Users draw little distinction between discovery and delivery; systems, data, and information objects should be optimized for fulfillment.
This is no surprise, but the finding deserves attention in relationship to unique materials. In special collections, the “information objects” that should be “optimized for fulfillment” are usually not. The report does not specifically address concerns related to special collections, focusing instead on materials where timeliness of delivery is a factor. However, with the expectation of timely and convenient availability of materials (if not instant access to materials) a growing trend in general collections, what about special collections?
Two activities in the RLG Partnership are addressing this: Sharing Special Collections (led by my colleague Dennis) and Streamlining Photography and Scanning (led by my colleague Jennifer). Both groups are have working groups populated by smart and motivated professionals.
We’re some distance from special collections that are optimized for fulfillment, but I’m pleased that we have great minds focusing on the issue. Take a look at these activities and let us know what you think.