For immediate release | January 3, 2012

ALA OITP hosts 'Online & Above the Radar: Ensuring the Use & Discoverability of Digital Collections' panel Jan. 21

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The ALA Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) will continue the conversation about libraries increasing access to digitized materials with the panel “Online & Above the Radar: Ensuring the Use & Discoverability of Digital Collections” at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. Organized by Gwen Glazer (author of “Digitizing Hidden Collections in Public Libraries” (PDF)) and Jason Kucsma (co-editor of Digitization in the Real World), the panel will include several speakers from diverse parts of the library world. The program takes place at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21, in Dallas Convention Center Room C146.

“Creating digital collections is only the beginning of successful digitization projects for libraries, archives and museums,” Glazer said. “Making sure people can actually find those digitized materials — and that they’re linked with other relevant information online — is what really allows them to be unlocked and available for everyone who wants to use them.”

Speakers include:

  • Susan Currie, director of the Tompkins County (N.Y.) Public Library;
  • Rachel Frick, director, Digital Library Federation Program, Council on Library and Information Resource;
  • Robert Horton, associate deputy director for Library Services, Institute of Museum and Library Services;
  • Carol Linn, Library Consultant; and
  • Patrick Murray-John, Research assistant professor and Omeka Development team manager at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, George Mason University.

Panelists also will discuss how to ensure access to and discoverability of digitization projects after their creation, best practices for collaborating with other institutions and their ideas about the future of libraries’ digitized collections.

“Ensuring discovery of and access to unique local materials is one vital way that libraries can lead in the 21st Century,” said Marc Gartler, chair of the ALA OITP Program on America’s Libraries for the 21st Century. “We must connect and collaborate across such efforts as the Digital Public Library of America, the National Digital Newspaper Program and others to bring ‘hidden collections’ in smaller libraries to light and wider use.”

This program builds on a November webinar on sharing success stories, best practices and lessons learned from library digitization projects ranging from the Queens Memory Project to the Wyoming Newspaper Project. An archive of the webinar is freely available on the OITP website.