November 29, 2020

Digitization Saves Marygrove College Library After Closure, Collection Now Available Online in Partnership with Internet Archive

From the Internet Archive:

When Marygrove College in Detroit decided to close its doors in 2019 due to financial pressures, the first question on the minds of many community members was: what about the library?  Today, the entire Marygrove College community is celebrating the reopening of the Marygrove College Library in partnership with the Internet Archive.

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As the college emptied its buildings, the fate of Marygrove’s beloved library was up in the air. No other library was able to house the entire collection, which included more than 70,000 books and 3,000 journals, in addition to microfilm, maps, visual media, and more. The college explored selling the books, but buyers were only interested in portions of the collection. Even disposing of the library content would cost thousands of dollars that the college couldn’t afford.

Marygrove’s solution: Donate the entire library to the Internet Archive for digitization and preservation.

With more than 70,000 books and nearly 3,000 journal volumes, the Geschke Library is a well-curated, world class collection with strengths in the humanities, education, and social justice. The collection reflects the strong historical and cultural influences of the city of Detroit, bringing a uniquely Black American perspective into the light for access and preservation Source: IA

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The value of the collection extends well beyond the Marygrove community. Librarians from Wayne State University, also located in Detroit, share an admiration for Marygrove’s collection and decision to digitize.

“Marygrove has been fundamental for Detroit in educating first-generation, low-income college students and providing high quality education to the community,” says Alexandra Sarkcozy, a liaison librarian for history at Wayne State. “The librarians built a robust academic collection and took beautiful care of it. I think it’s wonderful that it was able to be preserved.”

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Using Controlled Digital Lending practices with the Marygrove collections—lending out a digital copy one at a time—felt like a responsible way to continue to provide access, says [Marygrove President Elizabeth] Burns. And rare materials that aren’t traditionally prioritized are not lost to history.

Learn More, Read the Complete Article, View Images (approx. 1100 words)

Direct to the Marygrove College Library Collection (via Internet Archive)

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.

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