Not that long ago, the Montana State Library, in charge of making state documents available to the public, circulated just a few hundred publications outside its walls each year.
Now, in just the past three months, the library has circulated some 18,000 digital documents, and what’s available is vast: state agency reports going back years, and data-rich natural resource and geographic information resources covering everything form moisture levels to property ownership to oil and gas leases.
Jennie Stapp, the state library director since Jan. 1, is driving that digital train. Just nine years out of graduate school, she figures she’s the youngest state librarian in the nation. She was, most recently, the digital library director and library’s chief information officer. She succeeded Darlene Staffeldt, who had worked at the library for 35 years.
Some 15,000 state documents are available on a Web site of the San Francisco-based Digital [Internet] Archive and more are reaching it every day.
“At a remarkably low cost, they will digitize materials that we send to them, and put them online,” Stapp said. “They’re a phenomenal organization to work with.”
And there’s the Montana Memory Project, which the library conducts along with the Montana Historical Society, making available software and scanner/laptop combinations to lend to local libraries to digitize their own materials.
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See Also: Montana Has a New State Librarian (December 9, 2011)
See Also: Archive Montana
See Also: Archive Montana (via Archive-It)