Getting “Good Terms”

We’ve had a flurry of recent publications and projects getting to the reporting-out stage recently, which is very gratifying. The most recent of those (as I write this now, aware that others are in the hopper!) is the “Good Terms” article published in the most recent D-Lib Magazine. The article was written by Peter B. Kaufman and Jeff Ubois of Intelligent Television for RLG Programs.

“Good Terms” is a must-read for those being courted (or who aspire to be courted!) by a digitization partner. Think Google, Microsoft, but also think smaller — partners who want to digitize and license a slice of your collection. These activities have been going on for some time, but as the authors point out, this is a good time to step back, reassess, and make sure you get a deal that’s not only good for your library right now, but that will produce benefits into the future for your library and the larger knowledge community.

The article does a great job of outlining big picture issues and then making concrete recommendations for each of these issues. The main point is, libraries bring something more than just collections to the table — they also bring their own needs and aspirations.

At the most recent DLF Forum, Ricky Erway led a panel discussion that represented different agreements with different partners. Panelists included (below, left to right), Mark Sandler, Committee on Institutional Cooperation; Martin Halbert, Emory University; Laine Farley, California Digital Library; and James Hastings, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

ricky photos November 095

All the panelists were asked to answer a set of questions, such as:

  • How long is the term of your agreement? How much do you expect to have digitized at the end of the term?
  • Are you currently providing access to the digital content resulting from your partnership? Do you plan to provide access to the content you contributed? What are the restrictions on your provision of access to your content? What restrictions survive the term of the contract?
  • Are you allowed to contribute your digitized content to other aggregations?
  • What one thing would you change about your partnership arrangement? What is the most significant compromise you have made in your mass digitization activity?

More information on our project, Mass Digitization and Partnership Agreements, is on the RLG Programs website. Ricky Erway is the lead on this project.

2 Comments on “Getting “Good Terms””

  1. Simon, thanks for your comments. I don’t know anyone who will be blogging DCC, but if I find out I’ll let you know. Other readers could identify themselves if they are doing so! Cheers.

  2. Well, now I know I’m in the genius category, I’d better add a Good Term. This one is Inhabitable TV.

    I don’t see much intelligent Television over this end of the world you see. I guess librarians are so busy getting their partnerships together, and mass digitizing and attempting to licence their institution’s material that they don’t have time to make “their” TV inhabitable.

    I like this committee’s title – Committee on Institutional Cooperation. Ever considered that it’s a committee’s communication which might be invaluable, and not its members’ institution’s ‘content’? Of course you’d have to believe that this sentence = “The main point is, libraries bring something more than just collections to the table — they also bring their own needs and aspirations”= is completely miswritten. It should read “librarians bring something more than just collections to the table — they also bring their own needs and aspirations”. Never known a collection of books to be needy.

    BTW. You wouldn’t know anyone who might be blogging a daily for this ‘hang out’ would you?

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