For immediate release | July 17, 2012

ALCTS awards Transforming Collections micro grants

CHICAGO — Transforming Collections micro grants have been awarded to two projects: preserving digitally published open access works and digitizing a foundation collection in health sciences. The micro grants of $1,500 each were given to the University of Maryland Baltimore County library and the University of Maryland Health Sciences and Human Services Library.

The Transforming Collections micro grants were established by the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) in 2012 to support the ALCTS’ Transforming Collections initiative and the ALA Transforming Libraries strategic goal. The micro grant program is designed to support and encourage innovative practices, emerging technologies and innovation in collections. The micro grants are intended to support small projects or research initiatives in support of transforming collections. Two micro grants up to $1500 will be funded annually.

The University of Maryland Baltimore County project “transforms our collections into safe havens for open access materials by bringing into the library digitally published open access works that are in imminent danger of being lost by restoring access, and by providing for long term preservation.” Principal Investigators are Michelle Flinchbaugh, acquisitions librarian, Gergana Kostova, reference librarian, and Tiffany Wilson, catalog librarian.

“Overlooked by collection development policies and outside the purview of institutional archives, open access publications can easily disappear from the Web.” The project adds endangered or no longer accessible open access publications from the faculty. Local snapshot statistics will be used to explore the extent of the problem. The project will provide a model for strategically assessing, acquiring and adding these publications locally without an institutional repository. Development and publication of a best practices documentation is intended.

The University of Maryland Health Sciences and Human Services Library project “transforms a subset of the books that make up the Crawford Collection, founding collection of what is now the Health Sciences and Human Services Library of the University of Maryland (HS/HSL), to digitized format in order to make them discoverable and freely available online through the UM Digital Archive. This subset consists of books and journals with the LCSH 'Medicine-Early works to 1800.'” These books are written in various languages: Latin, French and English. Two of the books that fall in this category were written by John Crawford himself.” Principle investigators are Na Lin, head of the digital archive, and María M. Pinkas, metadata management librarian, manager and curator of the metadata in the digital archive.

From the project description: “The 200th anniversary of the HS/HSL will be in 2013. In 1813, members of the faculty of the University of Maryland Medical School, founded in 1807, acquired the collection of 400 books that belonged to their late colleague, Dr. John Crawford, and donated it to the medical school for the use of faculty and students. Publications in the collection date back to the 17th century. Furthermore, May 2012 marks the first anniversary of the UM Digital Archive (DA), a service of the HS/HSL. The DA is transforming the way that HS/HSL collects, preserves and distributes via the Internet the historical and scholarly content of the founding institution of the University of Maryland. Given this historical framework, it is timely to transform this otherwise hidden collection of historical value to a format and venue that will make it freely accessible to all.”

ALCTS is a division of the American Library Association.


Charles Wilt

Executive Director I

Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS)

800-545-2433 ext.5030