Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Book 13: Handbook for Digital Projects

TITLE: Handbook for Digital Projects: A Management Tool for Preservation and Access
AUTHOR: Maxine K. Sitts (ed.)
STARTED: March 18, 2016
FINISHED:May 17, 2016
PAGES: 179
GENRE: Library Science

FIRST SENTENCE: NEDCC is pleased to present this handbook to the professional community.

SUMMARY: [From an Amazon review] Despite the common view that publications about digital projects tend to be short-lived in a field that changes so rapidly, the Handbook for Digital Projects offers a lasting contribution. The book is not timeless, but it is successful in achieving its narrowly defined goals of providing guidance (not technical solutions) to managers of scanning and digital conversion projects and informing readers about the broad range of consideration in digitization projects from capture to storage to access. The publication is the result of four years of research and curricula development (funded by the NEH and the Mellon Foundation) for the Northeast Document Conservation Center's School for Scanning. Its essential message is that digitization for its own sake is clearly short-sighted. Managers should take time at the outset to define the scope, goals, sustainability, and metrics of a pending project; and managers must be well-informed about the complexities justifying a project; when and how to begin; integrating preservation; selecting material; maintaining standards of quality; developing infrastructure; and providing access to the end product. To begin a project, managers must be able to answer: Why do it; What do you want to produce;What will you do with the products. The chapters of the handbook cover these topics in varying degrees of detail.

THOUGHTS: I'm kind of surprised that a book that is 16 years old is still relevant to library digitization projects. While the technical specs of this volume are outdated, the general practices and workflows are still relevant. I took notes while reading so that I can refer to them when we start working on our own digitization projects. Not all of the chapters are as relevant (or complete) as others, but the book, as a whole, offers a decent crash course in digitization.

RATING: 6/10 [Good]

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