January 27, 2022

College Press: "A Digital Library?" (Digitization Work at Yale University)

A in-depth look at digitization at Yale (and elsewhere) that discusses costs, sustainability, sharing, copyright, and more. It was written by Zoe Gorman for the Yale Daily News.

The complete article runs more than 2000 words. Several images are included.

From the Article:

Though Yale library administrators and staff interviewed said preserving and expanding access to Yale’s holdings is a fundamental goal of any library, the University system has no plan for how to tackle the gargantuan task of digitizing its complete collection.

Yale’s libraries have made an effort to expand some online collections. Scholars now travel to campus and visit Yale’s library facilities simply to log onto University computers that provide access to digital archives, said Ann Okerson, former head of library collections.

Still, University Librarian Susan Gibbons said Yale’s libraries are struggling to determine what proportion of their resources should be poured into expanding online collections. With the exception of the Beinecke, the University libraries have yet to allocate a portion of their budget towards digitizing current holdings, instead relying on outside donors who provide funding to digitize a specific set of works.


Gibbons said she thinks the largest obstacle to digitizing the library’s collections is copyright law: Libraries can digitize holdings at will only if the works in question are in the public domain. Current law stipulates that a work falls out of copyright after an author has been dead for 70 years.

The legal copyright period has only grown longer over the years, Gibbons said — and it is Disney’s fault.

Read the Complete Article (via Yale Daily News)

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.