Digital Collections Users' Group Meeting: November 16, 2011

Members present: Ellen Corrigan (Eastern Illinois University), Chris Day (School of the Art Institute of Chicago), Eben English (Loyola University Chicago), Ginger Frere (Newberry Library), Peter Hepburn (University of Illinois at Chicago), Meg Miner (Illinois Wesleyan University), Laurie Sauer (Chair, Knox College), Julia Thompson (Western Illinois University)

Members absent: David Levinson (Lake Forest College)

CARLI Staff Liaisons present:
Jessica Gibson, Amy Maroso

Confirmed Eben as minutes taker.

Minutes from the October meeting were approved with corrections.

"Anatomy of a Digital Project" series:

  1. Contracting with Vendors for Digitization Services (Wed. Dec. 7 at 2:00 pm) - Meg reported that everything is still good to go for this session. CARLI liaisons reported that 11 participants have registered for this session so far. Liaisons advised Meg to have the speaker get in touch with them to go through the technical setup for the webinar. CARLI liaisons will also handle introducing the speakers, but need material for these introductions. DCUG members will be responsible for obtaining this material from their presenters and supplying it to the liaisons prior to each webinar.

  2. Effective Project Management for Digitization Projects (Tues. Jan. 17 at 2:00 pm) - Eben reported that this date/time has been confirmed with the speaker, Frank Cervone from Purdue University Calumet. A program description has been requested from the speaker, but has not been received yet. Eben will make sure that this material is supplied to the CARLI liaisons by the beginning of December.

  3. Digitization for Access and Discovery (Feb. 21 at 2:00 pm) - Laurie reported that the date and speakers have been confirmed for this session. Speakers will include Julie Mosbo (SIU Carbondale), along with Laurie, Peter, and Meg from DCUG.

  4. Promoting collections (Wed. Mar 28 at 10:00 am) - There were no updates to report for this session.

  5. Digital Preservation (April 10, all day, in-person) - There were no updates to report. The planning for this workshop is complete.

  6. Grants/funding (early May) - Ellen reported that some speakers have been confirmed for this session, including Pam Hackbart-Dean (SIUC), and Laurie and Ginger from DCUG, but she is still seeking one more speaker. The format will be an all-day forum/workshop, but the date and location have not yet been decided. It was suggested that a Doodle poll might be an effective way to schedule the session. Ellen will also need to develop a proposal for the session to be delivered to the CARLI Program Planning committee.

  7. Connecting Your Digital Collections to the Curricula at Your Institution - Peter reported that he is reworking ideas for his session. In terms of scheduling, it was decided that late April might be the best target date, rather than trying to do it in June, when many library staff may be on vacation and the annual ALA conference may overshadow the session.

Subcommittee reports

  1. Communication & Outeach - Eben reported that the subcommittee met on October 24. The Image of the Week series has begun again; new material will initially be posted every other week, until enough of a critical mass of images has been collected to allow posting every week. A DCUG Twitter account has been created with the handle "carli_dcug" ( The subcommittee will be responsible for creating tweets and keeping the account up to date. The subcommittee is also organizing an informal "meet-up" for Chicago-area digital collections librarians – an invite has been sent out via the DC-IG listserv, and the meeting will likely take place sometime in early December. The subcommittee is also discussing the idea of creating a "Best Practices for Promoting Digital Collections" guide.
  2. Documentation & Standardsy – Ellen reported that the subcommittee met on 11/9. They are working on creating final drafts of the "Best Practices" guides for images and text. They have also been updating the CARLI wiki with additional resources on project management and grant writing. In the coming months, the group will be working on a Customization Guide for CARLI CONTENTdm collections, and a "Best Practices" for digitizing 3-D objects.

  3. Usability – (Chris): Chris reported that the subcommittee met on 11/3. They are currently looking at Google Analytics reports from the CARLI Digital Collections, including traffic sources, user behavior, keyword searches, and what collections and topics are most popular. The group is also discussing how this info can most effectively be shared with CARLI libraries. Each member is examining a different aspect of the reports, and they will meet on 12/1 to discuss. Early findings indicate that the main traffic sources include search engines, library/institutional web sites, and Facebook, but, somewhat surprisingly, not Flickr.

  4. Digital Preservation - Laurie reported that the subcommittee met on 11/7. They are finalizing the April forum, discussing ideas for future webinars, and will be working on adding links to the CARLI wiki on digital preservation.

Other Business

There was a brief discussion on the subject of CONTENTdm upgrades. Jessica reported that there are no plans to upgrade CARLI Digital Collections to version 6 in the near future, as the software still seems to be undergoing a significant amount of development, and many bugs are still being reported. The recent work to upgrade to version 5.4 on Linux has proved to be very successful. CARLI may get a test instance of version 6 going soon, and will probably upgrade sometime in 2012.

Conference Reporting

Eben reported that he will be attending the annual meeting of the Coalition for Networked Information in Washington, DC on December 12-13.