Deliver a lot. Deliver a little. It’s all about delivery. We’ve been doing a lot of work around here on strategies to make it easy for users to get their ‘hands’ on special collections.
Most recently, Ricky published a snazzy piece on mechanics for large-scale digitization of non-book materials, Rapid capture. These real-life examples dovetail nicely with her work (with Merrilee) about balancing rights and risks, rallying the community around reasonable practices when digitizing whole collections for access.
On the other hand, the Working Group on scanning and cameras has just published Scan and deliver in order to clear the air about user-initiated digitization. We give ourselves permission to just get the job done, by quickly scanning what someone needs and handing it to them promptly. If you have resources, you can choose when to scale up, maybe even going as far as digitizing the whole volume or collection, as long as it is in hand.
Whether we’re scanning an item requested by a user or digitizing an entire collection, it’s all about delivering up the collections we are privileged to manage.
Jennifer Schaffner was a Program Officer with the OCLC Research Library Partnership. She worked with the rare books, manuscripts and archives communities. She worked with OCLC Research from 2007 to 2015.