Our podcasts + webinars = PARcasts

As some on the blogosphere have already discovered, we have not only started a new podcast series, but also a series of webinars. The live webinars are offered for RLG Program partners, but we’re making them available on our website after the fact.

Taken together, the podcasts and webinars are called … PARcasts (PAR = Programs and Research, the OCLC division we are part of). Cute, huh?

The first webinar is titled “Out of the Stacks and onto the Desktop: Rethinking Assumptions about Access and Digitization” and combines reflections on the Good Terms paper (Kaufman and Uboius) and the Shifting Gears (pdf) paper (Erway and Schaffner) together with reflections on how libraries and archives can (and already are) make progress in digitizing collections and making them available to the broadest audiences.

The great thing about the webinar was not only hearing Jen and Ricky present their ideas, but especially the questions and discussion that came after. Here are some of things that can up in discussion:

  • Bring together benchmarking information on what it takes to do digitization economically.
  • How to balance rights issues with creating broad access? Guidelines in this area will be helpful. (I actually think that the SAA Working Group on Intellectual Property may have some helpful guidance for those of us in the US)
  • Establish a clearinghouse for digitization projects underway so information and expertise can be widely shared
  • I must say that I am pretty dubious about the effectiveness of clearinghouses (I’ve seen many well-launched efforts fail for lack of consistent upkeep), but we’re all open to suggestions as to how this could be achieved.

    We are also interested in your thoughts and reactions, so please share them here or via email.