Report: “Inside the National Library of Australia’s Make-or-Break Digital Transformation”
Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) systems had provided a stopgap measure but they were, according to NLA development branch director Kavinga Hubert, “rudimentary in nature, had very limited capacity and functionality, and were no longer able to support Library’s future requirements”.
A working group convened and recognised the business risks posed by the systems’ inability to scale, process inefficiency, and “unsustainable” maintenance requirements. The six-year DLIR [Digital Library Infrastructure Replacement] emerged as a broad initiative to modernise the library’s systems and facilitate new collaborative approaches.
Since it went live in June, the project has exceeded financial and performance expectations, driving a dramatically faster workflow that means a 200-page book can be digitised 80 percent faster than in the past. By November, the library had digitised 1.53 million book and journal pages – up from just 15,000 three years ago.
The digital deposit service (DDS) particularly has proven to be an invaluable efficiency tool, allowing donors to upload digital objects for analysis, indexing, archiving, and delivery to the public. This workflow used to take weeks, but within the new framework a new object can be processed within a single day.
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Filed under: Digital Collections, Interactive Tools, Libraries, National Libraries, News
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.