As I mentioned previously, a few of us visited UCLA. We had a great day talking to staff about our work agenda. We had a very good meeting with with the UCLA Digital Library Program team and got a tour of the Southern Regional Library Facility (SRLF).
The Digital Library team is lean and agile; they see their role as a catalyst rather than controlling the entire process. I was happy to learn that on the description side, they are integrated with the cataloging unit, rather working in two siloed units.
At SRLF, Colleen Carlton gave us a view into UC Open Content Alliance participation and also their JSTOR print archive project. One surprise (too me, anyhow) was that many journal volumes from the larger and older UC campuses were rejected as not being up to snuff for the project. Why? Volumes were too worn or too damaged to be of use in the dim archive. If this is generally true, it makes me wonder about the future of shared print. One would assume that a shared print collection would be comprised of the holdings of larger, older libraries, with some contributions from younger, newer libraries. However, my visit to UCLA made me think that the opposite might be true.
I also have begun to wonder about the nature of shared print. JSTOR offers a model for a “dim” archive, where volumes are held to be fallen back upon in case of emergency. Will shared print collections have this characteristic as well? Or will there be two layers, a circulating shared collection and a “dim” shared collection to fall back on?
Here’s a photo of SRLF that Jim took with his Blackberry. It was a cool (literally!) place to visit.