Remote Digital Library Work Discussion Notes 04/16/2020

Discussion Points:


  • How is everyone doing? Have you found a rhythm over the last couple of weeks?
    • Still adjusting and trying to find the right routines
    • Hanging in there. Many people miss being in their library spaces.
    • Some have essential personnel doing space checks and emptying dehumidifiers. 
    • Some are on a rotating schedule. 5 staff working for two weeks in the library, then at home for two weeks and switching with a different set of 5 staff members.
  • How are you supporting your users?
    • COVID-19 community experience collection is taking place at many libraries.
      • Good way to keep engagement with community members and to collect content for our collections in real-time. 
    • Increase in use of collections, most requests have been able to be filled using existing digital collections
    • Marketing class used breakout rooms in Zoom where they could explore different digital library materials (historical ads, etc.) and came back to discuss with the rest of the group
      • Some materials were videotaped using a cell phone in preparation for the class when access to the building was still available, this was used to kind of mimic the experience a student would have interacting with the materials in person with commentary about the materials.
    • Scavenger hunt-type of assignment for online classes
    • Trying to find ways to support online instruction through the summer.
    • So far, every request has been able to be completed through our online materials for university archives. Special collections has had one request that required an in person trip.
  • What projects are you working on?
    • Adding oral histories
    • Transcription of handwritten materials, OCR for text materials that don’t have it already, photo editing to improve image quality (removing frames, cropping, etc.), 
    • Now able to address backlogs and low priority projects that were on the backburner before. 
    • Investigating how to crowdsource some work using students in classes to work on some transcriptions locally
    • Potentially exploring crowdsourcing tools like zooniverse for wider community engagement 
  • Share trainings with each other: 
  • Share tools/workflows and tips
    • Example workflows from MDPLS

Registration link for future discussions:

Next discussion is scheduled for Thursday, April 30 at 1pm ET.

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