Why (Not) Digitize?

Wednesday, 10/23/2019
  • 2:00 PM-3:00 PM (Eastern)
  • 1:00 PM-2:00 PM (Central)
  • 12:00 PM-1:00 PM (Mountain)
  • 11:00 AM-12:00 PM (Pacific)


This webinar was presented on October 23, 2019. Access the recording and materials now:

This is part two of the three-part series A Compass for the Digital Frontier.

In libraries, access is our watchword. Digitization allows us to provide that access to people near and far, while also offering a way to help preserve the physical object that has been digitized. But deciding what we can and should digitize is a complex question balancing value, uniqueness, condition, format, desired longevity, legal responsibilities, restrictions, privacy issues, audience and institutional resources. This session will introduce the various concerns to address before digitization even begins, will guide participants through the steps they might take in selecting materials for digitization, and will provide resources for continued learning.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this session, participants will:

  • gain an understanding of the varied considerations that inform the decision to digitize collections;
  • be able to identify steps in making selection decisions based within institutional priorities and goals; and
  • become familiar with appropriate resources for making selection decisions.

Who Should Attend

This webinar is intended for staff at libraries and cultural heritage institutions with an interest in, or responsibility for, digitized materials. It is also appropriate for students and those new to digital preservation.


Frances Harrell is the Lead Consultant for Myriad, a consulting group serving libraries, archives, museums, and private collectors. She has over ten years of experience working with cultural heritage organizations, focusing on digitization and digital preservation. She has spent that time helping libraries, archives, and museums achieve their preservation goals through consulting and training in paper, photograph, audiovisual, and digital collections. She is the Co-Chair of ALA's Preservation Outreach Committee, and has served as the co-chair of ALA's Digital Preservation Interest Group and Chair of SAA's Preservation Section. She received her MLIS from Simmons College and her BA in English Literature from the University of Florida.



A recording of this webinar is now available since the six-month date of the presentation has passed.

How to Register

No registration required.

Tech Requirements

Computer with Internet access (high-speed connection is best) and media player software. Headphones recommended.

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