digitization
to serve the university’s missions. Dedication of time from appropriately
skilled staff will ensure what is prudent and possible with available resources.
Because much of digitization involves conversion of existing media from one format
to another to enhance service, it can be approached incrementally, providing that
projects are given accurate priority and that resources become available. Relying
only on current personnel doing the work in their available time will guarantee
a slow transition and may put some of the goals in jeopardy.
- Has the university inventoried existing digitization initiatives and evaluated
their effectiveness in fulfilling the institutional mission?
- Has the university addressed digitization needs and expectations to support curriculum,
research, dissemination of research, access to fragile (archival) resources, long-term
sustainability and persistence of university records, and collaboration with regional
libraries, archives, historical societies, museums and related organizations?
- Has the university committed appropriate resources (hardware, software, staff)
to fulfill existing and evolving digitization initiatives based on institutional
- Has the university expanded exploration of streaming technologies and their applications
within the curriculum and other university arenas?
- Has the university consistently worked within the framework and best practices
set by the Minnesota Digital Library Coalition?
- Has the university ensured that the electronic records archives will authentically
preserve and provide access to any kind of electronic record produced by or for
SCSU, free from dependency on any specific hardware or software?
- Has the university ensured that digital items are accessible and that digital materials
available are communicated to the university community?
- Has the committee submitted a final report in Spring 2008?
- Has the committee made recommendations for the next cycle of technology planning?
Revised: May 2003