January 16, 2022

From OCLC/RLG: "Scan and Deliver: Managing User-initiated Digitization in Special Collections and Archives"

From an OCLC Research Announcement:

This report presents strategies for providing efficient and economical delivery of digital copies of materials in special collections.

Changes in technology and the increased visibility of special collections have led to greater user interest in accessing special collections, as well as the expectation that reproduction requests will be fulfilled with digitized images. This combination has resulted in a deluge of user-generated requests for digital copies of special collections in an environment in which the digitization process can be labor-intensive and digitization policies vary widely across institutions.

To address these issues, OCLC Research and the RLG Partnership Working Group on Streamlining Photography and Scanning investigated factors affecting digitization-on-demand workflows and ways to reduce cumbersome workflow and policy issues. They did this by evaluating current local practices, investigating ways to simplify institutions’ user-initiated digitization workflows and identifying common strategies for streamlining the process of creating and delivering digital images to users.

This report details their work and its result—a flexible, tiered approach to delivering digitized materials that acknowledges differences in user needs, collections, institutions, and resources. This tiered workflow for user-initiated digitization consists of four main steps: review, decide, scan, and deliver.

By adopting this approach, librarians and archivists can make access the top priority, streamline user-initiated digitization workflows and leverage digital technology to deliver special collections and archives to users efficiently—while more easily meeting their own high standards and encouraging the evolving use of special collections and archives.

View the report overview page for Scan and Deliver: Managing User-initiated Digitization in Special Collections and Archives

Read the report itself (18 pages/PDF)

Learn more about the streamlining photography and scanning project

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.